307 Tasting Notes


So there’s a Russian grocery store right next to the store where I work. A few weeks ago while a friend was visiting, I went there for the first time in my 2+ years of working there… which was something the shop owner, who is himself Russian (or at least Russian-speaking), chewed me out for. “Two years?!? Typical American!” You got me, sir. You got me.

Of course, I can’t be in a store with loose-leaf tea without buying some, especially when I have no idea what to expect. So I got this! It’s nothing if not brisk. But it’s not your “typical” brisk black tea. There are these incredibly bright, perfumey notes I can’t identify (rose?) It’s something that I feel like I shouldn’t find pleasant, but somehow, I do. It’s hard to explain, but… it’s like I’m taken to a different time and place. Not to mention it’s a great wake-up tea.

Even though I was hoping I’d enjoy this tea, it truly is an unexpected pleasure!

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
306 tasting notes

So I was going to make a particular remedial tisane, but then I got paranoid about the fact that it has natural aspirin in it and my foot seems to be collecting bruises. (I don’t know how, I think it’s just particular strain points from where it’s receiving extra pressure with the sprained tendon… ow!) So I poured it out, and was going to make myself a nice white tea because it’s late. And then TWEEEEEEEEEEET went the kettle and I thought, “Welp, I’m in it now! Black tea it is!”

So I did my Presley/Nixon tea (see my earlier review of this for that reference.) I’m still pretty conflicted about it, but at least it has nice comforting flavors.

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Backlog from yesterday. Had a cup at home, then drank another cup throughout my work day.

And now, a summary of my weekend.

FRIDAY: Went for a pretty awesome bike ride with my parents. We did… 8 or 9 miles? Which is longer than my normal trip, but it felt like I got a lot of exercise without being killed. Doc says I need more regular exercise to up my good cholesterol, so there ya go…

SATURDAY: Worked. And while I was at work, I sprained the CRAP out of my ankle when I tried to do a running vault over merchandise to answer the phone, only to land entirely the wrong way. It even made me cry. And then I left work 1 hour early to drive to Indianapolis (I tried to leave earlier, but the part-timer made this slightly judgmental comment and then we got really busy anyway) to visit a friend. It rained all the way from the state border on, of course right after it got dark.

SUNDAY: Friend and I went with her parents to see a dinner theater matinee of Les Miserables. It wound up being actually really cool, since it was a much smaller production than that show normally gets, and once I got over that and the mostly-synthesized orchestra, we got really into it and raved about it all the way back to her place. And then I drove home, and as soon as I crossed the state border, it got dark and rained.

And now I am sitting at home, going back and forth between Epsom salts and an ice pack on the ankle, which is not a pretty sight right now. I’m considering making tea, but I’m not sure. I did have three cups of coffee during the show, anyway. Ah well!

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After I enjoyed this so much yesterday, I made another couple of cups this morning. Came out on the smoky side rather than the earthy side, but still delish. This tea is also great with sweet foods, I have found.

So funny. When I first tried it, I could have sworn it wouldn’t be a restock. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s growing on me!

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It’s been FOREVER since I had this!

It’s not a tea I crave. Being a white tea, it’s too delicate for me to really feel like I’m “in the mood” for it. But it’s still sweet and light and soothing and delicious, and I have a fair-sized bag that I need to get through. And when I thought, “Dangit, I WILL make myself a cup of tea tonight!” this seemed like the logical choice. Mmm!

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Despite having stayed up much too late last night and moving more slowly than I’d like today, I am feeling significantly better than I was the other night! I mean, I still have to go to work today, but I have tomorrow off and I don’t feel mopey and stressed like I have been.

Mmmmm. Earthy smoky goodness. Just what I was looking for. The more I try them, the more I start to like earthy flavors. Perhaps this will become a staple after all…


I think this may become a staple for me as well. :-)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I need to get more of this one…


Oh, I knew I should have brewed this up this morning! /0\

Terri HarpLady

OK Cavo, what is this suppose to mean? /0\
I have no clue…

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drank My Morning Mate by Teavana
306 tasting notes

Backlog from Sunday.

Had this while over at a friend’s house. They have a lot of Teavana, and I was feeling pretty sleepy from some rather unorthodox sleeping arrangements the night before (what do you do when there are three guests, only 2 have air mattresses, and there are hardwood floors and no sofa? All three of you lie across the two horizontally. So the mattresses are different heights? Adjust and readjust, and laugh hysterically about it until you fall asleep because it’s 11:30 at night, which is late for us, and everyone decided we needed to try mead, including yourself who normally never ever drinks alcohol.) So yeah, pretty darn groggy, and I’ve never had a mate, so I thought I’d give this a try!

I don’t know how it compares to other mates, but I like it. It was a less spicy drink than I was expecting, but it’s a warm, comforting flavor with a hint of chocolate in the aroma. It seemed to do the wake-up trick, too. Normally I don’t like Teavana (has more to do with everything I’ve heard about the sales tactics than the tea itself), but I am seriously considering adding this one to the ol’ cupboard.

Tea Sipper

Actually, it’s usually the tea itself sometimes for me. :D


I get that. Their teas are kinda hit or miss, and they do a lot of fruity teas, which I am just not a fan of. I do like a lot of their teaware, though.

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Backlog. Did this one on a whim yesterday for work.

Whatever I did the first time, I goofed it up, because this time around it was completely different and much closer to what I’d been lead to expect. It was malty, and a little mushroomy. I don’t really know how else to describe it, and to be honest I drank it 24 hours ago in a travel mug that still smelled like dishwasher detergent, but I enjoyed it.

Thanks again to Nicole for the sample!

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So I’m still in a bit of a tea funk. I’m not sure why. When I’m at work or whatever, all I want is to come home and have a nice cup of tea, and then it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason. I’ve felt off for the past week or two. I don’t know if it’s busy season at work that’s stressing me out, or if it’s busy schedules outside work throwing me off, or if it’s me feeling really really frustrated and discouraged about myself, or if it’s the fact that I’m stressed out because I haven’t known where my social security card is for a year and my driver’s license expires in 19 days, or some motley combination of the above, but… yeah.

Enough rambling. I almost fixed white tea, then decided I wanted a little bit of a green kick. This is still my “you WILL calm down” tea. Don’t know if it’s improving my mopiness at all, but it tastes decent enough, if a bit oversteeped.

Terri HarpLady

Hang in there! I lost my social security card for years, & only finally had to get a new one because one of the colleges I teach at required me to show it. I went to the local social security office, filled out the paperwork, was given a temp card, & the new card came in the mail a week or so later. In my mind it was going to be much more difficult than that, but it wasn’t so bad.
The punchline: I came across the old card recently in a drawer.


Can totally relate to having some really “off” weeks and not really being sure why. I hope you drink a lot of tea that will cheer you up or comfort you, though.

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Sipdown! Even though this isn’t my favorite tea, I felt like having something with a distinctive flavor and that fell outside my normal tea regimen. This did the trick. I steeped it too long, just carelessness, and there’s a little hint of astringency, but certainly nothing to ruin the smoothness.

Can I just say THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY?!?!? I am SO looking forward to having a real weekend. I’m going to visit some friends, and I always have a lovely time when I see them. Yay!

Once again, thanks Nicole for the sample!

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Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.


One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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