300 Tasting Notes


I interrupt this broadcast to celebrate two things:

1. MY GAIWAN CAME TODAY!!! MY GAIWAN CAME TODAY!!! Aaaaaah! (happy dance) I feel like a real tea connoisseur now! Good thing I haven’t sipped down my last Verdant oolong yet! It’s so gorgeous and delicate! I’m scared I’m going to drop it, but I’m so excited to try it!

… Uh, how do I use it?

and of course it showed up after I brewed a pot of this tea. Ah well!

2. Got a notification that my Teavivre order has departed Bethpage, NY. Only a few days! Making the dragon pearls last just long enough to make it until the big bag comes.


haha! Yay for a gawain and learning how to use it! I still have not bough one yet. These dragon pearls are yummy!

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So there is a lot of DAVIDsTEA hype going on up in here, and until Steepster I’d never even heard of the place. I went onto their website to check locations – none in Ohio! Damn you Canadians and your densely DAVIDsTEA-populated areas! Well, to be honest, most of their stuff doesn’t sound like what I’m really into, but still! It would be nice to have a tea store besides Teavana within driving distance from me! Also, not gonna lie, anything pumpkin is about to get really tempting within two weeks…

This, again, is me working on sipping down my Arbor teas. I think I like Arbor, but I don’t love them. There are many good things to be said about them. My favorite thing about them is that they have by far the best selection of Fair Trade Certified teas I’ve found from any of the tea manufacturers I’ve seen, and I looked through quite a few of them. Also, they’re one state over from me, so they’re close, and all of their tea packages come with a handwritten little note (the second one said “Thank you again!” They keep track of their customers!) But as far as the teas go, I’ve tasted one or two I’ve really really liked, and the rest are all just… good but not making the floor drop out from under me. Of course, I’m saying this having tried these particular kinds of teas for the first time. So who knows, I could turn out to be utterly apathetic to nilgiri and ceylon in general.

This one’s not bad. At first, it was disappointing because it was too straightforward green flavored. Tonight, I’m kind of okay with that.

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Our stores are now creating little micro-sites where you can go to a website for each individual location and see stuff like the employees (including pics, bios, and stuff), events scheduled in the store, etc. It’s a little daunting because I don’t want people looking at my page and assuming I’m THE EXPERT OF ALL THINGS TRUMPET, but I’m having a lot of fun working on it. Man, I miss playing trumpet…

I’ve been drinking this the past couple of days, mostly because it’s the only black tea I now own that isn’t earl grey (which, with Teavana’s version, I have to be in the right mood for), Irish breakfast (which is nice, but not something I want every single day), or pu erh poe (which still smells and tastes like FIIIIIIIISH!) The fact that I’m still not in love with this tea is beside the point. I wanted some time to sit down with this tea, dump music into my iTunes library, and work on whatever non-stressful project I wanted to at that time. Mmm, tea moments!

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If bai mu dan is my gentle “calm down” tea, this is my “you are going to calm the f*** down” tea. It’s gentle, but it’s less subtle.

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Got it! I need to figure out the exact water temperature I had this at, but it’s just barely hot enough to hear the faintest hissing of the water in the kettle, then I steeped for 3 minutes. I’ve had hit-and-miss luck getting the flavor of this thing to come out, and I think I’ve finally got it down.

The first line of the first tasting note you see on the Steepster page of this tea is me squealing about swimming anime. God in heaven why.

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And in addition to changing my name from Aeoliana, I decided to change my userpic as well.

I need to stop doing tasting notes on this tea, but I can’t stop drinking it! I’ve figured out 3 pearls per cup for 5 min in the teapot is my bliss; any longer or more pearls and it gets raisin-y, although it’s still great. I’m getting dangerously close to a sipdown. And I’m beginning to wonder if I should have done the free China Post shipping on my Teavivre order. I’m not the most patient, and 22 to 30 days is starting to be a really long time… ah, first world problems.


Oh no – now we’ll never know who you are> :P


That’s a cute name though.

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Announcement: I’m changing my username from Aeoliana to TeaKlutz. I considered DragonPearlKlutz but damn, that’s long.

Anywho, tieguanyin. This wound up being a sipdown.

I’m so embarrassed. Here I am, prancing around thinking I’m turning into such a fine-palated tea connoisseur, and then I go and turn a high-end, finely made oolong with a fresh/green/fruity flavor profile into something that tastes EXACTLY like the microwaved pesto tortellini I had for lunch. I know it’s me and not the tea, because I’ve made the tea before without it tasting like pesto.


Reason #74 Holly Needs Her Gaiwan To Arrive So That She’s Forced To Actually Pay Attention To How Long She Steeps Her Tea Instead Of Walking Out Of The Room While It’s Infusing Like An Uncultured Moron.


I was just thinking I hadn’t added someone with that name!


Haha, yeah, I figured I would confuse people/get mistaken for a glitch unless I said something. Especially since I think I’m about to change my userpic too. :P

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
299 tasting notes

The Benadryl Hangover, Part 2. Actually, my coworkers were laughing yesterday because I came in on the remnants of the Benadryl fog, and since I don’t drink, they were going, “It’s the one time we’ll see Holly hung over!” OK, so it’s not THAT bad, but it took me until like 3 PM to shake this yesterday afternoon. But hey! I have a Saturday OFF (say WHAT?) and that makes everything better!

So I’m doing the Captain Picard thing this morning. It’s pretty astringent, and the bergamot (I assume that’s what I’m tasting) is on the punchy side. Does anyone have earl grey recommendations? I’ve heard widely mixed reviews on this one. To me, it’s not bad, but it definitely tastes a little chemical-y or something and I can see why people aren’t as crazy about it. I’d like to try an earl grey that’s really highly regarded to see what it’s like.

Short Sorceress

Benadryl Hangover, I like that :) In fact, I think I’m going to steal it from you because I’ve got one right now.


Haha! I like it too; I stole it from our part-timer at work. Hope you feel better, both from the Benadryl and whatever is necessitating it!


Wheezybee has been doing some EG comparisons in reviews lately. Might follow and see what those recommendations are. I know at least one other person I follow is doing the same but I can’t seem to recall the name at the moment.


Followed her. Thanks, Nicole! It seems like any time I put out an inquiry you’ve always been very helpful!


Twinnings has a very decent Earl Grey (loose). I can heartily recommend any of the Earl Greys in my cupboard here.

Tea Sipper

This isn’t my favorite earl grey… depending on if you are looking for Earl Grey Creams: zentealife.com has a super good one. Tea Merchant’s French Earl Grey and for a non-cream: Teajo’s Earl grey.

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Revisiting this. Mmm, nice and fresh.

…Aaaaand I finally just ordered a gaiwan. See, I was thinking about doing a whole gongfu set. After all, we are in the beginning of the busiest and most stressful season of the year at work, and it would be nice to have that as a meditation form to come home to. But at the same time, I tend to be a bit slaphappy with small amounts of money, and I need to develop a bit more self-discipline when it comes to buying consumables. So I’m making the practical decision that the gongfu set will be a birthday or Christmas list item… but the gaiwan shall come now, as I’m sampling a lot of higher-end teas that I feel like I miss a lot of the subtleties from. (Would you look at that, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.) AND it was on sale!

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Waking myself up from my Benadryl grog. I was going to do some earl grey or Irish breakfast, but then I noticed I had just enough of this left to do a sipdown.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

Benadryl grog is awful! Hope the fog lifted after having this!

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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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