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289 Tasting Notes


Backlog. I had this at work this morning. Good thing I did, because today wound up being a busy, busy day! It’s at the point where it’s busy in a good way, but it’s going to get crazier over the next two months. We’re a music store that rents instruments for band, and this is back-to-school time… do the math.

I’ve been trying to log this for WEEKS, and every time I try, Steepster’s down. It’s OK. It’s a fairly brisk tea, and unless I’m mistaken, I got a hint of smokiness or something of that effect. A bit vegetal. Another it’s-not-a-restock-but-it’s-good tea.

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Sipdown! Gotta be honest, I’m not especially heartbroken. This was a good tea, but it’s not one I’ll miss, and frankly, I’m happy to have an excuse to make room for my new teas coming in. Speaking of which, oh lord I have been telling myself for months I’d organize my tea stash. Right now it’s a bunch of bags on one of my bookshelves.


me too!!! i can’t justify buying new blends until i polish off the old stuff.

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I finally figured out why this tea put me off the first time I tried it. It reminded me of that hojicha I tried a couple of months ago that I really didn’t like. I guess this means I’m not big on roasty flavors; to me, they just taste like burnt hay and it’s not really a flavor I want to have in my tea time. I’ve come around to liking this tea well enough, but it’s not really one I crave. I think it’s best when you can taste the butteriness in it, something I’ve accomplished exactly once. Maybe I should try more green oolongs?

I do have an oolong sampler from Teavivre coming my way. I’m looking forward to trying the teas featured in it, because my experiences with oolongs are seldom what I want them to be. (Of course, the other one was old as hell and it took me doubling the leafage to get any complexity of flavor.)

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Stepping out of my comfort zone. This morning, I registered for a songwriting workshop. I’ve been attempting lyric-writing for years, but only in the past year or so have I really been trying to write songs with music and chord progressions and stuff. I’m still a beginner and I don’t consider myself particularly good, plus I always get nervous when I have to present my creative work to people, especially when it’s not finished. I’m not sure whether I’ll have to do any of that at this workshop or not, but I figured it’s a chance for me to get out there and learn about something I love doing. And if I want to play my songs for people, I’m going to have to let them hear them at some point…

I knew I was gonna ruin this cup of tea this morning. I haven’t cleaned the strainer in a couple of weeks and I put it in the big mug that tends to subdue flavor, so it kinda tastes like metal. Dammit.


Seriously. I got like 11 teas. 5 of which are the oolongs in their sampler. Then some black teas, and a restock of this. SO excited to have a variety of new, quality things to try again!

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I think my boss hates me today. She thought she had the day off, and then I let her know last night that she’d misread the schedule and it was my day off, not hers. Then she snapped at me via text because the internet died last night, and I unplugged and misplugged some things in trying to fix it. Guilt complex! Guilt complex! Aaaaargh!

Moving on! Moving on! This is still a good casual tea, and it goes well with cereal. Don’t think I’m gonna keep the rating quite that high, though.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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EEEEE the new episode of swimming anime is out!!!!

(shifts eyes) Of cooooourse I wasn’t obsessively looking forward to new swimming anime. What ever are you talking about?

This is the first time in almost a month I’ve had this tea (!!!) I figured it’d been a while, and the absolute last thing I need right now is lots of caffeine (work got busy right at the end and I was drinking black dragon pearl.) Think I understeeped it; it’s a mite weaker than my ideal, even for a white tea. Of course, I just decided it was of critical importance to eat cheese, bread, and cherry tomatoes as a late-night snack, so the effect is being undone anyway.

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Felt like something relatively fresh tasting, and I’d been planning on doing some bai mu dan until I came back for the tea kettle, and it was boiling. Since I didn’t feel like waiting that long for it to cool, I decided on this instead, my one herbal tea.

Still like the orange blossom taste, which is still a truth that should not be, considering how I normally don’t like orange-tasting things and fruity teas. This time, however, I think the rock sugar aftertaste is getting to me. This is the one thing about sugar, is that it makes your mouth feel fuzzy and weird after you eat it. It’s also making the tea REALLY REALLY sweet.

And by the way, it is getting really, really hard to curb temptation to go on a sample-buying binge on Teavivre.

EDIT: Toooootally just did. Thank freaking god for their free samples and such.

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Interesting revelation. So I thought I’d grown tired of jasmine. Several months later, I try this tea. It’s not jasmine I’m tired of; it’s jasmine that’s offset by roastiness and/or butteriness. This stuff, which is quite fresh, floral, and vegetal by comparison to the other jasmine things I’ve had, is fine. Oh, and it’s also quite good iced, although I almost never do my loose-leaf teas iced.


Have you had Teavivre’s? How does it compare?


I have not! I’ve been very impressed with what little Teavivre I’ve had, so I would assume comparable or superior. This seems to be one of the things Teavana does particularly well.


This inspired me to have Teavivre’s this afternoon!

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The one nice thing about waking up two hours before you’re supposed to get up and not being able to go back to sleep is that you get the opportunity to get up a few minutes early, take time to fix a semi-substantial breakfast, and sit for a few minutes with a cup of tea. Last night at work, I stressed myself out with a customer situation that I think I goofed, and teaching myself to handle these kinds of things better is like reinventing the wheel. I’m having the most trouble getting the idea out of my head that feeling stressed and guilty is the only way to properly address the problem with the other person’s interests in mind, and that NOT stressing about it is selfish and inconsiderate.

I’ve still got the super-nutritious (NOT) breakfast taste in my mouth, so I don’t taste it quite as much as I normally do. Will probably take some to work with me today to help me stay awake. Mmm black tea.


Let me know how you overcome that! LOL! I am a guilt machine! I took care of my godparents and my mother before they died, and after they were gone I felt guilty for sitting down to watch t with my family! You are right, stressing doesn’t help anyone or anything. It is hard, but all people make mistakes, life is messy, and you are valuable! So just learn from it, smile, and try again! :) I hope you feel better.


That was supposed to be TV up there!


I ride the stress train far too often! Luckily ta helps me slow down and chillax.

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I have just discovered that it is, in fact, possible to oversteep this tea. I’m on cup 2 of infusion 2, and after steeping the first cup for 7 min (which actually wound up tasting a little weak), I just left the infuser in the pot. It’s not as unpleasant as several oversteeped teas I’ve had, but there’s that little soft bitterness that makes me go “Mmm – egh.”

I’m getting to the point where I may be placing an order for this soon. Which’ll provide me with an excuse to buy it in bulk, and try out the bailin gongfu and some others I’ve been eyeing as well from Teavivre. Oh darn!


If you like this, I suggest the Golden Monkey, Yun Nan Dian Hong (basic one is my fave) and Bailin Gongfu. :)

Terri HarpLady

Waiting for a shared order of this to arrive…it’s gonna be a little while…sigh…

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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 a semi-former trumpet player, current bass guitar learner, music store employee, program note writer, lyricist wannabe, casual makeup enthusiast, even more casual bicyclist, writing major in a past life, eternal designated driver, deadly punster, nerdy dork, incurable escapist, and lifelong introvert. 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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