332 Tasting Notes


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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Every single time I’ve tried to do Teavivre’s Laoshan green, I’ve been met with some form of bad luck. Time to let someone else take the rest of my sample, give up, and make this instead?

My big fun this week is that I’m covered in some kind of rash. I don’t know if it’s a grass rash, a soap rash, chiggers (can we please find them a different name?!?), or what, but it’s about made me f***ing crazy over the past thirty six hours. Tonight I took Benadryl. It seems to be working fine, but my boss may have made a point in advising me not to take it until I got home and figured out how drowsy it made me. Normally I don’t feel like I’m about to conk out as I’m pouring my tea. Whoo.


aerius is very strong, over the counter and works 24 hours while not either putting you to sleep or preventing you from sleeping either.


Hot water, as hot as you can stand, for until the itching stops, will drain your supply of histamine and get you up to eight hours relief. My hubby had to take scalding showers when he had poison ivy head to toe and it was the thing that helped him most. It was in or first aid book from our health insurance company.


Hot water? I haven’t heard that one before. I’d have thought it would have the opposite effect. I’ll have to try it this morning…

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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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The name’s Holly. 27. Work for a small IT company. About to finish a Master’s degree this winter. ISFJ for what it’s worth. I play various instruments (mostly bass guitar right now), attempt to write songs that I’m too scared to play for anyone, and I’m currently taking voice lessons. I also enjoy starting various hobbies, wearing monochromes, writing, cooking, taking walks, and various and sundry other things…

I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is a source of happiness, positivity, curiosity, and relaxation (…and caffeine) for me.

I’ve been on and off this site over the years, and I even had a separate tea blog at one point. For now, I’m just working on getting back in the habit of enjoying tea regularly and to its fullest.

Love: Malty Chinese black teas, shu/ripe pu erhs, soft flowery teas (esp. jasmine teas)

Like: Japanese green teas, sheng/ripe pu erhs, white teas

Still trying to get into: Most oolongs, chai teas

Not crazy about: Roasty teas, fruity teas, rooibos, many (not all) herbal teas

90-100: YEAH!
80-89: Nice! This is good stuff.
70-79: Respectable tea.
60-69: Not bad.
50-59: Middling. Not really worth it.
25-49: Eeeeeugh. Not good.
0-24: Did you know you can use tea leaves as odor absorbent?



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