325 Tasting Notes


It’s a gorgeous Sunday morning on Memorial Day Weekend, which makes me think I should be whipping up some gorgeous breakfast and making some painstaking tea with the gaiwan. Alas, I am impatient this morning and vied for the sachets. And for crying out loud, I’m eating Town House crackers with Nutella. The same thing I had as a late-night snack last night. No worries.

This is actually not the first cup I’ve had; I’ve just been too lazy/tea-funked to log the previous entries. I actually really like this one. It’s… it’s how an English breakfast tea should taste. It’s just brisk enough, with a little bit of that subtly sweet edge. Nothing crazy, nothing extraordinary, just a good old fashioned English breakfast.

This reminds me I need to get more sachet teas from H & S. I keep forgetting that I leave loose-leaf Paris at work and I love that stuff and want it in sachet form for work. Same with Tower of London, Valentine’s Day, and… maybe some others?


LOL I often end up eating Nutella on Wheat Thins crackers.


My favorite Nutella canvas is the shimmering surface of a silver spoon. lol


toasted English muffins are pretty good, too! ;-)


Hahahaha I too am guilty of eating just spoonfuls of Nutella. I agree that the toasted english muffin as a vehicle for nutella is also excellent. It’s really good as part of a nutella banana sandwich too :-)

Holly Faye

Truly Nutella is a many-splendored thing.

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It has been FOR – EV – ER since I’ve had this tea. Which is funny, because right about a year ago I drank it all the time, to the point where I got a decent-sized bag of it, of which I still have most left. It used to be my go-to calm-down tea, but after a point all I ever wanted to drink was black tea.

I still really like this one. As I’ve mentioned in notes before, it’s light and grassy tasting with a bit of sweetness that’s kind of fruity and floral. The perfect white tea.

I’m really excited. I’ve been wanting to find some way to organize my tea collection from the mess of little sample bags sitting on my shelf, in the little shipping boxes they came in, on the floor, etc. I finally went to Garden Ridge and got three wooden boxes with absolutely GORGEOUS designs: one for my greens and whites, one for my pu-erhs and oolongs, and the biggest one for the black teas (and I still may need a bigger one!)

I’ve been holding off on getting new teas because of various expenditures in recent history, but now that I’m starting to get not-broke, I really, reeeeeally need something to pique my interest in tea again. And to get me back on Steepster. To Mahamosa! Or Verdant Tea! Or DavidsTea which I’ve never tried! And those French companies I keep hearing about! (And in the future I may be able to read their websites. I’m learning French!)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

I love boxes for tea, glad you found nice ones :-)
(Et je suis disponible pour pratiquer ton Français!)


See, tea fairy, I can read and understand that, but there’s no way I would have come up with it on my own.

Holly Faye

Merci, TeaFairy! Comment-allez vous? Side note 1: I’m a beginner, so I’ll probably be making an idiot of myself for a while, and 2) it made me disproportionately happy to get a comment addressed to me in French.


Nxtdoor, I think you are better than you give yourself credit for…

TeaKlutz, you are doing amazingly well! Je suis heureuse que mon commentaire t’ait plu ;-)

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Ah, a new addition to the cupboard – and a perfect opportunity for a Steepster review!

I got this more or less on a whim. I was in Barnes & Noble to get some coffee, then I saw the H&S tins and thought, “Hey, I could do with some new tea.” And I’ve been thinking about doing some peppermint tea… I want something for my headaches that doesn’t involve blood-thinning or acetaminophen. Besides, you know, eating and sleeping enough. :P

Whoever came up with tea sachets. I can try to be fancy-pants and time-taking all I want, and there is still something to be said for these things and whoever came up with them needs to be given a hug.

WHOO this is some serious mint. I guess I’m not a peppermint person. This is a tea I would drink for very specific purposes. Medicinal, to be precise.

We’ll see if this does anything for my headache…

And that is my very astute review.

Christina / BooksandTea

I find that I prefer spearmint in tea over peppermint. There’s something about the latter that becomes really harsh and chemical-like to me if it’s steeped for too long.

Holly Faye

(Late as all heck responding to this) I’ll have to look for spearmint teas from now on. I know there are flavor differences between the two but I can’t ever keep them straight.

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drank Elyse's Blend by Harney & Sons
324 tasting notes

Man, I’m getting into a really weird rhythm with tea. I’ll drink it really consistently for a while, then I’ll just go a week or two where I don’t. It makes me really sad. I think it has largely to do with the fact that we have a Keurig cup coffee maker, so when I’m running late (which I have been a lot because I hate getting up early) I’d rather just press a button and wait thirty seconds. Also, I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should, and I’ve wanted that coffee kick.

I like being a tea drinker, and not being one makes me sad. Nothing like a day off to rectify this situation!

I had this once and hated it because the honey was too artificial and overpowering, so I figured I’d try it again with some adjustments (I want to get through some of the things in my cupboard before my next shopping spree.) I think I adjusted the variables a little TOO much this time around. It’s fairly weak this morning. But more tolerable. Honestly, I don’t think this is a great tea and it only really works if you brew it in moderation.

I was wondering if I would eventually finish off the rest of this sample or just pitch it. That question was answered when I picked up the bag upside down. Worked out perfectly!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
324 tasting notes

I made this earlier in the day before I had to leave to do a work event thing this afternoon. By the time I got home, it had cooled. It is 78 degrees outside, which is miraculous, but it makes me not want to have hot beverages. So I am currently drinking this at room temperature and it is oddly refreshing.

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Backlog from the other night.

I was feeling tired and stressed earlier this week, so I decided I needed some pick-me-up teas to get me by. I decided to do this one Tuesday night as I was cramming to finish a last-minute assignment. Unfortunately I only got through about half the cup before my stomach started going weird on me. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve been slightly sick the past few days without really being able to pinpoint what it is.

It’s still a fun tea at any rate, especially if you keep your variables low and really get to bring out the pistachio. I kind of wish it was just called “pistachio” tea rather than “pistachio ice cream.”

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Really? I’ve had this three times? I only remember one.

I’ve had this one for forever, and I just noticed it in my cupboard again today. I had to get new tires on my car, so I’m going to be broke until I get my tax return. So I’ll be going through and trying to sip down some of the excess stuff I’ve got kicking around.

I did a fairly short steep time on this (like 2 minutes), and it came out really smooth. There’s an astringent note in the aftertaste, right on the tip of my tongue after I swallow it, but it’s very pleasant. I think the first time I tried this, I brewed it for 5 minutes or so, and it was QUITE potent. Which Irish teas are supposed to be, as I understand. But the shorter brew time came out a lot more enjoyable than I expected.

And now I’m off to shower then, instead of putting away laundry or cleaning like I had PLANNED, I’m going to go work on my last-minute program notes assignment. God I love it when people think their time takes priority over your time.

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Backlog from yesterday.

This time around, I did the tea like you’re “supposed” to – rinsed it in the gaiwan, then did little short steeps.

I do believe this might be my favorite pu-erh so far. The first steeping yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous mix of earth and wood and “atmosphere.” I also love tuochas, I’m finding. One less step to worry about!


Tuochas are so cute :)

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The name’s Holly, and I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is my happy place – it picks me up, it calms me down, it helps me focus, it helps me loosen my grip, it’s a little bit of positivity in each day. I do not drink alcohol, so tea is my recreational beverage. I love learning everything there is to know about it and sharing my experiences.

When I’m not drinking or writing about tea, I’m working at a music store and pursuing a Master’s degree in professional writing. You may also find me reading, writing, trying to learn French, cycling on the weekends, being a klutz, or making horrible puns and Star Trek references. Likely all at the same time.

My Tea Blog: http://steepinclined.wordpress.com/


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