332 Tasting Notes


How have I not put up a review of this yet?

The key between c & e is broken on my computer, so there’s gonna be some creative phrasing up in here.

I’m having this tea partly to help me stay awake & partly as a comfort. My anxiety has been piquing a bit since I have a relatively minor situation that has been stressing me out because it sets off my guilt complex along with some other fears. I’m just trying to tell myself that it’s not necessary for me to react with stress & fear, even though that’s my normal habit.

ANYWHO. I really, really like this tea. It’s just so smooth. It’s ever so slightly astringent in the way that breakfast teas normally are, & the smokiness is artfully warm, not brash. Even just sniffing the aroma is a comfort. Nice aftertaste, too. It seems like a great first-thing-in-the-morning tea when it’s freezing & snowy out. Calmly assertive.

Christina / BooksandTea

I hope your keyboard gets fixed soon. Gotta be tough finding ways around using the letter D.


I think this would make an awesome writing exercise. Pick a letter to be off limits and phrase everything around it? Ha ha! My daughter is going to enjoy this when school starts back…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


…Uh, so confession: I’m not actually sure this is the tea I’m drinking. I took one of my Teavivre pu-erh samples, put it into a tin, didn’t label the tin, and then forgot about it until I randomly opened it up one day while I was looking for something else. Occam’s razor says this is the shu that fits.

I don’t really have anything to say about this that I haven’t said before. I just really, really like it. I always think of fresh, dark spring dirt and moss. I also like how the flavor is so thick. I was strongly considering coffee this morning, but I decided I needed tea instead, and the thickness makes me feel like I’m drinking a wake-up beverage.

So overall, this tea – like any of my favorite shus – is a combination of caffeine, imagery, and the placebo effect!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

LOL! The shu that fits…love it!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Oh LORD this tea is old! I think I got it sometime during the summer last year? So it’s right about a year old. Haha whoops. I only drink white teas once in a blue moon, and I was on a jasmine hiatus for a long time because I just got so sick of it. So not a quick demise for this poor tea.

This one went in the gaiwan tonight. Originally, the tea of the night was going to be my Laoshan Green, but I burned it. (Laoshan Green and I… I just don’t think it was meant to be.) I remember very little from the last time I tried this, just that it tasted like a white tea with jasmine.

Dry leaves look like they do in the picture; very long and soft.

Water is in the 170-180 degree range? The teapot had just started hissing.

Steep 1: 10 s. We – e – ell! This is unexpected! Floating atop the jasmine flavor of this gently pale liquor is a ringing overtone of… citrus? What in the world. I am seriously getting, like, quasi-lemon something. No, not lemon, lemon’s too “dark” a flavor, but it’s legit kind of citrusy. I am so surprised that I am paying more attention to that than the jasmine flavor. Not a complaint, though. And I just spilled a bit on my pants.

The jasmine is more pronounced, almost to the point of being husky, in the aroma of the wet leaves.

Steep 2: 15 s. They dry leaves smell almost woody now. (This tasting is certainly full of curveballs.) Honestly, I don’t get a ton of difference between this steep and the last, just maybe that the “husky” jasmine is a little stronger. Now, it’s not husky as in overpowering or anything even close; that word is just what came to mind when I tried to think of how to describe the texture.

… Are my tastebuds being influenced by my burnt Laoshan Green debacle?

Steep 3: …whoops. I had just enough for one mouthful, so I did about 15-20 s. Again, flavor is still about the same.

So overall, this is a really nice little white tea that’s got some surprises in it. It’s a good sleepytime beverage, too.


Jasmine works wonders for me when I can’t sleep too.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Morning tea for the day, as I peruse YouTube and try to figure out the bass line of a song by one of my favorite bands, a Japanese group by the name of Luna Sea. And, of course, finding that I got said bass line wrong. _

I don’t think I’ve reviewed this tea on here yet, but I’ve come to quite like it. It reminds me of a bailin gongfu tea or something. Brisk and misty. There’s a woodsy quality in the back of the mouth too, almost like fresh mulch. Because it’s Nepalese, I think I automatically think “mountains” every time I drink it. I think I got it a sliver on the bitter side this morning, but no worry. That could also be just some natural astringency.

EDIT: So of course when I post this, up pops my WAY more detailed review from a month ago! Ha.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Gunpowder from Soma

This was one I basically picked up on a whim when I visited my friend in Bloomington. There was a coffee shop that sold loose leaf tea, so I got some of this and some Assam.

This is kinda nice. It’s got a grassy minty thing going on in a way that’s nice and cooling, not overpowering and antiseptic. An especially nice thing after having had fast food for dinner earlier, and Big Cheez-Its for a snack (the best junk snack in the world, but I always feel like I need to wash my mouth after I eat them.) This shall be my cleansing tea.


Bloomington? Indiana? Do you know the name of the coffee shop? That’s pretty close to my stomping grounds.


I want to say it’s Soma? Unfortunately I’m worthless with street names and intersections. When I heard they had loose leaf tea for sale, I was expecting them to have pre-packaged things ready to sell, but they wound up taking tea out of their stock, which made me feel a little guilty, but they were willing to do it and said they had a lot of it. I got a gunpowder and Assam relatively inexpensively. I also got an iced sencha tea that day that was quite tasty (maybe because it was so hot outside!)


It just occurred to me – unless I’m confusing it with something else, there may be two different versions of that shop. After leaving the one we went to, we walked a couple of blocks down to a place called Baked (which bakes cookies to order.)


Looked it up. You are correct, there are two shops. I’ll attempt to hit the other one – they have a parking lot. Being a college town full of little shops, I was sure there had to be some one with loose tea.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I went on a small Mahamosa spree recently (I LOVE their EG Cream), and I decided to try some teas of nationalities with which I was not familiar. I got a Russian tea, a Kenyan tea, and this Nepalese tea.

I prepared this in the gaiwan tonight. I started reading a guidebook-type thing to tea yesterday, and it makes me want to be more precise and refined with my tea brewing.

So of course I completely did not measure the amount of time on the first steep at all. It’s somewhere between 30-45 s.

The dry leaves are mostly small and dark brown-black with some lighter flecks. There are longer leaves among the short ones. Wet leaves lighten in color, and have a fairly full-bodied wood/mud aroma. Liquor is on the lighter side of amber.

The word that comes to mind when tasting it is “mulch.” I’m not sure why. It’s almost a woodsy flavor, but it’s just on this side of earthy-astringent. It’s actually fairly brisk.

The flavor grows another angle on the second steep. It’s a flavor whose angle goes “down,” goes deeper. It’s a flavor that I’d normally find kind of weird in other things, but here it’s just part of the experience. It’s hard to describe, but I keep wanting to say mud? There’s something almost mossy about it. An edge of something resembling sweetness.

On the third steep, the highs and lows of the tea have evened out, but the woodsiness is more defined. Now I really imagine gnawing on mulch, or even wood products. It’s a pleasantly rounded flavor.

Had I not taken the time to do the very involved tasting with this – complete with gaiwan and slurps – I would have probably drank it and thought, “Eh, that’s alright.” Honestly, it doesn’t jump out and grab me, but I find it enjoyable, especially during this third sip in which the woodsiness comes out.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sencha Jade Reserve by Teavana
331 tasting notes

So this was today:

Reported for jury duty at 8:45 in the morning. Oddly enough, was looking forward to getting a bit of an insight into the legal system – or, more accurately, getting out of work.

After over an hour of sitting around in the conference room with no news, we find out the defendant didn’t show. We still have to go upstairs to the courtroom so the judge can ramble at us about tangentially related matters.

Still have to go to work, since my shift is from 11:30 to 8.

Then this happened right outside the store. http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/05/27/east-columbus-truck-takes-down-power-lines.html

We are always required to stay open when the power’s out.

Upon hearing many estimates that it would take many hours to get the power back if it even got done today, I call the lesson teachers to see if they still want to teach today given the uncertain situation. The two with the most students say let’s reschedule. I call all of their students and leave voicemails for all but TWO.

At 3 PM, AFTER I’ve called all those lesson students, the power comes back on. (I’m not complaining about the power. I’m complaining about feeling like a doof.)

I can’t really complain about working a 10 hour day to close because I volunteered to do it, but damn it was still a long day. Especially when I’m by myself for 7.5 of those hours.

Sooooo yeah.

The last time I had this tea was a year ago. It was the second time I made it, and I didn’t understand why you didn’t play loosey goosey with green tea steeping parameters. That taught me why. It was still one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever had.

Tonight, I was very careful not to let it get over-hot and VERY careful not to steep more than 40-45 seconds.

Well this is interesting. I can’t tell if I’ve developed a Pavlovian response to green teas, but I feel like I can’t make them without smelling that dreaded rotten-meat-oversteep smell somewhere in the background. But it diminishes as it cools. In the foreground is the very astringent, crisp, grassy taste that I guess is Japanese green tea. I’ve never been a fan of those in the past, but it seems like my tastebuds are changing quite a lot recently, and it’s possible I could cultivate a taste for them. Still, I’m not sure about this one. It’s one of those that I can… appreciate… without truly enjoying? But I don’t dislike it?

I seriously don’t know what I think of this tea! I guess it’s stark opposite from what my usual inclinations are, so it’s an interesting change? It’s certainly clean-tasting and fresh, if nothing else.

Maybe one day I will get on a Japanese green tea kick. I’m just interested to see what other flavors there are out there. After all, I didn’t think I liked sheng pu-erhs, but I finally learned to appreciate them once I tried enough different kinds with the right steeping methods. Who knows?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


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 :-)


Truly Nutella is a many-splendored thing.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


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.


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 ;-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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?



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer