332 Tasting Notes


Gunpowder & Mate by Teapots & Treasures

This is take two of this one. I was combing through old Steepster notes last night and found my review of this one; apparently I’d had it in November while watching Back to the Future: Part II, and while I wasn’t in love with the taste it was a nice burst of energy. To be honest, I’d just about forgotten I still had it, but it sounded like just the thing this morning when I was sluggish.

And you know what, it was! I drank about 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup at home as I dashed around getting ready, then took a thermos to work. The leaves are a mix of the rolled gunpowder leaves and more fine shreddings (the mate part?) The smell and taste are grassy-smoky, “dark green” like the color of the leaves. I wasn’t a fan of the flavor when I first tried it, but now I don’t mind it. It’s growing on me a little, in fact. If anything, the “green-ness” of the flavor is refreshing and kind of clean. And I drank it all day and didn’t have the mid-afternoon slump.

I’m glad to have a tea in my cupboard that has, so far, proven itself to be an extremely good energy boost and a nice alternative to my standard morning teas. Fresh, clean, and different from anything else I’ve got.

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I’ve only logged this once?!?

I had a sachet of this at work today; I would have made a second steeping, but then I absentmindedly thew away the sachet like a moron and I only have one left (CRYYYYYY!) This tea has grown on me A LOT. The more I drink it, the more its soft fruityness reminds me of H & S’s Paris. In fact, it seems like it’s somewhere between Paris and an Earl Grey; citrusy and maybe a bit floral, but with a tastefully done, rounded sweetness to the flavor. It is exactly the right balance of “wake up” and “comfort.”

Which I will need, because my boss is going to be out of state for the next 2.5 weeks – the longest I have ever been in charge of the store. Gulp.


I remember reading this at the airport or airplane or something like that, and the person cleaning off the table almost took my sachet of another tea and I was all NOOOOOO in slow motion. The sachet was saved, thanks to this note!


Yaaaaay! Glad I was of help, even if indirectly! :D

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What? How have I not logged this one yet?!?

So this is actually a sipdown. It’s quite a decent Earl Grey, objectively speaking. It’s very bergamot-citrusy in a convincing way, rather than a “bergamot flavoring” kind of way. Bright and perky… and a little soft-spoken. It’s not quite as brisk or as bold as I like my “British” teas to be. It reminds me of the sunlight streaming through your window on a pretty spring morning, and I always want one like washing your face with cold water on a foggy spring morning.

… I keep saying that I can tell the Teavana EG isn’t the best, but I think it’s the one I’m always expecting!

Definitely a “very good,” maybe not “supreme” (at least by my standards, which may or may not be in line with those of more dedicated EG connoisseurs.) Still a nice wake-up tea, and definitely worth a try if you are a fan of Earl Greys.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
331 tasting notes

I don’t get it. Does the new Steepster put certain teas of yours into a cupboard “Cloud?” Because this is the second time I’ve gone to search for a tea in my cupboard and I didn’t find it, but when I typed the name into the search box and found it, the tea is labeled as “Added to cupboard!” Eh?

This is a sipdown. After a while of drinking a lot of the same teas over and over, I’m trying to comb through the rest of my cupboard, revisit some, finish off others.

I do quite enjoy this one – once you put in enough leaves. I think I did twice the recommended leafage this morning. Not that I measured it; I just saw that there was more than a teaspoon of leaves left in the bag, then just dumped it all in.

My sense of taste is still not 100% recovered from the head cold, but I think this is my favorite of the little Adagio order I placed several months back. It’s a little earthy and a little malty. Not really a unique flavor by any means, but certainly a pleasant one.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’ve done that a time or two, but I just thought it was me not having looked properly.

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
331 tasting notes

What the – how did I not find this in my Steepster cupboard?

Well, I’ve got a headcold, which means lots of fun with stuffed sinuses, blowing my nose, sneezing, knowing I should eat but not really wanting any food, and calling the doctor because I can’t remember if Claritin D and Mucinex conflict or not. (I’ve taken Claritin D.) Fortunately, it seems to have skipped the “sore throat” part, which for me is THE WORST! I’m just hoping it doesn’t go down into my chest. That’s the second worst.

I don’t really have a medicinal tea for colds, so I’m using this as my go-to wake up tea. It’s not as high on my list as most of my other black teas, but I enjoy it and it’s brisk enough to cut through the I-can’t-smell fog. And I get to keep the better teas for when I can actually smell and taste and crave them. : )

And now to return to the least productive morning ever.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I hope you feel better!


Feel better soon!

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This is Round 2 of this tea. I think I overleafed/oversteeped the first time, so I took more caution not to do either.

This is more like it. There’s still that green tea astringency behind the sweetly salty pistachio flavoring, but when you don’t half-scorch the water it’s much easier to ignore. When the tea cools a bit, it’s an even more enjoyable cup.

Glad I revisited this. It’s nice to have another green tea I enjoy drinking late at night before I go to bed.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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AAAARGH I got my tasting note eaten!!!!!

I first had this tea several months ago when I first got it, I think as part of my Black Friday splurge. I was not impressed. In fact, I was so weirded out by the flavor that I’ve avoided retrying it until now.

As usual, I have a better appreciation of this tea once I know what to expect. This is my first guayasa, so I don’t know how much of what I’m tasting is the flavoring and how much is the base. The “vanilla” part of this tea is pretty killer. It’s almost exactly the thick, sweet flavor of vanilla extract. The mint part of this tea is also a killer – in a less auspicious way. It’s pungent, a little too cool. It’s almost sanitary! It tastes more like some kind of cleaner than any kind of flavor you’d want in a food or drink. In addition to those, there’s also a grassy undertone (I think that might be the guayasa) that pushes it even farther to the left of what I was really hoping for.

If this tea had just the vanilla flavoring alone, I’d give it something in the 80’s or the 90’s. However, the mint part is just not enjoyable to me. I know people like this tea, so I know it’s a my-taste thing, but I’m having a hard time imagining someone drinking this and going “Mmm!” Fortunately, it’s not overwhelming enough yet that I don’t think I’ll be able to finish the bag. Yet.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
331 tasting notes

Whoo Steepster changed! And just like I always do with change, I have to say I’m not sure I like it. The older version was homier, bit more informal. With this version, I feel a little pressured to give a super-scientific review of the tea. Oh well, I’ll get used to it!

Egh. I am about done with this tea. I think I overleafed it tonight, and now both the cream AND the bergamot are coming off too strong for me. Kind of in the way that makes me have a queasy-headache. It’s a flavor I’ve been on the fence about for a while, and this just pushed me over to the not-a-fan side. Guess I won’t be drinking the rest of what I’ve got. Not that it’s a bad quality tea, but as I keep saying, the proportions of the flavors are really not my thing.

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
331 tasting notes

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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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