255 Tasting Notes


Sampler Packet #10, selected at random.

I previously have written a tasting note for this tea which AUGGY had generously given me and was happy to select it today. It is a very good Lapsang Souchong and the second try with this tea was not a disappointment. I am down-grading this just a tad, however, for no good reason except that I’ve discovered that excellent in Lapsang Souchongs is not that difficult to achieve. I am lucky in that the tea I’ve fallen for big time is one of the less costly teas out there.

I’ve tasted quite a few and liked them all. The only one that I have a particular craving for—the only one that I really am particular about—is Upton’s Black Dragon. This one is great. I would never say “no” to it and would never mark it down, but it just does not have what it takes to win me away from Black Dragon.

5 min, 0 sec

I must have this Black Dragon!!


I concur with Stephanie :)

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I like peaches. I love the idea of a Peach Bavarian or Peaches Melba (named after a great opera singer, Dame Nellie). A more rustic peach cobbler sounds nifty and a good peach ice-cream is close to divinity. Add peaches to an Olde English Trifle? Brilliant!

But I just cannot get the peach tea thing. Ginger Peach is a combination that makes me sag a bit. Usually you cannot find the ginger nor the peach. In this blend, it’s the ginger that is missing in action. I can taste some of the peach and the aroma is peachy.

If I loved the concept, my expectations might be higher and my note might be more effusive. But I don’t like the concept.

A friend gave me a canister of Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Tea several years ago because she loved it dearly. But I had a feeling….so I donated it (probably not very helpfully) at one of those food drives at school where you bring in unopened items and there are baskets overflowing with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and generic cans of peas and corn. I hope that the tea found its way to an affectionate owner.

What Indigo Tea managed to do with this was to highlight the peach aroma and peach taste so if you really like peaches, I’d recommend that you give this a try. I like the way that they did not allow the ginger to overtake the peach.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Simply delicious! Another waker-upper with a slurping and slobbering factor.
TeaSpring provides great, speedy service straight from China.


And cheap too. Their shipping rate is the best I’ve seen ever. It’s cheaper even than some of the DANISH companies I’ve shopped at.
I haven’t tried their lapsangs though. Not yet, anyway adds to shopping list

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drank Banana Dulce by Art of Tea
255 tasting notes

I don’t think so.

5 min, 15 sec

What? No Graham cracker? No banana goodness? Must be all those “herbs” in it. ;)


HAHA…short and sweet.

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Somebody sent me a whole bag of this tea and I was about to give it away, untasted, untested, untried. But for some reason I hesitated. I don’t like Rooibos but the other tea I had from The Tea Table was remarkably good. The Tea Table has a nice web site proclaiming that “I believe it is customary in polite society to take some slight refreshment at five o’clock.” (Oscar Wilde)

An Oscar Wilde quotation. Good. And it just morphed into a Thomas De Quincey quotation! Better! Best? This tea could be a solution to my rooibos hate. I really liked it. The vanilla raspberry taste seemed fresh, smooth, and authentic and even though the tea does look like wood shavings, I didn’t pick up any of the tell-tale taste of sawdust. It looks as if I have another tea company to order from.

6 min, 15 sec

Not another tea company! LOL!


Tee-hee! Just added it to my “Tea Favorites” tab. I really need to start making subcategories ;)


This is one of the other companies I got a tea of the month club membership in on the recommendation of a friend who has been buying from them for years. They have excellent service, in my experience. I’ve yet to actually taste much of their stuff, though.

Miss Sweet

I’m down for solutions to rooibos hate, definitely saving this company for when I have money to spend on tea again…

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drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
255 tasting notes

Sampler Tea #9, chosen at random from the Golden Moon Tea Sampler

I don’t love Jasmine but I don’t dislike it. I found this tea to be “pleasant.” I think that I use the word “pleasant” in a lot of tea reviews where I find nothing objectionable about the tea, but I don’t get excited at all. I don’t particularly want to or need to purchase these “pleasant” teas because there’s an entire world of “pleasant” teas out there.

I have not sampled a lot of jasmine teas, so I cannot make any meaningful comparisons.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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drank Masala Chai by Samovar
255 tasting notes

I am sampling this Masala Chai thanks to the benevolence of LORI. I agree with her note that this is a smooth Chai with no one spice predominating. I think it is very well crafted and spicy.

If it were earlier in the day, I would be adding some black tea as one tasting note recommended. Overall, the is the richest and most robust Chai I’ve had. I’m not really tempted to embrace Chai as a way of life but if I ever feel compelled to keep it in stock (and I’m a very easily compelled woman) I may select this blend. Right now I’m marinating my own blend with a good strong Keemun base and several of the usual spicy culprits and some real vanilla beans (JacquelineM got me started on the vanilla bean thing). I’ll wait to see how that emerges.

With milk brought almost to a boil and some sugar this tea is a veritable meal in itself!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec

I guess chai is becoming a way of life for me! I finished a small tin and am planning to order some more…


Sounds delicious. I love vanilla in my chai too!

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Since I wrote my first, fairly cautious tasting note on Upton’s LS Black Dragon, I have returned to it again and again. It has become my everyday first thing in the morning tea. I have at least two cups and I slurp and slobber and am very unladylike. I have not found a Lapsang Souchoung I dislike, but I like this more than others. It’s got a touch of natural sweetness and it’s also not quite as tarry as some LS teas.

I like the balance of smoke and sweet. I like this tea black, but I also like it with milk and sugar when I’m in the mood (often).

This tea became what I had hoped that Jackee Muntz might be—but Jackee is in limited supply. I am no longer “dating” Black Dragon tea. We are married. We’ve said the vows. We’ve plighted our troth. We are in this together for better or worse, till death do us part. I may take some afternoon lovers; I may have many French liaisons and I may have other trysts, but I’ll always wake up with you!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

Yay for true tea love!


Did you not hear the soft strains of violin and viola as the post began and then an upwards movement joined by other strings, soft woodwind instruments and then brass & percussion instruments and then the crescendo of all those orchestral instruments ending in triumph as this post ended???? WOW. Okay, time for a drink. I may just have to add this to the shopping list!


This might be one of my favorite review/comment combo that I’ve yet to read! Brilliant!


Another must-get from Upton Teas!

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Indigo Tea Company sent me a free sample of this when I placed an order with them recently. I think it’s a good choice for a lighter black tea with a tropical vibe. As they say, it would be good iced (I’m drinking it hot).

It’s one of many teas that are “nice” but don’t have anything of extravagance in them. If you like a passion fruit overtone, you might want to try this. It just did not “pop” for me, but it’s certainly pleasant.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Bogart by Leland Tea Co
255 tasting notes

I have a cat named Mrs. Palmer, who has an enormous crush on my oldest son. Mrs. Palmer looks at me with disdain and superiority (which I love—every cat lady loves a superior cat) and she tolerates my husband. When my son comes around she gets this goofy dazed crazy happy expression on her face that I call “Spring Awakening”.

Leland Tea’s Bogart has given me “spring awakening”. I am a somewhat cautious tea drinker—I prefer to start out with a small sample at 1 or 2 bucks. Then I might buy more. Untasted, sight unseen, nothing known about Leland Teas, I purchased not one but two full orders of Bogart (and quite a few of their other blends). I ordered on April 12 and today, April 19th my tea has arrived. Very good record, considering that I also got teas today that were ordered on April 3rd.

Upon first sniff I fell in love; first taste confirmed the love, and I think that the explanation is that Leland Teas uses some Lapsang Souchoung in the blend. If you don’t like smoke, you would barely notice it, however. The predominant taste is the hazel nut, followed by the vanilla and the cinnamon. The nuttiness is divine and the vanilla is excellent. The cinnamon wisely remains a back-up player and does not try to take over the show.

I’m ready for more and I still have that “spring awakening” expression on my face. The question is will I be able to stop and try other teas? I have, from Leland, “Tiffany,” and “Garbo’s Peachy Blend” and “Kisses!” and more!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

every cat lady loves a superior cat

That is SO true. The loveliest cat I’ve had was also the one with the worst temper.


My “avatar” is another cat of great distinction, discernment, and superiority. I have three boy cats who love me; they are cuddly, soft, fuzzy, uncomplicated. The two girls, however, know that I am on the bottom of the food chain,


I love cats for the same reasons that people who don’t like them don’t: their independence, their disdain for humans, and their tendency to chase invisible objects (ok, this is not actually something that gets listed all THAT often). I’m not sure what I would do with an affection cat.

Also, this tea sounds YUMMY.


Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. My favorite cats are tortoiseshells/calicos, because they are known for having what people call “tortietude”—they know they’re better than us, and when they deign to acknowledge us, it’s just that much better.

On the other hand, my current cat (not my avatar) is an affectionate tortie fluffball, but when she’s around other cats, she turns into the Queen, tortietude and all. So, I plan on keeping this a single cat household, for now. :)


I have some of this as well and I’m really looking forward to it. Geez. I really really have to finish drinking up some of my lesser teas so I can get to the good stuff.


I have 2 miniature poodles and I am convinced that they are the felines of the canine world. My female poodle prances around the home and yard as if she is superior to all…


Yay! I’m so happy you like Bogart! It’s like a validation—if you like it, then it must be good! :)

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.


“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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