377 Tasting Notes


i didn’t actually know what this was when i steeped it =0).

just as well i ‘may’ have had a bias against! ceylons and i tend to grouch at one another. however, none the wiser the warm bread smell of this one drew me in happily… along with the fact that it arrived with the springbok enthusiasm of a MissB surprise ‘gotcha’ package. (i love it when she does that =0)

a warm leaf that has nothing to do with temperature. has a significant depth to it. a crusty bread essence…. like a double rise with brown sugar across the top. a drop of agave, but hardy any. mild astringency, nothing harsh. very nice!

what’s this? a ceylon? REALLY?!! well, i personally believe MissB was put on this planet to change minds about tea…. =0P (or at least mine). MISSION ACCOMPLISHED MY DEAR B!!!!!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Woot woot!! Awesome! I thought you’d enjoy this one.



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drank Peppermint Bark by 52teas
377 tasting notes

this came as a surprise from the ever-full-of-surprises MissB.

i feel so bad for this tea looking at the number! i mean, if you have to be an entity that’s given a number, .75 isn’t that great…. could be worse, but could be better… especially seeing as i really enjoyed it!

makes me think of an after eight, or a peppermint hot chocolate. lovely and wintery….

you know, total segue. it’s been a stressful semester and i’m sitting here writing this review watching a TED talk i’ve watched nearly a dozen times in the last ten days. this one: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-warren/postsecret-500000-secrets_b_3111905.html totally awesome, very mostly funny. =0)

i have these thoughts running around my head: Tealet in vancouver at TED (i could be there now!!!!!!!!), MissB reading my tea brain so well and suddenly it clicks why i’ve been watching this talk— it’s not far off the 3rd anniversary of my gran’s death. (just the ending that makes me wishful). =0) (bashful/wishful grin).

as dr who says: allons-y alonzo! (i’ve never met an alonzo, have you?)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Oh James, I miss you! I’m sorry this semester has been so hard on you, and your anxiety is so palpable in your notes. I watched that Ted talk a while ago, and also found it heartbreaking and hilarious.


i wish i had kept a voicemail, it’s almost 3 in the morning and we’re talking about long deleted messages i would uselessly obsess over to no good end. damn. took me long enough to get it, huh? geez. i miss you too!


I want now ):

I love TED talks! We watched them all the time in one of my A level classes, and I still watch them now on Netflix (: there was one held at my uni last year, and I wish I’d gone. I checked their diary not long ago and as far as I can see they have no plans to return to the UK as of yet (boo!)


elyse was looking for baristas to serve too…. we’re friends. I TOTALLY COULD HAVE BEEN THERE! lol.

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if you have a moment please read this thank you note to two brilliant vendors: http://steepster.com/discuss/7209-where-credit-is-due-dot-dot-dot

aha! i got it! last time i was too conservative.

i’m getting ahead of myself… this cup was brought to my by one MissB. thank you, thank you!

my first cup i was so worked up to try but was let down by the sip =0(. it shouldn’t happen to a butiki tea…. it shouldn’t happen to my tongue! i was disappointed and feeling guilty for being disappointed… round and round. all for want of an extra sixty seconds steeping!!! really james!

cinnamon, applesauce, potatoes verrrrry faintly as a starchy baseline. very nice! a bit of agave syrup added and i feel quite the decadent dandy =0)

thank you so much MissB for my surprise (she snooped on my wish list and sprung it on me, lol). it’s absolutely lovely.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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thanks so much Miss B for this sample!

oh my…. it and i are NOT compatible! too much smoke. i couldn’t finish my cup and i didn’t even do a full length steep =0(

i really wanted to love it. i love the back story….. sigh. me and my weird sensitivities!


well we cannot like or be receptive to everything James…


hope things are going well james..even if the tea is NO!

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drank Aloe Vera Berry by Zen Tea
377 tasting notes

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drank Vanilla Black by Rishi Tea
377 tasting notes

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Oh wow! exam tomorrow…. how do i do this quickly?

gong show week.
nevermind, gong show semester.
bought some zen teas because i’ve had to drop my caffeine… tried a chamomile blend? baaaaaaaaad call!
but they threw this is as a sample.
it’s amazing.

if my exam is half as amazing i’ll be very very happy!

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Good luck!


xoxo thank you!!!! =0)


Fingers crossed!


what would i do without you guys?


Go out on the street and wait for… umm, politely demand people to wish you luck, duh. ;)


just wait til i’m at liberty to tell you about the nonsense that’s gone on this semester; suffice to say it provides incentive to NEVER let myself fall under the management of a person like this. double doctorate all the way— even if i lose my mind doing it.

you won’t believe my story…


Good luck


Good luck James!!! I kind of cringe for you. Please make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Glad your heading towards the end of the semester.


thank you!!! me too, yyz. sadly, i can’t wait until this semester is over =0(. truly… can someone hit fast forward?


Good luck!

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drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
377 tasting notes


oh my. this review sums up the end of a long week!

this tea is a pleasant conundrum! i frequently enjoy my teas with cream, but if hibiscus is involved that poses a wee problem! this is a bright pink, hibby strong (my fault on that) strawberry cream. the hibiscus waves and almost whacks me, but the cream swoops in and tones it right down.

truly unique. this tea has a split profile— an acidic, hibiscus fueled strawberry, paired with a very smooth cream opposite.

i’m drinking less caffeine these days and by proxy more zen tea (!!!)…. this is an excellent creation! i feel very zen =0)

i steeped for 5, it would have been perfect if i’d steeped for 4.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Weird! My bag doesn’t list hibiscus! I have not had any yet, so I don’t know if it is simply an omission, though. I got it in a swap. but original packaging.


Ahh, a little sleuthing taps nose and I find from the sen tea site that the black tea is not showing hibby, but the fruit tea version is. I have the black. Is yours herbal?


ah, an astute observation of exhausted operational error! thank you for drawing it to my attention! i’ll add a disclaimer at the top.


:) We miss you too, James!


No problem. I freaked a little when you mentioned the hibby, and I was, OH NOES!! Did I get duped on this one? Luckily, I figured it out and I hope my non-hibby SC is good.

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it has been a low down dirty week. the powers that be have conversed and conspired… they have planned and plotted. their ultimate ruling? for whatever reason (this week) they don’t like me. i look left— it shows. same if i look right.

although i told myself i wouldn’t try the treats MissB sent my way until i’d polished off my samples i figured i needed something special if i was going to throw a full on pity party. i bailed on class (which i truly never do), i didn’t answer the door, i hid out until wheelchair rugby (which wound up getting cancelled)……. came home and got into this.

i am wracking my brain; was there a reason i thought it more likely you would be able to flavour a not-green as ice cream? i can’t remember. all i know is that i really get this tea. and i think it kind of saved me from another day of feeling like a complete spaghetti monster. (you know when nothing is right and you don’t even recognize yourself?)

this tea is lovely with or without sweetener. no cream. absolutely pistachio ice cream. thanks MissB, and thanks Stacy as always…. xoxo

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Sounds like you needed a mental health day and took it, and I’m really glad you did. We miss you here


oh the tea saved my sanity. shorty after my second steep the guy that’s been hassling me started doing it by text at 2 in the morning. we meet today. i do believe i’ll be walking away. this kind of behaviour constitutes an abuse of power by my definition. can’t imagine how it would have gone without the TEA!

nope~ (a rare statement i’m about to make here) the result of our meeting either goes my way, or i hit the highway. period.

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an interesting blend sent to me by Tabby, thank you!

strangely, the strongest flavour i get is a fruit akin to raspberries. the chocolate i detect in scent, less so in taste. not much spice, but that could be hidden by the heat of the tea itself.

not bad, i would say the smell trumps the taste though. i did a four minute steep- i have enough left that i could try for five… may change numbers then =0)

thanks for the opportunity to try, Tabby!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Alas, many a tea would taste as they smell I would be a happy gal. So misleading :( it’s like what I imagine online dating to be.


buwahahahahahahahaha! glad i was sipping tea when i read that! =0D

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Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.


Victoria, BC

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