521 Tasting Notes


First day back in work building. There is electricity but no heat. Brrrr! Drinking lots of hot tea to keep warm!

This particular tea tastes very different from my memory but it is quite old for green tea so that may be why. The taste is still good though. Reminds me a bit of dragon well actually.

I’m on my third steep. Still going strong!

Hope the heat is back tomorrow!

Only one other coworker is here today. The others are working from the NJ office. We spent some time talking about how cold it is and then I shared some silky green tea from Bird Pick. He agreed that it seems more like an oolong. :)


Hope everything goes back to normal soon!


Heat is back! But there’s another storm coming. Not as big though so here’s hoping for the best! Hope you enjoyed NY despite the hurricane. Next time drop me a line. :)


Be safe!

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So I’ve got this dog named Mr. Snuggles. On cold days, he lives up to his name. He will literally sit there and cry to get into your lap if you’re sitting down. Often, I just end up carrying him as I go around the house. I know, I’m spoiling him big time. But he’s so freakin’ cute! He’s on my lap even as I type this. :)

Anyway, when I went into the tea stash to get this tea, I got all distracted by the other teas in there. Ever go in thinking you know exactly what you want, only to see all your other teas and be all, “ah! I want to drink all of these!” I had an indecisive moment, but I stuck with my original decision.

This tea looks really strange. They are uniform little strips of dark green crumbly material. Smells like tea even if it doesn’t look too much like it. My nose started feeling all cool and minty after giving a few good sniffs so I’m thinking the mint is probably powdered. :D The brew is dark muddy green. It’s reminds me a bit matcha, but not as refined. The mint is subtle. It’s a pleasant green tea, but I might add some mint to this the next time I brew it.

I examined the leaves some more after brewing. They seemed to have been powdered and then compressed. into little strips. So odd! I think this might make a good cold brew.

Thank you for this unique experience TeaEqualsBliss!


I have a 55 pound dog that is the same way. She even managed to sneak into bed, under the covers without making us up.


Mr. S will scratch at the covers until you lift them up and let him in. He’ll do this a couple times during the night because he’ll get up for drinks or get out if he feels to warm. Spoiled pup.. The other dog just shoves his face under the covers and makes his way into some warm part of your body to steal your body heat. :) In the summer, they like the soft pillows so I often wake up with my face full of dog because he’s decided that the pillow is for him and not my head.

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I’m not sure I remember who I got a sample of this from. DJBooth? Whoever you are, thanks for sharing!

Anyways, I was not in the mood for caffeine so I thought I’d go ahead and make this one. I was also hoping that this might be a tea that would take milk and sugar well because I was in the mood for something chai-like without actually being chai. Tasting this plain, I would say it would simply be over powered by any additions. The orange here tastes a bit stale, but I don’t know how old this is. The spice is weak and the black tea was not memorable. I was hoping for something that might be reminiscent of Christmas, but this isn’t really all that Christmas-y.

I think we will finish this tea easily since husband likes the fruity flavored teas. I think I might be able to drink this down with some honey. Normally, I only like honey in tea when I’m sick, but this tea could use some flavor modification.

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Me: sips tea Hm.. interesting. Pups, you like this?
Snuggles: sniffs thoroughly and gives a curious lick when offered a drop. Goes back to sleep
Cali: Sniffs twice and turns away. Gives a polite lick
Husband: Sniffs and makes a horrified face. Tries to give mug back
Me: Come on! The pups are braver than you! Man up!
Husband: Sips …didn’t I hear you flush a minute ago?

And that’s how my family reacted to this tea. :)

EDIT: For those who are interested, I made a marinade with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, grated garlic, dad’s homemade hot chili sauce, and a strong brew of this tea.
Marinated some cubes of pressed tofu and shrimp for 5 hours or so. They were so very tasty. Smokey, sweet, spicy, savory, and totally awesome. I served this over some rice with sauteed cabbage. Drank a cup of this tea with my meal. Perfection.

As husband was going in for his second helping I said to him, “You know that tea you thought was disgusting earlier?”
“Uh huh?”
“I made this food with that tea.”
He mimed throwing up, and then ate the rest of his dinner. What a silly goose. :D

On another note, I went to make a pot of green tea with the same strainer I had used to make this tea. I noticed it smelled strongly of smoke, so I soak it for a few minutes in boiling water. Out of curiosity, I sipped on the liquid the basket was steeping in and it definitely tasted like smoke. Yeah… this stuff sticks!


At least you won’t have to share the rest of it.


I’m going to concoct a marinade with this!


Don’t forget to tell about how it turns out.


Bonnie, I updated my note with my cooking experiment just for you!


That sounds so scrumptious!

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I’ve officially had a terrible day. I decided it was time to break into some comforting tea that does not require thinking. I just need something tasty and uplifting.

This tea is doing very well. It’s definitely puer, but mildly so. The strawberry is of the creamy frosting-like variety. The chocolate is sweet and delicious. Comforting indeed. It reminds me of those Japanese candies that are kind of cone shaped chocolates, half pink (strawberry) and half milk chocolate.

This might actually make a good latte, though I wouldn’t consider making puer into a latte under normal circumstances, today’s apparently a day for rule breaking.

I’ll report back on the latte.

EDIT: Almond milk added. Tastes okay, but better plain. Tasty stuff.


Sorry about your day. =(


Nothing like a yummy tea to perk you up. :)


I have no excuse to complain really. Others are probably worse off than I am. Nice to have a sympathic ear though. Thanks guys!


Pfft! As sympathetic as we may be about others’ stuff, it’s just that: others’. It doesn’t lessen the crappiness of our own stuff. You’ll always find a sympathetic ear here. =)


Thanks Nik! :)

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So I’m looking at my notes from the last time I wrote about this tea. Apparently I wasn’t all that impressed with it. Well, things have changed because now I find it deliciously comforting. It’s toasty grains and somehow savory. It’s like the crunchy browned rice at the bottom of the pot. These days, my family uses rice cookers, so no more crunchy browned rice for me, but man, that stuff was tasty. This tea tastes like that. I’m going to miss this tea. That was the last of my bag. :(

I’m working from home this week (Thanks Sandy!) so I’m able to drink down my tea faster. I’m missing my tea at work though.

Throat feeling crappy. :(


Feel better soon!


Drink some Echinacea tea! I swear by that stuff when I’m getting sick.


Thanks guys! I’ll have to look into the tea next time I’m at the store.


Oh no! Sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly. I finally forced myself to go to the doctor yesterday. :(


LiberTEAS, I’ve been worried about you! You’ve been ill for some time now, I’m glad that you finally went to the doctor. Mercuryhime, feel better soon! I got that familiar tickle and soreness in my throat two days ago and attacked it with tea and Airborne. I feel fine now. I hope you’re able to keep the cooties at bay, too!


Hey LiberTEAS, it’s funny how as kids our parents have to force us to go to the doctor and now we have to force ourselves. Being a grown up can be a bummer. :) I hope you get better soon! Nik, I’m pouring tea and hot soup all over that sore throat! Hope it works!


Feel better soon! I second Claire: echinacea tea works wonders.

About the Tencha-Kuki Houjicha: It sounds similar to genmaicha. I’ll have to try it!


It’s really tasty, but not as rice flavored as genmaicha. More toasty grain than anything.

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Not bad, not all that good. I picked up a bit of this since I was a fan of lychee and the sample size was sooooo cheap. It would have been a crime not to try it! The lychee smell and flavor isn’t much like the fresh fruit. Seems more like lychee syrup. The black base is pretty good quality. I think I oversteeped and it was not astringent at all. Not the bestest taste but okay. I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample. :)

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Green rooibos! The best rooibos! I think it is especially suited to fruity blends. This particular rooibos, I couldn’t pass up while I was picking up black tea samples for research purposes. :) I’ve read some great reviews for this and who doesn’t like fruit and cream?

This tea smells pretty fantastic. It’s definitely like real pear. I really love pears when they are soft but not mealy and juicy and sweet. It’s so hard to find a pear in that perfect state! Why is it so hard? Well this tea smells like that luscious juicy pear with a hint of vanilla creaminess. Nicely done! The taste is pretty light, but perhaps I used a bit more liquid than I should have. It is very well flavored too. Not artificial or apple-y like some other pear teas. It’s got a bit of odd tartness, but this not bad at all. It’s not as creamy as I had hoped. I think it would benefit from a thicker mouthfeel. Not sure how that might be accomplished though.

Over all, a very enjoyable tea. :)


Ooooh pear tea!


“research purposes” Unh hunh…suuuure… =P

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This dry tea smells fantastic. Rose and dark chocolate. From the smell, I was hoping for a cheaper version of my favorite Loashan Black. Not surprisingly, this tea is not on the same level. Not to say that this tea is not delicious, because it is. The flavor is exactly strong enough for a sweet floral rosiness that neither wimps out nor overwhelms. The tea does not taste as chocolatey as it smells, but it is still super yummy. It tasted a bit weak so I let it steep a bit longer than I normally would. I also don’t like to use boiling water so my cooler temp might have something to do with it. This tea does not get bitter or astringent. That is a sign of great quality.

I don’t have much to say about the base tea. It seems to be one of these black teas where I can’t really describe the flavors. Tastes like black tea. Leafy in an autumnal way, very smooth. :) Awesome tea. I can see myself getting more of this, but I still have to get through a bunch of black samples before I decide on which ones I want to stock up on. It can’t too much better than this though!

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This is a very artificial berry flavor. I love the green/red rooibos mix. red rooibos can be a strong, sometimes overpowering base to to work with. Green is easier to get along with, less woodsy. It lets fruity flavors show through better. Unfortunately, this fruity flavor is not ideal. Tastes like medicine or cough drops or something.

I think my husband would like it.

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I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.


NYC / Westchester

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