1531 Tasting Notes

drank Jasmine Pearls by Steepster
1531 tasting notes

I had half an envelope left of these 2013 Jasmine Pearls from Steepster Select, so I brewed up half a glass—twice. It was good. Definitely an above-average Jasmine-scented tea.

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A lovely two-glass tetsubin of Teavivre Huang Shan Mao Feng was the perfect follow-up to today’s lunch of a third of a Ciabatta split lengthwise, toasted and slathered with a lobster-seafood cream spread before piling baby arugula high and then smashing the two sides together into a sandwich.

Same pale greenish-yellow, slightly vegetal but very smooth liquor as before—only even better after this meal!

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

Sounds decadent.


I think that the arugula makes it health food, no? ;-)


I guess. I despise arugula so I don’t eat it.

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drank Detox by Pukka
1531 tasting notes

glistening blackness
frozen flame with steaming ice
white opacity

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drank Relax by Pukka
1531 tasting notes

chamomile cotton
fluffy marshmallow pillows
oat straw hay mattress

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drank Revitalise by Pukka
1531 tasting notes

cinnamon river
rushing through dusty meadows
spicy orange sunset

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drank Golden Yunnan by Rishi Tea
1531 tasting notes

I picked up a box of this Rishi Yunnan Golden, identified on the box as Dian Hong, from Whole Foods out of curiosity. It was on sale for $6.99 for 50 grams, usually going for $10.99. According to the reviewers at Amazon (many of whom are irate), Rishi has essentially doubled or tripled the price of their teas since abandoning the metal tins in the supposed name of the environment. Reminds me of when the ice cream companies told us that they were reducing the half-gallon carton size so that we could store our ice cream in the door of the freezer. (Right, and I have some nice land for you down by Alligator Alley…)

And now, at last, for the tea. I may have had elevated expectations from the appearance of the gorgeous dried leaves, which include tons of golden tips. Somehow the final brew seems a bit blunt and brisk. Did I oversteep or overleaf?

It’s not sweet, nor is there a baked bread facet. Basically this tastes like stout black breakfast tea! The liquor looks closer to Assam than anything else (dark and veering red), but I do not find the brew to exhibit the same maltiness.

I’ll certainly try again—I have another 46 grams…

second infusion: I decided to try these same leaves one more time… The brew was slightly better, but still not very good. I debated adding cream for about half the glass but then ended up just tossing it into the wind—I was sitting on the deck.

There are so many rave reviews for this tea that I can only surmise that my batch is a dud. I noticed that the infused leaves are quite small, so it looks as though the crispy golden tipped dried leaves disintegrated in hot water.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I just opened this fresh batch of Lu Shan Yun Wu from Teavivre, and I must say that it smells even better than I recall! The visual appearance is also stunning: all of the beautiful slate green corkscrews!

But the best part of all is of course the brew: a pale greenish yellow liquor with a delicious flavor and sumptuous texture. So happy that I now have a generous supply of this 2014 harvest in my cupboard.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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More Golden Globes chez sherapop this evening.

Hmmm… I wonder whether the Golden Globes were named after chamomile buds? Somehow I doubt it…


I have always thought they were named after fake, tanned boobs. You see a few of them there.


Ha! Good one, Marizpan! ;-)

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Well, this tea is certainly tasty. Unfortunately, I am in a surly mood now, having placed my order from this company three times and just been told that I have to place it again.


205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I think they’ve got it fixed now. My last order went through. It is frustrating, though.

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drank Long Jing by Le Palais des Thes
1531 tasting notes

Unexpectedly, the looseleaf Long Jing from Palais des Thés in the sleek aluminum tube seems not to be as good as the tea in the cotton muslin sachet. Strange.

I had been wondering what their Long Jing leaves would look like and was surprised to find that they are very broken up. It’s quite possible that this is an old batch which has been jostled about a lot, as I bought the box set from one of the social shopping sites. The liquor was darker golden veering peach (not green) in color, but there were lots of particles at the bottom of the glass, so that probably had something to do with it. The taste was not that great either, and the liquor had none of the silken texture which I’ve come to associate with Long Jing.

The best part of this experience was the housing: I love the test tubes and will use them to store small amounts of teas once I’ve emptied them. Which won’t take long—this one contained less than 10 grams…

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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Effective February 1, 2015, I’ll be writing about tea at my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves. Please stop by and contribute your ideas—all viewpoints are welcome!

A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

The scent of tea can be just as appealing as—sometimes more than—its taste! Tea also offers boundless visual beauty in its various forms and states of preparation.

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2400+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):


Finally, please note that after a great deal of debate with myself, I have decided to use the cupboard here at Steepster as a “museum” of sorts—to commemorate all of the various teas which I have purchased and truly enjoyed since December 2013.

I do not currently possess all of the teas listed in this cupboard, but am using the function as a way of recording how many times I drank every tea which I did own at some point and wish not to forget. Teas found both in my “cupboard” and on my “wishlist” are those which I did own and intend to restock. Teas best forgotten have been removed from the cupboard once depleted (in some cases tossed…).

I have also decided (beginning in 2015) to use the tasting note function to maintain a chronological record of the teas I’ve consumed since December 15, 2013. Most new reviews will now be posted directly at my blog, sherapop’s tea leaves.


Somerville, Massachusetts, USA



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