1294 Tasting Notes


John Harney Appreciation Tea #1

I just read Mr. Harney’s story at the Harney & Sons website (https://www.harney.com/about-us) and must say that he should serve as a source of inspiration to us all. He started this company in 1983—at the age of 53—which just goes to show that it is never too late to reinvent yourself!

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I found several bags of Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant tea and after yesterday’s felicitous experience with Tazo Thrive, I decided to try the Yogi iced as well. I brewed this tea hot and reviewed it fairly extensively at my perfume blog (salon de parfum) a while back:


Today’s batch of iced tea I prepared using the cold brew method, with 6 filter bags in 1 liter water stowed in the refrigerator overnight—many hours. How did it turn out?

The liquor is golden and the flavor is quite strong. It seems that the cold temperature is really augmenting the licorice so that it now is more marked than the jasmine. I was debating whether to use more than 6 bags, but now I recognize that this was perfectly sufficient. The iced tea tastes so sweet that I can definitely recommend these bags prepared via the cold brew method to anyone who prefers sweet tea but is wary of all of the sugar. No sugar here: just lots of licorice sweetness on a refreshing green tea and herbal base!

(Blazing New Rating #80)

Flavors: Jasmine, Licorice

Iced 8 min or more 12 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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drank Ginger Green by Thé Santé
1294 tasting notes

To me, this Ginger Green from Thé Santé smells, looks, and tastes like a high-quality bancha tea. There is a good dose of ginger here, too, but it does not shroud the excellent tea base.

The liquor is pale greenish yellow and tastes very smoothy and bancha-esque. i am surprised that the tea is described by the company as sencha, not bancha, but it does not really matter in my case, as I happen to love both!

I am very optimistic that a second infusion of these fragrant leaves will produce a stronger ginger flavor perfect for a pitcher of iced tea!

(Blazing New Rating #79)

Flavors: Ginger

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

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drank Tazo Thrive by Tazo
1294 tasting notes

I have been through a real roller coaster ride with Tazo Thrive. I loved my first pot prepared with the loose leaf blend. Then I bought a bunch of filter bags, which were a huge disappointment.

Today, I am happy to report on my first cold-brewed pitcher of iced Tazo Thrive, prepared using 8 filter bags in 1 quart of water and steeped overnight in the refrigerator.

It tastes very good! What a pleasant surprise. I’ll definitely be using the remaining filter bags for iced tea this summer. The flavors mingle together perfectly. Especially prominent are mint, pepper, and green tea. Cold is the way to go for this blend, it seems! I brewed my pitcher on the strong side so that I could fill a glass with ice and it would melt without over-diluting the tea. The final iced tea is very refreshing.

One concern may be that I’m going to be consuming a large amount of caffeine if I finish this pitcher this afternoon. On the other hand, a single large iced coffee would likely have more! Oh well, I suppose that it does not matter very much since I appear to have adopted a nocturnal schedule anyway—up until 3am last night…

I count this as a new tea experience: first cold-brewed Tazo Thrive. I am increasing my overall rating for this tea, but it’s important to note that I approve of the filter bag only for iced tea.

(Blazing New Rating #78)

Flavors: Mint, Pepper

Iced 8 min or more 16 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Jade Organic by Mighty Leaf Tea
1294 tasting notes

My first loose-leaf experience from Mighty Leaf, ML Jade Organic is a quite decent Long JIng. To be honest, I did not realize that this was going to be a dragonwell—usually that is mentioned in the name—but I am happy with this organic tea.

The dried leaves are of all different shapes and sizes, not uniform as are many of the other Long Jings. The leaves are definitely flat, but they range in length and width. There are lots of large leaves but also some smaller pieces, so it’s possible that some of them broke while jostling about in the tin. I really like the sleek cylindrical tin, by the way, and will probably buy envelopes to refill it in the future.

So, yes, the tea is good. The liquor is golden veering very pale green, and the flavor is textbook Long Jing. Very smooth and buttery with a chestnut-like taste. I’ll definitely be reinfusing the wet leaves as they are still very fragrant. Depending on how long they last, I might also but a third infusion into the fridge for decaf iced green tea tomorrow.

(Blazing New Rating #77)

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

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I have now tried a few different varieties of jasmine-scent tea, and these Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon pearls from Teavivre are among the best.

To begin with, they are ravishingly beautiful! The white ribbons rippling through the perfectly shaped spheres are truly a joy to behold. The dried tea has a strong jasmine scent and the liquor brews up pale peachy green with a jasmine flavor and super-smooth, buttery texture. This tea was so tasty that I could not stop drinking it—and that means a lot on the most humid day of summer so far this year.

I am looking forward to the second infusion later today!

(Blazing New Rating #76)

Flavors: Jasmine

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

Sounds delicious.

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drank Citron Green Iced Tea by Rishi Tea
1294 tasting notes

It looks as though the recipe for Rishi Citron Green may have changed. There is definitely no rooibos in this box! I prepared a quart-sized bag using the cold brew method, left to infuse in the refrigerator overnight.

To be honest, I was pessimistic because of the overwhelming scent of the dried tea, which was basically lemongrass, lemongrass, lemongrass. Fortunately, the iced tea tastes quite a bit more balanced. There are some other gentle citrus flavors mingling with a real jasmine green tea base. Not bad at all, though the lemongrass does dominate.

(Blazing New Rating #75)

Flavors: Lemongrass

Iced 8 min or more 10 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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My very first order from Yunnan Sourcing arrived, and among the enticing items was a big bag of Premium Mao Feng from 2012. The price was slashed—I presume because it is now two years old—but I am happy to report that the dried leaves are still extremely fragrant and beautiful, with tons of light and shadows produced by the impressive silver tips!

The liquor is pale peachy green and tastes smooth and satisfying—a fine example of this genre of tea and not old-tasting in the least!

(Blazing New Rating #74)

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 g 30 OZ / 887 ML

So these teas can last way over a year if stored well. I don’t have to get panicky then when I can’t drink all my tea down fast enough!


Yes, Ubacat, in my experience, so long as the packages were hermetically sealed before you start drinking them, then they can last even longer. I would be wary of teas exposed to air for that long and would not recommend buying them.


Glad to hear after two years this tea is still good.

What I have found with some green teas, is, yes, some are still able to yield good flavor after a year (or more). Yet, I have found on at least one green tea from YS—similar to or the same as this one—is that even if the first steeping is good, the second and third get bitter very easily; this can be somewhat managed by decreasing the steeping time.

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drank Sweet Love by Kusmi Tea
1294 tasting notes

I have been putting off trying Kusmi Sweet Love because every time I found myself reaching for it, it has been late in the day, and I have concluded that the black tea first ingredient would keep me awake. Whoops—silly me.

In fact, this is more of a licorice root than a black tea. My sachet also contained, remarkably, three—count ’em 3!—cardamom pods. That was probably just luck of the draw, but it does seem a bit excessive

Despite all of that cardamom (three pods of cardamom ground might actually be toxic!), the licorice root still prevails as the dominant flavor in this blend. The black tea is more like an afterthought. I realized this when I saw how many more spices (also pink pepper) there were than leaves of black tea. The liquor is orange amber.

Anyway, Sweet Love is not bad for a spicy licorice tea, which is what this really is—against my expectations. In addition to the sample sachet, I have a small tin of the loose blend. When I make a pot, I’ll probably use a smaller ratio of cardamom to black tea.

(Blazing New Rating #73)

Flavors: Cardamon, Licorice

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

Cardamom is toxic?


No, TeaBrat, but it is incredibly potent. I think that consuming that much powdered cardamom could actually be dangerous…

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drank Jasmine Yin Hao by Tazo
1294 tasting notes

Somehow I went two days without drinking either green tea or jasmine! I decided that I needed to rectify the deficiency on both counts and so brewed up a pot of Tazo Jasmine Yin-Hao right after lunch. I don’t usually drink jasmine with a meal, but since I ate only a bagel it seemed compatible.

The liquor of this good-quality jasmine green tea is light gold veering green. I brewed this floral-scented tea a bit stronger than usual, with 5.2 grams for a two-glass tetsubin. The pot is said to hold 20 ounces, but in my experience, it really produces about 17 ounces of tea.

The flavor is smooth and rather floral—naturally! I think that I may prefer jasmine dragon pearls to Yin Hao, but I’ll have to try out some other versions before I can know for sure. I also may have slightly overleafed this pot.

I always look forward to the second infusion of jasmine teas, since they tend to offer a completely different—far more green—experience…

(Blazing New Rating #72)

Flavors: Jasmine

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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Update: 28 September 2014.

On the above date, I officially went on strike and stopped posting tasting notes at Steepster, having endured more than two months of this site’s complete and utter dysfunctionality.

Today is November 1, 2014. I write now to announce that I’ll be launching my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves, in the not too distant future…

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//

I participate at fragrance community websites, and I care about tea as much as perfume, so why not belong to Steepster as well?

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 2300+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):



Somerville, Massachusetts, USA



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