869 Tasting Notes

drank Fukujyu Sencha by Thé Santé
869 tasting notes

This Fukujyu Sencha from Thé Santé is truly delicious. Definitely earns the label “superior sencha”!

The dried tea is dark and redolent of roasted spinach. The brewed liquor is yellow-green, and the flavor is perfectly sencha, with the added pleasure of a silken texture.

second infusion: Distracted by something, I managed to forgot about this brew for several minutes and so oversteeped, but it was still just as good as the first infusion! A bit more golden in color, but not at all bitter.

third infusion: I tried a third round on the same leaves after dinner, and it was lighter but still delicious—and hopefully caffeine free by now!

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I cannot believe that I haven’t had a batch of chamomile in eight days! Tonight I reached for this no-frills-attached Harney & Sons soliflore. It’s good. Good is good. The only thing that would make it better would be if chamomile were blue not yellow. I always feel that yellow connotes sunshine, and this is more of a midnight experience for me.


blueberry chamomile?


No, Starfevre, I’m fantasizing about a world in which chamomile happens to be blue in color, but tastes just the same! ;-)


oh, opposite world. At least I think it’s opposite on the colour wheel. aaaand I just checked and it’s opposite a blue-y purple colour. Close enough to opposite world.


Yes, I believe that purple and yellow are complementary and blue and orange, so pretty close!

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I drank some more Tazo Rest tonight. I think that it is one of the better tasting “functional” teas around. All of the ingredients meld together seamlessly, and it smells and tastes more pleasing than other herbal infusions of this type. In fact, I like it more than either rooibos or honey bush-based nonfunctional blends.

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drank Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo
869 tasting notes

I brewed up a cup of this Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tonight and attempted yet again to understand why it gets no love—and indeed a lot of hate!

Okay, so it’s not orange juice, and it’s not tea. Okay, so it’s a tart hot liquid perhaps comparable in some ways to Theraflu—except that it is orange, not lemon or cherry.

Truth be told: I actually like Theraflu!


I think this was the one Tazo I was too afraid to try after reading the reviews here. ;-)


Morgana: the reviews are excessively negative, and I have to wonder whether there’s some group behavior going on there. lol. Seriously I have been questioning my own taste on this one. How can so many people find it to be so horrible????


In my defense, I’ve only had it on airplanes.

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I have an older supply of Upton Tea Imports Makaibari Darjeeling, but it still tastes fresh and good, so I’ll just pretend that I acquired this lot more recently than I did.

The liquor is peachy brown, and the flavor has the characteristic complexity of a fine darjeeling. I have not been drinking darjeelings lately because I had a carton of light cream in my refrigerator which took forever to empty. To my amazement, a quart lasted something like a month, and it did not spoil. My impression is that light cream holds up better than half-and-half, and I also discovered that it does not dilute the tea in which it is added, so that’s another plus. With the end of that carton, I’m putting my Earl Grey binge on pause for while…

Well, all of that was only barely relevant to this tasting note, but for the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on no-cream-added black teas, with the darjeelings at the top of the list!

This Makaibari Estate brew has the dried grassy smell and taste which I have come to associate with darjeeling, and the flavor and scent are also very slightly smoky. Neither bitter nor scratchy, this is a very good black tea for drinking au naturel! No adulterants, please!

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
869 tasting notes

In today’s Harney & Sons Paris tasting note, let us pause for a moment to sing the praises of the precious peridot packaging of the filter bags and box:

Simply beautiful!

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

I love Paris. One of my favs.


Yes, it really his the spot on a freezing winter day. I always drink it with cream.

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I made a large pot of this delicious Long Jing (= two cups followed by two cups, followed by two cups…). It’s still my favorite of the Long Jings I’ve tried so far. Also my inspiration to try more!

second infusion: same beautiful pale yellow color, same refreshing taste, same lilypad-like leaves floating at the surface, like a placid pond in springtime. (meanwhile, it’s subarctic freezing outside!)

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Valerian appears to be the stinkiest herb in existence. My sister finds it so unpleasant that the process of preparing a cup of valerian tea doubles her anxiety level, thereby undermining the purpose of imbibing the stuff. She cannot get past the “dirty underwear” scent of the valerian in any valerian-based blend.

I’m going to have to tell her about Tazo Rest, because this valerian blend does not scream out “dirty underwear” at all. Probably because valerian is pretty far down the ingredients list, and there are many strong competing flavors, including not only citrus oils, ginger, and licorice root, but even geranium oil and rose petals!

Rest is a nice herbal blend. Tonight I’ll be testing its true efficacy, as I was unable to sleep last night until 4:30 am as a result of the bomb dropped on me by my landlord (that I must vacate my apartment by February 28, 2014, after having lived here for ten years!). I got only four hours of sleep and I continue to suffer from an awful tension headache.

I’m counting on Rest to offer some much needed reprieve (rest!) and to usher in, if not sweet dreams, at least dreamless sleep. The last thing I need are nightmares, which are a possibility when I consume so many wild and crazy essences right before bed. We shall see.

The flavor is complex and very well blended and smooth. I taste smatterings of citrus and ginger and licorice and honeybush, but nothing stands out as dominant. Do I taste the geranium and rose? Not sure…

Boiling 8 min or more

Dirty underwear….


snicker ;-)

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The Libra entry in the Adagio Zodiac series smells incredibly delicious dry. The flavor of the brewed golden brown liquid is pretty good, but I’m not that enamored of the black tea base, which seems fairly scratchy in the back of my throat.

Still, this is a nice change of pace: a chocolate-strawberry flavor-tinged creation embellished with delicate rose petals. I drink mine with cream. A good Valentine’s Day tea!

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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Lovely, light, and limpid lunch drink reminiscent of sencha. I made it a bit stronger this time and steeped at low temperature for only a couple of minutes.

second infusion: Same light barely greenish-yellow color. Same clean taste.

third infusion: I oversteeped this round, so the color was more golden than green. It tasted okay, but like a different tea—more like a “nameless” green…

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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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):



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