1196 Tasting Notes

drank Gyokuro Ureshinocha by Tealux
1196 tasting notes

I overleafed and oversteeped today’s pot of Tealux Gyokuro Ureshinocha. It’s still good, but not as exquisite as last time. Too many distractions today!

I’ll be sure to get this right for the sipdown, coming soon post-move…

second infusion: I am drinking this at about 1am, so I do hope the caffeine is mostly gone. Then again, 7am is just around the corner, so maybe I should just brew up a fresh pot! The liquor of this round was beautiful viridescent and the flavor was smooth. I used 73C water this time.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I brewed up two cups of Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tonight, in the hopes of allaying my ever-mounting degree of moving anxiety. I’ve been trying to tackle segregated tasks but sometimes I take too small a slice. Like organizing tea. I can spend an amazing amount of time deciding which teas should be grouped with which teas, believe it or not. When in reality I should be clearing out more furniture so that it is ready to be taken away! I also took a bath and watched Episode 1 of Season 3 of Hustle (a BBC production).

After taking a bath, drinking this infusion, and learning some more about the wheelings and dealings of con artists, I do feel a bit better. The brew tonight seemed like a good licorice blend once again. That’s a good thing in my book, since I happen to love licorice root. Onward I shall continue, but now it’s time for some shut eye. I also donned Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile eau de parfum, the beautiful aroma of which should help to cradle me to sleep.

Flavors: Licorice

Boiling 6 min, 15 sec

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Here’s a tea which never fails to put a smile on my face. Why? Because I love both the flavors and the base tea. In fact, the second infusion of these sachets offer a completely different experience, as the liquor is much more about Bancha than about Thai Flavors.

I wonder why coconut is such a feel good food. Any theories out there? I’d have guessed that it was the fat in coconut milk, but here the mere essence of coconut seems to have the same positive effect on my mood.

Flavors: Coconut

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Lychee Coconut by Tea Forte
1196 tasting notes

Coconut always cheers me up, so I decided to have a glass of Tea Forte Lychee Coconut. (The lychee is pretty much MIA for me in this blend.) The water I used today was a little bit too hot, and the slight roughness of the resultant brew reminds me of overheated green tea. I had thought that white tea was less temperature sensitive, but for my remaining steeps of this tea, I’ll be sure to keep the temperature far below boiling…

I suspect that the Lychee Coconut loose tea is much better than the filter bags. One day, I’ll have to see!

Flavors: Coconut

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Organic Green Tea by Touch Organic
1196 tasting notes

Comparing the color of the brewed liquor of Touch Organic Green and Clipper Organic Green, I find that the Touch Organic is a paler gold, veering toward green, while the Clipper is a pure gold, closer to brown than to green.

The tastes are different, too. Clipper Organic Green has a slightly grassier taste, and seems more baked than steamed. I am no longer sure that Touch Organic is a bancha, as I had opined before. I’m just not sure anymore, partly because I’ve imbibed several banchas of late, and so I have been reminded what a pure bancha tastes like.

My latest guess is that Touch Organic is a blend of various teas from China. Perhaps there is some Chinese bancha in the mix, but now I feel that there probably also is some Chun Mee or something along those lines.

So which do I prefer? I have more left in the Clipper glass than the Touch glass as of right now. The grassy quality of the Clipper today really reminds me of darjeeling, and they did say that they source their teas both from Hunan province in China and from South India. Hmmm is Darjeeling in the south of India? I’d better go check. Be back in a jiffy…

Okay, Darjeeling is in West Bengal, which is not in the south. Anyway, there is Indian tea in the Clipper, but not in the Touch Organic. In the end, I find that both are perfectly potable blends. It’s a tie! Honestly, I attached a 72 to Clipper before coming to Touch, only to find that I had also given Touch a 72! For organic grocery store greens, both are a steal and quite decent for filter bag brews.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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drank Organic Green Tea by Clipper
1196 tasting notes

In this afternoon’s steep-off chez sherapop, Clipper Organic Green is going sniff-to sniff, sip -to-sip against Touch Organic Green, both in the filter bag.

Every time I taste Clipper Organic Green, I announce “Chun Mee” to whoever may or may not be listening. I used to talk to my cat, HRH Emperor Oliver—perhaps his ghost is listening? Anyway, I have that impression again today. It’s a perfectly fine and easy to brew (not at all temperamental, as today I used hot water). A solid organic green tea, but definitely not Japanese. Is it better than Touch Organic? That is the question in today’s steep-off chez sherapop…

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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The flavor of this Huang Shan Mao Feng from Teavivre is a lot lighter today than I recalled. Which is strange, because I thought that I had nearly doubled the leaves! Anyway, it tastes good. Maybe I got the brew right today: cooler water, short steep.

The liquor was more brown than green but quite pale, and the flavor was smooth and subtle. In fact, it did not really seem like the same tea. I have another generous-sized sample from Teavivre (thank you!), so I’ll definitely be exploring this tea some more in the future. After today’s brew, I feel compelled to increase my rating.

It’s funny, because my success with green teas seems to have much more to do with me than with the tea itself. There are so many ways to make mistakes, and so many variables involved.

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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drank Chamomile by Celestial Seasonings
1196 tasting notes

Tonight’s bedtime brew is good old—literally and figuratively—Celestial Seasonings Chamomile. It seems somehow fitting to attempt to finish off a box of ancient (circa Y2K) tea as I prepare to leave the place I called home for ten, count ’em 10! years.

I remain amazed that this tea has retained its potency and flavor. Perversely, this may confirm the rumors about Celestial Seasonings and pesticides, etc.

Carpe Diem.

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My barista almost refused to give me my requested refill of Tazo Green Tips—apparently because my frappuccino had been a reward drink. Huh. I’ll never understand why wageslaves go to the mat for a man who earns zillions of dollars. In this case, attempting to violate the company’s own rules to save Mr. Schultz, what, 20 cents? Isn’t that about the pay out for a cup of venti Green Tips with two sachets?

Fortunately, another barista overhead what was going on and disabused her colleague of her false belief, that refills are not available on rewards drinks. So I took my venti Green Tips and went on my merry way. Maybe I should start frequenting a different store. Have I outworn my welcome??

I’ve been experimenting with various methods for achieving the best brew of this quite decent Mao Feng blend. Today, I did not bother requesting ice cubes, since the barista, who already seemed to think that I was robbing the place, would surely have rolled her eyes. Instead, as soon as I got my cup, I went to a table, removed the lid, and pulled out the sachets, allowing them cool a bit, then dunked and redunked them a few more times, until the liquor was the greenish golden characteristic of the best cups of this tea.

It was very good. So I learned a new method today, despite having to endure a surly barista’s sardonic crusties.


LOL. Amusing rant. ;-)


Why thank you, Morgana! What can I say? (moving stress…)

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Another save by Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha, as I needed a good tea—and fast—before departing again for more work on my new and humbler abode. I’m working both fronts here: trying to get out of this place, while trying to prepare the other place. This will sound perhaps bitchy, but I cannot abide moving my worldly possessions into a space which is covered with other people’s dirt. So I had to go do a major mopping, the serious, nitty-gritty kind, involving towels and buckets of soapy water and clean water for rinse. Why? Because it seemed pretty clear that the floor in my future bedroom had not felt the drip of water in years. It looks better now, after my furious hands-and-knees cleaning of the place, but I may have to do it again around the corners and crevices.

Sounds like I’m a clean freak, right? Actually, I’m quite the opposite. My issue is other people’s dirt. I have no problem with my own.

Well, thanks to my two glasses of Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha, I had the vim and verve to do what needed to be done!

I do have one relevant observation, for people who read tasting notes to learn about tea, not about the authors: by whom and why and where is “wood” listed as a tasting note for this tea? I scoured the other reviews and could not identify who the culprit slinging the wood epithet was. So why is that listed prominently as a tasting note on this tea’s profile? It almost seems like a competitor corporate hacker sabotage. Not to be paranoid, but how else to explain a tasting note which is not claimed by any of the reviewers?? I ask most sincerely.

Do I recommend this tea? Hell, yes. Does it taste like wood? Hell, no.

180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Update: 28 September 2014.

I am officially going on strike. You have lost another contributor, Steepster. Two months is too long to endure total site dysfunctionality. I’ll be writing about tea-related matters at a new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves, from here on out. I cannot waste any more time here.


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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