973 Tasting Notes

Second tea of the morning…. (SRP #36)

I received this one in a swap with the wonderful Tina S.. I was just reading her note, and I kind of have to agree with her that this is a tough read. It really wants to be a very good cinnamony and chocolately black tea, but for some reason, the cinnamon hearts kind of come out as this weird cinnamon taste…maybe kind of artificial? I probably am just spoiled by my favorite cinnamon-in-overdrive tea, though. I do get the notes of chocolate, and the tea base is warm and roasty tasting. I think the chocolate tea on its own would be pretty good. Maybe I will just pick out the cinnamon hearts if there is a next time….. Anyway, thank you for a fun taste of tea from across the boarder! I love to try things I can’t get here!

Usual mug method with a 3 minute steep.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Mango Black Tea by thepuriTea
973 tasting notes

Backlogging the Iced tea of the day…. (SRP #35)

And at the end of a generous sample from QuiltGuppy.

I have to admit, I like this one iced more than I do hot. However, since I do sweeten hot tea, the mango is a little more prevalent when hot. When iced, you just get a fruitiness and a bit of briskness. The briskness really does work in an iced tea, though. Not sure it is super remarkable as an iced tea, but it is good enough that it might make a pretty good addition to a cart to get to the level of free shipping.

Usual iced tea method.

(I am spent for the day. If you had only seen the typos that I fixed….I kept typing ‘toe’ in place of ‘tea’.)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

mmm toe :D


toes in your tea… not sure that is the one for me lol
but I do love this mango tea!!


I think the tea foot bath is contagious. It’s your subconscious trying to tell you get into one SimplyJenW ;)

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drank Key Lime Ceylon by Fusion Teas
973 tasting notes

Iced tea of the day…. (SRP #34)

I have been waiting for a warmish day…. The first time I tried this tea, I steeped it up according to my usual mug method. It was bright and limey and reminded me of a margarita. Then the wheels started turning in that this would make the most awesome, refreshing iced tea. Today is the perfect day. We are working outside and it is going to get up to the 80s. I brewed this up using my iced tea method (double strong, pour over copious amounts of ice…) and what I have now is the best iced tea EVER! I love how the lime flavor is incredibly refreshing, and the pineapple and stevia leaf make it ever so lightly sweet. The Ceylon adds a light briskness. Perfect on its own. I need some!

Thank you to Thomas at Fusion Tea Room for the sample.

Usual iced tea method. No additions but ice!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Ohhh…. curse my lack of seeing this when I was requesting samples! Sounds delicious.


It really does. I’m not big on flavored teas, but the addition of key lime to iced-tea-bound Ceylon sounds absolutely perfect.

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Tisane of the evening….. (SRP #33)

I love a good desserty honeybush blend. This one has notes of chocolate (although, like LiberTEAS, I do wish it was a little more prevalent), caramel, and rose. It does pay off to look at the steeping recommendations on this one…they recommend using 1 1/2 tsp per 8 oz of water and I might even use a little more than that. When it is done steeping and very hot, the flavors are not as noticeable as when the brew cools a little. And it does remind me of chocolate cake… I might add a little raw cacao powder next time. Who says it can’t be somewhere between a tisane and cocoa? A very enjoyable evening treat, especially for those who want to have their cake without too many calories.

Mug method with 3 tsp Chocolate Cake Honeybush, 8 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Sample provided by Fusion Tea Room.

Boiling 8 min or more

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Second tea of the morning….. (SRP #32)

This sample was provided by Fusion Tea Room. (Thank you, Thomas!)

I have had many an Earl Grey as it is one of my favorite flavor profiles, so I was more than willing to give this one a try before it goes up for sale. This one has a mellow bergamot. I would not call it light, just mellow in that it is not super citrusy. I guess that means it leans more to the floral side. Yes. Mellow and floral, but not perfumy. The tea base is interesting. I did notice it was a little more smokey than the usual Earl Greys I drink, and then I read the description here…..it has a Ceylon and Yunnan base. The floral bergamot and the slight smoke from the Yunnan is a very good flavor match. There is also a hint of a bite/briskness from the Ceylon, but again it works with the floral and slight smoke. All in all a very well done Earl Grey. I like that it is a bit different from the usual ones I have been drinking. I think Thomas mentioned that this would be available around June 1, 2012.

Usual mug method with about 200 water and a 3 minute steep. Lightly sweetened.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

mellow and floral – Yes, that’s it. I have never tasted an EG like this one.

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Tea of the morning….. (SRP #31)

I have been in a blur for the last several days. It is nearing the end of school and it has been a whirlwind of band and orchestra concerts, play performances, tryouts for another play and a youth wind symphony, and prep for a class trip to Washington DC. Plus, we are in the midst of repairs on our house from some storm damage last year. We are trying to do the painting ourselves in between the days that the contractors are here, and more things that need fixing always seem to come up. I guess it is probably a normal pace for some, but it is usually pretty quiet around here. As a result of my crazy schedule, I have mostly been drinking favorites. I have a few new teas to review that I have tried over that time, but I need to sample them again when I am less distracted to do them justice.

Onto this particular tea…. I was kind of surprised at how short the leaves were. They are similar to BOP with a few golden tips. After my first several sips, I think I might be replacing my beloved Organic Keemun Heng Ru with this. It is somewhere between Heng Ru and Keemun Mao Feng. It is much smoother and fuller tasting than the Heng Ru. Very light hints of smoke. Cocoa notes. I just feel the Heng Ru lacks body, and this one has it. Love it!

Usual mug method.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Hope you have a pith helmet and aspirin!


I’m still planning to replenish my stock of Heng Ru, but I think I’ll have to get at least a sample of this one too. :)

Good luck weathering this hectic time!

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Tea of the evening……

I might as well admit it. I have a new favorite decaf flavored black. Yes, this is the one. Vanilla Comoro is lovely, and Midsummer Peach makes the best iced tea, but Decaf Paris is edging them both out. I had two mugs tonight with our viewing of the season finale of “Once Upon A Time.” The perfect end to Mother’s Day for me!

Mug method with 190 water and 3 minute steep. For the second steep, I added another scant tsp of tea and brewed for 3 minutes at the same temp. Lightly sweetened.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea of the afternoon……

Definitely the notes of smoke. In comparison to the many versions of Panyang I have consumed today, this Keemun Mao Feng has a note of smoke. I am not sure I have tasted it this prevalently before, and part of the reason I wanted to taste them in progression. Notes of smoke, chocolate and malt that translates into a darker chocolate note plus a slight smokiness. Yum.

This brings another question to mind, though. Is it possible that our response to tasting a tea is dependent on what we previously sampled? I am starting to think so.

Now I am off to do some resteeping until I float away!~

Usual mug method…..


I attempted to have some Keemun Mao Feng today on my teatime visit to the Harney tearoom in Soho, but alas, they were out of it. They suggested their Keemun Hao Ya A as a substitute, and of course it was quite good. I also treated myself to a Harney signature travette, the little insulated jug with removable brewing basket. I am so looking forward to making it part of my daily breakfast ritual!


That travette looks so cool! Hao Ya A is really good, but not quite the same as Mao Feng….

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Tea of noon…..

I have not had this one by itself for quite some time. I generally blend it in with my Franken-Breakfast Blend. It has such a prominent chocolate note with just a touch of maltiness and smoke. It is not quite to the level of a Keemun in smokiness, but it is close. It is not quite as complex as the more expensive Tan Yangs, but it is well worth the price at under $5 for 125 grams.

Usual mug method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Second tea of the morning…..

This one comes from a swap with Dinosara. She went on a small tea adventure while she was in China, and this was one she brought back. I am so appreciative that she gave up some of her precious suitcase space to bring a few things back to share with me. I am pretty certain I may never make it there in my lifetime, so it is always fun to read about her travels and experiences. I love that she tries to include the hunt for tea in her free time when she is travelling, because her work takes her to such interesting places.

This is very, very good. I do think it is a little higher quality than Tan Yang Te Ji from TeaSpring. The leaves are longer and predominantly golden, where TYTJ has only a few golden tips. The brew is very similar, but it reads a little less cocoa and more caramely and honeyed which generally translates to sweeter. I am sure that is pretty normal for a comparison between teas with golden tips and those with fewer. I would definitely not call them interchangeable. Both are very enjoyable, and I will cherish the remainder of this one, as I am not sure I can get more! (I still like the other one just a little better, but that could be my subconscious picking that one because I can get more…..)

Usual mug method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Yes, this one is delightful. I have a feeling when I run out I will be tasting a lot of Tan Yangs to find a replacement! Can’t wait to try the Te Ji.


TeaSpring has a higher grade than the Te Ji as well. Jing Zhi, I think it’s called. I tried ordering the smallest possible amount of it once to see if it was really better than the Te Ji, and it was definitely much more delicate. It had just last some of the fierceness that the Te Ji has, so to my vast relief, I found I preferred the Te Ji. :)

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)



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