813 Tasting Notes

I’m back in the Land of Good Tea (i.e. home)!!! Yay!!! Had to have a good black tea this morning to wash away all the crappy cups of tea I had this week. This one doesn’t disappoint. Pretty smokey today, actually, but solid. I’m looking forward to a puerh session in a few. I took today off, so I can have all the tea I want ! And my hubby made me breakfast! Woot! Maybe my JalamTeas subscription will come today…crossing my fingers!!

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So, I’m on work travel in Arizona, and I just can’t get a good cup of tea around here! I even brought some teas from home, mostly sample sachets from Lupicia, but drinking tea out of styrofoam cups really ruins the flavor. I should have brought a travel mug, but I wasn’t sure if it was okay to take that on the plane. My coworker said he’s done it, so next time, I’m totally bringing one! Also, the tap water around here has a funny taste. And to top it all, I tried to make tea in my hotel room with the coffee pot, but even after two “rinses” of the pot, it still had coffee residual taste. That, coupled with the funny tasting water and a styrofoam cup…oh man, I should just give up! One more day…I can make it!!!

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I had a nice session this afternoon with this tea. I’m trying to enjoy some good stuff before I travel tomorrow. I’ve got my little travel bag of tea to take with me…all sample sachets that I keep around for such an occasion, but it’s going to be hard to be away from the good stuff!

This tea was very nice. I did one 10-second rinse and then 10/10/15/15/25/25/35/35/45/1:15/1:45/2:30 steeps. Overall, this is a nice and sweet, juicy tea, with some tobacco in early steeps, and later, some sweet grape notes. The tea became a bit bitter in a couple of the early steeps, but the bitterness didn’t stay long…it wasn’t terrible either…reminds me of that pungency you sometimes get when eating artichoke leaves. I enjoyed it and I can’t wait to try the others in the sampler!

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I think I ordered this as a sample in an order long ago and have since forgotten I had it. I decided to brew it gong fu style. Verdict: amazing buttery, creamy, vegetables!!! There is also a bit of a floral note, but it’s not too overpowering. Yum! I think I might just gong fu all my oolongs from now on. I love it!!

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drank Pu-erh Coconut Cacao by Tealux
813 tasting notes

Now that I like unflavored puerh, I tried this again. Nope. Not good. Has a gross licorice quality. Down the drain it goes. I guess I wasn’t wrong the first time!

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I’ve really been in a shu mood, enjoying special dark yesterday and this one today. This is still super creamy. The most prominent note I get is wood, but like most ripe puerhs I’ve had, it gets sweeter in the later infusions. Mmm, sweet creamy wood! :)

Since I’m traveling to Arizona next week for work, I’m trying to enjoy teas that are better enjoyed at home before I go. I just got the sheng sampler in the mail! Woot! To drink today? Or tomorrow? That is the question!

Btw, steepster is particularly sucky today. Hopefully this will post!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
813 tasting notes

You know you’re in love with a tea when you have a hard time tossing out the leaves after drinking infusions of the tea all day. The tea leaves are just so precious! I remembered too late that some people put the leaves into a cold brew after enjoying their session…next time!!

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I’ve enjoyed this one a few times, but never got around to writing a note. To be honest, this tea didn’t smell or taste like I was expecting, but it’s really grown on me. Don’t expect it to taste like the usual white tea. It brews up darker, almost like a light black or oolong, and yet, it is lighter in texture and flavor. I think all the flavor notes in the name are there, but overall, it’s probably more butterscotch-y than anything else. I really like it in the afternoon. I haven’t brewed it in a glass steeper, but I have a feeling it would be very pretty served that way.

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Yay! Another puerh to try! Garret included a sample of this tea in my last order. Thank you!!

I’ve been drinking this tea all day…I’ve probably steeped it 20 times by now. Telework days are good for that. I might have to invest in a portable gaiwan set to take to the office with me so that I can enjoy puerh there too, but limiting my sessions to days when I’m at home keeps up the excitement, so maybe not. ;) Plus, not being able to drink puerh at work will force me to drink the other teas in my cupboard! I think pumpkin chai might be on the list for tomorrow. :)

In the first few steeps, there was a strong tobacco note, but that faded into a nice smooth sweetness that goes on and on forever! It’s definitely a fruity sweetness, a stone-fruity sweetness. Yum! It’s got this thickness to it, like nectar. Double yum! So glad to have tried it. Puerh FTW!


This has a “spicy” note for me on the years I have tried. Very good tea.


I have this but haven’t had a chance to make some yet – I’m looking forward to it. :)

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Getting down to the last bits of this tea. Will probably have to add the little bit left to something else in order to make a cup of it. This tea is one of the first straight black teas where I discovered that black teas could taste different than “black tea” and have interesting notes like malt and raisins. I’m now quite the lover of unflavored black teas and continue to be surprised and enjoy how absolutely different good black teas can taste, from cocoa and smoky notes, to sweet potato, honey, fruity, or even artichoke notes. I love them all! Now I have a hard time getting to the flavored teas in my cupboard because the unflavored ones are just so darn good!


Haha I’m with you on flavoured and unflavoured. And straight blacks. :)


I agree, unflavoured blacks are a wonderful thing. So many interesting notes weaving in and out.

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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