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2483 Tasting Notes

Sipdown! After all the sipdowns that went into making yesterday’s ‘Suicide is Painless" ice tea blend, that puts me at 290!
My first tea of the day, & the first several sipdowns, I hope. I’d like to clear my cupboards out a bit, maybe narrow it down to my most favorites (stop laughing Sil, I know you are!)

This Irish Brekkie is ok, but not good enough to invoke images of Collin Farrell in a bathrobe saying, “Pass me a cup, Love” & winking.

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This tea is so popular at my house that it’s almost gone! We bought the 6oz tin, & we’ve probably only got about an oz left, if that!!

Anyway, it was the tea of choice for Game Night, along with the raspberry muffins we pigged out on. Drew, Leif, & I played Pirates of the Caribbean Monopoly. I went to jail almost immediately, & every time I got out, I ended up back in there! It was 6 times in jail before I finally made it around the board & passed go. I rolled doubles 3X in a row on 3 different turns, I landed on the ‘go to jail’ square 3 times, I drew 2 cards that send me to jail. I also drew one card that got me out. Needless to say, I think I only passed go 4 times in the whole game, & I was the first to fold. Leif had a glorious win, however, & was quite pleased with himself.

Drew & I also played a full 6 rounds of Yatzee. We each won 3, but I ended up with the highest score. Then we played competition Solitaire. He won 2 out of 3. And so ends Game Night, which we plan to alternate with movie night I think.


well, you’re far more genteel than i… i was traveling all day to the mainland and back and played angry birds, lol. competition solitaire? haven’t heard of it. ‘speed’ is good though!

Terri HarpLady

I don’t know if competition solitaire is a real game, LOL. We just both set up solitaire, said go, & the first to complete their game won. If you busted, you just shuffled & started over.
The funny thing is, I’ve always loved solitaire, but this is the first time I’ve played it with actual cards in years. :)

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This is one of the Reserve TOMC offerings.
The dry aroma is incredibly sweet, & brings to mind the color orange, like the Day Lilies blooming in my yard.
I love the color green, it is my most favorite color, & one of my favorite things about Tieguanyins is the amazing almost irridescent green. This one looks pretty much the same as other TGYs: Beautiful!

I followed the recommend steeping parameters, using my test tube steeper (I LOVE that thing), as it allows me to control the steep time a little better.

The first steeping was a pale yellow, delicately floral, & in my mind I saw a field of buttercups.
The second steeping became even more floral & sweet, & I thought of when my kids & I used to make candied violets.
The Third steeping created a scene (in my mind) of tiny spring flowers: violets, wild strawberry, wild onion. Tiny flowers bloom all over my yard & my neighbors yards in the early spring.
Beginning with the 4th steeping, the florals began to gradually diminish the be mixed with a growing green flavor & a creaminess as well.

This is a lovely Tieguanyin. As with the other Reserve TOMC teas, I’m not sure that it’s really that spectacular, but it was a pleasure to drink.

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I’m enjoying a lunch of yesterdays leftover Potato & Lovage Frittata with some homegrown radishes & asparagus. A tasty black tea is just what I needed to complete the meal.

This Nilgiri is from an amazing assortment of mostly black teas that I got in an awesome trade with NofarS. This is only the 2nd tea I’ve sampled from the box, not because I don’t want to drink them, but because it’s just so hard to pick one. They are all beautifully packaged, I might add, & I’m truly grateful for the trade, Nofar! I’m also grateful that neither of our boxes got stuck in customs! Yay!

This is a medium bodied tea with some brightness too it, kind of fruity in the sense of blackberries. Not particularly bold or bassy, no bells & whistles, but it’s a pleasant cup & nice with lunch.

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Major Sipdown!
Leif & I wanted a large batch of ice tea to drink all day, filling the gallon jug with the spigot on the side (which we forgot always leaks…I hate those things). So we didn’t have enough of any one thing, but we had lots of odds & ends that we never drink. Here is the list of teas that were combined & used up:

Tarocco Ruby Orange – Teavana
Wild Sweet Orange – Tazo
Lemon Zinger – Celestial Seasonings
Mango Tango – The Tea Spot
Earl of Grey – The Tea Spot
Organic Tangerine White – Frontier
Lemon Verbena – from my herb garden
Sweetened with Stevia

The resulting brew is Fruity, tart, & tangy! Also very refreshing when you come in from the garden!


Haha. I love this entry. And I didn’t realize you created the Random Steepings bleind either. Very nice!

Terri HarpLady

I made the random steepings page when I was really too busy to enter all the teas I’d drank that day, so I just entered them all together on one page.
While Leif & I were concocting our iced tea today, I said it would be a suicide blend (do they even use that terminology anymore? I think we originally used it for slurpies who’s flavors were combined into one cup, or soda or something).
I turned to him and said, “Suicide is Painless”.
Then I knew I’d have to enter it into steepster.
Of course, most of the steepsterites probably never watched “Mash”, so for those young people, “Suicide is Painless” is the name of the Mash theme song. (Neither of my college aged sons has ever heard of the show, so looks like we’re gonna be doing a Netflix film festival soon).


I’m pretty sure Loudon Wainright III once sang this during the show or maybe the movie. Anyway I remembered hearing it.


:) Well I might not have been watching tv when MASH was on the air live, but we’ve been watching the re-runs over dinner for the past few years. :) Great song – great name for a random tea mash.


I loved the song. My daughter combines her sodas suicide style whenever we go to a restaurant. Sonic still uses the term as well.


MASH is wonderful comfy-old-tennis-shoes TV. Some of the best wordplay in comedy writing I can think of. I loved Colonel Potter. (Saw Loudon Wainright recently on a Sat. Night Live Season 1 DVD; he performed it then.)

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Leif & I did some gardening, pulling weeds & re-trellising some of the raspberry canes. My raspberry patch is really crazy & happy, & very productive, so we also picked more berries. Tonight is our first official “game night”, so I think I’m gonna make an almond flour cake with black raspberries in it, topped with coconut whipped cream & red raspberries. I still have to pick the black raspberries, later when it cools off a bit.

Anyway, it got too hot & sunny, so we came in & made an iced version of the last of the watermelon xylo, adding a little stevia. It was so yummy & refreshing, & very quickly gone!


Your garden sound phenomenal! I love readin about it in your posts

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! I love gardening, & would stay out there for hours & hours. It’s such a great opportunity to just be in the moment, with birds singing as a soundtrack. We came in because it was too hot. I need to start getting out of bed earlier, so I can have more time out there! There’s always something to do, & never enough time!


I’m so sad our raspberry bush died a couple of years back. I love reading about your garden.

Terri HarpLady

Last year it was so hot & dry that I was sure my berry bushes had all died, but they’re back! The red raspberries didn’t like their location, so they all came up in a different place!


I want some of that cake! ;) Sounds amazing!!

Terri HarpLady

We ended up making cup cakes instead! Gluten free, here’s the recipe I used, only I subbed maple syrup for the honey, as I tolerate it better, & whole raspberries instead of chopped strawberries. I also didn’t bother with the frosting, even though it sounded SO decadent. We talked about cutting them in half, topping them with berries & the coconut whipped cream, but we all got lazy. So our cupcakes ended up really being muffins, & they were tasty! Next time I want to add more berries though. Now I have a basic paleo & gluten free muffin recipe that I like, so variations can be endless! Here’s the recipe I used:


Those look yummy!

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drank Black Beauty by Mandala Tea
2483 tasting notes

What? Already?
Sadly, yes it is true. I split this oz with Sil, & I’m sending a sample from my half to TastyBrew, so this is it.
However, I will re-order this one, as it is very tasty. I went with the western brewing parameters & the flavor is thick, rich, & a little spicy with essence of chocolate, caramel, & coriander. A delicious & unusual black tea, with the earthiness of a Qimen, but it’s own unique flavor.


woot woot! Um yours will be sent after vacation…turns out i’m ahving fun adding things to it lol

Terri HarpLady

Awesome! Remind me…when are you leaving & when are you coming back?

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This is my favorite of the 2 Laoshan Oolongs, which is no surprise to me, as I tend to prefer roasted oolongs over the green ones.

It tastes a lot like laoshan black, with barley & chocolate essence, only there is a hint of pineapple in the center of my tongue, which is very interesting & sweet. Drew says it tastes like toast to him. I’m really glad Drew is sampling teas with me this evening, as I’ve steeped ALOT of tea!

The later steepings have a mouth watering caramel feel, an interesting aftertaste that I can’t quite pinpoint, a sweet barley maltiness, & a buttery quality. OH, I just figured out the aftertaste! It’s like a butterscotch hard candy! yeah, that’s it!

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I’ve just spent the last hour or so washing various veggies that I picked right before the storm: radishes, bokchoi, lettuce, asparagus, Chard, mixed asian greens. Can you tell that we eat alot of greens at my house? :) I also picked a bounty of raspberries!!

This tea tastes a lot like laoshan green to me, but it also really reminds me of Matcha. The earlier steepings had a thick green-ness to them & Drew, who is sampling this with me, said that it reminded him of chewing on rubber bands, a favorite pastime of his apparently.

I really didn’t get a lot of floral out of this, but the later steepings were somewhat sweet & sort of crystalline feeling.

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I had a hard time finding this tea on Steepster. On the TOMC paper it is listed as Master Zhang’s Daping Spring Tieguanyin, which is what I was looking for. Then I realized that on the actual package it’s listed as Hand Picked Early Spring Tieguanyin, so at last I am here!

It’s beautiful. The dry aroma is the color yellow, absolutely. As soon as I smelled it, that is what I saw. The tea itself is a clear spring yellow, with a delightful floral aroma & taste, & it’s sweet & clean & fresh, like it just rained on the first day of spring. Daffodils sparkling with rain drops as the sun comes out from behind the clouds.
That was the first steeping, LOL.

The 2nd steeping brought in a creaminess to it, & a hint of lilac.
The 3rd steeping is completely different. It had the headiness of sweetgrass, although not exactly the same.
I kept drinking, but was also teaching, so I lost track of the steepings, but they gradually lost the yellow taste, although the color remained. I’m not the hugest fan of the color yellow, but today it is a delight to my eyes, & just looking at this tea makes my 3rd chakra feel clearer, & I’m feeling a sense of clarity throughout. An inner voice is telling me to drink more Tieguanyins for awhile, & so I may.

Later steepings take on more mineral notes, & in my mind’s eye I see limestone & Travertine & Marble…smooth & rich with calcium. I taste a hint of vanilla, & then it’s gone. The aroma is still lightly floral, the flavor still gently sweet, although its taking on a dry sensation now, & I think I’ve reached the end of this session.

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I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!


St. Louis, MO



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