2954 Tasting Notes

A few months ago Sil, Cavocorax, & I split an order from the Tea Spot. We each got tins of Bolder Breakfast, shared a few things, & got several sample sizes of things. Katie, from The Tea Spot, also sent me a few samples to try, including this one.

I’m not always a fan of smokey teas. The first couple of times I tried a lapsang tea it freaked me out, LOL. However, I’ve developed more of a liking for them. On the other hand, I absolutely love ginger always!
I have actually fantasized about a blend that would be lapsang, ginger, & vanilla, & have experimented with it for awhile occasionally. So I wanted to sample this.

During the sip the Lapsang was there, but I didn’t taste the ginger, but after a few sips it began to build, bringing a warmth to my mouth, my sinuses, & my belly. This is a tasty, warming blend that will be especially nice on a cold winter’s night. I added a little stevia, & the sweetness really brings out a caramel-like flavor that really enhances the smoke & ginger. Yum!
Thanks for the sample Katie!


Huh this one sounds interesting

Terri HarpLady

I’ll save some for your next box! :)


So glad you enjoyed it! Cheers :)

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Thanks to Stacy for a sample of this.
This is a tasty cup, very true to the root beer flavor & aroma, with vanilla ice cream mixed in there as well. Although it’s not something I would crave, & I’m grateful for the opportunity to sample it. Stacy is the master of creating amazing flavored brews, & this is definitely one of them.


yeah i like this cold – as a slushie haha

Terri HarpLady

Ooh, I bet that would be awesome!

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Trail Lodge tea is a local (St. Louis) company owned by Annette Hopkins. She has a booth at the Maplewood Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, & it’s really nice to stop by & visit with her, enjoy checking out her newest teas, & talk tea! Most of her teas are fair trade, & she donates to local causes, like the Wild Bird Sanctuary. I love that she offers .5 oz sample sizes of most of her teas, as I don’t really want to buy 4oz unless I’m absolutely sure I love something. How many of us have 4oz tins of tea that we tried once or twice, just taking up space in our cupboards?

So this is one of her newest blends. I smelled it, and the aroma is heavenly! I made a cup earlier this morning to enjoy in my bubble bath, & it was SO tasty: a rich dark cup, with an almost coffee-like essence, creamy real caramel squares that melt into a sweet buttery taste. It was perfectly tasty plain, but I added a pinch of stevia because I was in the mood for sweet, & it really reminded me of an ice cream I used to get long ago at baskin robbins…the kind that is coffee flavored, with swirls of caramel. Yum!
If you’d like to check out Trail Lodge Teas, here’s the link:


I want some! Lol.

Terri HarpLady

Of course you do! Don’t worry, I’ll set some aside for your next box, LOL!




That sounds fabulous! On the shopping list it goes!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
2954 tasting notes

Yeah Baby!
We just had an awesome brunch, which I will probably blog about later: gluten free almond flour peach coffeecake (to die for), homemade sausage patties (I have mastered the art), & eggs.
I wanted something bold, & I got it!
I went for the full blown, “surrender to the dark side” 7 minute steep, & OMG, what a great contrast to the lightly sweet coffee cake, the tngy spicy sausage patties, & the buttery eggs! The sense of satisfaction I got from this cup reminds me of my old coffee drinking days: bold, rich, deep, dark (can a tea GET any darker?). It’s gourmet earthy chocolate with a hint of spice.
May the force be with you!

Awkward Soul

holy cow 7 minute steep!

Terri HarpLady

I just resteeped for another 7, & it was still a nice cup.
I’ve tried it with short steeps, a 5 min, & now 7. I enjoyed them all! :)


The tea judges steep long like this for all tea, then later…they might taste at a lighter strength. We’ve been doing this with new tea samples at Happy Luckys because the World Tea Expo classes taste that style. I personally like a longer steep around the third round too!


Yes! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

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Tony bought this awhile back when he placed an order for his beloved Earl Grey, thinking I’d like it, since I love black tea. It’s ok. I have drank a cup once in awhile, just to avoid hurting his feelings mainly.
Now it’s a sipdown!

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Sil & I have split several tea orders over the last several months, & I think the order from Taiwan Tea Crafts might be one of my favorites.
First off, the website is beautifully designed! You can tell a lot of time & care went into it, & as a person who designs her own website…cough…ahem…currently a cobweb site, I appreciate that.
Second, I love the colorful packaging!
And finally, & of course most importantly, the teas are tasty! I haven’t had a chance to try all of them yet, but Ive enjoyed the ones I have tried, especially this one.
This tea has a much different profile than I initially expected. The leaves are very dark, & resemble Stacy’s premium Taiwanese Assam, only not as long & wild looking. Of course, the taste is completely different!
These leaves steep into a nice dark cup, very different from any of my other Assams. A very full & smooth mouth with a tongue tingle, a buttered slice of honey wheat toast aroma, which transforms halfway down the cup to malto meal drizzled with butter & honey. The flavor moves around a bit too. This cup started out a little grapey, then as it cooled a little it made me think of those candied fruit slices dipped in dark chocolate, & now at the end it’s a bowl of malto meal with a spoon of an unidentifiable jam & a sprinkle of dark chocolate powder. There is a lingering sensation of having had a bite of some really high quality dark chocolate.
This one’s a keeper!


i really do love these teas

Terri HarpLady

Yup, that was a good call on your part! We’ll have to keep track of our favorites, for some future re-order!

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I have to leap into action in a few minutes, as I have a busy saturday, but for now I’m lingering over the re-steep of this yummy malty tea.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been sampling a lot of flavored teas, & it feels so good to have something like this today. No real bells & whistles to brag about here, just a tasty solid cup of black tea. It’s not as bold as some, also not bright & edgy. Just a rich smooth center, which is why it is the perfect center piece in Stacy’s Irish Breakfast, which I think I’ll have a cup of next.

Tea Sipper

This is my favvoorriittte.

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I’ve been drinking this tea all evening, ever since I got home from the college. I wish I had more to say about it, I’m still sipping it, & all I can say is I like it, & nice Chaqi. There is a little bitter edge, & I’m getting a nice tingle tongue. I’ll say more next time.
3 G X Gaiwan X short steepings 5/10/15/20/etc. I made it to 50!
I’d steep it some more, but I have to leave now!

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I do remember one thing I was gonna say! The early steepings kind of reminded me of cream of wheat :)

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I am now officially an adjunct professor at 3 colleges in St. Louis:
Missouri Baptist, where I’m not currently teaching, but am on their list for when somebody wants harp lessons

University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), where I have 1 student that will graduate this year.

Maryville University, where I registered today, got my parking pass, etc. I have one student there, here from Denver to study Music Therapy & Harp!

So I steeped this tea twice, at 3 min & then at 5. I combined both steeps with stevia in my large go cup (that awesome porcelain lined stainless steel one!). This was my driving tea on the way to meet with HR at Maryville. I think I enjoy this tea more each time I drink it!


Congratulations, Terri!



Terri HarpLady

Thanks! I also talked to one of my student’s Dad today. She got a full ride at Illinois State (Bloomington, IL), where she’s studying violin. They don’t have a harp program there, but they want her to play harp for the orchestra, etc. Her Dad asked me to contact the department head about maybe doing a couple of lessons per month, but it’s a 3 hour drive. Egads! When I look at my crazy schedule (that changes constantly), I can’t imagine when I’d be able to do a lesson with her, unless she came to St. Louis a couple times a month.


Neato, congrats! but don’t drive 3 hrs for lessons!



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This is a really lovely tea, & although I am not as wild about it as my other half (that’s you, Sil, LOL, at least in the tea world), I do enjoy it. I know I should write more detailed notes about it’s layers of deliciousness, but right now I’m just trying to play catchup on a long & busy day!


it’s one of my fav sweet honey type black teas. :) But i prefer bolder, darker teas on the whole.

Terri HarpLady

Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty all right. :)


haha i know…just felt the need to clarify. i’m having a rough day..

Terri HarpLady

aww…here’s a Hug

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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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