2971 Tasting Notes

This is a tasty tea that really reminds me of Vanilla Wafers. Yeah.

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drank Congou Keemun by Butiki Teas
2971 tasting notes

This is my first cup of just plain old black tea this morning. I’ve enjoyed the flavored teas with breakfast, although if Leif hadn’t been with me, I’d have skipped those in favor of something plain.

This is a rich & earthy, kind of middle of the road cup. It lacks the gentle smokiness that I tend to expect from a Keemun, but is still a nice ‘middle’ kind of feeling tea. No real high or low notes, if I were to assign a musical ensemble to represent it, it would probably be Cello, Viola, Clarinet, Oboe, & Bassoon, with some Marimba & Timpani thrown in. It would be a haunting lonely sound, but not necessarily sad. Like a cool walk in the woods. Nothing exciting going on, just communing with Nature.

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Good Morning Steepsterites!
We had an amazing storm here last night, it was literally raining buckets! My ears kept popping, & for a little while I had an ear ache. I’m sure gmathis & my sister MsWhatsit will concur that it was a pretty wild evening. The Cardinals baseball game was delayed until about 10pm (they lost).

I had trouble sleeping & finally got up this morning at 9:00. Battled the birds in my yard over raspberries (they were all pretty pissed off that I ruined their berry picking extravaganza this morning). I think they got plenty to eat, & I came in with about a quart of berries!! Yeah! Nothing like homegrown berries! Here’s the photo:

So, on to Tea! Leif picked Tardis to have with breakfast, which I’ve reviewed plenty of times. For those who have not tried it, it is Earl Grey Bravo, Blackberry, & Vanilla. A perfect selection for this morning, given the berry picking theme! Today it was especially nice, as the vanilla seemed more present.

We followed that with Plum Oolong. Tony has 3 favorite teas:
Earl Grey (any will do, but he is currently partial to Ahmad)
Jubilee (London tea room…basically earl grey with orange added)
and this Plum Oolong. He gets it from Kaldi’s, a local coffee roaster that opened a coffeehouse several years ago. Kaldi’s has blossomed into several coffee houses, & their coffee is available all over the place. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I understand theirs to be quite good. They have also branched off to include teas, for people like me, & for awhile they offered Numi bagged teas, but now they offer looseleaf. I have no idea who they are getting their teas from, but I have to admit, this is a tasty plum oolong, with hunks of fruit in it. It resembles the plum oolong offered by the Art of Tea. The flavor is tart & tasty.

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OK….this is amazing! It’s like have cinnamon toast! It has just the right amount of cinnamon, it has a yeasty taste, probably from the puerh & possibly from some maltiness from the black tea, & it’s even lightly sweet. I drank it plain, including a resteep that was just as good as the first cup. I’m heading back to the kitchen for a third steep.
I’m sure it would be nice with sweetener & creamer, but I’m pretty happy with it as is. And I’m going to have to have MOAR!!!
Thank you Tasty Brew! I’ve been wanting to try this one for awhile!


Glad it lived up to the hype!

Terri HarpLady

One of the things I really like about it is that I don’t have to add sweetener to get the flavors to materialize. That’s the problem I have with most flavored teas.


it is truly awesome, isn’t it?

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This was my first tea of the day, hours ago, & I’m just now getting around to posting. I don’t really have much else to say, but they are tasty. :)

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Another tea from TastyBrew! Thanks!
This is an interesting brew. I’m not a fan of Ceylon much, but I enjoyed this with breakfast. It was definitely fruity, in a winey sort of way, and a little tart. I’ve never had a tea that was aged in a wine barrel, & honestly never thought about that sort of thing. It’s actually a pretty cool idea though. Probably not something I’d ever purchase, but worth trying. Thanks Tasty, for the opportunity!


Wow, never heard of that either! Sounds intriguing…

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Yay, my swap from TastyBrew arrived yesterday, & she is awesome! Most of the samples are in foil pouches with her own cool logo on them: it’s a tea mug with a beer bottle in it, & the label on the bottle has her name on it! How cool is that?

Here I am, still rolling tea up in baggies, like the old dope dealer I used to be.

Ruby black is my first sample from the wonderful array of teas she sent. From the description, it sound like a super sweet & malty cup, and although it isn’t bad, it doesn’t really follow its bio.
The leaves are a nice dark reddish black, crazy & twisty like an oolong. TB suggested a steep time of 5 minutes. 4 min is usually my preferred time for black teas. I started steeping, dipping a spoon in for a slurp every so often, as I do for new teas sometimes, just to make sure I don’t go over. I let it go to 4min. The resulting brew is dark in color, sweet, with an orange veggie taste like roasted squash or carrots, & lightly malty. Definitely not the bold Assam like character I was expecting! There is a little tongue tingling sensation, & I think next time I’ll give it 5 min to see if it changes anything.
Thanks TastyBrew! I’m bringing Methode Noir to breakfast with me!


We need to think about an order from these guys…maybe August. I think I’ve narrowed my birthday orders down to verdant, butiki, mandala….and maybe the tea spot. I think I can hold off on American tea room for now…

Terri HarpLady

Sounds good. I know I’ll be ordering from Mandala in July, as I’ve already drank up most of the samples I got & I HAVE TO HAVE that teapot. I’ll need more chocolate O from Teaspot, & probably some other things too.


I’ve never gotten this tea to do what I want it to. I read reviews of it and other people seem blown away and I’m totally underwhelmed by it. I hope you like the methode noir. It’s really sweet and smooth.


Ooh maybe tasty can be our 4th? ;)


I’d rather be the 4th than the 3rd!

(What are we talking about?)

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drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
2971 tasting notes


First off, I’d like to say that all of the black teas I’ve tried from Mandala have been awesome! Thank you Garret!

This one is very tasty, with a thick & resinous mouthfeel (like a good hashish…sorry, but it’s true. I remember that feeling, even though I’ve been clean & serene for over 29 years, LOL). I steeped the first cup for 3 min, 2nd cup for 4. Now I’m headed out the door, nicely alert & VERY present!


This makes me happy! And you are more than welcome, my friend! I am grateful to you.

Terri HarpLady

Yay! As soon as I can I’ll be ordering more of most of the ones I sampled, & that Teapot I want!


drats!! I cannot remember which teapot you had mentioned. Let me know. I think it was the very last one we have of it and I want to make sure to get it off the sales floor and off the website so no one else gets it!!!!

Terri HarpLady

Garret, you are the best!

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Both of the boys unanimously picked this as our breakfast tea, & it was perfect, with it’s essence of sweet potato, cinnamon, & vanilla layered over an Irish Breakfast base. Our tin of this is getting closer & closer to a sipdown. While we ate our frittata & raspberry muffins (gluten free, made with homegrown black raspberries), & sipped our tea, we discussed making our own Bilbo Brew. One of the things I told the boys is we don’t HAVE to use Adagio teas. I’d like the brew to be a little more stout, for example, so maybe a more potent Irish Breakfast/Assam might be in order.
Next topic: sweet potato…I’m actually thinking of baking a sweet potato to it’s fully caramelized glory, liquidating it in my blender, & then dehydrating & turning it into a powder, or at least slicing it into little slivers…
cinnamon chips: those are easily acquired
Vanilla: same

So…we may just order an oz each of irish breakfast, vanilla black (instead of green), sweet potato black, & then add some cinnamon chips, or we may try some crazy experiments. To be continued…


okay, now i’m hungry and considering bilbo brew, lol. how close are we to the middle of july?


That sounds like fun! I didn’t realize it was being discontinued when I drank my precious sample, but I re-steeped it and enjoyed every drop of it.

I hope your version works out as well. Is there any way to contact the original blender to see what proportions they used etc?

Terri HarpLady

I keep hoping they will re-release it, as we LOVE it.
Cara McGee is the person who came up with it, & I did send her an message on Adagio, but haven’t heard back. I think I’m just gonna do my own experimenting. If I come up with something worthy, I’ll let you all know & send samples. I’ll give it a different name too…

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Backtracking from earlier in the day.
I’m trying to drink a green tea every day, & today it was this one. It really is a nice Dragonwell. I haven’t tried the ‘1st picking’ version yet, & I’m trying to drink all of my dragonwells, so that when I finally taste that one I’m hoping to notice a difference.

Anyway, this one is really nice. It’s very tasty. It was hours ago, so that’s really all I have to say. :)

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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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