2971 Tasting Notes

drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
2971 tasting notes

This is a stout Malty brew!

Terri HarpLady

AND it resteeps beautifully!

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I made a pot of this, & it’s gone already!
Its a decent little tea, slightly malty, nothing to write home about, but acceptable. It’s more of an English Breakfast really, not particularly bold, stout, or any of the qualities I associate with the Irish version, but all in all, it went fine with my breakfast.

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After all the ‘grown up’ tea, I really wanted to end the day with something a little dessert like. This one hits the spot, & what I love about it is that its a treat, but also a nice bold cup.

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From the May Reserve TOMC.

This is a nice smooth & sweet sheng, with a mouthfeel similar to what you get after eating citrus, most notably a tangerine peel sensation. There is also a creamy aftertaste/feel. The flavor is mild, green, a little sweet, & a slight bitterness of cloves. I’ve been enjoying it for awhile, & will continue steeping a little longer. I have had better shengs, but this one is nice too.

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This is one of the selections from Verdants Reserve TOMC for May. I’m just finally getting around to sampling these!

I have not been a huge fan of white teas. Generally speaking, I find them kind of boring. This, however, is a lovely tea that I’ve been enjoying for the last hour or so, while returning phone calls & doing (much needed) office work. I’m pleased to announce that my office has finally reached a point where I was able to set up a tea station. There is still much to be done, including deciding which tea-wares & teas will reside up here on the 2nd floor, but I did post a first photo on FB, for those who would like to see it.

Now for this tea. The aroma is very gentle & of hay, clovers & cream, an odd combination, to be sure, but there it is.
This is the most flavorful white tea I’ve ever had, with a unique floral taste, fresh cream, marshmallow cream, pastry, & hint of clove. The color of the brew is a pale apricot. Later steepings have a spicy, crisp, & sweet character.
The tea itself is also beautiful, with very clearly defined leaf/bud formations, clipped with just enough stem to hold them together. It’s also a nice sturdy white tea, in the way that Golden Fleece is a nice sturdy Dian Hong. The leaves are thick & well formed, not fragile & dried out looking like so many tea leaves tend to be.

I followed the recommended steeping parameters, using my test tube steeper, which I love especially for green & white teas.


Love my steeper too.

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drank Golden Yunnan by thepuriTea
2971 tasting notes

The main thing I know about tea is how much I enjoy drinking it in it’s many forms. That’s not to say that I haven’t learned a few things, but the majority of my interest in tea is in enjoying it’s wonderful flavors, aromas, textures, even the novelty of it’s appearance.

I ordered some samples from thepuritea.com recently, & this is one of them. When I think “Golden Yunnan”, my mind say Dian Hong. I’m expecting something along the lines of Golden Fleece, which is the most wonderful & decadent Dian Hong I’ve ever had (& probably ever will).
Of course, my mind tends to be overly optomistic, LOL.

In actuality, this tea is a mix of gold, olive, black, 7 various shades in between. It doesn’t really look like the picture on the website, but that is not to say that it wasn’t nice to drink. The sample size is a little pillow box with 2 foil envelopes in it, each holding roughly 3 Tablespoons worth (about 12 grams) of tea. I treated this like I treat most yunnans: Use more tea for less time.
1 T + 8oz X 1 min (resteep @ 2 min, then 3, then 4)

It is a pleasant, malty, honey tinged, lightly buttered cup. The 2nd steep was even more so. 3rd began to fade, 4th = oh well….

Next time (if I remember) I will probably do 2 steepings of 2 & 3 minutes. All in all, it was a pleasant start to my tea drinking day!

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About a week ago I was weeding my blackberry bramble, & as I breathed in the aroma of the mulch under the berry canes, it reminded me of Shu: rich, earthy, musty, damp, wonderful. I have 3 Oak trees in my yard, & every year I pile all the leaves in a very large bin, where they are allowed to break down for 18 monthes. I have 2 such bins, for alternating years, & the resulting leaf mulch gets piled under berry bushes, mixed into garden soil, etc, along with compost from my compost piles.

I haven’t been drinking a lot of puerh lately. I have plenty (believe me…), & I love both Shu & Sheng. I guess I’ve just been busy. Also, I’ve been sampling a lot of teas, & because I like to do long gongfu sessions with Puerhs (and oolongs), I end up just drinking one tea all afternoon, instead of several samples. Also, I’ve been running around on errands &/or gardening a lot lately too, so not a lot of time to sit around pouring gongfu steepings.

So today is the day! Tony & I have been in pajama mode all afternoon, & I’ve been enjoying this generous sample sent to me from Angel @ TeaVivre. Thanks Angel :D

I have a gaiwan at Tony’s, but no scale, so I don’t really know how much tea I put in there, basically the whole sample. It was a beautiful sample: nice dark fragrant chunks of teacake, beautiful brown with golden highlights. I gave it a quick rinse, then started steeping.
1st round, all combined in a cup: 10 sec, 15, 20, 25
2nd round: 30, 40, 50, 60
3rd round: transferred all the leaf to a steeping basket & steeped in the cup for 3 minutes.
I may do another couple of rounds at 4 & 5 minutes.

The resulting brew was a beautiful dark chocolate brown, rich with an earthy grounding flavor, smooth & sweet, with a pleasant qi feeling, & a delightful tongue tingling sensation. A perfect way to spend the afternoon.

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I used to drink a lot of breakfast blends, & I still enjoy them. As much as I like straight varietals, with each of their special qualities, I also enjoy a blend that brings together the strengths of each tea. This blend combines the bold bassy strength & slightly bitter oakey edge of Khongea’s golden tippy, the malty fruitiness & more ‘middle’ flavor of Hattialli Golden Lion, & a little high end of Organic Ceylon. It is a nicely balanced blend, strong, bold, & smooth.
Thanks for the sample stacy, I’ll look forward to ordering some more sometime in the future, as a single sample is never enough!

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drank Assam #1 by thepuriTea
2971 tasting notes

First cup of the day, but I feel that I under-leafed this one, so I’m not gonna say much about it yet. Also, I haven’t drank my nettles for a few days & the downside of yesterday’s beautiful outdoor wedding is the allergy backlash that is muting my taste buds this morning. Nonetheless, I do feel a promising fullness & hints of a tea that is nicely bassy, if you know what I mean.
More will be revealed!

Additional Notes
We went to breakfast & I brought the rest of this sample along. I estimate it at 2 tsp, & it made for a nice cup. Nothing spectacular, but enjoyable. I’d like to say more about it, but that was hours ago, so that’s it for now.

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I actually started the day with a few steepings of Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam, which I love, & then I had a cup of this Fo Shou, which I also love. Then I drove to Godfrey, IL to play an outdoor wedding. It was a beautiful day for it, although there were some delays on my way over there, due to flooding in West Alton. The wedding was lovely, with the exception of the fact that it started an hour late.
Anyway, hours later, I’m back at Tony’s, finally enjoying the re-steeps of this tasty tea. There’s no place like home!


glad your day was so satisfying!


It should be really nice to have a job permitting you to share joy with people, I am jealous :)

Terri HarpLady

I was set up in a lovely gazebo, right next to a some beautiful & fragrant rose bush, so while I played that extra hour, I was rewarded with the heavenly fragrance of roses!


that sounds awesome!


now I am even more jealous ! :)

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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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