3091 Tasting Notes

ahhhh…nothing like a cup of deliciousness & the time to enjoy it.
I made one of my awesome breakfasts, & drank a couple of steeps of this one, with it’s rich malty & sweet taste, nice thick & kind of shiny mouth, hint of florals & tantalizing bitter edge. I’m sure it would be even better gongfu, but we do what we can.

The 2 yixings I ordered came this week. I started seasoning one of them for smokey zheng shan xiao zhong types, & my plans for the other one was for either yunnan or fujian, but I’m having a hard time making up my mind which.
Now I’m having 2nd thoughts about the smokey tea, & thinking I might reboil that one & start over…or maybe I’ll order another tiny teapot…LOL

Heading out to my youngest Grandchild’s birthday party (he’s 8 now), but I plan to spend the rest of the weekend in my PJs, sipping teas & getting caught up on all my favorite steepster friend’s reviews (there are so many of you!)


Happy Birthday to Grandson! Have fun!


Oh Terri – did the brocade one come??


i want to do that! stupid work. I miss steepster peeps and being able to relax so much :(


Here’s to leisurely Saturdays with children. (My mom used to say, “Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” She was a pretty smart cookie.)


Always enjoy reading your reviews. You have so many interesting teas.


just use it for both Yunnan and Fuijan. not a super huge diff in flavor.

Terri HarpLady

apt…I was also sort of thinking that :)
Priss – yes! it came yesterday, & it’s beautiful, AND they included 2 yixing cups as well!


Oh Squeal!!!!! I’m all jealous and stuff. Have you decided which tea it’s gonna be for? I feel like I have this unnatural interest in your teapot. I’m like yixing voyeur girl.


(oh crap I hope I spelled voyeur right, because I already for voilà wrong)


got. not for. sigh

Terri HarpLady

LOL, why are you jealous? Didn’t you just get a new yixing too recently? :)
Anyway, I haven’t christened it yet, but I’m thinking lovely golden Dian hong types


I got, ahem maybe a couple of them, but my really pretty one with the leaves carved into it hasn’t gotten here yet. I REALLY the love the shape and everything about that brocade one. So beautiful. And Dian Hong would be PERFECT for it

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Breath…yes, that’s what I need to do, just breath & relax, & drink this tea…
Cream of wheat, honey drizzle…oh, the aroma… oh the tongue tingle…thank you…sigh…

I think some of you know me well enough to appreciate the sudden shift in my life from lounging in my home, playing with tea & tea ware, cooking, gardening, knitting (the new hobby), playing instruments, yoga, Tai chi, students coming & going, on & off Steepster sessions all day. It’s been pure bliss, to be honest. I could continue this way forever…

Suddenly I’m out the door at 6:00am mon, weds, & fri (ok, really, that’s my goal, but to be honest I still haven’t left the house earlier than 6:30, barely arriving on time), arriving home just in time to teach private students from 3 – 7pm. Tues & Thursday are still work from home days, with students (& lots of tea) from 10 – 7.

It’s a somewhat rough transition for a night owl like me, but I think I needed to challenge myself a little, to be honest, maybe I was getting a little too relaxed, & the extra income will be enjoyable. Having to make lesson plans, prep food the night before, & figuring out how to fit in maintenance activities & practice time will push me to new heights of organizing & time management skills (dream on…but it could happen)

My friends at the school are all excited to have me back, especially when I showed up with a huge basket of homegrown heirloom tomatoes yesterday ;)

Home grown tomatoes! :)


Congrats on going from “pure bliss” to challenging yourself – such discipline!


I didn’t get to have a garden this year and it’s making me sad. I’m living vicariously through yours. I am looking forward to this time next year when I get to slow down – we are going in opposite directions. And you have inspired me to have a cup of this tea. I love this one.

Terri HarpLady

I wonder what would happen if I packed some tomatoes into a box & mailed them…


They would be cooked before they got across Texas but its a BEAUTIFUL idea. Our drought will end some day and I will get to have my garden again. Or I will move.

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I’ve been enjoying steepings of this one for the last couple of hours. I warmed the leaf in my hot mixing, & upon opening the lid, I was greeted with a sweet apricot-like aroma! Apricot & green-ness, smelled awesome to me!

This is very nice mellow sheng, sweet & kind of fruity, & rich in a way that I can’t quite describe.

Other teas I’ve drank today:
Tiger Assam – A & D
Yi Mei Ren – YS
Imperial Grade Jin Jun Mei from Tong Mu Guan Village – YS
Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong – Verdant

I feel tea starved, like I haven’t gotten enough, but I’m headed out to a gig, so that’s all I get for now!


Love apricot-y sheng. Hope you had a good gig tonight.

Terri HarpLady

I did!
Also I just noticed that my damn spell checker changed Yixing to mixing…lol, I really need to shut off the spell checker.

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I should be in bed asleep by now, since I have to get up at 5am, but I just finished making my breakfast & lunch for tomorrow & cleaning up the kitchen, & I wanted to share a few comments regarding this tea.

My beautiful little black yixing arrived from Camelia Sinensis, along with 2 cups I ordered, & they are all adorable. I had a little free time, so I started the seasoning process, using Verdant’s Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong smoked wuyi black.

Also included in the package was a free & generous sample tin of this tea (or at least I think it is this one). I opened the tin, & the fragrance is sweet, floral, fruity, & almond-like.
It steeped into a golden liquor, both floral & fruity, with flavors of Honeysuckle, Vanilla, almond milk, & lychee.
A very lovely afternoon session.

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Stopping by briefly to say I miss you guys!
I’ve been so busy this week, I can’t think, so here is a list of some of the teas I’ve been drinking:
Jinggu Golden Strand Pure Bud – YS
Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea – Teavivre
Master Han’s Wild picked Yunnan Black – Verdant
Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black – Teavivre
Zhu Rong – Verdant
Shiva’s Breakfast – Butiki
Premium Taiwanese Assam – Butiki
Imperial Moijiang Golden Bud Yunnan Black – YS
Bolder Breakfast – the Tea Spot
Yunnan Purple Beauty Black tea – YS
And probably some other ones, but that’s the teas I remember.

I’ve written actual reviews on all of these before, so that’s all I got!


i miss tea…


I like this post format! I might steal this idea for when I’m too busy, too. :)


Miss you too :)


Oh, the woes of the working world…not enough time for anything but Steepster fly-bys!

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I’m roasting San Marzano tomatoes & it’s 11pm.
I got up at 5am, & as soon as the tomatoes have come out of the oven & had a chance to cool down a little, I’ll put them in the frozen & go to bed.
Today was the first day of me actually having a day job (outside of 30 private students & various gigs), & really, it was kind of fun. It’s good to see all of the people I used to work with, & the kids in my class seem like nice ones. I started the day with a pot of Devotea’s 1910, then filled 2 – 20oz klean Kanteen thermal thingies (which keep your tea hot for 6 hours!!), filled one with Zhu Rong, which I enjoyed all morning, & the other with Verdant’s Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, which I enjoyed all afternoon.
Then I came home just in time to teach private students for a couple more hours, & drank several steepings of this Shu, which Garret generously shared tuocha samples of.
I don’t have a lot to say. The rinse water smelled fishy, but the actual tea did not! It was creamy & chocolatey, & downright tasty. It also gave me a nice lift, as I was really dragging when I first got home.


I need to try Temple Stairs some day :)



Hi! These mini’s are super young (the pressing just happened in March) and the blend itself is quite young, too (fermented in 2013). I’m glad you got to try them. That rinse mushroomy, briny, sea water smell will dissipate quickly in the coming months. It’s pretty tell-tale that it only has that aroma in the rinse.

Had you tried the loose leaf version of this same blend? It is (for now) aging better than the pressed versions, but will be eating the dust of the cakes and minis within a year or two as far as complexity and flavor development. I’m excited about this tea.

I hope others are too, or I’ll be drinking it for this lifetime and the one after that, too :)

Wishing you great joy,

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drank Tazo Chai by Tazo
3091 tasting notes

Tony still has some Tazo Chai in his cupboard, so I might as well enjoy a cup. It’s pleasantly spicy, good with a tad of sweetener, & fine without any kind of milk added.
Also drank today: a cup each of Elderberry & Nettles.

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I took up knitting about a month ago, & last night I finished making my first pair of socks!!

This is a lovely tea, especially lightly sweetened. It’s bold enough to be satisfying, with a touch of vanilla, chocolate, & orange. I drank it while Tony & I were watching Winter’s Tale.


Congrats on finishing your first knitting project!

Terri HarpLady

This is actually project #3. First it was washrags & dishrags,& I’m still making those too, then I started working on squares for an eventual afghan, using a variety of patterns, kind of a sampler. I’ll be working on that for awhile.
Then I got to make my first pair of socks!
It feels very gratifying :)


Cozy knitted socks! That’s great!


Socks after only a month of knitting? So impressive!! They look great :)


Awwww, terri your feet are so cute!!

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I love single varietal teas so much, but I also enjoy a good blend, particularly a good breakfast blend. This one is unusual in that most breakfast blends tend towards 2 or more black teas that have various features which, when combined, create a balanced cup.
This one includes white, oolong, & shu puerh in the mix, along with 2 black teas that I love. The results is a complex & complementary cup of awesomeness: chocolate, malt, sweetness, a little tangy, with a thick satisfying mouth.

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I’m enjoying this one in bed, first cup of the day. Nothing fancy, but a good yunnan black, & I’m a sucker for novel shapes, as long as the tea tastes good.
It feels good to just relax a bit, as I’ve been on the go all week, & starting Monday life as I have known it for the last several years (we’re talking laid back pajama wearing tea drinking gardening cooking eating harp playing & teaching bliss) will suddenly change.
I’ve done it before…I can do this…a little extra $$$ will be nice!
The hardest part will be leaving the house at 6:00am.
I’ll need tea
Lots of tea!

Cameron B.

One of my favorite things about snail teas is that they’re so easy to measure!

I wish you luck with getting up early, that’s always hard for me. >.


LOTS of tea! I might need a bit of snaily myself right now

carol who

What the heck is snail tea?

Terri HarpLady

Carol, Bi Luo Chun translates to something like spring snail, describing the rolled up shape of the leaf. Here’s the link to the one I drank this morning:

Here’s the link to the one I like even more, so beautiful & delicious:


I feel yet another YS order coming on. Terri did you get the brocade-looking yixing?

Terri HarpLady

It hasn’t arrived yet…


sigh. It’s soooooooo pretty

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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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