2969 Tasting Notes

First tea of the day, it was a pleasant cup & now it’s gone.

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I’m backtracking to Friday evening.
My birthday was almost a month ago, & Tony & I take each other out for dinner for our birthdays. His was in Dec (sag) & he chose Nobu’s, which is obviously a Japanese restaurant. Tony doesn’t really like sushi, but he’ll eat spider roll & calif roll. I DO like some sushi, & we both like tempura, miso soup, & of course, Matcha!

So for my Bday dinner (almost a month late, we’ve both been really busy!), we had a gift certificate from his 2 kids for $50 off at The Sidney Street Cafe, which is considered one of the top restaurants in St Louis. http://www.sidneystreetcafe.com
It’s not the kind of place we usually eat, but they use a lot of locally raised products & the pictures are awesome! Once I explained my food allergies/sensitivies (dairy, gluten, preservatives, etc) to the waiter we settled on filet béarnaise, except I got roasted root veggies instead of mashed potatoes (which contained cream). There was butter in the sauce, but I can get away with that once in awhile. Tony had the Steak Wasabi.

What irritates me about places like this is you pay high dollar for the food, you’re picturing a surf & turf plate, & then reality strikes: a large plate, with a steak that is 2" wide in each direction & 2" tall. It was split across the center & there was a thin layer of lobster sandwiched in there. There was 1/2 cup or so of roasted brussells & a tureen with about the same amount of roasted root veggies. The sauce was drizzled artfully. It was a beautiful plate, but I think my exact words to Tony were, “I’m gonna be hungrier when we leave than I was when I got here.” We both laughed :)

Needless to say, it was awesome! Every bite was pure heaven. That steak may have been small, but it was the tenderest, most perfectly cooked, most flavorful steak ever (well…I can think of 3 exceptions to that, actually). In spite of the fact that I would have liked to have doubled the amount on my plate, the food was wonderful!
When it came to dessert, the only dairy & gluten free offerings were sorbets. I had a choice of peach, or a scoop each of passion fruit & coconut. I had all 3 (little Terri insisted). They were wonderful, not too sweet, & contrasted with one another beautifully. I don’t eat sweets often, but it was a worthy exception. Tony had “snicker bar”.
With dessert we had tea: Numi Aged Earl Grey, which went nicely with the sorbets. The tea base is an Assam & the bergamot is there, but not too potent. A perfect ending to the meal.


sounds like a wonderful evening!

Terri HarpLady

It was wonderful! Tony is the most wonderful man in the world!

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Another sample from Three Whales, Thanks!

This is ok, but not really that exciting for me, considering that I do really like vanilla.
However it was very drinkable. I think it would be even better with some caramel added…


It’s a great blending tea.

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Thanks to three whales for this sample, part of our book club trade.
Tony & I are watching a movie, “This means War”.
And of course, I’m sipping teas. I’m having a sampler saturday.
This isn’t bad. The flavorings aren’t in your face, but the base isn’t particularly bold either. I only steeped for 3 minutes, & there’s enough for a 2nd cup, so when I drink that one I’ll probably go for 4 minutes, just to see how it steeps out.

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Here’s another tea from the book club trade with Alpha Kitty!

I immediately liked the looks of this tea! It’s dark, rolled up, & visually appealing to me, with a dry smell of sweet apple pipe tobacco with a hint of chocolate! MmmmmMMMMmm!
There were no instructions, so I went with 3 minutes.
The wet leaf does not smell quite so appealing to me. It still smells fruity, but there is a bitterness to the aroma.
The cup of tea smells fruity, malty, & bitter.
Flavorwise, it’s ok. Malty, for sure, roasty, a little bit of a buttery taste, & the aftertaste de apple-like. I drank it straight.
Not bad, but not on my list to purchase. Nice to sample though.


I admit that I picked this one more on the name than on the taste—I mean, it’s one of the characters’ nicknames, how could I resist including it? Sorry if it didn’t quite hit the spot, I find it’s kind of finnicky with water temperature.

Terri HarpLady

When I first saw the names, I was thinking of Black Pearl, like the big pearls of yummy black tea that you can get at teavana, mandala, teavivre, etc. Part of me was expecting something like that in the taste. Anyway, I didn’t dislike it, just probably not something I’ll buy. But, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed sampling it & I am grateful for the trade! What are your suggestions on brewing? I have enough for another cup :D


I think this one is best in a gaiwan, it tends to be better the shorter the steep. Western, I go with 190 for 2 minutes!

Terri HarpLady

how long in gaiwan, 4 -6 secs per steep?


I usually do slightly longer steeps (10sec) but whatever you normally do would probably be best for your palate!

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Thanks to Alpha Kitty for this sample, which came as part of our Steepster book club trade.

Tony & I just got back from brunch, & this is a nice afternoon tea: black tea with flavors of strawberry, lemon, & some florals. What’s not to like? Although I tend to drink most of my teas unflavored, I also like variety. This is sort of a hot strawberry lemonade, & would probably be really tasty over ice in the summertime. As I usually do with flavored teas, I added some stevia. There is enough left in the sample for another cup, which I’ll have at home another day, with the addition of french vanilla coconut creamer. I think that will be the icing on the cake!


Glad you liked this one! I thought sweet and a little tart was perfect for Cora.

Terri HarpLady

Definitely! Sweet & tart! A great selection!

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I started my morning with a cup of this, since I’m at Tony’s & it’s here.
It’s ok, but there are many other teas I’d rather be drinking. Still, I will drink it until it’s gone, then I’ll recycle the tin (which is the best part of this tea) into storing something better! :)

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Yesterday evening I drank some of Verdant’s Handpicked Spring Teaguanyin. Today I’m drinking the Summer version, which has much more of a green bean type veggy taste, & a richer floral essence, with a creamy flavor of raw almonds that have been soaked overnight & turned into almond milk. It has a bright yellow flavor to me, with images of sunny flowers. I walked through my snow & ice covered garden for a few minutes today, thinking about what I want to grow this year. This was a nice tea to come in & enjoy, an early taste of summer.


What a lovely picture.


What a lovely and evocative review!

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AlphaKitty is one of my tea swap buddies from the steepster book club, & so Thank you, Alpha! I’ve had Tower of London one other time, & it is a sweet & juicy fruity treat with a nice black tea base! One of these days I’ll probably place an H & S order, & this one will be on it!

I’m making a 2nd cup & heading for the bubble bath!

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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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