3046 Tasting Notes

Sipdown #4 from Azzrians Box of Wonders! Thanks girlie!

The first thing I noticed was a taste of cinnamon! That was followed by honey & peaches & a little graham crust! This is very nice, very smooth, & very flavorful. It reminds me a little bit of the oriental beauty, with a honeyed sweetness to it, but the underlying flavor has a robustness as well. I was really careful to brew this at 170, even putting my cup of hot water in the frig for a few minutes with a thermometer in it to get the temp right (unusually anal behavior for me, must have been Ms Theresa’s idea).

Next on my agenda: a rehearsal with a guitarist friend who is working on a composition Masters degree at a local university. He has a concert coming up next month of his original works, 3 of which include harp, so we’re gonna go over our parts together, & I’m gonna help him perfect the harp parts (which are a little lame…). The harp is a difficult instrument to write for. Most people don’t really understand how it works, & there are a lot of misconceptions about what the instrument can & can’t do. Luckily, I’ve played it for a long time, so I know!

He said he likes green tea, so I’ll fix him some.

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Sipdown #3 (of the day) from Azzrian’s box of goodies. Thanks Lady!
For some reason that I cannot fathom, I was avoiding this one. I honestly don’t know why. In the world of Oolongs, I tend to enjoy the roasted ones the most, & this is really quite nice! It has a boldness that I enjoy, & the flavor is a mix of roasted carrots, sweet potato, greenbeans, & acorns. It’s been a long time since I tasted acorns! I grew up in San Diego, & in 6th grade we went to camp palomar for a week. We did all kinds of things there, including making acorn cakes, which required us to collect acorns, find a good smooth rock, pound them into flour in the indentations on the rocks made by native americans pounding acorns over time, rinse the flour repeatedly to remove the tannins, make a batter & shape the acorns into patties, & fry them. They were terrible, LOL. I was the only one who liked them. The flavor was unique, although they were still rather bitter. I guess we didn’t rinse the flour enough!

This is an interesting tea, mildly sweet, unique, & I like the flavors.

Butiki Teas

Those acorn cakes sound pretty interesting.

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Continueing my sipdown of teas from Azzrian, this Bailin Gongfu is awesome! It’s a black tea drinker’s black tea! Aroma of chocolate, but the tea itself is more of a caramel & malt taste, & a little fruity. It’s also ridiculously smooth, & mean the whole cup just went down!
Thanks Azz!

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Azzrian & I were talking about a trade the other day. We did a tea swap back in the fall when I first joined steepster, & I enjoyed the lovely teas she shared with me, but I realized I still haven’t drank them all! I got caught up in all the amazing black, green, oolong, whites, & puers out there, & wasn’t drinking much in the way of flavored teas. My mood for flavors comes & goes, & I’m glad because I don’t want to be some kind of perfect purist, although I will maintain my right to be a tea snob & stick with high quality teas that aren’t loaded with artificial crap.

So…this tea is nice. I hadn’t read the info on it, & was expecting a breakfast blend, like the founding father’s version of english breakfast. It smells like graham crackers & cranberries & caramel. I brewed it kind of strong, cuz that’s the way I roll, & it’s delicious! The taste reminds me of a cranberry almond granola bar, held together by buttery caramel. I thought about adding some stevia…it is robust enough to do so, & I’m sure the sweetness would make the flavors pop, but I’m enjoying it so much as it is, that I finished the cup plain.
The flavors are nicely balanced, & it’s a Sipdown!
Thanks Azz!!

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I’ve reviewed this one before, but it’s been awhile since I drank from these leaves. This tea is a musty redwood forest in the evening, & drinking it feels like that Ent-draught somebody (sorry, can’t remember who) made reference to a few weeks ago. It really is an interesting brew. In spite of it’s woodsiness, it’s very clean feeling, energizing, & ‘fresh’ feeling. There is an underlying mintyness, but not so much in the taste as in the way it makes me feel refreshed.

This is one of the shu’s I’ve bought that gives me a strong Chaqi response, although the effect is not as uncomfortable to me as it originally was (when I felt like I was on the front edge of a ‘shroom trip). I can drink off these leaves for hours, & I’m grateful that I bought a whole brick of this while it was available.

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It’s been a long day. Suffice it to say that I slammed down a cup of Assam, left the house early & had breakfast with my 2nd daughter (the breakfast was awesome!), then spent hours at the courthouse on the first day of what is probably going to be a very ugly & expensive custody battle between her & the father of her son. Now I’m home, & I wanted something soothing, something special, this!

Dry, it’s interesting looking little blocks, with multishaded layers of sage, cream, white, black, & gray. The dry aroma is rich, & it took me a few sessions with this tea to identify the very familiar aroma: A very fresh goatmilk. A long time ago I raised goats, & when goats milk is good, it is really really good, but sadly, it is very susceptible to aromas, & also can spoil quickly, so it is best when it is very fresh.

The wet aroma was of malt & canned condensed milk!
I steeped 1/2 cube + 4oz gaiwan (rinse) X 6 sec, then 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 35

The color is a beautiful amber Honey.
The flavors: fresh cream, malt, hint of vanilla, & a gentle fruity sweetness. It is delicious! I usually go for teas that are more assertive, but the richness & creaminess of this tea makes it very satisfying!
I hope that David gets more of this someday. I’ll buy it!


I hope your court drama works out well! :( These things can be so stressful, it is wonderful that you are helping your daughter through it. Sending out good thoughts for the both of you!


This is so pretty like a jewel.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Alpha! It’s going to be an ongoing thing, probably lasting for months. He’s determined to make it as ugly, difficult, & expensive as possible. Today was just day 1…

Bonnie, you are so right! I love the way these little cubes look, & it’s such a soothing tea!

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Yes, I’m drinking Elder berry again.
It’s the best protection I know again viruses, & they’re all around me!!


Away you bad viruses!

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The first time I tried this, I followed the suggestions of 2 tsp & it was kind of meehhhh…

Tonight I was looking for something, anything to drink that didn’t have caffeine, but maybe a little flavor would be nice, right? I tried this again, using 1 T, steeped the full 10 minutes, added stevia & coconut milk creamer, & it was definitely an improvement, & somewhat satisfying.


Seems like it needs too much doctoring-up!

Terri HarpLady

well…I usually go for my teas straight up, but once in awhile a little doctoring is in order. I like my ‘real’ chai the same way

Lariel of Lórien

It’s good with the other rooibos.

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This was my tea for the afternoon. It’s a nice sheng, with flavors of almond & hints of apricot, but the thing that I notice the most about it is a lemony mouth feel, especially under the tongue!

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7G + 4oz (rinse) X 10sec
I know I keep saying this today about every tea I’ve drank so far, but this is just what I needed! We’re going through a little stress in my family right now, & I’m finded myself exhausted & in need of nurture. The best ways I can nurture myself (so that I have it within me to nurture my family) is by restings, eating well, doing my yoga, & keeping on track. This includes drinking teas that energize & inspire me (and also teas that help me to relax & unwind, but that’s for later).

I love Laoshan Black. It’s so good, with it’s honeyed chocolate maltedness & I enjoy trying different incarnations of it. This one is quite tasty & elegant, but I must admit, I prefer the ‘original’. Still, it makes for a wonderful Gaiwan full of goodness, & I’ll continue sipping from these leaves until they have nothing left to offer.


Every time you review one of these i’m reminded that i need to open my bags. I just don’t want to do it until i get some of my already opened bags sipdowned. bah!

Terri HarpLady

I keep reminding myself, tea is for drinking, not hoarding!
I don’t want to end up on that hoarders show!


lol i can’t drink it fast enough to not come across as a hoarder haha me other half keeps telling me i just need to open a tea shop. I told him maybe when i retire or when i have kids ;)

Terri HarpLady

I’ve actually thought about moving my teaching studio & office out of the house into a little hole in the wall where I could serve tea in the front during certain hours, & teach students in the back. It would probably make me a more effective business woman because I’d actually have to leave my house to work. The rest of my time there would be spent practicing, updating my website…you know, all the things I’m suppose to be doing when I’m hanging out at home in my pajamas, LOL.

Terri HarpLady

I drink several cups of tea everyday, & when I’m drinking by the mug I can go through several, but once I break out the Gaiwan I go through tea slowly too, since I can get so many cups of tea out of one session! I’m starting to really like my file box system for the TOMC, TOMCR, Shengs, & Shus. I just drink whatever is in the front, & then move it to the back.
Of course, if I’m craving something I can always pull it out of the lineup!

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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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