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2511 Tasting Notes

Breakfast Blend Protocol Day 3:

Although this tea was designed to be for the milk & sugar set, it’s pretty tasty as is. Bold, Malty, & very smooth, but not to be taken on an empty stomach (maybe that’s why people add milk & sugar?).

Robert Godden

That’s exactly as it should taste. Hearty enough to go with a substantial breakfast!

Terri HarpLady

works for me!

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Here’s my 2nd Keemun of the day, & based on previous experience with Keemun teas, this is actually more like what I expect a Keemun to taste like. It’s earth, leather, smoke, a little plum tartness., & a touch of brown sugar. It’s like the library of some pipe smoking english gentleman. There’s a little bit of a bite, & then a lingering satisfaction.

Thanks again to Teavivre for this sample, & this is my 2nd sipdown of the day, leaving me with 327 teas in my cupboard!


You’ll be at 300 in no time!


I am trying to decide which Keemun to order from them next and it is SO HARD!

  1. is the smokiest from what i tasted, and it gets less smokey as you move up in grades. that being said, i still think the organic is my favourite, followed by the least expensive (#2) haha
Terri HarpLady

Ashmanra, I recommend getting sample sizes of all of them!

Terri HarpLady

I still have a few more to try. I enjoyed all of them so far.

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So today is Day 2 of The Qimen Quandery. Whether you choose to spell it Qimen or Keemun, this tea is produced in the Qimen County of Huangshan City, in Anhui (Anhwei) province. According to Wikipedia, “it was first produced in 1875 by a failed civil servant, Yu Ganchen, after he traveled to Fujian province to learn the secrets of black tea production. Prior to that, only green tea was made in Anhui. The result exceeded his expectations, and the excellent Keemun tea quickly gained popularity in England, and has since been used as a prominent ingredient in some blends of English breakfast tea.”

So this is my 3rd tea of the Qimen Quandery, having sampled 2 others yesterday. Of course, the purpose of this is to sample all of my keemuns & determine which ones I love the most, & what I love the most about them.

I would say that compared to the other 2 (Organic Superfine Fragrant & Premium Hao Ya, both from Teavivre), this one is more tart & slightly smokier, although it is not a full on smokiness. There is a plum-like fruitiness to it, and a deeper earthiness as well. There is also more astringency here, although that may in part be due to my using too hot of water. The resteep was bland.

Thanks to Teavivre for this sample, which is a sipdown! (328)


Will be interested in seeing which you like the best :)


“There is also more astringency here, although that may in part be due to my using too hot of water.” Will you be tasting this Keemun again with the recommended water temp?

Terri HarpLady

Eventually! I only had a sample of it. Probably the next time I place a teavivre order I’ll sample it again.

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Day 2 of Ms. Theresa’s Breakfast Blend Protocol.
Purpose: to sample all of my breakfast blends, one per day, until I arrive at a clear favorite. Maybe a few favorites. They may all turn out to be favorites.
So this was the breakfast tea of the day, & I can say for a fact that this isn’t a tea I should drink a lot of before breakfast, as it’s just too bright & hard on my tummy. However, with breakfast, this is great! It is bold & malty, as it’s name implies, & there is a bright floral edge that I have mixed feelings about. The mid-section is a chewy rustic slice of sourdough rye bread. The resteep is a mere shadow of itself.

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I spent the later part of the afternoon & most of the evening sipping multiple short steepings of this Sheng, shared generously by Tea Explorer. Thanks!
The early steepings really did have an apricot scent, with a spiciness to it. The flavor built up in tartness in the early steeps, & then gradually mellowed.

I enjoy shengs, but I don’t always know what to say about them.

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My student that enjoys smokey teas came for his lesson this afternoon, & I made some of this one. It’s not really all that smokey, especially compared to teas like Lapsang, but it has a hint of smoke to it.

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Part 2 of Ms Theresa’s new protocol, which is to drink & compare Keemuns, since we have several in our collection. So after breakfast teas, Keemuns are sort of the black tea of the week. I’m not gonna try to drink them all in one day, I’ve decided the flavors get muddled in my tastebuds if I do it that way. I’ll just drink my way through them as my 2nd tea of the day for awhile.

This one is the current favorite, a lovely smooth tea with a subtle taste of chocolate & a hint of roses. Some Keemuns are more smoke & brown sugar, which I also love, but this one is not.

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Ms. Theresa has decided our next tea drinking protocol will be to linger over various tea varietals, to determine which ones are worthy to be in our cupboard. She described it as an Olympics of teas. We’re starting this today, with a couple of different pathways, the first one being “Breakfast Blends”.

The protocol here is that we’ll be drinking a different breakfast blend for awhile, as the first cup of the day. There is no rhyme or reason to the order of teas drank, or anything like that, we just want to try all of our breakfast blends, & there are several, enjoying each one for what it is, culling out any we don’t really care for (as if there will be any), & if any of them stand out as superlative, they will be elevated to some level of glory, although that may or may not really happen, LOL.

This one is interesting, in that it seems to be a little different every time I have it. Sometimes I adore it, & other times it is a little too bright. Today it’s been very satisfying: A bold bass, a grapey brightness, a little more astringent than I tend to like, but with an earthy midsection as it cools that I love. I don’t have much left, & I still really want to compare it to the newer version. I guess I need to do something about that.

Tea Sipper

Fun project!

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And here it is, Sipdown No. 100!
I’ve enjoyed Licorice teas for about 30 years, & I still do. Licorice root has blood sugar balancing qualities, & I love the sweet aftertaste.
And with that, little terri’s Sipdown Extravaganza! draws to a close, ending with 330 teas.


Woohoo! Congrats!
Too bad the dashboard is still frozen so barely anyone will see this. :(


Great job:-)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I noticed that the board was frozen. Thus is life…
Thanks! It’s been fun, but I’m glad to get back to drinking the teas I love the MOST! :)


(faint sound of a large cheering crowd in the background)

Howard Cosell: “Courage takes many forms. There is physical courage, there is moral courage. Then there is a still higher type of courage—the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead. Terri HarpLady demonstrated that very courage and I, for one, am in awe. This is Howard Cosell telling it like it is.”

Terri HarpLady

(blushing), why thank you, Howard.LOL

Tea Sipper

Nice job!

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Sipdown No. 99!!
I’m not a fan of Tulsi, although it isn’t bad, especially with ginger added.
This has been in my cupboard for awhile, & now its gone.

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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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