2855 Tasting Notes

Last week I got a new tin of Meditative Mind from the Tea Spot, & while there I ordered a few sample sizes of teas I’d like to try.

Shagadelic English Breakfast?? How could I turn that one down? Old hippy chick that I am, a name like that was not to be ignored!

This is my first tea of the day, I’m on my 2nd cup. I had one cup brewed 3 minutes, plain, & it is bold, full, nicely balanced. A slight undertone of orange peel taste (even though it’s just tea in here) gives it a mildly acidic taste, but not uncomfortably so. I could drink this regularly!

2nd cup brewed 4 minutes, add stevia & drink 1/2 of the cup, swirling the malty flavors as they blossom forth. Add coconut milk to the 2nd half of the cup, ah creamy goodness!

Good morning everyone!

MsWhatsit

I’ll bet Jerry would like this too.

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I’ve been spending the evening winding down, & organizing my (always expanding) tea collection. Anything of any quantity is going into a recycled tin (I have SO many!), & I’m making fun labels for them.

I also started a Tea Journal, to keep track of my purchases & trades. It’s been a nice quiet evening, & I’ve been sipping this soothing minty tea while I played with colored pencils & teas, journaled, talked to one of my daughters, & even blew some soap bubbles!

This tea starts with a lemony essence, that gradually gives way to lavender, then spearmint. The Valerian is there, but not cloying, like it can be. I love Valerian, because it has such tranquilizing qualities (what do you think they named valium after?). This tea kind of reminds me of one of my favorites from my Hippy Days. “Nuclear Casual Tea”, made back in the 70’s by Traditional Medicinals, was a blend of Spearmint, rose petals, chamomile, Hops, Rosemary, & Catnip. So the blend is not the same, & neither is the flavor (except the mintyness), but they have the same goal, which is to help us relax & unwind, & that’s exactly what I’ve been doing! Hasta Manana!

MsWhatsit

Everyone says Valerian is nasty and smells like old socks or something, but I’ve never minded it in a relaxing brew either.

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I got this sample in my Butiki order, thank you Stacy!!

Picture, if you will, a 4 year old with a little glass tea pitcher that looks just like a miniature of the pitcher on the old Koolaid commercials. The pitcher is filled with a golden liquid that smells like thanksgiving, or at least like her favorite thanksgiving food. She has a tiny 1 oz cup, white ceramic, images of bamboo & butterfly in blue with pink highlights. She also has a jar of thick coconut milk with a tsp in it. She dips a tsp of coconut milk, puts it in the little cup, adds an oz of tea (sweetened with stevia), swirls with the end of a chopstick, and slurp! Again & again, savoring every taste until it’s gone. That’s me, a little while ago; a little kid with her tea set.

I’ve never had creme brulee, but I love pumpkin pie!! This is such a tasty, OMG treat, that I had to stop everything & just be 4 again. This is nicely pumpkiny, the only thing missing is the whipped cream.
After I buy some I’ll brew it stronger, cuz it really lends itself to the coconut milk treatment, I’m picturing an awesome coconut milk & pumpkin Creme Brulee Latte…

Yogini Undefined

Cute imagery :)

Bonnie

Little Terri didn’t have a nap today did she! Ha Ha! I liked the picture of this…cute!

gmathis

I’ve posted this as a follow-up to pumpkin notes before, but if you really want to be 4, put marshmallow cream on top of your pumpkin pie instead of Cool Whip. Pooh. Now I’m hungry!

Terri HarpLady

I wish, gmathis! I’m allergic to milk, so I don’t get to have REAL shipped cream anyway, & really have to be careful around sugar, so it’s a rare treat. I will say this though, anyone who comes to St. Louis that is a chocolate lover MUST visit Kakao (www.kakao.com). The owner, Brian, makes handmade chocolates, with amazing combos, & although it’s a rare indulgence for me, it is heavenly. He also makes his own marshmallow cream, which he uses to make his version of moon pies: picture a couple of layers of thin cookie, a layer of caramel, a couple layers of marshmallow, and it’s all dipped in chocolate. I took a bite of one once, & thought I’d died & gone to heaven! One bite was all I could handle, but it was enough! I handed the rest off to my sons, who greedily accepted.

Bonnie

Terri, the link takes you to a cell thingy…

Terri HarpLady

huh? oh, you’re right! Here’s the proper one! http://www.kakaochocolate.com/
Enjoy, & try not to drool too much!! If you order anything, tell him Terri the Harp Player sent you!

Terri HarpLady

At the end of the last school year, the parents of my granddaughter’s class took the teacher to Kakao for a special evening ‘tasting’ event. Brian came to the table first, asking who had allergies. My daughter shares my milk allergy. Then he proceeded to bring out samples, & for everything that had dairy, she got the non-dairy equivalent. For the first sample, he brought out a tray of spoons, each filled with warm thick chocolate with the texture of butter. He brought them a variety of squares filled with various fillings, spoons of yummy things like caramel, little cups of hot chocolate to drink, & her favorite moment was when they each got a spoonful of marshmallow cream. Her words, “I could spend the rest of my life eating that stuff”.

Nik

[drool]

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I spent a couple hours running errands, including delivering Tony’s teas to him (he was SO happy!). Now I’m home again, and really dragging from having stayed up so late last night working on my website. Maybe a little more caffeine…just a little…

First I have to confess: I don’t really usually like watermelon flavored things, & I only like watermelon alone. I don’t even like eating it that much, but I will run it through my juicer during the peak of summer, or when I’m having kidney problems (which I no longer have since I changed my diet). I juice the rind & the insides separately, drink the rind first, then chase it with the pink juice (or other color, I usually grow my own watermelons, although this year was a fail…on many thing in the garden…

Confession part 2: I bought this because it was on sale, and because the name was just too good to pass up!

So: It is a beautiful blend! The silver needle a litely fuzzy green, the amaranth flowers bright pink (giving you the image of pieces of watermelon), & the smell is amazing! To me it smells more like a Honeydew, but whatever, it’s awesome!

Taste: unsweetened, it reminds me of that watermelon rind juice, not unpleasant, crisp & clean. Sweetened OMG, it’s like an ambrosia! Delicate, melony (definitely watermelon, a really tasty one). I might have to get some more of this elixer…the sale ends when??

Bonnie

Nice review again Terri. Let Little Terri have some.

Terri HarpLady

oh, she drank it all!

Butiki Teas

Never thought to juice the rinds. Hmmmm, interesting. Sale ends Oct 5th.

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71

I’ve had way to much caffeine today!

My trip to the London Tea Room today resulted in my purchasing the following teas:
2 oz of Blood Orange Puerh
2 oz of Jubilee (for Tony, it’s one of his favorites)
2 oz of Chocolate Mate Chai
1 oz of the 5th of November
1 oz of Serenity
1 oz of Plum Berry White – For Tony, because he loves Plum Oolong, & although they don’t offer that tea right now, I thought he might like this one in it’s place.

All teas, plus my lunch, are tax deductible, as this was a business luncheon with my clients! As President of the St. Louis Harp Society (a non-profit_, I also appointed them all as my official Board of directors, so we planned some upcoming event, etc. How about that for being a savvy business woman???

Plum Berry White is a bright red koolaid looking brew! I brewed it in my cute little Rishi glass pot (that came with a Finnum strainer, oh joy, you can never have too many of these!). It’s juicey & tart, & particularly nice with a little sweetness added. Yup, I think Tony’s gonna like it! No wonder he loves me so……I’m a good girl

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75

Honey, I’m home!!
The Ladies (5 of my adult harp students) & I just got back from our excursion to the London Tea Room. We had so much fun! In addition to lunch, we each ordered a pot of tea & passed them around, so that everyone got to sample everything. Here’s a list of the teas we tried, & a few of the comments (which I asked everyone to jot down in a small 3 X 5 spiral I carry around with me):
White Peony: “Smooth Flavor” “Pale with a hint of apricot” “I found it calming”
Bergamot Sage: “oooh…that’s different! Kind of minty & not overpowering on the bergamot” “The warmth of sage, the brightness of citrus – a good way to center oneself” “The best full flavor! Love the Sage!” “Love the herb smell as I am drinking it. Has a smooth feel”
Silver Needle: “Mild – good” “Nice & Mild – good for colds”
Blueberry Rooibos: Although I’m not a fan of blueberry, this has an authentic taste & with sweetener, YUM!" “Tart!” “Surprisingly appealing, subtle but lingering, great with a bit of sweetener” “liked the blueberry tartness. Tasted better after sugar was added”
Chocolate Mate Chai: “a hint of pepper, would like to try with milk” “Yum num num, like a chocolate malt” “Great, surprisingly good” “loved the chocolate flavor”
Blood Orange Pu’erh: “Deep Reddish brown. Smells of minerals, orange, & the ocean. Tastes of chocolate, orange, berry. Sweetened, Wow!” “Burst of flavor, yet still delicate” “My favorite! Strong citrus flavor”

Lunch was awesome, the service excellent, between the 6 of us we probably spent enough $$$ to support the place for a week (I spent $75 on food & tea & a cute little glass teapot with basket that I just had to have…).

Sorry I got so off-track! While I was writing this, I’ve been drinking the Fifth of November, which I’ve wanted to try for awhile. It’s like going camping in the woods! Smokey & rich from the gunpowder & Lapsang Souchong base, there is an undefined berry flavor (“Winter Berries” what does that mean? Cranberries? Probably not…), & just enough vanilla. It’s really quite good, & I’m reminded of a sweet fruity pipe tobacco. Robust plain, a little sweetening really brings out the vanilla & fruit. A tasty blend!

gmathis

Is this in STL area? We get there about once a year and I’d love to check it out!

Azzrian

Sure is – I have a place rating up on it here. Check it out its AWESOME!

Terri HarpLady

gmathis: it is downtown in the Washington St. Art Loft District. It’s one of many reasons that I LOVE living in St. Louis! Next time you’re coming to StL, maybe we can have tea!

gmathis

My downtown knowledge is limited to the Arch area, the cool sculpture park, and the Loop. I’ll Google to get my directional bearings.

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I’m drinking this tea & writing this review in response to Nik’s review of Coconut Pouchong. I love coconut!

The scent of the dry leaves is toasted coconut with a hint of vanilla & something sweet. While brewing, I smell that mildly floral oolong base, always so smooth.

While my tea is cooling down enough to sip, I’d like to say that this is my last cup at home this morning, as a group of my adult harp students & I are taking an excursion downtown to have lunch & tea at the London Tea Room, from whence this blend came.

Unsweetened, this tea has a wonderful floral & toasted coconut taste that is smooth & deep, without being overpowering. There is a ‘wetness’ to it that I don’t know how to describe.

A little stevia & I’m drinking a macaroon! I love macaroons, nomnom, they are so yummy, nomnom…

“Hey? Where’s my cup of tea?”
It’s gone!

Azzrian

This is one of my favorites from LTR!

Bonnie

Oooh I think you sent me some. I’ll have to try this!

Terri HarpLady

I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, washing all my little tea cups, various brewing devices, & sniffing the leftover leaves of today’s various brewings, when I came across one that smells so heavenly. What is this? It smells like butter, and carmel, and Orchid oolong. I added hot water, and I’ve been sipping it…It’s a beautiful golden yellow, the flavor is bright & shining. I drank most of it plain, still not sure what it was, some tasty, smooth oolong, then I added a drop of stevia, & the coconut jumped up & said, “Here I am!”

Bonnie

You need to be an animator not a harpist. Your tea has a little voice, you have another personality and your tea talks to you. Ha ha , hee hee, chuckle! (in my imagination your tea voice sounds like Hoops and Yoyo http://youtu.be/sdJZFhXg5SM ha ha ha ha ha!

Bonnie

BTW are you and I the only ones in the WORLD who got our shipment of the Dragonwell yesterday? How’d that happen?

Terri HarpLady

I noticed that, Bonnie! Nobody else has reviewed it yet! We must be special?

Bonnie

I hope that ’special is a good ’special and not the IRS kind of “you’re going to be audited” kind of ’special!

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85

It’s gonna take a couple of cups to get me going today…
I stayed up til 3:30am, wearing my “web designer” hat, & although it was frustrating & there was some drama & a few tears, I’m pleased to say that I’ve updated my website to include a Paypal shopping cart!! If you’d like to listen to samples from my 3 CDs, & perhaps support my tea drinking habit, pour yourself a cup & drop by for a visit @ www.harpsinger.net

I almost didn’t try this particular tea this morning. I have things to do, places to go, people to see. I was thinking of a deep assam, or Laoshan Black…something dark & easy…steep 3 minutes & enjoy. Yet here I sit with my Gaiwan, on steep # 6…make that steep # 7…ah, but I digress…

I actually followed the instructions this time (little Terri is still sleeping).
Steep #1: A mild roasty mushroom-like aroma…mmm, the taste is roasted barley & jasmine…interesting combo
Steep #2: A very Oolong feeling here, with chocolate undertones
Steep #3: Now I’m getting a beautiful depth of flavor that includes roasted veggies
Steep #4 Essence of Jasmine & chocolate, but the chocolate here is different from the chocolate of Laoshan Black or one of Verdant’s tasty Yunnans. It isn’t a dark powery baker’s chocolate, maybe it’s more like a chocolate liquor.
Steep #5: And now a buttery-ness rises, still underscored with chocolate, Jasmine, & the exotic smoothness of an Oolong.
Steep #6: There is a sensation that I can only describe as the surface of still water…
Steep #7: …or the surface of a perfect crystal…
Steep #8: The flavors in this tea linger, & now I taste that avocado that was mentioned.
Steep #9: I have to say, the color is still good, a nice amber. There is now an underscore in the flavor of ‘Stone’, that’s the only word I can think of.
Steep #10 OK, so I’m not going to take it all the way to steep #18, but it wouldn’t be unpleasant to do so, as far as the qualities of this tea go.(luckily these are all small steepings, or else I’d be water-logged, I mean tea-logged, by now)

Bonnie

Hooray, look at all you got done and a good deal of tea reviewing too. Nice job. (I think you and I process alike).

Indigobloom

you sing like an angel!! love your site
Wish I knew what crystal tastes like! lol

Indigobloom

(and play, I meant sing and play!)

Terri HarpLady

Bonnie, I think you’re right!
Indigo, Thanks! My site is a work in progress, always. I’m a reluctant web-designer and I always do things the wrong way at least 3 times before I get it figured out! Tony laughed when he saw the CD sales pages, with all the arrows pointing every way, but then he said, “Baby, it’s you”.

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Thank you Stacy for the sample of this yummy tea!

First off, this tea looks like a valentine! Pretty raspberries on a bed of black tea, with the cutest mini-chocolate-chips ever! I wanted to eat them, but I only got a sample, so I made little Terri (my inner child) behave & wait.

We (me & little Terri) brewed this one as directed, inhaling the waftings of chocolate & raspberry. She kept saying, “is it ready yet?” while we were blowing & blowing so we wouldn’t burn our tongue…then sipping. The tea base is strong enough to support all the players, but not so strong as to overpower them. All of the flavors are so nicely balanced, & my addition of stevia (just a pinch) really made the whole cup sing!

This is a tea that I want to swirl around in my mouth, like a somalier, & in doing so it made my mouth water, it was juicy! The underside of my tongue tingled from the raspberry, the chocolate rolled over the top, so that my tongue became a Truffle! Yum!

Bonnie

I like little Terri. She can have some more!

Terri HarpLady

“Thanks Miss Bonnie, I love you!”, little Terri said.

Bonnie

It’s almost your bedtime little Terri.

Terri HarpLady

Grown up Terri responded,“She’s begging me steep a cup of the Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black! I told her it was too late in the day for that much caffeine. Help?”

Bonnie

You better have a little bit or she’s gonna throw a fit!

Terri HarpLady

We did! I have to stay up late anyway, doing something on my computer (Azz knows what I’m talking about…), so I figured, what the heck! Might as well indulge! :D

Butiki Teas

Hahaha, “Little Terri”. That’s awesome!

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I’ve had a busy day of students coming & going since 10:00am, & one of the pleasures of working from home is I get to brew tea while my students are warming up, & sip it throughout their lessons.

I had 2 wonderful packages arrive today, one from Verdant & the other from Butiki, so I couldn’t wait to try some of them out! Coconut Cream Pie has been on sale, & although I don’t usually buy a lot of flavored teas, & I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, I need some herbal teas around here to drink later in the day so that I don’t keep adding to my caffeine buzz into the evening. It sounded interesting…

Just for the record, with my allergies to milk & wheat products, I haven’t had a coconut cream pie since I was a kid, but I LOVE coconut, so why not?
Dry I smell rooibos, maybe a little of a crust smell, & a creamy lime undertone…not what I expected.
Brewed, it’s another thing all together. I went upstairs for a minute, & when I came back down the entire house smelled like…you guessed it…coconut cream pie! WOW!
Plain, it’s ok. Add some stevia & now we’re talking! I also added some coconut milk, & this is dessert in a cup, people, dessert in a cup!

My student was ranting about the smell, so I poured a little into a cup for her, & we both sat there, smelling & savoring. This is a tasty treat, & the rooibos wasn’t too prominent. Thank you for this lovely blend, Stacy!

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Bio

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!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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