2859 Tasting Notes

I got a sample tin of this from the Tea Spot because I like the pretty picture of teeny tiny little yellow flowers mixed with green tea! It’s not a tea that will make my top ten list, just something to slip in between all the dark teas, to cleanse the palate!

Dry it smells lightly of carmel & vanilla.
Wet, add a hint of lemon peel.

The taste is pretty mellow, mildly tinged with vanilla & carmel & a slight toasty flavor. I play at a lot of weddings & receptions, but I’ve never actually eaten wedding cake, so who knows?

I added a pinch of stevia. I’ve been doing that more & more lately, these flavored teas require it to really bring out their best. So now I’m drinking a twinky! I haven’t one of those in about 45 years, & you- know-who likes it!

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First, thank you Bonnie, for this tea!

I’ve had 3 lattes today, & my son Drew & I split a small chocolate from Kakao. It was the size of a quarter & had cacao nibs & matcha in & on it. It was just a small piece of very dark chocolate, which I allowed to melt in my mouth until it was just the nibs. Now I need something grounding & this puerh sounded like it might be just right.

I am a gardener. In my backyard you will found 6 compost piles. Two of them are strictly for leaves (I have 3 pin oaks & various smaller trees). It takes 18 months to break down oak leaves, so the leaves I rake into a retaining area this fall won’t be used until the spring of 2014. They are an awesome addition to the clay-like soil we have here. The other 4 piles are for yard & kitchen waste. Everything starts in the first pile, gradually getting turned to the next pile in the row, hopefully by the time it gets to the last enclosure the compost is ready, thanks to the actions of various factors that cook the contents.

I mention this because Shu Puerh is basically compost, made from tea.
This does not bother me, as I also make sauerkraut & other cultured products at home, which are also ‘cooked’, or predigested by various bacteria, etc. I’m fairly new to puerh, but I understand the science!

So, dry there was an oceanic smell, wet the leaves smell like sea veggies. The tea itself was deeply grounding, mineral tasting, with a color that I can only describe as blood orange.
I steeped per Ms. Bonnie’s instructions, & although I enjoyed each steeping, I’ll say that the latter ones were my favorite, as the flavor got more mineral, more grounding. Just what I needed. Nothing frilly, no sweetener, just an earthy cup & me.


I know, comfort puerh. Good for the tummy. Try one with a little sweetening and you’ll be surprised at the caramel (if the puerh is a bit on the salty side) I use real milk for latte’s sometimes but try your kind of milk (just not rice…blech…).

Terri HarpLady

LOL, I agree, rice milk…yuck! What were they thinking?
I use either coconut milk or almond milk.
I drank it plain this time, because I’d had some sugar & felt the need for an earthy taste, & also because I’m out of Stevia! In fact, right now I’m trying to motivate myself to go to the grocery store…I’ve been avoiding it all week…might as well get it over with (now that I’m out of Stevia! With Stevia I can almost live on tea)

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I just got home from an outing with my daughter Ari & my grandson Kyzer. We met at Foundation Grounds, where they had lunch & I had a Chai Almond milk Latte (this is the day for lattes I guess), & it was tasty! Next we walked down the street to Kakao, & I bought them each a treat. There were also free samples (“The Big squeal” bacon brittle).

Coming home, I discovered that my Red Leaf order had arrived. All I ordered was the Carmel Matcha with the canister (& it is a really nice, cute canister!).

I heated some almond milk, I heated some water. I opened the package of matcha…not sure if I like the smell…reminds me of…something…I can’t quite pinpoint it…

I whisked 1 t of the matcha in my little blue bowl, it did froth up nicely! Then I whisked in the hot almond milk & I poured it into 2 cups, one for me & one for my son Drew. Tasted kind of buttery, & has a buttery feel. Ahhh…the smell I noticed is like theater popcorn butter! Anyway, Drew drank his straight, I opted for a little stevia, which was an improvement, but it’s probably not my thing.

Send me suggestions, people, as to what I’m really suppose to do with this. I have frozen bananas, almond milk…maybe I’ll try it straight next time & see if I like that better.

Red Leaf Tea

I’m sure others will give you some advice as well, but the way I like it most is 3/4 glass of regular milk, 2 teaspoons of sugar, a few ice cubes and a flat teaspoon of caramel matcha – all mixed in my blender. I love it and my 2 year old as well :-)
Hope that help.
PS. Note that we only use natural flavoring, which seem to work better in colder temperatures.

Terri HarpLady

So I don’t need to brew the matcha as a tea first, just dump the powder in the blender?

Terri HarpLady

I took your advice, red leaf! Much better, thanks!


Sounds good! Maybe I should get some too.

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I sampled this tea yesterday at the London Tea Room (LTR), & it was quite tasty, especially with a little stevia (yes, I carry stevia around with me everywhere I go, & teabags, but you knew that…). The name makes you think it’s just mate & chocolate, but there’s also some puerh in there, adding depth, along with some vanilla & a little coconut. It was good, & it had promise, so I bought some.

Every morning the countertops in my kitchen are clean when I wake up. By evening they are littered with a selection of cups, saucers, miniature bowls, spoons, various brewing implements, etc. Every tea must have it’s own way of being brewed & served (to myself, mostly), & this one is no different. I want a Latte, so I’m using my tall ceramic cup that has its slide on heat absorbing band.

So I brewed 1 Tbl of tea (to make it strong) in about a cup of hot water for 4 minutes with a little stevia, meanwhile heating up some coconut milk (I did not measure it, sorry). Then I swirled them both together in my preheated cup, & yum! It’s nice & creamy, like a mild cup of hot cocoa. I might use even more tea next time, simply because I go for BOLD.

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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!


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!


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 :)


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


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.


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”.



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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??


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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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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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!


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


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!


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 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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