3003 Tasting Notes

My first student of the day was a no-show. These things happen. People get sidetracked, or sometimes my calendar is wrong. Living in the Zen of the moment, as I like to do, I’m always secretly relieved when someone doesn’t show up. Suddenly I have 30 or 60 minutes to do whatever I want: Practice a song, wash a few dishes, make food, drink a cup of tea…
I had already started working on my novel this morning, so I just kept typing like a fiend! My 11:30 student was 10 minutes late, so I got in almost an hour of typing, which amounted to 2,109 words! I think that’s a new record of crazy typing for me! So now my current total is 6111.

The student who came is fond of green tea, so I served her Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls, and had a cup for myself as well. I’m on the re-steep now. It’s a pleasantly floral one, which I enjoy from time to time. I especially love the aroma when I open the canister! I’ve always loved jasmine, & for years I’ve put a drop of the real essential oil in my hair after bathing. (Used to it was a drop of Patchouli, & sometimes I still use that instead). And of course, I’m a sucker for novelty, so I love the little pearls!

The tea is bright, a little astringent, but tasty. I honestly never really care much for the re-steep.

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I’m a little antsy today. It’s day 5 of NaNoWriMo & although I started day one off with a bang, writing 4002 words, days 2, 3 ,& 4 were a washout. I had gigs, I had a boyfriend to entertain (& he’s been neglected A LOT lately, poor baby). Today I have a mix of students & free time, & although there are some things I’d like to get done, writing is a priority. I’d like to get back on track!

I started the day with yoga, meditation, & journaling. Then I had an awesome pile of gluten free pancakes, possibly the best recipe I’ve found online yet. http://www.elanaspantry.com/silver-dollar-pancakes/

The tea? Hugo’s Organic Morning’s Journey. I’m on my 2nd cup (not a resteep, I don’t feel that it resteeps all that well) of this bright & yet dark brew. Ahhh, yes…I feel the caffeine level rising…good morning, all!


Congrats! We will win NaNo :)

Hugo Tea Company

Great! Keep writing and don’t look back.


Don’t worry about falling behind. It’s a lot easier to catch up than you think so long as you don’t try to do it all in one go. I did Camp NaNoWriMo this summer and was about 10K behind at one point and still managed to win (in the nick of time) by slowly catching up. No need to stress over it. :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks everyone! Last year I managed to stay on top of it a little more, but I’m almost up to 9000 now! So I feel like I’m back on track, and yes, we will win NaNo!!!


I’ve probably posted it that it’s becoming tedious, but a writing buddy and I are strict adherents to “Write something, even if it’s stupid. You can always edit stupid.” Keep hammering! :)

Terri HarpLady

That’s right, Mathis! I adhere to the same principal, and if I can’t come up with details of some place, thing, or whatever I’ll insert something like or something like that. It’s better to leave an than to lose my momentum.


Obviously, getting the thought out is more important to me than editing. Meant to say …posted it so often …. ay-yi-yi. I think I may just take my weary brain to bed :)

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I stayed up late writing (after saying I wouldn’t!), but still got in my 7.5 hours of needed sleep, & my yoga & journaling. It did set me back on my timeline for this morning however (yes, even right brainers can have a timeline, however loose it may seem). So I have to leave the house shortly to visit the salt room & get my lungs in order, but wanted/needed to at least get in one cup before I go. I also brewed a 2 cup insulated thing of Bolder breakfast, which should be just about right to drink when I exit the salt spa to run errands.

I love this tea, of course, I love so many teas and most of them have a dark, rich profile, such as this one. Malty & toast-like, buttery, but not sweet. It’s a savory brew, perfect for the morning for me.

Everyone have a great day!


I think you and I like the same taste profiles.

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I took a break from writing for an hour, as I had a student. I needed to get away from caffeine, at least for a little while, so I had a cup of this. Although I’m not always into spearmint, which seems to be the predominant flavor, I do like most of the other ingredients: licorice root, burdock root, & Ginger are wonderful. Mostly, I just needed something free of caffeine & not sweet, & this did hit the spot!

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I’m finally some writing done on my NaNoWriMo project! I’ve been enjoying a pot of yumyumyum tea while working on the Prologue! I’m up to 734 words so far!

Watermelon xylo is SO delicious!

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It was crazy for me to buy this blend! I DO love Irish Breakfast, but I haven’t been a big fan of bergamot, & honestly, I usually detest anything blueberry flavored, with the exception of actual blueberries. Why did I buy this? LOL, to drink while I watch the Farewell episode on Dr. Who, because I love Amy & Rory, & I will hate to see them go!

This is also the most hideous smelling tea I have ever smelled!!

We haven’t watched the Farewell episode, as it isn’t available on Netflix yet, but Drew & I drank some of this, just for the heck of it (he liked the smell). It’s actually not bad! Sweetened with stevia, it is a bittersweet blend, as described. I didn’t taste the blueberry anywhere, and the bergamot was not overdone. This will be our tea for watching Dr. Who, & I’ll probably have to try some of the other Dr. Who blends, just for fun.

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drank Earl of Grey by The Tea Spot
3003 tasting notes

So, I’ve decided I like this Earl Grey! Drew & I shared a pot of it, sweetened with Stevia, & it is just tasty!

Donna A

I’ve got a goal of finding my favorite Earl Grey and have a few new ones on the way. The thing I’ve noticed about reviews on Earl of Grey and others is the wide variety of opinions. Reviews on The Tea Spot website are all the way from unbelievably excellent to terrible and everything in between.

Terri HarpLady

This one is definitely a different take, which is good for me. The funny thing is, I used to really like Earl grey, but for some reason the bergamot sometimes bothers me. Anyway, I like this one! :)

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I ate chocolate last night. It was the deep dark dairy free & barely sweet kind from a local chocolatier, Kakao. I also ate a few bites of coconut milk ice cream. I normally don’t eat any sweets, not even a lot of fruit, as it isn’t good for me, but the revelry of Pirates brought out a surge of daring, bold, & reckless behaviors in me.

NaNoWriMo began at midnight, & I WAS going to write my first 2000 words (like I did last year), but I’ve also been working on making sure I get enough sleep & do my yoga, so I went to bed instead. I slept like a vampire at dawn, & woke a little groggy at 8:00, with my guts & head achy, ah the price we pay for sugar consumption. But I did my yoga, meditation, & journaling. I ate my BAB (Paleo-speak for Big Ass Breakfast), I taught my first student of the day & we shared a pot of English Breakfast (two leaves & a bud). Now on with the day. I wanted something deep, dark, & grounding. Plus I’ve been reading David Duckler’s notes on his trip to China, & the comments from Wang Yanxin about using more tea for less time. I also read the notes on the Verdant site regarding this tea.

I’ll admit, I’ve had this tea sample for awhile. David included it as a freebie in one of my orders & I’ve been a little nervous about trying it. It is described as "musty, sparkling, linen, cedar, stone, rock sugar. Normal people probably wouldn’t want to drink that! LOL!

I opened the package to find a most beautiful tea, deep mahogany, nice & leafy, a slightly musty aroma that left my nose with a salty sensation (not smell). Following the XingYang workshop recommendations, I put the entire 5oz sample in my 4oz Gaiwan, gave it a quick rinse, but only steeped for 1 minute. It tasted like a revelation. 2nd – 6th steeps for 2 minutes. I’ve drank them all & savored every moment of each sip. This is what I needed this morning. This will carry me into my day. I have no words for this tea, it tastes exactly as described. It is so smooth, so clean, it feels ancient like the earth.
Steeps 7 – 9 @ 3 minutes each: just wonderful. I feel that this tea is more about sensations & images than taste. A bright sparkling quality has risen, & I’m loving it. For me, today, it is about Mindfulness, groundedness, acceptance of myself, & Tea. I love this tea.


This is a perfect tea for writing. I have been restocking this one as my favorite pu-er not just for taste but it has mystical properties (odd for me to say) but I mean that in a more scientific way. The way this pu’er soothes my mind is as relevant as how it tastes.
All the best to you in your writing!

Terri HarpLady

steep 10 @ 5 minutes: My mouth is seriously tingling!


I have the largest size of this, seriously. I mean it when I said it’s my favorite. I call it my party pu’er. I used to give samples away and was left without any for myself. Now I’m stingy!

Terri HarpLady

I know! I’m serious considering the 100 g…how big IS that? I mean, space-wise? How does it come wrapped? I drank some other teas for awhile, & now I’m re-steeping this again! :D

Terri HarpLady

After going away from it for awhile steepings 11 & 12 @ 5 min each have almost a sweetness, a hint of cedar, mineral, & the tingle!

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After lunch, Drew & I shared a pot of this tasty tea for dessert!
This is a cup of Yummy, with flavors of coconut, cream, & a hint of lime.

We sipped & slurped. It’s Halloween, & we haven’t really done Halloween for a couple of years, so I said, “I think me & you & Leif should dress like Pirates & hand out candy”. So at 3:00 I went to the salt room, Drew went & bought candy, then we came home & pulled out my ‘dress up’ box, which is full of belly dance clothes, a variety of scarves, cloaks, pin on flowers, all kinds of things. I used to Belly Dance, I used to play at a renaissance festival, I also ride a Harley, so between all that stuff, we put last minute costumes together. When Leif got home from his college classes, we were setting things up on the front porch.

Drew (age 23) wore a scarf, a tie-die jacket, he held a 3 prong garden tool in one hand which I wrapped a scarf around (so it was his ‘hook’), & tie die baggy pants.

Leif (20) wore my old renaissance festival cloak, a bandana covering one eye, & a black beret.

I wore purple harem pants tucked into black harley riding boots, a white lacy shirt, my black harley leather vest, a scarf on my head, an ugly necklace, & an eye patch.

We sat out on the front porch, with “Yo Ho Yo Ho a pirate’s life for me” playing over and over again, singing along with the recording we had downloaded, stomping in unison, speaking pirate lingo to all the little kids, threatening to make them swab the deck & walk the plant & such, and making plans for next year. LOL, it was a great night!
photos are available on my FaceBook, Terri Stamper Langerak.


What great fun! Your grown kids are like mine and still play! We are fortunate indeed!

Terri HarpLady

Yes, we are! It was a good time, & my 2 daughters stopped by with the 3 grandkids. My daughter Jess said, “This is the funnest house in the neighborhood!” That felt good!


ARRRRR! I want to come to your house, matey!

Butiki Teas

Sounds like lots of fun! :)


That sounds like a blast! :D

Terri HarpLady

It was a blast! I forgot how much fun Halloween can be, & the boys & I have already decided that next year we’re going to turn the front porch into a the deck of a ship: We’ll need sheets for sails, a jolly rodger flag, & some other stuff. I will also say, there weren’t nearly as many trick or treaters as there should have been, & I want to start a movement to ‘Bring Back Halloween’.


It would be fun to do something next year. This year’s kind of a bust because of Sandy—there was even a bulletin on the county’s web site, saying that trick-or-treating was postponed ‘til tomorrow. I understand why it had to be done, but still, that’s just odd.


I say the pictures on facebook, you guys looked Awesome!

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After getting plenty of black tea into my system this morning, I followed up by using the rest of this Jingshan green sample, this timing opting for the Gaiwan & short (3 seconds!) steeps.
1. was buttery, mouth watering, & bright, with a very green almost matcha like taste!
2. similar, but with a little more bitterness.
3. the butteryness starts to slip away, there is an edge of lime & a nutty flavor
The next 3 steepings were for 6 seconds:
4. Asparagus, that’s what my son drew & I agreed the flavor was!
5. Drew drank this one while I drank number 4

Now my tummy was starting to ache. Green tea often does that to me, so Drew & I fixed lunch together & ate in the sunroom.

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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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