2966 Tasting Notes

First, my apologies for my crabby note earlier! But I also want to say that Momo would be proud of me if she saw me zipping up that right hand lane when everyone else managed to move over & there was a quarter mile open until the lane ended! That probably saved me another 15 – 20 minutes of wait time!

I drank this Tuo Cha much earlier in the day, right after my cup of english breakfast. The only word I can use to describe it was Smooth! It will show up in a future review, & I suspect that it’s a tasty one. I didn’t detect any saltiness, just a very smooth earthy feel, which is what I wanted.

One interesting aspect of being sick & not being able to taste & smell is that it brings the focus more to mouth feel, kind of like the way being blind brings the focus more to the other senses, only obviously, not really the same thing at all, but I’m sure you get the idea. In some ways, I’d like to sample some of the really awesome teas, the ones with tingly & creamy characteristics, just to see how much more noticeable they’d be. But, that’s probably just feverish folly!


Hahaha I am very proud of you!


Aww, are you sick too? >: Seems to just be that time of year.
I know what you mean about mouthfeel though; it’s so much more pronounced when the flavor isn’t distracting from it.

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As I recall, this was one of my favorite english breakfasts for awhile.
Of course, I’m not really tasting anything, but it has that tart mouth-feel, almost like cranberries. I’ll come back to it in a week or 2 & give an actual review. Meanwhile, it’s nice to have something hot to drink!

I hate driving to Illinois! I actually charge an extra $50 to play weddings on the other side of the river, because it is inevitable that all weddings in IL will start half an hour late, due to traffic problems. Today was no different. I left an hour earlier than needed, because I’d rather arrive early than late. Everything was going beautifully! I got across the Poplar street bridge, veered off to the right on I-64, & then 1 mile before my exit onto I-255 the traffic shut down from 4 lanes to 1. It took over 30 minutes to travel that one mile, & then the exit signs were so poorly marked that I almost missed them. The actual exit was a gravel road & I was convinced that I had turned wrong. Luckily I made it through, got to the winery, & things improved from there.

The wedding was fun, down in a hollow. After all the bridesmaids were in place, the bride rode down the gravel road propped up in the back seat of a glossy black ‘62 Thunderbird convertible, like she was on a parade float! The only downside of the wedding was the black walnut trees, which were dropping walnuts (like somebody throwing rocks!). I wasn’t set up under them, I know better, but I think a few people in the back row got clobbered! I took the long way home, forging a new path on a minor highway that led me back to I-255, crossing the river farther south where there was no construction, & I may go that way from now on!


You must have a huge arsenal of funny wedding stories!

Terri HarpLady

Having played weddings for over 30 years, I do!

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For my 2nd cup of the morning, I chose a puerh because of what I perceive as a strong grounding influence. It’s a very earthy variety of tea, & I need that earthiness as a balance.

The Tea Spot sells these in a sample size of 5 tuo chas (each re-brewable a couple of times), and as I continue to want to try new teas, I’m finding that buying samples is a great way to go, especially when the sample is big enough for more than one sampling.

It makes a deep coffee-looking cup of boldness! Very slight taste of salt, satisfying mouth-feel (satisfying is the only word I can think of to describe it, but it feels right).

The 2nd cup has a deep berry color & a buttery tingly quality to it. I’m really wanting to taste something, and since I know that I can taste ‘sweet’, I add a little stevia (which I wouldn’t normally do with a puerh…well, maybe occasionally). Ah, yes…I can taste something! Admittedly, I’m mostly tasting stevia, but combined with the ‘thick’ mouth-feel of the tea, it translates as chocolate, LOL.

Hopefully I’ll feel the effects of caffeine soon, as what I really want to do is go back to bed now.


If the puerh is salty as you said I’m not surprised that adding stevia you had a chocolate or caramel flavor appear. Adding some milk of cream would make a nice latte.


I could probably live on samples, with maybe a handful of full-size orders as cupboard staples. There are so many teas to try out there and I find myself almost reluctant to brew something I’ve already had (unless it’s a favourite). That said, I agree that I want the sample to be sufficient for a few cups. It takes me a bit to find a tea’s sweet spot in the preparation, and it’s no fun not to have enough with which to experiment a bit.

Terri HarpLady

@Bonnie – It wasn’t really very salty, it’s just that salt & sweet are the only tastes I can taste right now, so I picked up on it, but yeah, the stevia made it nice!
@Nik – You are my little brother from another mother!

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I’m starting the day with this tea, mainly to get some caffeine going in my system so that I can leave in an hour to go play a wedding over in Belleville, IL. Like yesterday’s wedding, it’s a pretty basic wedding: I’ll play 30 minutes of classical music, play the entrances for everyone, play a unity candle piece, & the recessional. I love playing at weddings & could probably play one in my sleep! Like yesterday, I’ll spend more time driving than playing, & for that reason, I need caffeine!

I’m starting to get my sense of taste back a little. I can taste sweet, & as of this morning I can taste salt! All the tea I’ve been reviewing has led me to really notice ‘mouthfeel’, & the mouthfeel of this tea is bright & a little on the acidic side. Of course, you might not want to take my word for it, as I’m still getting over being sick, and I’ll give it a more fair review in a few weeks when it comes back into rotation.

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I survived the wedding! As a reward, when I got home I brewed a cup each of Aquarius & Harvest Moon, both by Adagio. Sadly, I could barely tell the difference between them, with the exception of the chocolate & buttery carmel mouth-feel of the Harvest Moon. Oh well, I had to try!

It’s actually a beautiful day, & it was an outdoor wedding under a pavilion, over looking the Mississippi river. The views, in all directions, were stunning, as the leaves are changing & there was still a lot of green, with highlights of burnt red & orange everywhere. Absolutely beautiful!

The highlight for me (other than playing my harp, of course) was after the wedding when I was packing up my gear. A couple came up & started talking with me. He is the son of a lovely lady by the name of Doris, who I dearly love & haven’t seen for some time. I first met Doris about 20 or so years ago. I played a brunch at a local hotel for about 15 years, & Doris used to come to brunch with her other son & his wife. I would see them there every sunday (along with several other regulars) & after a awhile I started spending one of my breaks with them. Doris was probably about 65 then, always dressed colorfully, always wore a flower pinned on somewhere. She was a delight! Over the years they came to my other gigs as well, Tony & I had dinner with the 3 of them, they even came to my daughter’s wedding reception. I played at her 80th birthday party, & attended her 85th a few years ago.

What has always impressed me is the way her family cares for her. Her son & his wife live across the street from her, & have always invited her to go with them pretty much everywhere. In recent years, she no longer gets out, & the son I saw today said she sleeps about 18 hours a day. She still lives in the home her children were raised in, they take turns staying with her (grandchildren included), & she will most likely pass quietly from our world in her sleep, which is the way she intends to go. Her family has cherished her all of their lives, & I love that. That is how it is suppose to be.


Lovely story thank you for sharing.


That’s truly beautiful, thanks Terri!

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One more tea I’m almost out of. Although it is a decent breakfast tea, & packs a fair punch, it’s not necessarily a favorite, so I don’t mind not tasting much. The stevia I added is helping to bring forward a hint of Vanilla & orange, & from previous experience I seem to recall a buttery croissant taste. I have enough left for one more cup, which I’ll drink in a week or 2, as I just realized I never reviewed this one, & I do at least owe it a fair review!

Josie Jade

This is one of my favorites. I’ve loved pretty much every tea that I’ve tried from the London Tea Room. I need to do my reviews on these too!



Terri HarpLady

@Miss SweeTea – Did you visit their shop in St. Louis?
@Bonnie – better than yesterday, but still pretty droopy, especially after the gig. Next on my agenda: food & bed.
I love the new pic!

Josie Jade

Yes, I did visit LTR this past July. My fiancee’s family is in St. Louis, so we visit a few times a year. :)

Terri HarpLady

Nice! Sometime when you’re gonna be in town, we should try to have tea! Are you getting married in St. Louis or North Carolina?

Josie Jade

Oh, I would love to meet up for tea! We don’t have a lot of tea places here in NC (or a lot of tea friends. My mom and fiancée are so sweet to grin and bear it when I drag them to our local tea room!). I’m not sure when we will be in St. Louis next because this Thanksgiving is our NC year, but I will let you know and hopefully we can plan a tea date.

As for the wedding, we aren’t quite sure yet. I’m going bak to school again so we may wait until after graduation. I think the wedding will probably be a big southern wedding or maybe a beach destination wedding, but we will probably have a little celebration in St. Louis also. I do want to take engagement pictures at Fountain Park though, since that’s where we got engaged.

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I’ll confess: Since I can’t really taste much, and I’m going to need some serious caffeine to get through this wedding today, I’m aiming at either drinking black teas that don’t really float my boat, or that I’m almost out of. This one qualifies in the 2nd category. I had enough for one potent cup, which I’m drinking now. I’ve discovered that I CAN taste ‘sweet’, so I added a little stevia, & that helped me to taste a hint of the vanilla & black current that makes this tea so special.


Sounds like a Mate kind of day. :/ Feel better soon!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, Mama! I’m better today than yesterday, I think, & once I play this wedding (which is an hour away, so I’ll spend more time driving than actually playing), then it’s back to bed for me! I have another wedding tomorrow morning, & an all day Bridal Fair on Sunday.


I love the Naughty Vicar! :)


I like the name of the tea, it’s fun. The tea is pretty good too. :o)

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Crawling out of my cave because I have a gig today. I have to leave the house in a little over 3 hours, & being a musician means you show up, no matter what. I started the day with 2 cups of tea: Elder Berry, & a re-steeping of Sichuan Caravan (saved the leaves from a couple days ago). Just to illustrate the state of my tastebuds, I thought I was drinking the caravan first, which tasted like nothing, basically. Then I went to drink the elderberry, & only knew it was actually the caravan because of the ginger! I can’t really taste it, but I can feel it on my tongue!

My Adagio order arrived yesterday, which was really exciting until I tried to smell some of the teas: nothing. I guess I shouldn’t complain, this is the first time I’ve been sick in a year (other than some allergies). This too shall pass!


Get better soon!!!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Azz! That is the plan :)

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I’m laying in bed in my pjs & my holey red cashmere sweater, with a heating pad wrapped around me. Tony hates this sweater, he says if I ever wear it to his house again, he’ll burn it! He keeps offering to buy me a new one.

I love this sweater! It looks like hell, but its so ridiculously soft, it’s my go to for comfort. It’s my inner child’s version of a blankie. I also have my stuffed bunny here. We just finished off this tea, which is yum yum! Nothing medicinal about it, it tastes so decadently dessert like, perfect for pampering the cranky child within.

I would be content to lay here, bundled & warm, but I’ve drank a lot of tea today & I have to go…


I love my holey lilac cashmere sweater. You can’t get rid of cashmere!

If you can’t wear it around him I recommend using it as a heating pad or hot water bottle cover. Might drive him less crazy but still keep you cozy.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, frolic! i knew somebody would understand! His house is 5 minutes away, LOL, so I just don’t take it over there : D


Get better Terri! Little Terri is eating everything in the frig!


I still have my bankie. It’s the softest thing ever. Hope you’re feeling better!

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I tried this the other day at the London Tea Room. To be honest, it didn’t sound that exciting, although I love ginger. Unsweetened, it’s ok. Add a little stevia, and the ginger, licorice, orange peel & lemongrass really sing. I’m not usually a fan of lemongrass in teas, although I do grow it each summer & I cook with it. Here it isn’t too overpowering, and this tea is a warming brew that is just right for me today, when I’m under the weather & needing nurturing fluids. Little Terri is ready for nap-time, so we’re taking this cup (& a few others) up to our room to relax.

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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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