3091 Tasting Notes

First off, I’ve really wanted to try this tea for awhile! YS offers 2 options:
1 – the entire basket of tea, 450 Grams of tea, which looks so awesome, what a great presentation, but which would probably last my entire life, not to mention that I probably already have enough tea for 7 lifetimes…
2 – a sample…a 100gram sample, that is! That’s a huge sample!

Granted, it is not an incredibly expensive tea, but as much as I want that basket of tea, I also only want it if I’m going to drink it. So I started looking around to see if anybody had some.
This sample has a history, possibly more of a history than I know about, but what I do know is that it traveled from TeaExplorer’s cupboard to Boychik’s cupboard to Stephanie, & then to me!

I’ve been drinking it for about 3 hours, a couple of cups here & there. Visually it resembles a Shu puerh in shades of mahogony & brown. The dry aroma is of bamboo shot, hominy, & molasses. When I warmed up the leaf I smelled an earthy boston brown bread & buttered grits.

I gave it a rinse & started steeping. Immediately the flavor is sweet , kind of hominy-like, & has that minty ‘fresh’ quality. This continues into a few steepings, while the flavors of cedar & molasses arise. This is a lot like a Shu, but it’s also different in that it is sweeter, & the flavor profile is slightly different. There were a few cups that were creamy textured. Flavors I’ve picked out include cedar, bamboo shoots, sorghum, water chestnut, & that minty fresh quality. Right now it’s like a sweet spring water with a menthol after feel. I think I can get quite a few more steeps out of it, but that is all for tonight.
Thanks to everyone who passed this tea on, so that I got a chance to sample it :)

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The mother of one of my harp students is from Tiawan, & a few months ago she went for a visit to see family & friends. She wanted to get some teas to share with me, & I told her I really liked sunmoon lake assam.

While in Taiwan, she visited this awesome place, & got some teas from there:

This tea farm has been there since 1899, & you can go there for tours, purchase tea, etc. They do also have a website for tea sales, but the only words I could read there were ‘non-GMO’. Anyway, it’s looks like an awesome place to visit!
So the first tea I’m sampling is a Deluxe Assam Black Tea, Natural Farming No. 8.
I prepared the tea like I have steeped some of the other sun moon lake assams I’ve had, using roughly 1 Tb to my standard tea mug for 3 minutes. It’s a light, fruity, & refreshing tea, definitely more of an afternoon cup. In some ways it has more of an oolong quality to it, subtle layers of flavor, the most prominent being dried peach, or peach fruit leather maybe, with a growing tanginess in my mouth. The flavor is very light, in spite of the fact that the color of the brew is fairly dark, & there is a faint essence of leaf hopper.


Awesome place!!

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Here’s another tea that I meant to review on Monday, & I’d like to thank Angel @ Teavivre for her generosity.

The dry leaf is a beautiful irridescent green, with a sweet & buttery aroma. Teavivre does include steeping suggestions of some of their teas on their website, for both western & chinese style steeping. For this session I used 3G in my test tube steeping, 30/60/90/120
The resulting pale yellow liquor had a gentle taste & fragrance of butter & chestnut, plus sunflower sprouts! Delicious!

Cameron B.

Yum, this sounds delicious! I’m going to have to order a giant amount of samples from TeaVivre in the near future.

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I drank this on Monday, before I realized that steepster was out of commission, & although I didn’t take notes, I’ll do my best to share my experience, because Brett was generous enough to send me a sample, for which I’m grateful.

I do enjoy Da Hong Pao teas, & although this one is a lighter roast than what I tend to go for, it’s a lovely cup of fruitiness, perfectly sweet & fragrant with the aroma of apricot & apple, & with a beautiful clean & fresh kind of aroma, almost crisp, like a sweet tart apple.
Thanks Brett!

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This was my first session of the day, using 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/30/45/ etc
I warmed up the leaf in the hot little teapot & the aroma was heavenly, immediately conjuring up images of Maltomeal drizzled with a really fragrant honey.
I could breath that in all day. Why do I love that aroma so much? It’s not like I was a real fan of maltomeal…

Anyway, the tea was predictably delicious. The leaves are tiny & tender, & they released their flavors fairly quickly, so that this session peaked out much faster than others, but the cups were rich with malt & honey initially, then a more flavor of earth & leather, with a slight bitterness. Definitely better in the first cups.


Funny how our olfactory receptors work…there’s a bunch of foods I love to smell, but don’t even care to eat.

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I can relate to that. There are even more foods that I absolutely love to smell, but unfortunately cannot eat, no matter how much I want to…sigh…tiny pitty party :(

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I’ve been suffering steepster withdrawals for the last couple of days. So many teas drank & not reviewed…sigh…So I am grateful to the Steepster Gods Who Walk Among Us for getting things back on track. I’m not gonna even try to backtrack & log all the teas I drank this week so far, but I will comment on a few of them in a little while.

For now, I’m enjoying a cup of this one with breakfast (yes, I know it’s almost noon here, & 1:00 on the east coast, but that’s just the way we roll here at Terri’s Airy Fairie World).
Anyway, this is a deliciously awesome Keemun, in my opinion. Bold enough to stand up to brunch, lightly smokey & earthy & leathery & sweet like caramelized brown sugar. There’s alot of depth to this cup, & I find this one to be much more interesting than so many of the other Keemuns out there. Kind of masculine & bassy. I’m picturing an ensemble of upright bass & cello, bass clarinet, bassoon, & the low end of a marimba.


I close my eyes and I can hear that Keemun fanfare of yours :-)

Terri HarpLady

I really need to start composing pieces for these ensemble…

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Bubble bath tea from boychik.
Wow! Bread, chocolate, & cream = delicious!
Now I’m thinking I want to combine cacao nibs, vanilla, & something smokey…
It will either be awesome or terrible…


mmmmmmmm that combo sounds good. and is giving me ideas.


there will be a bubble bath in my immediate future now too. A post cobbler bubble bath.


I loooove this one. #1 on my Fauchon must haves list!

Terri HarpLady

A small disclaimer: about halfway into the cup a funky after taste started building up in my mouth, & my tummy started feeling kind of yucko. dammit

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
3091 tasting notes

Malt, cream, & bread :)
My tastes are still muted, but my mouth feels so happy right now.
This is a lovely yunnan tea, sent to me from the TeaFairy, although I tried it before when Cavocorax sent me some several month ago.
Drinking tea & watching baseball in my PJs: The St. Louis Cardinals are currently leading the Phillies: 5 – 3


My poor Phillies! I was actually surprised at their last winning streak. They’ve been just shy of terrible this year. :(

Terri HarpLady

awww…now I feel bad…ok, not really :)
My Cards are finally starting to kick butt a little bit…finally!

Terri HarpLady

hmmm…I wonder why some of the letters came out blue? I didn’t do anything special

Terri HarpLady

oh, hahaha, it’s because I put three w’s together, so the computer thinks it’s a website!


That’s ok. The other team I cheer for is the Rockies, so I’m used to yelling things like “Why?” and “Are you kidding me?” at the tv. :) I do love baseball though!

Terri HarpLady

LOL, I yell while I watch too.

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drank Dark Rose Tea by TeaSource
3091 tasting notes

I have to admit, I was intrigued by this one, & I’m grateful to Stephanie for sending a sample my way. Although I’m not a huge fan of ‘flavored’ teas, I do tend to always want to try novelty shaped teas, made from just natural ingredients. (I really want to try the Anhui Basket tea too, & Stephanie also sent me a sample of that one!).

I don’t really have much to say about it, other than I enjoyed the cup. I like heicha, & my understanding is it’s like Shu puerh kind of, but seems to me to be somewhere in between black tea & Shu. Flavors I was able to pick out: Wood, Leather, & light Rose.


I felt very similar about this one.

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drank Organic Chai by Tazo
3091 tasting notes

I made our usual decadent sunday breakfast: almond flour pancakes, bacon, black raspberries, & Maple syrup. Rummaging through Tony’s cupboard, I found some of this, which went well with breakfast, especially with a little maple added.

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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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