2895 Tasting Notes

Back in my vegetatian/vegan days, we used to eat a lot of buckwheat at my house: Soba noodles, buckwheat pancakes, & Kasha (not to be confused with Kashi). I have a ton of tasty recipes that I miss, & I might have to try eating some Kasha soon, to see how it digests, since it’s not a true grain. Most buckwheat noodles have gluten in them, although I think Eden (or some other company that’s been around awhile) makes one that is 100% buckwheat.

So this tea was a trip down memory lane for me, like having a bowl of Kasha, without having to chew it. It’s not the first Soba Cha I’ve had, but I haven’t had one in awhile. A pleasant evening tea, roasty & sweet.


How does this compare to the Harney version?

Terri HarpLady

I dunno, I’ve never had Harney’s. I’d be willing to guess this one might be more roasty? But then again, maybe not.
If you like this tea, you can actually roast your own very easily!


I suppose so. Also, on a different note, buckwheat pancakes sound pretty tasty. Around the corner from my house there is a crepe place that specializes in buckwheat crepes that are sooo good!

Terri HarpLady

They are especially nice with maple syrup, absolutely perfect! When my kids were young, I made pancakes almost every day: buckwheat, or oatmeal, or blueberry…if we didn’t have pancakes we had muffins or scones, or some quick bread, & whenever it’s owed/sleeted, we had waffles. That was before I realized how crappy gluten & grains make me feel…sigh…


Sounds delicious! I am sorry to hear about the gluten and grains though. Luckily it seems as though a bunch of gluten free alternatives are popping up everywhere. My roommate is trying a gluten free diet and has found some pretty amazing alternatives to the things she loved. She makes a gluten free carrot cake that is one of the better ones I have had.

Terri HarpLady

oh yeah, lots of amazing recipes out there! I’d like to see that carrot cake recipe (is it also dairy free?)


The cake part is dairy free but the icing is made with cream cheese. Also, I can ask her for the recipe but she is not one for following a recipe properly – she tends to use wrong measurements and makes substitutions and somehow it works out.

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like your room mate & I have similar cooking methods, LOL

Terri HarpLady

I’d probably just ‘ice’ it with some melted coconut butter :)


Mmmm. I will ask her when I see her (it’s coming close to exams and she is an engineer so she is sort of trapped in her room) and let you know :)

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I originally ordered this tea because it has the words ‘fu shou’ in its name, bringing to mind my beloved Anxi Fo Shou, but it is not that tea, & & I figured that would be the case, but a girl’s gotta try, right?

Regardless, it is still an interesting tea, rich & malty, and a little sweet. I still haven’t got my steeping parameters worked out, but I’ve only drank it a few times. The first time I used a little too much leaf, this time I could have used a bit more, as it’s a little on the thin side. Like Goldilocks, next time it will hopefully be just right :)

Today is day 2 of the fish tank redo. Yesterday we drained & cleaned the tank, moving all the fish to a smaller tank. Today we’ll set it back up. Tony leaves for KC tomorrow, which will give the water a chance to settle & then we’ll start adding fish again.

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drank Laos Black #05 by Steepster
2895 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking my way through some of the Steepster Select teas today, and at the same time Tony & I have been draining the gigantic fishtank. This has been an ongoing process. Last weekend we set up a smaller tank, & today we had a fish catching contest (I won. I have crazy reflexes that are at times dangerous to me, LOL). Anyway, I’ve also been sipping teas.

This is a really tasty one, nicely malty & honey sweet. I didn’t find it to be overly astringent, but it does have this one taste that I haven’t been able to label. It’s a rustic kind of bitterness that I actually enjoy from time to time, & some of Mandala’s teas share this same feature.

Lion Repshire

I had trouble describing that “rustic bitterness” too! It is not at all astringent, but has this deep, hearty, earthy kind of roasted taste to it that sits on the tongue in such a pleasant way. It is never overpowering. Yeah!

Terri HarpLady

(Waving from St. Louis)
We’re practically neighbors!

Lion Repshire

Ah, indeed we are! I actually lived there from 2004-2009. I sometimes travel there just to take advantage of all the fun free/cheap things to do there. Cheers!

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Years ago, when the internet was young (yes, children, there was such a time), there were only a few tea companies I knew about that actually had real full leaf teas. Republic of Tea was one of them, & for awhile they had a ‘rare teas’ page (or something like that). These were teas that weren’t offered on their displays at the Natural food store. Did I order from there, way back when?
This was my first introduction to Oolong teas, & I ordered them like I do everything else, with wild abandon! I fell in love with Orchid Oolong (& some others).
This is a lovely cup, gently floral, smooth, lightly roasty, with a sweet & slightly nutty taste. I steeped 4/5/& 7 minutes, & I don’t think a 4th cup will be happening. I can’t tell you if this orchid oolong is the same as the one they carried. That really was a long time ago. R of T was amazing to me back in those days, so amazing that I wrote a song & dedicated it to them. Here’s the link, if you’d like to hear the song, called “TeaMind” http://harpsinger.net/Terri_Langerak/My_CDs.html


love the tea tribute :)


Awesome :-)

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Here is another of the teas I shared with the BBBB. I was gonna try to compare this one to the Pure bud bi Luo, but got sidetracked, so there is not much to say.
This one doesn’t have the buttery aroma of the other, but is, in my opinion, maltier & a little more floral. Both are sweet, but this one is a little deeper.
Both are delicious.
I just noticed that Yunnan Sourcing has their spring 2014 teas up on their website now…sigh…I’ve been very happy with everything I’ve gotten from them.

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This is one of three teas that I sent to my BBBB sisters, which I hope they will both enjoy. Tender buds, hand rolled into the ‘spring snail’ shape, with a sweet aroma & a large ratio of gold. The flavor is heavenly, at least to me, with a thick creamy kind of feel, & a buttery sugarcane taste.

I’m convinced that in some past life I was a high class Chinese concubine to some emperor, laying around dressed in silk, sending some servant to some sacred spring to bring water for my teapot. In some other past life, I was a servant going to fetch that water, sneaking a sip to see if the water was really as wonderful as the legends claimed.

In some other life I was a Shaolin monk…

I feel that these past lives (& others) explain my affinity for Chinese teas over all others, & my need to do Taichi every day (or not feel ‘right’).
Yup, I think that explains it.


“… with a sweet aroma & a large ratio of gold. The flavor is heavenly, at least to me, with a thick creamy kind of feel, & a buttery sugarcane taste.” Sounds awesome!

“I’m convinced that in some past life I was a high class Chinese concubine to some emperor, …” At least you weren’t a low-class …. :-)

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I was probably one of those too…somewhere…sometime…


I wouldn’t put it past you, Terri!

Terri HarpLady

If you only knew! LOL


The Motion Picture Assoc. has rated this “short film” PG-13. :-)

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I’m not really going to say a lot about this tea, except to say that I enjoyed multiple steepings of it all afternoon while I was working on my taxes. The first time I tried this tea, I hated it, but that was due to my own ineptness at the time. I’ve learned to keep the steepings very short, & then I am rewarded with amazing aromas & tastes: Honey, lovely floral aromas, incense, & then it becomes grapefruit. There is more to it, & I know I’m not really doing it justice, but that’s all I’ve got.


Incense? Now I’m intrigued. I’ll have to keep this note in mind the next time I make some of this. It’s one of those that’s not normally my thing, but I’ve quite enjoyed it the few times I’ve had it.


ohohoh this one seems really interesting, how long did you steep it ?

Terri HarpLady

Ysaurella, very very short steepings, 2 – 4 seconds.
Would you like me to send you some? We were speaking of a trade recently, as I recall… :)

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I’ve been working on my taxes for a couple of hours, going through receipts & stuff, in preparation for opening Turbo Tax & entering all the info. Every year I say I’m going to spend an hour once a month doing this stuff & although there have been a few years when I did & my taxes were quick & easy (or at least as quick & easy as it can get when you have a home office), this is not one of those years. In fact, although this isn’t my worst year ever (it was a nightmare, back when I was new at this), it’s one of those years where I just threw things into a file draw, without any sorting, & hence it’s taking me weeks to do what could have been done in one day.
Add to that, I relocated my office a few months ago from the 2nd floor to the first, & I still haven’t really begun to unpack everything (most of it is piled in the corner of my bedroom in boxes on the third floor). But luckily, I did set up my tea shation in my office, so I have tea.

So this tea is from the Reserve TOMC from last spring. It is actually very nice, with a creamy kind of texture, sweet & light, & the one taste that really stood out to me at some point was sourdough bread. I did 4 steepings at 30sec/60/90/120
& I might still do a few more. The last steeping had a nice tanginess to it.

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This is, in my opinion, a nice breakfast tea. Sure, it’s all cut up into teeny tiny pieces, which really resemble course coffee grounds and have a spicy aroma. But for making a pot of tea to enjoy with breakfast, it’s a no-brainer, & it steeps up fast! The cup is nicely bold, malty, & has some interesting flavors that I will have to pay more attention to next time.

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The trees (& god knows what else) are pollinating in St. Louis, & we have all of our windows open to let in the fresh spring air, but unfortunately for me, that means allergies. I’ve had them my entire life, as does my mom & as did my gramma, & they bring with them a tendency towards lung issues. I’ve resolved the chronic lung issues I had by deleting gluten & grains, legumes, dairy, & sugar from my eating, & the side benefit of that has been no more arthritis, tendonitis, & other inflammatory problems as well. But I still have allergies.

Bring on the Nettles! This is the best natural anti-histamine I’ve found, & I’ll be drinking a lot of it to keep myself functional. My formula:

1 heaping Tb + mug of hot water X just let it steep awhile then drink it.

AND, because 1 cup might not cut it:

1/4 cup leaf + 1 Qt of hot water X let it steep until cool, drink a cup, put the jar in the frig & strain as needed throughout the day. Make a fresh Qt every morning.

The effect of Nettles is not cumulative. I usually notice an improvement within hours. The down side of this is that if I don’t drink it every day (& I do get tired of drinking it), the symptoms come right back. So I’ll be drinking a lot of it again this year, starting today.


i should try this someday


Interesting! I had just recently tried Camellia Sinensis’ La Bienveillante, which is supposed to help for allergies, and it really did. I went back to check the ingredients after reading this, and nettle was first on the list. Who knew? You. You knew.


Giving up gluten and dairy really helped my allergies too.


I just ordered some nettles to help with my allergies. I hate the foggy feeling I get from taking medicine, so I wanted to try s more natural path this year. Hopefully the pollen behaves itself until my order arrives!

Terri HarpLady

The hardest part for me is remembering to drink it, so this year I’m gonna work extra hard to make it a regular part of my routine (what? I have a routine? Yeah, right!)
Sil I’ll try to remember to send some in your Next box, LOL.

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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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