3074 Tasting Notes

Another Hei Cha, this one from Life in Teacup.
The main flavor here is a wood taste, some maltiness, & it reminds me somewhat of a ripe pu-erh, especially after a couple steeps when a minty kind of sensation in my throat developed.

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Here’s another Hei Cha that I got from YS. This one reminds me of a cross between a Keemun, with it’s brown sugar pine smoke, & a Ripe Pu-erh, with a little earthiness. This is a rich & tasty cup!

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I declare today to be Hei Cha Day
Yep, little Terri yelled that inside my head this morning while I was languishing in bed, savoring a dark rainy morning & my comfy cozy sleeping space. Reluctantly I finally got up & headed down the stairs.

So the idea is that we’re going to finally sample & attempt to describe all the different Hei Cha in my cupboard. I have a sort of fascination with them as of late, an irresistible urge to buy them, just to find out what they are really all about.

The leaf is dark & the aroma of it is of a sourdough pumpernickel rye bread. I know that might sound like a turn off to some, but for me it brings to mind a kitchen in winter, with loaves of dense chewy bread, a big pot of substantial stew, with homemade cultured kraut on the side…sigh…now I want that meal…

The taste of this tea is familiar, & yet not easy to describe. There is an underlying pumpernickel kind of sourness & there is a creamy sweetness that reminds me of that canned condensed milk that is thick & sweet (& would probably be really good in this tea). There’s a hint of orange peel, a pinch of salt, & a kind of ceylon after taste.

I steeped it a couple of different ways:
4G + 8oz X 30/60/etc 0- I tried it this way when it first came. It was nice, but I felt maybe I needed a little more tea. There’s instructions on the package that suggest a 1-40 ration, so today I tried
5G + 8oz X 30/60/2min/etc
It was a little stronger, & in the 2 min steep I added a little sweetener, & that was actually pretty nice! I feel like I might try this with less water next time, because I think I’d still like it a little stronger, maybe. This is one of those teas that you can use for Tibetan yak butter tea, & I can actually see how it would be complimented by some for of milk, butter, & either salt or sugar. I’d love to try it that way, but with my milk allergy its pretty unlikely.



sounds delish, i love rye bread notes ,and condensed milk, and orange peel…

Terri HarpLady

and you shall have them!


i’d send SOMEONE tea…but SOMEONE keeps refusing to let me have their address to i can send it..and i’m missing a piece of SOMEONE’s address to be able to send it anyway as a surprise from the return address on the package SOMEONE sent me. cough


terri – can you toss some of this in my box? would love to try

Terri HarpLady

But of course, my dear! :)

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I actually love little cakes like this, enough tea for me to enjoy several times, & if its spectacular, I can get more. If it’s average, that’s ok too, & Im not stuck with 357G, or whatever.

This one is nice enough. A solid little shu that I enjoyed through the middle of the day. Dry the aroma isn’t much, but once you get going it really changes. My community has trucks that come around in the fall, & they gather up all the leaves & make huge piles of compost. They also make shredded tree compost piles. In the spring you can take as much as you like, & I always love the way it smells: sweet & almost syrupy, & also kind of like tobacco,… & stewed dried fruit.
Yup, that’s this tea.

Matt Warren

Sometimes little cakes look so perfect I don’t even want to break them up. But then I do, and then I drink them, and then I’m happy.

Terri HarpLady

And then we buy more!

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A dark & beautiful dense cake whose appearance reminds me of those dense & dark fruit cakes my mom used to make during the HoliDaze. Sweet & mellow, the flavor is very balanced & makes me smile. Dark fruits, a touch of blackstrap molasses, & a whole wheat kind of breadiness, making me think of the Boston Brown Bread I used to bake.




+1 bc…


Sounds yum

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Another tea I picked up yesterday at Traveling tea.
This is a nicely roasty organic Houjicha, with the addition of cacao. It has a pleasant underlying bitter element, nothing like coffee really, but I can see the connection. It’s hearty & satisfying & a pinch of sweet makes it even nicer. I bet you could brew it kind of strong & add cream & sugar, although that’s not my thing.


Yay you tried it!

Terri HarpLady

want a sample?


Hahaha I’m afraid to say yes.

Terri HarpLady

I won’t send too much ;)

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I picked up some of this yesterday while I was visiting Traveling Tea. I love the Tisano Cacao tea they carry, it’s really tasty, so I figured I’d try this one, since I like rose sometimes, & it’s nice too, especially lightly sweetened :)

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It’s been a long day, & I’ve screwed up almost every cup of tea I made today: too much leaf, or steeped too long, etc. It’s been that kind of day.
This is a pleasant after dinner cup, & lightly sweetened it is juicy, rich, & satisfying.
Almost like having dessert :)


Aww, glad you nailed a yummy cup as the day is winding down.


How disappointing to have one of those mess up all the teas day. I’m glad this one turned out just right.

Terri HarpLady

Me too! I was on the go all day, teaching in class, trying to brew teas that require time that I didn’have, trying to brew teas in my work gongfu setup, without a scale, etc.
On the other hand, I came home to find my Yunnan Sourcing order, which included a Heicha I wanted tp try, which I did. It was pretty nice, though I didn’t post a review, as that would require me adding it to the database. I’ll do that next week :)


Heicha? Can’t wait for the review

Terri HarpLady

It’s this one, & the bag is a lot bigger than I imagined it!
I’ll include some when we do our swap :)
I’ve also got a few others I’ll be glad to share :)

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I’m enjoying a nice quiet vibe this morning. Slept in until my body was ready to wake, about 8am. I knew I wanted a slow gongfu session to start my day, with something exotic, & this tea from Teavivre fits the bill. When I open the bag, it’s immediately spiced sweet stone fruits, & warming the leaf in a small pot, it becomes a rich fruity desert of some kind. I use to cook steel cut oats in the crock pot over night with peach or apple juice, sliced dry apricots & a few cardamom pods. I can’t say it smells like that, but it reminds me of how the house smelled in the morning, & what a wonderful breakfast that was to wake up to.
Sometimes I miss being a vegan…
5G x 100 ml tiny porcelain pot (rinse) 15/30/45sec/1/2/3/4min
Anyway, this is cup after cup of sweet spicy fruitiness, a very juicy mouth, nice tongue tingle, some pastry, instant clear headed buzz, & really its like drinking the sweetest sheng you ever had. It becomes more herbaceous, like maybe eucalyptus, as I go forward, but still sweet. A wonderfully uplifting start to my morning! Here’s some tea porn for ya :)

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This is the August offering from Jalam Teas, & this is my first session with it.

It started out very clean, with instant clarity of mind. It was a quality that reminds me of sage, not so much in the flavor as in the sense of clarity it imparts, & there was also a slight bitter edge, but it was the kind of bitterness that I tend to enjoy.

After a few rounds I had the image of a pine forest after rain…or some kind of evergreen, or maybe eucalyptus…yeah maybe that. Just a real nice aromatic sinus opening feeling.

I was really enjoying this one, when I got sidetracked, & accidentally left it steep for way too long. Drats! That cup was way too bitter. It took a couple steeps to get back on track, I got one that remind me vaguely of an orchid oolong I used to have in my collection, mildly sweet & floral, but otherwise the magic was kind of gone. Luckily, I have plenty of this to enjoy, & hopefully next time I won’t screw it up!

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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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