3091 Tasting Notes

It’s been so nice to have a day at home. I’ve had students since 9am, with a few breaks & I only left to vote. Otherwise, it was mostly this tea, an old friend I haven’t visited for awhile. This is a more savory Yunnan, and I like to go with a pretty high ratio of leaf in a little 4oz porcelain teapot, very short steeps to start.

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The dry leaf has a texture about it that brings to mind ancient parchments, in a dark gray green, & the aroma is mildly sweet. All of the steeps were pleasant, smooth, & lightly sweet, with a nut butter kind of taste & feel, along with a slightly tart apricot glow. Several steeps in the flavor transformed to sourdough bread, & then went back to the Apricot, but sweeter & juicier than before. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, & I feel there are many steeps to come, but I’m headed out the door for now.

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I see Steepster is in stuck mode again. Oh well, this too shall pass…

I woke up at 4:15, & since I was planning to get up at 5:00, I figured I might as well get an early start, & to honest, it’s kind of nice. I took a long shower, got dressed, went ahead & ate my breakfast (made last night), packed up all of my stuff to leave, & I still had time to relax with 2 steeps of this one, a tea I still enjoy. In my archives I have some of this from at least 2 different seasons, & someday maybe I’ll compare them, but for this morning I’m merely enjoying this final sip.
Today is day 3 of NaNoWriMo & I’m at 3560 words :)


go you! write write write!


looks like the dashboard is unfrozen for now…


Go Nanowrimo!

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drank Congou Keemun by Butiki Teas
3091 tasting notes

Tony just left to get a hair cut.
I’m settling in with tea & my laptop to do a little NaNoWriMo. I’m currently at 1617 words.
This is a nice grounding cup:Malty, Earthy, Floral, Sweet

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Still as delicious as ever!

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Yesterday I played a wedding. I still have limited mobility with my right hand, I’m still wearing a splint, but I can use 3 out of 4 fingers (the broken pinky is never used for plucking harp strings anyway). The wedding was for my daughter’s sister in law, & I was scheduled to play it, but when I broke my finger I made arrangements with another harpist to play instead. The bride didn’t care what music she had, so it was just going to be your typical classical wedding at a winery about an hour out of town.

On Friday everything fell apart.
The Bride called the Harpist with a list of songs she wanted, such as One Love by Bob Marley, Stairway to Heaven, & tunes by Billy Joel, Sting, etc.
The Harpist said,“I am a Classical Harpist, I only play classical music.”
Also, the wedding had been moved outside on the patio (at sunset).
The Harpist replied, “I can only play outside if the weather is above 60 F”

The Mom called me in a panic.
I’m the only Harpist that plays stuff like that in St. Louis.
I’ve been playing a little bit this week, & so I did it, provided that I could be placed near the outdoor heaters, & my son in law had to move my equipment for me, because I still can’t lift anything. The other harpist was glad to get out of it, LOL.
I was glad to make some money, & it felt good to play.
Plus, I wanted to play this wedding, she’s a sweet kid.
So I’m back in business!

This is a wonderful cup of yum, sweet & milk chocolate, becoming maltier as it cools.

Cameron B.

On one hand, that’s ridiculous that the bride changed her mind at the last minute and expected everyone else to comply… However, I’m glad it worked out well for you! Keep healing and feeling better. :)


So happy you played again ;)


I knew you would figure out how to play before you were all healed up. Congrats on being back even if not quite 100%.

Terri HarpLady

Cam, if you met my in laws, you’d understand, LOL. I had tried to get her to come over to plan the music, like all of my other brides do, but she never did.
The truth is, she had no opinion as to what music she wanted up until the day before her wedding, & then all of a sudden she had ideas.
Boychik, me too! I have a wedding & 2 hour reception next saturday. I’ve already arrangements to have someone help move my harp, & the only really hard part will be doing the classical pieces during the ceremony, because I have to rework them to leave out the 4th finger. Those are pieces I’ve played for years, with the fingering totally ingrained, but I should be able to pull it off. The reception is jazz & classic rock, stuff I play from lead sheets, so I fly by the seat of my pants on that stuff, it’s a little different everytime anyway. :)


Sooooo happy to hear you were playing!!!!


nice to read you’re healing Terri. I am curious about stairway to heaven played by an harpist…really it should be something !

Terri HarpLady

I keep planning on making more videos of myself playing for my website (right now there is only one). Maybe in January I’ll finally get back to the video project.


Videos would be so cool! I’m glad that this event worked out for you. :)

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So I spent the entire day drinking multiple steepings of 3 different Hei Cha, & I enjoyed them all. Most of the steepings I drank plain, but with each one I sweetened one of the steeps, just to try it that way too, & I think I had forgotten how much I occasionally enjoy my tea to be sweet.

For my final tea of the day I went with this tangerine puerh. As a lover of novelty, I wanted to try these for awhile. At some point somebody sent me a sample, and it was ok, but not all that. Recently I got a sample from Teavivre, & was initially feeling the same about it, until I added a little sweetening, & then it was delicious. So although I don’t usually sweeten puerh, this tea is an exception (along with my beloved Sichuan Caravan), & delicious for having done so. I used 5G, plus a few chunks of the tangerine peel, steeped in 8oz for 5 minutes. The resteep was probably 8 minutes. I can probably steep it again for 10. Lightly sweetened with a pinch of stevia powder (I get mine from Cheryl’s Herbs, & it doesn’t have a bunch of crap in it).


mmmm this makes me excited to try mine…maybe tomorrow.

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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’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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