953 Tasting Notes

drank Maple Bacon by Man Teas
953 tasting notes

We’re now one pot away from sipdown and the BF has announced he’s had enough of this which puts a bit of a crimp in my planning. Looks like I’ll have to take up the banner alone.

I can do this. This sucker is going down tomorrow.

It will not be missed, but it will have been enjoyed before it got to be too much and I’ll be forever thankful for the learning experience. I now know that most “food” teas (except for pastries and other dessert type fare) are not for me.

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drank Ginseng Vitality by Teavana
953 tasting notes

This is a strange little tisane. There’s a lot of citrus peel smell in the packet coming from this fruity/reedy looking mix.

After steeping, I could have sworn I smelled orange. But there’s no orange in this. I suspect it is the interaction of apple and lemon that’s generating some in between smell/flavor I perceive as orange. The tisane has a pretty, clear, peachy/amber liquor.

With cardamom, cloves and black pepper I’d expect this to have a bit of a kick, but it doesn’t really. What I taste is really the apple, cinnamon, and lemon and not much else.

I am sure this was a tea of the month club selection because I can’t imagine myself choosing something like this to order. I associate ginseng with health food stores and supplements. I am sure it has a flavor but I wouldn’t recognize the flavor without being told what it is.

It’s vaguely medicinal, but not so much that it is off-putting. More along the lines of something that is probably good for you in a way that is focused more on effect than on flavor. Not a favorite, but won’t be painful to sip down.

It’s another discontinued Teavana product, so this is the end, beautiful friends.

ETA: I should also mention that I didn’t really taste the rooibos. (Rooibos doesn’t seem to be bothering me much lately.) This also contains mistletoe and St. John’s wort, which doesn’t help dispel the medicinal associations.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

Ginseng has a vaguely licorice-y flavour.


Thanks! Interestingly, I tasted no licorice.

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drank Go Go Goji by Teavana
953 tasting notes

Lowered the temp to 175 and steeped for one minute. Also haven’t had it in a while.

Between these two things, it was quite enjoyable this evening. I still don’t know from the flavor of goji berries, but I definitely taste the lychee and it’s definitely not stepping over the line.

There’s also a bit more tea to taste this time, which may also be the effect of the lower temperature.

Enjoyable after a long, stressful day and week.

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drank Sweet Cinnamon Spice by Tazo
953 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 96 of the year 2014.

I way overbought, not knowing what I was getting into.

Now it is gone.

As See-Threepio would say, “Thank the Maker.”


You have been very brave.


Or very foolish…. ;-)


Oy, I had a box of this once and bequeathed it to my office!


i don’t really like Cinnamon tea :(


TeaBrat, that sounds like the way to go.

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Another of the many LeafSpa teas I ordered a while back (before they closed their doors).

I steeped some of this in the Breville and poured it into my brand new Timolino to take to work. (One of the several tea ware items I allowed myself to buy at my recent visit to DAVIDSTea since I wouldn’t let myself buy any tea other than what I could drink there.)

Really loving the Timolino. The best travel gadget I have. I love the fact that you can sip it from any direction without taking the lid completely off, and you don’t have to push or poke anything to get the tea to come out. But that’s beside the point.

I didn’t spend a lot of time with this prior to pouring it in the Timolino so I’ll have to do a more detailed note later invoking other sense perceptions, but for now I wanted to record my first experience of the flavor.

I think I might steep it a bit shorter next time because I get a little bitterness around the edges, but other than that, this is a very refreshing tea. It has a vegetal flavor that isn’t overly sweet or buttery but has a little of each. I’m thinking a very light bok choy? Maybe a little spinach, too. There’s a pleasant aftertaste that’s vaguely nutty, in a very light, greenish way, like the aftertaste of Brazil nuts.

I’m going to enjoy getting to know this one.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

Woohoo for your timolino!


I’m so glad I got it!


That is so exciting that you got a Timolino! I love mine too. Which colour did you get?


They call it “midnight green.” It’s a really intense, deep metallic green color. V. pretty.


Nice. :)


Sadly, I don’t like their teas anymore but I’m ADDICTED to DAVIDsTEA teaware!! I just find it annoying that they are continuously out of stock on many items…
Glad you are enjoying your new baby, great colour!


TF, I really love their tea ware, too. They were OUT OF THE MASON JAR at the location I visited or I certainly would have had to get one of those. ;-) As it is, I got this, some bubble cups and a couple of spoons. I really like the way their spoons feel in the hand. Nice weight, nice balance.

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Sipdown no. 95 for the year 2014! It’s looking like I’ll make it to 100 this weekend. Woo hoo!

I am sorry to see this one go, so I’m bumping the rating. Another of my “starter” group, it became the commuting and toodling around tea after the Three Kingdoms Mao Feng, mostly because it was in bags and it was easy to drop into the travel contraptions, but it’s also just a nice, fairly light, tasty-without-calling-attention-to-itself tea.

No. 1 really liked it as well.

It’s one of the few in the starter group I’d consider buying again, along with Refresh and Lotus from Tazo, and Chinese Breakfast Yunnan Black and Monkey King Jasmine Green from Numi.

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My first Earl Grey in a few days. It’s nice to change things up every now and then.

Had a terrible scare this morning. Okay, I probably over reacted, but no. 1 got into an argument with his dad and left the house without saying where he was going. I figured he’d come back in in a few minutes, but he didn’t. Took no. 2 to President’s Week Camp figuring that perhaps no. 1 had walked over there. He wasn’t there. Came back ready to call the police, but cooler heads prevailed—got in the car with the BF and started to cruise the neighborhood. Got out of the car to ring the neighbor’s bell and no. 1 was coming out the front door right when I walked up.

We had a long discussion about leaving the house at age 9 without asking permission or saying where you’re going.

My throat was a bit tight from the length of the discussion and from the panicked tears.

This helped.


Oh my gosh, that sounds very scary. I’m glad everyone is safe and sound. Not being able to appreciate consequences is such a hallmark of childhood


Thanks so much, and indeed, the consequences thing. And it turns out he told the dad of the family whose house he went to that we knew where he was and it was okay with us. So there’s the honesty piece as well that needs to be worked on. I am thinking I should find old Leave it to Beaver episodes for him to watch, because my recollection is they addressed just this kind of thing each episode. ;-)


Im so sorry. i can imagine what you are going through. My older one left the house at 6am when she was 6. went to a golf course just because she was bored and everybody were sleeping. i had 3 yr old and infant on my hands. she was picked by security. thank G-d there was no play yet. now my kids would never walk away because they are scared to be kidnapped. another thing, if some kid wonder in my house i would double check with the parents. Im surprised they didnt call you.


Wow, how far away was the golf course?? How terrifying.

I agree, I would have double checked. But I can’t really fault this dad. No. 1 can be very convincing. I should probably have a chat with them though to let them know I’d appreciate a double check call if he shows up unannounced again.


Our summer house is on a golf course but she went far down maybe like 3 holes. i wasnt really mad at her because i was terrified myself. i was afraid to scare her. but in my mind… you dont want to know what i was thinking…we had a long talk. she cried and plead not to tell dad. she still remembers she will be 14 soon.


Well, she learned from it, which is good. :-)


awww, i’m sorry to hear all this transpired. hope your nerves are calmed with some much needed tea time :)


Thank you. :-)

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drank Maple Bacon by Man Teas
953 tasting notes

This morning, for the first time, I’m actually tasting tea in this. Being able to taste the tea is an improvement. It helps with the mental confusion I’ve described in previous notes.

It also takes the edge off both the bacon and the maple.

It’s really not bad this morning, but I haven’t changed my mind about the food genre. The BF likes it in any case, so I have a sipdown helper.

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drank Calm by Tazo
953 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 94 of the year 2014. Bye bye sachets!

I’ve been thinking about why this doesn’t do it for me, and I don’t think it’s the chamomile.

I’ve had some really terrific chamomile lately, either by itself or in a blend without any of the following: hibiscus, mint, licorice.

It’s these other ingredients that are making this not work for me. They suck the delicious natural sweetness and creaminess right out of the chamomile and reduce it to some straw-like imposter that’s tastes like a mouthful of chamomile potpourri.

I had the same problem with the other mint/chamomile blend I had a while back.

I think I’ll stock a chamomile blend when all is said and done, though I don’t often crave it. But at this point, I think it’s going to be Harney’s Yellow and Blue unless something else comes out of left field and bowls me over. (How’s that for a parade of cliches? It’s late. Night night all.)

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It has been a really long time since I had a Pina Colada. In fact, it’s entirely possible I never actually had one….

So I can’t really rate this against its purported flavor. I suspect if I were to do so I’d give it a lower rating because, well, just the barest suggestion of rum, and I know enough to know that Pina Colada has rum in it.

However, the other two flavors, pineapple and coconut are wonderfully done. In a way it’s surprising, because in the packet I mostly smelled sort of sour wood. But after steeping, that goes completely away and the slight woodiness from the honeybush is barely noticeable. The pineapple and coconut are very well balanced, with neither flavor overpowering the other, and I don’t get an artificial note from either of them even though both flavors are very easy to go toward artificial with.

I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did, which always makes for a nice surprise.

Flavors: Coconut

Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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