1119 Tasting Notes

drank Lotus by Tazo
1119 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 127 of the year 2014. I didn’t drink a lot of tea today—a cup in the morning, two at work, and a commute home with this, plus the last two bags in my bigass Shakespeare mug that looks like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wedgwood-creamware-Shakespeare-mug-ca-1964-/161232245159?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item258a30d1a7

(Hope that link works.)

This isn’t goodbye, just until we meet again.


I really and truly like and covet your bigass Shakespeare mug.


I like how your not-a-lot-of-tea day would be a-lot-of-tea day for me, haha.


Haha! Yes, I love my mug. And Jennkay, today I had an even less tea day. Just two cups. Crazy schedule and I drank some flavored water a couple of times because it was easy to get.

Peggie Bennett

Lotus is definitely my favorite Tazo.

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I’ve been drinking a lot of the same things over and over working them toward sipdown. Sometimes there’s something new to say, but often there isn’t—so I haven’t been writing notes on everything I drink.

Today I’m drinking this from a teabag at work (I have a handful of Kusmi teabags of this and St. Petersbourg). It’s really different than I recall it being on any previous occasions.

It’s rose! That’s what I’m smelling, and that’s what I’m tasting. There is a slight citrusy note, too, but mostly it’s floral and mostly it’s rose.

Which is fine with me because I heart rose teas.

As it cools, it becomes more of a melange of indistinct floral, and not quite as enjoyable as it was when hotter.


I have SO many teabags to get through, thanks for the reminder.


Drink up!

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Does anyone know whether peppermint is associated with St. Patrick’s day for any reason other than that peppermint is green (and peppermint fillings in candies are often dyed green as well)? I googled this question but didn’t find an answer and lost patience after flipping through the first four pages of search results.

I’m glad it can contribute to today’s theme, even if the only reason is it’s green. The peppermint leaves in and among the mate certainly are, in any case. The steeped mate is rather the color of butterscotch candy.

This is progressing, slowly, toward sipdown. Maybe this week, but if not, certainly next.

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Today’s commuting tea. It would have been today’s commuting tea even if it wasn’t a GREEN tea in my GREEN Timolino in my GREEN car in keeping with the St. Patrick’s Day theme. But the fact that it is all those things is a bonus today. I am nearing sipdown on this one, probably later in the week at the rate it’s going.

And I’m secretly already planning what I’m going to drink on le quatorze juillet, for which I have myriad contenders already.


omg do you have the lime green timolino?


No, mine’s the midnight green. I love it!



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Sipdown no. 126 of the year 2014. I thought about drinking down the remainder of this sample several times over the last few weeks, but decided to save it for St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidentally, I don’t have any other teas ready for sipdown today (unless I drink a single serving sample), so it’s doing double duty. After this one and the last of my string of calls from home this morning, I’ll pour a GREEN tea into my GREEN Timolino and get in my GREEN car and head to the office. Heh.

This is really delicious. Today I’m getting some lovely cocoa notes and a touch of smoke, but without heaviness and with some natural sweetness in the sip and the aftertaste. It’s more full bodied and has a richer flavor than the LeafSpa Irish Breakfast that started my morning but it’s easy to sip and doesn’t bother my tummy.

I really love the Harney & Sons black tea blends. This is on my shopping list already, or I’d certainly put it there.

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The second in the St. Patrick’s Day themed tea-drinking day.

I’m realizing what it is about this tea that makes it somewhat less easy of a sipdown than the other 52teas blacks I’ve had recently. It’s pretty heavy.

The heaviness is what gives it the character of Irish Cream. It’s a non-alcoholic way of approximating an alcoholic beverage’s character, as it were. I don’t drink liqueurs that often, but of the ones I’ve had, I can’t say they’re light drinking experiences. This tea successfully replicates that aspect of liqueurness along with the Irish creamy flavor.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Not that I really need one, but what a great excuse to do a thematic tea drinking experience today. You don’t have to be Irish to miss the celebrations in NYC, the parades, the green beer, etc. It’s not that there isn’t an Irish community in the SF Bay Area, it’s just not very big by comparison.

After having the English Breakfast for a number of consecutive mornings, I can say there’s a big difference between the two. I go back and forth on which I like better. Initially I thought it was slam dunk English, then I thought it was hands down Irish, and now I think it really just depends on what I’ve been drinking more frequently—the more I drink each of these, the more I like it.

No. 2 sipped this this morning and said, “I like the breakfast teas because they’re plain.” By which he means unflavored and taste like “tea.” This doesn’t have the body of the English Breakfast, but if anything, that just makes it easier to drink in the morning when the stomach still hasn’t gotten with the program.

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drank Sleep Tight by TeaGschwendner
1119 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 125 of the year 2014. Happy dance! Currently, this is my least favorite tisane in my cupboard so the fact that it is no longer there is a cause for a minor celebration.

Apart from this herbal, I drank NO tea today. Was out of the house most of the day and constantly on the run. I’d really like to go to bed now but must get my writing exercise in for my class before I can crash.

As the name of this says, sleep tight, all!

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Sipdown no. 124 of the year 2014. Back to the gaiwan for the final serving because not enough leaf left for the Yixing.

I still feel somewhat intimidated by pu erh and I’m not sure why. I think I just need to drink more of it. Desensitize myself to my fear, so to speak.

I hope this will have provided me with a good baseline for a higher quality, unflavored shu as I sally forth into the pu erh world.


Ive been exploring the pu world as newbie myself. I LOVE it. I’m totally in love with Mandala Special Dark. Its loose not a cake and its divine!

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drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
1119 tasting notes

Had breakfast at Starbucks today with no. 1 on the way to kung fu. I had my usual, a spinach wrap, but as often happens when I’m in Starbucks I was really lusting after one of the pastries. I would much rather have had something with the almond paste-y flavor of a bear claw or an almond croissant this morning, but I behaved myself. For most of the day, though, I’ve been thinking about pastries and I wanted to have some Brioche. But I’m saving it for a special occasion, so I had this instead.

Sweet, buttery, almond-y goodness. Yum.

Sami Kelsh

Ooh, NOM.


NOM indeed.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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