1165 Tasting Notes

drank Mint Pu-erh by Numi Organic Tea
1165 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 48 of 2016 (no. 259 total).

The second to last of the Numi bagged pu-erhs in my stash. I made this my go-to work tea for the afternoon after the magnolia pu-erh.

My parting reaction, on the occasion of this sipdown, is largely the same as the reaction I had to the magnolia. Which is to say, it was pleasant while it lasted, but I don’t see myself buying it again. It was fun to experiment with when I was starting out, but I’m ready to get more serious about pu-erh.

R.F. Hill

Have you tried the basil-mint? It’s refreshing; that “freshly plucked basil and mint” flavor.


Numi puerh was my gateway to the more costly stuff and I always have a few bags in my cupboard. A brother and sister started the company in Oakland when I lived there and I almost wound up working for them.

Daylon R Thomas

The Numi Chocolate Pu-Erh was my official introduction. My unknown introduction was the Mint-Nilla Chai-Nilla blend from The Spice and Tea Exchange. Liquid Proust and Steepster made sure to expand my horizons on it, though I’m honestly picky about my Pu-Erh and like the more delicate ones.


I didn’t like the Numi Mint Puerh but I liked the Emperor’s Puerh a lot.


I still love Numi’s Emperor and Chocolate Pu-Erhs.


Basil mint? No, I haven’t tried that one. Sounds wild. For those of you who mentioned the chocolate, that is the one I’m “working on” at work now. About half a box left at this point. I like that one the best of them all. It reminds me of gingerbread more than chocolate.

I could see drinking any of these again, actually. I just probably won’t because I have so many more teas to explore and I want to try some of the more exotic pu erhs.

R.F. Hill

If you want to try a few packs, PM me! It’s quite exotic.


Thanks so much RF, but I am totally tea-overloaded. I do have a lemon basil oolong in my stash so I’ll give that a try when I am in the mood for something… exotic. ;-)

R.F. Hill

Ha-ha. Fair enough!

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drank Bohea by Teas Etc
1165 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 47 of 2016 (no. 258 total).

I made a mistake with this one.

I was looking for a plain black tea to make into cold brew and was having a hard time finding ones I either hadn’t yet tried as cold brew or knew I liked too much to use that much tea at a time. I hadn’t ever tried this one so I pulled it out of the stash.

I didn’t read about it before starting to spoon it into the container and it wasn’t until I was five scoops in, I realized that the cold brew container was going to require all of this that I had.

Around the same time, I realized I was smelling smokiness in the tea. Doh. If I’d read the description I would have known this was “the original lapsang.”

So I used all I had off this for cold brew, and I don’t really like smoky teas in cold brew.


It’s not horrible, it’s just that I’m sure I would have liked it a lot more if I had made it hot.

Not rating it.

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drank Purity by Tavalon Tea
1165 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 46 of 2016 (no. 257 total).

The thing the BF and no. 1 have has made its way to me. I had wanted to break open some new teas this weekend but since I couldn’t taste them at this point I decided against it.

This is good, it’s just more mint than ginger or tea by a lot so not overly interesting.

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Sipdown no. 45 of 2016 (no. 256 total).

The BF and No. 1 both have some respiratory thing. No. 1’s involves a fever, sore throat and cough. The BF’s doesn’t seem to have fever, just everything else.

Knowing that the BF likes this one, when he asked for tea this morning I took the opportunity to record a sipdown.

Drink this for the strawberry, not the pu-erh. It’s pleasant.

R.F. Hill

Is this a new tea?


They’ve been selling it for a while. At least five years.


feel better. Fresh sliced ginger with honey really helps

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drank After Dark by Tavalon Tea
1165 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 44 of 2016 (no. 255 total).

I still find this quite wonderful. Though I’ve now had this for a while (and it has been opened for a while) the chamomile still tastes fresh and creamy and not like dry straw as chamomile sometimes can. The fruity flavor is sweet, and the hibiscus plays well here, taking the edge off the fruit which might otherwise be too candy-like.

This is something I will buy again. And now I’m one step closer to being out of herbal lockdown. I haven’t counted how many are left but I think it is just a few, not counting the Refresh and I Love Lemon that I stocked up on in the grocery store.

P.S. Bad day here. Kitty no. 1 is in the hospital. She’s 14 and they think it’s a kidney problem. I’ve been through this a couple of times before and it isn’t fun.

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Sipdown no. 43 of 2016 (no. 254 total).

The latest tea to travel with me to work daily in the Timolino. Scratched bottom on the tin today.

Fresh, sweet, tasty, and pleasant. I’ll miss this one.

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drank Kashmir Rose by Simpson & Vail
1165 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 42 of 2016 (no. 253 total).

Not the most elegant exit for this tea. I made it, then didn’t have time to drink it before I had to run off to no. 1’s baseball game (he pitched two innings and gave up 0 runs!). I drank it upon my return. It’s better hot, but was ok cold. The spice note came out more strongly in the cold.

Not my favorite among the S&V well done florals. Unlikely to buy it again, but I wouldn’t refuse it if someone wanted to serve it to me.

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Sipdown no. 41 of 2016 (no. 252 total).

Downed the last two bags at work today. Pleasant, greenish floral aroma and flavor. I steeped on the short side, so not a lot of heft from the puerh, but I could tell it was there.
I like this better than I rated it. Bumping a few points.

Still, not likely to revisit it as there are too many other teas to try and though pleasant, this wasn’t a standout.


This was one of the teas I drank when I first started on the tea road more than four years ago. I liked it back then. I don’t think I would now. I have higher standards for shou.


I didn’t think it was much of a shou. More like a floral green with an undercurrent of shou.


I remember the tea being very dark brown. It could be the magnolia being the dominant flavor.


does it have actual magnolia flowers in it?


Couldn’t tell, Kirk, as it was in a teabag. :-)

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Sipdown no. 40 of 2016 (no. 251 total).

This had been traveling with me to work in my Timolino on a daily basis until I scraped the bottom of the container today.

It was a great tea for work. Easy to drink and not boring even when drunk on a daily basis.

My appreciation for Dragonwell has grown tremendously, in large part because of this tea. I’ve discovered it’s a great choice for when I want something green and refreshing but don’t really want something vegetally sweet.


i absolutely love dragonwell (longjing) ! have you tried yunnan sourcing’s version or Teavivre’s version or upton tea import’s version yet?


Nope, haven’t tried those.


they are quite good! :D

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Sipdown no. 39 of 2016 (no. 250 total).

I took my stash of remaining mixed teabags to work before I fully appreciated the tea availability at work. They have a good selection of Numi bagged teas available for free. Even so, if the past is any indication, my only hope of sipping down the remaining teabags is to do it at work. I just don’t reach for them at home, and I’ve given up on doing loose leaf at work. Too hard to get leaves out of the filter.

So I started a bit of a sipdown campaign, and this was the first to go. Either it became a little tastier over time or I’m just more used to puerh than I was when I wrote my first note. I didn’t get the horsiness that I mentioned before. There is a sort of a loam flavor, and the leather is smoother than I recalled.

Moving on to the other three Numi puerhs I still have, starting tomorrow, probably.

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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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