953 Tasting Notes


Sipdown no. 129 of the year 2014.

Not a bad fruity rooibos blend, just not spectacular in my book, though the BF loved it. I am tasting a lot of apple tonight mixed in with the lemon but the pomegranate is still difficult for me to discern. I wonder whether if this was fresher I might have tasted it more. I liked that the rooibos was quietly in the background and didn’t stand up to be counted.

It appears that as of the date of this note, Teavana still offers this blend. So I have time to change my mind, or order more because the BF likes it.

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Today was instrument selection day at the middle school and no. 1 has his heart set on playing the saxophone. He’d pretty much decided he wanted to play it two weeks ago ever since he learned he had to have an elective: art, band or orchestra. My immediate reaction was: great, another instrument I’ll have to fight with you to get you to practice (he’s in his third year of piano lessons). But then I thought perhaps there’d be a synergy. The things he doesn’t like about piano, like counting, might be things band would be incredibly good for learning. I imagine it only takes a few times of playing before the rest of the band because you didn’t count the quarter rest before you step in line.

Anyway. Small brag ahead, so if that sort of thing annoys you skip the next paragraph.

Amazingly, he wailed on all the instruments. On a scale of 1-5, five being the best (judged by the ability to get a coherent sound out of the instrument), he got 5s on sax, flute, trumpet, trombone and baritone, and a 4 on the clarinet. I have no idea where this comes from as I only ever played piano. But that’s one of the fun things about kids. They totally surprise you sometimes.

Anyway, he went to get fro-yo with the BF so I’m having an oolong. Ahhhh. Or perhaps I should say Ooooh. This is actually hitting the spot today. It’s really toasty and flavorful, and reminds me of what I like about dark oolongs. It’s quite fruity in its toastiness. I’m getting something peachy-plummy and some grape.

I shall be having a number of additional steeps of this. Carry on.




Thanks, but I really didn’t do anything—it was all him. :-)


You didnt do anything? Really?! I think we as parents deserve pat on back too. Don’t you agree? i think i wrote too many question marks :-)


yaaay for dark oolongs! ;) maybe because i’m a hojicha enthusiast ;p

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Exciting: within three servings of sipdown on this one. I’m so close to getting rid of my last tin and my last box of bags in the work stash that I took a big step today. I brought in two big tins and a box of tea bags.

The tins: Kusmi Bourbon Vanilla and LeafSpa Organic Blink Bonnie. I expect the latter may become a commuting home tea on the days when I need a boost, otherwise it will be an earlier in the day tea.

The bags: About 10 Numi Magnolia Puerh, and the last few Numi Red Rooibos and Tazo Honeybush. I was a little conflicted about the rooibos and honeybush. I needed decaf options for later in the afternoon, but the kids like these. Then again, the last few times I’ve tried to interest them in a cup they’ve said no. It is pretty hot here lately, so I expect that’s why.

I haven’t decided whether I have enough variety for a while now or whether I need to add a couple of other alternatives, but I’m leaning toward adding a couple.

In any case, I may sip this one down tomorrow, or it may be next week. But soon.


Peggie Bennett

I really like the Numi Magnolia! Good choice! :-)


I had it so long ago I don’t remember it! Will have to try again soon.

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Sipdown no. 128 of the year 2014. This is a minor backlog as I had it this morning. Unfortunately, it went cold while I was getting the kids to school. If I had more of this, I’d make a note to self to drink while hot. Cold, it was much heavier, and as it already had quite a bit of heft, it did a number on my stomach. I didn’t finish the last bit as I had to run out to a doctor’s appointment. It wasn’t enough to merit attempting to reheat, though.

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drank Lotus by Tazo
953 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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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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