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2169 Tasting Notes


I tried this again today and it is definitely better with a LONGER steeping time of around 5 minutes, that helps to bring out the flavor. Raised the rating a few points this afternoon.

I liked it so much I made two cups… :)

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I will have finished this off today, it’s been a long time coming. This says it’s a blend of first flush teas but I always thought it was a second flush blend, oh well. It’s been a nice blend but I don’t think I will miss it too much. It’s good with a touch of sugar too.

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drank Russian Morning No. 24 by Kusmi Tea
2169 tasting notes

Tea of the morning; back to SF after spending 3 days in Portland. I tried to go to as many tea shops as I could but I certainly missed a few. The trip was very enjoyable aside from the rain.

This blend is a nice and mellow black tea. I think it’s one of my favorites from Kusmi along with the spicy chocolate.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

Ooh! Did you buy any teas in Portland?


or stop by to say hi to steven? :)


@Tealizzy – I did not buy anything! Amazing. @Sil – I missed Steven, he was on my agenda but it didn’t fit with other plans. Next time!

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Tea of the afternoon – what I really need is a nap but I’m afraid I won’t be sleeping for a while.

This tea is intriguing. It’s very aromatic and as I was holding the cup up to my nose I was trying to place the smell. It reminds me a bit of pastries baking but it’s also… floral.

The flavor is interesting as well, there is something sweet and bready about it, but also malty and fruity. Geoffrey mentioned grape and I can taste some of that as well. When I first sipped this I thought it was a bit on the bitter side, but as the cup cools down its definitely calmed down a bit.

Reminds me a bit of a Chinese Yunnan crossed with a SF Darjeeling. I am enjoying it but I think I accidentally made my leaf to water ratio too strong by dumping in more tea than I needed. I think I’ll wait to give this a rating until I’ve tried it again.

I am convinced I will like any tea from Sandakphu, there is something about them that has always captivated me (and continues to do so).

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Hmm, sounds really interesting!

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drank Lemon Cardamom Chun Mee by 52teas
2169 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon here. It’s funny how many blecchy reviews this blend got and I loved it, it just goes to show you how subjective tea ratings really are.

I steeped this and then refrigerated it and added soymilk. Now it reminds me a bit of a bubble tea. It’s quite refreshing this way. I want more teas with cardamom. ;)

190 °F / 87 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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drank Organic Mao Jian by Butiki Teas
2169 tasting notes

Green tea of the morning here, it’s been a while since I’ve had this one but it’s very vegetal and mostly sweet with a bit of palette cleansing astringency. Definitely a nice green tea to sip on plain (although honestly my favorite greens tend to be Japanese). I love the artichoke, almost savory flavor here.

I’ve been drinking more coffee lately and my back has also started hurting me more. I don’t know if this is a coincidence, but I think I’ll go back to drinking only tea for a while. I’ve read green and white tea are supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties.

p.s. I also got a good 2nd steep out of it

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Tea of the morning here, 2/4 of Upton’s assam sampler.

I don’t have a lot of experience with CTC’s aside from knowing they are produced in a different way than orthodox teas so here’s a short primer for the curious: http://t-buds.com/orthodox-vs-ctc-teas-body-vs-flavor/

I steeped this for 3 minutes but might try it for 2 next time. It is definitely a strong assam, bold and malty with a bit of a winey aftertaste and some bitterness too. Definitely a lot better with milk and sugar and very eye opening. Meh, maybe I’m a tea snob but I much prefer the traditional assam leaf.

I have read this is primarily what they use to make chai with in India but traditionally chai is made with a lot of milk.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I had this tea early on when I first really started getting into loose leaf and I could pretty much only drink black tea with cream and honey. I loved this one because its soooo strong. I can only drink it with milk and honey. Many other teas from that time I’ve grown out of, but I do still love this one. On mornings when I need an extra boost, this tea does the trick and then some!


But I’m with you, most CTCs aren’t great.


Thanks for the primer! I really didn’t know what they were, but I definitely have some in my cupboard and they are not my favorites.

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drank Garden of Eden by Capital Teas
2169 tasting notes

Geez, I bought this months ago when I was in Washington DC and I evidently forgot to do a tasting note on it until now!

Normally I steer clear of fruit tisanes as they are generally full of hibiscus but this one isn’t. The bag is full of dried fruit and flowers. For a tisane I think this is pretty good, it is slightly on the sour side but I think it’s the strawberries that are making it this way. A little pinch of sugar did remedy the situation. I’m always in the lookout for a good tisane and this is nice, the pear flavor also comes through fairly well. I might be more inspired to try some of their other fruit tisanes as well. I have yet to have a fruit tisane that I really LOVE but I know I will finish this off happily and might even get some more.

I had this iced last year and I remember it was good that way. It would also be nice to mix this with other things like Maria suggested to see what happens.

Also I’m excited I’m going to Portland, Oregon tomorrow and have a few tea shops on my itinerary. :)

Boiling 8 min or more
Tea Sipper

Have fun! :D


Portland is a pretty neat town.

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty


San Frandisco



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