1893 Tasting Notes

I haven’t had a Chun Mei in ages! This is a great tea to pair with food because the briskness lets you taste it and keeps the food from covering up the tea. This also makes it a great tea to serve after a meal to clear the palate, and the briskness is followed by a sweet aftertaste. Served with orange chicken, veggie lo mein, and pepper steak. One of my daughter’s favorite greens.

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I am surprised I am not sloshing. We had this again yesterday with some additions to our party. Everyone preferred this over the others puerhs we had. My son and his girlfriend were going to have me order for them again, which I don’t mind doing, but I told them they might as well start getting some rewards points and save on future orders, so we made a Steepsterr account, drank LOTS of tea because they want to order some green tea as well, and they placed their very first Teavivre order of their own! If you see ChelseaR, please follow her so she can get a good start on Steepster!

Some tea is brisk or astringent, and supposed to be that way. But not this one. This tea is smooth, creamy, and JUICY. The cedar and earth flavors are so sweet and smooth that your mouth never feels dry.

I had ordered a large beeng of a different sort before Christmas and I do like it, but in spite of good sense I am ordering this one, too. I won’t run short of puerh for a while!


What a great time to be had drinking all that tea, and with son! Life is good.


Indeed, it is, Cwyn. Indeed, it is.

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We are tasting some puerhs tonight that my son has never tried because he wants to place a puerh order during the sale. This was the final tea we tasted and everyone loved it most of all.

It has a nice, full. round mouthfeel with that creamy/oily feel. The first steep is reddish and the next three are very dark. By steep five (and I did rinse first) the color is starting to get a little lighter but these leaves are by no means done, and we have had six or seven steeps.

I was surprised to get this much smooth flavor from a 2013, but then I saw that it was actually picked in 2006. And it is from Lincang, one of my favorite sources! No wonder we loved it. Going on the order for sure. Yes, it is a little more expensive, but it is a HUGE cake at 400 grams and well worth it.

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Just as I had expected, my son and his girlfriend were eager to try some new pu-erh teas tonight. This seems to have become a tradition now for family gatherings. They have never had a sheng that I can recall and have asked me to order some puerh for them during this sale, so I am having them sample a number of my teas on hand to see what else they would like.

Even though it is their first sheng, they are drinking it heartily and really like it. We have made about one liter of tea from one little tuo cha. I think they are very interested in having more of this one.

I am tasting very little of the jasmine tonight, perhaps because of how I stored it. I will have to remember that. What I am tasting is a nice young sheng, and we remarked that it would be a wonderful tea for clearing the palate after a meal, especially after Asian buffet takeout.

Now we move on to some shu!

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I drank this again last night and this morning. I must say I think I have to order it while they are having their sale.

I am finding that I taste so much more in my puerh teas when I let them cool a bit. When they are hot, they are so similar but as they cool I detect more flavors and more delicate nuances. This one developed the wonderful cedar oil flavor that I adored in Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, which is no longer available but was my favorite puerh of all time. Perhaps the elusive flavor is coming from the golden buds.

This is a small beeng which I think is really nice. It makes the price very similar to the one I bought myself for Christmas, which was double the price but also much heavier.
I plan to get this one, the rice-ripened (which I loved and wish came as plain loose leaf and not just as bags!), lots of the plain tuocha, and maybe some rose or chrysanthemum! I think I have until the 20th to decide what to buy on their sale!

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drank Pu Erh Caramel by Gurman's
1893 tasting notes

Steep after steep, pot after pot, puerh has become our traditional tea for board games and gatherings. A former music student of mine who is now at college and my my godson came over to play Dominion today. We played for nearly four hours. And the tea kept coming.

This is a likable starter puerh for people who are afraid of trying puerh, and there are real chunks of caramel in it that melt during steeping. Somehow the caramel flavor keeps coming through for a number of steeps. We really enjoy this, although it doesn’t evoke sighs and murmurings about leather and barns. But it isn’t supposed to on game day. It is supposed to be enjoyed on the side while we eat lots of stuff we shouldn’t!


I love Dominion :D


Caramel-pu sounds like a good fit.


Sounds yummy!

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I have been neglecting this and it is time to concentrate on drinking it a LOT before it gets too old to enjoy. I wanted a quiet and contemplative cup tonight for a little candlelight and soft music, just something I have been needing. I invited hubby to join me and I really didn’t know how he would feel about the mint in this. He isn’t a mint hater, but he wasn’t overly fond of chrysanthemum and has preferred unflavored white and greens at times, but I gave it a go.

It turned out that he did like it quite a bit. We enjoyed five steeps of this tea. My favorite part of it is the anise. I really hadn’t had it much before and long ago did not care for it in German cookies, so I am surprised at how much I like it now. Anise reminds me a little of licorice root, which is probably crazy to those of you who are super tasters. I think making homemade cola syrup helped my love of anise to grow, and now I want to start making some homemade anise teas as well.

I really don’t understand the pricing on this website. The photos are gorgeous, the packaging makes you feel positively spoiled when you order, and I didn’t balk too hard at $27 for two ounces since it was just a little splurge for myself. But $125 for 7 ounces in a tin? I love the tins, too, they are magnificent, and at that price I hope they are double lidded, but I honestly can’t see myself ever ordering tea in a tin from them unless I win the lottery…..BIG.


Crazy price point! That tin would have to be shooting rainbows to justify such a price, never mind be double-lidded.


and come with a guy to make the tea and rub your feet! LOL


Spa in a tin!

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drank Ginger Snappish by Bigelow
1893 tasting notes

This is another Bigelow tea that was included in my Christmas card from GMathis! Thank you!

Tonight was writers’ group night at my house, and because of the severe cold weather I had decided to make a bean soup – rather like a vegetarian chili – for supper to warm my hubby. Then I wondered if that was such a good idea with a house full of company coming…

To stave off any tummy grumbles I decided to try this since ginger is supposed to be good for digestion. I think it worked! The tea smelled very good, like freshly baked cookies but not overly sweet. I did detect a note of round sweetness that I associate with licorice and slippery elm. It turned out to be a hint of licorice.

I bought ginger snaps a long time ago and didn’t like them, but then my youngest daughter made gingerbread men at Christmas this year and we all loved them. The store bought ones were too hot and spicy for me. Hers were just right. That is how the tea was for me. By the end of the cup, the ginger was building up and becoming more noticeable, but at no point was it too much or unpleasant.


Normally I despise teas with licorice, but it’s not obnoxious at all in this one.

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I know I reviewed this as an matcha latte but I don’t see it now, nor was this listed as in my cupboard. Drat it, Steepster!

Inspired by the pictures that Red Leaf posts on Facebook, I made some matcha ice cream with a twist. The twist – I used homemade kefir, which generally produces a frozen yogurt like dessert that tastes like cheesecake. My only ingredients were 12 ounces kefir, 1 1/2 TBLSP sugar, and a scant teaspoon of matcha. I froze it in my Zoku cup since it was a small batch. I froze it in two batches successively, adding it to my teacup.

It was very tasty, and healthy, though that is a lot of matcha at one time for me since I ate it all by myself!

Thank you, Red Leaf, for the matcha surprise! My student who shared some with me has emailed three times for help in choosing their flavors as they are requesting your matcha as their birthday gift at home!


Frozen kefir! That’s a new one to me, but I can totally see how it would taste like cheesecake.


We were looking at shops in Toronto’s PATH and one is called deKefir. It is a frozen kefir shop, like our frozen yogurt! Plain kefir with vanilla and sugar added and made into ice cream tastes just like cheesecake flavor frozen yogurt.


Genius! More people need to do this wonderful thing haha.

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drank Salted Caramel by Bigelow
1893 tasting notes

A few weeks ago I received a lovely handmade card from GMathis with a few tea bags tucked in. Today was the perfect day to try them! It is really, really cold for where I live. We will be below freezing for a total of about 40 hours, and that is a big deal here in Eastern NC!

I chose this first because I recently fell in love with a dark chocolate salted caramel candy bar. I felt like I was having a dessert after lunch! The smell is remarkable – spot on caramel. It reminds me of 52Teas Weeping Angel.

The taste: a very enjoyable black tea with lots of caramel flavor. I enjoyed it plain, and I expect if you like to add sugar to your tea it really would taste just like candy.

Bigelow has been good to me. This is the tea they serve at the cancer center and I have tried a number of flavors there. All have been superior to most of the bagged teas I have found in the grocery store.

Thank you, GMathis! This was a great afternoon cup for huddling by the fire!


It’s been a long john’s week here, too. However, sun has been shining, mostly; my un-scientific contention is that 20 and sunny is warmer than 40 with dampness and clouds.

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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