2171 Tasting Notes

A while back I ordered two cast iron tea pots from Zen Tea Life. Shipping was fast and reasonable. We love our Iwachu pots! They included a sample of this with my order.

Lately I have noticed caffeine affecting me before bed so I decided to get a tisane that would help me as well as taste good. It isimportant to get good sleep, especially during the holidays! I ordered three – count them, THREE – bags of this plus one other evening herbal that I haven’t tried yet.

I don’t know how well the herbs here will work for detox but it has to be better for me than a lot of things I could reach for in the evening. When a tea or tisane has mint in it, that is pretty much all I taste unless there are some other pretty powerful herbs in large amounts.

This tisane is earthy and minty and the resteep is quite good, so it is a good value as well. Youngest daughter likes it a lot and is drinking it with me. The big test was hubby. He had a traumatic experience with an herbal once (Sandy, remember Evening in Missoula? I liked it and wish I had more!) and I didn’t know if he would try this. He did try it, and he liked it, even liked it well enough to ask for more. He has a lot of job stress so I hope it will also help keep him healthy through the winter.

I can hardly wait to try the other tisane I ordered, Evening Lights. They also sent a sample of Fengqing Golden Buds that I am excited about! I have requested a matcha bowl from Zen for Christmas. Some of these teas may get added to the Christmas list! (Which is a matcha bowl and…that’s it.)


Wow, the list of ingredients is long! Sounds interesting.

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I was sure I had reviewed this before, but no notes to be found. I have had this tea for a year. My eldest daughter, Superanna, who must love me very much if I can go by the tea she buys me, bought this for me in Amsterdam and then presented it to me in Derry, N.I. It has travelled a bit!

The dominant flavor today is orange, loud and clear, and it is a nice, natural orange. The tea is only lightly smoky to me.

One special treat today is that I am drinking this from a big sterling teapot. I have never used one before, and I am making storage bags for a relative’s silver and cleaning it to put it away for a little while. I was told I could use it, and in fact, told I could keep it here if I wished, but I will be storing it elsewhere. It is over $100 to buy the special storage bags but I got the fabric for $20 and I am hand sewing bags for her.

In the meantime, I thought it was a good chance to see if it is true that tea tastes better from sterling (well, it tastes GOOD but I am not sure if it tastes BETTER) and also I read that it stays hit longer. It is certainly staying warm for a long time, but I need to time it side by side with a ceramic pot to know for sure.

I do know that if I ever buy a silver pot, it will be smaller. This one is about forty ounces and I think I would be more comfortable handling something about half this size. So maybe I need two! One large and one small!

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I had a little trouble deciding on the pairing for this week’s tea time. I had to accommodate the dessert and the guest, and the tea I would have chosen would not have been a good choice for one of the guests. I went with this reliable standby!

Our dessert was Walnut Mocha Torte. I have never had tiramisu but my guest loves it and said the dessert was similar but with lighter coffee flavor. My daughter made it – she is pretty amazing and loves to bake and tells me not to ever mind asking her to make something. The torte had no flour in it, only breadcrumbs and ground walnuts and lots and lots of eggs, and other things to be sure but I don’t know what! And she actually used panko breadcrumbs because we had so much on hand. The frosting was whipping cream with coffee and I know not what else but it was SUPER TASTY. It is light and cool, not heavy and overfilling.

The tea went with it well, not detracting or competing. I wish I had some pure cacao nib “tea” to go with this torte, though. I think that would be the perfect pairing for me, but I know not everyone likes as many things as I do!

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drank Diamond Jubilee by Harney & Sons
2171 tasting notes

This was the second tea of tea party yesterday. I like it but I don’t often crave bergamot so it is getting old. It is still good, though.

This is more like a gentle Lady Grey sort of tea rather than an Earl Grey. No in-your-face bergamot here, just a delicate and lightly citrus cup.



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drank Anji Black by Harney & Sons
2171 tasting notes

Oh my. Liquified sweet potato. Two steeps, light in color, thin body but not thin flavor. If there were such a thing as sweet potato essential oil, this is what it would smell like. Sooo good.

Sami Kelsh

That sounds GLORIOUS.


I second that.


Going to have to get this tea!

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I was in a strange mood this morning. First of all, it is exactly a year since we were in Ireland, and I feel myself transported there many mornings. I guess it is the angle of the light and the temperatures that are making the memories so powerful, plus it was my first time traveling and we rented a townhouse instead of staying in a motel so we felt more like “natives.”

Anyway, I felt restless and wanted something special since I couldn’t pull on my shoes and walk down the street for my pot of tea and my scone. I thought about hot chocolate but it is actually still pretty hot here at home. Then I thought about baking, but I wanted something quick.

I thought about this blooming tea and it was just what I needed to make the day special. I steeped it in a tall wine glass, poured off the first steep into a tiny glass pot, then resteeped for a very long time. This second steep was strong, so I added hot water and it was perfect and meanwhile the third steep stood before us on the table in all of its glory. It had now fully unfurled and was looking beautiful, and gave a holiday air to the whole room sitting there the rest of the day. I am definitely reordering this. I gave one or two to my son to use for romantic date nights with his GF, so i only have one left! This is my favorite flowering tea to date.

It is beautiful to look at, but it also tastes really special, and that is the only reason I would buy it. If it didn’t taste good, it wouldn’t really be worth it to me to keep it around. This is a good silver needle though, and you can let it steep a long time and still enjoy it. The jasmine notes are really light, just a little boost of sweetness really.


I hope you’ll be able to go back there sometime soon. I totally know what you mean since I sometimes get that same sensation regarding my time in Europe.

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drank Qimen Hao Ya by Le Palais des Thes
2171 tasting notes

I can’t believe this is already gone! I had two and a half teaspoons left so I made two steps of about sixteen ounces each and mixed them. It is still sufficiently strong to serve as a breakfast tea, and certainly would be hearty enough for milk and sugar if you like. I take virtually all of my tea plain, and it is still a nice “breakfast tea” strength.

The instructions call for 195F water, so if you wanted your tea strong enough to crawl from the cup and slap you awake, I expect you would get it by taking it up to boiling. I would want milk and sugar in that instance, though.

I think we prefer the Qimen Imperial, but this is quite good.


I could use some “slap you awake! :)”

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drank Le Chat Noir by Leland Tea Co
2171 tasting notes

This is it! The tin is empty and waiting by the sink to be washed. I had two and a half teaspoons left. I steeped it in my eighteen ounce Stump pot. We have made five steps so far and I think we have one or two left in these leaves.

There is a hint of chocolate, a rich, oily-thick mouthfeel, and a bit of cedar, like chewing on a brand new pencil. I am going to miss the easy drink ability of this one. Not at fussy, it really keeps going and going and the flavor is good. It isn’t so exotic that a newbie can’t enjoy it, or tasteless so that a puerh lover won’t. No fishiness, no low tide odor to this one, I would reorder, but I have a lot of puerh to get through already. Very nice tea.

Served after a supper of creamy carrot soup with sweet curry powder and dessert of Hoosier pie!


Dinner and tea sound yummy :)

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What a great, all around daily drinker! Today was tea party day, and you may remember that I feel that my guest has done all the experimenting she really wants to do, she has determined that she loves black tea best, and I determined that I will start serving at least two black teas at tea party instead of wide assortments. The third tea will be either a flavored black or a green or oolong tea that she has had and loved.

I usually start out with an unflavored black tea to complement and cut the sweetness of our dessert. Today we had a couple of Hoosier pies that my daughter made, also called Sugar Cream Pie. It was really good, and the tea was a great pairing for it.

This tea does NOT taste like a decaf. It has so much flavor and heft, but is smooth and nice even without milk or sugar. Classic orange pekoe flavor!

On a side note, it is funny that I have a teapot purchase decision to make, thought about asking for advice here, imagined what advice I thought you would give (and what I would give to others in my shoes) and decided I knew what you would say and didn’t ask after all. So, thanks for your help, guys! I think I know what to do now! :)


WWSD? :)

Lived in Indiana my whole life. I had never heard of Hoosier pie and I’m kind of a pie aficionado OK addict. Have had many a nutmeg dust sugar cream pie though. Interesting. Learned something new.


Wonder if that’s like what we call chess pie around here.

Making note of a decaf with HEFT.

Glad to be of service ;)

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drank Thé des Cigales by Dammann Freres
2171 tasting notes

I made a small pot of this for breakfast today on my special day off from almost everything! It is very refined with a little bit of edge to make it super for breakfast and getting your eyes open, while still being very flavorful and satisfying without milk and sugar. I have fond memories of this tea, as it was one of my first really nice teas and the first time I drank it was my very first swap, which happened to be with teaequaksbliss, who sent me more tea than I knew existed.


Whaddya have to do to get a day off from everything? (I want one!!!!)


I’m sure, no, I know you deserved this day off, so enjoy!


GMathis: I don’t know what I did but I hope I do it again! Hubby even took his mother her nightly hot dog to the rest home for me! And even though I was mostly off (well, really I just got to be alone almost all day!) I did make him a big pot of vegetarian chili with tomatoes from our garden!

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about six 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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