2159 Tasting Notes

drank Blackberry by The Extra Ingredient
2159 tasting notes

My friend who gave me the sample of this tea a while back was going to Greensboro and asked if I would for her to pick up some tea for me. I asked for eight ounces of this, and it was only eight dollars. Wow.

It is really good, very flavorful. My daughter and her friend love it and we are managing to sock it away pretty fast. The blackberry aroma fills the house when we make it. It kept reminding me of something, and I finally got it. Parma violets. Daughter’s friend agreed there were similarities. Don’t be horrified, it doesn’t taste just like them, but there is something about it that is reminiscent of violet candies. And now I want violet candies because I am out and they sell them around here and I am really susceptible to suggestion apparently.

I am almost too groggy to type. For those who saw the earlier posts, here is an update.

Mother-in-law had spinal surgery yesterday to relieve pain of compression fracture. She is now too weak to be accepted back to her assisted Irving place, so we face finding a rehab facility and then hoping to get her back to where she was. If not, nursing home. She couldn’t not sit unassisted today. We have to take turns staying at the hospital with her because she barely eats enough to keep a gnat alive and can’t feed herself, and the nurses are too busy to feed her.

Nephew spiked a fever of 105F just when they were going to move him from ICU. The bruised area of his heart had caused an abscess to form on his lung. They did surgery and installed a drain, and the MRI revealed that he also needs spinal surgery. Fortunately it is a routine and straightforward fusing of two vertebrae together. Naturally the drunk driver who hit them is fine. He walked for the first time in eleven days today’ with a walker. He will step down to a new ward in the hospital and then go to rehab before going back home.

Thankful right now for good health, and considering doing a bunch of jumping jacks every day to increase my bone density…


Perhaps I’ll come across your original post in a bit, but wow. That sounds like an awful situation for your relatives; I hope they both start to improve soon, and can make as close to full recoveries as possible :(


You are in my thoughts


Thinking of you.


hugs my thoughts are with you


Thinking of you and your relatives!


Continuing to pray for your patients and your patience and strength as you care for them!


Praying for you and yours.

Christina / BooksandTea

That’s awful that so much bad stuff is piling on, but I’m glad to hear your nephew was using a walker.

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drank Grand Amour by Nina's Paris
2159 tasting notes

I THINK this is my favorite tea from Nina’s, but there are several that are so good I find it hard to choose. This one stands out because it is one of the first teas I tried from them.

We had tea party early this week again because one daughter is now working and the other is about to start her senior year of high school, so we are fitting it in at the best time for all of us to make it.

The dessert today was Snickerdoodle Bread and this was the second tea served. It is smooth and fruity and just makes me feel good when I drink it. I love the tea and I love the name, so I gave a tin of it to my son-in-law as a wedding gift. He likes the Lady Grey type of profile and this is like a more refined, more elegant Lady Grey type with fresh fruity flavors, not just citrus, and it is much smoother going down. There is no tendency to the puckery aftertaste. I hate to compare it to Lady Grey, which is a decent tea but it is a five and this is a ten and a half. No contest. It just gives me that feeling of elegance and luxury of bygone English tea times in country mansions.

For those who read my note last night, I will update on my nephew. He is still on a respirator but is now initiating breath 100% of the time. He can not speak because of the tube but was able to write on a clipboard to communicate, so that was a relief as far as concerns about how extensive any brain injury might be.

There were several wrecks that night near the big city and it has been so hard to get accurate information. I am so thankful things were not worse!

Christina / BooksandTea

This sounds delicious. I really like their Demain and Quatre Fruits Rouge teas.

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I need a “Calgon Take Me Away” tea tonight. My mind is spinning and I need something soothing and indulgent before I go to bed.

This morning when I came in from tending the chickens bright and early, I had a text that my nephew was in the hospital. He was on a first date with a girl and they were in a wreck last night and it was pretty bad. All day, news trickled through and changed. It was hard to get information, even for his parents who were not notified until five hours after the wreck, partly because he was thrown from the car and they couldn’t find him at first.

It looks like he will be fine, but I have been aching for what my brother and his wife have been through today, and the fear they must have been assaulted by when the police woke them at 2:30 am as well as hating the pain he must be in.

You think you have a bad first date story? How about “my car was totaled and I was in surgery for eight hours and he couldn’t breathe on his own.” The driver that clipped the car was at fault.

So here we are. This tea is probably going to be just for me because it is too floral for my best friend and while youngest likes it all right she is more of a Lapsang and puerh fan. Those are pretty much the opposite of this.

So this tea has everything soothing in it…lavender, jasmine, rose. I read that in a scientific study, jasmine was found to be more relaxing and sleep inducing than lavender in spite of the well known benefits of lavender. Perhaps lavender still holds that popular spot because jasmine absolute is incredibly expensive and the price of it would be enough to keep you up at night.

Tonight I made it in my Kamjove, steeping almost two teaspoons at 174F for four minutes, then resteeping and combining the two. It is plenty strong enough and this will stretch it and make it a bit more economical.

So you who pray, please say a prayer for Drew and Sarah, for speedy and complete recovery, as well as for their poor, stressed out and worried families.


Oh no. Sending well wishes and prayers.


Thank you!


Oh my, best wishes for the best of possible outcomes. I’m so sorry this has happened to your nephew.


I don’t pray, but sending my best wishes

Maddy Barone

Oh my gosh, how awful. Sending good thoughts for a quick recovery.


I will pray for him! How awful!

Christina / BooksandTea

That’s awful. I hope he and his date (if they were also injured) have an easy recovery. Did your family find the other driver?


His date required an eight hour surgery on her arm. It is broken and her radial nerve was severed. She was able to move her fingers last night. My nephew is still on a respirator but is initiating breaths all the time now and has written on a clipboard to communicate, which is great because the fluid on his brain could have meant a severe brain injury. The other driver had been drinking but did stay at the scene with the girl. They could not find my nephew until some time later since he was grown so far.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and well wishes! Steepster is such a great
community and I am glad to be here!


That should say “thrown so far.”


oh my goodness. All my thoughts and prayers go out to the two of them.


They are in my thoughts

Sami Kelsh

Lots of hugs to you and family, and wishing a speedy recovery for the injured couple. x x x x x x


Just read this. Prayers for nephew, date, and other driver.


Positive thoughts, and love to your nephew and friend xo


In my thoughts…sounds like the young people are very healthy and this is working strongly in their favor.


Oh my! Prayers and thoughts are worth all of you!

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One more review of this one – I made it again but this time I resteeped the bag so it was half strength compared to what I am before. I used one large bag to make one half gallon of iced tea.

The weird thing was that my husband said it tasted stronger than before. I guess that means I will keep resteeping it to stretch it even though we really don’t like Rooibos. We are very frugal. Well, in some ways we are frugal but you might not realize it seeing all the tea in the house…

I do like the licorice root in this so at least there is one point in its its favor, plus it is supposed to be good for you and I feel it HAS to be better than Koolaid or soft drinks.

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We had a rainy, gray day a few days ago that put me in a fall mood even though it was hot outside. I wanted soup and for some reason Cream of Carrot came to mind even though I had never heard of it actually being made. I had creamy Parsnip in Ireland so I knew it had to exist.

The recipe we found online called for bacon and specified it was “to add a smokey flavor.” I didn’t have any bacon but that didn’t stop me. I have never put ham in my split pea soup because my husband doesn’t care for meat, so I am accustomed to changing recipes to be more vegetarian, though I am not one. We just eat that way most of the time.

Anyway, I decided as I was putting it all together to make a really strong cup of this Lapsang and add it, and VOILA! Nice smokey flavor without bacon! The soup as great. I topped it with mozzarella and Penzey’s California Seasoned Pepper. The smoke really did add to it, so I texted my son’s girlfriend (who IS a vegetarian!) to let her know this little trick, as she is a good cook and loves soup as much as I do.


I made roasted chicken rubbed in steeped out Lapsang leaves once, really tasty.


Nice! I am looking forward to doing more cooking with tea!

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Done! I finished this today as youngest and I ate Snickerdoodle bread with cinnamon chips and read Robert Louis Stevenson – The Bottle Imp.

I may buy it again someday. It is certainly a great tea. I have been drinking it for years and find myself at A Southern Season a couple of times a year. Right now I have so much tea I really shouldn’t consider buying ANYTHING…but you know I will. I already had a friend pick up eight ounces of Blackberry Flavored Black that will be delivered on Tuesday. sigh.

This is a smooth and drinkable tea that even the newbie and ambivalent tea drinkers like. It is still interesting enough to entice the seasoned tea lover.


That bread sounds delicious!


It is so good! It made two loaves, supposedly for tea party tomorrow, but one loaf is already gone. My husband couldn’t keep his hands off of it!

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As promised, I am giving hubby’s opinion. I served it to him at lunch today. He said he would drink it, but he didn’t care for it. It was cold and wet and therefore would do well enough to wash down the pizza.

I can actually enjoy the first of the sip. I sweetened it since we are in sweet tea country down here and I thought that he would like it if it were more like Kool-Aid. I failed to see that it already has licorice root which is sweet enough, so this is quite sweet now, and I actually like licorice root very much.

Unfortunately, the aftertaste is strong and thick and oh so cough syrup-y. I can actually crave the front of the sip but there is that shudder at the end. I fully intend to use this up because it isn’t so terrible that I can’t stretch the grocery budget a little with it. I have made a second pitcher and this time I made it half strength. I resteeped one large sachet instead of using two for the half gallon. We will see how that goes tomorrow…

If you like Rooibos and you like hibiscus well enough, you will probably like this a lot. It just isn’t my thing.

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I didn’t buy this. It was given to me by a really great neighbor who is manager of a local vitamin store. He went to a training seminar and got tons of samples and shared them with me. It really is nice to have good neighbors. I make dairy and water kefir for him and let his dog out every day to play with my dog while he is at work. He brings me free samples and takes care of our chickens when we go to the beach.

Tonight I got a big bag of teas like tulsi and Nighty Night and this one, as well as lots of whey, recovery drinks, and supplements for my Spartan Double Trifecta son. I went ahead and made a half gallon using two of the large sachets. I wish I had read the ingredients first because it has licorice root in it (which I love) and I added sugar, which it doesn’t really need with licorice root in there,

The aroma is…pure Robitussin. This smells more like cough syrup than Robitussin does! I really can’t seem to escape that with Rooibos. It isn’t cold yet but I poured some over ice. It is good enough to drink on a hot, hot day when you want something cold and tart and fruity. I don’t know if I would buy this, and I really want to review it again after hubby tries it. He is picky and will either gag on it and like it. I don’t think meh will be an option with him.

Dominant taste is Rooibos, even overshadowing the dreaded tart hibiscus. The blueberry is there, I suppose, and the fruitiness is probably the only thing that will save it. The overall flavor has that thickness that comes with licorice root, and I really like that aspect.

Tomorrow will tell the final verdict on this one, but I like it better than Passion by Tazo, I think.


It smells even more like cough syrup than cough syrup does. That’s rough!

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So rich, and thick, and chocolate….and rose. This is excellent dessert tea, served second at tea party yesterday to carry on the chocolate flavor from the French Silk Pie we had served. Luxuriant. Decadent. Delicious.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2159 tasting notes

I have reviewed this tea 57 times already. Why do it again today? Several reasons!

First, we had this yesterday at tea party. We tried a new recipe for French Silk Pie which my guest promptly renamed “Death By Chocolate” and said we needed to put it on the rotation and this was the unflavored black served with it. We followed with Dark Obsession Chocolate Rose.

But I had made a lot of it and we had eight ounces left, which I heated and put in my Thermos and took to the Cancer Center with me. I wasn’t really thinking when I did that, it was just the first tea handy. But Catherine has given me fortitude through some though times. She was with me every morning after radiation and kept me going strong. So how fitting it was that she was with me this morning when the doctor released me – FOR GOOD – from coming to the Cancer Center! I am not officially at the five year mark but he said he felt that my primary care physician could take of things from here on!

Nice to have her there for my celebration!

In addition, I noted some changed in flavor from drinking it in the thermos. The maltiness seemed amplified and there was also an element of hearty green tea about her today. Back in the day when I used to put her in a thermos I also added milk and sugar but I don’t use them anymore. So it was a pleasant little surprise to discover the little change of nuance in my reliable Queen.

Doug F

That’s great news! Congratulations. Tea is indeed more than just a drink.


So good to hear! Tea is a great companion :)


Congratulations! I’m glad you have a tea to have kept yourself going.


I just did an out loud Woot! Awesome news.


Congratulations! That is amazing!!

Roswell Strange

Congratulations! That’s absolutely fucking amazing news! It’s lovely how tea will always have connections and ties to positive memories like this one – now every time you sit down with The Queen you’ll get to relive the feeling of hearing that great news :)


I am astoundingly happy for you!

Christina / BooksandTea

That’s awesome! Congratulations!


Congrats!! That is wonderful news! It’s always great to have a great tea by your side for excellent news! I am very happy for you :D




Fantastic news! so happy for you!!!


How wonderful! Congrats!


Congrats God has blessed you again!


Fantastic! Congrats!


Thank you, everyone! I was pretty excited when I went in, thinking this was my next to last appointment and that I would get released from the center next February when it was officially five years since the end of treatment. It was really neat to get “set free” today!

Maddy Barone

What awesome news! Congrats!


That’s great news!! :)

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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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