2183 Tasting Notes

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
2183 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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Not already in my cupboard? How can that be? I have had this for a long time. Ah well, maybe there was another listing at one time and my notes are elsewhere.

This morning was very overcast and rain was in the forecast for most of the day. Even though it is still pretty hot, it is a good 15 degrees cooler in the mornings than we have seen in a while, and the clouds made it seem so cozy in the house. Maybe I jumped the gun, but I went for a “school year tea.”

I have homeschooled all four of my children and I just have one left – now a senior. I have purchased lapsang as a back to school treat in the past because she loves it so much, and drinks a lot of it in the cooler weather during the school year. And today I am working on her transcript and getting her ready to register with a concurrent enrollment program, the beginning of sounding the final bell on my years as a homeschooling mom. sniff sniff! Mixed emotions!

So today, as I prepare for our final year and gear up to start school in a week, I have a whole pot of lapsang before me. I originally bought this brand about six years ago when we first started drinking loose leaf. My youngest daughter was one of the main reasons I got into tea so heavily, as she started wanting it and was really in love with holding a warm mug and getting cozy. I bought Winey Keemun first, and only because her name is Grace and that was the name on the tin. It was a good choice, though, because all of their teas that I have tried have been good teas.

This one has a medium smoke level to me, not nearly as strong as the delightful Crocodile from Dammann Freres and maybe a little softer in the base than Baker Street. It isn’t quite as sweet as Black Dragon. It is a really good all around smokey lapsang, not too strong, not too smokey, just right unless you really hate smoke.


Wow! How impressive. Congrats on home schooling. That has to be so rewarding and challenging at the same time.


I have loved it. I will miss it, and I plan to make the most of this final year and enjoy every second! I wonder what on earth the future will hold, and I hope it is wonderful.


I homeschooled my kids for a dozen years— it’s hard to let go of such a sweet time. Three years since they transitioned to classrooms, and I still keep up the timeline populated with all of their drawings that extends all the way around the dining room.


It has been twenty-three since I began! It is bittersweet and exciting and sad and wonderful all at once!

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drank Apricot by Harney & Sons
2183 tasting notes

I first tried this from the wooden sampler box sold by Harney and Sons, which now comes in two sizes I believe. I love the small one so much that I have given it to several people as a gift.

I gave one to my son-in-law over a year ago and as he tried the teas he would update me. First, he found a favorite. Paris! Or in his adorable Irish accent…Pahrse. A couple of weeks later he told me he thought he had found his favorite, and I thought he had forgotten that he told me he loved Paris. But no, he found a new favorite! Apricot.

I finally ordered this when it was on sale last week, mostly for youngest who loves peaches and apricots. She came in the kitchen while it was steeping and said, “Oh my gosh, what do I smell? Is that the tea?”

So now she and my best friend are both in love with it, and I can live with that. We share lots of pots of tea together.

This is NOT peach, it is definitely apricot. Rich and nutty and warm and full of body. And it resteeped! The apricot was lighter, sure, but the base tea really hung in there and it was a nice second pot.

Louise Li

I have wanted to try this one for a while! Thanks for your review :D


Love this one. And adore it cold.

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I saved the leaves to see if this can be resteeped. I am happy to say that I did get another good steep out of it. There is still enough rosy flavor left to recognize. The liquor is a little paler and it isn’t a super dark black tea to begin with, but it wasn’t too terribly light and tasted good. I drank some of it cold because of the miserable heat and humidity we have had.

In other news – (stop reading if you are only interested in the part about tea) – I have performed a chicken experiment. Last year, one of my Black Copper Marans got broody and was very hard to break of it. Living in the city limits, I have no rooster. When she went broody again this year, I decided to give in and let her have babies.

I let her sit on three infertile eggs for over a week. (She had been sitting on stolen eggs or in empty nest boxes for at least a week already.) Then one night just after dark, I slipped the eggs out and slipped some one-day-old baby Cuckoo Marans in. She was pleased as punch to become a mother and it is an absolute miracle to watch how she mothers them. She has a special sound that she makes that I had never heard from her or any other chicken of mine before. It always means that she has found food for them. She lets them eat first, and crushes anything too large. She picks up the food and puts it down to show them what they should eat. She summons them when she thinks they have explored too far. She is patient with their constant shenanigans, like repeatedly pecking her head and eye, practicing “scratching” on her back (then hilariously losing their balance and falling off), and getting under her and then poking their heads out between her wing feathers so she looks like a Gary Larson-esque mutant chicken.

They are just over a month old now and they decided they no longer want to sleep in the maternity ward. They fly onto the ramp of the main coop and get in a nest box with their mother.

I really don’t think I fooled Bluebell in the least. I think she knows she didn’t hatch those babies, but she doesn’t care because she got what she really wanted – to be a mom.


What a sweet story!

Terri HarpLady

First, the tea. I had some of this one for awhile, and although it wasn’t bold, it was lovely & enjoyable to drink.

Now on to the chickens! Yay! I love this posting! :D
I have been talking myself into & out of getting hens for a couple of years now, and the rule I’ve made is I can’t get chickens until I build a coop. I’m also just nervous that I might be too neglectful to have them, but I really want the eggs, & the manure for my compost heaps, so I really need to get my act together & get them next spring.


That is so sweet! I’d love to have chickens, but our town doesn’t allow them.


Our city, which is not a huge city, allows ten hens and zero roosters. We did lots of reading to prepare. I buy organic soy free feed. Supposedly you should cull (eat) your chickens around 18 months old because they stop producing eggs as well. My chickens are from 2 1/2 to 4 years old and all lay just like when they were young.

We have an automatic door on an elevated coop. Nothing can get in to get them at night. NOTHING. Hubby built it after reading extensively about what works best. They have both large (for strength) and fine (to keep flies and gnats out) hardware cloth on the vents. They free range all day and we have “chicken powered composters” in their pen. They put themselves to bed and their door closes automatically.

I love cooking breakfast and telling everyone who “provided” their food, since I can tell their eggs apart. I get way more eggs than I need with just seven or eight hens, but I provide eggs to my athlete son and to my married daughter, as well as the four of us.

If anyone wants chicken advice, I am happy to share any knowledge I have gleaned! So far we have stayed totally medicine free and use organic and natural options for care.

I hope everyone who wants to get chickens can experience it someday! It is fun and feels so good, I still get excited going out and collecting eggs, after all this time!


My aunt used to get ticketed by the city all the time because of her chickens.


That sounds so cool— I have chicken envy! We are rural with plenty of space for chickens but not much free time to care for them. Seems like it won’t be possible until I am to cut back hours at work (semi-retirement, which is a long way off) or until the teenagers have flown the coop.


That’s really cute. Friends of mine who bought some land outside of town just got chickens and we were all so excited when they found the first egg.

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I chose this as one of my free samples on my last Teavivre order because I was curious about it. I have had the Rose Ripened Puerh, which has lovely rose petals in it but doesn’t really taste like rose. The rose just makes that one sweeter to me.

For some reason I expected the Rose to be just as subtle in this tea. It is not. It is much stronger, but still not as strong as Rose Scented Black by Harney and Sons, It was very, very good and I plan to try resteeping it tomorrow.

This is a good tea for floral fans, of which I am one.

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For some reason, the dry leaves of certain green and oolong teas smell like chocolate to me. When I opened this, I smelled milk chocolate. That was very exciting because I have never been disappointed by a tea that smells like chocolate.

Steeped, the liquor is pale but fragrant and now smells like toasted nuts and full-bodied vegetables. The tea has a medium body and smooth sweet taste. Even though the color is light on the first steep, the second steep is still fragrant and tasty.

We had two pots with supper and liked it so much that hubby requested a third pot to share after. And he is picky, so it makes me happy to find things that he likes!

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I have determined that the samples I have been drinking the past few days must be from Cameron B. I had only tried one tea from this swap when a kitchen clean up resulted in someone putting these in a container on a shelf over my head, not hard to do since I am five inches shorter than my daughters and 13 inches shorter than my husband. So thank you, Cameron!

Bohea perplexes me. The first one I ever had was smokey and strong, or so I thought at the time. I liked it, though. Then I got one that was so weak I didn’t like it, until I looked up the instructions on the company website and it called for double the amount of leaf. Using those parameters the tea was good.

So I made this in my Kamjove so it would be easy to make adjustments as I saw how this one behaved.

At 5 grams of leaf per 200 milliliters this is about like the Pluff Bohea instructions I have. After two minutes steeping, the liquor is pale for a black tea but typical of a Bohea. The taste is very nice, reminiscent of a rock oolong, with toasty toasty bread flavor, and little to no smoke. It leans toward heavily toasted bread.

With the assistance of Alexa, my trusty Amazon Echo, I am resteeping at the dining table. If you are not familiar with the Echo, get off Steepster right now and just go buy one on Amazon. My husband was ambivalent about my purchase but now he is talking about getting another one for our room. We love her.

Steep two – as good as the first and now the toasted bread flavor lingers and expands with every breath. It definitely reminds me of some of the Rock oolongs I have tried. Very nice!

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about seven 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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