2193 Tasting Notes

drank English Breakfast by Harney & Sons
2193 tasting notes

This is a decent basic Keemun, nothing fancy but the price was right. It was on sale so I nabbed a tin along with a few other staples so my friend could get free shipping.

It was served as the first tea of tea party. Tea party used to be on Wednesday but we are having lots of schedule changes and now we have it whatever day works for the most people.

I usually serve an unflavored black tea with the food so it will complement but not compete. Our dessert was Irish Butter Cake sprinkled with powdered sugar, made this morning by youngest. There is only a tiny slice left, so I think it must have been a hit.

I have also been drinking this for breakfast. It was one of the first loose leaf teas I bought, and six years ago I thought it was strong and needed milk and sugar. Now I take it plain and recognize that it lacks the nuance of the finer keemuns, but will suffice with food or as a breakfast tea for the groggy. It isn’t overly chocolate-y or wine-y, but it is good for the price and doesn’t have the astringency and tummy upset inducing power of assams.

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drank Thé sur la Lune by Nina's Paris
2193 tasting notes

I forgot what was in this tea and when I poured it at tea party today I was afraid I had oversteeped. It was black, and I mean BLACK, in the teacup. It tasted so good, though, and my youngest daughter loved it. It definitely wasn’t oversteeped.

Now I notice in the description that it has puerh in it. Ah, thus the dark color! You don’t taste puerh though, just really nice base tea with nice natural-tasting flavoring. This was a sipdown of a large sample, but I think I may have to put this on a reorder!

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I believe that most of the time, when you get the same message from two different places you need to pay attention. With all that has been going on with my mother-in-law’s health and my nephew’so accident, people are starting to really feel the stress.

This morning I saw a Facebook post that said that the only thing in our control is our attitude, and therefore we are 100% responsible for our attitude. It spoke to me, though I realize that everyone has a breaking point and weak spots.

Then I got the cutest card from GMathis that said “Bread and water can easily become toast and tea.” That spoke to me about making the very best of everything. So I will take that message and run with it!

Now here I am drinking tea with my daughter and relaxing, waiting for my son to arrive for his dad’s birthday tomorrow and trying to plan who will be at the rehab center and when, to keep grandma company.

Teavivre’s Jasmine teas are a tranquil daydream in the midst of activity. Smooth, sweet, simple, and natural. The peach is light in this, the Jasmine sweet, and the base smooth. I am glad it resteeps so well because we are on pot number two.


May the rest of your weekend be toasty :)

Terri HarpLady

GG’s cards are amazing works of art, & that one sounds perfect. Actually I bet the London Tea Room would be thrilled to have a selection of those cards to sell in their store, especially with a line like Bread & water can easily become toast & tea. Perfect!

It’s been awhile since this lovely tea graced my cupboard, but it sounds like the perfect cup of gentleness for your day. Sending some hugs your way.


You’re kind, Terri! Thanks!


I second that! Terri sent one my way and I,loved it! You have talent :)

Ash – that’s is totally true! Glad the tea was a happy spot in the day.

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drank Pu Erh Caramel by Gurman's
2193 tasting notes

This is our third or fourth pot of tea. We have been drinking blackberry tea all the time lately, and yesterday youngest had the bright idea to add Vanilla from Tin Roof Teas, which made a lighter Blackberry Cream tea. Nice!

But Hubby doesn’t drink black tea and wanted to join us so we switched to puerh. This one is very drinkable, affordable, and resteeps well. It isn’t full of exciting nuance and chi, but we like it!

My mother-in-law was moved from the hospital to rehab today. My husband is a really great guy. He has spent a night or two at the hospital with her, and many hours during the day. He spent all day today with her until he was practically sick from not having lunch and the stress of waiting for her to be moved, which happened six hours later than we were told it would. (We will still need to have someone there with her at meals probably because she isn’t eating, can’t feed herself yet, and has lost about 13 pounds.) I think some puerh does him good, and he does, too.

Also, my nephew who was in the accident where his car was flipped by a drunk driver had his spinal surgery today. He is now off the breathing tube, has a tube to drain his lung, and is still on an IV for antibiotics, but they are hopeful that he can go home soon. At first they thought he would have to go to a rehab facility first but they had him walk with a walker yesterday and they feel he may go home instead.

Thanks to all who have prayed or expressed their well wishes for these two family members. Steepsterites are the best,


wow, tough times… hang in there

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drank Blackberry by The Extra Ingredient
2193 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! <3


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
2193 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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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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