2215 Tasting Notes

SimpyJenW sent some roasted Yerba mate for me to try in my tea! Since caffeine can have a pretty significant affect on me, I have been fearful to try it past noon and had not gotten around to drinking it yet. It didn’t help that tea friend and neighbor Sandy, who is a doctor, decided to drink a cup of Yerba mate one night on call at the hospital and ended up shaking for eight hours! LOL!

With great respect (okay, FEAR) I approached this cup. The mate does not make a huge difference in the taste of the tea, but it does pleasantly deepen and darken the flavor. It FEELS like a stronger cup. Or is that all in my mind?

I may report back later on whether the caffeine gave us a boost, as middle daughter is using it to get through her advanced math lesson and youngest is having it to keep awake through her history…or so she says. I think she really just wants to finish school extra fast so she can play those bongo drums.

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
2215 tasting notes

I think this is the first tea of which I bought a whole pound, and that was at hubby’s insistence.

I should be in bed by now, but I am somewhat hyped up because a series of events led me to start my girls studying the beatniks, coffee bars, and Kerouac! Once we got started, naturally we decided tp put together our own Beat Poetry set for next writer’s group and youngest is going to provide the background music, though I may throw in hubby’s old Gibson Ripper for the bass lines. LOL! So all this has me too excited to sleep, and I thought a cuppa Vanilla Comoro was just the thing to help me wind down tonight, along with Traffic and The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys for some bass line inspiration!

This is wonderfully comforting tea. I can scarcely believe that there are only about two ounces of the pound left, but three of us drink it so there it goes!

This benefits from the addition of a little more leaf than you would usually put in order to offset the fact that it is decaf, but the vanilla caramel flavor is so full bodied that it won’t hurt to make it by usual black tea parameters. Great cuppa! Drinking it sans additions, and it is still sweet and satisfying.


I love the Beats! I love Diane DiPrima. She gets less attention than Kerouac and Ginsberg but is a heart stopping poet. (but I completely love Kerouac and Ginsberg too!! Esp Kerouac. He blew the doors off conventional prose imo!)

When we went to California we made a pilgrimage to City Lights bookstore just to try and soak in the place where so many of the Beats read and worked. NY is chock full too :)


We read Di Prima today! I have hubby’s Ripper bass out and youngest downloaded several bongo drum apps to supply some mood music. LOL! We can hardly wait to get this all put together for our writer’s group entertainment. I think we will definitely have to do something for tea party day, too!


I wish I could be there! I would snap instead of clap like in all the old films with Beatnik characters ;)


I like everything about this post. :)


LOL! First poem is written. Now we just have to get the hang of Beat style improv!

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I don’t know what happened the first time I tried this. I found all sorts of notes in the aroma and flavor that reminded me of teas I love, yet there was something I couldn’t put my finger on that bothered me about it. I wasn’t sure that I really liked it as much as I had hoped to like it.

There was definitely something different today! Last time youngest didn’t even like it, today she thought it was very good. My guest and i felt that it compared favorably with Yunnan Royal Gold from A Southern Season, having those same sweet potato notes only darker and stronger.

This tea did develop a wee bit of astringency as it cooled, but not too much. We were not even motivated to add milk to mitigate the effect. We just didn’t pick it up at all on the first cup, and noticed on the last.

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drank Passion Fruit by Harney & Sons
2215 tasting notes

Our second tea party tea today! I bought this to drink it iced, but I am really enjoying it hot. Smooth and delicious, nice tea flavor in the base doesn’t get hidden by the passion fruit.

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I can’t believe I haven’t had this one in seven months! My two tasting notes seem to be at war with one another, one saying the tea is delicious, the other proclaiming it to be good but weak. Today I decided to be extra careful with this tea from the Fine Tea wall at Southern Season. I weighed the leaves instead of using a teaspoon because they are so long and light and fluffy that I might misjudge even when trying to be generous with the leaves. It took quite a pile to get the weight right!

My guest loved this one. She was especially enamored of the aroma of cooked sweet potato. Like most Chinese black tea, it was very smooth, and like most golden tip teas it was very sweet. I am glad we revisited this one today!

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Youngest chose Baker Street for today, and I chose this one! This was the first good loose tea I ever purchased, and it is still a favorite. (My early Harney purchases were all sachets.). This is excellent tea, a Keemun that has a little less of chocolate/smoky aroma and flavor, and a little more of the burgundy grape taste. So good! I had never heard of this tea and only bought it because the company has the same name as my tea loving daughter and the tin is beautiful! I display it with two others from Grace Rare Tea on a shelf in the living room. This one is a favorite with guests.

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Youngest picked this one for today. Tea courtesy of DOULTON and accompanying Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty thanks to teawing. I threw in Right Down the line for good measure!

Served with Rich Tea Biscuits and Nutella, and Cadbury Crunchie bars which are yummy! Just discovered them Friday at A Southern Season.

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drank Keemun Mao Feng by Harney & Sons
2215 tasting notes

Gray and cloudy out the window again, Rich Tea Biscuits and Nutella on the table, Alasdare Fraser radio on Pandora, and Keemun Mao Feng in our cups. I wanted to compare this back to back with Zhi Gong Fu Black. Both are excellent examples of the best Chinese tea. it has been a good tea day, and now there is a chance that we are going out of town and I may get to stop at the tea shop! What a good day this is shaping up to be!

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drank Gong Fu Black by Zhi Tea
2215 tasting notes

Many, many thanks to SimplyJenW for this nice surprise tea! Youngest and I decided to try it with our lunch today, which I’ll momentarily be followed by Rich Tea Biscuits with Nutella and MORE TEA! Whee!

Youngest said to put as her review, “Total win!”

Mine…this smells wonderful. It has lovely chocolate notes with honey sweetness over the top. The taste is smooth and sweet, there is no hint of bitterness, medium body, and everything a Chinese black tea should be. YUM! I took mine sans additions, youngest with milk and sugar.

Thank you, Jen!

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drank Vanilla Rose by Zhi Tea
2215 tasting notes

This tea came today courtesy of SimplyJenW, many thanks!

This is indeed a beautiful tea to look at, even after steeping. The deep pink roses are beautiful. I steeped this one for three and a half minutes and do not find it too strong or bitter. The Assam base has a brightness that is reminding me of some Ceylons I’ve had. I taste more rose than vanilla. I really feel like I am drinking a French tea. The marzipan or honey flavors so common in French teas seem to be making an appearance here, though these flavors are not mentioned in the description. This reminds me of a fuller bodied version of Harney’s lychee. This tea is sophisticated enough for any tea party you could throw its way.

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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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