2076 Tasting Notes

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
2076 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
2076 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
2076 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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drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
2076 tasting notes

That settles it. I have to buy a matcha bowl. I have been making do with bowls I have but I really want one. I am looking at the ones on zentealife.com and I like the Aurora one as well as Grace. I loved the old Zen Brush bowl when it was navy blue and white but they don’t have that color anymore.

Today was a very special day. I love and adore my family, but as a mom who homeschooled for 25 years (and I am still homeschooling) I am almost never alone, and I really, really love to be alone.

I decided to not accept another appointment as precinct chief judge and since I make all my children work at the polls, that meant I had the whole day to myself! This is the longest I have been alone at home in possibly 27 years!!! And it was awesome. I was a little disappointed when I realized that I still had to drop my daughter off at 5:30 am and then go to an ultrasound appointment for my thyroid at 9:30 am and then I had a piano student from 3 to 4, but nevertheless folks, this was the most I have been alone at home in years and I LIKED IT! Everyone may find their bags packed and on the lawn tomorrow. But I really do love them. :)

I drank lots of tea, and since I have been neglecting matcha I decided today was a great day to remedy that. I set my Krupps to the “Warm” setting which is supposed to give you 165F water and whipped up a cup of this. This is my favorite unflavored matcha so far, thought I admit that I have not tried all of the premium ones from Red Leaf. i have tons of their flavored matcha for matcha lattes and love it, so I should probably give them a try.

Anyway, this was an awesome cup of tea and I am not going to wait so long between matcha fixes. Now I need to get a nice bowl. Direct me to your favorites and I will take a look before I choose!


Wow, a day off and you’re still such a busy bee. I’ve been thinking of getting back into matcha myself too. It seems so right for the fall.

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I dearly love this tea. My first taste of it came from a swap with quiltguppy, a Steepsterite missed by all who knew her. I guess she moved on to other things, as often happens, but some leave more of an impact than others.

It was so great that in my tea newbie exuberance I bought three bags of it. And then hoarded it, and I decided that I need to drink it and get some fresh tea in the line up. Even after all these years, this is good and my daughter is remarking on how perfect it is to drink while she reads to me. It is buttery perfection. We have been drinking it all weekend – blustery, wet weekend! This is a sip down, and I think I may replace it with Milk Oolong from Teavivre just to keep from paying extra shipping from a lot of different companies as I replenish some favorites. But if you haven’t tried this very one, and you like milk oolongs, you really might want to get this very one. It is buttered popcorn heaven.


I’m in LA every Feb, and a Bird Pick is near, so I should remember to check this out if they have it still. I love the osmanthus oolong from them.

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I just reviewed this one but wanted to make note of a drastic change in steeping style today.

I have been looking for/saving for a sterling teapot for five years. I have not purchased one yet but I think I may have found “him”, the one that calls to me. It is not the bachelor size I anticipated getting and I wanted to see how well it would do for my breakfast, so I got a pot out that is about the same size and tried a different style of steeping today.

I put two tablespoons of this tea in the large pot and used cooler water to steep it, but I did not remove the leaves. The tea was good and not too strong. I realize I can only do this method with very particular teas.

Then life happened. I had a noon meeting, hubby needed me to go to the bank, mother-in-law was sick at rehab and needed something from her assisted living room, daughter had to be picked up from her early college class, and then taken to training to work the election. And the leaves sat there in that pot aaaaaaallll day. In half water they had started in.

No worries, I strained the tea into a microwaveable pot, added water, and reheated the whole shebang. AND IT WAS GOOD! The headache I have nursing for a couple of hours went away, too. It is back now, but I am also out of tea.

Time to make another pot and enjoy this thunderstorm by candlelight…

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This was the first tea of tea party today. It was served with Swedish Butter Cake. I woke my daughter up this morning with the words, “Instead of the apple thing we talked about, can you make a butter cake?” I woke up with it on my mind and she was happy to oblige me.

This was my guest’s favorite tea today. I think tea party may change a little as my guest is showing a more marked preference for black tea as time goes on. I may largely eliminate green tea at tea times for this particular guest. The light sweet potato notes in this rich and wonderful cup delight all the tea drinkers and tea newbies to whom I have served it.

As we have sipped our way through the last few rainy and overcast days, we have been reading Fatal Enquiry by Will Thomas, an author recommended by GMathis, who has never steered me wrong. It is the only title by this author at our library and we are sad that it is over. I am going to look for some cheap copies at used bookstores. My daughter had picked it up when we checked it out and liked the writing style so much that she asked if we could read it aloud. I LOVE reading books aloud! Our favorite part was the introduction of Mr. Psmith, GMathis! So funny! Thanks for the recommendation!


Author is from the next state over. There was such a long gap between Fatal Enquiry and the previous book, I was tempted to drive down and camp in his backyard until he finished it! “The Limehouse Text” is my favorite out of the bunch (lots of chuckle till you snort moments), but they are all great.


I want to be a part of your life!


GMathis: I will especially look for that one!

Keychange: I wish you were nearby! I would love to have Steepsterites gathered around cross-legged on the floor or sitting around the tea table drinking tea and eating my daughter’s delicious baking!

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drank Peach & Thyme by Fauchon
2076 tasting notes

Not long ago my eldest daughter mentioned the trend toward adding savory flavors in unexpected places. In steps this sample from Cameron B! I have had it for a while but a lot of my samples disappeared in a kitchen clean up and were found on a high shelf months later.

This was the second tea served at our tea time and was a really neat tea experience. We began the tea time with tea cookies made with fresh cardamom that had been rolled in ground sugar, which made it the perfect texture between fine granulated sugar and powdered sugar. The first tea had been Decaf Ceylon Orange Pekoe, a sturdy workhorse of a tea with classic pekoe flavor.

Then I sipped this and – WOW. So much thyme! Brothy tasting to me because of the savory herb, I still liked it. My youngest daughter said she still tasted a lot of peach but I did not. She believes it is because loves peaches and eats them so often that the taste is more apparent to her, which is likely true as I rarely eat peaches.

This isn’t something I would buy by the pound but it was a really neat tea to try and I enjoyed it. Thank you, CameronB!


I have this and every time I drink it, I want to work it into some sweet/savory scone!


Oh, that sounds like a great idea!


I need to use up some basil that’s going a little nuts in the back porch planter…what do you think that’d blend with? Lemon?


I blend tulsi with lavender, so I wonder if basil would go well with it? Try it with some different teas and add lemon, too! Let us know what results you get!

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