2197 Tasting Notes

My youngest daughter adores Lapsang – started loving it when she really young, which is so odd to me! When eldest daughter, Superanna, travels, she always brings back a Lapsang for her sister. This is the latest.

According to Superanna, choosing it with like this…“Do you have Lapsang?” DT: “Yes, right here.” Superanna sniffs sample. “Cough cough that’s perfect cough bag it up cough.”

While it does have a very heavy pine smoke aroma, this is quite a lovely tea. It does smell very smokey and my hubby claims he got “second hand cancer” from smelling the pot we made, but it is actually sweet and super smooth.

It reminds me of Upton Black Dragon. Yay for a good Lapsang on shelf before fall and the beginning of school. Youngest swears she needs Lapsang to get through school!

S.G. Sanders

Ha! My brother, who hates hot tea, loves Lapsang. When he visits, he asks for the “Smoked Meat Tea.”


I keep hoping to learn to love Lapsang—it’s such a tea-ophile “standard.” Just need to find the right one. (Hey, I finally learned to like oatmeal last winter…there’s hope.)


GMathis: have you tried Baker Street Blend? Maybe you need to ease into it!


Have you tried Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell? It’s an especially good Lapsang, I think.


I haven’t! I have seen it several times. I should buy some and try it.


Just let me know if you would like to try some, Ashmanra. I’d be very happy to send some your way!


Your husband is right, of course. :)


Baker Street … no … I’m due for an Upton order one of these day. (If the confounded heat starts letting up. We’ve had two rainy 80-ish days in a row, but I think it’s just going to heat back up to a sauna!)

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Since stopping Prilosec after sixteen years, I have been eating light as much as possible. Tonight my kitchen is in shambles because it is being renovated and I had no idea I would be unable to cook. Like an idiot, I bought fast food. Arby’s roast beef sandwich and fries and a Pepsi. I was miserable after eating light foods for so long.

Puerh to the rescue! I had the presence of mind to take my kettle into the living room earlier and my tea shelf isn’t affected by the destruction of my soffits and wiring, so youngest and I are having a nice pot of tea and reading.

I made this with just one half of a “coin” and boiling water. I actually oversteeped it, but I had also used a pot that was bigger than I realized so there was a bit more water than usual. That worked out well, and we still have a really strong brew. This is as black as coffee but tastes great and has already done much to relieve my bloated feeling.

We will get a few resteeps out of this, too. It is an earthy Puerh without fishiness, but it doesn’t have that cedar oil vibe that I love right now. This one may not have it, or it may be because of the oversteeping.

It is tasty, though, and doing the job I wanted it to do.

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drank Grand Cru Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
2197 tasting notes

Superanna brought me what is commonly known as a “big ol’ honkin’ bag” of this after her trip to Minnesota. I also got the most adorable box of David’s Tea minis. It looks like a chocolate box, but I am even happier with a tea box! Thank you, Superanna! And there wee a couple of other teas, too, that I haven’t even logged yet.

We whipped this up last night and I am having more today. It is so easy to get a good froth on this. I used a little over 1/2 tsp of match in six ounces of water at about 160F. I sifted the matcha into my bowl, poured a wee bit of water and made a paste with my whisk, then added more water and whipped it. The color is rather dark, deep green without brown tint.

This is really creamy and smooth, yet it still has that nice after bite. It isn’t sour or astringent, but has a lingering flavor or grass and what we decided is accurately being called bamboo. Go eat some bamboo shoots in your Asian takeout if you are like us and bamboo taste didn’t pop into your head immediately on reading the description!

Now I am all matcha’ed up and ready to teach this afternoon.

Guess I need to get my wish list ready for Gurman’s in Dublin before she leaves in a month again! :D


6 oz is a bit too much water and 1/2 a teaspoon is not enough tea. Ideally you want a bit less than a shot glass and a flat teaspoon. I have yet to try this one, yet. I did go through 100g of David’s Ceremonial Matcha. This one is about 68% of the price, when buying a 250 g package. If you like bamboo you can watch a whole NHK program on it. It’s sold at Tsukiji market in Tokyo (or wherever now) and chefs use the differing properties of the same root. Anyways, if you enjoy this matcha go with it. Spending more won’t necessarily bring you more happiness. You might be able to get Cereminial on sale.


I own a lot of matcha and drink it almost every day. I guess I just prefer it weaker than most people. :) My favorite is KaiMatcha Premium followed by Tanabata from Red Leaf. Under that falls this one, DoMatcha, etc…the commonly available ones. We drink it hot or shaken in old water, with the rare latte. Thanks for the tip about it, though!


*Cold water not old water! LOL


Yeah MOM geez. Lol

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Backlog from a few days ago: I have been neglecting this tea and all my white tea, really. My guest who comes once a week really prefers black tea so that is what we mostly serve. My best friend loves white tea, though, so I picked this one for her visit.

Youngest made a cake called kvaefjordkake. It was astonishingly delicious. It is yellow cake with whipped cream and meringue, and we topped it with fresh strawberries. She made it from scratch, as always, and ground soft white wheat into flour for the cake.

I would normally use a good black tea like Fengqing Dragon Pearls for cake, but this cake is truly light and refreshing so the pairing worked well.

I used 185F water and gave it three minutes. Teavivre’s jasmine teas are always perfect in my eyes. No surprise that we love this. I buy tins for the ones I plan to keep on hand so this one gets a tin on my next order. This is a favorite and very versatile. It is great alone or with food. The jasmine relaxes me.

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Had this today with Walnut Chocolate Chip when my best friend came over. We tasted the tea first because I knew that pie would overwhelm the nuance of the white tea. I used 185F water and steeped 3 minutes. It was really tasty with lots of flavor (for a white tea) with notes of hay but also a golden honey taste, very light, but creamy and had good body. Delicious and fresh tasting. The leaves were almost succulent, and I have had this tea a while.

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I am once again trying to sip down old tea, and this one has a few years on it. I have purchased two of the Harney tea chests and plan to get the the third some day. This came from the adorable little one that is $15 and makes a gorgeous gift. I have been hoarding the tea that is in it but I must drink it.

I was having Asian food for lunch a few days ago and chose this to go with it. I got two good steeps out of the little bag, about seven ounces each. It is probably weakened with age but it was still good, with a fresh, grassy taste that wasn’t sour. I even horribly oversteeped the second go ’round but it was fine.

I don’t drink much Sencha as I usually prefer Chinese green teas but this was good and I would have no trouble buying more. It is more of a daily drinker than the rare euphoric green, but perhaps that was due to the age.


Have you tried using two tea bags at once?


No, it was from the wooden tea box sample collection so I only had one bag.

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I bought several teas from SBT on their sale and plan to get more if some of my favorite flavors are still in stock. I was trying to one to see if I wanted more or if I should explore other flavors.

I made two steeps and combined them, adding enough water to make a full gallon of tea. Since this is the South and some of my peeps dig it, I added one and a half cups sugar. (This is half the amount my mother added to sweet tea per gallon.) I obeyed the instructions and never let it go beyond the three minute mark.

It is quite good, but it doesn’t taste like Mountain Dew to me. It is instead a nicely flavored black tea that is very refreshing, with hints of lime and lemon. The base is fantastic, as always.

My favorites are still Razzleberry and Earl Grey Iced, with Pink Lemonade Iced Tea coming in as a solid flavored tea to keep on hand that everyone likes. I wouldn’t mind having lots of this, but it doesn’t make fireworks for me. Great stuff, but not making me drool. The favorite two bring a tear to my eye…

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Oh. My. Goodness.

I only bought one? Heading over to SBT to buy more now!

Strawberry. Real strawberry. Like you cut up strawberries, added sugar, let them sit a while and then puréed them and poured them in a glass of sweet tea. Somebody please stop me from drinking the whole gallon at once…

ETA: Alas! Out of stock! Weeping sounds…

Maddy Barone

Geez, from your review I was ready to head over there myself! LOL

Evol Ving Ness

What is sbt?


Southern Boy Teas, owned by Frank former owner of 52teas

Evol Ving Ness

Ah, thank you, ashmanra. So, is it an old one by 52teas from the time of Frank, or is it a new one made by Frank under SBT label now?


This was a new one from SBT.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for clarifying.

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drank Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
2197 tasting notes

This is my favorite Earl Grey, at least back when it had a Keemun base. They changed it to a Ceylon base, which KS loves, but I prefer this one, the Keemun. I have been hoarding it since I know I can’t get it anymore.

I was proud of myself for getting my cupboard down to 123…and then found a bunch of tea I hadn’t added. And my samples are not included in that. Ah well, first world problems.

I had my morning oatmeal, – home rolled, not that nasty stuff from the store – and after breakfast shared a pot of tea with youngest as we read aloud together. I LOVE reading books aloud together. We are reading the Barker and Llewelyn series that GMathis recommended.

The Keemun base sets off bergamot so much better to me. Lemony Ceylon plus sour citrus? No! Ah, but the deep and dusky cocoa tongue-scraping Keemun with a little bergamot floating above…nice.

After which I went outside and tore down half a chicken coop and remade it, chased chicks, skinned my knuckle, and came the closest I have ever been to full on heat exhaustion, resulting in a short stay on the cold bathroom tile floor drinking water and waiting for the nausea to pass so I could cool off enough to go out and finish the pen. By then, I didn’t care if those little chicks live or die. If they don’t appreciate my labor and near death enough to stay inside the bloody coop, then they deserve to get eaten. (No, I don’t really mean it. But I felt really really bad. Heat index over 100F.)


Glad you are OK. In this heat those chicken’s eggs about fry themselves. So at least you got that going for you.

I have never heard of any one in this century rolling there own oats. Of course I don’t get out much. Where do you get them and what is involved?

Stay hydrated and cool!


KS: I have a Swedish Electrolux Kitchen Assistent (sic) and it has an optional oat flaking attachment. Think of Kitchenaid with all their additions. We buy huge bags of grains that we use, and for the oats you just put them in a small hopper and go through and are pressed. They are chewier when you cook them, somewhere between steel cut oats and Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats.

We have a separate mill for grinding our grain into flour, though I think the Assistent has an attachment for doing that, too, but I already had my NutriMill. We grind hard red wheat for cookies, hard white for bread, Kamut for waffles, soft white for cakes and pastries, and mixtures of different grains for some other things. For instance, French bread may have a mix of hard and soft white. Chocolate chip cookies get hard red but sugar cookies get hard white. :)


That sounds like a tough day!

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I am so happy to be back to drinking most teas. I still have a lot of heartburn now and then but sixteen years on proton pump inhibitors isn’t going to be easy to overcome. I am committed to making it work.

I made egg fu yung again tonight because chickens are ridiculous and they cracked three of the eggs they laid today. They insisted on getting in the only nest box that did NOT have straw in it to lay their eggs and sat on each other and acted like toddlers in general. As long as the crack is superficial and the inner membrane is intact, the egg is okay to eat as long as you do so quickly because it will lose moisture quickly.

Asian food means green tea usually, but I saw this sample first and since it was handy I tossed it to hubby to make. Wow, I am glad he made this one because it was FANTASTIC.

With the food, I couldn’t help but notice how powerful the floral taste of this tea was, but there was enough mineral taste to make it pair awesomely. This is not a dark oolong, or a roast-y oolong. It is light and green-ish and sweet and smooth. And milky! There is a creamy smoothness to this that gives it lots of body.

I am seriously loving this tea tonight.


I had no idea you had chickens. :)


Fjellrev: Yes, I have been a chicken lady for just over three years now! We do not have a rooster because we live in a city neighborhood, but our backyard is very private and it has been safe enough for them to wander freely. I had a broody hen who raised several babies last year that were sneaked under her at night. She let me down this year and didn’t accept the two I gave her, so I am having to raise them myself. Fortunately, it is difficult and it is so hot here I don’t even have to put them under a brooding lamp.

Do you have chickens as well?


Definitely understand what you mean. I always ask for light oolongs here in China after a heavy dim sum lunch with friends in the weekend. The light and floral flavor is just perfect, and it helps me digest.


Teasenz: I want to go to a dim sum place! We don’t have any here in my town, but there are plenty not far from here where my eldest children live.

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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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