1894 Tasting Notes

I have been feeling a little bit “off” for a couple of weeks now. I am pretty sure it is from too much holiday food combined with getting off of my exercise schedule during the holidays and now trying to put it all back together. After meals I feel especially strange, so I think my digestion needs some TLC.

I turn to puerh tonight to see if that will help. This is the my very last tuo cha from Teavivre, but I do have two kinds of their loose puerh left as well as the beeng Cha I got from Mandala in December. This was actually sent to me by AmyOh way back, but since it is puerh it has only been getting better!

I gave this a 30 second rinse, then a one minute steep. It is nice and dark. I immediately made another one minute steep and combine the two in my fair cup. It is still quite dark. The flavor is rich and the floral aspect muted. The taste is not fishy at all, and very horsey. I think of piles of leaves and mushrooms, nice and earthy.

I will probably go three more steeps on this tonight.

Edited to add: final steeps were so good. The tea seemed to get a thicker mouthfeel, that thing I call a cedar oil coating. It feels so smooth.

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Mmmm, youngest and I wanted a pot of tea with geometry this morning. She said she was open to any lapsang, so I picked this one. This was a sample from Hesper June, who sent us a big care package of lots of kinds of Lapsang to try.

The dry tea had a rich smell of thick cut bacon, cooked to a turn, well done and crispy. The tea is smooth and sweet. I took no additions, daughter took hers with milk and sugar as usual, and we both enjoyed it!

Thank you, Hesper June!

Hesper June

Oh! Most welcome:-)

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I was searching for a good green tea to start my day and my eye lit on this sample from Nuvola. I have had three cups of it, had another today, and I would say I still have enough to make another two or three cups.

The liquor is a deep emerald green and it goes down smoothly. This is a very drinkable matcha! Thank you, Nuvola!

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drank Bedtime by Yogi
1894 tasting notes

It was a beautiful day outside today, but this afternoon was very trying. (Family stuff.) I want to go to bed and relax and dream sweet dreams, so I am drinking some of hubby’s night night tea.

It is extremely sweet so I am sure it must be loaded with licorice root. There is a tiny minty hint and lots of flavor that I really can’t identify. I will say I find it extremely drinkable. Of course, it is a tisane, not actual tea. It is almost liquid candy. I added no sweetener.

I will try to update tomorrow to whether it just tasted good, or actually worked!

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Nature’s Tea Leaf sent this free for review. It is hard to call it a sample – their portions are so generous!

GMathis is right. Touch these leaves and you will wish you had a pillow made of them. Soft, fluffy, fuzzy, downy. Also, not really easy to scoop in a teaspoon so I just reached in and grabbed a couple of pinches and put them in my eight ounce gong fu pot.

I knew this was likely too much leaf for such a small pot, but not by much, so I cut my steep time a bit. Quite a bit. I ended up with a soft and cozy cup.

There was a really sharp tang to the smell of the wet leaves, but it is no where present in the taste of the liquor.

Last time I drank this I got all oat and soft grain flavors. This time I can smell and taste a tiny, demure peek of fruitiness with the grain. I have had three steeps and plan to keep going with this one because steep three has the most fruity taste so far. I began with a one minute steep and have been increasing it about thirty seconds since. This is contrary to recommended steeping but as I said, I knew I put in more leaf than necessary and I am getting great results from it.

Two years ago, white tea was just hot water to me. I am thankful for the companies that let us try new things and expand our horizons and help us learn to appreciate all that is in tea.

Thank you, Nature’s Tea Leaf!


I’m going to try this one in the evening, but from TeaVivre!


Natures Tea Leaf and TeaVivre both have excellent versions of this tea. I am so happy I apparently like subtle flavors. Silver Needle is just such an amazing tea.

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This was a free sample that was included with the order hubby had me place for Christmas! Thank you, Garret!

We had a busy day. I was up before six to take the foster puppy outside to piddle, in the rain, barefoot. Fortunately it has been rather warm here. Then school with youngest daughter and more rain piddles. Just after lunch hubby came home and we went to Raleigh to pick up a few things and drop something off at my eldest daughter’s apartment.

Now I am so tired I can hardly wait to go to bed! As my mother used to say, “No one will have to rock me to sleep tonight!”

But I really need a late night libation, something special to drink before nodding off. I poked through my sample basket and found this, and apparently I am the first to log it!

Middle daughter just ground some wheat and made chocolate chip cookies and of course I had to grab one or three to much on while I made this tea! Thus, my tasting of the tea may not be perfectly accurate since I began with cookie.

What it does tell me is that I enjoy this tea with food. The tiny pellets expanded magnificently into bright green leaves that filled the little pot. The liquor of the first few steeps carried a sharp, root vegetable scent, but the taste was not sharp. I find it somewhat mineral, which always tastes very fresh to me, lightly floral, and green. It is not astringent or drying.

I am now on steep four and it is smoother and sweeter than ever. The taste is now lingering long, warm and pleasant. There is a taste of delicate green vegetables more so now, but it is a very delicate green taste, not grassy, sour, or harsh. This was a very nice “night night” cup, and I have enough sample left to do this a couple more times!

Thank you again, Garret!


That sounds great. I have a Ben Shan that its my favorite rolled Oolong! I like it because it has a strong mineral but fresh taste, Great notes!


4 cups for a night cap…. this might belong under you know might be addicted to tea when… ;)


Oh dear! You are so right, K S!

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drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
1894 tasting notes

I am still drinking my sample of this. For tea time, which was delayed this week due to other commitments, I steeped one teaspoon of leaf in eight ounces of water three times, combining all in one pot. This has so much sweet floral flavor, but it is natural. The tea is not scented or blended with flowers.

Three cups down the hatch and every one of them had me tapping my toes trying to figure out when I can place another Harney order. Omnomnom!

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This is a sample sent for review by Nuvola Tea. Thank you!

This is the fourth Ruby #18 I have tried, yet it always catches me off guard. It is called black tea because of the level of oxidation but when you steep it it is so light and golden.

If you need a tea for work or busy times, this one is a good bet because I don’t think it is possible to ruin it. Boiling water? No problem. Something a little less than boiling? That is okay, too. Forget you were steeping it? It probably doesn’t matter. This one doesn’t get bitter or astringent unless you leave it for a really long time, longer than I have managed to forget it. I have yet to ruin a cup.

And it resteeps, really well, in fact. This is a black tea made from a hybrid tea varietal and made in Taiwan where oolong teas prevail’ so you can treat this a lot like a oolong.

Everyone needs to try a Sun Moon Lake (Ruby 18) sometime.

Thank you, Nuvola Tea!

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I was going to have a black tea this morning, but I noticed I had not opened this final tin of tea from Christmas.

The directions call for one tablespoon of leaf per eight ounces of water and a two to three minute steep. It always makes me a little sad when directions call for more than a teaspoon per six to eight ounces because that means I am going to run out of tea sooner!

This produced a pale liquor that was richly scented of garden peas with a bare hint of root vegetable – rutabaga, I would say, possibly turnip.

The taste was strong, and I considered it somewhat grassy and a bit sour, but good. I drank the whole pot so it couldn’t have been bad. It did create a slow rising sweet aftertaste that bubbles up way behind the sip.

For the second steep I used a lot more water. I kept the steep at two minutes. Ah! Now I found my tea happy place! Everyone likes different things, so other people may very love this at the suggested parameters. I prefer it this way. And this means my tin is going to last longer, bwahaha!

There is still plenty of flavor in this, and though I finished it about ten minutes ago I am still enjoying the sweet rising aftertaste. I think this would be excellent with food, as in a hearty meal or nice Asian dinner.

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drank Ali San by Harney & Sons
1894 tasting notes

This is a sample I bought a long time ago. I held off trying it because I wanted to have a real gong fu set for my first taste. Well, I have had two such sets for a very long time, but this was lost in a drawer by the tea table. I hoped it would still be good.

Wow. If this is Ali Shan old, what was it like when it was fresh? I gave it a thirty second rinse because these leaves are so tightly balled up and ping! Like metal bb’s when you drop tem in the pot! Then a three minute steep followed.

The liquor is pale. The taste is just liquid flowers. Oh my gosh, this is so good. It is hard to believe that this is just tea, and it isn’t infused with this or that, or scented. Gardenias, maybe. Lilacs, perhaps. But definitely sweet and floral. No additions. This just went on my must buy list, replacing Wenshan Bao Zhong, and sitting right beside Old Fir Da Hong Pao.

Steep two is just as good. Today I have had two bowls of matcha, two matcha lattes, two cups of Sun Moon Lake, and now this. In spite of all the caffeine, I think the L theanine is lulling me to sleep…

Edited to add: the more I drink, the more I notice a creamy coating and a light buttery flavor, not strong. I will continue steeping these leaves tomorrow.


Good Lord I MUST have some of this! On the order list it goes. :) Yummmm

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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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