1798 Tasting Notes

drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1798 tasting notes

I have ordered two flavors of matcha based on what my eldest daughter likes because I thought she would benefit from drinking matcha. She will have to pry the Pumpkin Pie matcha out of my hands now, and that isn’t even a flavor I would normally get attached to, but it is so good! I was good and let her take the Mocha Matcha home with her and I told her I will buy her a Pumpkin Pie matcha of her own soon!

So when it was my turn to pick a flavor just for me – though I wanted to get something I think hubby will like, too – it was so very hard! This is ridiculous! I go to the Red Leaf website several times a day at least and salivate over the flavors and try to choose what I will order next and after that and after that…

Well, this time, the winner was Caramel. I thought it would be great to mix in with hubby’s Carnation Instant Breakfast. He is very picky, he needs the green tea, and he needs the energy for his long days at work but still needs focus. So in a way I guess I am still ordering for others, but I will enjoy it, too.

I ordered the large size tin and large matcha, and I chose the Robust flavor level. Get the tin! (You need a screw on lid tin so the powder doesn’t go flying, and once you get a collection of them you can just start refilling them.) You can order it here:


I did not sift the matcha, but just measured it into a small bowl and got out my kitchen whisk. The aroma is the intoxicating scent of a bakery full of cupcakes and birthday cakes! Swoon! I added hot water and whisked, then I put an ice cube in the matcha for just a moment to cool it a little, then took the ice out and poured in milk and added a pack of vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast in. I was making two glasses at a time, so one of them I just stirred and tasted. That was for me.

For my youngest daughter, I got out the Bamix and mixed the drink with the aerator blade so that it was very frothy and milkshake-like. She made a face when I asked her to taste it, I guess because of the slight green tint, but her face changed as soon as she sipped. She loved it! And if she loved it, I know her Dad will, too. She asked me how on earth they do it. I told her I have no idea but I hope they keep on doing it!

Now I can get some antioxidants in hubby in the mornings to make me happy, some caffeine to make him happy, and he doesn’t have to give up his quick breakfast of choice!

The big problem now is….what matcha do I order next? There are so many amazing flavors from which to choose!

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
1798 tasting notes

I haven’t had this in ages, but youngest made it as a third “surprise” tea for tea party today. I used to want milk and sugar in it, but today I had it plain and really liked it that way. It is always nice and chocolate-y but I thought it tasted nuttier and was really tasty with our cookie plate. Seasonal AND Candy Corn Oreos, woo hoo! Not very hoity-toity, but it was yummy!


How did you like the CC Oreos? (I was a little disappointed.)


I didn’t think they tasted like candy corn! They did taste and smell like a cupcake or birthday cake from a bakery, not a grocery store. I thought the seasonal Oreos were better, the ends thT were yellow last spring, blue in summer, and orange now. They seem to have a little extra something.

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In my cupboard. Woot! Yahoo! Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh! It finally got here!

I served this at tea party today and as always it was DELISH! The jasmine smells like grape candy in this to me, incredibly sweet, and the flavor is just perfectly floral and not perfume-y. I really love both types of Jasmine Pearls they carry, who can choose just one?


Your tea parties always sound so awesome!


Thanks! We do have fun! Three teas and a cookie/pastry plate or two unless I happen to cook something. It is pretty fast and easy, too. Come join us sometime! :)

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I got this sample from Liberteas and held off making it so I could serve it for a tea party day, plus I was hoping for cooler weather to serve it. I got my wish today! Well, I consider 70F cooler weather, anyway.

I am a little leery of some spiced teas as they sometimes overdo it for me. Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice is one that makes me hide under the bed, but several of my friends love it. This one smelled really good but I was afraid I would be assaulted by cinnamon. Instead, I was sweetly wooed.

I really agree with Liberteas on this one. I felt that I tasted more clove than cinnamon, though, but even that was mild. I was really excited to have this since my daughter gave me a few sips of her spiced apple cider from Starbucks last week and it was sooo good. This reminded me of it, though I drank it unsweetened and I am sure the SBucks stuff was full of sugar.

The tea base could be a little stronger for my taste, but I am seriously inspired to try to make a mulled tea this good. this was really tasty. Thank you, Liberteas, for the delicious tea!

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drank Anna's No. 905 by Tin Roof Teas
1798 tasting notes

As I mentioned in last night’s note on Marco Polo, I usually only steep that one for 2 1/2 minutes. It is fussy, but it is worth the trouble because you get a really amazing cup of tea. But hubby was a little disappointed in last night’s pot of tea because it went for about four minutes before I got the leaves out. I told him I would try to make it up to him soon by making this one, Anna’s from Tin Roof Teas. It has a similar taste but the base is more forgiving and a bit smoother, without being a generic Ceylon base. I am pretty sure there is some Keemun in this base and possibly a little Darjeeling.

He tried it tonight and said he liked it better than Marco Polo! At first he said he thought it was more floral, which I thought strange because there is no floral flavor at all in Anna’s, yet there is in Marco Polo. He adds milk and sugar to both, I take them plain. The bottom line was that he likes this one better, and that is great because it is less expensive.

The bag I sent to my oldest daughter’s BF in Ireland reached him today and he has already tried it. He liked it as well, and commented on the fresh berry taste. So it is a hit in general, and is somewhat comparable to Marco Polo, Paris by H&S, and Tower of London.

Josie Jade

I live in NC too, and discovered Tin Roof Teas recently, I love that place! It’s about the only tea store that is really good in NC. Have you found any others that have a nice selection?


A Southern Season has a lot of tea but some of it doesn’t have the quality I would like. I have also gotten some misinformation from people working there, but it was my starting point for loose leaf. Teavana in Crabtree Mall and Streets at South Pointe, but I don’t really like their tea much and it is soooo expensive. I love Tin Roof Teas. There is also Old Wilmington Tea down at the coast but I haven’t been there yet. Just over the border, the Calabash Tea Room has some teas for sale in the front building, mostly repackaged Harney and Sons, American Tea Room, etc. Nice to meet you! Are you near Raleigh?

Josie Jade

Oh, I’ve seen Southern Season listed before and will have to definitely try it now. I’m not a huge fan of Teavana either, they always seem very pushy to me. I actually live in the Greensboro/Burlington area but try to stop by Tin Roof Teas each time I go. I’ve had nothing but great experiences there – the staff are always so patient and helpful! It’s nice to meet another tea person in NC finally! :)


I went to college at UNC-G! I live in Fayetteville so it is about an hour and a half for me to go to Cameron Village and a little farther to A Southern Season. I love ordering from Harney and Sons and Teavivre. A Southern Season has a PDF of what is available in their daily teas and on their fine tea wall. They also carry a lot of prepackaged teas like Mariage Freres, Steven Smith, Harney, RoT, Twinings, and on and on. They have all kinds of gourmet food, a restaurant, a take out deli counter, hand made chocolates, and if you go, be sure to visit Night Gallery/Branching Out in the same mall. Wonderful mix of antiques, clothing, and garden decor. So eclectic, and they are recently featured in Victoria Magazine.

Josie Jade

Ohhh, I went to UNCG too! I got a degree there, but am now going back to school for nursing at GTCC. We live in Whitsett (right outside of Burlington), so it takes me about 50 minutes to get to Tin Roof Teas, which isn’t too bad. I usually plan to go when we are passing through Raleigh or have someone to pick up at the airport. I am definitely going to check out Southern Season. Harney & Sons is my favorite brand, and I recently discovered Steven Smith. I do most of my tea ordering online since we don’t have that many local stores here (besides TRT), but I love those little stores that carry other brands so you can get a little bit of everything to see what you like. I tend to go overboard if I am ordering online, I feel like I have to get everything I’m interested in! Thanks for all of the tips about Southern Season, I can’t wait to visit!


Have you contacted Teavivre yet for free samples to taste? They are amazing! Great service, and usually fast shipping though my last order got held up in Hangzhou for some reason. They have high quality tea, excellent prices, and always send a sample with your order. Free shipping over $30 and a rewards points program like H&S. they have sent me four boxes of free samples so far, and there is usually enough for about six cups of tea without counting resteeps.

Josie Jade

You know, I’ve heard so many good things about Teavivre, but just haven’t gotten the chance to try them yet. I am definitely going to check them out today though, that will be my treat for myself during my breaks from studying! Do you know if Harney & Sons starts the reward points automatically? I actually didn’t know they did that and didn’t notice anything about that when I placed my last order. Is there a place to check your points on the website?


When you go to Harney.com, it says My Account over to the right near the top. When I started buying there, they set me up automatically when I made an account with them. The Millerton always does reward points, but theirs are separate. The nice thing about Millerton is that you can buy different amounts and just get tin refills, etc. and sometimes they have tea the website is sold out of. If you didn’t set up an account to order, but ordered as guest ( if that is possible) I bet if you set up an account and didn’t see points, they would probably pull our order history and give them to you. Their customer service has been really great for me. And do check out Teavivre! They have sent me so much free tea…which I love so much that I end up buying it, and so do my friends!

Josie Jade

Thanks so much for the info! :)

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drank Shou Mei White Tea by Igourmet.com
1798 tasting notes

Supper time tea with Chinese buffet leftovers. Yum. Hubby didn’t mind it – he drank two cups so it must have been okay! I can tell this is starting to show its age, which is why I was drinking it. It lacked some of the creamy goodness of the first time I had it.

I am trying to purge my shelves of the oldest stuff. I have been very undisciplined and purchased more tea than we can drink, and since I mostly by what I really like, I keep thinking I will make this and that and use it up, but there is more than I can use! First world problems…

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drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
1798 tasting notes

I am going through my tea boxes and such and trying to whittle down the stash. I found a sample packet of this in loose leaf form and it had been opened. Good gracious, is it the same one I tasted two years ago??

I had enough leaves for one medium sized cup. For some reason, I was thinking I had disliked it all those years ago, but my review says we enjoyed it, just not as much as Tower of London. That is pretty accurate with how I feel today. This is good, it has nice berry flavor, but the honey flavor gives an extra little something to ToL that makes it more special to me, plus the fact that EVERYONE was sold out at the time that I first decided I wanted to try ToL and hubby found a tea shop online that had it, ordered it as a surprise, and we drank it together with steepster tea friend Sandy. So the memory adds to the experience of the tea, too!

This is a very good tea hot with no additions, but I bet if you like to add sugar it would be really sweet and fruity, and therefore probably great iced as well.

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1798 tasting notes

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Tonight, hubby looked up from his laptop and asked, “Do you still have some of that tea called Marco Polo?” Needless to say, I pretty much leapt from the sofa and zoomed to the kitchen to make it.

This is an amazing tea. It is also a finicky tea to me. Don’t oversteep or you will be disappointed. I usually go just over 2 1/2 minutes with it, but got tied up doing something else and didn’t get the leaves out until almost four minutes. It was still good, especially for hubby since he adds milk and sugar to this one. It was decent enough for me to drink it plain. I also realize my tin is getting on up there in age…pushing two years old.

I made this since he requested it, but very very soon I am going to fix a pot of Anna’s Blend from Tin Roof Teas to share with him. It is very similar but has a less fussy base, plus the yogurt flavor adds a lovely, creamy tang to the tea that really ups the interest.

Tunes: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, The Otherly Opus by Joy Electric


Marco Polo is THE STAR of the Mariage Frères card and I really wonder why I never tried it !


It has a lovely strawberry/floral taste. I do like it best with a shorter steep time.

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drank Garzon by Sir Morton
1798 tasting notes

I was shocked to see that I have never logged this one. This probably also means I have not had it yet, even though it has been in my cupboard for five months. This is one of the teas my daughter picked up in Budapest. It is a bagged tea, and not really packaged with freshness in mind, so it may be a bit lackluster, which will be my fault for not putting it in a tin!

Anyway, having now brewed this tea, about all I have to say is that it is tea. It smelled so very malty that I thought it was going to be tongue-curlingly astringent. It wasn’t, though. It is just a black tea blend. I added sugar, something I almost never ever do, and it was pretty good. Then I iced it, and voila! It is much better as sweet iced tea, and would probably be decent with something like an Everything Bagel even as a hot tea.

I would also like some kudos for actually proofreading my review this time and eliminating some astonishing autocorrect fiascos that could have been quite embarrassing.


kudos kudos kudos…. enough? kudos, just in case ;) I almost always have to edit after posting. It sure reads correct until I hit add comment.


I was shocked too! Until….I read the voila! I felt better after the Voila! Then you had to throw in the bloomin Everything Bagel with capitol letters and you made me HUNGRY with 6 capitol letters! (I don’t use autocorreckt!)


K S: (a la Elvis) Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!
Bonnie: Wow, I didn’t really want one until you said that! :)

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Hooray! I have time to try some of my new teas today! This is a sample sent by Liberteas and is my second Butiki tea ever.

I made a 22 ounce pot to share with hubby. I was surprised to see a recommended temp of 170F for an oolong but I obeyed, and took it to about 2 1/2 minutes on the steep. I served it with lunch, which may have kept me from picking up all the nuances of this tea, but I can say it was very good. It had a nice level of complexity, it was sweet and smooth, and my first sip made me actually think of frost! I kept feeling like I was picking up a hint of some spice, perhaps a mild Ceylon cinnamon, but it was awfully hard to put my finger on. There was a nice baked stone fruit flavor.

I wish I had tried it by itself first. The food had a good bit of seasoning – we had asparagus with lemon pepper, small red potatoes that had been boiled, then smashed on a pan and baked at 450F for twenty-five minutes with coarse salt, pepper, and rosemary until they were a bit crispy, and black bean soup with a lot of chili powder in it. All this seasoning kept me from picking up all I wanted, but fortunately I have enough leaf to do a little gong fu serving later!

Overall, a delicious oolong!

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

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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