1878 Tasting Notes

Not long ago, Hesper June offered to send me a sample of this tea. She asked only a bit of Baker Street in return. But when my tea came, it was a WHOLE BOX of tea in the cutest little tins! There are all sorts of smoky teas in it!

Grace Rare Tea is one of the first fine loose teas I bought. I had never heard of the company but my youngest daughter is named Grace and she loved tea the most at the time, so I bought it on a lark for her. I have since purchased almost every tea they make because the quality is so high.

Looking at this tea, it is hard to believe that I am looking at a Lapsang. Sometimes, lesser teas get chosen for heavy flavoring, but not in the case of GRT. The base looks great, and the aroma isn’t plain smoke. There is more to it. There is a sweet and fruity aspect as well.

Sipping, the taste of the base holds up to my expectations. It is smooth and sweet, medium bodied. The smoke is a surprise, though. There was a strong smoke aroma to the dry leaf but it is much lighter in the cup. Wen you sip, it gets really interesting. The smoke is subtle and then it blooms from your throat to your mouth.

This is definitely going to be added to the cupboard. Hesper sent so much that I don’t need to rush to Durham to buy it, though! Thank you, Hesper June!

Hesper June

You are welcome:)
So glad you are enjoying it!

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drank Cassis & Blueberry by Lupicia
1878 tasting notes

Oh boy, I should have been in bed long ago, but I just don’t want to go – like a little kid fighting sleep, but I am not very sleepy.

What better way to pass the time than tea with Pinterest? I came home from work last week to discover that my bestie, the best bestie in the world, had left a gift for me…a card and two Lupicia teas! This is one of the surprise teas I got.

I wish I knew more about cassis. I really am not sure what it is. I saw one description here that mentioned black currant, another flavor that is relatively new to my palate. I can really see comparing this to black currant flavor. The blueberry flavor is there, too, and one of the berry flavors is really lingering but I can’t discern which it is!

I drank two small cups of this plain, and since several people mentioned that it would be good iced I added sugar to get a feel for how I would like it that way. I thought I didn’t add much, but it tasted super sweet to me. I bet this really would be amazing iced and sweetened for those who like sweet tea. I have come to love my hot tea with no sugar, but I can definitely still enjoy some good old Southern sweet tea! I have to say this is another win for Lupicia in my book.

Edited to add: duh! Just googled and I guess cassis IS black currant flavor, not just some thing like it.


It just sounds so much fancier, like one of the fragrance oils I have is “black currant tea” and you can bet I’m naming it “cassis tea” instead when I use it.


I avoid Pinterest … too many Internet addictions as it is ;)

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This is a free sample provided for review by Nature’s Tea Leaf.

My daughter and her fiancé stopped by tonight and since I had not had lunch the past two days working at early voting, I was ready for something for my tummy! My middle and youngest daughters had made fresh home made bread, so we cut the loaf, got out some plain butter and Kerrygold Garlic and Herb Butter and made a pot of black tea.

The leaf is somewhat fine and wiry. I used below boiling water for just over two minutes. The result is a cup of black tea with strong cocoa notes, maltiness, and heft. I told the others it was toothsome! I drank this plain and it was smooth enough and hearty enough for me. Because this is a really characteristic Fujian black that I associate with breakfast I tried it almost with milk and sugar. I think I may like it best this way!

This is a good example of Fujian black tea, strong enough for breakfast, smooth enough for any time! Thank you for the opportunity to try it, NTL!


Toothsome. Absolutely!

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I believe this is the tea sample I received from Nature’s Tea Leaf, although my package says Buddha Hand Oolong.

I have never had a Buddha Hand oolong so I looked up several and found that some sites consider it to be just another name for Ti Guan Yin, and some referred to it as a Wuyi Rock Oolong. If anyone has more detailed information, I would love to know it!

The leaves are a mix of dark green and light green, very pretty to look at, hard and tightly curled, and very consistent in size. I almost did a rinse but decided to keep a close eye on the tea instead and make a decision based on how it was shaping up. The leaves began to unfurl very well, so I left it and drank the first steep with no rinse.

The liquor is a fairly strong golden yellow color, not pale. The aroma is sweet and that rock mineral quality is present, though not as strong as in a monkey picked oolong. There is also another elusive aroma that is so hard for me to describe that I find in Ti Kuan Yins – perhaps slightly vanilla? It really is an aroma that for me is so distinct and so particular to oolongs that I don’t know how to describe it otherwise!

The second steep is an even more golden yellow and seems to have greater clarity of color than the first. This was a nice tea start to my morning! I only wish I had time to drink more, but I must go work at early voting. My evening cups will be desperately needed!

Oh, and I got the big news I was waiting for last night! The phone call came just after midnight. My daughter’s Irish boyfriend, the one you guys said was a keeper because he brings me tea, proposed on Myrtle Beach at midnight, and she said yes! He had asked last Sunday for our permission to propose, so I knew it was coming! :)


Congratulations! I don’t know how you kept the secret, my fiancee got my parents permission(s) months in advance, so they had to keep quiet or forget about it! : )


Woo-hoo! (I wondered if that was it!)




WOOO HOOOO! Congrats to them and you for gaining a wonderful son in law!


Hooray for Anna & Gavin!


Thank you, everyone! They stopped by briefly tonight on their way back to Raleigh, then Thursday they are off to Disney and touring in Florida. We had tea and hugs!


The world would be a much nicer place if there were more tea and hugs. Congrats on the news and the great review.


Haha, I saw “fiancee” in your more recent post, and navigated to your page to find out if indeed, the Irish boyfriend had proposed to your daughter!! Congrats to them (and you)!


Gosh, you’re going to be a mother in law! Congratulations. :)


Ang: I want to be a really good one! I love my mother-in-law. She has never tried to interfere or be controlling, and my mom was the same way. I want them to think of cake and tea when they think of me! :)


Mine isn’t either. There have been a few times where I thought something wasn’t really her business, but that was mostly in terms of wedding preparations and that sort of stuff and if I’m to be honest, certain things probably wouldn’t have turned out properly if she hadn’t. Other than that I don’t think she ever has done any of those things. At least not on purpose.
My main thought, though, was being reminded of last Christmas when she suddenly left the kitchen right in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner and came in to announce that she had just realised that she was going to be a mother in law. :p

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I think this is one of the few Teavivre teas I have ordered that I bought “blind” rather than having already had a sample first.

I really shouldn’t be up, but I am hoping to stay up late enough to get some big news and I have had a brutal day working at early voting. I needed a soul soother tea and picked this one.

This is so light and creamy that it reminds me of drinking white tea. It is smooth, never sour, never bitter. The more I drink the more I want to keep drinking, which is good because I had no lunch today and couldn’t even go get water for the longest time. I am so glad I bought this one.

Tomorrow, I am taking a bottle of matcha water to stay hydrated and keep my energy up, because tonight I am seriously flagging.

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Hubby and I are having this free sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf as our meditative evening tea. I made two steeps and will probably go for more tomorrow with these leaves, but I don’t want too much caffeine tonight!

The steeped liquid is pale. The aroma is soft but not weak. The taste is of soft grain, oats, with a smooth creaminess. I have had white tea that just got lost in the cup and was more or less like drinking a cup of hot water. You won’t have that issue with this tea. Soft, smooth, but with creaminess and body. This did just what I wanted it to do this evening.

Thank you, Nature’s Tea Leaf, for the samples!

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Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow oh wow.

Due to a wedding rehearsal dinner last night, Chinese buffet take out got bumped to tonight after the wedding. I was soooo ready for it. I needed to pick a tea to go with it and wanted to choose from the selection Nature’s Tea Leaf sent me for review.

I picked up this package and thought it would be a good choice, thinking It was jasmine. Then I noticed it didn’t say jasmine anywhere on it. What? I didn’t know there was such a thing as dragon pearl tea that WASN’T jasmine! Intrigued, I stood by my choice.

I used one nice full teaspoon of leaves in my eight ounce gong fu pot. The directions said to steep for one minute. I kept checking it because I didn’t see how that could be enough time for the pearls to begin to unfurl and give good flavor. I poured it up at the one minute mark anyway. Then did a second and a third and a fourth and a fifth!

The liquor starts out pale, not a golden yellow but almost a peachy pale yellow. Subsequent steeps were a little darker. ALL steeps were really truly delicious!

This is….maybe similar to a DragonWell? But nutty nutty nutty. I have never had roasted chestnuts but if this is really what they taste like, I want some! Hubby whooped up on it, matching me cup for cup. He thought it was good, too! We got forty ounces of tea from one teaspoon of pearls.

This is PERFECT with food. I think I am in love with a new green. Smooth, but palate clearing. Hearty without bitterness or astringency. Assertive enough to go with food and really complement the meal.

Thank you, Nature’s Tea Leaf! This is superb!


Sounds really good. I’ve come to realize that I love the roasty tea’s. Autumn darjeelings, roasted oolongs, black tea, puerh. Go figure….


Now you got me all excited to try it. I just assumed it was Jasmine Pearls and was like “ho hum”.. but now that I know it’s not I’m very intrigued! I got a sample in the mail to try, too.


I would have to out this in with my top ten favorite greens now. It was really good, and the sample size they sent was so generous.

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It felt a little chilly this morning when hubby and I went out to pick up a few things for a home improvement project. When I came home I saw that it is actually in the low sixties, but hey. Everything is relative.

The cool temp made me want a plain black tea with my breakfast when we got home. I picked this one mostly because I don’t want it to get old and stale and I haven’t had it in a long time.

It was a great tea to choose because it is doing everything I wanted it to do. I can drink this one plain because it is such a mild Irish Breakfast. It does still taste with milk and sugar if you want to add it. It probably wouldn’t satisfy someone who likes a nice, strong Assam to kick them in the tuckus in the mornings, but it is a great strength for me.


I like the strong kick in the morning. I love the smell of the wet leaves on Irish and Scot’s strong breakfast tea’s like an addict I sit and sniff them then drink my tea with cream and usually sweet. Love this when the weather is cool.


Some tuchuses (?) just need more kicking than others :)

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drank Pepper Mango Green Tea by Gurman's
1878 tasting notes

Spicy, but not too spicy, even for a wimp like me. The green base is nice and smooth. This is an excellent and enjoyable green, and Gurman’s has been a pleasure to deal with.

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Oh my, I am so full of tea tonight. We made four steeps of this tonight. Delicious and chocolate-y as always. I think we tried four different teas tonight. Oof.

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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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