1829 Tasting Notes

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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Backlogging from last night: We skipped a week doing our Chinese buffet take out so I was especially ready for it last night. For less than twenty bucks we got six meals, and enjoyed really good tea with it instead of dining in and having…water, because I am NOT taking their bagged black Lipton! LOL!

This was my tea of choice. This is the most soothing, delicious, smooth green tea with the most beautiful jasmine aroma. I was getting a little anxious that I might use up my favorite jasmines, but at last one of my orders has finally arrived in New York, so I could prepare a pot of this without fear of running out too soon. The one I ordered first is still showing as being in Hangzhou. Hmph.

Hubby used to drink just sweet iced tea, then started loving hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar, LOL! I watched him last night down a cup of this and reach for the pot and pour another. He has found a number of greens that he really enjoys and I am soooo glad! This is kne he really likes. He still doesn’t know the names of the ones he likes. I just have to keep track!

Daniel Scott

Hot Tetley with milk and sugar and sugar and sugar. I know that one! I used to drink that one all the time. :P


I still lightly sweeten my tea. My brothers brew sugar and sugar and sugar then wave some bags over it. Hurts my kidneys to drink their tea… erh sugar water.

Yogini Undefined I used to drink my tea like that as well too when I was younger..gallons of sugar lol!

I used to drink all my teas sweetened too, but, I slowly transitioned away from it by adding less and less, and now I can drink tea straight and I prefer it that way usually … although there are some teas that benefit from a small amount of sugar. I wanted to retrain my palate, and it took a while, but I finally managed it and have been drinking most of my teas sugar-free for about a year now.

Daniel Scott

Nice job, LiberTEAS! I kind of want to do that too. I have gotten down to a bit less than a tablespoon per cup, but no lower, generally. Still, that’s down from (mumblecough) amount of sugar, so…


My mom used to put three cups of sugar per gallon of iced tea! She balked when I cut it back to two. I started out sweetening my teas, but two friends who drank their coffee black started having tea with me, and they drank their tea without sugar, too. I was ashamed to put sugar in…made me feel like a little kid! – so I quit adding it in front of them and eventually just got used to it without sugar. Now I like it best without sugar, except one or two out of a hundred teas! Hubby will get there eventually! He has made a great start.

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drank Pumpkin Pie Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1829 tasting notes

I am mostly ordering and trying matcha for my daughter, who works at night and is trying to drink a lot of green tea plus she needs energy and to be alert but not jittery, and for my husband, who is terrible about not eating a good breakfast and needs energy for a long day. For this reason, the flavors I am choosing first are really flavors I think they will like rather than what I would choose for myself, although believe me, my turn is coming!

My daughter loves fall because she loves EVERYTHING pumpkin! She makes pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin fudge. She buys pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin spice coffees. She even toasts pumpkin seeds. So a natural choice of matcha for her is the Pumpkin Pie Matcha! I don’t think I even noticed on the website until I saw Alphakitty’s review, and as soon as I saw that I knew my daughter had to have it!

You can find it here:


I ordered the small size and got the basic grade of matcha because I also got the robust level of flavor, so I thought that grade of matcha would be fine.

This time I got the tin. Matcha is a very fine powder, and they recommend keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Naturally, I have to try it first! Again, I want the flavored matcha for lattes or smoothies so the big decision was how to make a pumpkin pie drink without adding coffee, because that is the only kind I really know.

I decided to make the matcha and add it to heated milk for my first attempt. I figured if i didn’t like it as a hot drink, i could always pour it over ice.

The dry matcha did not have as much aroma as I had anticipated thought had a pleasant smell. I had expected to open the pouch and be greeted by CINNAMON whopping me upside the head, but there was just a pleasant smell of light spices and pumpkin.

This time I didn’t use the Bamix immersion blender, but just whisked the matcha in a small cereal bowl with a kitchen whisk. I had tried making it that way with the first matcha I ordered, which was the mocha one, and it worked great! I don’t have a sifter – I just looked at the powder and since I didn’t see any lumps I figured it was okay. I poured on the hot water, probably only one ounce, and whisked with my plain metal kitchen whisk and used the “M” shaped motion they describe. As soon as, and i mean AS SOON AS, the hot water hit the matcha, the robust flavor showed itself in a rich aroma swelling into the air. Yes sir! This is a nice mix of pumpkin pie spices, but the pumpkin is there, too! I got a lovely froth completely covering the surface of the liquid. Even though my plain kitchen whisk works, I eventually want to get a bamboo whisk and a whisk stand, just because I enjoy the doodads and paraphernalia!

I added the ounce of matcha liquid to a ten ounce cup of hot milk and stirred in one teaspoon of raw cane sugar because I want a pie experience! It is hard to believe that this tiny amount of matcha is going to flavor that whole cup of milk.

And oh my goodness, my daughter is going to be very happy! This tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. It is so rich, yet this is skim milk. I feel like I am drinking a whole milk, calorie dense beverage.

As a hot milk drink, it was also very satisfying and I am hoping it is going to keep me going as we do a big clean up today. I wondered if I would need to add some real canned pumpkin to it to give it enough flavor, but it isn’t necessary! I can’t wait for my daughter to try this! I already told her about it and she is pretty excited! She had never heard of matcha before now, and is diligently googling all the health benefits.


Isn’t it SO SO yummy! I love this one (I love them all though) … Red Leaf’s powder is very fine – if you had to get away without sifting RL is the match to do it with!


Yum I want this one too! Gosh my list is getting bigger and bigger. Love the review :)


The hardest thing about Red Leaf is that I can’t pick what to get next! I can’t wait for my daughter to try this.


LOL that is true! But now they have sales which sometimes makes the choice easier :)


This one is so delicious! I was really surprised by how spot-on the pumpkin taste is.


I’ve been waiting for a sale matcha that I couldn’t resist in order to try out Red Leaf, especially since I’ve never done matcha before. But this is one that I would be tempted to just up and order anyway, especially since it’s fall and pumpkin time! Well I’ll get around to the matcha someday. :)


Do you think more than “Robust” flavour would be too much of the “spice” and overtake the pumpkin flavour? I really want this one for fall, but I want to make sure the pumpkin is there, not just the spice. What do you gals think? :)


(Although ashmanra, I would totally add canned pumpkin for an extra special latte anyways ;) )


mmmm…pumpkin :D


I want this too!


Daisychubb: I love the level of spice I got, and I think increasing the level would be great, too. This doesn’t have the hot burn of too much cinnamon you can get when a company overdoes it, this is nicely balanced and I think if you increase the flavor level it would still be great. I did buy a can of pumpkin to add as part of my experimenting. I am completely new to tea lattes and smoothies so I wanted to try it lots of ways, but I love warm pumpkin pie so I especially wanted this as a hot drink, while the mocha I wanted as a cold drink. This is fun, but choosing my next flavor is almost hopeless. There are so many I want to try!


Thank you! That’s very helpful :D On the nest order it goes ^^


Looks like it’s next up for the sale after the results of the poll this week…

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drank Wild Wuyi Black by Harney & Sons
1829 tasting notes

This is accurately described on the Harney website. Dark and intoxicating indeed! There is an assertive cocoa flavor that grabs your senses like a handsome stranger grasping your hand and encircling your waist and looking deep in your eyes when a tango begins to play.

This is the tea that had all the elegance of a Duke, yet had the presence and strength to be paired successfully with rich strawberry ice cream. The two played off of each other very well. I am glad I eat very slowly (though it drives hubby crazy!) so that I still had ice cream left when we served this one at tea party today.

Hints of Golden Monkey by H&S are here, as well as Premium Steap’s delicious Emperor’s Red, but this really is a tea all its own.


Sounds wicked good!


I wish they would bring this back…


Wow. I love the description you gave it!

Hesper June

My goodness, This sounds good!


It really is delicious! I wish they still sold this one and Golden Snail.

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Today I realized that I haven’t served this at tea party yet! As a special treat I had purchased some Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream to serve with Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies. I thought about serving it last to continue the strawberry theme, but my guest really wanted it first, so we served it with the ice cream.

As always, it was delicious, but I do think a better pairing would have been the Wild Wuyi Black with the ice cream so you have a nice contrast, and then serve the SV last to keep the strawberry theme going, as I felt the creaminess, rich ice cream masked some of the good flavor of the tea. The aroma of this tea is so fantastic, and the flavor doesn’t let you down.

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drank Darjeeling King of Teas by Luis
1829 tasting notes

I wanted black tea this morning but decided to let my daughter have the whole pot of Lapsang for geometry. I wasn’t in the mood for a regular breakfast blend, though, so after some internal debate I picked this one because Bonnie’s post about her Darjeeling had this one on my mind for a while.

Some Darjeelings get astringent very easily. Some are very fruity and have the strong, tart, muscat grape flavor. This one is just really earthy. It is smooth enough that I don’t even consider adding sugar or milk, and uncomplicated enough that I don’t mind making a big pot of it and drinking it while we are doing schoolwork.

Tunes: Theme from Harry’s Game, Newgrange by Clannad.


Love Clannad!

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Back logging: Youngest and I drank this most of the day. We made two pots. It is sweet and the smoke is pleasant enough, but it is not quite as good as Black Dragon from Upton. It lacks some of the sweet resin quality of Happy Lucky’s. But overall it is good and satisfies the need for Lapsang. We are trying to finish it before my Upton order gets here and it looks like we may succeed.

Tunes: Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men and
Helena Beat and Don’t Stop by Foster the People


I’ve never listened to Of Monsters and Men. They’re great! Thanks for the recommendation.

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I have several samples that I have saved for a time when I can pay them special attention. This is such a time, and such a sample, from the generous and venerable Bonnie!

I put my kettle on to boil and carried my eight ounce pot to the stove with the leaves in it. As I set it down, I caught a whiff of what I thought was peaches. I looked around. No peaches in the house right now. Hand lotion? No. Must be the ae leaves, but straight black tea that smells like a stone fruit? Verdant, you have some amazing and unique teas!

I gave it a quick rinse and then steeped for 25 seconds, keeping on the low end of their recommendations. The resulting brew is light in color for a black tea. The first sips are so milky. “Are we sure this isn’t a milk oolong?” I find myself thinking. A dark, baked milk oolong is how I would describe the first steep.

On the second steep, a metamorphosis is occurring. The liquor is now a little darker – I let it steep for 35 seconds this time. Okay, now I taste what I think of as light black tea with an unsweetened cocoa profile that is very light, but it is mixed with a slight milkiness and also quite a bit of green tea flavor. This is very hard to pin down as a black tea as it seems to behave so much like a oolong!

Third steep: What? Color remains a medium light brownish yellow, but the milkiness has increased, most notably on the front of the sip. The impression of a dark oolong has increased on the swallow, but the aftertaste is that of a well rounded green tea and a slight drying is taking place as an after effect, not unpleasantly.

The fourth steep was my favorite. It was even creamier and the unsweetened cocoa has given way to a soft, buttery vegetal flavor. At first I thought the slight drying effect was gone, but as I kept drinking it was still there, though very light. Steep number five: lighter, maybe a little dryer and the milkiness is lifting a bit now. There is more flavor here than I would have expected from a black tea resteeping so many times.

Thank you, Bonnie, for an enjoyable afternoon tea experience!

Tunes: Luc Baiwer/Symphony des Ages – Prelude for a Century, in Memoriam. Remembering the families, the innocent, the broken, the heroes. And praying.


It is good to remember, and special tea’s are wonderful for soothing and deepening the entry into the two sides of our memories of sorrow then hope. We have icons in our hearts and light candles there. Memory Eternal. 9/11 and all the others we remember.

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I got a package from Liberteas today! And it is full of tea goodness! I really shouldn’t be making more tea right now, but you know what happens when you get new tea….taste ALL the things!

I love Premium Silky Green by Bird Pick, so I was especially eager to try this one. I made it in my little handmade gaiwan that I bought at Tin Roof Teas. It isn’t an “easy gaiwan” officially but I think it is the same thing. It is sooooo much easier to use than my first gaiwan that burned my hands all the time. It is just decorating a shelf now!

Wowzer, these leaves swelled immensely! The first steep was golden and while it had a hint of the baked flavor it was really more fruity than anything. It is definitely smooth and not astringent. Second steep – still golden, maybe a tad lighter but I decreased the time since the leaves are fully expanded now. Really fruity and mild!

Thank you, Liberteas! I will keep steeping but I have to cook supper now!

Tune: Traffic/The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, cuz I thought we were going to drink Lapsang but made oolong at the last minute! Traffic is black tea music to me!


I am glad that you are enjoying the tea! I am the same way with my gaiwan. I use my “easy gaiwan” all the time – like daily, but, my first gaiwan that burned my fingers all the time, it sits and looks pretty on the shelf.

Daniel Scott

Oooh, I really wanted to buy a “real” gaiwan at some point, and not the “easy” one I have. Guess it must take real practice.

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drank Osmanthe D'Or by Dammann Freres
1829 tasting notes

Resteep of last night’s leaves: This oolong was made western style last night and I usually only make one resteep when I steep it that way. The first sips are slightly milky, something I hadn’t picked up on before. The liquor was a brilliant golden color this time. I think it was even brighter this time! The oolong is nice and the osmanthus is a little muted.

Tune: Lonely Boy by the Black Keys, celebrating being finished with geometry for the day even though youngest had an early dental appointment. Yay!


Oh you’re so kind as to also share your tune with us, I’m biased of course. It also doesn’t hurt that the Black Keys have made another appearance here.


Love that tune!


Yes, the prior mention is why we listened to it! I read the review to youngest and she said she had Black Keys on her iPad so she turned it up while we drank tea between subjects.

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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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