2204 Tasting Notes

I under leafed this Hugo Tea offering a bit at lunch today but it was still really good with my Asian buffet leftovers. There is a noticeable freshness to the two greens I have by them, and they both pair very well with food. I find Steamed Cloud to be a bit milder than Pan Fired Pagoda.

The teas from Hugo Tea have been consistently good, and I like that they are organic. They are redesigning their packaging and it looks pretty sharp! I don’t work for them, and I have no agenda other than believing that this is young company shows a lot of promise and I hope they succeed!

Like Grace Rare Teas, they carry only a few teas but concentrate on quality. I wish them well.

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drank Cheesecake Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2204 tasting notes

I didn’t feel like eating tonight due to some imprudent snacking this afternoon, so while I made supper for hubby I made a matcha latte for myself. I mixed one tablespoon of raw sugar, one sifted teaspoon of matcha, and about 18 ounces of skim milk. It was decent and kept me from getting hungry, but it didn’t taste like cheesecake to me. The taste was somewhat generic with a slight perfume/chemical taste this time, so I may need to rethink my mix on this one. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. I need to figure out the perfect mix for this one because I have a TON of it!

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drank Jasmine Tea by Fujian Tea
2204 tasting notes

Either I am spoiled by Teavivre’s Jasmine Teas or this hasn’t aged well. I tried cold steeping it and there wasn’t much jasmine to it, and the green base was a bit astringent. Ah well, at least I hve some other jasmines to enjoy!

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My son, my godson, and my son’s girlfriend all came to stay for the weekend, and my son asked if he could grill and invite a friend he knew from church. The friend asked to bring several family members and it ended up being a really fun day with some really nice folks.

Hubby does not eat cow because he doesn’t like the texture of beef, so I was pretty happy that my son was grilling portobello mushrooms to serve like burgers. They were delicious!

While we were waiting for the food to be ready, I started talking to the two young ladies, who turned out to be very curious about TEA! Yay! We talked and talked and talked about tea, and when they said they were adventurous and had never heard of puerh, I decided we had time for a gong fu session with this lovely tea.

The first steeps were inky black, because I like my puerh strong! I did not rinse and we started with one minute steeps or perhaps a little longer. They said they could detect the aroma of mushrooms, and had a lot of fun experiencing the changes in color and taste of the tea. We got seven good steeps before the color and flavor had weakened too much to enjoy.

I have invited them back since they were interested in lots of different types of tea. I hope they will take me up on the offer!


Oh, there are so many things I like in this review!! Family and friends gathering, people interested to learn about tea, sharing about tea knowledge, and let’s not forget Portobello burgers, yum! What a fun day it must have been :-)


Oh, it was delightful! I am so glad my son invited them and glad that his friend brought so much family along, because I think it made everyone feel more at ease because no one felt like a stranger! I will have to keep that in mind for future events. This was our first time aging portobellos and we loved them! I think they will become a staple. The girls were typing notes about Teavivre and Steepster into their phones when they left, so I hope to see them here soon, as well as at my house for more tea!


Love it.

Josie Jade

Sounds like a wonderful day!

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I received this tea first in two separate swaps and liked it a lot. I liked it so much that I ordered a pound, but then I couldn’t recreate the magic of the first cups. It was a little astringent. I was disappointed and really wondering what the heck I was going to do with a whole pound of it.

Yesterday I got the bright idea to cold brew it. I made a bottle of simple syrup in preparation for drinking it today and left it in the fridge for over 24 hours. The results is absolutely delicious, summery, floral+fruity iced tea. It is as clear as can be. The strawberry flavor is wonderful, and the lemon flavor is a lemon candy flavor, not the sour lemon taste you often get in iced tea. That stuff curdles my tongue!

Hubby drank it and said it was good but he liked Razzleberry from 52Teas better. Well, it would be awfully hard to beat Razzleberry. I told him this was waaaaaay cheaper and he said, “Now you’re talking!” Fortunately for him, I have several packs of Razzleberry left, and hope to get some more for this summer.

In the meantime, I can enjoy my cheap stuff with abandon! I like it!


Hooray! Glad you found a method that worked for this one.

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I believe this is the right tea. Mine came as a sample tea sachet with a Dammann Freres order. I have had it for quite a while so it is quite possible that the quality has suffered.

First, I confess that my initial experiences with Darjeeling as a tea newbie were not good and it was all my fault. I didn’t know better and made them just like any black tea. After I learned a bit and made them as they should be, I liked them a bit more, especially one or two special ones. I preferred Chinese black teas over Darjeelings and gave up on most Indian tea altogether, except for a few blends.

I feel that this makes me unqualified to judge this tea, but I can state my opinion of it. It is smooth enough to drink without additions. There is definitely some fruity astringency, but not enough to make me to see it. I even did a second steep, because I still have some cubes of Dubliner cheese left and wanted tea!

I expect that a Darjeeling lover would have to great things to say about this tea, but this is not something that appeals to me. It was fun to give it a try! One of my favorite Darjeelings is a very earthy one from Luis Tea that my daughter bought in Budapest. The real Darjeeling enthusiast probably wouldn’t even like it because it is so different!

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This is a free sample from Teavivre. Thank you, Teavivre!

The last time I had this tea, it was at bedtime and shared with hubby. This time, I made it as our HUGE pot to accompany Asian buffet takeout. I steeped the leaves in a 22 ounce pot using two of the sample packs, then resteeped and poured all together in my biggest tetsubin.

I tasted a sip from each steeping. The first was much as I remembered it – light, clean, and fresh. It was so light I was afraid I had under leafed. The second steep was left a little longer and was definitely stronger, much stronger than the first steep.

The two steeps combined made an excellent accompaniment to our meal. I had some rather “heavy” and seasoned foods: dumplings with that sauce, lo mein, mushrooms, etc. So as mild as this tea can be, I was shocked when I first picked up my cup to sip. The tea that had seemed so mild had so much flavor and was so cleansing to the palate! It was quite a shocker, and I enjoyed using it between courses to get ready for the next dish. It was not astringent or sour, though. Very good tea!


Interesting review! I don’t always consider that perception of a tea can depend on the foods it is paired with.


I find that cheese is wonderful with tea. It can really make it taste so much sweeter, even when you haven’t added a thing to your cup. And chocolate is great, too, of course!

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drank Zealong Dark by Chicago Tea Garden
2204 tasting notes

I cheated a little bit with this one, but it was totally worth it. I wanted…..NEEDED….tea this morning. Lots and lots of stress – nuff said. I wanted a black or oolong tea and this sample caught my eye. I can not believe I have had it for three years! When I poured the leaves into the pot it looked a little shy of how much I needed so I added quite literally just a few hard little pellets of Zealong Aromatic.

The result was excellent. This may have suffered a bit for aging, I don’t know, but I do know that having a good cuppa shifted a few burdens and lightened the load.

The liquor was very light, but the flavor had lots of body and heft, and there was a floral sweetness running alongside the dark roasted oolong, possibly from the addition of that tiny amount of ZA.

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drank Matcha Latte by Unknown
2204 tasting notes

This review is actually a review of a method of making matcha lattes rather than the matcha itself. Maybe I should move it to a heading of “cocktail shaker” under tea equipment and paraphernalia!

When Red Leaf matcha lattes became all the rage on here, I bought a TON of matcha. I experimented with all sorts of ways to make it and finally settled on using an Aerolatte to whisk it all together. It struggles a little with thick honey but if you add just a touch of warm water or milk to “melt” the honey, it is easy. The problem is that I like my matcha lattes to be cold cold COLD!

I had read about people making lattes in a cocktail shaker, so I tried a Williams Sonoma Working Glass with rubber lid. Yes, I ended up with matcha latte all over me. In my hair, even.

Today I saw a cocktail shaker at an estate sale for five bucks and it appeared to have never been used! It even had a bottle opener and matching cheese knife inside, still wrapped in plastic. I decided I could give it a go as a latte maker and wouldn’t mind too much if it failed at that price. Besides, I needed a new bottle opener for the outside fridge where we keep our glass bottled sodas!

I sifted my matcha into the shaker. For those who participated in the blind study, it was sample five from Red Leaf from waaaaay back when we tested green, white, and black matcha. I added a tablespoon of honey, some milk, and some ice cubes. I put the lid on and shook it over the sink…..just in case.

No leaks! Yay! I poured it into my glass and a lovely froth topped my latte. I peered in the shaker and I could see tons more froth that I could have scooped into my glass, keeping or discarding the ice, but my glass was full so I didn’t. The honey seems to have blended fairly well, but I think it would have even more so if I had warmed it. Shaking it with the ice would have chilled it again and I would have gotten the icy cold temp I like.

I am going to try this next with raw cane sugar instead of honey. I have already had two lattes though, so I may wait a while!

Overall, I am really pleased with this method and tickled that I found a cocktail shaker so cheap, since I had been loathe to pay full retail for one.


I do the cocktail shaker method sometimes, too! I’ve never tried it with honey, though. I’ll have to do that sometime :)


Hmmm. I have a bit of matcha left. Maybe I’ll give the shaken cold method a go with a mason jar…


I find sifting extra important for the cold method. Clumps suck!


Indeed, I did sift, but I pretty much always do now! Just tried again with sugar and it worked great! As the shaker sits and the foam goes down, you get to top off your glass with some more icy cold matcha!

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
2204 tasting notes

I have had something niggling at me for days – sinuses angry, scratchy throat, irritated eyes. Today I feel like I have been hit by a small bus. Just a small one, mind you. Or maybe a van.

My daughter had an 8:15 orthodontist appointment, then we had the “big” grocery shopping to do, ironing, school, and cooking some of those groceries. About midday I told middle daughter that I needed tea and cream puffs. Yes, this is doing very nicely, and will probably be followed by a quick nap before I start teaching.

Queen Catherine is my go-to “I don’t feel good” tea. I am down to enough leaf for about two more pots of this, and I started with a pound. Not the first pound of it I have ever bought, either. We are completely out of Vanilla Black and nearly out of Vanilla Comoro by H&S as well, so an order is….well, in order.

Allergies are still abusing me, but the tea is lifting my spirits and the cream puffs didn’t hurt one bit.

Hesper June

I hope you feel better soon!


Same here. Allergy season can be rough. Take good care of yourself.

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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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