1943 Tasting Notes

To our members in France: my thoughts and prayers are with you today. I saw the news as I was having lunch with my daughter. I feel sad and sickened by what happened. God bless you all.


Amen. Very well stated Ashmanra.


Agreed. So sad!


Amen as well. Well said , they need our prayers as we have had theirs I am sure.

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drank Ruby #18 by A Southern Season
1943 tasting notes

SuperAnna and her hubby stopped by on their way home from their anniversary trip to Myrtle Beach. They were picking up their hedgehog, (my grand-hog?), and stayed to play board games.

Hubby doesn’t want black tea, son-in-law prefers it, SuperAnna likes green and white best. Usually we make lots of different teas, but this time I served the tea that does it all. Looks like a green, tastes like a oolong plus Darjeeling plus black plus green, smooth and sweet, it slides down and pleased almost everyone. And that is exactly what it did. It is a keeper. And a great resteeper. Bonus.

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drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
1943 tasting notes

My, how we change! This tea was sent to me by SimplyJenW three years ago. That’s right. THREE YEARS. I saw it when I was diggin through my samples box and decided that since youngest already had a whole pot of tea for herself, this would be a good time to use my Kamjove pitcher from Teavivre and resteep the heck out of this, thereby acquiring a generous portion for breakfast and finishing a sample to boot.

We no longer add milk or sugar to our tea, and with food this was quite good. I had a good bit left over and also got to experience it on its own. It tastes like a hearty breakfast Keemun, not as raw and rough as a good old wake-you-up Hao Ya B but not as prissy and refined as a top of the line afternoon sipper to go with cookies. And this was with three steeps using 7 ounces of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaf. I think 21 ounces of tea out of the end of a sample is a pretty good deal, especially since this is getting on in age. I have never purchased this brand, but I would do so without hesitation if I was somewhere that carried it.

Thank you, Jen, for “joining” me at breakfast today!

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My son asked for Black Cherry Matcha from Red Leaf Tea for Christmas, so I ordered 60 grams and upgraded the base because it really seems to make a difference to me. When the order arrived, there was also this pouch of 30 grams of Madagascar Vanilla Matcha! I panicked, wondering if I had ordered wrong, if my son’s pouch of tea was also just 30 grams and they had made a mistake but NO! It was a gift! A bonus! There was a little note on my invoice with a smiley face!

I had skipped lunch running errands so I wanted a latte to fill me up fast. I made a big glass and told my son to try a sip, and I was a little alarmed when the “sip” went on and on and greatly diminished my glass! He handed it back and said, “I’ll have one!” So I made another glass for him.

I used about eleven or twelve ounces of skim milk, one tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of matcha. I stirred with a spoon then further mixed and frothed with an Aerolatte, a little mixing tool that costs less than $20 and can easily be had for less using a coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

It was like drinking a vanilla shake with a touch of creamy matcha flavor thrown in. Delicious, and thank you so much Red Leaf Tea for the bonus! I think my son may be hooked on a new flavor!

Also, I really like the new packaging. For a matcha that I will drink pretty quickly as lattes like this one, the new zipper pouch is perfectly good storage and I don’t have to be frantic about finding a tin or jar right away.

Sami Kelsh

Wicked! How sweet of them to send you such a lovely gift :)

Cameron B.

Ooh, is the Black Cherry one good? I was wondering which cherry to try when I get around to ordering. :P


I was just thinking about ordering from Red Leaf. Last time I ordered the French Vanilla. I might give this one a try next.


Cameron B. – the black cherry is one of our favorites for shaking in a cold water bottle and using during workouts! It is yummy! I make pitchers of it iced for them U.S. when they do heavy yardwork to keep them refreshed. They seem to love it! They go through tons!

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drank Sakura Blue by Mariage Frères
1943 tasting notes

The tin and box refer to this as blue tea. I had never to my remembrance heard of a oolong tea being referred to as “blue.”

This smells heavenly. It reminds me a lot of Teavivre’s Taiwan Ginseng Oolong in the scent. I googled blue tea and lots of the listings were for oolong tea rolled in licorice root and ginseng powder, but these leaves do not appear to have been rolled in anything. It is sometimes referred to as a Formosa style oolong.

There are large and medium sized leaves and a good number of cherry blossom petals. We are steeping over and over. The flavors are sticking around for a few steeps, but mild after the first. The oolong is neither super green or heavily roasted. Perhaps “Blue” refers to the level of oxidation and type of heat this tea has had?

This tin is going to be gone in no time and I am going to miss it when it is gone. I am rather taken with this tea right now.

The tin is tall and thin and has a really nice double lid. It will definitely be saved and recycled for storing another tea.


Beautiful canister – but then again, so many of Mariage Freres’ are (sigh)

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Not long ago I mentioned on here that I had tried every Jasmine tea from Teavivre except this one. What came in the mail today but TWO tuo cha of it from K S! Steepsterites are the best!

We had gone to the big city of Raleigh to top off the Christmas shopping, but mostly just for fun, and we wanted some tea and spice cake when we got home. I made this in my new Kamjove pot that I got from Teavivre.

I didn’t look up the instructions but I used boiling water and kept the first few steps short. My first impression…I took a sip and said, WOW! The first few steeos had that light, natural Teavivre Jasmine flavor that I love. As the Jasmine flavor faded and the raw puerh came forward, I accidentally left a steep too long. That steep was still good, and all it took was a little extra water to tame it. These later steeps had a briskness that turned almost immediately to a rising sweetness that I really enjoyed.

This is on my next order. Thank you, K S, and Merry Christmas! I hope you are feeling better, and I LOVE my card with sparklies. I am a sucker for sparklies and I know Mrs. K S must have made it herself! Many thanks!


Awesome. Glad to help Teavivre sell more tea. lol. Mrs. KS made all our cards this year. I watched. Merry Christmas to you and your’s.

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I wanted to review this again now that have used it some more.

First of all, people who see it think it is so cool and so much fun. It is! I guess we are easily entertained!

My son’s girlfriend wanted to know where to get one the very first night she saw me using it. A week later my son-in-law wanted to know why the tea wasn’t going all the way down, and said “Coooooooooool!” when I pressed the button.

I used it with my best friend before giving her one for Christmas. She sent me a message that night saying that even though we had a TON of tea already that night, she was using her new pot to make more tea. She told me today that she has used it every single day since getting it.

We used it tonight to make two liters of Puerh while watching old movies. It is clean, convenient, easy, and fun. I am not seeing any staining yet and it is easy to clean. I rinse the basket with the button up, then with the button down, then turn it upside down and press the button to get the last of the water out of the strainer.

This will be going on vacation with me from now on. If anything ever happens to it, I would buy another right away.

Terri HarpLady

I have a small one of these in my desk at work. At lunch time I bring it out & treat myself to a gongfu session with whatever tea I brought that day. It’s the highlight of my school day :)

Terri HarpLady

Super easy at work


And no one’s had any problems with them breaking? I’ve had 3 from different companies now, and each of them have shattered when I’ve been making tea. :/ IDK what I’m doing wrong if no one else has had this problem!


Terri: that looks like mine, but mine is the 500 mL. It is fun and easy, isn’t it? I bought one for a friend who is a teacher because I thought it would be easy for her to use at school. I am loving mine! Plan to use it tonight!


OMG: I have only had mine for a week or so, but no problems so far. I have a glass gong fu pot and double wall glass cups and all have held up so far. Someone gave me a cheap glass gift set of a pot, glass infuser, and flowering teas. The infuser shattered right away, but the set was not borosilicate glass. I think it really matters to have borosilicate glass, but having said that, K S had one shatter on him when it struck a faucet just so. My borosilicate French press held up but I gave it to my daughter long ago and she hardly ever uses it.


I have a french press and the wee davidstea pot and double walled mugs. No problems with those! Maybe I need to find a more reliable brand of these things. :) I really liked how easy it was, and it was fun to use the jug by itself for the occasional flowering tea.


If yours was a Kamjove, maybe you could try Piao I? Has more than one Kamjove broken on you? Is it possible it was too cold when hot water was poured in, or did it break because it hit something? I hope these will last!


I have a feeling they were off-brands. One had a fault in the glass, and two just shattered when I drained the tea. I had started pre-heating, too! I should look for a better quality one. :)


Oh, I love the idea of using them for flowering teas! My glass pots are too tiny to let them show all their beauty, there just isn’t room. But this would be great! It is tall and narrow, just right!

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I bought this from Teavivre and got an extra one for a friend for Christmas. I was torn about what size to buy, as different websites show the larger pot having different shapes. There were two reasons I bought the middle size instead of the large. First of all, the large one at Teavivre has a long spout instead of the cute little pouring lip, and I didn’t want to risk that since it was glass. Also, hubby pointed out that the infuser cup part appeared to be the same size no matter what size your pitcher is, so I might as well buy this since I will need the same number of steeps. Mandala sells these as well, so perhaps if Garrett sees this note he can clear that up for us. Other sites show the large pot having the small lip, but I don’t know if the photo is accurate. One site indicated that the infuser is larger for the larger pots, and the number of ounces they list isn’t the same even when the pictures appear to match. This made it harder to choose where to order from and what size!

I used it for my puerh sample tonight and it was wonderful. I made one steep and immediately refilled the infuser section. The second steep comes to the bottom of the infuser, so if you don’t start pouring right away your tea could oversteep and become bitter. As it was, we were pouring pretty quickly and made a total of two liters of tea with our sample and had no trouble. Two steeps at a time were being mixed together.

Why did I want this with all the pots I already own? I don’t like the morning multi-tasking and delays. I make the dog an omelette and then start my omelette, toast, and tea. When the food is ready, I am still in the kitchen waiting for the timer to go off and I don’t want to carry the pot to the dining table and have to take a bowl or dish to put the infuser basket in while listening for the time, which I will have to get up to turn off anyway. Call me OCD but I don’t want a messy bowl of leaves on the table if I can help it. I wanted a pot I could carry with me before the leaves are done steeping and then have it mess free. See? Lazy!

The most I can see making easily with this size pot is about 14 ounces. Otherwise your leaves are in the water. Of course, you could remove the infuser, but my whole point was that I wanted to be able to make and drink tea with moving the leaves and making a drippy mess and I didn’t want to have to get up from the table. This is my lazy pot! But it will also save money because it is going to be super easy to make tea for one by resteeping a single teaspoon of leaf. One could also easily make a tea concentrate with this and add water to dilute if you wanted larger amounts at a time.

The bottom line is that it is going to do exactly what I wanted it to do. It was easy to use, it is really cool to watch, and my son’s girlfriend immediately wanted to know where I got it because she wants one. There was no mess from dripping or leaves.

A few reviews here and there said that in time the infuser cup gets dirty and stained. One person remarked in the comments that they use a denture cleaning tablet to clean the infuser portion. I will give that a try if I have a problem with unsightly staining in the future.

I am pretty excited about using this. I think it has solved my morning breakfast conundrum.


I’ve used denture tablets before, with some improvement afterward, but usually, I let my baskets get so scaly before I tend to them, they’re pretty hopeless to begin with. (Creative minds are rarely tidy. I read that quote on the Internet so it must be true :)


Were you cleaning a plastic basket like this one or a stainless steel one? I wonder if that tea stain remover Mandala sells could be used on this. So far I have no staying or gunk and we have made three liters of puerh and a few batches of oolong. The stains wouldn’t freak me out, though. It’s only tea!

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Heh heh heh. Hee hee heeeeee. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! ANOTHER CONVERT!

Last night was Writers’ Group night at my house and copious amounts of teas a are always consumed. The writers range in age from 16 to 68. Lots of the young people are getting into good tea and that makes me happy.

One of the college students brought his mother last night. We had met only once before but I knew she was interested in trying some good loose leaf tea. She drinks flavored Lipton and Celestial Seasonings and told me that she is not very adventurous when it comes to food and drink. I let her smell several different puerh teas, which drew a rather deadpan expression and “yes, it really does smell….earthy.”

So what did I do? I gave her the tea that scares a lot of hard core tea drinkers! Puerh!

I set up a bamboo tray on the floor by the Christmas tree. We had Jasmine Silver Needle first to get her feet wet, and she liked it. Then I cleared away, got a new pot out and started this.

She liked it best! And says she is bringing a young lady with her next time who is also eager to try new tea. She liked the creaminess and natural sweetness. I have another lady coming Monday who had tea with me a couple of months ago and now she wants her adult daughter to get into it. Loving all these padawans!

Also, every like and comment I have made on Steepster today has disappeared, so maybe I typed this note in vain….

Cameron B.

Adorable, tea party under the Christmas tree! :D


Wow, that’s impressive! Kudos to her for being so open-minded. It took me quite a while to try pu-erh, and yep, can’t say I am a fan haha.

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drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
1943 tasting notes

Toronto dwellers – I need your input! Eldest has chosen Toronto as the locale for youngest daughter’s 17th birthday trip. They will be in Toronto sometime in late January probably. She is planning to stay in a hotel in the Path? paths? Something like that! Any suggestions?

Now to the tea! I served this to the group of little girls yesterday and to their big brother who was in attendance with them, home from college for Christmas. I offered both Earl Grey and called this “a fruity one.” They all chose fruity. They added milk and sugar, the brother took it plain, I think, and I took mine plain.

This is easy to drink without additions and is good both as a hot tea or a sweet iced tea. It has a broad appeal and is good to serve to people who are not quite ready for a competition grade oolong, but could appreciate a nice flavored tea. A friend who had it at my house ordered a pound thinking she would ice it but has ended up drinking most of it hot.


*on the path :) hahaha it’s our underground network downtown – no need to walk outside when you can get from the hotel to a bunch of places downtown, including the subway!


I stayed at a hotel on the path once. It really made it easy to get places.


I visited Toronto recently and used Airbnb for part of my trip and a hotel for part. Airbnb was cheaper and so much nicer. Something to consider?

aisling of tea

I do not have hotel suggestions, but I do have tea shop suggestions. And the Zoo! Everyone should come to the Zoo!

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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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