Marks and Spencer

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Keemun by Marks and Spencer
1829 tasting notes

I made two gallons of this iced a few days ago to keep in the refrigerator. I put it in the Pottery Barn dispenser. Guys, if you buy a dispenser, get one with a real metal spigot and not a plastic one. You will pay more but it will last years longer. Just ask Pioneer Woman. It is worth it not to have to clean up from those leaks all the time, and I love having enough on hand for guests.

Anyway, yesterday a neighbor was walking by with her wee dog and stopped a moment to chat. We have been neighbors for over twenty years but hardly know each other. I asked if she wanted to see my chickens and we called them to the gate. She said she wanted chickens, for a long time, badly!!! And now she swore she would get some. She lives four houses away but didn’t realize I had chickens before.

Today I got a text that someone was giving away five laying hens. I walked to her house to ask if she wanted them. Yes! Yes! She and her hubby came over to see my coop so they could build theirs, and….they had tea. Her husband said this was the best iced tea he had ever had in his life. His wife promised to come learn how to make it if he would get the coop built! We also gave them blueberry muffins and kefir.

The wife was very interested in my tea wall and wants to try puerh, so we are going to schedule a tea tasting soon. She said it smelled horsey but she could tell it would taste sweet and creamy.

I also found out that she has tried making kefir several times and was never successful. Thanks to Mercuryhime , I am now a kefir maker myself! So she is also going to learn to make kefir and when my grains make enough babies I am going to share them with her.

Tea makes friends. Friends make tea.




You know, I have a neighbour who says he likes tea, and recommended a store to me that did British High Tea. I’ve given him cuttings from our front yard, and should make a visit sometime to give him the seedheads from our poppies.

Maybe I should invite him over for tea as well!


I would invite people over more often but that means I have to clean. :(


I loved reading this…it really made my day! :) (and I read in your bio that you’re a homeschooling mom, which is awesome, because I, too, have my three kiddos at home. Man, I’d love to be your neighbor. lol)


Christina: do invite him! I invite a lot of people. Some don’t accept, some do. The ones who do have never regretted it, and come back for more. Most of them get addicted to tea. I had never met the man who gave me my Marans until he brought them but he is now addicted to puerh and just got another Mandala order in. LOL! He is placing a Teavivre order next!

DeliriumsFrogs: Mercuryhime and I were just talking about how we need a Steepster village, with all our pets and a wildlife sanctuary, and lots of tea, and our own gardens. Think of all the tea children frolicking in our yards, learning about the whole world from all of our wonderful tea neighbors. Have fun with your kiddos! I homeschooled all four but three have graduated and I am on my last two years with the youngest!


How fun! I love the little moments that bring people together.


Sigh. I’d give my left arm for another jar of cherries in port wine from Marks and Spencer.


A Steepster village would be a dream!! :)


Well, if we can’t have a Steepster village, I would settle for a nice cabinet to store all my tea. Either that, or to secretly become ashmanra’s neighbour. :)


Cwyn: I will be there in eight weeks. Shall I pick up a jar for you?

Christina: Lots of houses in the area for sale! Come on over when you get yours! :)

Mercuryhime: I have to keep my living room relatively clean because I teach music lessons in there, and I have a small dining table in there with a sideboard, but naturally guests want to wander into the kitchen. So far no one has fainted! LOL! My house is pretty clean, but very cluttered sometimes because of all the things we get interested in. There are soooo many musical instruments and lots of craft supplies, dishes, wheat buckets and and the grinder…Clutter! And more clutter! We won’t talk about all the books…


Books are furniture. Enough said. My mom always advised that one should choose friends you’re comfortable inviting in no matter how the house looks. She was a pretty wise woman.


She was wise indeed. One friend has a much larger house that is always clean, at least when I am there. I always tried to keep her in the living room and then a couple of times she went in my kitchen (which is large because originally it was a kitchen/den combination and it has a fireplace) and each time she exclaimed that she felt so AT HOME in that room and just loved it, and it reminded her of an old timey general store. I realized that it really made her feel totally accepted and “IN” the circle to be invited into the messy but warm and lived in kitchen.

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drank Keemun by Marks and Spencer
1829 tasting notes

Apparently this tea does not exist. It came in a box but the box got a bit flimsy so I put it in a good tin and labeled it as Marks and Spencer – Keemun. And I have had it for a while so it should have already been in my cupboard. Now I find that it isn’t on Steepster and when I google it I can not find that it ever existed. I am pretty careful about labeling my tea, though, so it really should be the right name. Maybe it is just discontinued?

Anyway, I have been making it in large batches as good old sweet tea, Southern USA style. I use about four tablespoons steeped for three minutes in a pot of 212F water, then pour it over two cups of sugar which has 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda added to keep it from going cloudy. Then I add water and ice to bring it up to about five quarts of tea in my large glass dispenser that is kept in the refrigerator.

The leaf particle size is better than dust, but is not whole leaf. I would say most of it is about the size of gunpowder green tea. It makes a decent pot of hot tea but it is really shining cold. It is very, very dark, though, which I thought the family might find off putting, but nope.

Everyone is guzzling it, so I guess I will have to try to get some more when I ….wait for it….GO TO IRELAND THIS FALL! Yes, indeed, I, who have never even been on an airplane, am supposed to go to Ireland in October! I expect I will be coming back with some new goodies from Gurman’s, too! And O’Connail’s chocolates, which you really must try if you ever get a chance.

Maybe I can find out if this tea really exists while I am there…


Congrats on Ireland! You’re overdue for such a treat!


Oh I’m jealous, have a great time. I miss Ireland. Though every once in a while I run into odd connection to !y time there. The other day I ran into a man who’s family owns a pub we would visit from time to time in Malahide ( it was kind of a focal centre for people working out of Dublin airport and they keep Dublin’s Millennial clock in the courtyard). I’m so glad you will have friends and family to show you around. I miss hiking in Howth and Bray as well, there are gorgeous cliff side walks there and we used to go to Howth to watch the seals! So happy for you!


Enjoy your trip! Sounds lovely.


Drinking tea that never existed – next stop the twilight zone!

Ireland – Awesome!


So are you taking donations to pay for your extra baggage for all the tea you’ll be hauling home? ;)

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I was actually hoping this would be a weaker version of M&S’ extra strong teabags because my system can’t take it. However this was pretty similar to their Gold blend, actually. It’s smooth, but just not my cup of tea (har..har… okay I’m sorry). I’ve had a friend tell me she liked it, but I personally prefer their extra strong teabags for the malty taste. I do wish they’d sell these in smaller packs, I had to give most of it away because I couldn’t possibly finish 80 bags.

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Got these as a present from my mother when she visited the Philippines last year.
Just your average peppermint tea :)

I’ve just got one last thing to do for Philosophy and then it’s off to bed!
((but seriously though. Where’s the mint option…))

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Terrible day today. Another early day tomorrow.
Ugh I just need to relax and this is as close to perfect as it can get.

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It is lightly flavoured but isn’t bland. The mintiness isn’t too strong. Overall it is a pleasant cup of tea for evening consumption. The effects are quite potent though. Based on what I’ve experienced, one cup is all it takes to start feeling sleepy. After finishing the whole pot, I went to snooze comfortably on the sofa.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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This tea is a light pinkish-red color that isn’t off-putting, thankfully. It carries a sweet aroma of raspberries that doesn’t smell too artificial. Has a tart and subtle flavor, but the addition of sugar or honey balances that out nicely. Pleasant and refreshing. I expected the raspberry to be overwhelming but it’s quite gentle.
I would recommend this cold steeped for 30 – 45 minutes

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A very strong black tea. If you’re a coffee drinker trying to get into tea, this is a good place to start. A bit tannic, but robust. My dear friend from college who has been living in England brought me a box of this as a gift. It is my lifeline for staying alert in my night shift work.

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