1688 Tasting Notes

Just needed a cup of simplicity. Dark, strong, breakfast tea, no fuss. Light touch/short steep is good with these bags. But if you see this brand in the odds-n-ends shelf at a department discount store and wonder about it, it’s OK.

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drank Honeysuckle White Tea by Shang Tea
1688 tasting notes

Hubby brought home a couple of vanilla beans for us to play with. I snipped off a few slivers into a second steep of this.

Even at Steep 2, the honeysuckle is so strong, I’m not sure I was getting any of the vanilla. I think can steep this same batch of leaves well into tomorrow without putting a dent in the strength.

P.S. Have any of you seen the lid to my Finum brew basket that mysteriously disappeared from my kitchen counter? It’s green.


I think they must grow legs and walk away. Mine disappeared too :)

Invader Zim

I think I need to retry this tea at some point when they get newer stuff in because when I tried it I didn’t get any honeysuckle and was really disappointed that it tasted like a plain white tea.


It’s contrary to every cheapskate fiber in my body to use a whole tablespoon of leaf in a cup … any less, and I don’t think you’d get that honeysuckle buzz. Whoops, another bee joke.

Terri HarpLady

This tea sounds very interesting!
Regarding finum lids, mine always disappear. I really think its some kind of conspiracy… Tony’s are always right where they are supposed to be.


It’s probably with my new black sock that got sucked into a black hole after one wearing.

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drank Honeysuckle White Tea by Shang Tea
1688 tasting notes

I made a cuppa last night with a big wad of leaves (yep, it calls for a whole tablespoon) and let it go as far as I dared—two whole minutes. Added a generous squoze of honey, and it tasted/smelled so authentic, I felt just like a bumblebee.

(Been watching old SNL Season 1 shows…loved the bees.)

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I haven’t sampled that many, but so far I haven’t met a Fujian tea I didn’t love (Adagio’s Fujian Baroque is tasty, too). Pleasant fruit and cocoa notes; isn’t picky on the steep time; just plain good no matter how you make it.

Terri HarpLady

How much snow did ya get?


Just skiffs of sleet here and there. Haven’t connected with the outside world yet to find out whether there was anything measurable east of us.

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White cake with key lime frosting only makes this betterer. (Not a typo. It’s worthy of the extra er.) Sweet, authentic-tasting fruit flavor against the green tea. Sooooo good.

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This is one of the prettiest loose black teas I think I’ve ever seen. All the goodies look like confetti. And the scent…mmmmmm!

It steeps into a coppery-colored cup of sweet citrus flavor. Lots and lots of orange; yep, there’s the lemongrass; the eucalyptus in this particular cup is faint, if existent. But I’ll blame that on small-sample ingredient inequity.

Anyway, this is fresh, tasty, citrusy, and a little celebratory, and I’m grateful to Steep City for the taste!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1688 tasting notes

For a lark, threw some black peppercorns in with some aging Belgian Chocolate rooibos (Metropolitan, I think). Couldn’t taste the peppercorns separately, but I think they added a little depth of flavor and warmth, rather than heat, that brought this oldie but goodie back to life.


I find that you don’t get a lot of flavor out of peppercorns in tea unless you lightly crush them first.


Yeah, I should’ve smooshed them.

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Sweet. Gentle. Flavor-accurate. You need to have this. You need to have this with cookies.

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drank Black Manas by Teajo Teas
1688 tasting notes

Top o’ the mornin’ to you. (yawn) We had hail in the wee hours and it sounded like a million leprechauns were clogging on my roof.

This was the first Assam I could lay my bleary eyes on, and I’m glad I did. Loving its texture—not too heavy, not too thin. Loving its flavor, which is still prompting me to use adjectives like bright and fruity (which I usually associate with Ceylon teas). Looking forward to a second steep this afternoon.


Steep 2 report: holds up nicely! Has a bit of a spicy aftertaste now.


bright and fruity leprechaun dance party! hail is the weirdest.

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Giving this an opportunity to prove its calming and anxiety busting properties. Flavor is growing on me. Sort of like a sharper and sterner version of chamomile.

I am a hairball of anxiety this evening. Cancer found in my mom’s routine x-ray; moving into lungs and liver. Looks like an additional round of bureaucratic warfare is looming to prove that we paid to have our post-tornado ruins privately bulldozed and that we don’t owe the city for (not) doing it. Just when I think we can finally put all that behind us…

My mom (82) is facing the news wonderfully: “I know how it ends,” she says. My God has promised to provide for my needs and I believe that includes whatever it takes to slog through another tornado-related worry. Now if I could just get the Not Knowing Monster to remove his fangs from the back of my neck…

If this is as calm-producing as purported, I may have to buy it and tulsi by the bushel for the months ahead.

(P.S. Speaking of needs provided for in wacky and wonderful ways…a neighborhood stray cat, black with a few streetwise scuff marks, wandered into my yard for a cuddle earlier this week and has extended his hangout. Climbed into my lap and did that paw-paw thing that lowered my blood pressure 10 points. I haven’t broken down and bought a bag of Fancy Feast yet, but a friendship may be developing.)


Blessings to you all.


Wishing the best for you. Kitty cuddles and tea are where it’s at.


I hope things improve.


Thanks, friends. Sometimes just whapping it all out on the keyboard lightens the load a little.

As far as which one de-acidifies the vinegar running through my veins, I think I’m still leaning toward tulsi as the better de-stress potion.


I second the wise words of OMGsrsly. Hope all improves, soon.

Rachel J

Hang in there! Sounds like plenty of reason to feel stressed. I think the kitty is a sign. I hope you invite him/her to be part of your family. :)


Sorry things are so tough. Peace be still.

As for the cat – you don’t own a cat. they own you. If this one decides to move in, its because it knows good people. Take it as a compliment and a gift.

We once had a cat that I got from the pound. One evening he scratched at the back door. When my wife opened it to let him in, she found he had brought home a young kitten. He brought it in and told us in no uncertain terms he was keeping it. We did not have a choice. George and Shadow were close family for a very long time.


Oh, and feel free to pound away at the keyboard as needed.
you are among friends who would help if they could.


“I know how it ends” isn’t morbid, but of great comfort to your mother and a comfort to you. My mom wasn’t afraid and neither am I for the same reason. Your heart though is sad and heavy, and as KS said, we’re here for you. Steepster isn’t just about tea. We’re a community. God be with you and your mother.

Tea Sipper

I’m so sorry to hear about all this. I hope everything goes as well as it possibly can.


I’m so sorry to hear that. Kitty and tulsi will help, and certainly the keyboard venting. We’re here for you xx


You and your mom will be in my prayers… Agree with KS on the kitty situation :-) They do choose you and it is usually for the best! Glad it’s there to bring you a little comfort…

Donna A

I share the sentiments of Bonnie and Tea Sipper.


Warm Tea Wishes. i’m thinking of you.

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Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.


Southwest Missouri

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