168 Tasting Notes


Seriously, People…this tea is the bomb.
I have had a terrible day already and its not even over yet (2:00 in the afternoon here)
I literally said aloud “chocolate oolong” exactly three times today, just to give me courage to move on and remind myself that when it was over I could have a giant mug of this tea.
This tea is much more savory than sweet to me, despite the name.
Nutty, oaky and a slight salty seaweed note.
This tea is so comforting.
Its repairing my mind and soul already.
Ahhh…maybe its not too late to have an awesome day after all.


drat…. and i was doing so well with my budget. sigh.

‘momma said there would be days like this….’ and i’ve had loads lately. thinking of you, sending positive vibes and thinking that you are an awesome optimist. mind over matter… your mind over whatever is the matter. =0)


Sometimes it’s the tea; sometimes it’s just the slowing down to drink it, huh? Hope the day improved.

Hesper June

JustJames, thank you for the vibes, My day definitely improved after tea:)
Gmathis, I agree, I think I just needed to slow down and BREATH and sip some tea for a bit;)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) I love reviews like this, and days that get better because of tea!

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I have been living in our camper at our farm for most of this last month.
No internet.
The days sort of ran together, and somedays I did not even drink tea, it did not seem fair to the tea.
I would swig half a cup of coffee and out the door I would go.
Last night I sat down and drank a cup of herbal tea and nearly started weeping.
My soul has been thirsty.
Opened up my tea cupboard this morning and saw the Queen.
Yes, perfect tea to start my day off with.
A lot to catch up on around the house, but before I even begin, I will sit back and inhale this concoction of leaves and hot water.
I missed you tea and steepster.
Look forward to catching up with you all.
See my previous notes for more on this tea.


my month has been like this, so caught up that i strayed from the rituals that gave me comfort…

Hesper June

Hopefully, we can get back to our rituals that give us comfort (and personally, keep me sane:)


the pathology behind our illogical behaviour would be fascinating to study… everything falls apart and a booming voice declares: ‘abandon ye all things that offer consolation.’ how strange we are. =0)

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Having this tea this morning.
We are having company coming in this weekend, and I awoke this morning and saw the house as someone might who is just coming in the door.
I then had a small coronary event and then put the kettle on.
We have been putting all our energy into our new farm this year and the house sort of took a back burner.
So, I must try to make some sense of this mess, or I could just tell the guests that we were robbed…
I needed a brave and supportive tea this morning.
My hand hovered briefly over an assam, but no, this is the tea that I needed.
Its Tall, Dark and Encouraging.
Freaking out about the house?
This tea just smiles a little and says “We got this, babe”
What always throws me for a loop is the instructions to make this tea, you use boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes.
It feels so un-oolong-like.
Hubby took a sip of this tea, and said “Puerh?” I said No, its a Oolong actually.
But, I understand why he first thought this.
This tea is quite earthy and nutty.
Sometimes, on the second or third steeping I get a bit of seaweed note coming through.
Also, notes of oak.
But, as I said before, It is still an Oolong.
Very glad I got this tea, I can not wait to share it with one of my house guests who I know enjoys Oolong.

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I got my Whispering Pines Tea order in the mail today.
I have been wanting to try this tea since Brenden first introduced it.
So badly have I been wanting to try this, that even though I live 40 minutes away from where my mail arrives, and even though I still had a day of running around and doing errands to do, I actually drove all the way back home to prepare this tea and put it in a go mug.
( I would not admit this to many people, but, I know you dear fellow Steepsters understand this tea-driven bit of craziness )
Now, if I had not been listening to Sense and Sensibility on audio book in the car and if I had turned on the tv or radio once I got home, instead of dancing impatiently ’round the kettle I would have heard the major storm warnings, and the telling people to stay off the roads.
Instead, I left the house, noticed that it was a rather black looking sky (where we live every couple of days it looks as if our world may end, we get storms blowing through from Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming…when to be scared is when those storms collide with one another, such as today)
Just as I was getting to the bit in the book where Marianne insists on taking a walk even though its stormy, and as the audio book lady said “suddenly the clouds united over their heads and a driving rain set full in their faces”,blinding sheets of rain and hail hit my car fast!
I could barely see, but thought I saw a turn out or a dirt road or something other than the main highway I was on, so I pulled off as far as I could and waited out the storm, which lasted 20 minutes.
Lightening struck all around me.
It was frightening, BUT I had hot tea.
To distract myself from probable electrocution I concentrated on the tasting of the tea.
I am not one for chocolate flavored teas.
Then why on earth did you want to try this tea so badly, I am sure you are asking, because it is as I hoped, not really exactly like chocolate.
Its more roasty and toasty, more like toasted nuts.
Has notes of oak and seaweed.
Its rich and dark and unexpected.
And yet, still not losing one bit of its oolong-ness.
Although a Mr. Willoughby did not come to my rescue, I had something better accompanying me during the storm.
I very much look forward to drinking more of this tea…from the safety of my arm chair at home.

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That actually sounds like an amazing day to me! Sigh. Tea, a good book, and a thunderstorm.

Hesper June

I really did not mind it at all and was actually enjoying myself, till lightening struck a tree a couple hundred yards from where I sat in my car.
Somehow that made me a smidgen nervous;)


@ashmanra I know!!! I thought the same thing. Awesome tea review, even though only 20% was about the tea :)

Hesper June

More tastings to come, Nxtdoor;) stay tuned…


Oh my! Well, I guess a nearby lightning strike would out a damper on things, or at least make things a little…tense. LOL! Glad you are okay, and now I really want to read Sense and Sensibility! Better charge my tablet…


I am glad you remain un-electrocuted! I love that P&P synced up with real life for just a moment.


That was an awesome tasting note! Love it!!


I really enjoyed reading this, HesperJune! Is there anything a girl won’t do for good tea?
Must say I do appreciate a good thunderstorm, but not so much if my life is at risk! Glad you are ok :-)


love this note…. tea is my sanity tonic/saving grace/deep breath. if the world is ending put me on a train (it’s very sheldon, but they make me happy) and give me tea. ;-)

Hesper June

I love trains too (and Sheldon;)


(suddenly all I can hear is youforgotyourflashdrive… youforgotyourflashdrive… youforgotyourflashdrive…)

Hesper June

Bahahaha! Now I have this urge to seek out and watch that episode…


Now I have this urge to try the tea and actually read Jane Austen. I’ve been intending to read her for 20 years :)

Hesper June

Oh! Well, my two favorite books are Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. But, they are all good:)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA


Hesper June

Oh, yes! I enjoyed that one a lot too! I repeat…they all are good:-)

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drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
168 tasting notes

Another sample courtesy of the lovely High Adventure
The dry leaf smelled like…candy?
Once brewed it comes off more fruity in smell.
Taste is bright and fruity.
It really reminds me of summertime!
I wonder how it would taste cold brewed?
But, right now, I am enjoying this hot on this bright June morn.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Josie Jade

I made a travel mug of this last weekend when we went out to run Sunday errands and it was wonderful! It’s the perfect summer tea!

High Adventure

Ooh… cold-brewed… good idea! I should experiment with cold-brewing my Kusmis.

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Another sample from the lovely High Adventure
I was a little surprised that the bergamot was the first thing I smelled, I was thinking the floral would be the most present.
But, the taste surprised me even more, a soft almost sweet floral taste with a finish that has a bit of spice.
Wow! What a tea!
Very glad that I got the chance to try this.
Thanks again, High Adventure:)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
168 tasting notes

The last couple of weeks have been rather hellish.
Hubby banned me to the house for today though.
He has been up since 1 this morning baling hay, and normally I would go out at dawn to start water on our farm fields.
But, I injured my shoulder and back this week so far.
But what hurts the most is the blisters on my feet, how can something so small be so plaguing?
I got up early anyway to catch up on laundry and dishes.
Sat down for a moment with a cup of tea and put the heating pad on my shoulder, and promptly fell asleep.
Awoke to a cold cup of tea, chugged that while I heat the kettle for this.
This is a sample from the lovely High Adventure
She was kind enough to send me lots of samples, which I have not had a chance to try.
This dry leaf smells fruity and a little spicy.
When I hurt, I always seem to reach to the teas with a bit of spice in them, apparently they are comforting to me.
This is only the third Kusmi tea I have ever tried.
Tea smells like a spicy earl grey.
But, the taste is a bit milder.
A bit of orange and bergamot on the tongue.
Not strong, not offensive and is almost a smidgen too polite.
I would be okay with more of a spice kick to this tea.
But, it is tasty and seems to be be comforting the soul and body.
What on earth would we do without tea?
I am certain I do not know.
Thank you, High Adventure!

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I hope you feel better soon! Give yourself permission to rest and heal!

Hesper June

Thank you, Ashmanra!
Shortly after this note, a neighbor called me and said our ditch had broke loose again and water was running over our field…so much for resting.
Thankfully, it was not as bad as in the past and now I am home, with a mug of tea, my heating pad, cat on lap and steepster once again:)

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A bracing malty cuppa!
Another tea sample I purchased from Upton awhile ago.
Just getting around to trying it.
You can certainly smell the assam.
I made as recommended by Upton.
212 @ 3 minutes.
I did not think 3 minutes would be enough, but it is plenty strong.
It would hold up to milk or cream well.
A great breakfast tea to have on hand.

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drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
168 tasting notes

This morning, I am enjoying the last little crumb of this tea, that I received from Sil
One of these days I am going to just have to break down and order from Verdant.
This tea makes me want to bake something.
It smells a little like bread baking. (one of my favorite smells in the world)
There is a sweetness to the smell and taste that reminds me of brown sugar.
Then at the back of the throat I get a tinge of clove.
Very lovely tea for any time of the day.
I have throughly enjoyed it, Thank you Sil for sharing:)

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YAY!! I’m glad you got to try this one :) Hoped it would be one to make you smile.

Hesper June

Oh, yes! I have been making tiny cups of it to string out the leaves as long as possible;)
This morning, I actually made a real sized cup and have been enjoying the re-steeps.

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drank Rose Scented by Harney & Sons
168 tasting notes

Ahhh, this is just lovely.
I do believe this is the Rose I have been searching for.
When you open the tin, you are transformed into a English Rose Garden.
Not much more to say, except I like it.
If you are looking for a subtle rose tea, than this is not it.
But, if you don’t like timidity, and like your rose tall and proud, then grab up a wee bit of this.

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High Adventure

Darn, I just placed a Harney & Sons order — now I wish I had included this! I love Rose too.

Hesper June

I would be happy to send you a sample. PM me if you are interested:)

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A Farmer’s Wife who drinks her tea to forget the din of the world.
Love all tea, from black to herbal concoctions.
Usually start my day with black tea and then move on to Oolong or Green in the afternoon, then finish the day with a tisane.
Loose Leaf teas are my preference, I say “Free the Leaves!” :)
When I am not drinking tea, I enjoy knitting, baking, reading, playing with one of our rescue animals or working along side my husband on our farm.

My rating system is rather relaxed:
50’s or under- Um, is this tea or did I get this from the slop bucket?
60’s- Not really my thing, certainly will not be purchasing again.
70’s- I will give this tea a few more tries to see if it grows on me , right now it is okay but not thrilling me.
80’s- Like this tea a lot. It might be a tea that I have to be in a certain mood for and therefore not a daily drinker, but try to have on hand for those “moods”
90’s and higher- ADORE! Will never be without!

I most always drink my tea plain.
No sweeteners or milk/cream.



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