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163 Tasting Notes

81

Another morning of -10 temps, but with wind chill it brings the temperature down to -30.
My poor hubby is already out in it, but he told me to not come out till later, and then only if he really needed my help.
He told me to stay warm and drink tea.
Yes, Sir!
I grabbed this Assam because it’s a Assam kind of morning.
While it is brewing, I am inhaling it.
Yup, its Assam.
Malty and leathery.
Taste is, well, assam-y!
Ha! nicely malty and a little drying at the back of tongue.
Its not a bruiser of a Assam, but it is certainly a Assam.
Delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
gmathis

…and here I am whinging and whimpering at 20 degrees. You are braver and hardier than I am! (Couldn’t dream of drinking anything less stout than an Assam in weather like that!)

Hesper June

I started to get excited because we are getting temps in the upper teens by Sunday then I found out thats just so a 3 day blizzard can come through.
Oh, well, I guess I will just have to stay trapped in my house with nothing to do but drink tea;)

TheTeaFairy

I can relate Hesper! Nothing but snow and freezing temperature around here in the Laurentians! But it’s ok, good strong tea and good husband will keep us warm :-)

Hesper June

Yep! Those are the things that get me through the winter, tea and cuddling with my cute hubby and my doggies and kitties too:)

TheTeaFairy

Ho! I also got a few of those!! Cuddling living stuffed animals that is, not husbands, one is plenty! Big doggy and a few kitties, just adore them :-)

Hesper June

Haha! yes, one husband is plenty:) Yes, I adore my “furry kids”! They are all rescues. We have three dogs and three cats and one very fur filled vacuum.

TheTeaFairy

I always have a soft spot for rescuers :-) Mine are also rescues, except for the Dobberman, he was initially adopted for his guardian skills ( we were robbed twice in a short period and we live in a remote area) but he quickly became the biggest «mookiepoo» of them all! The woods in my backyards bring all kinds of animals in needs, I try to help the best I can by feeding and treating them if necessary. My husband helps a lot, I think he must have been a vet in a previous life!

Hesper June

Oh! thats terrible about you being robbed!
We try to help out all the animals even wild ones too, right now, I have been trying to help the poor little wild birds deal with the bitter cold.

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89

Brewing up one last cup of this before shipping the rest off to Sil
Yummy and warming on this very chilly day.
See previous notes for more info.

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84

The Queen!
She is here for breakfast.
I have heard good things about this tea and am delighted to finally get the chance to try it myself.
Dry leaf smells slightly smoky, and even a little floral.
I brewed this for 4 mins, instead of 5.
There was almost something about the dry leaf that hinted some astringency if brewed to long.
I am enjoying smelling this tea, this is a wrap your hands around the mug and inhale kind of tea.
I smell hints of smoke and maybe a bit of chocolate.
On first sip, I was surprised to taste fruity notes.
I don’t find this tea astringent at all, in fact next time I think I will go the full 5 minutes.
I am very glad that Queen C. is here, and I just think she might be someone I invite to stay around for a good while.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Sil

bah! I really want to try this one sometime. Sounds delish!

Hesper June

I could send you a bit, if you would like?

Sil

that would be amazing! If there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try in return I’m totally open to sending some your way. Cupboard’s up to date heh

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75

I wanted to share this with you.
I think its fair to say that this tea is quite potent.
Well, in the tea box that my friend sent me for Christmas (she just ordered from H&S and had it sent to my house) they sent me like 8 tea sachet samples, all the same flavor, and all this.
I groaned inwardly.
Where I do actually like this tea, its almost something you have to mess with.
Either mix with another tea or just be creative.
So, the day before Christmas I was pulling out the apple cider to have for a drink on Christmas day and I was thinking “I should do something with this to make it fancier”
Then total light bulb moment!
I got out my giant tea jar, dumped in all the apple cider and then put the tea sachets in and cold brewed the whole lot till the next day!
It was so good!
Everyone kept wanting to know what I seasoned it with!
It was tasty cold, it was yummy warmed up and it even tasted good with a wee snort of rum in it!
So there is just an idea on what to do with all the Hot Cinnamon Spice tea you might have around (and if you want to be slightly naughty you can tell everyone its a super secret recipe;)
See previous notes for more on this tea.

gmathis

I did something similar at work before Christmas—coworkers made hot cider that was so cloyingly sweet I cut it with black tea and it was much better.

Miss Starfish

Fantastic idea! I have a massive bag of HCS that I’m having difficulty getting through since it’s summer here. Thanks for sharing!

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89

Oo-la-la!
This delightful brew comes courtesy of Ashmanra
My oh my does it smell lovely.
I was trying to decide which one of her delicious teas to try first and my exact words when I saw this one was “Oh! its so pretty!”
And it is, blue and pink floral petals mixed with the black tea leaves already promise something special is in store.
Then the smell! Oh! I want a perfume to smell like this! I would wear it everyday and I would smell so yummy.
Notes of floral but also a little candy-like, not a gaggy sweet candy but some sort of foreign confection that I probably could not even say the name of.
The odor of the tea itself turns more cookie-like upon brewing.
With maybe just small hints of almond, perhaps?
All this before I have even taken a sip!
The color is a lovely dark amber.
At first sip I taste the black tea, which is good.
Then floral, with a hint of almond cookie to finish off.
None of the flavors are overpowering, though they are there.
I appreciate the I can in one sip taste all the aspects of the tea, but none pushing out the others (how very polite!)
Well, what a lovely tea!
It makes me want to have a tea party:)
Thank you for allowing me to taste this fine tea, Ashmanra!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I think this is my favorite of all the ones I sent to you! I first had it from a swap and talked about it for so long that my eldest daughter wrote down the name and ordered it for me as a gift!

Hesper June

Oh dear! Well, thats what I am afraid of, that some of these teas you sent, I simply just won’t be able to live without;)
That was so sweet of your daughter to get it for you!

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92
drank Hu Kwa by Mark T. Wendell
163 tasting notes

Backlogging from yesterday.
What a way to start the new year.
We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night.
The house was freezing.
Hubby went out to fix it (yes, the problem was outside in lines or something)
He bundled up and went to grab the door knob and it shattered and fell apart in his hand!
No, we do not use glass door knobs and no my husband is not the Hulk.
So, we both looked at each other shocked and now there was a gaping round hole in our door allowing the evil cold in.
We shoved a rag in the door and went out and I huddled around an electric heater in the house.
After a bit, I decided that I would start some laundry because the dryer would help heat up the house.
SO, tossed laundry in the washing machine and then decided to shower and get ready for the day.
THEN, while in the shower, the washing machine water backs up into the tub.
The water keeps coming, so I have to shut off the shower water and huddle on a ledge with a towel around me, shivering and of course, shampoo in my hair (nothing ever happens just after you rinsed your hair, does it?)
Finally, the water went down and I was able to shower.
SO, my whole point that this was just our first hour of New Years Day!
I needed a good tea to counteract this craziness.
I opened up my tea sample drawer and grabbed this and dumped the rest of it that was left in my tea infuser (about a teaspoon and half).
I needed its wonderful strength yet, polite gentleman like qualities to give me courage for the rest of the day.
Whew! Thank you Amy Oh and Thank you Hu Kwa.
Read previous note for on this tea.
Oh, and Happy New Year…I guess.

gmathis

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Thinking warm thoughts for you!

ashmanra

Oh my! Well, it can only get better from here! :)

K S

Sorry. hoping things improve rapidly.

Hesper June

Ha! Yes, I actually find it all quite humorous.
My Mother’s saying “trouble comes in 3’s” came to mind yesterday…I just didn’t know all three would be within an hour of waking and all before tea!:)

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76
drank Pot O' Gold by 52teas
163 tasting notes

This is a tea that Amy Oh sent me.
This is my first butterscotch tea, and my first time trying a tea from 52 teas.
Dry leaf, I get a slight sweet odor.
As soon as you add the water over the leaves, a sweet brown sugary odor emerges.
This tea brews up to a lovely amber color.
I get more of creamy floral notes than butterscotch smell.
Hmmm, taste…well, I am again not getting much butterscotch personally.
Sort of tastes like a mild black tea that is flavored with a bit of flower petals and brown sugar.
It is good, and I enjoy it.
A lovely afternoon tea.
Not sure I would purchase, but I am certainly enjoying drinking up this sample.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

I had this again myself the other day. I definitely think the flavoring has faded some since I first got it.

Hesper June

Well, thats good to know actually, I thought maybe I was immune to its butterscotch charms;)

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Oh, Boy.
This is a long one, folks. So grab a big cuppa:)
Okay, I got this tea from Brenden at Whispering Pines Tea clear before Christmas with the rest of my order.
I had never tried Puerh tea and decided that with my next hundred tea notes I was educated enough in tea to start on something anew.
I was still secretly quite intimated, so I waited until a day when I knew I would be around most of the day to play with it.
So one day a bit before Christmas, I decided that I wanted to try it.
Set the kettle to boil, got out my little bodum infuser cup (8 oz), got the kettle up to a boil, performed a 15 second rinse and then infused the tea for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, per instruction on little tea packet.
The smell after this infusion was so strong.
I have cleaned a lot of barns in my day and this smelled exactly like that.
A deep manure and hay smell.
I tried not to let it deter me from tasting this, I had read enough of Puerh teas to know that it is common for these to scents to emerge, I just had no idea it was going to be so strong.
Then I grew brave enough to take a sip.
GAG! Oh my land! It seriously tasted like strong bitter manure (don’t ask…but yes, I do actually know how that tastes, growing up on a farm and then being a Vet Assistant for years,sometimes your mouth is just open at the very very wrong time)
I felt tears of disappointment prick my eyes.
NO! I must like this tea. I am supposed to be improving my taste in tea!
I gagged down the rest of the cup, determined not to waste.
I felt sick to my stomach, but still plowed forward and messed with the tea the rest of the day, shorter steepings and such, but every time I tasted it from that point on it just tasted so bitter and nasty, it was like that first tasting never left my tongue.
It did not help me when I read the previous tasting note on the tea is was from Bonnie my tea and life idol, giving this tea high ratings.
That was it. It certainly was not the tea, it was me.
By the time my Hubby came home, I was so irritated and angry and I hadn’t gotten half of what I had wanted to do that day done and he kept asking me why I was so upset.
So…I told him. He listened and gave sympathetic nods, then broke in and said “You don’t have to like this type of tea just because everyone else does” to which I responded like a 13 year old girl throwing a fit “Yes! Yes I do!” but I was seeing I was starting to lose him.
He spotted his new Diesel Power magazine he got in the mail and was browsing through it.
I started to walk away mumbling to myself when I heard the words “Make me some” I turned around “what?” and he said “yeah, make me some of this Poo-poo tea that ruined your day, I wanna taste it”
Okay… I was slightly shocked.
Starting with a new piece, I took a new look on preparing the tea.
I took a deep breath.
I was going to start with tiny, tiny steepings.
So, I did. I started with just a 15 second steeping. no rinse.
The water had barely even turned color.
It was so much better.
From there I would go up to like 25 seconds, then 30 and so forth.
This was so much more delightful of a experience.
And sharing it with someone too, we both held cups and talked about what we smelled and tasted.
It still has some barnyard notes to it, also deep woody notes.
But, I find it intriguing.not bitter at all.
I am not going to rate this tea yet, because I am still so new and still experimenting.
This was just a beginner at Puerh point of view.
For a expert review please read Bonnie’s review on this tea, it does it so much more justice.
But for me…
So, begins my journey with Puerh.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

LOL! My hubby drinks puerh with me just because it is good for him. The last time I handed him a cup, he sniffed and said, “Yep! There’s the horsey!” There is almost no horsey in Mengku Palace, mostly a cedar oil flavor.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Oh my goodness, did I really write 2m 30s on it?! :O I probably meant to write 30 seconds, like on the site. Sorry for the bad first impression but glad it came out okay! :D

K S

Love, love, love, this review!

ashmanra

Hesper June, did you get the box I sent?

Hesper June

Ashmanra: Ha! well, I guess it could be a worse smell, especially since I am a farm kid:) AND YES! I did get your AWESOME box. Thank you! I am so behind on tea reviews due to holidays. thanks again, look for reviews coming soon!
Brenden: Thats okay…it all worked out, I should do more research next time;)
KS: Thank you!

TheTeaFairy

Hahah! Hesper that was a priceless moment! Thanks for sharing your first true puerh experience with us! I’m sure there are better ones ahead of you :-) And tell your husband he rocks! « Hey poo-poo, so I’ve heard you’ve been givin’ my woman a hard time?? Come to papa and see how brave you are now!!»

Hesper June

Hehe! thats is exactly like my Hubby:)

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89

Merry Christmas, Steepster Friends!
Hubby and I enjoyed this tea today.
It just tastes so Christmas-y to me and was perfect for cozying up to the tree and opening gifts.
See previous tasting note for more on this tea.

Vortegne

Is there “Campfire” in the name? Sold!

And happy holidays! :)

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82
drank Indian Spice by Harney & Sons
163 tasting notes

Pain.
Not physical, but that heart gripping breathless kind.
I try to keep Steepster as a happy place and normally do not want bring any one down with my petty problems, but this is also a place for tea and comfort.
And sometimes we need to speak of our problems while wiping away a tear with dear ones over a tea cup.
(skip down to the bold lettering for just the tea review)
I have a little sister.
She is my little sister, no matter that she came to us through adoption.
My parents have 2 daughters, not a natural born and adopted daughter.
She came to us when she was 4 and had already been through 11 foster homes in the two years she was in the system.
She is twenty now, and a college student and very smart and doing well in school.
Just yesterday, she sent us all a letter, saying that it does not benefit her to be a part of our family anymore.
She wishes that we had never adopted her.
She wants to make lots of money and be successful and she is ashamed that she came from a farm in Idaho, thus, she wishes she could tell people she never even had a home.
My parents were not rich, but my Father always worked hard and none of us kids ever went without.
My parents are honest people that instilled morals,and taught us to be kind to all people and animals. They were never cruel or antagonizing to us girls.
I weep. for them. for me. and for her.
I do not understand.
I needed comfort.
Enter this tea
I did not sleep well last night and my stomach was upset.
This tea had just arrived yesterday from a friend for Christmas (she told me to open it when it arrived and not to wait for Christmas:) she gave me the whole Chai gift set from H&S.
I prepared it with the exact instructions that were in the gift box, water and milk and the included sugar cubes.
Its warm, its softly spicy, its soothing.
Its not the best Chai I have ever had, but its tasty and it hits the spot this morning.
In fact, I think I go make some more.
Thank you for letting me speak of my recent heart struggles, dear friends.
(any advice on how to go forward from this is also appreciated:)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Hang on to Luke 15 with teeth and toenails; some precious stories to give you a little hope for your prodigal. Stopping right now to pray for your family.

Hesper June

Thank you, Gmathis. You are right, those are good words to read. I will go do that now.

Azzrian

She seems to be going through something monumental. I have a feeling whatever is going on is more about her than about all of you. Not that it makes it feel any better. Give her time, love her unconditionally as you do. She will find her way through this and realize the gifts she was given. There may be some cultural issues at hand, perhaps she is being influenced by someone a so called “friend” at college, or perhaps something she has recently learned in a class or even mental / emotional problems resounding from feeling disconnected now that she is in a large pool of people from all walks of life. This is a tender and delicate age, as well as being in college, many people at this point in their lives have identity problems. Be strong, pray, love will carry you through. xo

K S

So sorry. Sharing your pain. Praying for peace and healing.

Ninavampi

I am sorry you have to go through this… I am sure she is very confused and trying to fit in, which is never easy… She has made a terrible decision to be so hurtful and seems to not have though it through. Your parents sound amazing! You have all of our support and if you need anything we can help out with, just let us know!

ssajami

How hertbreaking! I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom to share, but I am at a complete loss for words. Sometimes it seems impossible to understand why people do the hurtful things that they do. It seems that she doesn’t understand that family is more important, and more lasting, than anything else and that is so sad. Be strong, and hold your family close. And as Ninavampi said, we are all here for you. Steepster is a happy place – and a place of friends.

Alphakitty

I am so sorry, what a heartbreaking thing to happen, especially around the holidays. I agree with everyone else, it seems that perhaps this is an odd phase of rebellion/finding herself and hopefully she will come back to you. What an awful thing to do, I hope you can find some peace through all of this.

SimplyJenW

Hugs. Very heartbreaking, but I think she will eventually come back around. There is so much searching for your own identity at that age. Sometimes we have to separate from the ones we love most just to find out who we really are.

ashmanra

So sorry for your pain! Praying for all of you!

fleurdelily

did she ever get counselling for her trauma? the people who abandoned her are not around to receive her anger. Unfortunately, those who are around, and love her, are receiving her anger and hurt about her abandonment. Perhapse counselling now?

Hesper June

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement!
I greatly appreciate your advice,thoughts and prayers.
I know that through love, patience,understanding and time we will all get through this.

Hesper June

Fleurdelily, Thank you for your words and book recommendation.
I think I will order that book and give it a read.
I do deeply hurt for whatever pain that my sister is going through, and my parents and I only want to be able to help her.
It obviously did feel as though the rug was pulled out from under us, but now that the initial shock has worn away, we realize that this most likely is not directed at us, as you said.
She did indeed receive counseling for a good part of her youth and young adulthood.
As she is adult now, we obviously can only kindly encourage her to seek help in that regard, since that is obviously something of her choosing.
Thank you so much for insight in this matter.

Fjellrev

Oh no, I am so incredibly sorry for hear this.

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Idaho

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