1326 Tasting Notes

drank Organic Green Tea Powder by Teavivre
1326 tasting notes

Took this one out of cold storage this morning as I finished off a tin of The Persimmon Tree Matcha yesterday. This was a Black Friday purchase. Freezer storage has not hurt it at all. I went a little easy on the powder today using a heaping 1/2 tsp. I had worked my way up to a full heaping spoon of the matcha. I originally started with only a 1/4 tsp.

I try to start my day with a glass of milk so I can take my morning medicine without it hurting my stomach. Milk is boring so I used to liven it up with chocolate. I haven’t touched the Hershey’s in months. I now use about 10 oz of 2% milk, a heavy splash of caramel syrup, and a lighter splash of vanilla syrup (both are sugar free). I used to mix in shaved ice. First thing in the morning that takes too much effort and just isn’t necessary.

Today I am using my new tiny nylon whisk I got at Bed Bath & Beyond to mix it together. (Thanks for checking into it gmathis) The whisk worked great and the nylon means I am not disturbing anyone with clanking of metal on ceramic.

The matcha turns the milk sort of a mint green, whereas this green tea powder turns it more clay/brown. Neither is the dark forest green of Starbuck’s Green Tea Frappuccino. I have learned to accept the difference. I have also discovered I like the taste of my concoction better.

I have never tried either as just a straight tea. With milk only and no syrup the matcha edges ahead slightly. Both, but especially the green tea powder, can cause stomach burn until you build up a tolerance, so start small. The difference in taste between green tea powder and matcha, when mixed as I use it, is pretty minute. Both make a satisfying drink. This is $10.90 for 3.5 oz the matcha is $15.99 for 2.5 oz. I have never used expensive matcha and at this point don’t find it necessary as I don’t drink it straight.

I am perfectly happy with either but this is less expensive – of course both last a really long time.

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
1326 tasting notes

Prepared this and while I was waiting for it to cool I was reminded I was driving her and the fur ball to the vet for a check up. So took one sip, whimpered, and walked away. Now we are back and its cold. You know what? It’s still really good. A little more smoky than any other Yunnan I have tasted but still a light touch. Caramel and honey. A much needed treat as I am not feeling the greatest but I am still meeting with a contractor tonight about building a porch across the front of the house.



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Bi Luo Chun how I love you. This review is for the spring 2014 production.

When I first met this tea from Teavivre it was in January 2012, so it must have been a 2011 tea. I was blown away. This was a light bulb moment tea for me. I had been drinking bagged grocery store stuff prior to this. I had no idea green tea could taste so amazing. I likened the scent to Cheerios and the leaf to the appearance of upholstery stuffing. I remember resteeping it until it literally had nothing left to give.

Today the leaf is even more beautiful to me with its green and white fuzzy leaf. I notice the temp has been revised upward to 185 F. Pretty sure it was 176 or so before. I went with a 1 1/2 minute steep. The cup looks like white wine and the wet leaf is so aromatic I want to dig in with a fork and chow down. I resisted.

This is buttery creamed corn in a cup with the good kind of lightly bitter bite at the end. The flavors is light and refreshing. It does not overpower the senses, yet you don’t have to search for it either. Very near the top of my green tea favorites list.

Now for the awwww part of my note. Yesterday, as some may have read, we got a Chineranian puppy, which is a mix between a Japanese Chin and a Pomeranian. It is a little 2 pound fuzz ball. I was concerned how Spike our Chihuahua/Russell mix would react. He goes berserk when the cats even walk into the room when he has a toy or a rawhide treat in the floor. Within just a couple hours Buffy the Chihuahua Slayer was allowed to examine and play with both.

My son brought his big 60 pound dog over to meet Buffy. JJ is blind but he could smell her. So he wanted to nuzzle and sniff her up close. Spike growled. Protective and jealous. I think he is smitten. This morning I noticed Spike hanging half out of his bed to make room for his new puppy love. He gave me a pathetic “What are you gonna do” look that us guys understand. I laughed at him. Tell me about dog.


Glad to here all the family members are getting along.


Awwwwwwwwww indeed!!!


Great doggie narrative! Also, glad to hear you love this tea. I have had a number of Bi Lou Chun Teas over the years, and although the flavor of this particular one is not my favorite (I’ve tried both of Teavivre’s 2012 and 2013 harvests), it certainly does have a beautiful appearance.


I like so much about this post. The first loose leaf tea, the description of this year’s fresh tea, the canine experiences. :) I’m glad the new puppy is fitting in so well.


I love puppy stories. :)


That dog story makes me happy :)


Spike and Buffy. Brings me back to my BtVS days, that does. ♥


Buffy and Spike!!! :D

Tea Sipper

Oh my gosh, I’m awwwing just at the Buffy & Spike names!


When we got the chihuahua, he fit in the palm of my hand. I named him Spike so he would have a tough name. Never made a Buffy connection at the time. The new little fuzz ball should be a blonde but she is black and white. The name was a joke but it caught on.

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drank Earl Grey K-cup by Bigelow
1326 tasting notes

My son insisted I needed to try this one. I appreciate him sharing with me but my lands this is gross. It is bitter, tasteless, and thin. No. Just No.

Roswell Strange

So, I read the name of this blend as “Earl Grey Fuck Up” and my first thought wasn’t, “Oops I read that wrong” it was “Wow, that’s some refreshing honesty on Bigelow’s part”. Th

Roswell Strange

**Thought I’d share.


Another nominee for the “Hall of Shame”!


I actually like Bigelow bagged Earl Grey. It is tasty for a bagged tea. This, even sugar couldn’t contain the tart nastiness.


I find those brewing devices with little cups to be generally worse than your average supermarket teabag. Still remember the first cup of tea I had in the hotel after we’d got married. It was… not worth drinking, really, and it tasted like coffee because the machine was used for all kinds of drinks.

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drank Lemon Ginger Black by EnjoyingTea.com
1326 tasting notes

A one ounce sample of this was included when I recently bought a teapot. I really wasn’t expecting much. I am pleasantly surprised. The leaf is much nicer looking than standard grocery store loose leaf yet the price is about the same. The brew color is a deep bright copper and the cup scent is almost like tieguanyin with lemon notes. Very interesting. The sip is also a pleasant surprise. The ginger and Ceylon hit first with bite. It makes my cheeks tingle. It is a little astringent but it is a Ceylon and I did steep it at least three minutes. A shorter steep might civilize it (I like it this way). The lemon is present but hides under the ginger until the aftertaste. It is never in your face. The Ceylon comes through throughout. I like that in a flavored tea – because its TEA after all. The leaf is nice looking. The cup is tasty and has depth. I am happily surprised.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Don’t you hate it when you are awakened at dawn by your phone beeping because the battery is low? I tried to ignore it for awhile. sigh.

I haven’t had much tea lately. I’ve been engrossed in a project – moving the church website. It was made extra complicated because it was on Wordpress with Godaddy and all the wonderful plugins, but it was getting expensive, now it is on Blogger which is free but limited gadgets and not really a static site platform. I made it work anyway.

I went looking for a tiny whisk yesterday to use with my morning cup of matcha milk. Couldn’t find one in our little town. I’ll look when I go to the big city. We do have a sort of small one that I used this morning. It made a nice frothy drink with everything dissolved. Giant improvement over the spoon I was using. My morning addiction has been fed.

Looks like my wife is going to win. I’m going to take her to town this morning to pick up a Chineranian. Apparently a cross between a Japanese Chin and a Pomeranian. I really don’t think we need another dog. She thinks Spike our Chihuahua/Jack Russel mix needs a playmate. I thought that was our job. What do I know. I joked the dog should be called Buffy. My wife liked the idea. I was just kidding


Let me know if you find a mini-whisk at a retail outlet that might be in MO. I am looking for one, too.


My wife is convince Bed Bath & Beyond has them. If you get there first let me know.


Target/WalMart have had them when I’ve been looking for small ones. Not sure what you mean by “tiny” though. My small whisk is about 3 inches long (whisk part only). And I’m almost positive that I have seen the flat whisks at BBB – not sure what they are called but they are generally with the barware? Those flat metal disks with the circle of whisk attached? Seems like those would work well for matcha, but I’ve never tried it.

And Buffy & Spike are of course excellent names for a dog duo. :)


Mini whisks are hard to find, I got mine at Homesense a little while ago, don’t know if they still carry them.
A new puppy! Joyful times!!!! (And patience :-))


The whisk I started to buy at Walmart was nylon. Bamboo and milk can’t be a good combination – and I like the nylon idea with a ceramic mug. The Walmart one is the same size as the one we already have at home but ours is metal. If BBB doesn’t have something thinner and a little longer I’ll pick that one up next time.

Buffy is now kicking butt all over the house. Spike is not sure he is amused. Hope I survive.


May give BBB a try tomorrow; close to church and hey, if I happen to wander into Michael’s, there might be paper crafting stuff on sale, and…


Hope your husband contains his glazing over in Michael’s better than I. Usually I stay in the car and listen to the radio. We both prefer it that way. BBB I like. Lot’s of cool stuff to play with.


Ah, I married an enabler with a somewhat artistic eye. He points stuff out to me :)


I can do Hobby Lobby. Lot’s of fun stuff to play with in there as well. I just bought a dog that already pooped in two rooms. I get enabler. :)


It’s just a puppy, right? Just testing boundaries. I hope to room pooping stops soon!


Training usually doesn’t take too long. I actually find it funny.

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Regulars know I love Earl Grey. My usual mug has a Ceylon base to offer some bite to my lemony delight. I also love a good Earl Green when I can get it. I despise wimpy bergamot teas IF they call themselves Earl Grey (H&S I mean you) I also get offended if you change anything and still call it Earl Grey.

This one. This one smells so gloriously of bergamot when dry. Beautiful, beautiful bergamot. Once steeped it has some rooibos scent. It does say Rooibos in the name, so I am cool with it.

The taste is so Earl Grey that for a moment I forget it is not my usual cup. I taste no rooibos until the aftertaste. Even then it is covered in glorious bergamot. It is strong and sweet. To those who adore it, this is not overpowering, fake, or soapy tasting.

Earl Grey friends this one I could drink on a regular evening basis. So Good! If I weren’t afraid of upsetting the ratings police, this would get a very high score. Oh, what the heck, get over it.

Edit forgot to say thanks to CelebriTEA for sharing this one.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

And tasting note 1200, done, and done.


OMG, 1200. Congrats!!!


Rate it whatever you wish :D. I love it when tea moves people to high ratings.


I just made a second steep and iced it. Yep, I stick to my story. This is one awesome icy glass.


Yay on 1200 notes! And nice you had a good tea to celebrate!

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drank Creamy Eggnog by Butiki Teas
1326 tasting notes

Continuing on with holiday teas today. I found this one in the box from CelebriTEA. I have to tell you this one brings back a flood of memories. I would never touch eggnog as a kid. It looked and sounded gross. My grandmother loved it. She added nutmeg and some form of alcohol to her recipe. It is the only time I ever saw her drink – She remained a lady. My Nana had a silver aluminum Christmas tree that looked like a painted broom stick with shiny sticks poking out everywhere. You didn’t hang lights on the tree, just a few bulbs. The tree rotated on its base. There was a lighted colored wheel that you pointed at the tree that rotated and made the sparkling tree change colors. Though I have never tasted eggnog, this tea reminded me of all those years at grandma’s house for Christmas with the family. We were poor but we still exchanged gifts and ate until it hurt. Then we would spend the rest of the evening telling stories and laughing.

As for the tea itself – bravo! Not only is it creamy and egg like, I can taste the Mao Feng and it is really good. What restraint to not over flavor this one. Truly an excellent job! Thanks for the holiday memories.


I love it when people share memories in their tasting notes. It really brings tea to life.


I agree! I love it when a tea brings back a memory like that.


Poor people are never poor as the riches of a family is the best thing in life.


Oh! The aluminum tree! One at my grandparents’ house, too, along with a very rectangular couch with itchy metallic thread in the upholstery and a funky, glittery plastic upholstered picture. And aluminum glasses for iced tea that sweated and made your teeth clank when you took a drink! (No, I’m not feeling nostalgic, not at all…)


Oh yes! My grandmother had the red, green, and blue aluminum glasses. Awesome. Granddad used a green plastic tupperware cup he drank iced tea from. Yeah just like Si.

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drank Pumpkin Ginger Spice by Traveling Tea
1326 tasting notes

Ok, I know it is entirely the wrong season for this. It isn’t even on their website until October. I had Mtn Dew for lunch and thought caffeine free sounded acceptable this afternoon. First off the leaf looks like snack food. Dry this is cinnamon and clove scented. Taste while hot – throw in a little nutmeg and some aftertaste heat from the ginger. Once it cools a little I get pumpkin under all the spicy goodness. That actually surprises me. I have had a lot of pumpkin teas that got the pumpkin pie spices right but never approached actual pumpkin taste. I think all the previous teas have had a black tea base. This is rooibos. That may make all the difference. And don’t wrinkle your face, Eeeeww rooibos. You really don’t notice it in the blend and bonus it does taste of pumpkin with lots of spice. It is not pumpkin pie but it doesn’t claim to be.

Terri HarpLady

I loved this one, & it’s made by a local gal, Katieri, who owns the tea company. Someone here in stl grows the pumpkins, Katieri roasts them, & then dehydrates them, or something like that.
Sadly, this tea won’t be back until Fall…sigh…


I was drinking Christmas teas over the weekend. It’s all in what you’re in the mood for.

Terri HarpLady

That’s right! Maybe I’ll drink up some of my xmas teas next!


I think the only other holiday teas I have are my nightly Celestial Seasonings stuff. Thanks Terri for sharing this. At first I thought traveling tea meant one of those boxes you all pass around. I found the website and thought a lot of it looked interesting.


My. Favourite. Pumpkin. Tea. Ever.

Terri HarpLady

Sil & I went through a bunch of this tea this past winter, & it was also a BBBBox tea for me, Sil, & TastyBrew. I kept going back to the store, & even got her to make an extra batch. It really is the best pumpkin tea out there, IMO.

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drank Bohea by Zenjala Tea Company
1326 tasting notes

I have had this ounce for almost two years. The last time I had it I thought there was enough for 1 more session. Turns out there was enough for two. O happy day! It still has its light smoky goodness. The base is starting to suffer from poor storage. It is in a mostly empty tin. Tins should have a vacuum pump in the lid. Is that possible without it costing a fortune? Anyway much love for this even in its weakened state.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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