1502 Tasting Notes

I had this one a couple days ago when Steepster was down. Adding it now. Edited from my blog post:

I used my press and water heated to the recommended 95 C (203 F) and steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes. The guidelines say 2-3 minutes. The result is a nicely orange liquor that sparkles as I pour it.

Cooled to drinking temperature – which is probably cooler than most of you like it but I don’t care for extremely hot tea. My first sip is… really nice. This is extremely smooth. Honestly I was expecting a lot of throat grabbing bite. Nope. None. No bitterness. If it is astringent, I am immune. I am also not noticing any problem with stomach burn on an empty stomach.

What I am getting is a really smooth malty sip with a fruitiness mid sip. This dissolves into as close as this gets to bite, which is really more of a woodsy taste. What-Cha calls it an earthy finish.

Second cup: While the cup was hotter than I normally like it, I took a sip and thought it was kind of mushroom and pond water. However, as the cup cooled the smooth malt returned at the front of the sip, then finished with earthy woodsy taste blended with the mushroom. The really hot cup was not my style but I quite enjoyed this second cup, once it cooled. It remains very smooth.

I am once again impressed by the offerings of What-Cha. This is a very delicious black tea.

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So had to dump my morning matcha milk. The milk had turned. Wasted a tsp of leaf but at least I realized it before taking a drink. Grabbed this one as alternate. Went great with grits. Nice sturdy but smooth cup.

I have a bulldozer in my front yard. A load of dirt was spread to bring the grade up so my basement will stop leaking. Now a back hoe is digging like mad putting a drain across my front yard. Meanwhile two guys are re-roofing my garage. The materials for my porch will be delivered soon. Apparently we are really going to do this thing.


Speaking of “the milk had turned”, you should read my matcha review today. LOL!

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This is a test of the Steepster broadcasting system. This is only a test…

Lapsang Souchong to the rescue this morning. Steeped at 200 F for as long as it took to play about half of Stairway to Heaven on my guitar. So nicely sweet and smoky. Very good at a slightly lower temp than I usually use.

This has been a test of the Steepster broadcasting system. We now return you to your normal reviews… or total silence, depending on whether Steepster is actually functioning….


My 1300 tasting note!


I see it. Aug27 11:08am ;)


Way to go. I may catch you in about……20 years :)

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drank Green Tea with Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1502 tasting notes

Found it! It was right where I said. The reason I overlooked it, besides it was 6:30 AM was the Teavivre bag I stored the baggie in originally held Golden Tips, and I just recently opened a new bag of Golden Tips so… Anyway, the loose version of this tea is actually a green tea with the addition of a tiny amount of bergamot. It smells much stronger than it tastes. Why do I like it so much besides it is so cheap? When Earl Grey was destroying my stomach years ago I switched to Twinings Earl Green. It did not hurt me but they stopped selling it right after I became addicted. I discovered the bagged version of Ahmad Earl Green online. It is very close to the Twinings version but better in my opinion. I originally bought a bx of the loose leaf thinking it was the same but it is altogether different. It is not Earl Grey but it spoke to me. Yes I hear voices and they tell me to drink more tea. I must obey.

Sami Kelsh

I hear the voices too. At least I’m pretty sure they’ve got our best interests at heart?


Good to know I’m not alone ;)


You are not alone….

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drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1502 tasting notes

After my morning smoothie I still had plenty of time before I needed to leave to set up at 8:30 (that happens when you get up at 5:00), so I thought perfect time for some much neglected Green Tea with Earl Grey…. except I can’t find it. I know it is here. I double baggied it and put it inside an empty Teavivre pouch. I was certain it was on the desk. Came to the conclusion someone has too much tea and needs to go through it and organize. I plead momentary insanity for the first half of that statement and laziness for the need to organize. Chose the Earl Grey black instead because it sits out in the open in plain sight on top of the four foot high tea cabinet. Very satisfying for the EG cravings. So now this afternoon I either start going through my pile(s!) or launch Kerbals into space… who am I kidding, I’ll organize later :) I do hope to start boxing up some of the stuff I have been promising to send out in the next couple days. Things are becoming much less rushed now, so yeah for slowing down.

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After having a mug of Bailin Gongfu black tea early this morning, we did our usual Saturday breakfast out. I hated to leave the only steeped once leaf at home so I put it the infuser basket of this mug. When asked if I wanted my usual hot tea, I told them I just wanted hot water. They are so used to me they didn’t care. Poured the water into the mug and placed the lid on top the infuser. Worked pretty well. The lid then served as a tray to set the infuser on while I sipped. I do have a few complaints. The lid doesn’t fit securely, so don’t expect it to stay put in the car – it won’t. The handle is thin and oddly shaped. I think it was most noticeable next to the regular very heavy mug in the restaurant. Final complaint is it is normally $15. I only paid $10 so I guess I shouldn’t care. I was looking for a Finum basket and bought this instead for the same price. I’m content. The infuser mesh is fine enough to suit my needs.

After downing 3 mugs, I told our server to go ahead and bring my usual tea – Mother Parker’s Orange Pekoe in a bag. She actually brought me two. Score! Had one cup of it. Put the unused bag in my pocket. Then after a quick stop at Walmart, and another at Lowes, we went country cruising. By the time we got home I was very happy to see indoor plumbing!

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drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
1502 tasting notes

This was one of the early teas I experienced when Teavivre first introduced me to fine loose leaf tea. I remember being blown away. I added some to my recent order as it has been a long time since I last had Bailin Gongfu and I wanted to see if it stood up to my earlier experience and my memories. The first thing I’ll note is looking back through my notes, this was usually accompanied with food – and almost always food that is bad for the waste line but good for the soul. I don’t currently have any good junk food, so sad as that sounds I’ll proceed. Opening the package fills my nose with cocoa. Brewed this is cocoa, malt, and honey. Man this stuff is almost like junk food all on its own without the bad stuff. It really is as good as I remember.


This note made me really happy for some reason. :-)

Terri HarpLady

I love this note, you have such a way with words :)
I also picked up some of this again recently. Now I need to find time to drink it


I really want to try this and a bunch of other Teavivre blacks, but the sampler pack with this tea in it is sold out. :(


I absolutely love this tea!

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The last couple weeks have been so hectic and stressful. Been at the doctor’s office more than we have been home. My wife has been in severe pain with acid reflux. They eliminated everything else before treating her. Thankful, but that was crazy. Then we have the building projects underway. Reroofing the mobile home should be done Monday then they start the porch on my house.

Point is, neither of us have been sleeping well. Last night we each had a mug of this at bed time. The next thing we know the puppy is fussing to be let out at 7:00 AM. Yeah Sleep!


I hope your wife is feeling better. My husband went through something similar several years ago, and it was no fun.

Is the Valerian root in this blend strong? I’d like to try it, but I can’t get past the smell of Valerian root.


Acid reflux is just awful. I’m sorry it took them so long to eliminate everything else before treating that, but I’m glad she’s starting to feel better.


K S , I had acid reflux terribly until I started drinking a cup of shou 30 mins before bedtime. It was so bad I used to wake up in the middle of the night with the reflux that would have me gasping for breath and unable to breathe for a few seconds. Have her try it for 2 weeks and see if it can help her.

Terri HarpLady

I also used to suffer with reflux, until I removed all the grains from my diet.
Regarding valerian, the aroma used to overwhelm me, but now I love it. Best sleep aid ever :)
Sending good vibes for both of you.


I’ve had it too. Lots of culprits, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, garlic etc. Hope she gets some relief soon.


I really wish my wife could drink shou for a number of reasons – most health related. Sadly, she can’t tolerate caffeine. She tries to watch everything she eats because of the reflux, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. She avoids chocolate. Her only vice left is one cup of coffee a day. Glad I’m not in her shoes.

Terri, I’ve wondered if gluten free would help her. The sad truth is the good green leafy food she needs also attacks her. It isn’t fun to be allergic to everything.

Veronica – I have never been able to single out valerian in this or the Sleepytime Extra. This one is fruity with a (very light) touch of fennel. The Sleepytime is mostly spearmint. They are both good. This one seems more effective.

Terri HarpLady

I know about the being allergic to everything bit, I hate it. Here’s a page about problems with FODMAPS (veggies that commonly cause digestion issues)


Thanks. I’ll give it a read.

Terri HarpLady

Might or might not be helpful, but you know, spread the love, right? :)


K S – Thanks for the info! I’m going to pick this one up with my next Amazon order.

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Every review I have read on this one has been positive. This is another one. The leaf smells of fall leaves to me. It looks like bark flakes rather than white tea. The brew is dark honey almost ale. The taste is like sweet hay with grassy notes. Crisp and clean with a mineral fresh spring water taste under the hay. Fruity late in the sip. The taste is definite white tea though everything else about it keeps you guessing. Where silver needle and white peony to some extent are subtle and lean towards cucumber/melon, this one is bigger flavored and leans toward leaf and fruit. A nice peaceful treat on this hectic day.


i was going to pull this one out today but didn’t have a chance!

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drank Blue Mist by Simpson & Vail
1502 tasting notes

Found this in the drawer in a baggie. I didn’t even remember it. Read my tasting note from two years ago. Apparently it didn’t impress me back then. Today, the base tea is a really nice black with some good malt notes. The fruit smells tropical but light. Tastes even lighter which I am OK with as I’m not much on tropical flavors. The real problem is it leaves a taste in your mouth. Maybe because its old. Maybe because I just don’t like it. Two years ago when it was fresher I gave it an 80. Today, it wouldn’t be fair to give it a number.

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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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