1686 Tasting Notes

drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1686 tasting notes

Thursday is shopping day. My grown son lives next door and he often goes with us.Today my wife and son decided they were going to die if they didn’t stop at Starbucks. I despise even the smell of coffee. I find the baristas don’t understand tea well enough to order hot tea and besides I am not a big fan of most of their offerings. Bored with green tea frap. My son suggested pumpkin spice without the coffee. Instead I opted to have them make a pumpkin spice frappuccino with matcha. Everyone including the barista flinched. What do they know, they’re coffee people.

In fact it was absolutely delicious. I think I have a new drink for the next month or so. It was made with 2% milk and half the pumps of syrup. For once they actually listened on the syrup. The matcha mixed seamlessly with the pumpkin and spices. It was almost dead on to biting in to cold pumpkin pie as my family always makes it.

Looking for something new? Give it a try and see what you think.


Hah. I can see them flinching. Idiots that don’t know anything.


(chuckle) (snortle)



The DJBooth

Then there’s those of us who used work there and experiment with the matcha. Mixed with espresso…espresso and chai :)


Our store seems to be a training center for new recruits before sending them on to other stores. About the time you have one that ‘gets it’ they disappear. And I guess to be fair, they are a coffee shop.


DJ – my son would declare you his favorite barista ever! So, do they actually not have sugar free syrup? I can’t imagine I am the only one that doesn’t want a 600 calorie cup.

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What a cool and interesting tea! Had I not read it was a Kenya white, I would have believed it was a Yunnan Dian Hong. The leaf is absolutely spectacular. The nose is caramel and malt with a scent that reminds me of corn growing in the field. The first cup is all malt and caramel deliciousness. In the second cup the malt steps way back with the caramel right in front. The corn type grain moves front and center. The aftertaste which was malt and caramel, now has a floral air that is not over the top. It is pleasant. I cannot associate it with a know scent but definitely floral. This is worthy of your investigation if you were planning an order while the sale is going on. Almost everything from What-Cha has been excellent.


Ah, this sounds like Butiki’s White Rhino! Nice to know something similar exists at another shop!


Then I would have loved White Rhino!


Thanks again for another great review and for the sale plug.

Looking through Butiki’s Kenyan teas, I would guess we have the supplier


That sounds really excellent!


This sounds amazing! I’m going to have to add some into my next order.

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drank Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings
1686 tasting notes

Rocked it at practice tonight. Great fun. Came home, fixed a cup of Candy Cane Lane, grabbed a sugar cookie poptart, and watching NCIS. Happy, Happy, Happy.

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Sitting in Sbux downloading an update for ITunes because my phone won’t sync to my laptop. I pretty much dislike Apple products. They are overly complicated for even simple tasks and the file system is intentionally cryptic. Give me open source anytime. While I watch the gauge spin and nothing is happening, I am sipping a green tea frappuccino. 2% milk but they say they don’t have sugar free syrup – why not? I had them cut way back on the syrup and its still very sweet. I may kick the sugar monkey off my back yet.


Ha ha. I was in line for a flu shot (waited for like an hour) and the guy in front of me turned around and wanted to know what kind of phone I had, then went on to complain about Apple. Ha ha. I am a Blackberry user all the way.

Sami Kelsh

Man, for some reason I find a lot of Starbucks stuff back on the other side of the pond WAY too sweet. (The chai latte used to be so nice – what have they done? It’s a sugar bomb!) But man, do I miss that the UK doesn’t have green tea lattes and stuff. Frowny face.


I don’t know if they have increased the sugar overload or if I really have become less enamored with it. I so love my home frapp better now.

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Last nights cup tasted so sugar cookie like, I think I had crumbs in my bed :)
Add sweetener – cause its SUGAR cookie!

Sami Kelsh

There’s something so enchanted by a tea that tastes like cookies, right?!


… and none of the guilt from pigging out!

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After several days in a row of just a few hours sleep each night, I fixed a cup of this last night around 8. By 9 I was collapsing into bed. Woke up at 6. Was it this blend? Probably more just exhaustion but sure doesn’t hurt having a calming cup along with it.


ugh, i need some of this!

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I wish I had read Stephanie’s review just before preparing this one. I used boiling water per the label instructions. The first cup I went one minute. The color was light caramel and the taste was like sipping water poured over stones, with a light jasmine note up front. The second cup, also boiling, at two minutes was bright orange. Wow, the young raw leaf had a strong bite. I wish I had used cooler water. The liquor is almost syrupy, including sticky lips. The taste is nutty, and vegetal, with a nice floral jasmine that I think is more aroma than taste. This had an interesting throat warming sensation that was not the hot liquid or a spiciness. Can’t explain it better. Except for the bitterness, that I ended up taming with sweetener, this is a really interesting cup. Cup three was very similar. Next time this gets cooler water to hold down the bite. Otherwise really good.

Stephanie, I haven’t forgotten you – just can’t stay home long enough to get a package wrapped and out. I will try hard to get it done this week.


oooh, Teavivre is sending me some of this, it looks so good!

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drank Honey Black Tea by Green Terrace Teas
1686 tasting notes

I really like this one. Unfortunately for me, I just did a breathing treatment and it is covering up a lot of the wonderful subtle notes. Still really nice.

Had to laugh this morning. Got on Steepster and there were 67 spam entries. I noticed they were still being posted as I was viewing. So, I flagged the accounts and it wiped them. Immediately, one of the spammers signed right back up again with the same name and started over. Flagged them again. Hopefully they have given up for the day.

More pointless stories – Yesterday, we walked out the door as the late evening sun shone through under the clouds. The tree line lit up with yellows, golds, and orange. It was one of those WOW! moments. I thought awesome, I’ll take a picture. So I grabbed by phone. That’s when I realized that if a UFO landed in front of me and bigfoot ran out of the woods, I would have no proof because I don’t have a clue how to use this thing. I then couldn’t figure out how to get it back to phone mode. I am so last century.

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, boo spammers! What a bunch of poops. POOPS, I SAY.

As to the sunset, I’ve been a working photographer for like 10 years now (oh I feel old) and I can’t figure out how to make sunsets look nice with my relatively state-of-the-art phone. Don’t sweat it. ;)


Let me guess, our dear friends from Solahart? I haven’t seen any spam in days. I must be online at the wrong hours. You other lot are efficient.


I have to beg my fifth graders’ pardons weekly when technology fails me. Which is why I don’t teach with it much. And do you know what? I have never had a kid tell me, “You know, we don’t watch enough videos in here.”


Angrboda – between 4 and 6 AM eastern US time, our buddies are pretty active.

Gmathis – I used to love tech. I set up the computer systems in the office starting way back in the early days and was responsible for managing all the CAD systems up until I was put out to pasture 2 years ago, and I can’t use a camera on my phone. More importantly, I don’t really care I can’t figure it out.

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Up way before dawn. While zapping spam and catching up on tasting notes, I decided to have this again this morning. Today I made a 4 oz concentrate then added milk and a little sweetener for a latte. Very comforting, though it would have been better as an evening cup. I don’t like being jarred awake but this is a little too cozy for 6:00 AM. Don’t know until you try. Warm. Silky. Vanilla.


gooood morning! :)


Goooood morning back at you. Aren’t you going to crash soon, or is that Irish Breakfast going to carry you through?


haha i have to stay up until at least 2pm…and at that point, i might as well stay up until i go to bed in the evening


I see you are an “early bird” too.

Terri HarpLady

Good morning to you both! I had the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 today.


I’m definitely not a morning person. Rolling out at 8:30 sounds good to me. I normally am most alert around 9:00 in the evening. One of the meds I am taking at the moment wakes me up around 4!

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Twice in one day I find myself not aligning with some of the other reviews. I am not a vanilla fan normally – well except in my morning frap. I don’t dislike it. Vanilla just doesn’t enter my radar as a choice often. That said, I liked this one. The white tea stars are pretty to look at but I don’t think they add or take away from the taste. The vanilla is a bit overwhelming in the dry scent. The wet leaf has a caramelized vanilla aroma that I liked. The taste is strongly vanilla but not in an off or offensive way. My favorite thing about this blend is the aftertaste is pleasantly vanilla and fades quickly. It does not leave that sweet icky taste I dislike in many vanilla blends.

The thing I noticed in a some of the reviews is that the Assam base was bitter. I just don’t get that. Back in my tea bag only days, Ceylon was the ragged bitter cup and Assam destroyed my stomach. This caused me no grief at all. So maybe the difference is past experience (some of you have just had a lot better Assam in the past than me) or I have simply become immune to moderate or less bitter. I found it nicely smooth.

Someone (don’t remember who) mentioned latte in their review. I am thinking a little sweetener and some milk, this would be delicious.

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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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