1415 Tasting Notes


Apparently, a year ago I steeped 2g of leaf about 10 times. Today I only had time for 2 mugs. First had that in your face metallic sheng thing going while this was very hot. It pretty much disappeared as it cooled. It was replaced by a creamy sweetnes that bordered on syrup. Yes I added sweetener but not enough to explain this. It was kind of honey and caramel flavor. The second cup was not as enjoyable. It was sort of bland. Wish I had time for a third to see if it came back to life.

A really rough day mentally at work but I arrived home to find three packages of tea sent to me for review. Yep, the end of the day was much better than the start.


It’s great to come home to tea!


Few things beat a pile of good mail waiting for you. Our surprise today was a box of small and shiny Christmas packages from an eccentric auntie. They make really interesting noises when you shake them…

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drank Pure Leaf unsweetened by Lipton
1415 tasting notes

I have been writing and sending resumes all afternoon. My brain hurts.

My wife brought this one home. Apparently it was on sale. Gmathis is pretty much correct on this one, although I have had worse. I will add it tastes sour. I like plain ol’ Lipton Brisk tea iced. It is a family thing. This one – I’ll ask my wife to pass on the sale up next time. I still have 5 bottles left to drink (shiver). I’ll save the bottles and cold brew something a lot better in them. They are 18.5 ounces – which is a nice size for iced. There Bonnie I found a way to say something nice about this one. I too hate not finding something positive to say. No rating. Not worth sliding the little thingy for it.


My tongue is crinkling just thinking about it. Blech!


Lol! Good idea to keep the bottles! You could cold brew a puerh. I did it like Bonnie said with Mengku Palace and it was sooo good – tasted wetter than water somehow!

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drank White Moon - Fresh Puerh by In Nature
1415 tasting notes

It was interesting to read my previous review from a few months ago. This tea is already aging nicely. My notes today before I looked up the old review:

I think this tea breaks all the rules. It smells like a white. It looks like blend of mostly white and smaller amounts of fully oxidized teas. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the initial drying is done more like a green tea. Then it is processed like a puerh. The brew is darker than a white tea and lighter than black, or rather red tea. It does not look at all like green or puerh. The taste is between white peony and silver needle early in the sip. It is lightly sweet with melon and cucumber notes. This is followed by a mellow wonderful earthiness that melts into mild but developing leather notes. Towards the back of the sip I keep thinking there is a hint of smoke. This could just be how my brain is interpreting all the other things going on and melding together. If it is, it is very convincing. Wonderfully complex. I enjoyed this one a lot this afternoon.

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Not sure why this is a separate entry from the other Zen Teas…

This morning on my way out the door I grabbed a sachet of morning tea. When I got to work I noticed it said herbal – no caffeine. Ok, that’s not going to happen. I NEED caffeine. I rummaged through my tea drawer desperately seeking the cure when I spotted this one all alone huddled in the corner. Come with me kid, I’m going to make you a star. Dry leaf is malty and grain, just like a hundred others. I know it has potential. Once it starts steeping this awesome fruity aroma is released. I don’t want to wait for it to cool. Then again I don’t want to get burned. Maybe if I just sniff it, I can inhale some caffeine?

Finally, the moment arrives. The house lights go down and the twin Super Troopers are focused on center stage. Is it the adrenaline or is it the caffeine? Who cares? I feel it surging through my veins. Zen Teas description is pretty accurate here – “a medium-bodied cup with elegant fruity flavor and nutty notes”. Smooth. There is not much in the way of ragged edges but this is no wimp either.

Going with my star analogy, this has more substance and attitude than say Justin Bieber. (I can still hear Ozzy saying in that commercial – what’s a Bieber?) Maybe, this is more Carry Underwood – you know all sweet and innocent one minute, ripping the seats in your pickup truck the next. Kind of cool. My only complaint this morning is I was in more of an Alice Cooper “Under My Wheels” mood. On second thought, maybe the day would go a lot better if I go with it and just let “Jesus Take The Wheel”.

Oh, and sip down.

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
1415 tasting notes

Sip down. The wet leaf is roasted cocoa. Smooth. Sweet. No bitterness. I kept thinking I needed mini-marshmallows with this one. Yum.

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I kept the sachet from Sunday night and used it again Monday night. I left the lights on enough to tell this is a deep bronze color. Even a second steep on the second day zonked me right out. I really have to look for this in the local stores. Gulped it again last night as well. My new favorite herbal. Did the trick for me. Your mileage may vary. Upped the rating a bit (yeah second steeps!)

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Most herbals I don’t really care for. Some I kind of like enough I will drink. This one I gulped. Seriously, It was gone way before I intended. It doesn’t look like chamomile in the sachet. It looks more like splinters of wood. It turned dark in my cup. There wasn’t enough light in the room to tell what color but my guess is purplish red from the rose hips. The taste is light peppermint and licorice with honey poured over the top. There is no licorice (or honey) in this so it must be the combination chamomile and valerian. In fact I couldn’t single out the chamomile either. I don’t know what valerian is, but I want some. It is on my herb garden list for next year. This relaxed me and shut down my mind. I slept for 6 hours (I haven’t been sleeping much). I would have slept longer if not for that pesky alarm.


Valerian makes me sleepy too but for some reason it messes up my tummy!


I’ve either had no sleepytime luck with valerian or haven’t stumbled across the proper formulation yet, but I know there are plenty of folks here who swear by it.

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Long slender olive green dry leaves. They look yellow green when steeped. The scent of the wet leaves is meat and vegetables. How does it do that? Buttery, creamy, and green is how this speaks to my senses today. Slightly mineral at the end with just enough of that good kind of bitter in the aftertaste to make you want another sip. This was an excellent choice! Yum!

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drank Chamomile Rose by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
1415 tasting notes

Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for this one. There were two previous reviews of this. They were not impressed. I am going to go agaist the flow. I actually liked this one. Ok, it’s not really tea. It’s chamomile. As mentioned this turns pinkish and not the lemon lime orange look of the picture.

The chamomile is obvious in the sip. The rose, hibiscus, lemon, and orange all meld together but you can separate their tastes if you choose to work at it. I like that. I also like the fennel. I have seen it in blends before but this is the first where it stands out on its own. I love fennel.

The hibiscus adds only a mild tartness that I think works with the citrus to keep the rose from being too girly. I personally think this is one of the more enjoyable herbals I have tried.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I wondered if you got my. Envie ok cool

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Gmathis and Ashmanra’s comments the last few days have me craving this one. It’s a dreary gray rain-soaked December morning – the perfect time for a great hearty tea. Malt, grain, and cocoa, and that is before it ever hits the water. If you don’t have a clear steeping vessel, you really owe it to yourself to get one. I use a so-called 4-cup Bodum French Press. It is really a two-mug press but what do I know. Anyway, the leaf danced the entire time this was steeping. I am sure it was a ‘happy, happy, joy, joy’ dance. This is a very dark, rich, luxurious cup of tea. It’s even better than I remembered. AND when it gets cold it is super delicious. Staying with this one the rest of the day. Upping the rating. Highly recommend!

Someone who is well gifted with words and the craft of separating flavor notes should do a side by side of this, Bailin Gongfu, and Golden Monkey – my three favorite black teas. They are similar but very different at the same time, though I can’t describe how they are different.

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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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