803 Tasting Notes


Yum!! It’s late for real tea, but I really wanted something good, so here we are. It’s making me happy. I’ve actually been toting around this thermos of it for the last hour, and every time I remove the lid the smell is rich and coconuty. Lovely way to end the day (at least I hope the day is ending soon!) :)

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Iced! I grew up in the south, so I’ve always had sweet tea. Even as a little child, I’d have glasses upon glasses of sweet tea with dinner. (And then wondered why I couldn’t get to sleep.) So my quest throughout this pregnancy has been to find something that could be subbed in for my traditional sweet tea with less caffeine. Actually, in the beginning, I was looking for no caffeine.

This is the closest to the winner yet. You might have noticed from my past posts, I’ve not found a winner yet. I’m blaming it on cold rooibos. This one actually works. And though it’s caffeinated, it’s less than black tea at a time when I’m ramping up caffeine a bit, so one cup a day will still work with my cup of hot tea a day as well. Yay! And, it’s flavorful enough that no sugar is needed. (And I don’t typically sweeten my green tea in the first place.)

The taste? Margot’s right… the fruit doesn’t stand out. I suspect it does a bit more in this cold version than a hot cup, but it’s clearly second to the tea. The green tea is okay, but not great. It’s just what you’d expect from a cheap bag of fruit flavored green tea. But it works for something that’s meant to be thirst quenching rather than a cup of tea that’s meant for flavor.

So, yay for something cold to have on hot southern days! I’ve finally found my tea! Now the question is how much longer I’ll be on this level of caffeine restriction… due date is somewhere between three and seven weeks!


The only warning to give on this is not to let it steep too long. It is pleasant, refreshing, and comforting. The fruity taste is subtle, but absolutely there. When I have had it iced, it has a bitter edge.


That’s true.

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And another cup from the Traveling Tea Box. An “Easter tea” for Easter morning!

Again, I didn’t know what to expect, but I really like Mariage Freres, so I had gotten a sample. And it was fabulous! This actually reminded me a lot of Mighty Leaf’s Orange Dulce, but instead of the tea being overpowered by the flavoring, the tea stood alone and the flavor was much more subtle. Very good tea!

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drank Florence by Harney & Sons
803 tasting notes

I apparently was totally offline this weekend. I drank tea, but no logging. And I didn’t do much else on any other social sites, either.

But, wow, Florence should have prompted me to stop by. I got this one from the Traveling Tea Box, and now it’s on my shopping list.

I couldn’t remember what to expect out of it. I just knew it was one I wanted to try. So, as it steeped, I was surprised by the lovely chocolatey/hazelnuty scent coming from the cup. And wow! It was flavorful! This definitely strikes me as a dessert tea, and reminded me a tiny bit of dragon balls. But, really, a more grown-up version of dragon balls.

Yum! I can’t wait to get some more!

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So I’ve switched gears and am having a cup of this now. 30 second wash, 1/2 teaspoon tea, 4 oz teapot, 2 minutes to start.

It’s good! Not quite as floral (feminine?) as Four Seasons. It strikes me as much more what I expect out of an oolong: roasted, woodsy, strong. It’s a good cup of tea!


Steep 2: 3 minutes, off boiling water. This is another good cup. Again, roasted and strong!


Steep 3: 4 minutes, off boiling. I kindof messed up this cup! I poured what I assumed was warmed water from my electric tea kettle over the leaves, only to realize it was fresh from the tap! I poured that off immediately, boiled some water, let it sit about 5 minutes, then used that. And this cup tastes a lot like the first two. So far, for me MPIGM is a consistently good cup, resteep after resteep.

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drank Four Seasons by Samovar
803 tasting notes

I need a thermometer!

I (unbelievably!!) only have one thing on the schedule today, so I knew I’d spend most of the day in my office. With that as the plan, I realized this is the perfect day for resteeping oolong! I’m using the tiny teapot, with just half a teaspoon of tea (based on a few recommendations from here). It’s actually even prettier steeping that way. You can really watch the leaves unfurl, and the tea is a lighter color.

So the rinse was about 30 seconds in boiling water. Then the first steep was about 3 minutes off boiling for 2 minutes. I LIKE this one a lot. So, it looks like I was using too many leaves before!! Instead of the first cup being spinach like, this is a bit more floral, and at the point the tea was at several steeps in with the larger leaf quantity. I’m certain this won’t hold up to as many resteeps, but I’d bet it’ll even out in the end since we’re starting with so many fewer leaves!


Steep 2: 3 minutes, cooler water. This was a smooth cup of tea! It’s actually really similar to the first steep, though I’m noticing slightly fewer floral notes…


Steep 3: 4 minutes, warmer water. Again, a really good cup. I think I’ve found the right amount of leaves to use in this teapot! It’s smooth, slightly floral, and I almost got a hint of peppermint a second ago. Fabulous cup!


Steep 4: 5 minutes, cooler water. This is the tea that just doesn’t stop! It’s a little less obviously Hi-I’m-Totally-Awesome, but it’s still a really good cup. At this point the floral notes seem to have dropped a bit. It’s the type of tea that I could just keep drinking in the background without even realizing it, then at the end of the day be startled at how much I drank. Good stuff!


Steep 5: 6 minutes, cooler water. Again, this is a great cup! I brought a second type of oolong to work today, thinking that I’d make that after lunch, but if this keeps going and going like this I’ll never make it to the other one! The tea is much lighter, but it still is flavorful.


Steep 6: 7 minutes, cooler water. Pouring this tea out, it looked a lot like water. However, drinking it, it’s still tea. It’s not as strong of a tea, but it also doesn’t taste like watered down tea (which is what I expected). I might shift gears after lunch, though, afterall, to compare this tea to Iron Goddess!

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I do love this tea. I like it best really hot. This cup taught me that as I made it, stepped out to do a few things, and came back to my typically favored really warm cup. At that point I thought it could really use some sugar. Now it’s even cooler and I’m not digging it too much. But one cup of not-digging-it-as-much tea is worth it to have a better understanding of how to serve it.

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drank PG Tips by PG Tips
803 tasting notes

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I’ve been into tea, at some level, since college with a first tin of loose tea brought back by my parents from Oxford. My love of tea increased with a visit to Boston and a chance cup at Tealuxe. Since then I’ve only gotten more interested in tea and have developed more of an appreciation for it.

tea rating guide
(updated 12/2010)

100: a perfect cuppa. these are the teas I’ll keep in my cupboard and tend to be one per type of tea.

90-99: will definitely get more of this tea

80-89: likely to get more and perhaps it will become a favorite with time

70-79: very good, depending on my mood or the season

60-69: wouldn’t actively try to get this tea, but also wouldn’t avoid it in a tea shop or restaurant

50-59: run-of-the-mill tea for me

40-49: decent, would hit the spot in some moods, but probably wouldn’t purchase it for my cupboard

30-39: okay, will try again, maybe

20-29: meh. I’d try this tea again if no other were available

10-19: drinkable, but a forced cup

0-9: didn’t even finish the cup


Blacksburg, VA



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