989 Tasting Notes


Ugh it is a miserable, depressing Monday. It’s rainy out, it’s freezing in my office, it’s not the weekend so I’m not at home, and my bf leaves for another 2 week shift up north for work. Le sigh. Oh, and I forgot my daily work tea selection at home, so I just have this tea in my travel mug and a tin of chrysanthemum flowers for the afternoon. I want cozy teas!! :( anyways, enough woes..at least this tea is tasty this morning. A bit perfumey for some reason though, and a bit drying. And it’s cooling off far too quickly lol. Well, at least the cold rain outside is good for the newly planted garden and the lawn. See previous notes on this tea!

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It’s been a busy weekend of gardening, yard work and cleaning haha and finally we got our first couple thunderstorms today! And rain :D finally don’t have to water the flowerbeds, garden and lawn today lol. Anyways, May showers called for some rainy day tea..this one (April showers, but close enough lol).

I read the ingredients list and was a bit apprehensive about how many ingredients were listed. Also, I keep thinking I’m going to have a terrible allergic reaction to the birch and dandelion in the teas, as both of these make me sneeze horribly in the spring AKA right now haha all the pollen :( but as they use the root of the dandelion and birch bark, I seem to be ok so far with teas including these ingredients lol. I will also be trying chicory later with the other blend club tea this month, Cask Strength. Anyways, rambly aside over, onto the tea!

Dry, this smelled, well…intense. A bit overpowering. My nose didn’t know what was up lol. Cinnamon and cacao and wood..definitely wood. I also looked at the leaves and thought hmm! Roasted oolong or black tea?? Decided to steep and see if I could figure it out.

I steeped for 2 minutes with boiling water, as it also has Yabao in it which usually needs boiling water. The steeped smell is woody like crazy. I was unsure if it was all Yabao or something else…so I quickly searched Zheng Zhan Xiao Zhong on Verdant and found out it’s a smoked black tea!! Ahhh a type of Lapsang??? I have had bad experiences with the one Lapsang I tried (DavidsTea, highly do not recommend lol) so I approached this with a lot of caution. And I also was pleased my nose could pick out the pine notes from the scent :)

So as for the flavor..my first expression was actually kind of baffled. What is this…then my brain was like “damp campfire in the woods after a rain” and I spoke it aloud to my boyfriend and he’s like “Be sure to put that in your review!” So there it is. This definitely evokes a rainy feeling..and to be honest, it’s not an overpowering smoke, it’s more like that hint of smoke on the cool breeze after a rain and the ashes of the fire are close to being out but still slightly smoldering. Not at all unpleasant! It also has a certain sweetness in there too, later in the sip and in the aftertaste..maybe the vanilla? Most definitely that. It keeps it interesting!

Overall, a very earthy, interesting blend. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all all from the dry scent, and was still unsure after steeping. But it’s not too bad actually. Probably not a favorite, but I do like the camping memories it brings about. And very true to the name, it’s a rainy day blend! Happy to have had the chance to try this tea, another exciting one from the blend of the month!

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Note to self: no matter how tempting haagen dazs ice cream is, no matter how delicious the matcha honey ice cream is, you are lactose intolerant, and when the first ingredient is cream, you are not going to have a fun time after eating it. I should have known that last night lol…my stomach still hasn’t fully recovered lol. Never again!!

So I made this tea as it’s decaf and not hard on the stomach but warming in the chilly office. The cinnamon is tasty, I’m quite enjoying this and wishing the day would go faster, not many projects this week so things are slowww and boring. Le sigh. See previous notes on this tea!


Have you tried making your own matcha ice cream with coconut milk? It’s amazingly delicious.


That sounds heavenly and I definitely will have to try it sometime, I need to order more matcha first! :D

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Good morning steepster! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, I just made a pile of pancakes and have leftovers for later, it’s partly sunny out, and I’m having a delicious cup of this tea to start off the day right. Today it’s even more crisp green tea with citrus, not as much lavender, and it’s just perfect for the morning. I’m going seed shopping with my mom today for seeds for our first garden, and will also pick up some other gardening goodies hopefully (watering cans, more hoses, etc). Looks to be a fine day on this 3 day weekend, and maybe even going to the lake tomorrow! See previous notes on this tea :)


Have a great day!
I love this tea


Same to you :) and I love this tea too!


Too bad I can’t come over and help you finish off those pancakes. :)


Hahaha :-)


Lol there’s still a ton of them left for later :D sorry I can’t share lol

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Happy long weekend!! After working two extra hours at work the past 2 days (on projects that were not really mine as well, very aggravating), I finally can relax for 3 whole days. Worked on the raspberry cane pruning tonight after a nap, and was going to have a nice hot toddy but had to take an allergy pill after working outside lol so that won’t be happening…instead, I made a nice cup of this caffeine free tea for before bed.

This is a refreshing and relaxing cup, like Mother’s Little Helper by DavidsTea but without the valerian and a bit more floral. Perfect tea to unwind from the stressful week and hopefully help clear up the final vestiges of my cough, which is still kicking around a little bit haha. See previous notes!

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drank Grape Expectations by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

This was my morning cup, and still is in my cup so I guess early afternoon cup as well lol. A tasty fresh treat, although at only +12 degrees C in the office, a strong, cozy black tea would have been a better choice, albeit too much caffeine for my cutting back on caffeine lol. The frigid temp in here is also probably why I can’t shake this darn sinus thing, I think my cold progressed into a sinus infection, hoping it clears up without needing antibiotics. Ugh, anyways, back to the tea, it’s tasty and good, but not very warm now haha so I will finish this off and make a cup of something else! See previous notes on this tea :)

Oh, and I still have to find time to make a trip to my local DT to pick up the new summer collections, hoping my nose will fully clear up before I go so I can fully smell them in all their glory haha.

ETA – Haha, I see a previous note on this tea was when the heat was messed up in the office and it was +26. How nice that would be for a bit now. LOL


Keychange, I also ordered your beloved Queen Catherine!!! Your raving reviews made me go for the tin instead of the sample size, it’s first on my list to try tomorrow morning, can’t wait :-)


Oh noooo, this comment wasn’t meant for your post MissLena, oops, sorry, I did that twice this week on someone else’s post also, what’s wrong with me, lol!


Either way, congratulations on the queen! she is the best!!


Haha no worries!! Now I’m even more intrigued to try the queen when i finally place a harneys order :D


Well I could not wait for the morning, so I drank it and reviewed it last night…so good!!! MissLena you can definitely add it to your HS list :-)

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Ok ok, I know I said I am cutting back my caffeine intake, and yes, this tea does have mate in it..but I am itching to place a WP order (darn all the golden orchid notes! :D ) and this is from way back in my first order, so I’d like to finish it up and possibly re-order, because I love this tea haha. It’s a breathe of fresh air, piney, woody, fresh. And even though it is caffeinated, it does bring about a comforting sense of peace, and a calm in which I feel motivated to get things done (such as my online course for work that I’ve procrastinated on for a year..lol). A very well done blend, and I’m excited to place another WP order in the near future, it’s been far too long! See previous notes on this tea :)

ETA – my cold has finally diminished into a dry, gross cough, more of a sinus irritation than cold now. And I just started sneezing, so hooray for getting it all out of my system? Almost time for some allergy pills, good old spring hay fever is going to take over now that my cold is finished :(


I placed my first order with them last night! So excited!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m sorry to break the news…Zen Master has been discontinued. :/ I discontinued quite a lot of teas the other day, completing “The Great Purge”, which is basically where I removed all teas that weren’t high grade. because this used gunpowder green tea, I removed it. Don’t worry though, it simply opens space for better teas :)


@Courtney – you definitely will not be disappointed :D

@Whispering Pines – that’s a bit sad to hear, but no worries, I know you have so many other spectacular teas that I will find more tasty ones in no time! Happy I could try this one out while it was available though :) and if you decide to make a reblend with a higher grade, well, I might just have to try out an ounce :D

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!!

I had a lovely weekend visiting with my parents, I’m almost over my darn cold, and had a good heart to heart with mom today over pizza and wine. Overall a very good weekend :) this is the last tea I’m having this evening I think before I head off to an early bedtime to kick this cold hopefully for good before the work week. I made this while mom was here but my stomach was finnicky (cheese and wine is a bad combo for me lol) so I am just getting to it now. A delicious floral cup, refined and elegant on this warm evening that finally feels like spring! Finally wore shorts outside and got some sun today :D need my vitamin D fix, I’ve been getting cabin fever pretty bad lol. Anyways, a lovely tea, although one I will not be having often, I am working on cutting back on my caffeine intake again for health reasons. See previous notes on this lovely tea!

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drank The Immunizer by DAVIDsTEA
989 tasting notes

This tea!!! I forgot I gave the rest of this to my mom and I’m out visiting this weekend and found it!! Sooo happy. This tea is what I needed earlier this week to get rid of my cold lol. Well at least I can have it now to fight off the final vestiges of the sickness. I am rather annoyed davidstea discontinued this, it really was a go to for colds
Oh well. See previous notes on this tea.

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drank Soothing by Epicure
989 tasting notes

After a sleepless night and slogging through 3 and a half hrs of work with my head feeling triple its size (sinuses are quite inflamed) I am at home taking the rest of the day off to recuperate. My sinuses are finally beginning to clear (I think) so I will continue downing tea until I can breathe normally again lol. This tea seems to help a lot with its ginger and lemon. Hoping I am improved by tomorrow as I tried to go to a walk in clinic today but they are all packed and I don’t want to give anyone there my sickness, or catch something worse. Fingers crossed! I hate feeling like crap. Ugh. See previous notes on this tea (as this note isn’t really a review lol).

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Hello all, I am an electrical engineer (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it was excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte, or decent decaf haha)

I enjoy a variety of teas – current favorites being ripe and raw pu’erhs, chinese black teas and herbal/green rooibos blends. I also enjoy white, green, and oolong teas, although I tend to drink them more in the warmer months. I have also tried matcha and guayusa, but I don’t drink them too often as I am a bit sensitive to caffeine. As a result I don’t drink black teas as often as I used to, but in moderation I can still enjoy a wide variety of teas.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I have tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.



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