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drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
608 tasting notes

Rained all day and cold—frost advisory tonight despite the 80F sunglasses n’ crawfish weekend—had this as a remedy when R got home for afternoon tea with Orange Chocolate Chippers (here: http://atlantishome.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/07/orange-chocolate-chippers.html the fresh crumb is what makes them; it’s a little like a drop biscuit or scone at first, pale and piled somewhat high in jumbles, not like a flat chip cookie, plus the orange oil works well with a nice not-too-sweet chocolate without being tart or fruit juice kid-like…the only thing I’d change in the future is maybe cutting back on the number of chocolate chips—seems extravagant to me though husband thinks not, ha). Not a heady vanilla tea at all, just mellow, lets your baked goods shine as it stands back gracefully in the wings. Not exciting and I doubt I’d want it solo very often, but good when you kind of want something black, mild, sweet, and blandly comforting to go with early dessert. Doesn’t have that alcohol burn some vanilla teas do, which is a bonus.

DeliriumsFrogs

Those cookies look like they’d be perfect with that tea! (and your mention of ‘no alcohol burn’ is great, since I really hate that in vanilla teas…). Lovely.

Stephanie

We’ve got a frost advisory too…so glad I didn’t plant my seedlings! hides them in the house

ifjuly

DF, vanilla burn is THE WORST! yuck. in anything…

phew, Stephanie! sadly my neighbors spent Saturday and Sunday doing the whole front of the house. ahh.

boychik

This looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I’m off to baking;)

ifjuly

i hope you like them, boychik! they are not very sweet, as a heads up. and they make a zillion, at least i thought so (though with a full family maybe that’s not a problem for you :)—next time since it’s just the two of us i’m going to split the recipe. it made 2 and a half trays, 50 small cookies for me.

TheTeaFairy

OMG! You made me look at the forecast and here too…cold with snow possibly, WTF?!??

boychik

We are Cookie Monsters! I have to hide sweets fr hubby and kids;)
We made them. Soo delicious. Everybody liked them. I put some away for tomorrow ;)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe;)

ifjuly

TheTeaFairy, i am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :/

boychik, i love to hear you guys liked them! yay cookie party!

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86
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
1407 tasting notes

OMG. This is freaking AMAZING. I don’t think I’d ever had this before but I added it to my wishlist after reading some reviews, and then I snapped it up when Shadowfall sold some of her stash. YES!

It’s very mellow black that’s almost creamy, and tastes like honey and malt, and I feel like I should just keep sipping it instead of typing up my note because it’s cooling as I write!

But no worries folks, this is a re-steeper!
I may, and I’m not sure yet, but I MAY like this more than the PTA! :O

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

:D I love happy tea tasting notes :)

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96
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
694 tasting notes

OMG this is even better than I remember it being. Once again, kudos Stacy and JustJames…major WIN on this blend! So perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it. I absolutely adore it hot, but I am quite excited to try it iced this summer. Coconut banana tropical iced tea? Heck yes!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Butiki Teas

Oooh, haven’t thought about icing it but I bet it would be fantastic!

Skysamurai

That sounds amazing!

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It was such a lovely weekend; such a shame I had to get up and get ready for work this morning. The winds were really howling in the middle of the night, and I woke to a fairly chilled room and only wanted to burrow further under the covers and make the world go away. But alas, that was not to be. Such is the story of my life.

So I chose this tea to have in place of breakfast, because we’re sort of out of inspiring breakfast options. So a strongly flavoured black that happens to also taste like banana medicine fit the bill perfectly. I’m a little worried that this tea doesn’t keep nearly as well, although admittedly it’s still only in its original foil packet, but I found the flavours a touch muted this morning. I maintain that a three minute steep is the way to go to extract all the flavour possible while keeping the sometimes finicky base at bay.

A great first cup, that’s for sure.

VariaTEA

I have been thinking about this tea for the past few days. However, I am trying to get through my swap teas first and then I can return to my stash so no Banana Pudding until then.

keychange

It really is delicious and worth looking forward to!

VariaTEA

It can be my reward tea for getting through my swaps :)

Sami Kelsh

It tastes like banana medicine? Oh man, I love banana medicine!

keychange

It absolutely does! people will either love it or hate it.

CHAroma

What medicine do you take that tastes like bananas??

Roswell Strange

Usually Penicillin is banana flavoured.

keychange

Yeah. I don’t think adults ever get the banana version though, sadly. :(. I’d take that shit to work in a timolino.

Sami Kelsh

It’s probably good that they don’t make banana medicine for adults. I mean, I do still get earaches (so much fun waking up not knowing which side you’re going to be deaf on that day) but if I had access to banana medicine, I’d constantly just be overdosing myself because I couldn’t keep to the recommended dosage!

keychange

Ear infections sound awful. And yes, I’d be in a constant state of overdose as well!

donkeytiara

I keep reading the name of this tea wrong and it kind of freaks me out each time….I’m reading “Banana Black Pudding Tea”….. ew.

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This still reminds me of vanilla wafers, with lemon added.

Courtney

That sounds delectable.

whatshesaid

Mmm sure does

MsWhatsit

Oooh, sounds nice.

gmathis

(Altering grocery list for Nilla wafers)

donkeytiara

I heart nilla wafers….I double heart the plain label ones oddly enough!

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92
drank Anxi Fo Shou Black Tea by Verdant Tea
4043 tasting notes

I feel sad that there are people out there who will never try this tea. I realised that this marks 4k tasting notes since i started hanging out on steepster. 2 years, 400 pages of tasting notes, 1738 teas tried (give or take a few) and i only just now feel like i’m starting to understand what i love about certain teas. When i realised this was to be 4k…i went into the special box. the box of teas that i hoard because they will either be gone for too long or because i feel like it :P There are 3 teas in there….this is one of them.

This was graciously passed to me by omgsrsly when i bemoaned the fact that i only had one single packet of this tea left. I still only have one package of this left – the other one from my tea sister terri. I really hope that someday verdant is able to get this tea back, or some variation on the theme from the family experimenting more.

Dexter3657

Congrats on 4000!!!
This is how I feel about Mandala Black Pearls…

Sil

yes… i agree with you on those pearls as well..they too were in my box. but then i drank them. and now they’re gone. sad.

Courtney

WOOOOT.

scribbles

Wow!! Impressive…Congrats!! I wanted to try this one, but sadly discovered my passion for tea too late:(

Terri HarpLady

Woo Hoo on 4K!!
I am still hoarding 2 little packets of this tea. I’ll drink them eventually… :)

QueenOfTarts

Yay! Congrats!

caile

Congrats on such an amazing number of notes! Yay!

Christina

Congrats!

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91

I’ve been saving my sample of this for a special occasion. I’m teaching my first class later today and I am SO NERVOUS! Looking for that theanine calmness :)

Anyway, of course this tea is amazingly sweet and smooth and vegetal. Very luxurious and velvety. Wish I could drink this more often! I do enjoy sencha as well but this is definitely a special treat!

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
Sil

good luck with the class!

scribbles

Good luck!

Kaylee

good luck!

Courtney

Good luck! :)

Tealizzy

Good luck!!!

caile

Good luck!!

Jennkay

I also really like this tea. And good luck with your class!

Stephanie

Thanks everyone! It went really well :D I feel silly for being so nervous now lol. Yay!!

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I’ve been SO busy this week, but it was a good busy! The weather was beautiful all week, & Tony was in Michigan, so I spent every waking hour that I wasn’t teaching or playing in my garden, planting stuff! Broccoli, Brussels, Cauliflower, lettuces, various greens, radishes, turnips, beets, etc. In some cases I planted plants (instant garden!), & in other cases I planted seeds.

Needless to say, I’m so behind on my tea logging, that I’m just gonna post a list of the highlights from the last couple of days. I hope nobody will mind, but they are all teas I’ve reviewed pretty extensively by now, I think. In no particular order:
Double Knit Blend – more woody than I remember it
Premium Taiwanese Assam – so good
Devotea’s 1910 English Breakfast – So awesome with brekkie
Butiki’s The Black Lotus – ditto
Upton’s Russian Caravan – not as smokey as I seem to recall
Teavivre’s Rose Dian Hong – to share with a student
TTC’s 2005 aged songboling oolong – sipdown
YS’s Imperial Gold Needle (sipdown) & Imperial Mojiang golden bud
Verdant’s Zhu Rong Chai – my crockpot method reigns supreme!
Verd’s Fujian White Jasmine – with a friend
Peach Rooibos – trail lodge tea

This morning I had Teavana’s black dragon pearls, & I’m having Ms Stacy’s Irish Breakfast with my breakfast. I am hoping to play catch up on reading everyone’s reviews later today, but now I must rush off to play a wedding! It’s a beautiful day in St. Louis!

MzPriss

I’m gonna plant flowers today. I’m a little behind on my dahlias.

Dexter3657

:(( it’s snowing here… jealous that you are already well into spring. Enjoy your time in your garden :))

MzPriss

In two months I’ll be whining about living on the face of the sun – but right now it’s beautiful outside and my dogs are behaving, I have a cup of Golden Fleece and am planting tubs of dahlias and zinnias and life is GOOD

Terri HarpLady

I grew up in San Diego, where the weather was in the 70s most of the time. I love the change of seasons, but I am absolutely certain that 77 F is the perfect temperature! :)

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80
drank Lemon & Ginger by Clipper
944 tasting notes

This is what I drink when I’ve had too much to drink, and I’m an obnoxious arse who asks their nearest and dearest inappropriate things that makes everyone laugh — too inappropriate for Steepster, I assure you. Thanks for putting up with me, friends, even if sometimes I’m a bit.. mischievous! :) And thank you, tea, for allowing me to purge myself of this lovely wino-ishness.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 4 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
Hello.Kiki

That’s ok, I think everyone does that to some extent. Last fourth of July/my birthday after far too many shots of tequila, I spent fifteen minutes crying to my husband about how wonderful and sexy I think he is lol.

ifjuly

Hello.Kiki, lolol! that’s adorable.

MissB

Amazing! I love that story. :)

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84

Hot in a timolino; no added things (though I was tempted to add milk).

This is/was the last of my work teas to be drunk, and I had it on the walk home. It was really good; sticky cinnamon sugar icing/glaze. The last little bit was especially sweet and thick and creamy. There were moments when I more so got cinnamon bun and vanilla icing and moments where I got cream cheese and spice cake.

My walk home from work was kind of interesting though. Abdul, one of the cashiers who was let go, stayed late after work today (he was off at nine, and I was off at ten) and walked home with me. He only lives two blocks from me, so it’s not like it was out of his way, but it was a kind of nice thing to do, I guess?

It’s a little sad his last shift is tomorrow. He’s a sweet kid…

God! How old does that make me sound? He’s only two years younger than me (and I’m not that old to begin with) but there’s such a maturity gap. I sound ancient when I refer to people as “kids” when they’re teenagers.

Hello.Kiki

Being called ma’am always makes me feel older, and I’m still in my early twenties O.o

Marzipan

Age is a state of mind.

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90

this is from my first whispering pines tea order… first tea from my first order! i held out trying this blend until today for A REASON!!!!!

the semester is OVER! insert soaring freedom music of your choice….. but only for three weeks, lol.

must admit, it was quite awesome- i changed my status on FB re the exam and who should inquire about how it went down? Brenden… the owner of whispering pines, lol.

saving this as my celebratory tea was a good call. dry it smells like vanilla chocolate ice cream. malt, but not the bitey kind. the base is a very deep chocolate- not a cacao, certainly not a milk. very smooth. vanilla is the first taste and surprisingly honey is the last!

superb. a gorgeous tea. brenden says it resteeps brilliantly…. i’m off to do that now =0)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

Freedom! YES. I have two weeks of exams to survive, then a week off before spring term haha. :P

JustJames

you too? we must be connected. we shall commiserate! i just need to get it done before another distraction creeps up. spring compression classes= no fun, but it also means i’ve accomplished a pretty normal year even on a disabled student course load. yippee!

Courtney

Yay! Haha I overloaded my courses the last two terms, which was hellish, but it means I’m closer to this degree being complete. Yes! I will fully enjoy my few days off before spring for sure. :)

JustJames

we should be friends on FB…. we can whine to one another when exams roll around, lol.

ifjuly

yay! phew, congrats on the end of the semester.

this one sounds so amazing. one of these days i’m going to spring for some!

gmathis

Happy Independence Day! I keep an MP3 of the Hallelujah Chorus on my computer for hitting “SEND” on a writing assignment.

JustJames

gmathis…. you are Wonderful. =0)

ifjuly- it’s lovely… i can see you loving it. like a vanilla hued black lotus.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
608 tasting notes

Still super boring thanks to lack of a working nose. Got all these amazing teas to enjoy from Butiki and Shang and Mandala and Harney but grrrr.

Been drinking this every day ‘cause I finally restocked it (yay) so I don’t feel terrible using a cup’s worth of leaves each day (resteep champion!) on this stuffed up, phlegmy, voiceless bag o’ guts. This Friday marks the beginning of what traditionally has been the ushering of For Real Now, No Foolin’, No Turning Back Spring here—the crawfish festival and art walk. Still can’t taste much, still feel blegh. Stupid weeklong cold! But I am looking forward to when I feel better, any moment now, so I can dive into the warm weather, new tea, perfume, and recently mildly redecorated house. So there.

And I’m so grateful for this tea. I can still smell the leather and chocolate and roasty notes, delicious. I’m not sure I’d ever have thought to use pu erh as a sickness tea, but it works rather well.

Cheri

I hope you start feeling better soon! I’ve been in a similar boat where I can’t taste some of my teas. Certain flavors were just GONE. BLERGH.

boychik

Puerh is for everything. for better sleep and for those days, for stomach aches. this is my remedy! hopefully you will feel better soon. Today is official spring break. Kids are home till apr22:)

ifjuly

oh, that’s the worst Cheri! i’ve had a couple of those moments. i find taking a break from tea for a while and going back to it helps…or trying tea types i’d never had before. sometimes you just kinda get burned out.

do you have any fun activities planned for your kids, boychik? yay spring break! and i agree, pu erh is surprisingly therapeutic.

boychik

We should go to Poconos to turn the heat off. then I planned to come back. its so much to do in a city, why go anywhere? plus my older one have to finally take off her braces on 17th. she cant wait nomore.

Dexter3657

Crawfish festival? I am SOOOOOOoooo jealous!!! Hope the hot sauce helps to clear you sinuses. Have fun and I hope that you feel better.

ifjuly

so charmed to learn you’re a fellow crawfish fan, Dexter3657! yes, it’s lovely…it’s usually the first solid gorgeous spring day of the year (has been the last 3 or 4 years at least), and it’s down the street from my apartment (one of those events where they block off the roads and people who live on this street offer visitors parking space in their driveway for a fee!), and i walk down in shorts and sit in the sun eating crawfish and drinking fizzy lemony beer. i love it. simple pleasures. thank you for the well wishes, by the way. yes, spices—we had a thai curry for dinner last night which helped clear things up a bit, ha.

that sounds like a big event for your daughter, boychik! i never had braces but i can imagine i’d be counting the days if i were her, ha. and you’re so right about NY—super jealous you live there. (:

DeliriumsFrogs

Fizzy lemony beer and a short walk (down your street!) to a crawfish festival!? Oh dear, that is heaven!!
And I love your perfume knowledge… scents are magical (which we all know, since we love tea so much…), and perfume has always seemed so mystical to me. Why does it have to give me headaches!? (do you think that’s just cheap perfume?).

ifjuly

i think it’s a really common issue, DF! it’s why i don’t wear perfume out much, because i know lots and lots of people who are sensitive to it, like allergic. perhaps all-synthetic cheaper stuff is the worst, i’m not sure, but i know it’s hard to find a perfume these days that lacks something synthetic, even the pricey ones.

i’m actually not knowledgeable at all about perfume—my friend Kate in california is way more of an expert—but it’s a fun hobby once in a while! i like little private sense-memory treats, which is probably why i like tea so much too. (:

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74

Happy Steepster-versary to me! It’s been a year since I made my account now. Here’s to another!

This is a pretty fair tea. It appears to be a blend of estates, but it’s satisfying and comforting in the way that Darjeelings are. It has notes of cocoa and malt, but not as strongly as a second flush Darjeeling would, and slight notes of muscatel with an earthy/grassy finish.

I can’t see myself reaching for this over my second flush single estates, but I won’t have a problem with what I have at all.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
__Morgana__

Happy anniversary!

moraiwe

Thank you!

Indigobloom

Congrats!! :D

Courtney

Happy Steepster-versary :)

keychange

woohoo!!

boychik

Congrats!

moraiwe

Woo! Thanks, everyone!

Stephanie

One year in tealand! :D

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100

Ok, I’ve been having far too much fun on facebook and steepster this morning, and I really should try and get some work done. But I feel it absolutely vital to tell you all that I enjoyed the queen with my bagel and cream cheese breakfast this morning. Mr. keychange and I make it a point to have breakfast together on Friday mornings, so there was also great conversation. And I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day.

As I leaned over the cup and inhaled the queen, I literally spoke out loud: Oh Queen, I remember you! i remember how we sat there, legs curled up under ourselves as we sat in Muskoka chairs around the embers of last night’s fire, commenting on how it had rained last night, and how the smell of smoke and rain and wind was so perfectly romantic. Don’t you remember, Queen?

And then Mr. keychange was like “You would never have that conversation, though. You hate camping.”
And i was like stop ruining it!

Long live the queen!

Marzipan

This is my theme song today: I don’t wanna work, I just wanna talk about tea all day!
(You know that song?)

Cheri

Hahahah! I love the smells of camping, and honestly sitting near a campfire or bonfire is such a wonderful feeling. I just hate hate hate camping.

And I really like the fact that you and your Mr. have breakfast together on Fridays. How wonderful!

keychange

I do know that song! great song! I should go listen to it immediately. And yes, I abhor camping as well. But I love the smell of rain and campfires and good memories.

Sil

too much time on FB… haha the only time i am ever on there is for the antics you saw haha

keychange

Haha! these antics get me through the day!

OMGsrsly

I need to get my act together and stop being distracted by TEA, and GO to work!

Marzipan

It’s like ADTEA (get it?)

Anna

You should probably follow DeliriumsFrogs and then you all can have a special secret Queen fanclub. Pfff! http://steepster.com/deliriumsfrogs/posts/238178

keychange

Thanks Anna! The Queen needs us to band together!

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73

Fake berries! yay!
Honestly though, it isn’t SO bad. I expected much worse based on the reviews. It’s fake in a pleasant way. I didn’t think that was possible.
I do like how it blends with the base. Very well actually. Surprisingly.
Without sugar, it’s pretty good, though a tad weak. With just a dash of sugar, maybe a third of a tsp, it’s more berry gum like. I see it doing well when iced!

OMGsrsly

I cold brewed 4 hours, and it’s pretty good!

Indigobloom

Oooh?! I can’t wait til the weather warms up :P

OMGsrsly

Yeah. I tasted it, then put the lid on and put it back in the fridge. The heat is off in my building, so I’m craving hot drinks. :)

Indigobloom

Really?! they just turned it off? Not cool!
I prefer hot drinks over cold so as much as I love summer, hands down, that is the one reason I enjoy cold weather!! (well that and skiing or winter play activities)

OMGsrsly

Happens every spring. I have the coldest apartment, as I’m above the unheated storage rooms. :/

Indigobloom

Ouch. I guess that’d be an incentive to go outside haha

Ceylon Star

Oh gawd, I think I have a problem… Definitely read “dingle berry burst” and got VERY concerned for a moment O.o

OMGsrsly

Oh, Ceylon Star. :D :D

Kirkoneill1988

ohhhh the fakeness lol ;)

Indigobloom

Ceylon Star, I take it you aren’t a fan of berries ;)

Indigobloom

Kirk- haha indeed

Ceylon Star

I LOVE berries, I just have, uhh, other stuff on my mind? :P

Indigobloom

lol Ceylon Star, I can see that :P

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How is it possible that I haven’t logged this?
I drank the last of it last night and just went to remove it from my cupboard and noticed that I’ve never logged it. How rude!!

This is one of my favorite from Cornelia Bean. It’s almond, it’s caramel, it’s something like burnt toffee, it’s oooey goooey sweet. Even better steeped with the MissB lower temp shorter steep trick.
If I’m ever allowed into Cornelia Bean again, I will pick up more of this – awesome desserty type tea.

boychik

Do you keep a spreadsheet for all the teas. I was removing but then realized what if I forget if I had that tea before. My memory is not that great anymore;)

Dexter3657

LOL I am NOT organized enough to to keep a spread sheet. I try really hard to make sure I’ve logged all the teas that I’ve tried. This is my “memory”, if it says “drank one time” then I’ve tried it – if it doesn’t, it’s either in my cupboard, or I haven’t tried it. So far that’s working for me.
What I need a spread sheet for is to keep track of which teas I’ve sent to which swap buddies, I’m always afraid of sending them something I’ve sent them before. I really need to get organized. :))

boychik

Good idea. I try to stick to ppl wish list and many times I add whatever I liked a lot. So I need 2 spreadsheets. You know my hubby is a programmer so his rule is to back up every 5 min. What if god forbid smth will happen to Steepster?

Dexter3657

What if god forbid smth will happen to Steepster? LOL Don’t even joke about it – if that happens I’m lost – what would I do without my Steepster buddies? No I don’t even want to think about it….

Anna

This link is very helpful, I think, since it’s all in one page, and searchable: http://steepster.com/clareborn/feed.rss

(And I keep lists of what I send to whom in my gmail drafts folder.)

Sil

dexter…that’s why you need to answer my FB message..

Dexter3657

Thanks Anna – that’s an awesome link. I didn’t know it existed. Love learning new stuff.

Dexter3657

FB message – OMG I haven’t logged into FB in at least 6 months….LOL right – I’m on that.

Sil

Anna….we has her naao!

Anna

We spun a webb of HAIRS.

Sil

I think we lost her…

Anna

I think she probably just doesn’t understand how FB works. Six months is like six years in FB time…

Sil

That’s true….

ifjuly

i don’t keep a spreadsheet, but whenever a new tea comes in i stick it in a gigunda google doc list (i started out sorting it by tea types, but i’ve gotten lazy about that), and if i ever wonder if i have something already i control-F for it. when i’ve tried it, i put a strikethrough over it, and when i really like it i put a star next to it (when i hate it, which is rare, i put a big X next to it). not as organized as a spreadsheet, but works for me and is faster.

ifjuly

and yeah, thanks so much for that Anna! super helpful. i hate trying to find a log of a tea i know i’ve logged before from the actual tea page, sifting through pages of reviews.

Anna

Haha, beware of the big X! And yeah, it’s really helpful – I wish I remembered who told me about it so I could give proper credit.

Tea Sipper

Oh I must try this one soon that you sent a while back!

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99

Sorry Steepster, I’ve been in such a blah mood lately, I kind of deserted everything around me, even my dear Steepster friends, so sorry :-(

Today was a YAY day as I received my Verdant order. I was impatiently waiting for the new Laoshan Black. For sure, it was going to be the first one I try. But I had to open the box first.

I don’t know what type of “tea box un-wrapper” you are:

Type A) you carefully open the box with a sharp knife, and take out the pouches one by one, checking and matching everything with the packing slip, then, happy with yourself, put everything away in a very tidy manner. You WILL NOT open the pouches until you decide to drink your new tea, which might be in a couple of weeks or even months from now.

Type B) you literally rip the box open, I mean with your bare hands. You fetch everything out in a very frantic manner. You don’t care if it matches the packing slip or not, it’s new tea and it’s all you care about. You gather all the pouches in one big pile and you circle them with your arms, eyeballs out of their sockets, you whisper to them “all mine, all mine, my precious!!”
You will not wait any longer to open all the pouches, no method whatsoever to your madness, you just go from one to the other, trying to figure out which one smells best and which one should land in your cup as of RIGHT NOW! By the end of the evening, you’ll be tea drunk and will have tried them all.

Well, maybe you guessed already…I’m type B. This is how I roll and I won’t apologize for it.

Now back to the order and my tea choice. After a spectacular type B grand opening, I throw myself on Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha cause the smell, oh my, the smell…freakin unreal!!!

It’s so chocolate, so Laoshan Black, so nutty and crispy toasted rice, it’s the bomb people!
It,s like having Laoshan Black with Rice Krispies squares, just in a more fancy and sophisticated way, so yummy!

Enough said, just try it for yourself :-)

P.S. Thanks again Verdant for such a pleasant shopping experience as always, you guys are wonderful!

boychik

Ok, to answer your survey I’m type b;)

TheTeaFairy

Lol, Go team B :-)

MzPriss

Type B – especially with Mandala and Verdant boxes

__Morgana__

I’m type C. I do a little of A and a little of B. :-)

keychange

I loved this note and am glad you’re back!

TheTeaFairy

MzPriss, Agreed!

Haha, Morgana, didn’t think of a type C, you are so balanced :-)

Thank you my dear Keychange, missed ya ;-)

whatshesaid

I’m going to have to get a fresh batch, clearly!

MzPriss

I haven’t tried this yet – but since I’m almost sobbing over the fact that regular Laoshan Black is currently out of stock, maybe I should try some of this because yeah I NEED another tea to obsess over

mrmopar

Yep include me in the B section also.

TheTeaFairy

MzPriss you should definitely give it a shot, new tea obsession is always a good thing!!

Hope you have more luck with a new batch whatshesaid :-)

Mrmopar, though I do enjoy being a type B, I so admire type A for their restraint and self control!!

Dexter3657

Hmmmmmm – am I the only A around here?

Dexter3657

(I love this tea – Laoshan black with Rice Krispy squares is a really good comparison)

Nxtdoor

Hi! I’m also B. :)

caile

Haha, I’m like Morgana – a bit of both, type C

OMGsrsly

B, B!! :D I do go back and match teas up to my packing slip/order, but only after I roll around in them.

TheTeaFairy

Dexter, don’t feel bad, you’re in a league of your own and we all want to be like you when we finally grow up :-)

Haha! Omgsrsly, I forgot about the “roll around in them” part!

Suziqzer

I’ll have to say I’m a bit of both as well… so call me type C. :)

What a fun conversation this turned into!

mrmopar

I have enough to build a small house around me!

TheTeaFairy

Suziqzer, yes it quite funny :-)

Mrmopar, more realistically, I’d go for a decent size cottage…but that’s just me.

TheKesser

Yep Type B over here! haha
Now I also want to try this tea! I haven’t ordered from this company before so I should give them a try.

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70
drank Cerisier Vert by Lupicia
258 tasting notes

I already told you about the liquid, cherry-flavoured penicillin that was forced upon me when I was but a tiny Anna, so I will spare you a rerun. Keywords like, ‘very vomity’, ‘traumatized’, and ‘still terrified of Dr. Pepper’ might help jog your memory.

Artificial cherry flavouring, hence, is about as far from what I can take as possible, palate wise. So in the interest of pushing boundaries, here I am with some of this. I don’t know if it’s one of those limited edition blends, but it comes in a special, extra-pretty tin, which is nice.

Again, I am conflicted when it comes to cherry. I mean – what do cherries smell like? What do they taste like? It’s one of the most elusive flavours to me, which might be a further reason (I mean in addition to the PTSD, mom) why it’s so hard for me to accept artificial cherry flavouring.

So does the dry tea smell like cherry? I don’t know. It doesn’t smell of Dr. Pepper, not even close to anything coughsyrupy or medical. It could be cherry preserves, I guess – more like jam than maraschino, though. The scent is rich and thick and darkly, stickily red – it makes me think of the cherry pie in Twin Peaks.

In the cup, the scent metamorphoses to something much closer to the cherry I’m used to. But as you may remember, Lupicia also do the bitter almondy, plummy nuance of stone fruit – Ume Vert is one of my most unexpected favourites. This scent lands somewhere in between. I get both the plum pit and the potentially scary cherry.

Taste wise, I’m surprised to say I can drink this without any signs of retching or wanting to curl up in a fetal position and mutter reassuringly to myself. The steeped tea is in no way cloying, and the aftertaste is lightly floral. All in all, this is a fairly delicate tea – not overly complex, but pleasant and highly drinkable. If I sound detached, it’s because I have no idea what just happened, but apparently there’s a cherry-flavoured tea that I can both drink and enjoy? Okay – mind blown.

ETA: Well, this is definitely a limited edition… with the little kicker that it actually doesn’t exist on the US site. This is a first, but the US do get the black version, and it’s called Cerisier, so that’s the name I’ll enter into the database. Oh, Japan, you and your obsession with French stuff. SO confuse.

ETA 2: In other news, French Lupicia have now added an English version of the website… with English names that are direct translations of the French names for the teas, and not pulled from the US site. Just to make things a little bit more confusing. But hey, somewhere a translator got paid, and I’m all for that.

[From my Lupicia order to Rome, April 2014.]

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Cheri

I took a lot of antibiotics as a child, and they always put horrible flavors in them. I don’t ever remember cherry, but to this day I hate fake strawberry and especially fake banana. Bubblegum is also terrible.

Anna

I also got the fake banana. Urrrrrgh. It’s still difficult, but I managed to down quite a few banana split ice cream daiquiris (I did it for science) when I was in NOLA in March – so I think I’m improving.

When they wanted to make me try the strawberry-flavoured one, my mom said, ‘No. This child will henceforth swallow huge pills.’ and so I did that instead. Much better.

MissLena

For me it’s bubblegum – we had this horrible fluoride rinse in my elementary school days called Swish that was bubblegum flavored and absolutely terrible. Ughh shudders

OMGsrsly

I still have to use the bubblegum flavoured fluoride. It’s still gross. I actually just recently really got into strawberry flavoured things. I used to hate it so much because of medicines!

Cheri

I can’t imagine enjoying a banana split daiquiri unless it had real banana in it…and even then, maybe not. Ugh. Oh and I forgot about the bubblegum fluoride crud. YUCK!!!

Anna

It was pretty much blended ice cream with alcohol. It was amazing.

Anna

Also that bubblegum thing sounds horrifying, Our fluoride rinse tasted just very… generically rinsy.

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80
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
1407 tasting notes

Oh! It’s creamy orange? I immediately tasted creamy fruit but couldn’t narrow it down further. Now that I’ve cheated and read the description my taste buds are all, yes, yes I can taste orange. Suggestible traitors, aren’t they?

It really seems obviously orange now though. Mmmmm… It’s like drinking a liquid Campino! (those hard candies…. om nom nom). Yes, I’m totally digging this now. I wouldn’t crave it all the time, but it hits the spot for orange if you don’t want to be blasted with cinnamon-orange.

Thank you Sil for passing this sample on to me! (177)

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, I haven’t had campino in years! Those things are lush.

whatshesaid

I’ve got a sample of this to try! My last Nina’s sample. You’re making me want to dig it out….

Courtney

I’ve got this one en route!

Marzipan

I have one on the way too, can’t wait!

keychange

wishlist!

Cavocorax

Dig it out! Then you can add it to your shopping list with everyone else. :P

VariaTEA

This is one of the few Nina’s teas I have not tried due to the orange. You do make it sound pretty delicious though.

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
417 tasting notes

Thanks to sami kelsh’s urging, as well as Garret’s encouragement, I tried this tea a different way this morning. The keychange way! that’s right—that means there was milk and sugar. And I found that to make a pretty big difference for me. It tasted sweeter and creamier, and I could pick up on distant floral notes that without additions seemed to be missing. And I love floral notes, so this made me very happy indeed.

Sipdown! thanks, Stephanie, for giving some of this to me to try. I may eventually be persuaded to visit this tea again.

And thanks, Garret, for such a thoughtful response to my original tasting note.

Sami Kelsh

Yay! I’m glad the milk and sugar improved this one for you. It really does make a difference!

keychange

Oh yeah, it can really revolutionize a tea for me.

Garret

Smiling right now!

Cheri

Yay! I’m glad you found a way to make it a good tea for you. There are reasons we add things like salt to food: it’s brings out flavors. The same with adding milk and sweetener to your tea. It’s all good as long as it tastes good to you.

keychange

That’s exactly it. You don’t hear people saying that they want their burger without any toppings because that would spoil the point of the burger.

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84

Chocolate, hazelnut, coffee!!!!
Oh, and I guess tea?

It’s a magic happy makeup potion!
(I wouldn’t need it if I had actually gone to sleep at midnight but I stayed up another hour reading this great fic and then couldn’t get my brain to shut up after because I wanted more but couldn’t keep my eyes open… Kindles with built-in reading lights will be my downfall!)

Dustin

I have such a hard time with brain shut off at bedtime too! A lot of the times it is spinning about jewelry designs/plans or what tea I’m going to drink in the morning.

oddree

How much do I love my Kindle paperwhite? Lots and lots. And lots.

Cavocorax

Dustin – YES! I know that feeling when you are so inspired/excited to get going on something. Lame as it sounds, I felt the same way about designing our company’s website. :P

Oddree-Which version do you have? I have the original paperwhite, but I cracked it 2 months ago and I’m looking to replace it in the summer. Not sure if there’s a real difference between version 1 and 2, or if I should wait until September to see if they announce a Paperwhite 3… It sucks I broke mine after less than a year though, but it’s manageable… for now. Even though the cracks in the light are so obvious at night. /0\

OMGsrsly

I wish wish wish I had gone with a backlit Kobo, seeing as the Sony store just merged with Kobo. :/ I still read more on my phone because I don’t need to have a room light on.

Cavocorax

What do you think of Kobo? I’ve found them to be very competitive with ebook prices compared to Amazon. That sucks you regret not having the light though. :|

OMGsrsly

I haven’t really looked. I don’t like the infinite scrolling thing they have going on, so I’ve pretty much ignored everything. I do have a $10 credit I should use, but I’m not sure what to get. It’s hard to justify $15 on an ebook when I can get the paperback for less (used book store…).

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79
drank Jardin Sauvage by Lupicia
598 tasting notes

This was a bagged offering I grabbed from a tea box a while back, and while I was working on dinner yesterday, figured I’d brew it up.

The dry bag smells nothing like what I was expecting! It smells like lemon cream and is heavenly! I could seriously keep this bag and just like give it a good sniff once in a while. But that’s kind of weird, so I’ll hold off.

The flavor is a sweet creamy lemon, with a touch of mango. It’s very gentle, and just slightly tropical. The rooibos is pretty much a non existent flavor, so this is a delicious caffeine-free/rooibos option for me!

It’s also fantastic iced. Very fresh and refreshing. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

yes, I love this one iced!

music27note

Sounds delicious!

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I must say that I’m feeling a lot better this morning. I felt a lot better yesterday afternoon, actually. I obviously can’t get into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the entire world seems like such a different place when you are disabled and actually have the tools to do your work accessibly. i was in a right panic yesterday morning, and was on the verge of a most unsightly meltdown (those are necessary sometimes, actually), but managed to resolve the situation without feeling like running away to some sort of Victorian novel fantasy island. But when isn’t that in the works? haha.

I’d read such amazing reviews on this tea, and charlotte0 was so thoughtful to include it in the package she sent me. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant, simply because I think I largely fall into the “if i want to be drinking chocolate, I’ll have hot chocolate with all the fixings!” category. But I also know that MF knows what they’re doing, so I took a chance. Brewed it up for about four minutes, threw in some milk and sugar, and set to work enjoying it. And my my, this is a most delicious cup of tea. The chocolate blends so perfectly with the base. By that I mean that you know how with some teas, you’re like “oh hello flavour. Oh, hello there, base!”? but with this, I knew I was drinking a chocolate flavoured tea, but the base was just there, all unobtrusive and coy, and not being like “ooooh! guess what base I am! guess guess! where am I from? what do I do? who do I know??!! come on! heelloooooo!!”. And the chocolate tasted as though it was of the highest quality and I felt quite spoiled indeed.

Thank you, charlotte 0. This is going straight on my shopping list for my eventual mf haul!

Stephanie

Glad you are feeling better! And this tea sounds great :D

keychange

Thanks! yes, it feels as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And this tea is all shades of fantastic!

Rosehips

A victorian novel fantasy island sounds like my sort of place. Glad things are going better.

keychange

We should all go there! and thanks. I feel loads better.

OMGsrsly

Ooo… Victorian novel fantasy island. Sounds lovely today. :) Glad things are going better for you!

keychange

Yes to the island! and thank you. Thanks so much!

Christina

I totally get what you mean when you’re not sure what the base tea is, and trying to figure it out. Glad that this tea was smooth and comforting!

Cheri

I’m so glad to hear that you finally got things fixed at work so you can work. :) and this tea sounds heavenly.

keychange

This tea is ideal!

pyarkaaloo

sounds amazing!! what a tea.. how about a tea island?

keychange

The tea is amazing! and a tea island would be even better. No problems allowed. Not even under the guise of “learning” or “personal growth” or “maturing”. Just. No. Problems.

Sami Kelsh

Tea island sounds magical. I want to go to there too.

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90
drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
4043 tasting notes

oh bother. It’s official. these are finally finished up, out of my cupboard, possibly never to be seen again. sad. but happy. but sad. Seriously though. Favourite pearls ever. there’s just something deliciously wonderful about how malty and rich and yummy they are. If garett ever finds some again, they will be insta-buy. even if they won’t be exactly the same.

edit: also drinking this so early in the morning means i can resteep it aaaallll day! oh happy day!

Sami Kelsh

Feelings! These sound so good! I am vicariously feeling your pain.

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