744 Tasting Notes

do any of you like to read memoirs?
i especially like to read memoirs about depressed or abused or mentally ill girls. is that wrong to admit? well, it’s true. Unbearable Lightness, The Glass Castle, Wasted, Anais Nin’s Unexpurgated Journals, and every single version of Sylvia Plath’s journals that have been released. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but the point is i keep searching for more but i think i’ve read all the really good ones? i’ll keep looking and let you know what i find. i might have to broaden my focus to include men and drug addiction stories.
i do see these books as my equivalent to a trashy romance novel. sensationalized and dramatic and easy to read. but if i’m in a reading funk, one of these books always helps get my reading flow started again. or it works as a balance against the heavy and dense writing of the political non-fiction i’m usually chiseling away at.

this pekoe is boring.

Serenity

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls was incredible! I really enjoy memoirs, too, usually about people who inspire me, as long as the writing is not too self indulgent; good editing can make a world of difference, I think. I would love to recommend one of my favorites: My Path Leads to Tibet by Sabriye Tenberken. Seems as though most people have never heard of her, and she is this amazing, strong visually impaired woman who helped children who are visually impaired in Tibet.
Another inspiring memoir I read not too long ago 90 Days by, oh, gosh I can’t remember the author’s name…it is about being in recovery, and it was one of those can’t put down books.
I hope your next cup of tea is as exciting and compelling as your favorite memoirs!

Serenity

edit: 90 Days by Bill Clegg!

softrevolution

I’m obsessed with the genre too, and have read most of the ones you mentioned, but I still need to get my hands on The Glass Castle. Have you read The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller?

Shmiracles

Serenity, i just sent a sample of 90 Days to my kindle and i bought My Path Leads to Tibet immediately because i trust my fellow tea drinkers greatly and the ebook was only $3.59. thank you thank you!!

Shmiracles

SoftRev, i have read The Quiet Room yes. i liked it, and find myself referencing it in conversations still.
Definitely get your hands on Glass Castle. you won’t regret it. (if you have an ereader i could probably send it to you)

Courtney

How was Unbearable Lightness? I’ve been contemplating picking it up.

Serenity

I think I will re-read Glass Castle, now I’m remembering it…that scene with the mom with the candy bar— I can’t get over it…
So hoping you will enjoy My Path, Shmiracles, please let me know!
Looking up The Quiet Room right now…

Shmiracles

Courtney, that was the very first e-book i ever read and i have to admit that when i started to browse it, it was just out of curiosity. i wasn’t planning on actually reading it.
but it is so well written that i immediately read the entire book!! basically if the subject matter doesn’t have any issues for you i highly recommend it. it’s a very well written and truly sincere telling of an experience. (it’s really hard to not sound cliche when describing memoirs sometimes aint it)

Uniquity

I have The Glass Castle at home but haven’t quite got to it yet. I also read that ‘genre’ though I focus more on mental illness and don’t do well with anything involving abuse. Most people think it’s really strange to enjoy reading the experiences of people with mental illness, but c’est la vie. There was one called Involuntary Madness where the woman (journalist?) checked herself into a few different types of institution with the same symptoms to see the different treatments offered that was really interesting. On a very different memoir note, I am reading The Fry Chronicles and it is fantastic, Stephen Fry is a wonderfully fanciful writer.

Courtney

I don’t usually have a lot of time to read anymore with school. It’s all textbook reading but I think I will pick that one up. I love Portia de Rossi and I have no issues with the subject matter I find it interesting as well actually. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Shmiracles

Uniquity, i send myself the sample of ‘Voluntary Madness: Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System’ thanks for the recommendation!

i love all these possibilities you guys are giving me :)

bummer the stephen fry book isn’t an e-book yet, but i’ll keep my eyes peeled. also, how can anyone not love stephen fry!!

Uniquity

Unbearable Lightness was pretty fantastic. She did an amazing job at explaining her ‘logic’ and actually making it seem like it made sense. It felt very honest to me.

softrevolution

I do have an ereader and would love it if you could send me a copy if it’s not too much trouble. I’ll pm you my email address. Thanks!

Funny that you mention Voluntary Madness, I’m reading Self Made Man by the same author right now, where she lives as a man for a year in different settings. Interesting stuff. I like ‘investigative journalism’ type books too, Nickeled and Dimed is another good one.

Uniquity

I didn’t realize I like investigative journalism until you pointed it out – though mostly I have been confined to AJ Jacobs. Will be sure to look up the ones you mentioned!

Serenity

Stephen Fry is wonderful, I agree! I can’t wait to read his newest book. Wow, Voluntary Madness looks very absorbing.

Nxtdoor

Omg. I know I’m late to this party but yay, books!!! Path Leads to Tibet sounds delicious. Thank you, I shall be checking that out. Fist pump for the glass castle!

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i freakin love the smell of this tea dry.
i know a bunch of ppl don’t agree but i think i might really like cardamom in my tea.
but … i’m not sure i really like white teas.
interestingly without thinking, i brought 3 white teas and 1 black with me to work today.
the almond and vanilla and cardamom all come through in this cup. subtle, but they are definitely there.

i listened to the Tea Rage podcast as i rode my bike to work today. He talked about the Tea Cellar in DC which i will now plan to visit soon. he also shared this quote:

“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.”
― James Boswell

Serenity

Cardamom: I love it so much. Sometimes, for me, chai is just a delivery system for cardamom…

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drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
744 tasting notes

bum bum bum …. the last cup of Chocolate Orange until my recently placed order arrives.
for the time being, this tea is in my top 10. easy.
i made a cup for My Boyfriend the Animator too. and previously he declared that he doesn’t like chocolate teas. but tonight he declared that he likes this one.
win!
i went to the gym tonight. i’ve run maybe 2 times over the past 5 weeks. no wonder i’m so depressed. hopefully tonight’s run will be the start of a solid and steady effort for the next 3 months.

softrevolution

I’ve been scared off by the pu erh but it sounds like I should try this one :)

Shmiracles

it’s true i do recommend it! and i love it! and hope you get the chance to taste it at least.

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(i’m forcing myself to drink the 52teas tea that i have left. please tell me if it’s my immature newbie palate that is making me dislike these teas. i’m grumpy today so i’m thinking things like ‘i can’t wait until i drink all of these teas and then don’t buy them again’. i’ve steeped them short, i’ve steeped them non-boiling, i’ve steeped them in small quantities, i’ve steeped them in bigger quantities. i just don’t get it.)

Uniquity

I think some people just don’t dig 52Teas. Maybe just you and me, but at least we agree. There are a couple I really enjoy, but most of the ones I tried (2 dozen or so?) were really finicky and hard to get right. I’ve grown to accept it.

Shmiracles

ya, glad i at least have you to validate me! hah
i guess the perfect brew on these teas is a really small window or something, and though i’ve tried to be strict and i’ve tried multiple approaches, i must just always miss it.
thing is, i know i have a lot to learn from the tea world so i do like to question myself.
sometimes peoples responses is that the tea is best with some milk or sugar, but i have this weird rigid stance that a tea should be good plain first and foremost (then adding cream or whatnot is a variation on a theme! a bonus!). maybe that belief will be my ultimate vulnerability and pitfall.
happy sipping!

Cavocorax

If you really dislike them, maybe consider putting some up for exchange in the swap thread? As others have said, life is too short for bad tea. Maybe you’ll get something you like instead?

Too bad about the 52 teas. I was putting off them bc of their varied inventory. (what if I love it and they never make more???) but I ended up placing my first order yesterday.

I’m with you that tea should taste good on its own. #TeaSnobSolidarityFistbump :)

Shmiracles

#TeaSnobSolidarityFistbump!!!

(i don’t swap tea on the message boards for some really lame reasons. but basically i don’t have a car cuz i’m a mega city life type and it seems that post offices are getting harder and harder to come by these days, so basically i find the whole project of getting a package to the post office during open hours really annoying. i just know that if i did join a swap it would take me FOREVER to get it into the post. but i can give my sister all my teajects instead. i mean, she got me into tea in the first place! and she loves to try them all.)

i hope you love the 52teas as much as many MANY other tea lovers here do!

Em

I totally agree with you about 52teas. I’ve only found a couple that I liked. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking crazy pills when I read different people’s ratings on the teas.

Shmiracles

crazy pills!
gimme some! hah

Uniquity

There are three of us! I definitely don’t mean to hate on 52Teas- I WANT to love them, it just doesn’t quite work out. I actually have that with Red Leaf Matcha too. It’s nice to know that one or two others have similar tastes.

PS – #TeaSnobSolidarityFistbump!!! I WILL occasionally use milk or sugar if I have to, but that’s a bad sign. I also keep drinking bad tea as I can’t stand to toss it and I can’t afford to swap it. Someone once suggested that I shouldn’t rate them if I know I don’t tend to like the company, but my thought is that my opinion is valid even if it’s negative. Especially if I paid for the tea! :D

Uniquity

An afterthought for Cavocorax – I’m pretty confident you’ll like 52Teas – almost all people do. Enjoy it!

Shmiracles

you guys are all super cute :)

Bonnie

I tried to like 52 tea’s but don’t. Something always tastes off to me. Ordered 3 times and always the same.

CrowKettle

I found a few blends from the 52teas 12 days that I enjoyed, or at least found entertaining, although a good portion of them were definitely not my thing. This particular one was OK for a novelty cup but I dread finishing my tiny package of it.

Ditto that tea should taste good on its own. A lot of these needed soy or dairy, and that rubbed me wrong. For my tastes I find I have to steep them gentle and under the amount or else they rip my tongue off- finicky and an acquired taste. Still good to try a few at least once.

Also, Ciel?

Shmiracles

Ciel Phantomhive!

CrowKettle

I approve of the picture change.

Fjellrev

Don’t worry, I agree too. I’ve found a couple that I absolutely love, but most are ultimately meh despite tinkering around with the parameters like mad. But hey, more for the ultimate fans!

Shmiracles

yes more for the ultimate fans :)
i guess i did like the Weeping Angel tea they made. and i really don’t think it was fandom influenced either. it was easy to steep, and kinda reminded me of Buttered Rum by DavidsTea. so maybe i’ll order that one again some day. but like you said Incendiare, a couple you love from the catalog can be good enough.

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brewing two cups of tea at the same time.
3 day work week vs a wednesday that feels like a monday.
everything feels old and stiff and stuck.
looking forward to my gym time.
daydreaming about working at a library or a museum.

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drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
744 tasting notes

my Kusmi order arrived!
the russian tasting set and a large tin of caramel.
(my boyfriend is gonna love the russian ones i just know it)
so here i am drinking tea at 11pm!

today is the last day of my holiday vacation.
whimper.

Courtney

What’s a Russian Tasting set!?

Shmiracles

oh! well… that’s my sloppy short hand is all. it’s described as “ASSORTMENT OF FIVE RUSSIAN BLENDS IN MINI TINS”.

Courtney

Ohh haha I got really excited for a moment – well still excited. I may have to check that out :)

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drank White Christmas by 52teas
744 tasting notes

last day of december.
last sip of this tea.

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It’s actually earth.
They’re all ghosts.
He’s his own brother.
They’re all clones.

Em

I feel like I should know what you’re talking about…

ashmanra

I know that one! :)

Shmiracles

Oh dang do I get loopy at night!!!
The text notifier on my phone is the star trek door bell sound.
The ring tone on my phone is the theme song to ‘The IT Crowd’.
4 seasons of IT crowd are on netflix and you should watch it if you like fun.

we were all sitting around the kitchenroom talking about how some people like to try to figure out twist endings in movies while other people just enjoy the movie undistracted. So I pulled up a scene from season 2 that was all about this behavior. my boyfriend and I reference it regularly during movie talks.

but seriously watch the show from the beginning of the series!!
Goth to Boss!

Em

I love that show!! Totally didn’t connect this to it though. Maybe I need to watch it again.

gmathis

Would love an IT crowd ringtone—that’s great! People at work don’t understand why I’ll ask “Have you tried turning it off and then on again?” and then collapse into a fit of giggles.

Uniquity

Is it IT or I.T.? It’s on my to watch list, I wonder if it’s on Canadian Netflix..

Shmiracles

when you say it outloud you say it The Eye Tee Crowd, but it’s spelled just ‘The IT Crowd’.
it’s all on Netflix here in the states. which makes it fun to recommend cuz a person can have the fun right away!
and not really related at all, but another show i recommend often is ‘Misfits’. if you haven’t heard of it.

Uniquity

I figured it was I.T. There are a tonne of wonderful shows that I wish Netflix Canada would pick up – though then I would probably never stop watching TV. That would be bad, right?

Em

You have to take the good with the bad. At least you have ketchup chips and smarties in Canada if you don’t have the IT Crowd. BTW, spent much of New Years Day watching the IT Crowd thanks to this post :) My facebook status that day: “I have it on good authority that if you type Google into Google, you can break the internet.”

Em

Uniquity, we need to find jobs that allow us to watch TV all day and drink tea :) Ooo and reading too.

Uniquity

@Em – Yes, please! I used to work in an indie bookstore which game me two out of three. Ideally I would be a book reviewer or a book rep – but both of those professions don’t exactly pay well anymore and are quite difficult to get. Perhaps someday!

Em

Look what I found :) http://www.othertees.com/ The IT Crest!!

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drank SoHo Blend by Harney & Sons
744 tasting notes

this tea smells very good.
I had a mega tea tasting with my sister yesterday. I hope to have another one soon.

Since this is almost the last day of the year there is a lot on my To Do list I’d like to get done.
Wish me luck!
Maybe I’ll just throw everything into the garbage and be done.
Do you ever wanna just move to a cabin?
Like leave everything behind and see what it’s like to start from scratch?
I’m not feeling destructive, it’s just what the beginning of a new year will do to my mind.

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one of the christmas teas. i postponed drinking it for a long time because it really doesn’t seem like my thing. i don’t even really like cotton candy in it’s original form. but it was a cute tea. and fun. though it definitely doesn’t fit my winter mood.

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Profile

Bio

THAT’S NUMBERWANG!

i have a cat named House Party 3.

i drink my tea plain.

vegan. fine arts major. bass player. runner. yoga do-er. childfree. scifi fan. e-reader fanatic. knitting newb. ADHD club member (ie; all my exclamation points are for realz!!)

i’m always aspiring to read more books.

i don’t care what you say, chamomile is barfaroony.
i’m so over rooibos.
evil hibiscus is evil.

some tea pictures!
http://instagram.com/shmiracles

Steepster’s Ultimate Fan Fic Thread!
http://steepster.com/discuss/5153

i only log each tea i taste once.

!!! SWAPPING !!!

ALWAYS interested in reducing my tea stash, so please ask if you want to swap or sample something! even if it’s just one tea.

every tea in my cupboard is swapable! (at least i TRY to keep it up to date)
every tea i have tried is listed in my rated teas.

Location

Virginia, USA

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