Random Steepings

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Honey, Malt, Sweet, Yams, Earth, Rose, Butter, Caramel, Pastries, Salt, Flowers, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Wood, Coffee, Cream, Vanilla, Chocolate, Spicy, Stonefruits, Hazelnut, Smoke, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Plants, Asparagus, Mineral, Potato, Orange Zest, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate
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Edit tea info Last updated by madametj
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195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 16 oz / 461 ml

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462 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Yes, I drank tea today. Yes, I am lazy, but I was also busy all day, so in an effort to not post lame reviews about teas I drank hours ago, & have reviewed plenty of times, I am once again going...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2918 tasting notes
  • “pssst....i had a bit of tea today. but it was family time with extended family in town for a day and my parents up for the weekend. more to come tomorrow afternoon once everyone is gone. Miss you...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 4889 tasting notes
  • “So Ceylon Star asked what kind of tea to mix up on facebook, and I immediately went into the kitchen and threw this desserty concoction together: 1/2 tsp Bossa Nova (oolong) from Zen Tea 1/2 tsp...” Read full tasting note
    OMGsrsly 1433 tasting notes
  • “Since I'm in the neighborhood, I stopped by press tea and had the Wild Himalayan Black Tea. Last time I had it with cream and I felt I couldn't properly gauge how the pressed tea compared to a...” Read full tasting note
    fuzzy_peachkin 464 tasting notes

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462 Tasting Notes

106 tasting notes

One part Laoshan Black first picking + one part Lily Chai Tea Snow Flake = magic. The chocolate, almond and coconut all come through evenly in this one. I picked these two teas to blend not only because of the flavors, but because both are black teas that brew up to a relatively light color and low astringency. The result is a cup with rich aroma and taste, without a heavy mouthfeel.

By the way, I’ve narrowed down the possible contents of my mystery can of green tea to two choices: Longjing or Laoshan green tea (very different from the type acquired through Verdant). I don’t have enough experience with Longjing to definitively say it’s one or the other yet. Pictures of both kinds of tea that come in this packaging look rather similar to what I have.

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270 tasting notes

Chocolate Energy Tea
Tea Man

Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate extract

Still working on polishing this off at work. The more I drink it the more I enjoy it though. I think I need to make sure I keep a chocolate tea at work. It’s soothing.

I did find the French press in the top back of the pantry, and pulled it down, intending to bring it to work today… set it on the kitchen island and promptly forgot all about it until I went to make tea at work this morning. Whoops.


I love using the French press for tea, it’s so easy and the leaves can breathe!


I will probably give it a washup and a trial run tomorrow as I work from home then, so it will be easier to judge how I like using it from there.

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171 tasting notes

First, I love how the tasting note of this one say Flowers, Stonefruits, Honey, Lemon Zest, Plants, Asparagus, Mineral, Potato, Orange Zest… Yet I get none of that in my blend :)

Spring is finally here and I’m enjoying with that the possibilities of new iced tea flavors. Late this week I went to an old favorite though… the iced tea I grew up on and have always loved in the summertime. My mom used to make this and it would disappear so fast we wondered where it could have gone.

I have a 3 qt iced tea maker I picked up at a garage sale a few years ago. I didn’t know how much I would use one, so a cheapy worked for me. I use 7-8 teabags, usually orange pekoe I believe although the box I have right now just says black tea, and decaf because I tend to drink this all day and wonder why can’t sleep if I use regular. I’m not terribly picky about the brand because the base isn’t the star of the show.. although I may change my mind now that I’ve been introduced to better tea choices. Then I add a generous handful of spearmint sprigs, rinsed and then squeezed to release oils, to the steeping basket as well. 3/4 of a cup of sugar to the pitcher w/some ice and we’re good to go. I sometimes add a pinch of baking soda if I remember because it’s said to help the flavor, but I often forget.. I haven’t noticed much difference myself. After it’s done steeping, I fill the pitcher the rest of the way with water and let it chill in the fridge, if it even makes it there.

I’ve been carrying this around in my Tervis the last half of this week… Yeah for running into a factory outlet while on a road trip :). and Yeah for the memories this tea brings of mom making it in time for when dad would come in from working in the fields.

I’m looking forward to introducing more flavors and varieties to our summer tea choices but know this will always be a staple .. especially when friends & family are over, they always love it. Thinking I will hunt down some peppermint and chocolate mint plants for my garden this year so I can experiment with those as well… maybe even some verbena ?

carol who

I love my Tervis tumblers. There is a factory outlet near where my mother lives in Florida. I can never resist checking them out! I always seem to come home with another tumbler I just can’t resist.


Each person in my family has one and we’ve enjoyed them so far. Nice and convenient with the lids and insulated walls.

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1707 tasting notes

I’ll borrow this heading for a lovely cuppa I enjoyed last evening: despite my bumbling and splotchy skill as a gardener, our potted mint plants are doing beautifully. Last night I had my first steeping from the applemint plant. Ten fresh leaves, crushed, a good eight minutes in the cup. The mint was gentle, not sharp. Don’t know that I was specifically getting apple, but there was some soft fruitiness in the background. Quite pleasant.


Ooh, that sounds lovely. I had some tea a few nights ago that was just black bagged tea with fresh mint, and the mint made it taste wonderful. What exactly is applemint, though?


I’ve not heard of applemint.. does it smell of fruit? Fresh mint is always great!

Terri HarpLady

My mints are all up & thriving, along with some cilantro that self-seeded. I’m thinking I need to make a vietnamese salad for lunch tomorrow.


Yum.. Fresh garden salsa w/home grown cilantro.. Where is summer ?


K S sent a sample of homegrown chocolate mint (which really had some cocoa taste going in the background) last summer. That prompted a visit to local nursery to discover how many mint varieties there are. We tried three: applemint, orange mint, and chocolate mint. Tried a steep of the orange last night, and it was more true to its name. We also saw a pineapple mint.

Terri HarpLady

I have a few mints here, & although I’m not always a big fan of mint in my tea, I do enjoy them in my salad, & nothing says ‘refreshing’ more than a few sprigs of mint in a glass of cold water!


I would’ve never thought of mint in a salad, but we’ll give it a try—maybe with a little spinach and strawberry vinaigrette…?

Terri HarpLady

I usually feature it in a vietnamese style salad, with shredded asian cabbage, grated carrot, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, green onions, & a dressing of fish sauce )or soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, a little maple, & toasted sesame oil. I think that’s everything! Toasted cashews make a nice addition to the salad. Traditionally it has chicken on it, but you can put anything on it. Goi Ga is the actual salad’s name. I had it at Mai Lee restaurant here in st. louis once, then found a recipe & have been eating it ever since. Although I haven’t had it for awhile.

Terri HarpLady

And here’s a recipe!
I’ve never tried this recipe, but it looks about right.
Also, I don’t really care much for chicken. When I was a vegan I ate this with smoked tofu, or crispy fried tofu triangles, or tempe, or extra nuts. Otherwise, you can put any form of protein on it.


Thanks! Sounds like a “make it once and eat it all week at work” recipe. I’ve been needing to get a small bottle of fish sauce—it keeps cropping up in things I want to try.

Terri HarpLady

I adore fish sauce, LOL. I recommend red boat brand, but if you can’t get red boat, Thai kitchen is pretty good too.
Regarding the salad, I’ve been known to make a very big pile of it, along with a large batch of the dressing in a jar, & just grab a handful for lunch (and maybe again for dinner), using different toppings as fits my mood. I pretty much lived off that salad during the last 3 months of my son Leif’s pregnancy (and he still weighed over 10#).

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260 tasting notes

I had an excellent tea-receiving day and a terrible tea-drinking day. I got a most excellent package from Virginia and my mom sent me this book:
She sent it just because (what we refer to in my family as a “happy”), but it got stuck in loading dock jail at the university :(
I had a super busy day with like 3 experiments happening simultaneously, so I got in one darjeeling before work and then nothing else the whole day. I didn’t get home til after 8pm, so too late for caffeinated teas. Boo.
I finally decided that my mint had grown enough to harvest and try a cup of tea. It’s in my front window and I have to lean over a chair to water it, plus it’s been growing like a weed- so I haven’t been inspecting it at all closely. When I did look closely as I started harvesting, IT WAS COMPLETELY COVERED IN APHIDS. PANIC!!!! First step, isolation. I have twelve other plants, so I chucked it on the back porch of my apartment building. Sorry, neighbors. (I’m not sorry). When I examined the window where it was, the wood was also covered in freaking aphids and I doused it with furniture polish. Sorry, aphids. My neem oil is at work, so I plan to start treating with neem oil tomorrow. Experienced gardeners, do you have any other tips? I’m super nervous for my other plants now and I feel like there are bugs crawling all over my scalp. Gross.


Oh no – that sucks! My usual cure for aphids is lady bugs but that probably won’t work inside your house. I would spray everything down with some insecticidal soap (it is an approved organic method) and then besure you rinse anything you will eat really really well. :(


My freaking rose bush is getting eaten too. Some sort of white fuzzy bug. I am not a gardener so I don’t even know what bug this is. I shall have to google. But we sprayed with insecticidal something and it was free of one bug and now it’s another. I’m kinda giving up on it. Gardening is HARD!


I’m surprised aphids went after mint. Mint is normally pretty pest-free. I use organic dish soap in a spray bottle of water. I use it for my dishes, so I feel safe using it on my plants. :)

I forget the exact ratio, but it’s not much. A few tbsps in the bottle. Works great and it’s cheap. First I “flick” off as many aphids as I can, outside of course. Then I shake the bottle and give it a good dousing of soapy water spray twice per day.

Mint usually benefits from a good cut-back once in awhile, so I’d probably give it a little “haircut” first in this case, then do the soap. That way you aren’t eating aphid leaves later. I don’t think they’re as highly sought as leafhopper leaves. Good luck!!!


My grandfather was a farmer and at least for the last thirty years of his life (not sure about the start) he used a solution of water and dish soap to keep pests off his plants. Works great, doesn’t harm the plant and doesn’t hurt people and animals either.


Insecticidal soap is pretty much the same thing and I’ve also used the dish soap. And I’m also surprised by aphids on mint – they usually like sweeter things


I was also extremely surprised. Where did they come from?? I got those plants from Amazon and opened the package inside. I certainly didn’t notice any bugs then. Maybe they’re not actually aphids? I did some googling and I couldn’t figure out what else they could be. They look a lot like aphids and don’t look like common mint pests (spider mites, loopers, flea beetles), but I’m certainly no expert. Thanks everyone, I will try the dish soap!
LOL @Sars and the “leafhopper” mint leaves



Let us know how it goes. The one great thing is that mint is damn near impossible to kill and should make a full recovery for you. :)


Could they be mealy? White cottony? Google the image. I use solution of 1/2 water 1/2 alcohol and few drops of neem oil. Water should be warm. Shake well and spray everywhere. Replace the soil. It should be fast draining. Don’t put in sunny location, neem will cook it. Google gardenweb Tapla pest mix solution. He is guru of soil mixes and solutions. You can even email him and he always responds. Good luck

hippiechick 42

Jealous of the book! ;P. I am so sorry about the mint. Hopefully some of the ideas stated will work for you! Let us know.

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603 tasting notes

It was warm out today, so my selections were reflective of that…

Cantaloupe and Cream…Butiki (2 steeps before work; didn’t start til 2:30)
Big Apple…David’s Tea (cold brewed and drunk later at work)
Swampwater…David’s Tea (iced and brought to work)

Wah! I really want Swampwater to come back. I have a little of this left, and I have a little Big Apple left, though I can hopefully get more before it is gone. I have to say I like Big Apple better hot rather than cold steeped, but good both ways. As for Cantaloupe and Cream…as always, it is PERFECT.

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52 tasting notes

It’s been a good tea day so far! I mailed out my tea swap packages to Cavocorax, Roswell Strange, and Carol Who this morning!

I had two great teas, which I will log later (White Rhino by Butiki, and Caramel Almond Amaretti by Teavana)

AND I am going out with a friend tonight for Japanese and the restaurant serves Matcha-based cocktails!!! I am excited!!!

carol who

Great! O boy, oh boy! More tea! A matcha based cocktail sounds interesting… give us a report back on that one. :)


I would also like to hear about matcha-based cocktails! Intriguing!


They had Matcha Lattes, Matcharitas, Matchatinis, and a Matchajito. I tried the Matcharita. It was pretty good. I don’t know that I would get it again, but it was fairly tasty! I looked on Pinterest and there are TONS of recipes for Matcha based cocktails if you are interested. :)

Roswell Strange

Swap box went out to you today; I had time to finish packaging it up this morning so I sent it along with what I was sending to VariaTEA. Hopefully it gets to you soon!

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765 tasting notes

It is raining. That is all.

Ha ha.

OK, I did come here to actually type something distantly related to tea. So I went to a local frozen yogurt place because I got a coupon in the mail for 10% off. They also advertised bubble tea, so I thought I would give it a try.

I ordered a lychee bubble tea. It was ok. Not the greatest. In hindsight, lychee may not have been the best flavour to order at a chain yogurt shop who is trying to get customers through coupons. It was quite perfumey and artificial. The pearls are quite low quality and the texture is weird. But it is still drinkable.

I never quite understood bubble tea. It is not really tea at all. So I did some research, by research I mean I typed it into google then clicked on the Wikipedia page. It appears that bubble tea did originally have tea in it. But it seems through commercialization that it is now some sort of milk product with flavouring added. There are also several kinds of bubble tea. I shouldn’t complain, I did get this at a yogurt shop.

Of other interesting note, there is a little comic on my bubble tea that points out the bubbles are actually the foam on the top of the “milk product liquid” and the tapioca/gelatin balls are the pearls. But on the wiki page it says the pearls are the bubbles, so who knows.

I also got yogurt and I would say my experience with that was very poor, but that is for a different review site.

Terri HarpLady

I had to laugh at this post. Years ago a friend of mine was all enameled with bubble tea. She knew I was a tea fanatic, so when an actual bubble tea shop opened in St Louis, she couldn’t wait to take me there. After putting it off forever, I finally went & I hated it, LOL. I don’t understand why anybody would want to put tapioca pearls in their tea? WTF?? Why???

Terri HarpLady

Enameled = enamored, lol

Terri HarpLady

Her response was something like, “it’s fun!”
Really? I don’t get it :/


I don’t mind bubble tea if it is done correctly. To me it is not really tea but more of like a novelty drink. But sadly in the last few years I feel like it has been a trend that many restaurants/stores are jumping on and they are putting out an inferior product. I think the pearls are neat but it makes me gag when I suck one up threw the straw and it is launched into the back of my throat. Ha ha.


A new bubble tea place opened up near our favorite haunts, and I find I love their smoothies with added pearls, but their milk teas always taste like cleaner fluid and I have a suspicion that the base is some sort of jasmine tea. The first time, I thought they made a mistake, but the second time, I decided I wasn’t going to waste my money on the milk teas anymore. Ick!


I like getting fruity green teas, or teas blended with fresh fruits. The fresh fruits or juices are really key, IMO.

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470 tasting notes


There are just so many teas to try in the travelling box that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. However, I decided to make an iced tea mix recommended by jewelledthumb when she added her teas to the box. So I mixed the following 3 teas together in my iced tea pitcher:

- Wild Strawberry by Adagio
- Citron Green by Adagio
- Lemongrass by Adagio

I let them steep and cool down with 1L of hot water, and am adding ice as necessary when I pour it out.

The liquid is a beautiful shade of pink, and I have to admit that the dried Wild Strawberry mix smelled so scrumptious that I had to seriously restrain myself from taking it all and thus preventing the rest of the people in the round try some. But I prevailed against my id!

This tea is a tad bitter (I probably steeped too long), but I can definitely taste the lemon and the green tea, and the general fruitiness imparted by the strawberry. My husband said he liked it, so that’s definitely a win in my book.


That’s an interesting combination. Sounds tasty.


(Making a mental note of this combo; I think I can concoct a replica with stuff I have on hand :)


If you decide to try it again, I usually brew the lemongrass and the strawberry hot, let it cool a bit, and only use the citron green during the cold brew process so the green tea doesn’t get bitter (in the fridge – usually overnight). I’d be happy to send you some for your own stash if you don’t want to take more from the box. Husbands liking tea is very exciting. Mine refuses to drink any, even ones that practically smell/taste like candy!

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501 tasting notes

I don’t know if I’m using this random steepings entry correctly, but i had a random sample of tea from a tea shop that has since closed, and I have no idea what it was.


She wrote this on the bag: “tie kwan yin – lilac”
Kinda tasted just the verdant tieguanyin I just had, but maybe this was a wee bit more floral. I think I could taste some lilac in there…tasted the way lilacs smell, anyway.

Which is about all I need to do with lilacs… Smell them :)

It was good, just a bit light for my tastes, I prefer a creamier milky oolong to a flowery one. Or a roastier one!
It’s gone, now!

Terri HarpLady

I am the creator of the “Random Steepings” entry page, so as far as I’m concerned, there is no wrong way to use it :)


Oh good to know, thanks :)

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