60 Tasting Notes


Wasn’t able to write anything down at work, but ended up with over 20 steepings. Though this tea didn’t start out too complex with western style, nor did it gain complexity, it maintained all that it started with through the 20plus steepings which was very impressive. I will take Autumn’s advice with the remainder of the sample and try my first gongfu brew.
Autumn Hearth sent this to me amongst several wonderful selection that I am most greatful for.
The drink is so smooth and crisp. It actually has a lighter body than I expected, but that could be explained in that the leaves of dense cakes are harder to judge amounts with. That said, I may have added too much water. Whether improper brewing or mistaken expectation this is still a good tea.
Mostly what I get from this is a sweetness. Now I’m not just gonna leave it at that…it’s a…well…kind of a…
OK it has that camphor sort of tingley sweet, as well as an ever so slight honey addition. So a honey flavored lip balm I guess is what I’m saying. Somehow that didn’t come out as eloquently as I had imagined.
I’m really bogged down at this point. There’s an earthiness, though not as apparent as other pu’s I’ve had. On the flip side of that coin though, it lacks much of the bitterness that may help to make up any smokey, malty, or thick wood notes. There is a cedar note, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not overpowering nor is it very bitter.
I read another note or two that said that they had luck steeping it again the next morning so I will try this as well.
To me this is a good tea, though not great. Maybe I need to try brewing again, I was surprised to see three minutes for the brewing time rather than the thirty to forty five seconds I have steeped all other pu’s for.
Maybe my expectations were thrust up after reading David Ducklers beautiful telling of the story behind this tea. That, actually is probably part of it, though I fault Mr Duckler none for this. I surely invite the telling of the tale behind the tea, I should just avoid being caught away by it.
I thank David for making this tea available, and I thank Autumn Hearth even more for putting it into my hands.
tunes-I picked up some CDs from the library and the Orthodox Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu’s Live @ Stubbs was one of them. I’m enjoying it, especially seeing video footage of a man in complete Hasidic attire beatboxing! Wild to say the least.

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very cool


if you’re refering to Matisyahu I agree. I thought it was a publicity thing at first, and it may be, but I wanted to see for myself. Americanized reggae similar to Sublime. It’s just neat to see something less than mainstream.


I love Matisyahu’s first two albums, Youth and Light. Didn’t care for his newest, a bit too hip hop for me. Definitely give Youth a listen if you haven’t before!


I saw Matisyahu with 311 several years back – AMAZING!

Autumn Hearth

Ohh i should have included my own personal instructions. I think Verdant has two sets of instructions gongfu and western and i almost always go with the gongfu. I start between 3-5 sec steeps with small amounts of water and can get a dozen infusions out of this one working up to 30sec steeps. If you can please do try again, the strong elderberry notes didn’t come out for me till around like the 6th infusion :)

Londo Mollari

Matis is amazing, and I think Live at Stubbs was his best work so far. Thank you for reminding me I’m home relaxing, so there should be music playing!

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Azz this sample is being drank with great appreciation towards you. I’m also glad that I did not make the mistake to totally dismiss this tea, for I had made a small amount of a Spring Tieguanyin and found it to be bitter, problem is it was earlier on and I very well may have messed it up. I don’t think I messed it up this time…
A jolly little drink to be sure. Flavors jumped out at me too fast to pen with the first few sips, so I will try to get what I can out of it.
I followed the well written and informative directions to a TEA (yukyuk). At first I noticed a creamy/buttery mouthfeel that was saturated with a floral sweetness. We had honeysuckle growing thickly on a fence so I feel informed enough to agree with the description as to this part. I tasted the orchid note as well.
As the drink cooled the green flavors started to surface, though with such a faint astringency that I, AWM (see comments on Bananas Foster), was able to overlook it. The grassiness was not super strong either.
I’m on the third steep now and surprised at how strong this is still going. It’s changed without deminishing. There’s some kind of mouthfeel that reminds me of chicken noodle soup, though clean and not oily at all. I guess it’s the overall presence being bold, yet light, that impressions me with soup broth/stock.
The quality of this tea is obvious. I would definitely suggest this to others.

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I think you should program a shortcut into your computer so that when you type AWM it types out “Astringency Weenie Man.” I know you can do this because youngest programmed our desktop to change her sister’s name to “Booger.” Sigh. Discovered this on the first day of our homeschool year last year when I was trying to type schedules and I didn’t know how to undo it.


Oh man, Ashmanra, your little guy sounds hilarious! Kids are getting so technologically advanced with their pranks. :D

Invader Zim

Ashmanra I love your kids sense of humor! That’s just too funny!


Hey, Zim! I didn’t know your username was a from a cartoon until I just about gave everyone a stroke when they were going through Netflix. I screamed, “WAIT! GO BACK! That’s my friend in Steepster!” So we watched an episode. Heehee!

Invader Zim

Lol, yes it is! It’s a nickname someone, who liked the show, gave me because of my last name. It is a pretty good cartoon show too, although I do prefer Gir. :)


Mmmmm, this is such an amazing tea. It’s a shame I was only able to purchase an ounce. I may have to go steep some up right now….

Donna A

I like this one-it was one of the 1st that I ever ordered from Verdant-that and the Autumn from last fall.

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Serious edit!!!
THANK YOU AZZ FOR THIS WONDERFUL SAMPLE. Please forgive that slip. In a rush to get through some notes I spaced the most important part. Then after that I grabbed some teas without researching what I was drinking and made three in a row I had already done notes on. Better luck today.

I’m going to try to do several short notes to catch up on all the samples I’ve recieved from several of you generuos tea lovers out there.

Golden pale color. Smell fantasticly of coconuts. The drink first only hints of coconut, but rather plays with my palate with notes of vanilla and maybe nutmeg. The coconut slowly makes it’s presence known, but he brings a floral friend with him. The creamy smooth mouthfeel is probably the most prominent feature. This stuff is good. I could drink it all day, but I suspect I won’t get too many steepings in that the second has already lost some of the crisper notes. It’s still good, just not as grabbing as the first infusion.
tunes-Dave Mathews&Tim Reynolds=Typical Situation/Ants Marching/Warehouse/Jimi Thing

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Donna A

This one is nice iced by itself, or mixed with a good black tea.


This sounds amazing! I’m going to have to get my hands on some :)


Oy vay! A $20 order would cost me $30 in shipping!! What the heck?!? Guess I won’t be trying this anytime soon :(


I miss this tea so much! Your note is yet another reason why I should stop putting off ordering more. At least I still have my old tin of four months ago which still “smells fantasticly of coconuts”. :/


Awee Im sorry I missed this! I was just going to note my sipdown of this tea – I am so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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drank Fujian Rain by Adagio Teas
60 tasting notes

THANK YOU AUTUMN HEARTH FOR MAKING MY DAY! After opening the package I recieved today I wasted no time getting this one into my press. I will skip all of the formalities and jump to what I tasted. Wow is this tea complex and sweet and lovely. It was just busy with pleasantries. I’m actually backlogging so will do this justice in a tasting note later.
In no paticular order, because I’m going off of a memory that is always suspect, I found roasted, honey, the slight mineral tang so applauded, fruity, faint nuttiness, clean and light-yet pronounced and vibrant.
I’ve seemed to be in a slump as of late; less time to write notes than I desire, coupled with knowing that a few of the ones that I did write weren’t particularly my favs, left me feeling detached from the joy of exploration. Boy is that resolved!
I say it again, I love this tea. Sorry I have so little to expound upon, I just wanted to get this out for now. I look forward to giving a formal note the next time I treat myself to this drink. I foresee a bag in the cupboard.
tunes,a mishmash=Big Head Todd&the Monsters/Bittersweet,The Heavy/Sixteen,Rusted Root/Cruel Sun,The Temptation/Papa Was A Rolling Stone,Taj Mahal/John The Revelator,Kimbra/Plain Gold Ring,John Butler Trio/What You Want

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I have been waiting with great anticipation for my Teavivre samples to arrive. Though they actually did several days ago, with my recent accident I’m still less than mobile and my poor wife must do the running for two; on top of her very demanding schedule. And how do I repay my wife for her sacrifice…I stay up and drink the first sample without her. Hey, hey,… before you start hating on the Davyboy, Angel sent more than one of this selection that she actually suggested to me in my first week here on Steepster. Not only is the sample pack more than I expected, but when she first returned my PM (many of you know I offer a standerd hello with all follow/return follows) she openly offered to let me try her tea. Me being new she made several suggestions to present me some variety, yet still within what I described as my preferences, and then even sent a PM to inform me that she saw by tracking the package that it had arrived and was ready for pick-up. How splendidly thorough is that!

The sample didn’t give me a strong indication of the dry leaf smell, though I won’t hold it against it. After getting the liquor to a bright yellow with a tinge of red I was better able to secure a sniff of the leaf; it’s floral, almost fruity. This same floral note is one of the first things I noticed at first sip. Floral and light with an initial buttery mouthfeel that regretfully subsided half way through the cup. There’s an ever so slight vegetive note with just enough presence to give it a juicy feel as well, yet not too green or grassy. The combination of the light airiness of the drink and the delicate sweet notes that hint at floral and fruity, yet without wholehearted commitment, culminate into a refreshing easy drinker.

I look forward to my next meeting with this tea to see if I can learn anything more from her the next time around. It’s a pleasing tea that I would suggest to a new oolong drinker without hesitation and yet would share with another more acquainted with oolongs as well. I thank you again Angel and know that you’ve gained a future customer.

tunes-Buddy Guy=Five Long Years/Rememberin’ Stevie(Ray Vaughn)/Feels Like Rain/Every Girl I See/Ain’t That Lovin’ You/Where The Blues Begins(w/Carlos Santana)/I’ve Got Dreams To Remember(w/John Mayer)/Baby Please Don’t Leave(groovy song).

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Nice song list!


I love this one! I give it the full three minutes and don’t get any bitterness or astringency. If you have enough left, you might want to give it a go!


Love your reviews!


Love this tea! Nice review :)

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drank Pot O' Gold by 52teas
60 tasting notes

Well AmazonV sent me this here tea to “rail against” (hey AmazonV,wink wink) and that’s what I’m gonna do. I just rolled my sleeves up so I can do some good ole’fashioned railing.

…OK she didn’t ACTUALLY direct me to rail against this tea, but rather, after reading my bio saw that I wasn’t prone to drinking flavored teas/blends and so offered me several of them for the opportunity to rail against IF I did in fact dislike one of the selections sent. I should add that I’m probably subconsciously working myself up to saying something less than positive about a tea, not to mention one gifted to me. That aside, on to railing…

Turns out I’m still not there. Though my expectations were not met, there’s still no harsh words to be exhibited for this tea. Lemme start by saying that upon opening the package I was met by a delightful smell…Cracker Jacksish; a mix of caramel,toffee, and molasses. there’s a whiff of something toasty, yet not peanuts or popcorn (I don’t believe anyway).

My mouth was watering during infusion and I was awaiting a strong malty black tea with a rich syrupy sweetness to offset it. I was dissappointed.
Instead, what I found was a faint malt flavor with just enough of the caramel sweetness to keep me from calling it weak. Concerned that I’ve done something wrong I resteeped it cutting the water in half, dropping the temp to just below boiling, and extending the time of infusion. This experiment left me with a gulpable tea that was sweet and had character, thou still didn’t blow me over. I must say,however, that it seems to take the changes well and gained no astringency whatsoever.

I will try this one again sometime, but stronger to be sure. Thanks again AmazonV for a sample large enough to do this with. Please don’t hold it against me that I wasn’t initially grabbed by this tea, OR that I didn’t bash on it; depending your outlook. I was born in October if that holds any weight for you.

tunes-John Lee Hooker=Dark Room/Dimples/Think Twice Before You Go/House Rent Blues/Backstabbers/I’m Bad Like Jesse James.
Sidenote; I love the scene in The Blues Brothers where JLH performs Boom Boom Boom on the street and as it ends JLH mentions that he “wrote this song in the ’fifties”, to which a crowd member argues that he in fact wrote the song and the argument ensues. Good times.

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I’m always disappointed when we go to a local Memphis-style barbecue place and I don’t hear Boom Boom Boom on their playlist before we go. :)


That’s funny, Boom Boom Boom is the road trip song to the BBQ joint.


My youngest played Shake Your Tail Feather incessantly when she was about two. She likes that soundtrack!

Terri HarpLady

Another nice song list,


Ray is (was) the man, even a two year old can identify that!

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drank Tippy Yunnan by Harney & Sons
60 tasting notes

Thank you JacquelineM for a kind and generous sample. This week has stunk and my great reward comes now late into the first half of my weekend, I can write some tasting notes! Admittedly, I did gain some enjoyment by skunking the family at Scrabble, though(a poor winner to be sure… hope this doesn’t come off as braggy).

Really don’t have much to say about Yunnans, this may even be my first. This tea surprised me with how dark it is. I thought for sure that I oversteeped it and poured just a nip out of my press at about three minutes…it was kinda weak. With that discovery I then proceeded to let it go to the end of the five minutes I intended to infuse, next sip was better.

The dry leaf had an earthy smell that was still present once steeped. The first drink struck me as both malty and kinda strong. There’s smokey notes coupled with a dry astringency that even becomes bitter at the back of the sip, though not altogether displeasurable (this from AWM=see previous comment from Ashmanra/Banana’s Foster).

I am so surprised that this tea incorporates three things I generally dislike (bordering dispise) and yet I’m still drinking it. There’s a certain balance in them that I can’t explain. I’m not saying that this tea has changed my opinion of astingency, I’m just saying it’s palatable. There’s even a lingering sweet note that is somewhat elusive as well.

All these things come together to make for a decent, bold cuppa. Sorry if I made no grand discoveries, I just didn’t find any. For another experienced drinker you may be head over heals for this tea and find it complex and all you’re looking for. It may even unlock the mysteries surrounding the meaning of life…

tunes-THE Bob Dylan(whose titles are often so looong)=Ballad Of Hollis Brown/Corrina Corrina/Jack-A-Roe/Wicked Messenger/Girl From The North Country/The Boxer/House Of The Rising Sun/In My Time Of Dyin’/& for some comic relief…Talkin John Birch Paranoid Blues.
I think I will have to do a list entirely of Dylan tunes made popular through covers after seeing several here.

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Woa, our tastes are definitely different. I love Yunnan. What are your favorites?

Cover – Ballad of Hollis Brown, Nazareth.


Sweet pu’erhs and nutty oolongs are tops. That cover escaped me(prob not only one).Gotta look it up now.Jack-A-roe/GratefulDead,Boxer/Simon&Garfunkel,Risin’Sun/Animals,Wicked Messenger/Black Keys


We agree on pu’erh and oolongs. Actually there is little I don’t like. Not a big fan of Assam type teas but then I haven’t tried any since starting to use loose leaf. Maybe I could be won over.

Rising Sun is an old blues traditional. No one knows who first penned it. Same with In My Time of Dyin’. First I heard of it being recorded was Blind Willie Johnson but he didn’t write it. Zeppelin wins hands down as my favorite version.

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drank Jin Jun Mei by KIMICHA
60 tasting notes

I must thank Azz for this award winnig sample. It’s actually a little confusing though. I don’t know much about the varieties of black tea, nor the differences from keemun, assam, darjeeling, etc. That said, I am confused about the flavor I’m getting from this tea.

The dry leaf smells fruity, yet the drink itself has a stronger malty aroma. the first sip is where the confusion began. Though there is a malty note, it is not overly so. A faint smokey note is present, but stronger is the fruity sweetness that makes itself apparent as the sip is swallowed. I am really surprised at how smooth and light this cup is. Though it is not bold, make no mistake, it still has much to say. I think I made this cup a little strong yet there is only the tiniest bit of astringency. I, ‘THE ASTRINGENCY WEENIE’ that does not normally make his cup strong has spoken; this tea a smooth drinker! I love it, which is good since Kimicha notes that this black can be steeped SEVEN times!

Also note that this is my first cup after sleeping (the third shift switching back to first shift for the weekend kind of sleep that leaves you feeling weird) and yet I welcome it with open arms…I guess that would be mouth eh.

A little more on Azz and my thankfulness to her; she is a peach! I’m sure many of you know that but I still feel the need to exclaim it. You see she painstakingly, atleast I believe it was painstaking- I wasn’t there and she may have just tossed a bunch of leftover samples in a box, though I doubt it, she painstakingly went through her stash and hand selected such a variety as to completely overwhelm a ‘newer to tea’ drinker. Many of the samples were from a depleted bag, but she made sure to give me a taste so I’m very thankful Azz.

tunes-Black Keys(again today)=I’m Not The One/The Go Getter/Sinister Kid/Next Girl/She’s Long Gone…same as earlier I’m just gonna play the whole Brothers album. Black keys rock and if you don’t know it you NEED to. Ask anyone that likes them- they love them and don’t downplay how good they are. Nobody has said to me “they’re OK”, but rather “they rock!”.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Awee thanks! That is so sweet!
I try to sort of look at what someone has, what they have on their wish list, and try to get a few in each box that I think will give a new experience, something close to what they may have on their wish list, etc. Its not an exact science and sometimes I get sidetracked when studying things (by work) so end up finishing it from instinct. I am glad that you have been enjoying your selections! :)


I mean your samples – my selections haha


Black Keys DO rock! I love their style – creating music that isn’t cookie-cutter with perfect edits. It’s just as engaging listening to recordings as it is to see them live! Although I wish with all my heart they would come to Halifax so I could rock out at a concert- that would be amazing!


I love the various styles they display; some serious old blues, 70’s funky ballads, and the attitude is just cool.

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Lemme start by giving a great big ‘thank you’ to JacquelineM for a VERY generous sample (I mean, she must of bought a truck full and got sick of it “generous”). I really will resist the desire to rave on and on about the share package I recieved from her and will get on with the note.

I had a high expectation after reading several of the near forty posts on this tea. It seems, generally speaking, we like it- actually more than the creator who gave it a 75.

Being this sample resembled a purchase rather than an act of kindness (I’m just dying to reveal how much there is, but I’m sure that would be uncouth-not that I’m overly couthy) I elected to make a pressful= 8 cups. We normally reserve full pots of anything for the Asian grocery oolongs due to the cost effectiveness. I haven’t broken down the pennies to cup ratio as I’ve seen a few do, but it’s cheap. What the heck, I’m living it up this morning.

Where was I, oh yeah the tea. The tin, when opened, (another bonus, it came in a tin! I’m getting so big time with tins and everything! Thanks again Jacqueline) smacked me upside the head with the smell of a barn! Yep, a barn. It smells like dry hay that’s also very malty. Immediately when the water hit the tea my very ampley proportioned nose was filled with a leather like maltiness that made me think “this is going to be a strong cup”. Again when bringing the cup to my lips the malt smell was so apparent, yet when I took the first sip I was greeted by an amazing mix of flavors/impressions. There is a baseline of subtle malt that shares the stage with some smokiness and a faint creamy sweetness that actually stays with you as an aftertaste. Gentle yet bold.

The dry hay is there too, and thankfully it’s not a wet/green hay or this would not be the same tasting note at all. There’s almost a pu’erh thing going on in the backside if the sip (who am I kidding, it’s more a gulp). I can see where most other posts leaned toward a green/grassy descrition as one of the characteristics, though I have to stick with the dry hay choice. For me, it lacks the bitter,sometimes astringent, note I seem to get out of greener tasting teas.

I went ahead and steeped this a second time with fair results. It definitely lacked the complexity and the smokiness that it started with, yet was still considerable as an easy drinking tea. In other words, this second steep was better than some first steeps I’ve came across, and by no means was comparable to the initial infuze.

I’m so thankful that several- Jacqueline,Azz,and LiberTEAS have been so kind as to help me experience many other facets and types of tea that would have taken me months, if not years, to visit. AmazonV, MissMylin, and Autumn Hearth have all pledged to send samples my way as well (unless I already recieved AmazonV’s, which is still to be determined). What a wonderfull community to belong to (sniff sniff) and I appreciate it very much, so many kind and helpful people. OK enough with the sentimental mooshy junk, I gotta get another sample going-this will take weeks to get through.

tunes-the Black Keys=Little Black Submarines/Run Right Back/Sister…turns out the whole El Camino album. It’s all great, as nearly everything they put out is. I have a hard time naming who has more talent between them and Mumford&Sons, yet Black Keys have 7 albums whereas Mumford are just releasing their second.

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I can not hear the song “Good Life” by One Republic without salivating for this tea. A couple of years ago, not long before I was diagnosed with cancer, I got in the habit of making a JoeMo full of QC and walking the track at the gym where my youngest daughter was taking swim lessons…every week day. The two became firmly associated! Then I drank to pull myself up by my bootstraps during radiation. I have a lot of respect for the Queen, and I hope she will always be on my shelf.

I am glad you met Jacqueline!! My girls were talking about tea the other day and I told them Jacqueline is the Queen of Steepster! :)


Wow that’s great! I’m not familiar with the tune, but soon will be. Hadn’t heard about your diagnosis yet, but it explains a portion of the spirituality you exhibit. Hope to hear more of your story as time goes on. Also, didn’t realize that I had brushed shoulders with royalty, Queen Jacqueline it is!


Oh, no worries! Other than the fact that I have to get poked and prodded a lot, my treatments are over and I have the all clear! But my girls can look at me some mornings and know whether to make a pot of QC or EB!


I like the Black Keys :)


You are so sweet!


I’m blushing!

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Ommitted the lead up paragraph so on to the tea, if not abruptly.

The dry leaf has a smokey earthy smell with a malty overtone. Wet the leaves gain a sweetness to accompany the malt notes. The drink is not as dark or malty as I expected. There’s a slight compexity. There’s a touch of smoke that is very well proportioned to the vanilla sweetness I detect. A creamy mouthfeel is starting to reveal itself, though not too strong as of yet. There even seems to be a nuttiness offsetting the tinge of sour bitterness laced through the drink. That bitterness leans toward a chocolate-coffee at the back of the sip. Aftertaste is pleasant leaving my mouth with a clean sweetness, as well as some lingering malty notes.

I tried a second steep against the recommendations of AmazonV’s post (I was sure this came from you but address doesn’t match up-unless you really MOVED) and I should have listened. Though this tea is misnamed (strong black) I still found it very enjoyable and I thank whoever sent it to me.

tunes-the Avett Brothers= Pretend Love/Colorshow/The Ballad Of Love And Hate/Sanguine/SSS/Complainte D’vn Matelot Mourant/Signs

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I like the name of this tea.

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Dave here.
I’m trying to get back into the swing of things as far as writing reviews. my tastes have changed greatly from when I was last on here, Now I typically drink sheng puerhs daily, though I’m really looking forward to getting enough good blacks to equally divide my time between the two. I occasionally drink white, yellow, & greens but still stay away from blends & non-camellia sinensis. I’m no authority & always welcome suggestions.

I’m a wimp when it comes to astringency so take anything I say about this characteristic with a grain of salt(ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN, or AWM for short).

Other ramblings;
About tunes; I, like many, love them. I like adding them to my notes, but I feel like if someone were, let’s say knitting or painting or reading a book, that it would help the readers to get a better feel for how the writer may be impressioned about his environment toward his tea experience.

I wish I would have paid more attention to the grammer teachers so many years ago and not doodling band insignias. I should revisit the proper use of commas for starters, which I love.
I also love, and probably over use, parenthesis (the use of them may be a second personality coming to surface).


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