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242 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey by Tazo
242 tasting notes

I was at a meeting today where they offered this tea at the coffee/tea station. The last time I tried it, there seemed to be some scent/flavor contamination from a Pu’erh (yeah, fishy Earl Grey!) but before I receive some of the full leaf from a swap, I wanted to try a Pu’erh-free teabag to compare.

This was actually close to par with the fishy one, if you can believe that! I didn’t have a way to time my steep or control the temperature of the water, so I just had to guess. It was a short break, so the steep only lasted something like three minutes. I was pretty surprised at its bitterness, and the savage bite of its astringency. The bergamot overwhelmed the black tea base, and the three packets of raw sugar I added didn’t make a dent.

I finished it, but mostly because I was thirsty and didn’t want to interrupt the meeting by getting up. So much for the second try!

3 min, 0 sec

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Wow… that’s shocking. I’m not rating this because I think I messed up the steeping. This tastes like it might have been poured out of a bottle of TrueBlood, and Erik is nowhere to be found! This is tart and bloody. Seriously. I could smell the rose as it steeped but it has vanished into an ocean of hibiscus.

Boiling 6 min, 15 sec
Awkward Soul

Hahaaha, awesome description!


Hibiscus ocean? Haha!


Amazing description!

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drank Dragonfruit Devotion by Teavana
242 tasting notes

Sipdown! I thought I had already finished this, but when I was re-organizing my stash I discovered one more cup’s worth in the tin. This was a favorite for a while, but then I found the better and cheaper version at DAVIDsTEA. Their Pink Passionfruit tastes nearly the same but without the slightly perfumey note in the aftertaste. When and if I decide to replace it, that’s the direction I’ll be headed in.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

I had some of this and you’re right about the perfumey note.


I’ve been looking for a similar tea without the perfumey note. Thanks for sharing! Are there any other differences?


It’s been a little while, but if I remember correctly the actual size of the DAVIDsTEA blend was smaller. The Teavana had bigger fruit chunks which made is necessary to use larger pieces of teaware to infuse it.

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This sample arrived today from Teavivre, and I didn’t wait long before trying it out. The dry leaves were lovely and intact, and it was fascinating to see how much character each little leaf contained. The smell was deceptively simple, and primarily grassy.

When steeped, its other flavors came out to play, and I must say the 2nd and 3rd steeps continue to be my favorite. The liquor remains the same very pale yellow, but the sensation of each sip is light yet silky. The understated notes of butternut squash, nuttiness, and dry grass balance each other beautifully.

I’m trying to build more whites and greens into my cupboard, and this was a fantastic place to start!

You can read my full review here:

2 min, 0 sec

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
242 tasting notes

Of the teas I received in Verdant’s $5 for 5 introduction promotion, this was the one I was most hesitant about. I like my blacks blended, but the urgings of several Steepsterites (you know who you are!) I decided to give it a go before I sent out the rest to its new home.

I put a pinch or two in my gaiwan, boiled the kettle, and let it sit for a couple minutes to cool off a little. I did forget to set the steep timer, so I think it ended up at three minutes instead of the shorter steep I was aiming for. With the first sip, I do admit I was impressed. It was much, much more enjoyable than I anticipated.

It was very toasty, slightly nutty, and it reminded me of sesame seeds. There was some sweetness, and a very silky smooth sensation up until it started to cool, when it became lightly astringent. I guess I was expecting something closer to a Lapsang Souchang or a Pu’erh, but this managed to become a fishless “just the good stuff” version of my husband’s favorite Pu’erh.

It’s still not something I’m going to gravitate towards, but I am glad I let myself get talked into trying it.

3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Good for you for trying it!
My preferred way to drink this one is western style:
1 TBL tea + 8oz cup X 3 minutes.
Oh yeah!


Good to hear you enjoyed it!

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Today was my first day back at the school. I came in several days early to meet our new principal and start getting things back in order, but right now my mind is racing at fifty-zillion miles about things to do and prepare, and…. and… and… I could keep going but I really need to calm down and get ready for bed!

While I haven’t really found a Persimmon Tree that’s grabbed my senses and shook them, it has been a lot of fun to try out all these little samples. So tonight as I watch Mythbusters I’m settling into this and playing fetch with Mei-Mei. The tea’s got a lovely steam rising from it, and the flavor is woodsy and sweet.

I’m not loving this tea, but I’m not hating it either. It does suffer from the same issues as their other rooibos… it’s just a wee bit too rooibossy. And I do mean bossy. Those little particles are ganging up on the other notes and overwhelming them. In the dry mix I was able to see a couple other elements, but there was considerably more of the rooibos pieces. It’s not a chunky blend by any means, and I think that’s why I’m having such a difficult time picking out the hibiscus and most the orange, although it does peek out a little in the aftertaste.

But right now I’m trying to calm down, so I don’t want something that’s going to blow my mind and get it racing again. So I’ll keep sipping and playing fetch with our sweet little cat.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Tell me Mythbusters wasn’t new. They are so hit and miss with episodes I forget to check. When in doubt – C4


When we moved out to the rural-burbs, we chose not to do cable/satellite. Most of the time, we don’t regret it, but we do miss MB. Couple seasons behind now.


If I could find someone to fix my TV tower I might consider it myself. Trouble is we don’t watch much network. Mostly SyFy, USA, Discovery, A&E, Food, and HGTV. I guess we can’t do without satellite!


Oh, we never get to see them when they air, although sometimes I wish we could! There are only a couple channels we’d watch, but with the way our local providers set it up, it’s just not feasible. We watch everything on Netflix or, recently, through our Amazon Prime free trial.

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Wow, this is so much better iced!

I made up two pitchers the day before yesterday, one of this and another of Zhena’s Caffeine-Free Firelight Chai. The little red bow I used to mark the caffeinated tea (Stop! Don’t drink this after noon!) has actually acted as a lure instead of the deterrent I figured it would be.

I just tried it as a lark, but I’ve been really enjoying it. Hot, it was rather anonymously fruity, but chilled it has a few more layers to it. This is totally something I’m going to do again!

Boiling 8 min or more

Sounds interesting! Ha ha! Well, my turtles and my chickens think red means “eat this”, as my hubby found out Saturday with the chickens after he skinned his knuckles…


Oh, no! Well, sometimes learning is a bit of a painful process… but I hope he’s okay!


Lol! Yes, he is fine! And that annoying flap of skin is gone, too! Ha ha!

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drank Decaf Sencha by Harney & Sons
242 tasting notes

This was an interesting one, and I am so happy that I could try it out! I’m really sensitive to caffeine, so I can only have it before noon if I’m going to get any sleep that night. I just recieved my first gaiwan, and it’s been saddening me that I can’t use it in the afternoon.

I’d like to send a big thanks to Dr. Jim, for the opportunity to try this tea! I’ve tried Harney & Sons before, but the teas I’ve tried haven’t impressed me. This one may have changed my mind. It’s smooth and surprisingly light – a sweet straw note that’s just a tiny bit nutty. I think this will work nicely for my purposes!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Bookmarking—a good decaf!

Dr Jim

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Jake and I just had a wonderful time comparing this tea to Adagio’s Earl Grey Bravo. It was a bit of a close bout at first, before this one came out in front! It needs to settle a bit, but when it does the quality and enjoyment just skyrocket!

You can read the re-cap here:

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Rishi Tea
242 tasting notes

Thank you, Short Sorceress, for giving me the opportunity to try this tea! It wasn’t quite to my tastes, but I had a wonderful time with research, reviews, and figuring out how to format the first face/off for my Battle of the Earl Greys blog project.

I’m not going to rate this one right now. I followed all the directions on the sachet’s package, but it was bitter and tasted somehow burnt. If I had more I would experiment with it a bit to dial in a better cup, but I’m not going to pay for a package to find out. It was just not inspiring enough for me to justify the expense.

You can read the full review here:

And you can see how it measured up in the first Battle of the Earl Greys face/off by following the link below. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments you may have. Thank you!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Feel free to browse my cupboard if you’re interested in swapping, but all the mate and pu-erh in our household is my husband’s.

For swapping purposes, please note the apple allergy. Thank you!

I tried to limit my cupboard to teas that were 1oz or larger, but that was a gorgeous failure in terms of swap communication. It’s all going back up.

Okay, I just feel wrong trying to grade things without a rubric – it’s too inconsistent! So, here is the grading breakdown:

0-50: Dump it!
50-60: I might finish the cup
60-70: Possibly finish the pot
70-80: I may keep this on hand
80-90: Cupboard space guaranteed
90-100: Poetry may be involved!


Dallas, TX



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