336 Tasting Notes

drank Pumpkin Spice by Harney & Sons
335 tasting notes

Egh. For the second time in less than a month, I seem to be getting sick. The week of your boss being gone and you having to work 7 hours by yourself each day is NOT the time to get sick! I actually don’t feel awful, and I don’t seem to be getting worse, but I’m scared that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and feel like death warmed over.

I’ve heard once or twice before that rooibos is supposed to boost your immune system. Is that true? Am I making that up? Oh well. I’m going to bed early tonight anyway, right after I finish rewatching an ep of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Vaguely Autumnal Rooibos, it is then.

Actually it’s better than I remember. Once you know to expect Vaguely Autumnal Rooibos rather than Pumpkin Spice, it’s not a bad little tea. It’s warm, sweet, and comforting, with a trace of… not tang. Vaguely Autumnal pumpkin-ness.

I still have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many sachets of it, though.


Yay TNG!

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Before I remembered that I supposedly have an Irish Breakfast Blend from Arbor Teas somewhere in the bowels of my cupboard, I was trying to decide what tea to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with. After going between a couple of different options, I finally settled on this one.

Um, Klutz. “French” and “Blue” are not St. Patrick’s day words.

OK so there’s a ramble attached. In the summer of 2001, I got to go to Ireland with my mom and my grandma. Back then, we were all convinced we had Irish heritage (which has since turned out not to be as true as we’d thought) and were basically obsessed with everything Irish. The trip was absolutely wonderful, and there are so many details about it I have yet to forget. I’m not sure at exactly what point in the trip I smelled lavender – I have a feeling it may have been in some soap or lotion or something – but lavender is now inextricably connected with that romantic/romanticized Ireland I have in my head.

And this tea is the lavenderiest damn lavender you have ever lavendered in your lavendering life. I still wish I could make the liquor be that purply color, like the picture on the H&S site, but no matter. This is a lovely, heady trip down memory lane. It’s another one of those teas, too, that smells like another time and place (I think I’m a bit obsessed with those! Usually happens with the more potent floral teas.)

Happy tea.


Actually, the colour of St Patrick is blue, not green, so… It’s not totally off.


“And this tea is the lavenderiest damn lavender you have ever lavendered in your lavendering life.”

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This is my evening cuppa as I practice my bass. And make no effort to get this version of this song out of my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCXEtvbJkkY

I’ve reviewed this tea approximately 903 times I think. I actually laid off it for a few months while I didn’t drink tea as much, and when I did it was usually something flavored. Getting back to it… there’s a reason it’s my favorite. It is the quintessence of everything I want in a tea: a flavor that is is familiar and desirable (cocoa) yet unexpected (earthy, raisins) at the same time. I have never had anything else quite like it.

Happy place.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Thanks for the music! :)

Terri HarpLady

AND for the trip down memory lane, when people really knew what music was about! :)


You’re welcome! And YES! Normally I don’t like to be one of those “kids these days” curmudgeons (given as I am kinda one of them), but these times could really use some Soul Train!

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Gunpowder & Mate by Teapots & Treasures

Not the best morning. Bit stressed out, all the little things. Woke up from a creepy-ass nightmare a bit before 6 AM and never went back to sleep. Need the good stuff.

This green taste is cleansing and refreshing this morning. Already starting to feel a bit better. I never thought this would be a staple, but apparently it’s about to be.

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Gunpowder & Mate by Teapots & Treasures

This is take two of this one. I was combing through old Steepster notes last night and found my review of this one; apparently I’d had it in November while watching Back to the Future: Part II, and while I wasn’t in love with the taste it was a nice burst of energy. To be honest, I’d just about forgotten I still had it, but it sounded like just the thing this morning when I was sluggish.

And you know what, it was! I drank about 2/3 to 3/4 of a cup at home as I dashed around getting ready, then took a thermos to work. The leaves are a mix of the rolled gunpowder leaves and more fine shreddings (the mate part?) The smell and taste are grassy-smoky, “dark green” like the color of the leaves. I wasn’t a fan of the flavor when I first tried it, but now I don’t mind it. It’s growing on me a little, in fact. If anything, the “green-ness” of the flavor is refreshing and kind of clean. And I drank it all day and didn’t have the mid-afternoon slump.

I’m glad to have a tea in my cupboard that has, so far, proven itself to be an extremely good energy boost and a nice alternative to my standard morning teas. Fresh, clean, and different from anything else I’ve got.

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drank Tower of London by Harney & Sons
335 tasting notes

I’ve only logged this once?!?

I had a sachet of this at work today; I would have made a second steeping, but then I absentmindedly thew away the sachet like a moron and I only have one left (CRYYYYYY!) This tea has grown on me A LOT. The more I drink it, the more its soft fruityness reminds me of H & S’s Paris. In fact, it seems like it’s somewhere between Paris and an Earl Grey; citrusy and maybe a bit floral, but with a tastefully done, rounded sweetness to the flavor. It is exactly the right balance of “wake up” and “comfort.”

Which I will need, because my boss is going to be out of state for the next 2.5 weeks – the longest I have ever been in charge of the store. Gulp.


I remember reading this at the airport or airplane or something like that, and the person cleaning off the table almost took my sachet of another tea and I was all NOOOOOO in slow motion. The sachet was saved, thanks to this note!


Yaaaaay! Glad I was of help, even if indirectly! :D

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What? How have I not logged this one yet?!?

So this is actually a sipdown. It’s quite a decent Earl Grey, objectively speaking. It’s very bergamot-citrusy in a convincing way, rather than a “bergamot flavoring” kind of way. Bright and perky… and a little soft-spoken. It’s not quite as brisk or as bold as I like my “British” teas to be. It reminds me of the sunlight streaming through your window on a pretty spring morning, and I always want one like washing your face with cold water on a foggy spring morning.

… I keep saying that I can tell the Teavana EG isn’t the best, but I think it’s the one I’m always expecting!

Definitely a “very good,” maybe not “supreme” (at least by my standards, which may or may not be in line with those of more dedicated EG connoisseurs.) Still a nice wake-up tea, and definitely worth a try if you are a fan of Earl Greys.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
335 tasting notes

I don’t get it. Does the new Steepster put certain teas of yours into a cupboard “Cloud?” Because this is the second time I’ve gone to search for a tea in my cupboard and I didn’t find it, but when I typed the name into the search box and found it, the tea is labeled as “Added to cupboard!” Eh?

This is a sipdown. After a while of drinking a lot of the same teas over and over, I’m trying to comb through the rest of my cupboard, revisit some, finish off others.

I do quite enjoy this one – once you put in enough leaves. I think I did twice the recommended leafage this morning. Not that I measured it; I just saw that there was more than a teaspoon of leaves left in the bag, then just dumped it all in.

My sense of taste is still not 100% recovered from the head cold, but I think this is my favorite of the little Adagio order I placed several months back. It’s a little earthy and a little malty. Not really a unique flavor by any means, but certainly a pleasant one.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I’ve done that a time or two, but I just thought it was me not having looked properly.

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
335 tasting notes

What the – how did I not find this in my Steepster cupboard?

Well, I’ve got a headcold, which means lots of fun with stuffed sinuses, blowing my nose, sneezing, knowing I should eat but not really wanting any food, and calling the doctor because I can’t remember if Claritin D and Mucinex conflict or not. (I’ve taken Claritin D.) Fortunately, it seems to have skipped the “sore throat” part, which for me is THE WORST! I’m just hoping it doesn’t go down into my chest. That’s the second worst.

I don’t really have a medicinal tea for colds, so I’m using this as my go-to wake up tea. It’s not as high on my list as most of my other black teas, but I enjoy it and it’s brisk enough to cut through the I-can’t-smell fog. And I get to keep the better teas for when I can actually smell and taste and crave them. : )

And now to return to the least productive morning ever.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I hope you feel better!


Feel better soon!

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The name’s Holly. 27. Work for a small IT company. About to finish a Master’s degree this winter. ISFJ for what it’s worth. I play various instruments (mostly bass guitar right now), attempt to write songs that I’m too scared to play for anyone, and I’m currently taking voice lessons. I also enjoy starting various hobbies, wearing monochromes, writing, cooking, taking walks, and various and sundry other things…

I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is a source of happiness, positivity, curiosity, and relaxation (…and caffeine) for me.

I’ve been on and off this site over the years, and I even had a separate tea blog at one point. For now, I’m just working on getting back in the habit of enjoying tea regularly and to its fullest.

Love: Malty Chinese black teas, shu/ripe pu erhs, soft flowery teas (esp. jasmine teas)

Like: Japanese green teas, sheng/ripe pu erhs, white teas

Still trying to get into: Most oolongs, chai teas

Not crazy about: Roasty teas, fruity teas, rooibos, many (not all) herbal teas

90-100: YEAH!
80-89: Nice! This is good stuff.
70-79: Respectable tea.
60-69: Not bad.
50-59: Middling. Not really worth it.
25-49: Eeeeeugh. Not good.
0-24: Did you know you can use tea leaves as odor absorbent?



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