336 Tasting Notes


Stepping out of my comfort zone. This morning, I registered for a songwriting workshop. I’ve been attempting lyric-writing for years, but only in the past year or so have I really been trying to write songs with music and chord progressions and stuff. I’m still a beginner and I don’t consider myself particularly good, plus I always get nervous when I have to present my creative work to people, especially when it’s not finished. I’m not sure whether I’ll have to do any of that at this workshop or not, but I figured it’s a chance for me to get out there and learn about something I love doing. And if I want to play my songs for people, I’m going to have to let them hear them at some point…

I knew I was gonna ruin this cup of tea this morning. I haven’t cleaned the strainer in a couple of weeks and I put it in the big mug that tends to subdue flavor, so it kinda tastes like metal. Dammit.


Seriously. I got like 11 teas. 5 of which are the oolongs in their sampler. Then some black teas, and a restock of this. SO excited to have a variety of new, quality things to try again!

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I think my boss hates me today. She thought she had the day off, and then I let her know last night that she’d misread the schedule and it was my day off, not hers. Then she snapped at me via text because the internet died last night, and I unplugged and misplugged some things in trying to fix it. Guilt complex! Guilt complex! Aaaaargh!

Moving on! Moving on! This is still a good casual tea, and it goes well with cereal. Don’t think I’m gonna keep the rating quite that high, though.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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EEEEE the new episode of swimming anime is out!!!!

(shifts eyes) Of cooooourse I wasn’t obsessively looking forward to new swimming anime. What ever are you talking about?

This is the first time in almost a month I’ve had this tea (!!!) I figured it’d been a while, and the absolute last thing I need right now is lots of caffeine (work got busy right at the end and I was drinking black dragon pearl.) Think I understeeped it; it’s a mite weaker than my ideal, even for a white tea. Of course, I just decided it was of critical importance to eat cheese, bread, and cherry tomatoes as a late-night snack, so the effect is being undone anyway.

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Felt like something relatively fresh tasting, and I’d been planning on doing some bai mu dan until I came back for the tea kettle, and it was boiling. Since I didn’t feel like waiting that long for it to cool, I decided on this instead, my one herbal tea.

Still like the orange blossom taste, which is still a truth that should not be, considering how I normally don’t like orange-tasting things and fruity teas. This time, however, I think the rock sugar aftertaste is getting to me. This is the one thing about sugar, is that it makes your mouth feel fuzzy and weird after you eat it. It’s also making the tea REALLY REALLY sweet.

And by the way, it is getting really, really hard to curb temptation to go on a sample-buying binge on Teavivre.

EDIT: Toooootally just did. Thank freaking god for their free samples and such.

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Interesting revelation. So I thought I’d grown tired of jasmine. Several months later, I try this tea. It’s not jasmine I’m tired of; it’s jasmine that’s offset by roastiness and/or butteriness. This stuff, which is quite fresh, floral, and vegetal by comparison to the other jasmine things I’ve had, is fine. Oh, and it’s also quite good iced, although I almost never do my loose-leaf teas iced.


Have you had Teavivre’s? How does it compare?


I have not! I’ve been very impressed with what little Teavivre I’ve had, so I would assume comparable or superior. This seems to be one of the things Teavana does particularly well.


This inspired me to have Teavivre’s this afternoon!

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The one nice thing about waking up two hours before you’re supposed to get up and not being able to go back to sleep is that you get the opportunity to get up a few minutes early, take time to fix a semi-substantial breakfast, and sit for a few minutes with a cup of tea. Last night at work, I stressed myself out with a customer situation that I think I goofed, and teaching myself to handle these kinds of things better is like reinventing the wheel. I’m having the most trouble getting the idea out of my head that feeling stressed and guilty is the only way to properly address the problem with the other person’s interests in mind, and that NOT stressing about it is selfish and inconsiderate.

I’ve still got the super-nutritious (NOT) breakfast taste in my mouth, so I don’t taste it quite as much as I normally do. Will probably take some to work with me today to help me stay awake. Mmm black tea.


Let me know how you overcome that! LOL! I am a guilt machine! I took care of my godparents and my mother before they died, and after they were gone I felt guilty for sitting down to watch t with my family! You are right, stressing doesn’t help anyone or anything. It is hard, but all people make mistakes, life is messy, and you are valuable! So just learn from it, smile, and try again! :) I hope you feel better.


That was supposed to be TV up there!


I ride the stress train far too often! Luckily ta helps me slow down and chillax.

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I have just discovered that it is, in fact, possible to oversteep this tea. I’m on cup 2 of infusion 2, and after steeping the first cup for 7 min (which actually wound up tasting a little weak), I just left the infuser in the pot. It’s not as unpleasant as several oversteeped teas I’ve had, but there’s that little soft bitterness that makes me go “Mmm – egh.”

I’m getting to the point where I may be placing an order for this soon. Which’ll provide me with an excuse to buy it in bulk, and try out the bailin gongfu and some others I’ve been eyeing as well from Teavivre. Oh darn!


If you like this, I suggest the Golden Monkey, Yun Nan Dian Hong (basic one is my fave) and Bailin Gongfu. :)

Terri HarpLady

Waiting for a shared order of this to arrive…it’s gonna be a little while…sigh…

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Had an interesting experience drinking this tea this morning. I had to go to work this afternoon, and that was hanging over my head. I had gotten up and ready later than I had intended, and as a result had less time to do what I wanted. Which was learning the bass line for Led Zep’s “Ramble On,” which to someone like me is definitely a challenge, especially since the chorus is a lot of noodling that’s not done the same way twice. So I was a little stressed and not particularly happy.

Then I had a sip of tea, and I let myself focus in on the color, the flavor, the texture… and my mood changed. I found happiness in the little moment with the tea. I became more positive about going to work. I realized the bass line, although technically challenging, was within my grasp in terms of understanding the fundamental structure, especially since I’d just found a video on YouTube that isolated the bass and made it very clear to listen to. And I still can’t get over Teavivre’s lapsang and how much respect it commands.

This is why I drink tea. It allows me to “practice peace,” instead of “practicing stress,” which for some reason is one of the only anti-stress mantras that really works for me. It pulls me into the present moment when I, by nature, tend to live it in my head, whether in a good place or a bad. And it imbues that moment with something positive.

Cheers to Teavivre for making what could have been a brash, offensive drink into something delicious that helped me find a spark of positivity in my day.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I believe this is the one I have. They had to discontinue one of the nilgiris and replace it with another.

This is a backlog; somehow, I’ve had this tea three times and never managed to log it. It’s a “classic” black tea, if a little on the vegetal side. The third time I did it, I only steeped for 3-ish minutes instead of my usual 5, and I seemed to get more of the honey flavor. Good enough to enjoy; a little too standard to restock in favor of others.

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OK OK I swear I’m going to stop writing tasting notes on this thing!

So I made it again tonight, and I got sidetracked and wound up steeping it for a few minutes longer than I really should have. Rather than the burnt turkey flavor I was bracing myself for, I got the usual barley-esque flavor… but this time, for a fleeting second on the very first sip, I got the slightest undertone of smooth and buttery. Indeed, this cup is a mite sweeter than I remember from past sippings. “Lingering honeydew melon sweet orchid finish?” I can kinda sorta see it.

Dammit Verdant.


This tea is worth writing lots about! :-)


Apparently it is!

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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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