511 Tasting Notes


I was able to just barely get three cups of tea out of this sample that I got. the first two times, I used about 10 ounces of water with 1.5 tsp of leaves. This time, I didn’t have quite enough leaf for 1.5 tsp, so I used an 8oz cup (which is technically what I should have been using to follow the instructions perfectly, but anyway. . .)

This time around, I detected very strong chocolate notes that I hadn’t before. The proportion of tea to water shouldn’t have been so different (since I used less of both) but maybe it was.

Ill have to get some more of this tea to experiment with it. I think I could end up liking it quite a bit. I don’t know why I have such a hard time making my mind up about black teas (and it really is just black teas that provide such a dilemma). shrug

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Me and this tea, we’re going to have a complicated relationship. The firs time I had it, I thought, oh no, it smells like one of those black teas, those ones that smell heavy and manly and not for me. But then, it tasted OK. not fantastic, but I finished the cup while watching an episode of Boy Meets World last night (did I tell you how much I LOVE that show? Im watching the whole series getting ready for the new Girl meets World.).

I wanted to try it again before writing a note so here I am again with the tea. This time I really like it. Remember what I said in my last note about being fickle about my black teas and not knowing if I like them for a while? I am listening to the Beatles and maybe ’cause this music always puts me in a good mood, the tea just tastes better? strange how environment can have such an effect like that.

The tea smells fruity, woody, complex, these are all good traits normally, but often not good for me. The flavor, this particular time around, invokes warm and cozy feelings. Its like teatime Gemütlichkeit (if I might reference some Biedermeier literature :p)

By the way, Im done with undergrad school forever now. finally! finished my very last undergrad paper last night. I am three credits short of 3 separate degrees and Im finally going to graduate school. finally! woohoo!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec


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This tea was included as a sample with my order. I like it better than the black tea that I did order (go figure :p).

This is maybe not may favorite black tea, but its pretty good. I was afraid it would have too much of a smokey or woody flavor (I can’t always differentiate between these flavors). I don’t like either of these and I am so sensitive to them that I can even detect them when no one else can. yay me (note sarcasm). This tea does hint at it, but the blend as a whole comes together nicely. Its bold and malty which is what I like best in a black tea. Usually, with black teas that I seem to like alright at first, I need to try them several times to decide that i either really like them or really don’t (you’d think I’d at least figure out the latter the first time around, lol). So ill probably be writing an updated note for this one in the near future.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I haven’t had any ‘real’ tea in my cupboard for a while. I have some Bamboo leaf tea blends that I really like, but I was starting to miss real tea. Especially a really good white tea.

When my package from Whispering Pines arrived yesterday, I put on my happy face and opened it right away. Yay for new tea! But when I saw the little handwritten note with my name spelled wrong, I made a sad face. (′︿‵。) Everyone is always trying to run off with my second ‘e’ lol

Fortunately, the big fluffy leaves of this white tea improved my mood again. I love big fluffy white tea leaves! And even more so when they brew into a tasty tea as these do. This is now my favorite white tea. It is similar to an old favorite I used to get from elsewhere, but recent batches of that one have been disappointing. I’ll have to hope that this one will be available for a while so that I can stock up (but hard to do while Im on a budget!).

The flavor is pleasantly complex. I pick up the honeydew and Eucalyptus honey notes for sure. The rest I can’t describe so precisely, but it’s all yummy.


Shell-E-y (see what I just did?? I gave you a big fat second “E”!)
I just ordered this tea a few minutes ago, so happy you liked it, now I can’t wait to try it for myself!!


oh but no, my second ‘e’ must always exist in harmony with the rest of my name. ;) I hope you like this tea too! It’s so hard to fine really good white teas.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I realized that I had spelled your name wrong like 5 seconds after I taped up the package…and I was out of tape! So it was either I run to get more tape, miss the post office cut-off time, and you spend one more day waiting for tea or I publicly apologize for mis-spelling your name on Steepster but you get your package a day earlier ;)

Dearest Shelley,

I deeply apologize for mis-spelling your name. I assure you that it will not happen again. I, too, know what it’s like to have my name mis-spelled often. Most people mess up the second e in my name as well!

Peace, love, and an extra E,
Brenden :)


pfft, out of tape! I dunno if I believe that. haha. But anyway, I was only adding the details about my name to this note for dramatic effect. So, in a way, it is somewhat fortuitous that you misspelled it. :p

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) Hehe, totally out of tape! I’m finally moving back to Michigan, so lots of tape is being used for packing too!

In fact, I want to thank you. Right now is crucial time for orders for me. Over the past two years (the life of my company), all I have wanted to do is move back home. Whispering Pines was created as a way to fund the move back but has become so much more than that. This move is monumental in my life, both for personal reasons and for Whispering Pines. Moving back to the land of the inspiration is bigger for me than I can even explain. I left my heart and soul at home and you and everyone ordering here on Steepster are helping me get back :)

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This tea is really good. I got this as well as a peppermint and bamboo blend and I was worried that this one would be too peppermint heavy (I love peppermint, but I want variety in flavors esp. when my tea stash is so low these days).

The flavor is herbal and sweet, the lemon balm stands out slightly, but the mint and bamboo are barely detectable. Its a very relaxing cup of tea and hopefully the ingredients will get me through writing a paper and finishing a translation project this weekend :)

Next week is the last week of classes and Im moving to (or near) Boulder over the summer for graduate school. Im going to University of CO and I have a TA position to teach a recitation for a course on Nazi Germany. Im nervous and excited. So much to be done before then (moving, selling the house, etc)

205 °F / 96 °C

Wow, congratulations!

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Another Butiki sample. This one is pretty good. It tastes similar to the steamed purple green imo; like mildy astringent artichokes.

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This was one of my free Butiki samples from my last order. It was alright, but I didn’t care for the smokiness. I finished my cup but I’d likely pass on a second. I’m not rating this one. It’s a good tea, but not for me.

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omg, where have I been?? you’re all wondering right? Im here, Ive been here. Just not posting notes. Ive been sticking very strictly to my tea budget and since I went a bit over the past couple months, I challenged myself to buy no tea during March. And I succeeded! well, almost. I bought this bamboo tea. But Im calling it a health care purchase, for my hair and skin since its so high in Silica. I also bought some supplement capsules from this place. Its like your one stop bamboo product shop :D

Speaking of skin and hair, I’m on a mission to get my really long hair back, the long hair that I cut shortly after moving to Florida and haven’t tried growing out again since I moved away from there. Technically I have “long hair” atm according to cultural standards (its nearly mid back) but Im going for tailbone, and who knows, once I get there I may consider longer, but I kind of like the idea of not sitting on my hair, we’ll see.

How about some more about the tea now? :p The flavor is heavy nutty garden mulch. It’s definitely not like a green tea, probably closer to guayusa but more nutty. I’m not head over wheels for it, but I like it. And I will continue drinking it because hey, who doesn’t want healthy skin and hair? lol


I used to have hair down to my tailbone. Went to shoulder length about a year ago and it is SO MUCH more comfortable! I don’t get compliments on it anymore though :P haha


When I first did my big chop, I thought, wow, this is so convenient! it washes and dries so fast! but it wasn’t too long before I remembered all the perks of longer hair. being able to pull it all back without a thousand extra pins, no little pieces flying all over in my face in the wind, being able to use all the fun hair toys that don’t work in short hair and, for some reason, I feel more comfortable when I can feel my hair past my shoulders, its like a security blanket :p oh yeah, can’t forget the nuisance of my husband grumbling about how he preferred the long hair lol

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This is one of the very first teas that I tried when I started with loose leaf. I bought several green tea samplers from Arbor teas and from the Tea spot (having drank bagged green tea exclusively before, I wasn’t going to venture too far from my comfort zone). This was all about three weeks before I joined steepster, so most of these teas were never logged here unless I repurchased them later.

This was not one of my favorite green teas. However, it is one of my mother’s favorites. Her birthday is coming up so I ordered some (she doesn’t often order her own tea). 4oz is the first available size up from the sample size (which contains 5 servings), so I got the 4oz and decided to take some of it for myself, because why not? I didn’t remember hating it. I sort of remember that it had a citrus flavor, but I must have confused it with another tea, because it is not citrus at all.

The flavor is extremely mellow. It’s pleasant to drink for the sake of being a hot beverage. Sometimes, thats all I need. I’ve had a few cups since reordering it and I’ve tried 2 and 3 minute steep times as well as adding an extra teaspoon this time around. The flavor is only slightly stronger. It is a good tea when you don’t want to be picky about time and measurements, I suppose.

Besides the lack of strength, theres nothing to dislike about the flavor. It’s sweet, not very grassy (for those that have green-tea issues :) ) and doesn’t seem prone to bitterness. The sweetness is hard to describe exactly but it is different than similar non-grassy greens that I have had before and disliked.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Strange. . . I used same brewing parameters as last time, but I don’t detect the same bitterness. Maybe because its still pretty hot? Sometimes I notice bitter more as tea cools.

Some random comments about the “new” Steepster:
*I can’t put in decimal amounts for teaspoons. My “teaspoon” is one of those perfect cup kind that holds slightly more than your every-day kitchen teaspoon, so I like to say 1.5. . but I can’t. oh well.

*I noticed in the list of tasting note quotes that show up on a tea page, the name displayed below my note is my facebook username, not the one I use for this site (which is my real name). Not that I particularly care, but this may confuse some people who don’t recognize the different names. Anyway, that is all :)

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Good tea. And I agree about the tsp thing being weird.

Terri HarpLady

I avoid things like the tsp issue by not using that feature, LOL.

As for the FB names, I was wondering why some people had different names posted. I never linked my FB to steepster.


but i wanna use the feature!! im too OCD not to and too annoyed that I can’t use it to perfection, :( lol


you know im going to start measuring all my tea in grams now, right?

Terri HarpLady

Of course! It’s the only logical solution! ;}

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Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Thornton, Colorado
Occupation: Evil Genius
Ward: 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).





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