1112 Tasting Notes

My insider tea club selection came yesterday! Woohoo! I was so, so, so, so, so pleased to see that it was an Oriental Beauty Oolong! I had a very fine one at Radiance Tea House in NYC and it has loomed so large in my imagination that I have never purchased another, in fear of it not living up to The Oriental Beauty In My Mind. I’ve been craving one, though, as I read some of your tasting notes.

This one is glorious. Sweet, sweet, sweet but not light. Or roasty. Or dark. Peaches and honey and tea, I’d say. Like many oolongs in my experience, I’m loving the second steep better than the first. The little card that came with it says 6 steeps are possible, and I’d like to see if I can take GM up on that!

I also remembered that the Oriental Beauty I had at Radiance had the two leaves and a bud attached in many of the leaves. I went digging around in my leaves and WOW – SO many attached leaves and buds!

I even took a photo when I experienced it in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackiemania/4410474721/in/set-72157623565672780

My brew basket is full of these!

I’ve included some in my selections for Tea Sipper’s Traveling Tea Box, so some of you lucky ducks will get to try it, too!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Marcel Duchamp

Sounds incredible!

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TSTTB Tea #5!!

I chose this one because there have not been any Earl Grey Cremes I’ve met that I haven’t liked. This one is delicious. Lightly creamy and not artificial tasting. I put a scant teaspoon of sugar to compliment the creme and bergamot and it worked beautifully. The flavors are sweet and round. The tea base is bold (I only steeped for 3 minutes and it was plenty flavorful) yet balanced with the flavorings. Neither overwhelm.

Lovely tea!!! Thank you Traveling Tea Box!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Lady Grey by Twinings
1112 tasting notes

TSTTB Tea #4!

This was included in the box of bagged selections. I took one for old times sake — I used to drink lots and lots of bagged Twinings in the 1990s!

I came home from school this afternoon craving a cup of tea but quick. I said, why not make that little bag of Lady Grey you have sitting in your cupboard?" I planned to use sugar and a splash of milk because I wasn’t expecting the highest of leaf qualities.

Guess what? It’s completely satisfying and delicious. I wouldn’t call it complex. You taste ORANGE and TEA. But the orange and tea are delightful. The tea is a little astringent, but it’s pleasant. The milk and sugar give it a creamcicle quality that I love.

You know how much I liked it? I liked it so much that I went digging in the traveling tea box to take the OTHER bag that was in there :) (Don’t worry — I’m going to put in some A & D Mt. Gray so people will have some more Earl for tasting).

This tea was such a nice reminder that there are really enjoyable bagged teas out there which are widely available. I am so going to pick up a box of this on my next shopping expedition. Yay traveling teabox!

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TSTTB Tea #3!

I made this last night for our little 2 cup pot of evening tea. There was just two perfect teaspoons left, and my memory of Teavana herbals told me you need extra leaf BUT I went ahead and made it anyway. Sadly it was weak even though I tried brewing it longer than usual to compensate. Not much chocolate or spice. Ah, I knew I should have put a spoon of my own rooibos chai in! I’m kicking myself.

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Tea Sipper’s Traveling Tea Box, Tea #2!

I’ve been enjoying oolongs greatly recently, so I chose this one from TSTTB (that Tea Sipper’s Traveling Tea Box) for my tea at work today. I’m also a chocoholic, no explanation needed ;)

I am finding this to be a really interesting experience! The chocolate is lightly present and then the oolong sneaks up behind the sip and spreaaaaaaads through your mouth. It has a stronger flavor than the chocolate I feel, and it is a darker one. Quite yummy.

I find I’m enjoying the second steep with less chocolate and more oolong even better. They have reversed positions, and I taste roasty oolong, then a hint of chocolate on the end of the sip. Nice! I also had a croissant with it which was just about perfect pairing-wise.

There is one more serving in the bag, and I am going to put it back into TSTTB so that another person can enjoy this. Make sure you stick around for the second steep — it’s swoonworthy! It is also making me excited to try the dark and handsome wuyi ensemble from Adagio that I grabbed from the box. Soon, soon.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Swoonworthy. Love it!


I agree, the second cup is the best. Chocolate teas are always so muddy looking but the taste of this one is worth the mess it makes of my press. Almost had it today but I am still in sip down mode.


I thought the second cup was better too!

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My first selection from Tea Sipper’s Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box!

It truly has carrot cake qualities. The spice, the gentle sweetness, even some cake-ness! I drank my cup in a flash. My husband found this one to be excellent, too. Not only have I never had a carrot cake tea, but I’ve never sampled a tea from Fusion Teas yet, so this was a double treat I most likely would not have had if it wasn’t for the traveling tea box. So glad to be a part of it!

Here is a picture I took of everything in the box as it was sent to me. There are so many teas I couldn’t even fit them in the photo!



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awesome box!


I didn’t realize those traveling tea boxes were so big! Wow!


Frick, that’s huge!

Terri HarpLady

I can’t wait for my turn with the box…but I’m the last person…again!


wish we could have participated in this box. but i’ve got the other one to look forward too

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I’m ruined for life! This tea is so glorious. Candy. Melon. Candy. I am a hummingbird and this is my nectar! ;) Rumor has it that Tea Sipper’s Traveling Tea Box is coming my way next. I’m going to put a little of this magic in so someone can experience turning into a little hummingbird, too.

I am looking forward to steep after steep after steep today!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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It’s March 25th, and it’s snowing. I know, I know. I’ve read so many tasting notes lamenting this crazy weather all over the world! Brewing this tea is my small effort to say, “Hey, it’s actually spring, y’know!” (shakes little fist in vain) Delicious tea base, light and citrusy, happymaking. The only thing is this is my next to the last sachet. More is definitely going in to the next Harney order.

P.S. ashmanra made me a beauteous valentine card, and she included a little tea cup charm on it! Of course I had to make a necklace from it!


Marcel Duchamp

This one sounds really good.


It is so good. The silver tips give it this roasty quality that I’ve never tasted in an Earl Grey (besides Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme).


You shake that fist and I’ll stick out my tongue! I may break my neck in the attempt, but if it ever gets warm enough to stand in my back yard without getting frostbitten, I may have to do a cartwheel.

Josie Jade

I have a sample pack of this one that I need to try! Maybe if we all drink it the sunshine will come out! :)


Love the necklace! :)


ashmanra – I’m so in love with that little cup. Thank you again!

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I prepared this with a little honey and a slice of lemon, and it sparkled! I love it this way. A bit of sweet/tart bitey goodness on a cold night. I now understand why ginger, honey, and lemon is such a classic combination. Delicious.

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drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
1112 tasting notes

Happy first day of Spring! Sure it’s cold, and they are forecasting flurries tomorrow. But the light is different, I’m seeing birds that I haven’t seen all winter, and my moth orchid burst into bloom this morning!

Golden Monkey is a perfect tea for today. It’s lighter and sweeter than what I’ve been drinking, but still hefty enough to address this chill in the air. It goes steep after steep after steep too, sweeter and milkier each time. Excellent.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes


Collingswood, NJ



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