331 Tasting Notes


Backlog 16 June 2016

Well, quick thought before I dig into the review. It has been a LONG week. I’ve had forty students this week, and after spending a total amount of 120 hours with them between three weeks, I think we’ve all gone a bit daffy. I love them all, but after this week, I need tea—and a lot of it.

I wanted some tea that was stronger than Sencha, Chamomile, or an herbal/rooibos blend; therefore, I dug this tea out from the “Samples from Tea Friends” box. Yeah, I happened to start drinking it after 7:00 P.M., when I needed a full eight hours so that I could get up the following day at 5:45 A.M. to get ready for the day. However, I was so hyper/tea drunk, that I ended up saying, “The heck with it, I’ll keep drinking tea” until 12:30 A.M. And the result was a bit interesting.




A quick note on the flavor/color of the liquor before I decide to run away from the computer, to spend the day lost in the woods…..It was an enjoyable ripe pu-erh, and the chrysanthemum gave it a nice sweet floral bite. I jotted down, “malty floral flavors, with those wet wood, earthy, and sweet river nectar (?) notes.”

Overall, ‘twas a great session.

P.S. This sample was given to me by Kirkoneill1988 via tea swap. Thank you. It was quite fun.

P.P.S. This is a cheap tea that’ll blow your mind and get ya pretty tea drunk. Great for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.


Flavors: Floral, Sweet


Looks like you have some company in those pictures! ;)
This tea sounds quite exciting, and as I have some loose snow chrysanthemums on hand, now I wonder if I could make my own floral + tea blends with them.

S.G. Sanders

Go for it. It was a fun little time, and h having “tea pets” for company was fun (really, they’re toys for my inner child from my wife). I think the snow Chrysanthemum goes well with Pu-erh.


Tea is always better with friends, no matter what shape they come in!
I just happen to have some loose shou pu-erh from my latest order…nice coincidence since I don’t often have any on hand. Will be worth experimenting!

S.G. Sanders

I hope that you enjoy the session. Let me know how it goes :)


glad you liked it. i think i have a small chunk left

S.G. Sanders

Well, you enjoy it. Quite a tasty tea.

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Well, it’s the weekend at last! I must admit that it was a LONG week dealing with cranky kids. However, Summer Camp is going pretty smoothly, despite the small mishaps that happen with moody children.

Anyway, I wanted a tasty cup of tea (I must admit that I’ve been drinking coffee all week in the mornings). Ugh, I know. The ‘Art of Darkness’ from Whispering Pines was poking itself from the top of the cupboard. Therefore, I made a batch of it in my gaiwan.

Yum. There are so many chocolate/cocoa notes. Nice smooth dark chocolate flavors. Pretty sweet on its own. I’m thinking about buying more of this sometime before the summer’s over. It’d be a great winter/fall tea.


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Sample from a tea swap with CWarren.

I must say this: Jasmine Pearls last a LONG time. I’ve started drinking this tea at 8 A.M. I wanted to test the limits to the tea, so I gave it temperature & steeping changes. I’ve totaled the amount to 18 steeps! No joke, this lasted a long time.

Now, I didn’t sit and write for 10 hours what I did, but I started out with 170F water, with 5s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 15s, 15s, etc. I then, at 4:30 P.M. (as written on a note card), adjusted the temperature to 212F, with 30s, 30s, 45s, 60s, etc. steeps. After awhile, the jasmine did disperse, but there was a hint of mineral/grassy notes to the leaf.

The leaf expanded so much, and had a lot to offer. I must admit that I do not have the tendency to gravitate toward flavored/scented teas; however, this was fantastic. It was refreshing, sweet, and just left me satisfied. I will look into stocking up! And at this point, the price doesn’t matter because this tea lasts so, so long.

Dry leaf: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGPKPzlg-9Y/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

Wet leaf after 18 steeps: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGQLbJUA-2F/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

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This was from a tea swap with Whiteantlers.

Today I’ve been busy with rearranging the house for new furniture and our home study in three-four weeks. So, to start the day with a solid cup of tea was a necessity. I must admit that I’ve been slacking on drinking more than Sencha lately, but that’s mostly due the fact that I’ve got nearly 2 pounds of it in the cupboard, and that it’s quick to make in the morning….

Now, to the tea:

I figured it was overdue to have a cup of this Nepal Moonlight from Whiteantlers, considering that it has been a while since I’ve received it. I have a tendency to be distracted from sampling teas, since there are oftentimes moments when I either choose something else, join group buys, or buy more tea.

Anyway, this was pretty good. I’d compare it to a Darjeeling. It has that malty quality, but it’s lighter. I get a little nutty flavors in the back of the mouth, but it’s mostly that malt taste. I’d compare it to dark chocolate, or perhaps a weak dark beer—however that works. After a few steeps in the gaiwan, it becomes slightly astringent. I hadn’t changed the temperature or the amount of seconds steeped (I gave it a 15s steep each time, with one 5s rinse to open the leaf a little bit; therefore, with the rinse, there were 4 steeps total).

The liquid has a nice orange hue to it; which was surprising since the tea leaves appear to be green-ish.

All in all, this was pretty good. I’m picky about WHAT type of black tea I drink. I usually steer clear of the malty flavors, or if I drink them, I usually add sugar/cream. However, I drank this without any added ingredients.

P.S. The soundtrack for this session was Electric Light Orchestra’s “Eldorado.”


Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt

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drank Pu-erh by Harney & Sons
331 tasting notes

I’ve started taking tea in the morning, and trying to note on the flavors when the students have “down time.” However, I’ve only had Sencha for the past three days, and decided to have something slightly stronger for the morning. This happened to poke itself from the back of the cupboard, and so I decided to make a cup.

Well, I must admit that my previous review of this was a bit silly. I didn’t really understand pu-erh all that much prior to this, and so there’s a lot of flaws in the review. With that said, this H&S Pu-erh is pretty solid. It’s not the best I’ve had, but letting it sit over time definitely gave it more definition. It’s plummy, nutty, and there’s a hint of wet Earth left on the tongue. I was happy to have found this for the morning, and my students swore that I was drinking coffee, rather than tea (due to the darkness of it).

Now, as the weekend begins, I will be reviewing more tea, and will definitely have tea sessions throughout that time.

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How have I not rated this yet?

Anyway, I love the Laoshan Black/Oolong tea from Verdant very much. I think I’ve shared that thought many times. But this tea, it adds so much more to already superior teas. The base really comes forward in the cup, but the added ingredients make these two teas work stupendously well together.

The cocoa nibs add a little more of that chocolate note to the base. The rice gives it a slight nutty flavor, which progresses after a while. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped drinking the tea alone after the fourth cup, since, after all, it IS Memorial Day, and there was food going around after the first few cups, so I had a lot of other flavors going on with it (I’ll most likely write a second review later on).

I will note here, though, that if you’re looking for a solid tea for the morning, this is one I’d grab. It’d make a great afternoon pick-me-up, too. And as far as Liquid Proust’s teas go, anything made by this guy is quality—even my wife is starting to drink tea (or least try it). So, with that said, go get ya’ll-selves some!



Oh yeah, I’d totally go out and buy a large amount of the Laoshan Black, but it’s incredibly expensive, so it wouldn’t be the ideal ‘daily drinker.’ However, it’s on the long wishlist of “These will be the ‘guests only’ drinkers; that, or, ‘holidays only’ tea.”


Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Nuts

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This was given to me by Whiteantlers through a tea swap. Thank you again.

This tea was a pretty good. It took me a couple of months to finally sit down and have a cup, but it seemed like a good time to have it. Despite the high temperatures in Ohio now (high 80’s), I’ve been staying inside in between shifts from work.

I must say that this is a pretty good tea. I like the depth of flavors within the tea (wood, earth, and a slight nutty finish). However, this depth/flavor doesn’t seem to last that long. I had approximately seven cups before stopping. I found that it lost its flavor after the seventh cup; which resulted in the “thick” water mouth-feel. There was a slight amount of flavor left, but it was subtle and the mouth-feel was strange.

Anyway, I’ll definitely keep this on a wishlist to purchase later. It could become a daily drinker, but I know that I’d only get about seven cup per tuocha.

Flavors: Earth, Nuts, Wood

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This is a sample from apieceofquiche. Thank you again for allowing me to give this a try.

Western Style in an Adagio Ingenuitea. 3 minutes. 12 g/16 oz water.

“Smoked Bourbon Vanilla.”

Unsweetened: Every sip seems to introduce a new flavor. However, I taste that smoky bourbon flavor. There seems to be a slight burnt sugar note, maybe a little caramel or honey in the aftertaste. The dry leaf definitely gave off this tomato soup with BBQ sauce smell, but it’s proving to be more enjoyable than expected.

Sweetened: With a little sugar added, I’m getting Tomato Soup Cake. Perhaps this would pair well with sweets, like butterscotch, caramel candies, or cake.

It’d be a good afternoon tea for guests. However, teas like this are often considered to be winter teas for me. I’m mostly a “light” tea kind of guy in the summer; that, or overly fruity, if I drink anything with added flavors. I like it. Definitely has that Bourbon Street Vanilla vibe to it.

Flavors: Honey, Smoke, Vanilla


Glad you liked it. :)

S.G. Sanders

Yeah, it was pretty good. Thank you again :)

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The last from Dark Matter 2016 series

Well, before I jump into the tea, as of Sunday, I’ve a BA in Education; however, I must now go through more classes to become a certified History/English teacher. I went the long route, but I’ll be done within two semesters.

Now, the tea….

I’ve been drinking plenty of this. I took 7g of the melon and used a 150ml Gawain for the tea. I must say that the past couple days have been enjoyable with this tea. I must say that the wood, wet earth, thick mouth-feel (creamy?), moss, and cocoa notes are pleasant. I told my wife that this was similar to a thick dark beer; quite malty. Anyway, I would say that it’s a “Winter” tea, since I usually go for White, Green, Raw pu, or Oolongs in the Summer months. However, this is a typical morning tea for me….And considering that the price is right, when I’m able to purchase a large quantity in the Fall, I will.

Overall, it’s a solid tea. I’d just prefer to drink it often in the colder months.

Flavors: Cocoa, Creamy, Earth, Malt, Moss


Congrats on your new degree! Oh and getting through Dark Matter too. Grin

S.G. Sanders

Thank you, sir! Dark Matter was pretty fun. Definitely opened my palate to new flavors. I’m waiting till June to try Liquid Proust’s Mystery Tea….Anyway, school was the hard part; the tea, not so much. Ha-ha.

Rui A.

Congratulations on your degree. It gives me memories of my own of a long time ago when the world was younger.

S.G. Sanders

Thank you!


Congrats on your degree!


Congrats my friend!

S.G. Sanders

Thank you both!


That is super fantastic! Congratulations!


have you tried bittermellon stuffed oolong by ys?

S.G. Sanders

Fjellrev, Thank you!

Kirkoneill1988, I haven’t, no. Should I look into it?

S.G. Sanders

Oh dang! I’m adding this to the “Back to school” wishlist.


its quite good

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Dark Matter 2016

I started on this tea last night, but after the third cup, I wasn’t feeling it. I’ve been drinking it on and off today, but for whatever reason, it’s nothing that I’ll write home about. It IS good, but nothing that I’ve wanted to drink. The mouthfeel is pretty sour; with a touch of something else that I can’t think of….That’s all I’ve got.

Flavors: Sour

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I’ve been drinking tea for a couple of years. It all began in college when a roommate had introduced me to loose leaf teas.

I figured that it was time to have a place to go to, where I can share my thoughts and opinions with others on teas; while expanding my palate and learn about new teas from others.

A little bit about me: I enjoy writing, an avid hiker, a tea drinker, book collector, and gamer.

Rating Scale:

0-69 is below average (never try/buy again)

70-85 is average (glad I tried it, but will never buy it).

86-100 is beyond average (I want more).


Northeast Ohio

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