1208 Tasting Notes

drank Sencha "Uji" by Lupicia
1208 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea lately and really loving the experience.

This one is up there with the sincha I just polished off. I like it slightly better because it’s less sweet and more savory, with a flavor that evokes a lot of different notes. There’s a rice-like aftertaste, a nutty finish, and a vegetal flavor that I can’t really pin down. My default for vegetal greens is spinach, or perhaps bok choi, but this has aspects that make me think of asparagus, too.

It’s not super delicate, but it’s easy to drink. The liquor is yellow and clear and the aroma is mostly vegetal. The dry leaves are quite delicate and look like cut golf course grass.

I really am quite undecided about what to do when I’ve made my way through all the Japanese greens in my stash. No one talks about the reactor these days. Maybe because no one knows what’s happening? I think we would have heard if everything had been contained….

Flavors: Asparagus, Bok Choy, Nutty, Rice, Spinach, Umami

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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drank Indian Mint by Tavalon Tea
1208 tasting notes

I made a batch of this cold and it makes a pretty good cold mint tea. It’s similar to the Tavalon Purity in that I don’t really taste the black tea. It’s just sort of a backdrop for the mint, which gives it a bit more heft than a pure mint tisane would have, if that makes sense. Like the Purity, it also delivers a lot of mint leaf into the iced tea as they are slippery little devils and evade the strainer.

The main difference between this and the Tavalon Purity, besides the hint of ginger which this doesn’t have, is that this one has some serious astringency.

Which is a downside, in my book, for an iced tea. The last thing I really want to feel after drinking iced tea is that I need to drink water to rehydrate my mouth and throat.

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drank Ceylon OP1 by Teas Etc
1208 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I had a Ceylon so I thought I’d enjoy one this morning. Besides, this was sitting on the counter and I didn’t have to look far.

I always love the sort of bird-nesty leaves of Ceylons and the earthy smell of the dry leaves. This one has a really lovely steeped aroma. Sweet, almost caramel-like. The flavor is not really sweet, but it’s pleasant. It’s got that quintessence of tea-ness flavor that I’ve sometimes described as now Nestea smells, but of course it is a much more deep, smooth, and genuine flavor that one gets from freeze-dried granules. ;-)

This would make an excellent iced tea, I can just tell. I don’t have much of it, though, and I can’t see using all I have to make a pitcher of tea. It’s too good for that.

There’s a soft mouthfeel that’s really nice, too. And a smooth, pleasant aftertaste. A tiny bit drying, but not enough to bother me.

Good stuff. I am putting in a dummy rating because honestly, it’s been so long since I have had a Ceylon I don’t remember how I rated them and why. That’s why it would be really nice to be able to search my own tasting notes using keywords.

Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Sweet, Tea

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Sipdown no. 56 of the year 2016 (no. 267 total).

Really enjoyable while it lasted. A great tea to sip during the work day. Optimally, I would have made this one go longer as it is a little on the sweet and vegetal side, which makes it more enjoyable for me if drunk occasionally rather than daily, but once I opened the packet I didn’t want to waste any time with this one given that it was already long in the tooth.

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drank Constant Comment by Bigelow
1208 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 55 of the year 2016 (no. 266 total).

The last of my bagged teas, except for a few random samples. I do have some bagged tisanes (Refresh by Tazo and I Love Lemon by Bigelow) because I just like them better than the other mints and lemons I’ve tried. I’d buy them loose if they came that way, but I have yet to find them in loose form.

Constant Comment was a favorite of a college room mate of mine, and I feel nostalgic whenever I drink it. It’s got that distinct citrus spice flavor profile, and though I have tasted other teas with that profile that I like better, the Constant Comment brand is so strong in my psyche that my first thought is always “hey, that tastes like Constant Comment.”

I’m sure our relationship isn’t over, but I am so so glad to record another sipdown. Slowly, the stash is starting to shrink. Very slowly. Maybe too slowly, but it’s something.


I drank this a lot in college. I’m rather nostalgic about it as well.

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So yeah, this was a 2010 green tea and I’m just getting to it now. [Hangs head in shame.]

It was vacuum sealed and stored in my magical California climate, though, so when opened, an amazingly fresh, sweet fragrance wafted out of the packet. Like sweet, buttery spinach, where the sharpness of the spinach has been filed down and replaced with sweet pea.

The leaves are amazingly fine and hair-like. They remind me a bit of gyokuro leaves but not as dark in color. These are a light, grass green, and may even be a bit finer in texture than gyokuro, though I’m not comparing side by side.

The liquor is almost a chartreuse color, and the steeped tea smells very much like the dry leaves.

The flavor is sweet and mellow. Very drinkable, very flavorful. Makes me wonder what this would have been like when fresh. I’ve been taking this with me to work the past couple of days. It’s a nice morning tea but I’m also having some now, and it’s just as enjoyable in the evening.

There’s something bright and happy about this tea. It’s like optimism in a cup.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Peas, Spinach

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

That’s just amazing that’s it still good. I have some green teas less than a year old that have gone stale.


There’s definitely a difference with the ones that have been opened a long time. I had some hojicha that I tried recently years after it was open and it tasted like almost nothing.

Liquid Proust

send me some 6 year green tea :)


Surely you jest? No really, I can’t tell whether you’re joking, but I assume you are. ;-) In any case, I didn’t see this until I’d steeped the last so on the off chance you weren’t joking, I no longer have any…

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drank Bi Luo Chun by Andao
1208 tasting notes

Backlogging sipdown no. 54 of 2016 (no. 265 total).

Innocuous, tasty, fresh, quite enjoyable while it lasted. A non-distracting green tea that made a good work tea.

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Sipdown no. 53 of 2016 (no. 264 total). A sample.


Having just sipped down a different jasmine silver needle that didn’t do much for me, I have to say this is pretty amazing.

I wonder whether it is the steeping instructions that make a difference. I steeped this in 8 oz of water. I intended to steep it for 4:30. I got to that by subtracting the minimum of 2 minutes from the maximum of 7, dividing by 2, and adding that number to the 2 minute minimum.

But I started doing something else and didn’t hear the timer go off. So I really can’t say how much time passed. Which is sad because that means I might not be able to recreate this. But why get exercised over that, since Samovar is no longer selling this. Sigh.

In any case, this is far more flavorful than any white tea I recall having, and it isn’t just because of the jasmine. Though that is a big part of it. There’s a piquant edge to the tea that makes me think of black tea but without the heft and depth. I taste hay, for sure, and something flowery and sweet. It’s almost like pollen, but since pollen isn’t a choice I’ve called it nectar. It’s sort of that pre-honey flavor/aroma that you get from some flowers.

The leaves were quite pretty. Silvery green. Made me think of snow on conifers. The liquor is a deep golden yellow, and some of the hairiness of the leaves sent little floaters into the tea.

I would SO drink this again. If only it was still around. Double sigh.

Flavors: Flowers, Hay, Jasmine, Nectar

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 45 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I just had that kind of mishap with the Jaberwocky lol. And that sucks because good jasmine whites-which are already good-are awesome. Hopefully you’ll figure out how you made it ideal for next time. I personally brew tea based on aroma and sips. If it’s strong, I gong fu it. If it’s light, I let the smells change. I sip it if I like the smell, then decide whether or not it’s ready to drink. Sometimes I use grandpa style to taste the different dimensions provided if I have enough to experiment on.

But that’s just filler.

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Sipdown no. 52 of 2016 (no. 263 total).

The last of the Numi Puerhs is no more.

I have been swilling this at work like there was no tomorrow for the past week. It still reminds me more of gingerbread than chocolate. My favorite of the Numi puerhs and with the rest of them, a helpful starter puerh.

I may revisit it at some point in the future, but for now, too many other teas, too little time, so no immediate restock even though I quite like it.


This one, along with their Emperor’s Puerh, were my gateway puerhs. I still keep a box in the cupboard.

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drank Lung Ching by Harney & Sons
1208 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 51 of 2016 (no. 262 total). The rest of a sample tin.

This was, for a few days, the next in the line of “take it to work in the Timolino” teas. But the tin was pretty small, so now it is gone.

Definitely one I will miss.

I recently read somewhere that drinking green tea every day cuts women’s risk of pancreatic cancer by half. Don’t know if it’s true, but hey, if it helps, it’s sure a pleasant way to cut that risk.


what about prostate or pancreatic cancer in men?

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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