2273 Tasting Notes

It is nearly 3 am and I am sitting up drinking a huge pot of this tea with my youngest daughter. She requested puerh when we got home from a short out of town trip to celebrate the birthday of steepsterite ChelseaR. My daughter-in-law!

We took back roads on the way up so we wouldn’t add to the traffic congestion of evacuees leaving ahead of Hurricane Irma. The trip home is southbound so we used I-95 for that, and saw little traffic, although we did see two large buses carrying FEMA personnel.

My husband had mentioned that he might have to fly to Florida for after-storm duty but I thought it was a long shot. I asked tonight if he thought he would still have to take overnight duty at Fort Bragg Monday night now that the storm track looks like it will be far west of us, and he said probably not. I asked if he still had to go to Florida, and he said probably so. I inquired as to whether there had been a request for someone of his position or job description or had he personally been named. Turned out he has been requested by name by someone that he has worked with before. So that means it is highly likely he will be going.

I am really proud of him, as he is a man of integrity who gives his all. If you knew him, you would want him by your side, too. Since this is a place that could be fully evacuated, they were able to completely cut power themselves ahead of time, which makes it much safer as they go back in and start restoring it. We have already seen footage of other places where transformers are blowing and lights are going out. Downed lines are very dangerous and deadly after storms like this.

I want to stretch this delicious tea, so I gave it a five second rinse, then made steeps in my Kamjove of 5, 10, 10, 15, 15, 20, and 20 seconds. These steeps were poured into a large teapot and combined. The color is rich and I am sure there are more steeps to be had for tomorrow from this piece, which has opened up to about one and a half to two teaspoons.

The taste is oily and creamy, cedary rather than horsey and not much mushroom flavor. There is a lot of body. It isn’t really a musty one, but has a high note that follows the creamy taste. The high note is what lingers a bit for me.

And now it is 3:30 am and I need to try to sleep after consuming a very large pot of puerh. The caffeine might not be a problem, but the bathroom breaks will probably wake me up once or twice!

Stay safe, everyone!


We have good friends and property down there. I’m pretty worried about it all. Your hubby is a good man <3


Seriously, your husband is truly amazing.

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drank Tangerine White Tea by The Capsoul
2273 tasting notes

My first time trying tea from this company, but not my first tangerine white tea. How does it stack up?

The dry leaf smells almost candy-ish, and I was worried it was going to be very sweet and artificial tasting. Once steeped, however, the sweetness died down a little and the tangerine is just the right level for me. The leaves are large and flat and there are a few stems mixed in. From tea or fruit? That would require fetching my reading glasses.

This is very similar in taste to the Tangerine White from Revolution Tea that is made specially for P F Chang’s restaurant. (Hint – the wholesale division will sell it to you if you are willing to buy it by the case. I was. Split it with friends and family.)

I think this one might be a tad more forgiving of less than optimal conditions, though. I forgot to set a timer and estimated the time and this turned out really, really well. A winner for me. I think it would be fabulous iced, too.

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I need to preface this review by saying that we drink a fair bit of Lapsang in this house and we love it. I see lots of bad ratings for Lapsang teas and they frequently come from people who have never had Lapsang and didn’t know what to expect.

I like this one, but I expected to love it. I thought yesterday’s Upton Lapsang was better, yet this one is more expensive and is supposed to be a higher grade. I wouldn’t turn a cup of this down, and I will say it resteeped nicely, and maybe the rain and dark clouds made yesterday’s cup cheerier and more comforting. Sometimes mood and company factor in strongly to one’s perception of a tea.

Bottom line – it’s good, but I am just as happy with the cheaper one between the two. I still prefer Dammann Freres Lapsang Souchong Crocodile and the now extinct Harney Wuyi Shan Lapsang. One more Upton Lapsang sample to go!

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Well, this is a shocker for me. I ordered our much loved Lapsang Souchong Black Dragon and the slightly less smokey Baker Street blend, and I added on three samples of their other Lapsang teas to test.

I thought I wouldn’t care much for this one. It is the cheapest of the teas I bought, but I do love a Chinese tea base so I had a little hope for it.

I find that I really, REALLY dig this tea. So many Lapsang teas taste like half strength tea with smoke layered on top. I like them very much, especially on a cold or rainy day. But this one – I can really taste the base tea! And the smoke really isn’t lighter than the other Lapsang teas I have tried.

Thumbs up for me on this sample. And Comm Guy, I have saved the rest of the sample for you along with a couple of others.

Comm Guy

…aaaaand I just tried it! This is really good. I’ve been drinking mostly Chinese black teas lately, and like you found, there’s no real base tea flavor, but the smokiness is really nice. Smooth and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!


Glad you liked it! I am looking forward to your opinion on Black Dragon and Baker Street! I hope I can get my hands on some Crocodile from Dammann soon.

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It’s been a long, long time but Baker Street is finally back on the shelf! Woot! Woot!

My Upton Tea order arrived today and when my youngest daughter chose our tea for tonight, this is what she wanted. Smokey, sweet, and mild, it was a perfect companion for a plate of toast as we listen to the thunder booming outside and the rain drumming on the roof. I am reading some Victorian era murder mysteries that have me craving toast and tea every night.

How cozy that this tea is supposed to make us think of Holmes’ and Watson’s pipes (the Lapsang component) as they contemplated their cases and smoked. The Darjeeling evokes the sophistication of Victorian London’s upper classes, and the Keemun puts a solid base under it all.

Even though I am supposed to think of Sherlock Holmes when I drink this, I can’t help but think of Gerry Rafferty’s song, Baker Street. It was while drinking this tea that I introduced youngest to that song and cemented her love of the saxophone. Of course, we also had to listen to lots of other songs from that era, like Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner…

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drank Keemun by Golden Moon Tea
2273 tasting notes

This is a sipdown this morning! I seem to go through Keemun faster than any other tea.

There is so much variation in Keemun. Fruity like Winey Keemun from Grace Rare Tea, a little smokey like this one, and Harney and Teavivre have Keemun teas that run the gamut from cocoa-y to fruit to smokey depending on which you buy. I love the cocoa ones best probably, but wouldn’t turn down Winey Keemun or the smokey ones ever.

This one was lightly smokey and a little fruity with a slight briskness. We had it for breakfast the past two days. I think it is too light for milk and sugar, but hubby added it as is his wont with black tea. I think he would have still enjoyed it without since he enjoys roasted oolong and this is very similar.

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I had pulled this out of my cupboard as a sipdown, but I knew the chunk would get used a great deal before it actually gets discarded. We had started by making a 35 ounce pot of hot tea. Then I made a gallon of iced tea from tea that is so delicious I can hardly stand it. Iced puerh just doesn’t need sugar to me, ever, at all. It is so clean and beautiful all on its own. Late last night, another 35 ounce pot was made hot. (It was a pretty big chunk as you have guessed by now!) I will steep it at least one more time for another pot of hot tea. Youngest daughter is fairly guzzling it down.


never thought to make iced puerh. will have to try it out, this IS a good one!


ooooh yes! a lady at the tea guild makes an iced puerh/lemonade and it does goes surprisingly well. Contrast in flavours I guess? I hadn’t considered iced puerh on its own. Too bad summer is over haha


Uh not over yet. Sheesh! Like 3 more wks at least!


I love iced puerh! And we have a lot more hot days ahead of us here in eastern North Carolina to enjoy it!


On the calendar yeah but the weather is turning. Getting chilly up here :(


I am a little jealous, Indigobloom! We are super excited that it is supposed to get down to 67F tonight. It is 88 right now. We will often have days in the 70’s in mid-winter, and I have decorated the porch for Christmas barefoot more than once!


Ha! We should trade places. I’ll take warmer weather any day over the cold


We just got back from Shatley Springs yesterday.


Nighttime temps forecast in the 50’s and upper 40’s this week! Come see us.


mrmopar: I looked up Shapley Sorings as I wasn’t familiar with it. Hope you had a great time!

gmathis: I would love that! Especially with the possibility of a hurricane ina few days…


Near West Jefferson. About 5 miles from Healing Springs. Met some good people and shared some tea. A good outing.

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Removed from cupboard. With a pu cake as big as this one, that doesn’t happen often. We used the last chunk tonight and will be resteeping it all day tomorrow in our biggest pot because we are gathering to celebrate hubby’s birthday.

I have enjoyed this one. It was especially rich, dark, and earthy smelling on the rinse tonight but we went light on the steep, so it was just a little woodsy and coated the mouth for a lingering reminder. Lightly creamy.


Happy Birthday to hubby!!


Bring him to Shatley springs. We are heading down today.

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drank Evening Lights - herb by Zen Tea
2273 tasting notes

Youngest wanted tea quite late last night and I have a long day of teaching music students today so I knew I had to go caffeine free.

I really like this tisane. I like licorice root. It is miles better than rooibos or hibiscus to me. Herbal blends tend to be heavy on one of those three. I find this to be fresh, sweet, and relaxing. Youngest loved it and drank several cups. If you let it cool a moment, the chamomile and minty flavors come shoulder to shoulder with the licorice root, and I need licorice root for my poor, reflux ravaged throat.

I am sad to see my bag getting low. I hope this blend comes back when Zen Tea starts selling tea again!

Evol Ving Ness

Do you know if they plan to start selling tea again? I hope so as I am a fan.

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Just noticed I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard nor have we reviewed it. It technically belongs to youngest, as Superanna buys Lapsang all over the place in her travels just to bring home for little sis!

Not to overshadow the tea itself, but these tins are gorgeous. Our first was a small blue tin, and this newest one is a large grey tin – absolutely gorgeous and oh so manly looking, and why not? If a tea can be manly tasting, I would say Lapsang qualifies. Like pipes and Scotch in a gentleman’s study.

Did you know that Patrick Stewart wanted Captain Picard to drink Lapsang and the producers said that no one would know what that was, so they made it Earl Grey instead and now poor Patrick gets scads of Earl Grey from fans, and I bet he would rather have Lapsang?

Moving on…this is stronger in smoke than the parcel of Lapsang from Postcard teas, which is tasty but isn’t smokey enough for youngest. The smoke level is great in this one, but I do wish that perhaps the base could be a little more present. I would definitely buy it again, don’t misunderstand, but this is a common problem with Lapsang. Why cover up an amazing base tea with smoke? But a great base makes a difference. Even Black Dragon from Upton was a little weak in the base for me.

So far my favorite Lapsang ever was the incredibly expensive Wuyi Shan Lapsang from Harney and Sons which ran about twelve dollars an ounce. I would buy it again right now. Lapsang Crocodile from Dammann Freres was awesome, too. And Teavivre and Zen Tea both had great Lapsang teas as well.

This one is very good, though, until that someday when I restock the top shelf stuff.

Terri HarpLady

The only smokey lapsang I have in my collection right now is the one from Teavivre. For me it tends to be more of a fall/winter tea, and I’ll probably add a few new ones before the weather cools down :)
It’s great for making tea eggs too, and I’m going to make some this afternoon, and will probably drink a cup or 2 while I’m at it. Enjoy the day!


Terri: I agree! We love Lapsang in cool or cold weather! We had a little wind (very very little) and rain from the storm that would have been Irma had it organized, and our morning temp was about 68F. That is excitingly chilly for us at this time of year, so we had breakfast together with a candle at the dining table to celebrate the hint of fall in the air. Unfortunately, it is already sweaty hot. Ha!


Intersting factoid about Patrick Stewart!


oooh a ST TNG reference!!! YAAAY!! okay now I have to try lapsang if only because of that fact. (Picard is the best of all captains in Star Trek)

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about eight years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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