676 Tasting Notes


I’m one of those people who spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day by myself. I’m probably not the only one…and after years and years, I don’t feel sorry for myself about it.

There was a time when I was forced to be around New Years events that I didn’t want to be around…and I ended up afraid of what could happen to me at the hand of an abusive person.

I’m so thankful in my present life to be safe!

Tonight I put on good music, made some dip and crackers…had a really good dinner too. Worked on my Pinterest Boards.

Now, here we are together…you, my friends on Steepster.

It’s just us with some tea.

If you’re alone like me…make some tea and I’ll tell you how this tea made me feel…how it took me back to another December.

The Story:
Silicon Valley is a new title for the Valley I grew up in.
Once it was known as the ‘Prune Capitol of the World’ not the center of technology.
On one side of the Valley are the small Coast Range Mountains and then the Pacific Ocean.
At Christmas, my children Aaron, Annalisa and I would bundle up and head up narrow Black Road…winding our way through Ponderosa Pine and Redwood Forests..up, up through mountain mists until we reached our favorite tree farm.

The dirt entry off the paved road was perched above the tree farm. As we looked below us, we could see a low ranch house and a big rustic woodshed decorated with Christmas lights, candy canes and stars. A woodfire billowed sweet smelling smoke into the cold, damp air. A hidden machine blew bubbles like snow high into the sky. It was magical!

When we arrived a rotund, aproned Mrs.Claus greated us with laughter, hot cider and ginger cookies…then gave us instructions on how to cut our tree to protect the trunk for regrowth.

We tumbled laughing and yelling through rows and rows of fragrant trees, letting the branches swipe across our faces…rushing off here and there to be first to find the perfect tree.

Such delightful joy!

I often think that this was one of those moments that God allowed me to be a child…as it does now in the retelling of the story.

The Tea:
When I prepared this tea…the use of real Ponderosa Pine with ‘mild’ Yabao in the blend, transported me back those 30 years.
I could smell the sweet, fresh cut fir tree and the sap. It’s a sweet smell. Then, brown sugar, graham cracker…nutmeg and ginger.

Spot-on this tea takes me deep into the WINTER FOREST.

I’m a lover of raw innovation…bold creativity and high standards in blends. No spay-tan flavors to make-a-buck pseudo-tea for me.

One of the memories that lasts throughout your life is scent and taste. Cool isn’t it. All the tea will associate with places and people…woods and trees, love and celebrations.

Evergreen Spice allowed me to become myself 30 years ago with my young children in the Coastal Mountains cutting down a Christmas Tree with the scent of Redwoods and Pine. Spiced Cider and cookies…

How glorious is that!

Blessed 2014 to you all my beloved friends!

A note: Not a critic of real sugar here but I have a critical note for once below:
(No artificial sweetener…none…nada…it changes the yabao into soap so don’t please.)

(Yikes this is review 666 on New Years Eve…good thing that I have no fear! It’s funny!)


I really like your stories,it is one of the reasons I decided you to follow you…I am alone as well with my cats and my tea,haha…I don’t feel feel sorry for myself about it either…happy new year!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks for the stories and reviews, Bonnie! Here’s to a happy new year! :D


Woo hoo! 2014! I’ll turn 66…choke, sputter! I still have 28 minutes in Mountain Time. Who came up with Mountain Time anyway…most of the Country has no idea what Mountain Time is!
So…a few thousand people most of which can now legally get high in Colorado…live in a time zone outside normal space. For some reason, we’re not as fat as the rest of the Country and we’re pretty happy. Mountain Time.


I don’t drink. Only tea.


What a great note. Happy new year, Bonnie!


Happy New Year, Bonnie. :)


Bonne Année Bonnie – you’re so right : it’s always better to be alone rather than in bad company.


You are good company my friends!


She’s the best!


Let’s have a party!

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My granddaughter Schey is truly one of those special people (like MOST of you here on Steepster) with a giving heart…full of kindness and love. She loves me not in words, but with her time.

Nobody spends time with me other than her.

One of these days, she’ll be swept off her feet by someone that I know won’t be quite worthy of her…but that’s another story.

In the meantime, we have tea together, she calls me often…and yesterday she came over to bake with me.

Last year I decorated my home for Christmas and nobody came over. I felt bad. (This is something that happens to people when they get old) Young people are busy…(I know this) but it’s a hard reality to sit alone in a beautifully decorated room with your tea. Sigh…

I’ve learned to dig deeper into my heart this year. The source of my being happy is no longer dependent on having people around me, even though I do like it when I have a visit or when I go out to tea.

Schey is allergic to regular ‘Black Tea’. It makes her weep and she gets depressed and moody rather quickly. I’ve never seen anything like it. Puerh, green tea and oolong’s are all fine. I know the reason (too long to explain here).

When Schey arrived for our holiday baking, Pandora was set with classic crooners…Bing Crosby, Michael Buble, Nat King Cole…all the old tunes we could sing along ‘loudly’ in the kitchen. http://youtu.be/_ONkQD1uxkY

We made a double recipe of spice cake (grinding the spices ourselves) and then peanut butter chocolate fudge. http://flic.kr/p/ipxxdi

While the cakes were baking, we sat next to my Christmas tree and watched two recorded epidodes of Once-Upon-A-Time. http://flic.kr/p/ipwDAn

I made a combo tea: Peppermint Bark Herbal and loose Shu Puerh in a large pot.

I know this might sound strange to some people…but most chai’s and herbal blends taste great with loose puerh, especially with cream and honey or sugar. (This tea can be rebrewed once or twice)

The flavor of mint and spice with the puerh I chose (this one was mild) was festive. Perfect pairing for our afternoon! I brewed the tea 3 minutes…longish-yes…but I didn’t add lots of puerh, and the Herbal needs time to release (not the 1 minute suggested by Verdant).

Crafting a latte binds the herbal blend and puerh together into a rich, smooth holiday drink.

I took a picture of Schey. Her peanut butter chocolate dessert was going to both the servers at Happy Lucky’s Tea House and employees at the local Grocery Store. My cake is for tea with my 3 year old grandson’s.

Don’t you think that best memories we have are doing things with other people? This usually doesn’t cost much money, but takes some of our time.

Don’t forget to take pictures over the holidays. (So many people forget to record time with people they love and time is short!)

Wish I could bake together and have tea with all of you!


«One of these days, she’ll be swept off her feet by someone that I know won’t be quite worthy of her…» this is such a statement of your love for her…
This review made me shed some tears…for totally different reasons, I can relate about this review, you know why I think :-)
Bonnie, I wished I could spend a Christmas eve in your company, you could teach me how to bake, and we could share a few cuppa togheter!!!


hugs If i was closer, I’d come visit for the holidays! :)


I never lie when I say that you are welcome!


we have tea date at some point, i do believe, though e haven’t nailed down a date and time, lol.


You talkin to me James?!!!


i am! i thought you invited me down last year to try out your local brilliant tea house….


this day sounds like heaven to me—hanging out together in a warm kitchen that smells of cake baking away in the oven, festive and special tea in pots to share, music from another time that makes one nostalgic, and a beautiful home with a loving grandmother. i am jealous of your granddaughter (my grandparents passed away quite some time ago…i miss my grandmother’s kitchen to thi day, more so than ever around the holidays).


I did! You should come here! Besides…there are other tea places to go to if you’re one of the secret Celestial Seasonings Tea drinkers (factory close by…), and tea houses in Boulder (Ku Cha, Dushanbe).


augh, now i’m thinking about her and well, hello there unexpected afternoon crying. thanks Bonnie (i do NOT mean that sarcastically). your posts are a treasure.


there’s alot of that going around i think…. tis the season for a bit of weepy, ifjuly. nothing wrong with that. i miss my gran horribly. i have a whole jar of tea i’ll likely never drink because the smell reminds me of her… and the tin she made my last xmas cake in……


Every Christmas, it would be nice to share these memories on Steepster and with friends. Some people adopt an older person who’s alone. (The tea community seems especially kind to elders) I hardly know anyone my own age. 65 isn’t ancient, but some of my disabilities at times makes me feel 85 and then I snap back to 65 going on 30 again. Become the moments you enjoyed with parents and/or grandparents. Bake, put on music and sing. If you went to Church, Synagogue or some event this time of year with grandma, do so again and remember that love. You can become what you treasure.


Thanks JustJames. I know exactly what you mean about those smells and the tin, things like that. I’m sorry (but also happy in a way) you miss your grandmother too!

Bonnie, you’re right. The first few years I was on my own I kind of treated holidays like any other day—often worked overtime, didn’t cook or decorate, etc.—and in retrospect I think it was because I knew it would be painful, the contrast between what I could do just starting out alone with what I remembered. But slowly over the years I’ve become more festive, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of fashioning my own domestic rituals to look forward to seasonally and gradually cultivating my own family life. Trimming the tree, hanging and stuffing stockings, making certain dishes only once a year, and waiting until just the right time to play certain music, visiting people when we’re all cheerful because of the festive season…those things do make me feel like I have a home in this world.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! <3


Thank you! Not to be morbid, but one day (not too far off) my life as it is will end too. My treasure is measured in how much I love and the memories I leave with others. I am ever mindful of how precious time is. My life is Blessed every day with discovery and wonder!


I wish I would have known my grandmothers. I never got the chance :(.
I enjoy your beautiful stories of spending time with your grandchildren. They are so lucky to have a grandmother like you. They will cherish it forever.


i consider myself lucky because I knew my 3 great grandmas and 2 grandmas. unfortunately I have only one now, she is 89. I cherish those moments when i come visit her. its almost everyday. i think i love her more than my parents


I share stories to say..“Hay everybody, you will be where I am some day maybe…this is what you can do too. And if you don’t have a grandma, find one!” My own grandmother’s were dud’s. Really. I decided to be what they were not…like watching Hallmark Christmas Movies or It’s a Wonderful Life and deciding…“I want to create that kind of experience for my family!” You don’t wait for it, you make it happen.
When my mom was alive…the whole family went caroling in her neighborhood, pushing her wheelchair down the street. NOBODY came to their door to hear us!!! After awhile we began to giggle. It was so strange that nobody wanted to listen to us caroling that we sang even louder and laughed as we sang joyfully up and down that gloomy street.
You make it what it is in your heart no matter what is happening around you!


“You don’t wait for it, you make it happen.” and “You make it what it is in your heart no matter what is happening around you!” Such an awesome outlook, I agree. It reminded me of some of my lady friends who, when I got married and started packing bento lunches for my husband, were all like “I wish I had a wife to pack me awesome lunches I could look forward to every day!” And I said jovially “you can always be your own wife!” It’s easy to forget sometimes.


This is why I always have tea in my purse to share even when I go to my tea shop. Today, the owner shared a blend he created…then the manager made a free pot of tea with some spice and puerh. We’ve become family. I stopped in the cheese shop and bought a chunk of Earl Grey dusted cheese and ginger chocolate (I know the little shops around the tea house). I haven’t lost my sense of wonder and delight…the joy of life. Believe me though, it’s challenging at times to overcome depression and loneliness. I have to work on celebrating life.


Bonnie, move to Toronto. I’d have tea with you all the time LOL


Thanks I heart-bloom! Thanks a look at my little grandsons who came over for tea at 8:30 AM this morning (man that’s early) on my Facebook Bonnie Johnstone. Merry Christmas!


This sounds so lovely ;~}


Smiles back to you! ;]


Awww. You have an awesome fam Bonnie!!


We’re kinda all family here…


How true is that! :)

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Tea Review: This is a day of Memorial and Celebration for many people around the World. I was up early, before dawn.

It’s not odd to drink a wonderfully light and celebratory tea to toast a great Grandfather of us all. I wrote much about my own feelings on my blog and if you like, you can read it beginning below.

This blend takes the Yabao that many have tried already and adds Holiday magic to zing it up!
In classic (now after several years I can say ‘classic’) Verdant fashion, the ingredients are blended in such a manor that no one ingredient screams out ‘Ginger’ or ‘Coriander’ or Birch Bark’.
If anything, there is a softness that I amped up a little by steeping longer than the recommended 1 minute.

Yabao tastes like light nutmeg to me. (It tastes like cardamom to David Duckler but what does he know, he’s a young man!)

Yes this is very ‘snickerdoodle’. BEWARE… our tastebuds are on overkill with cinnamon, peppermint and strongish flavors this time of year (love the goodies).
Yabao Snickerdoodle is light on the palate. I HIGHLY suggest adding sugar or mild honey to your tea (as well as steeping longer, and please don’t underleaf…LISTEN to GRANDMA!).

I would say (am saying) that I sipped a grand white wine or two in my day that were in the same league with this tea. Nutmeg, vanilla and ginger… sparkling sweet and delicious. (Murphy’s California)

Cheers to Mandeba!

I woke long before dawn to watch the news feed from South Africa this morning.

It is the day of Memorial for Nelson Mandela.

What shall I say? Some of you are not going to like what I say…
I warn you…

Yesterday, I tried to explain to my granddaughter Schey what it was like during the days of Apartheid and Civil Rights.
It’s not easy for young people to understand what it was like in the 1960′s-1980′s but I’ll keep on telling my grandmother stories no matter what.

As an interracial couple with two young children in the 1960′s and 1970′s, life for my husband and I was often dangerous. I worked in Civil Rights for many years in local projects, then as a Vista Volunteer in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.

I was living in the Nation’s Capitol when both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were killed. Riots followed.
Shortly after the riots, my husband and most of the young Black men in the area were drafted. (This was during the Viet Nam War)
It was too dangerous, the Army said, for me to go ‘Down South’ with my husband because of the Klu Klux Klan, so I flew home to California until he was transfered a year later to Texas. (A Hard Place in 1970).
…the rest is on my blog…


Now I am very sad I didn’t get to meet you when I was in Boulder this summer. I get the feeling you and I would never run out of things to talk about. :)


I am a talker! I truly not to be boring. I tell people to make the time out signal used in basketball if I’m talking too much. Wish we could have met too!


Thanks for sharing.


I appreciate that Charlotte. Not everyone would agree but I’m getting to a point in life where all I have is my own story.


Feel the same as teataku. The sad thing is things are still bad. Better in some ways, but not great. Telling your story helps though.


There’s a great deal of kindness in the tea community!


True that!


Been wondering about this tea. Thanks for the review!


At our age stories of what we endured are the inspiration to those that we wish to bring up and teach in this world! Never forget you are a light and inspiration to all us! If I ever get out you way we are going to be a couple of “Tea Drunk” people swapping tales!


I’d love that mrmopar! Time is flying. Some of the most courageous people I’ve met are in their 30’s, so there’s hope for the future!


Thank you for sharing your story.


Thank you for reading.


Every truly great story will make you both laugh and cry. This had both effects, thanks for the effort.

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Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample tea!

The Snow Queen has stretched her Wintry White Robe across most of North America.

Most of us Steepsterites hunker down with copious amounts of tea, hoping to melt the chill from her icy fingers. Burr!

I’ve been drinking Chai, Black Tea and Puerh by the buckets-full! My own additions of cinnamon or ginger to the Puerh warm me head to toe in no time.

Now and then, a reminder of Spring gladdens my heart, and it’s tea that’s able to take me to that golden, glowing place in no time.

While I prefer dark, roasty Oolongs that are cinder-fired and tightly rolled…I love those rare, buttery, floral/savory Oolongs that remind me of the awakening Earth in Spring.

Li Shan is such an Oolong.

Buttery and thickening as it cools, sweet, slightly floral and savory.

I’m not very fond of light Oolongs, but this is perfectly delicious. Not too light and or strong but just right with an aroma sweet enough to make you hunger for vanilla cake.

Winter may be upon us now, but we can remember warm, golden-hued Spring now, thanks to such a tea as this one.

Beethoven’s 6th Symphony http://youtu.be/34dU9RSWf28


Tea and music that bring spring to mind…lovely review and lovely symphony…
But spring never seemed so far away, I just took the dog out and I almost lost my house! It disappeared in the snow storm and I was only a few feet away, lol!
Remember that picture I posted a few weeks ago? Just imagine now!!! We are 100% sure to have a white x-mas :-)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the music, Bonnie! It’s been awhile since I listened to this one!


We only had about 4 inches last week but the temperature has been freezing cold! It looks like daytime will get warmer the rest of the week as high as 41F. Sunny and dry mountain weather! I wouldn’t mind an inch or two of snow on Christmas day because my son Aaron is coming out from California. I’m pretty sure you get worse snows than I do. Drink lot’s of tea!!!


I cannot agree with you more that drinking lot’s of tea is in heaven when cold season comes. This will definitely warm our heart this cold season.


From your description of the oolongs you like, I suggest Tender Branch from Five Mountain Tea. Its darker but very artisan, nice almost roasted coconut flavor.

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Thank you Angrboda for this sample tea!

The Arctic wind swept down through the Rocky Mountains yesterday afternoon…whoosh!
I stepped out of my Tea Shop, driving 3 miles home…just as the first snowkles began to fall. Perfect timing!
On went the Christmas lights and a movie! http://flic.kr/p/dEPKHb

I was waiting for a proper snow day to kick back and drink tea while watching the Wintry Wonderland through my large picture window.

This morning, I woke up early…wrapped myself in a fuzzy pink robe and poked my head through the curtains to view the pristine white blanket of snow over everything. Top to bottom white!

I don’t need to leave home for days. With temperatures predicted to be in the teens and and minus zero, I’ll stay home!

Comfort and Joy!

Lapsang Souchong fits the scene…Christmas lights on the tree, wreath over the fireplace, teapots out on display. http://flic.kr/p/dETRv6

I’m a Lapsang Souchong when-the-mood-is-right sort of person. I cook with LS often but drink it on rarely.

I have to say that this TEA is semi-mild and entirely smooth.
Very smooth actually!
It’s not boring or flat. Sometimes I think lapsang souchongs are toned down and become boring as though someone sprinkled a little smoke on an average black tea. That isn’t the case here.

Rich, smooth with a hint of citrus…no sooty aftertaste or bitterness a very good drinkable tea.

Had a mug with cream and sugar…loved the flavor…um. Sweet with a smoky hint of saltiness.

The Arctic Blast is rolling across North America, heading East…and if you can grab some Lapsang Souchong…take a break and look out the window at the splendor of Winter, keeping warm with a friendly cup of smoky tea!


Love the tea mood you have set for yourself… Hope the white canvas stays so you can have a white christmas too :-)


snow and negative temps in Wyoming too, and i couldn’t stay home and cozy up with my tea. had to go to class and to the grocery store. wearing about 20 pounds of clothing and waddling around like a penguin. Thank goodness for my studded snow tires!


I think it was even colder in Wyoming! Fort Collins is a little protected by the mountains but Wyoming gets socked!


I just saw this now, sorry. I’m glad you liked this. It may not be the bestest best quality at all, but it’s my favourite LS in the world, because it has that perfect balance between smoke and body that I prefer.


Sounds like you’ve been busy.


Sickness, Christmas hols, sickness and moving. Yup. I haven’t even bothered with checking the dashboard for ages now. (The problem is, the longer I wait, the bigger a task it will seem to be, even though I know there’s no way I’m going to get through the whole thing anyway)

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Thank you Teavivre for this tea sample!

Almost every evening, the sky at the end of my street where the plains meet the bottom of the Rocky Mountains turns radiant! I wander outside regularly with my camera to capture the Cathedral-like stained-glass window array of colors.

Cold winds tumble and dip down to 5000 ft. creating odd shaped clouds that can hover all day in one spot. They catch the setting sun appearing to be an alien spaceship or flat pancakes.

Of all the places I’ve been (Alaska, Greece, Italy, California, Peru and so on) these sky-scapes are the best!

The Tea:
I drank a little tea…this one in particular…and enjoyed the menthol coolness of the leaves when I put my nose close to the gaiwan after a 2 minute steep.
I tasted sweet corn.
Then cool airy menthol with the corn which was refreshing.

The fragrance was floral and corn which I didn’t taste up front, but on my palate as an aftertaste with slight bitterness (not unpleasant), reminding me of lilies.

The term moderately-roasted shouldn’t scare off those who don’t like roasty tea’s. There’s nothing ‘roasty’ tasting about this tea!

What the roast does is bring this Oolong out of the ‘very floral’ tasting Oolong variety but stopping before becoming roasty. (My opinion)

I wouldn’t steep this a long time. 2 minutes after a rinse was very good to my taste.

The reason I wrote about the sky in my neighborhood and this tea is this: When I drink tea, it always makes me a better person in some way if I let it do so.
Before I began drinking tea, I never carried a camera or went out of my way to notice how beautiful nature was unless on vacation.
Tea put my life in the present moment where I have the opportunity to notice what’s around me. Now I notice the sky and so much more!

Thanksgiving…is for many things.
http://flic.kr/p/dkfA1k http://flic.kr/p/hSECJk http://flic.kr/p/hSDJp2


Wow, the sky in these photos is beautiful and colorful. Your hometown is beautiful.


Thanks Angel. I didn’t grow up here, but am glad that I found a place that I love.


I would definitely like to visit someday!


I hope you do! If you’re ever planning ahead, let me know because certain season’s have special events that might appeal to your interests. It’s easy to get around. Not spread out like California.

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Thank you Brenden for this sample tea!

I prepared this tea as Brenden recommended using 1 TB in a Gaiwan. The steep time was what I’d call immediate. Glad I had a nice little strainer to catch the pine needles that tried to escape.

There wasn’t a mention of what the green tea was, but when I tasted the tea, my mouth told my brain that the pine and tea was similar to the taste of a very good jasmine silver needle.

I’ve tasted some rather dull silver needles that have a dusky, murky flavor and that isn’t what this was.

You can almost sense a light effervescence.

There’s always something mesmerizing about this type of tea that takes me back to my childhood camping trips.

We camped less than two hours from home along the California Coast at Big Sur State Park http://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/images2/McWayFalls1.jpg . There were streams to swim and fish with huge boulders and deep pools of clear water which smelled fresh. This water, pine and rock scent is what I associate with tea like Sleeping Bear Blend.
The Ponderosa Pine, Redwood trees, Cypress and Oak created an earthy perfume that I associate with Puerh. Campfires at night, bacon and eggs over the woodfire in the morning…that’s my Lapsang Souchong tea frame of reference.

So much about drinking tea is also about memories and about how the tea makes you feel as a whole person.

I shared some of this tea in a tasting with my friend Eric the scientist (who likes to take tea into the mountains to drink when the weather is nice).
He loved it.
Thought the use of pine needles was brilliant.
This approval came from a plant nerd and is high praise indeed. (Eric likes to nibble plants that only he can identify while walking through the forest)

Lovely tea Brenden!


These Whispering Pine Teas always sound so good! I really need to try them one of these days!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

We’re here and waiting for you! :) Thanks for the lovely review, Bonnie! So glad you’re enjoying them all! :D

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Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this Sample Tea!

I have simpathy for those of you getting ready for Thanksgiving with the latest Winter storm ready to hit. Freezing rain and/or snow!
The West (and Mountains where I am) has had the storm pass by already. Finally we’re coming out of sub-zero temperatures.

What we all have in common, even those who are in the cold Canadian Winter and those of you in Europe…is the comforting glow of a cup of tea which warms us from head to toe.

This Thanksgiving I’ll be with my daughter, son-in-law and 10 children. (One 2 year old is a short stay foster toddler. Another has been with them almost from birth (about a year). The third is three and awaiting adoption into their forever family of 3 bio and 4 adopted children). Grandma Bonnie will be busy in the noisy mix on the farm this Thursday.
Granddaugher Kiah (16) will be butchering the turkey and several chickens. She’s done this before.(sorry vegans, but this is the way this family feeds their brood by raising their own food!)

I’ve been reading my family history. We go back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony…all the way back to those early Pilgrims. My daughter Annalisa laughs…“The African American part of me came over on a slave ship and cooked turkey for others. The British part arrived on a ship as a Pilgrim and my husband (who is part Native American) shared turkey with my Pilgrim ancestors. So there you go,Thanksgiving!”

Whatever our background and story, we can be thankful for many things. I am thankful for my Steepster friends for sure! I’m thankful for so many blessings…too many to count!

This morning, I made a spaghetti squash crusted deep dish pizza with feta and spinich. While it was baking, I made some Taiwanese Osmanthus Oolong Tea.

The instructions say ‘steep 3-8 minutes’. That’s quite a long time! I chose 6 minutes, poured the whole packet of leaves into my larger gaiwan…then added boiling water.

The aroma that wafted up was lovely floral, slightly vegetal…but tasted too strong. 6 minutes was almost bitter, sweet but too much.

The second steep, at 45 seconds, was perfect. Light, sweet with the aroma of sugar cookies. Osmanthus can smell a bit like vanilla.
The Oolong isn’t very vegetal and reminded me of taking a nibble off a skinny stalk of young, fresh uncooked asparagus. (I detected a hint of butter)

Many steepsters love a sweet tea and wouldn’t dream of not adding sugar or sweetener. Adding a little here (just a little) works well.

My favorite time to drink a tea like this one would be when the first bulbs in Spring are coming up, and the ethereal glow of warm sunshine begins to melt the frost. Hope in a cup!

Blessings to everyone this Thanksgiving and to those who are not in this land, Blessings always!


Sounds like quite a gathering!


There’s always room for more Jason! Like thousends of others, my daughter asked me if I knew of anyone who didn’t have a place to go. We always have invited people to share. It’s a family tradition. My son usually goes to feed the homeless in San Francisco and my brother and his wife do the same. When I say that I am blessed, I mean it! There’s always something to share.


Bonnie you are a blessing by yourself to many of us!


Takes one to know one my dear Mrmopar!!! No Scrooges here on Steepster!


I agree our big boss always tells us to “love one another as I love you”.



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Thanks to Angrboda for this sample tea!

This is the first tea from Tanzania that I’ve ever tasted! The guys and I at the tea shop have been sampling tea’s off and on from Kenya and now Uganda as these tea’s become more available and are increasingly better tasting!
Anyway, this Tanzanian tea was interesting because it isn’t a CTC. (You would typically see a CTC exported to the U.S. as a first offering.)
The tea isn’t very good though. The taste is similar to a low grade CTC. I hope that with time the tea will improve as farmers fine-tune their growing methods.
Wonderful things have been happening with these small tea farms and the benefit to the farmers and tea drinkers like us is mutual.

We can be responsible tea drinkers by drinking tea from poorer area’s of the World.

(End of sermon… kumbaya)


Well it appears I’m all alone here.


Oh, are you feeling invisible too? I’ve had a few notes that did that. Well, I believe you saw the desperate plea for attention a few days ago. :p You’re probably right that a lot about this could be improved just with experience on the farmer’s part. Perhaps in a few years I’ll try again, but… Not too impressed here either. I think I got rid of the last of it in the EU travelling teabox. More of a curiosity than something awesome to share, though. Other than that we generally had it in the morning when we weren’t awake enough for any of the really good stuff anyway, and then it was about two thirds this plus one third something else. Some low grown Ceylon seems to be able to temper most things. I may actually have to go out and buy me some more low grown Ceylon merely for the sake of getting rid of the meh blacks on the Consider This First shelf. Anyway, I’m glad you found it interesting at least. :)


Angrboda,I wasn’t in the least disappointed! I’m so interest in the development of tea in these countries I mentioned. Can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

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Thanks to Angrboda for this sample!

Up until now, the Golden Monkey tea’s that I’ve tried have been disappointing. Somewhat average tea’s that are malty but lacking the cocoa taste that I can easily get with other Fujian Black tea’s.

Although Angrboda commented that the aroma wasn’t very fragrant, my less than petite nose perked up right away. I noticed more than cocoa coming from the dry leaves. There was a sweet brown sugar candy scent that smelled delightful (like walking into an old fashioned candy store).

Prior tastings of ‘other’ Golden Monkey tea’s left me with the rather odd aftertaste of super dark baking molasses.

This Jenier Fujian tea was mild light brown sugar, cocoa and caramel. Smooth, gentle and with enough body for adding milk.

I can see why this tea is a favorite of Angrboda on a cold day in Denmark!

Terri HarpLady

mmmm, that sounds tasty!


It is quite lovely, I’m glad you liked it. Husband has quite fallen for it as well, which is always a pleasant surprise. I can never predict what teas he likes and what he doesn’t. Take cocoa-notes for example. He’ll LOVE it in one tea and find it super astringent in another, where I will think the two teas in question are highly similar and almost interchangable. Some Ceylons he even says reminds him mostly of tomato soup. I’ve stopped trying. He’ll just have to live with being the guinea pig, then. Generally though, whenever a tea develops a nick name, it means he loves it. This one is Molten Gunkey, which admittedly doesn’t sound very flattering. :p

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Colorado Grandma 73 3/4 as of January 2022

Grandmother to 10. (we all drink tea!)
I began teatime in the Summer when my children were little. We took a break from play for tea and snacks every day. My children loved tea time.
There are several tea houses close to my home and a Tea Festival in Boulder. Fort Collins/Loveland is a bit of a foodie area. We are famous for breweries (Fat Tire is one brand).
Rocky Mountain National Park is 40 minutes away.
Our climate is semi-arid with LOTS OF SUN AT 5000 feet. (Heavy Winter snows start in higher elevations). Lived my until 2010 in Northern California.
I am very involved in my local Greek Orthodox Church. Recently I ignited a group for racial reconciliation.
I suffer from Migraines and Light sensitivity.
My family is Bi-racial (African-American, Scots) and Bi-cultural.
I’ve worked at a Winery, was a computer tech, been Athlete and Coach, Vista Volunteer. Love healthy food! Love travel and have been to Scotland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Peru, Croatia, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska.


Loveland, Colorado

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