1103 Tasting Notes

drank Fraise Pistache by Dammann Freres
1103 tasting notes

This made a good cold brew tea for the summer. Now that it’s fall, I see myself picking it up as a hot tea.

The gentle and sweet strawberry offers a glance into the fruity flavors of summer, but right now the mild nutty flavor combined with that to-me signature toasty note of Chinese sencha, has me feeling the coziness of baked goods and fall. It’s more like a macaron than a pastry.

The pistachio comes through as such in the aroma but turns something closer to sweet almond in the mouth. Some light tang from the green tea and another Dammann Frères tea with a juicy swallow. Smooth while sipping and leaves a tingly, salty-astringent afterfeel.

Overall, the flavoring is pretty mild, which I enjoy, but if you like strong flavors, this might not be the tea for you.

This one doesn’t steep as well a second time compared to most DF teas I’ve tried.

Listen: Idée Fixe by Methyl Ethyl

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Cookie, Fruity, Grass, Nutty, Salty, Smooth, Strawberry, Tangy, Thick, Toasty

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Smelling the leaves of Labrador tea, running my finger along that thick cottony fluff on the underside, crumbling the green blades — the experience is soothing.

I find these leaves larger and more pliable than the Grade 1 leaves carried by Camellia Sinensis. They are also gentler on the stomach. The aroma and taste are crisp, clean and cool while there is some sort of mild red-woody spicy tannin quality that gives a base to the airy evergreen notes. Sweet, thick spring water that turns a brilliant reddish-pink-orange color when left to sit for a long while. What a sense of place this herbal tea elicits. Bog tea through and through. Fall. Winter.

I woke up this morning sufferingly stuffy at my work father’s house and called Kiki to complain. She didn’t answer, so I left a message with plenty of curse words (because that’s our relationship) and pleaded imploringly, “When is it going to rain because I can’t take this dryness anymore!!” She called back and I asked her again when it’s going to rain. Today at 4pm. I didn’t believer her with such a precise answer so I looked. Two days with some rain, followed by two dry days, then possibly a full week of rain. GLORY to GLOB!

Listen: Dark Speed by Failure

Flavors: Cedar, Citrus, Evergreen, Pine, Resin, Spicy, Spring Water, Sweet, Tannin, Thick

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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drank Unknown Oolong by Liquid Proust Teas
1103 tasting notes

Another mystery oolong from Liquid Proust group buy 3 years ago. Black and gold packet says “Tan Bei.” If I weren’t so exhausted, I’d try to look up the characters. My Chinese skills are still very elementary. It’s a roasted tieguanyin. That’s about as much as I can gather.

The leaf has a mellowed roasted woody-flowery aroma with bolstering notes cacao, osmanthus, sour plum-redfruits and almond skin. The warmed leaf showcases a strong and warm dark bittersweet scent.

It is fairly smooth and easy to drink with sweet and woody notes, a hint of smoke, but nothing special to me. Then again, I am not in a state of being to sit with a tea. As far as roasted oolong go, this one is pretty neutral. Decent strength, lacks complexity of feeling.

Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Cacao, Charcoal, Dark Bittersweet, Flowers, Osmanthus, Plum, Red Fruits, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth, Tangy, Wet Wood, Wood


Rough week? Hope you get some silence this weekend!


Rough week. And starting tomorrow I’ll be house-sitting again. Not the place with the sheep friends, though.


(Hugs. Quiet gentle ones so as not to muss you up further.)

Martin Bednář

I feel you. I am going to have a few rough weeks in work, as, of course, all containers will come in short period of time (approx. in two weeks, 4 containers).

And of course, other branches are still sending their orders and I don’t have much time to rest, more so I am still learning how to manage the reclaims.

Sorry, I just had to rant a bit. I wish you a calm days!


(Thanks g.)

Martin, there is no room for ‘sorry’ here, but there is room to vent. Don’t let what’s important in your life rush by now that you’re working.

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I don’t play around too much with tea over the course of a bag but this one had me experimenting a little.

This note is only to say that, while bowl tea and some bastardization of western made me happy, preparing it with high leaf to water ratio with short infusions in a gaiwan DID NOT. At least the fruity aftertaste was there this evening.

If you don’t like very bitter vegetal-leafy-seaweedy flavors and a heavy body, stick to a milder preparation.

Flavors: Apricot, Banana, Bitter, Earth, Heavy, Herbaceous, Potato, Seaweed, Thick, Vegetables, Vegetal

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drank Green Tea by Rituals
1103 tasting notes

Chinese sencha teabag. Very fresh, and I would hope so since the restaurant I had this at is brand new.

Flavors: Almond, Grass Seed, Lemon, Pastries, Tangy

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:) Beautifully captured! (I’ve tried this, too.)

Mastress Alita

Their Yorkshire Gold is solid, though.


I’ve never done a side-by-side, but I think I like the plain old un-Gold Yorkshire a little better, but now I can’t remember why.

Mastress Alita

I buy Yorkshire Gold, but if it isn’t available I’m never unhappy with redbox Yorkshire either. Not sure if I can tell the difference either.

Evol Ving Ness

Apathy in a bag! Omg, I need to write this down and borrow it on occasion.

Too bad. Jasmine green tea when done right is a glorious thing.

Martin Bednář

I was checking them other day and not sure if they do other teas than Yorkshire Gold anymore. I am not sure though!


LOL! Short and to the point. :)

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Today was one of those days without accomplishment. Let’s call it Monday. Every little task became a boulder in the path. This evening I prepared another bowl of this mellow tea and the aroma was strikingly fruity, a departure from the low tones I’ve experienced before.

In my dark bedroom (the shade on the sliding door to the garden drawn because of a headache), the glint of my freshly polished silver-lined cup caught my eye. I figured what the heck, let’s pour from bowl to pitcher to cup. Bowls don’t pour well, so you can imagine the tea spilled in the process. It’s Monday.

I don’t know if it’s the silver, but this evening, the seaweed and nuttiness are subdued and what has come forward oh so gently is a starchy taste much like potato, maybe a new potato. And with that is a surprise mix of fruits, like banana, something red like an overripe strawberry and apricot. Even a hint of cinnamon. The flavors linger lightly in the mouth.

Small victory for a Monday.

Flavors: Apricot, Banana, Cinnamon, Corn Husk, Fruity, Nutty, Potato, Seaweed, Strawberry, Sweet, Warm Grass, Thick


I feel like every day I get nothing accomplished. ha


So sorry you had a headache, but glad your tea was a consolation!

Martin Bednář

I felt similar on Thursday. Even work pace was so slow!

Mastress Alita

It doesn’t matter what kind of teaware I use, if I am pouring tea, I always make a mess. All seven days of the week. :-(

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drank Wintergreen by Camellia Sinensis
1103 tasting notes

Lovely, sweet wintergreen. There’s a berry undertone to the aroma. The cup offers an embrace at once warming and cooling. Some may consider the taste medicinal because of an association with Pepto Bismol or Icy Hot. It’s nostalgic for me in the way that Teaberry gum is, or pink Necco wafers and Conversation Hearts.


I’ve had tea with wintergreen, but never straight up. This sounds lovely!


I’ll have to send a little your way.

For what it’s worth, two of my coworkers really enjoyed it yesterday, enough to request another round today.


I love Teaberry gum!


Gotta make a mental note—so does my son. There’s a kitschy retro five-and-dime store in the Branson MO tourist zone where I can get some packs for his Christmas stocking!


Gotta make a stop at the candy shop downtown for Teaberry gum but I’m lazy. Could you tell my mom to mail me a stocking with some?

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Making room for some Japanese greens, I’ve brewed the last of this western since the remaining grammage was about 1/3 leaf and 2/3 flaky crumb. I’m getting a strong, sweet floral mango and coconut aroma. It tastes fruitier than usual and feels very pine forest cooling in the chest. Maybe western was the way to go all along. Oh wait, no. Maybe it wasn’t, at least with this much shake. Sipping deeper into the cup, it has a jarring bitterness and woo boy is my mouth dry!

Flavors: Bitter, Chestnut, Coconut, Drying, Grass, Mango, Pine

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Prepared this morning in a large duanni clay pot, I can appreciate this shou more than I ever have. Maybe it’s the clay. Maybe because the little brick is tightly compressed I have more control with balancing the brew in a pot rather than drinking from a mug. Maybe the tea is changing.

I’m getting an aroma this morning of baked dark bread, brown sugar and caramelized onions. Smooth, clean and dark. Some memorable aromatic tasting notes of ramps and sesame seed. The caramelized onion shows up in the aftertaste. Interesting, variable shou, though unfortunately the mouthfeel is rather non-existent.

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Always open to gifting or swapping teas. I do send international when feasible. Please follow and send a message if you see a tea in my notes or cupboard that piques your interest.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng puer, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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