395 Tasting Notes


Glorious day. Bright but still slightly cool. I started my day with a brisk walk through my local ravine. So nice to have such green spaces in easy access in the core of the city. Followed that up with a brief grocery shop for things to carry me through the next couple of days—but, ouf! groceries have become terribly expensive. On the way home, I stopped in on a gluten free happening in our community market space. Sampled all the things. Wandered home with sore feet and full belly.

This is Anne’s reincarnation of this tea. And it is delicious.

I had a colossal dried cherry in my dry leaf when I made this cup. Despite this, there’s only the slightest whiff of cherry in both scent and flavour. Only the vaguest cherry on every sip, but the suggestion of cherry layered on top of the earthiness of the gunpowder green base is truly inspired. The almond element, for me, is completely missing in action here. That said, the nuttiness—and slight saltiness, or am I imagining this?— of the sunflower seed substitute for the almond complements the grounded flavours already present in the cup.

The flavours claimed on the name of the tea are mere impressions on a beautiful base. These impressions assembled with the base are art.

Flavors: Cherry

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Another doctor’s appointment today. Serious downpour both coming and going. I got soaked. Everything with me got soaked.

This tea truly is splendid. The roasty marshmallow of it travels well too. Just the thing to pamper yourself with when your socks and trousers are soaked and the doctor is grilling you. I enjoyed it so much that I had the second steep when I got home. And it was splendid too.

This blend has all the right amounts of all its bits.

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At 7 am, I was awoken by the noise of metal clanging against metal, closely followed by drilling and hammering, at what felt and sounded like inches away from my head. Oh, contractors ordered by my neighbours to do whatever on the roof and eavestroughs and drainpipes and what all else.

A couple of hours later, I receive an email from one of the neighbours stating that the contractors will be at work today and tomorrow. No mention of what they are doing and where they will be working so that I can plan for that. The vagueness gives two options: stay and be woken and/or disturbed and have your day disrupted or stay gone.

And oh yeah, thanks for letting me know.

I am wondering how challenging it is to be considerate of other people, really? Truly I am at a loss to understand this lack of connection and understanding towards the people around you.

Am I asking for too much here? How difficult is it to shoot an email a day or two in advance saying, hey, it’s going to be noisy from when to when and where and where because blah blah blah is going to be happening. Just wanted to let you know so that your day won’t be disturbed.


Thankfully, I reached for this this morning. I just happened upon it and boom, stellar!

I am having it with sriracha peas for breakfast.

Three steeps of deliciousness.

Flavors: Earth, Peach

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Even though the day started off badly, at least you had a tea that good to make it better. Hopefully, that made you forget about the inconsiderate neighbors. :(


Are these the same terrible neighbours that are inconsiderate at night or a whole new set?

Your situation would drive me wild, but I’m glad you at least have awesome tea!


It’s always something, eh? When will it ever stop…

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, indeed. These are the same ones with the crying/shrieking infant, 24 hour beeping and ringing devices in the bedroom, the early morning exercise on wooden floors that sounds like jackhammers, and so on.

Things appear to be getting somewhat better after extended communication on my part. But forethought, consideration, and reaching out to communicate do not seem to be fortes.

Evol Ving Ness

And yes, the situation does and has been driving me wild.


sriracha says it all. Good stuff!


mmmmm sriracha. Love that stuff

Evol Ving Ness

Indigobloom, check out Sriracha Peas in a bag at your local Metro. One of my most inspired recent discoveries.

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Not feeling this one. I like the berry aspect. I like citrus. I like spice. The combination of this, however, in my cup is not working for me. The berry is there. However, the citrus I am getting is the bitterness of lime rind. And the spice I am getting is mostly clove. The base is nice though coming through with occasional creamy notes. I’d like more berry. And possibly vanilla to sweep in and soothe the what to me are discordant flavours.

Flavors: Berry, Clove, Lime

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 2 OZ / 59 ML

Oh no, I ordered this but haven’t tried it yet.

Evol Ving Ness

Perhaps your experience will be different! This one has fans.

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I am fairly new to Darjeeling teas, but find myself craving the muscatel with gentle nuances of caramel and raisin on days such as today. It’s a bit cool and damp out there thankfully after the killer humid blasts we had earlier in the week. I haven’t been particularly well the past few weeks, so a quiet day with tea and contemplation is just what is needed.

Flavors: Caramel, Muscatel, Raisins

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Glad you’re enjoying it :)

Evol Ving Ness

How is your foot, Sil?

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This morning I was fortunate enough to have an hour or two at home to drink tea. I drank this one. Delicious. I tried to stay present with this tea and savour every mouthful, but truthfully, the deliciousness disappeared quite quickly.


My favourite teas seem to be short-lived too- probably because I chug them :(


Those kind of moments are few and far-between. Glad you got a chance to enjoy one today!

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I’ve been doing especially poorly the past few weeks in terms of health— consistent downward spiral— a good amount of which has to do with my oblivious neighbours and their help towards the insufficient sleep and rest I have been getting over months and months. And then, the stress of the less than tranquil and peaceful home environment. Nope, not good.

The past two days have been better. May it last just a bit longer for me to be able to recoup the slightest bit.

I was happy to come across the very last bits of this that I’ve been hoarding. Still delicious. A bit more cinnamon than I remember. Possibly a bit less cranberry and cream too, but very enjoyable. I am hoping that this will become available once more one day and that I am able to get some. Not that I need more tea, mind you, but yanno.

Yesterday, I was taking a break from home and sitting in a nearby park. And there, like a vision, walked by my former neighbours who had been overseas who had lived next door to me for years. Lovely lovely people who I had had a warm and easy relationship with. It was so nice to see them and spend some time with them there in the park. It made me a bit sad though that they are no longer living beside me and that the neighbours that are require so much effort to coexist with.

Daylon R Thomas

I hope thing get better for you Evol. It’s nice to have a reminder that there are good people in the world.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Daylon. My previous neighbours really are just lovely people and it was a pleasure to have them living beside me for as long as they did. The fact that they were golden more than made up for the neanderthals on the other side. Somehow, I could live with that balance. However, when the golden ones moved overseas and the oblivious ones moved in to torment me with the neanderthals still on the other side, I truly started to understand that it is time to go. Now, let’s see how things evolve.

There are good people in the world, tons of them. Thankfully.

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Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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