87 Tasting Notes


A creamy cup of comfort on a chilly autumn afternoon. A bit of mesquite honey and a jot of milk make for cozy vanilla bliss. And it won’t hinder my plans for a nap before dinner. Lovely.


Ooooh. That sounds 100% lovely.


It truly was, Rosehips! :)

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Darjeeling Doppelgänger! Harney’s description of this tea is quite correct – “For those unfamiliar with teas from the Nilgiri region, this falls in between First and Second Flush

This tea, although a Nilgiri, has the best of all possible Darjeeling worlds. There is a lovely sweet orange blossom floral aroma and taste evocative of a fine first flush Darjeeling. There is a strong, and I do mean strong, muscatel grape flavor of a great second flush Darjeeling. There are notes of fruit, nuts (almond) and grain similar to an autumn flush Darjeeling. The tea is quite brisk without a trace of bitterness. Rich with good body.

This is a splendid Indian tea. If you like Darjeeling like I do, then you will love this Nilgiri. And that’s a promise!

Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Fruity, Grain, Grapes, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I haven’t been drinking flavored teas lately and decided to purchase this little treasure at Richmond’s number one tea shop (salon de thé), Carytown Teas, which is the primary supplier for several cafes and hotels in the city. Patricia’s Blend is the creation of the shop’s kind and talented owner, Patricia Guillouard Adams, a native of France.

“Sweet and spicy, like its namesake”, as the shop’s description of the tea states, is right on point. The almond’s nutty sweetness, suggestive of vanilla, blends perfectly with the orange and spice. The flavors meld beautifully in the fruity organic Ceylon black tea base. As with most French blends that I have had, nothing is overdone. It is superb – My favorite flavored blend bar none.

So, Patricia, mon amie, I raise my mug and salute you – À votre santé! Merci!

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Fruity, Nutty, Orange, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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It’s a rainy weekend here in the Old Dominion. Rainy weekends call for cozy teas, and man oh man this is one cozy tea! I’m watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie on Turner Classics and sipping this. It’s very smooth with lots of natural sweetness. Lovely notes of caramel, honey and burnt sugar. Nice and malty. No rough edges whatsoever. I love that it’s organic too!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

We are getting the same around Blacksburg today as well. Good tea drinking weather though. Agree as TCM rocks and so does AMC.


I love AMC too. In fact, I’m watching Forrest Gump on AMC right now. You just can’t beat watching classic movies and drinking comfort teas on a rainy weekend. Here in Richmond, we’re in for heavy rain at times through Sunday night and more rain Monday. I’m loving it!


It’s been cool and wet just west of the Virginia state line today. I wish I could have stayed home watching Jimmy Stewart films, but I’ve been out on a crisis call. Just out of curiosity, which movie was it?


More accurately, it was a Hitchcock film. It was Jimmy Stewart in the Hitchcock classic Rear Window by way of TCM online. Love Hitchcock! Love Jimmy Stewart! A double treat for me today.


Great film! That’s long been a favorite of mine.

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Nothing like a cozy camomile with which to settle in for the evening. Nice, with sweet vanilla and honey flavors. I added a bit of wildflower honey (I so love honey) that brought out a pleasant butterscotch flavor. Yummy!

Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Love it when you can find a great, easy-to-find grocery store tea. Will have to chase this down locally.


Oh, I love this one! Its been too long since I had it.


This is one of my top camomile teas. You just can’t go wrong with Twinings! :)

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“Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You’ll (Likely Never) Taste” smugly proclaimed an October ’16 Tea Tuesday NPR story. Boulderdash! Shame on you NPR. This plain old Virginia boy has just imbibed the autumnal nectar of the Darjeeling gods!

The dry leaf had a sweet, sugarcane aroma with a suggestion of dried fruit. I used a rounded teaspoon (1.25 tsp) to 8oz of spring water. I use only spring water for fine Darjeeling. The suggested steeping time was 2-3 minutes. I steeped for 2 minutes and 45 seconds at the recommended temperature of 95C. The result was a very richly flavored Darjeeling. There was a red wine sweetness reminiscent of a fine dessert wine with notes of dates, black figs and wildflowers. Positively splendid! Hands down one of the greatest Darjeelings I’ve ever had. And NPR said it would most likely never happen. Ha! Piffle! Stuff and nonsense!

I love What-Cha Teas. They are simply the best! Very fast international shipping. Plus a much appreciated kind and thoughtful note from Alistair, who happened to mention that Red Thunder Darjeeling is one of his personal favorites. He also included a generous sample of a Nepali tea that I cannot wait to try. Thank you, Alistair!

Flavors: Dates, Fig, Flowers, Red Wine, Sugarcane, Sweet

2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

The description of the tea was well worth reading on the tea’s main steepster page.

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I happened upon this one at my local tea shop this afternoon. I’ve been experiencing the GI joys of diverticulitis and recently read that green tea can be helpful for that condition. Green tea seems to be quite the panacea, effective for a multitude of miseries.
What a wonderful medicinal – No spoonful of sugar needed to help this medicine go down!

The dry leaf smell is sweet and mildly floral. As the tea steeps the aroma is very strongly evocative of oolong. The flavor too suggests oolong, along with floral notes of chrysanthemums and wildflower blossoms with a bit of honey. There is a mild vegetal note – Just enough to remind you that it’s a green tea you’re drinking.
I was a little leery about the 190F brewing temperature, but no bitterness. I used 3 generous teaspoonfuls for a 16 ounce pot and steeped for four minutes.

Yunnan Orchid Green is a lovely green tea – One of the very best I’ve had. My tummy feels better already.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Wow, 100!


It really is a glorious green! :)

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drank Lover's Leap by Harney & Sons
87 tasting notes

I tried Lover’s Leap many years ago—Stash Tea I think. I never thought it was that good. It was too lemony for me.

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“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Ewart Gladstone

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

I am definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy with a preference for Indian tea.

Darjeeling, the apotheosis of tea!
Darjeeling tea is at the very top of my favorite tea list. It’s the tea that first inspired me to delve deeper into the wide, wonderful world of tea – My first love, so to speak. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics. Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a special place in my heart.

Other teas that I especially enjoy:

Black Tea -

Assam Second Flush Tea
Nigiri Winter Flush Tea
Sikkim Black Tea
*Keemun Imperial Mao Feng, Keemun Panda #1, Hao Ya Keemun
(Keemun is my favorite non Indian tea and a must have in my tea pantry! Love my Keemun!)
High and Middle Grown Ceylon Tea

Oolong Tea -

Darjeeling Oolong
Si Ji Chun “Four Seasons” Oolong
Formosa Oolong
Bao Zhong Oolong
Wuyi Oolong
Tieguanyin Oolong
Dong Ding Oolong
Ruby Oolong
Milk Oolong

Green Tea -

Jasmine Green Tea
Mao Feng Green Tea
Yunnan Green Tea
Sencha Green Tea

Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy -

Almond – I love almond!
Black Currant
Spice – Cinnamon, Clove
Bergamot – Love Earl Grey.
I adore all floral flavors – Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Violet.
I generally enjoy smoky teas too – Russian Caravan and mild Lapsangs.

As far as herbals go, I really love chamomile, honeybush and rooibos. Anise and peppermint tisanes are extremely good too. I actually enjoy a fairly wide variety of herbal teas, especially in the evening.

Ardent Anglophile that I am, I am a great fan of British tea culture. British Legacy Teas are my favorites.
I generally prefer Western style brewing.

I never add sugar, although I quite enjoy honey in my tea! Thistle honey and orange blossom honey are my favorites. I pretty much always add a jot of whole milk or almond milk to my breakfast cup.

I choose organic tea whenever possible.

Favorite Vendors – Top 40:

Harney & Sons
Steven Smith Teamaker
Arbor Teas
Kusmi Tea
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
Golden Moon Tea Company
Simpson & Vail
The Whistling Kettle
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Adagio Tea
Carytown Teas
Queen’s Pantry Teas
Rishi Tea
Mandala Tea
Vahdam Tea
The American Tea Room
Fortnum & Mason
The English Tea Store
Whispering Pines
Culinary Teas
Silk Road Teas
Todd & Holland Tea Merchants
Mariage Frères
Happy Earth Tea Company
A Quarter to Tea
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
Upton Tea Imports
Palais des Thés
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Tea Spot
Tea Trekker
Capital Teas
Stash Tea Company

Rating Guide:

I only review and rate teas that I especially enjoy. Life is too short and time is too dear to dwell on subpar tea!
In my opinion, anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry. That said -

100 = Perfection – Teas that I cannot live without and will always be in my tea pantry forever and ever!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this one around to enjoy regularly. A pantry staple.
80-89 = Very good! Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Could still, perhaps, be found in my tea pantry.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. I would not worry about restocking this.

Tea is my passion. It has become so much more than a hobby. For me, tea is a way of life. I do tinker around a bit with blending teas. My first blend, Virginia Breakfast, a blend of Imperial Keemun and a second flush Darjeeling, is sold at a wonderful French tea shop – salon de thé :) – here in Richmond. My own small claim to tea fame.

I work in the medical field – Charge nurse of an advanced dementia and hospice care unit. I am also a dementia care training instructor, so I stay pretty busy. I have a multitude of interests. Strong advocate of LGBT rights and animal welfare! I’m a big time lover of cats! I love jazz, blues, classic rock, opera and Russian symphonic music, classic cinema, cooking, gardening, gemology, vulcanology, history – Especially English history. Passionate Anglophile! Love to travel (When I can afford to). Love England, France (Paris is heaven!), Canada, New England, Northern California and the American South. Love day trips to D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. Love the mountains of wild, wonderful West Virginia too – I’m a real mountaineer! Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. Enjoy baseball and bowling. Ardent bibliophile as well – Vast and eclectic library!

“While there’s tea there’s hope.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero


Richmond, Virginia, USA

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