1705 Tasting Notes

drank Starry Chai by Good Earth
1705 tasting notes

As a general rule, I am not a fan of chai. I couldn’t quite figure out why as I like everything that is in it. This and Sweet Chai of Mine have kind of clued me in, most chai are too over spiced for my tastes. Good Earth backs off on the intensity a couple notches and I appreciate it.

Dry this does smell a little medicinal with the cherry flavor. Once steeped the aroma turns to a warm cinnamon and cardamom with a touch of cherry. The taste is similar to the steeped aroma.

In tea, cherry never tastes like cherry in pie – which is how all cherry should taste. It is more like the cherry in a shaved ice. Since I have never found a tea that tastes like cherry pie, I can’t fault them here.

With Sweet Chai of Mine, the black pepper and ginger hit with a spicy heat at the end. In this one they are calmer and support the cinnamon allowing it to warm up the end of the sip.

I did sweeten this but only a little. It disappeared very quickly from my cup. That kind of surprised me.

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drank Bada Mountain Sheng Puerh by JalamTeas
1705 tasting notes

Tea of the day. The moment I pulled back the paper I was impressed with this one. I am not used to such a fresh green aroma with only a little shengness to it. The leaf is as nice as the aroma. There is a lot of green, some brown, and an abundance of silvery buds. I can tell by looking there is a lot of large leaves in this cake. I did a rinse (for once), poured off and let the leaf rest for while before preparing the first cup.

The liquor is apricot in color. I braced myself for the young sheng astringent blast and was happy to find it wasn’t present. This is a 2014 cake but the astringent bite is light and comes and goes. This is lightly sweet. I caught hints of smoke. The aftertaste reminded me of peach.

I am not that educated in sheng so I can’t tell much about quality. I can say I enjoyed drinking a sheng that I didn’t have to wince with each sip.


Bada is pretty smooth generally. The rest period really help the puerh I think. it will sometimes absorb its own weight in water during the rinse.


Ooo, intriguing!

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drank Sweet Chai Of Mine by Good Earth
1705 tasting notes

Tea of the day with my oldest son. His laptop is dead. I blame Windows 10 and its stupid insistence of auto updates that you can’t disable. My youngest son says it has corrupted the boot drive, whatever that is.

Anyway, so tea – I am not a chai person. Keep that in mind. This is a bagged tea that can sometimes be found at the local grocer. It smells very medicinal when opening the envelope. Once steeping begins the aroma turns more traditional. The taste surprises me. It is far lighter than expected. I like that. It has the traditional chai spices in moderation and a touch of vanilla. The licorice root and stevia do add some sweetness, but for chai I think it should be sweeter. I added a little sweetener (half packet). This livens up the mug and brings out the maple flavor. It also brings out the black pepper and ginger in the form of a light bite with a little heat. So then I added a splash of milk. It mutes the chai spices a little and lifts the maple. For chai this isn’t bad.


I’ve had a touchpad quit working on my Dell since a recent update.


My youngest is our resident IT guy. He tried for 2 or 3 hours. He even tried to piggy back the hard drive into another laptop and using Ubuntu tried to crack into it. He finally gave up. Can’t boot. Can’t restore. Can’t uninstall. Tread with caution if you are stuck with 10. Suddenly my Win8 looks pretty good.


Just 8 here and frankly I don’t like it much. No intention of pursuing 10!


Historically I never update an MS OS until service pack 2 gets released, although with Win10 and it’s auto-updates that will be hard to gauge. I guess if the collective moaning of the afflicted users dies down to a murmur then perhaps it will be time.


TeaExplorer – historically I never update unless it becomes necessary for running a new program. Updates unintentionally break things.

gmathis – I hated 8 when I first got it. I downloaded a free program my IT kid recommended called classic shell. Now when I turn on my laptop it has a real desktop with icons and a start button. Woot! for old school. If I wanted it to look and work like a smart phone I would have bought one.


Thankfully we don’t have to update our tea just Steep and sip

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This one left me scratching my head. I don’t drink a lot of oolongs because I don’t like the heavy roasted ones everyone else seems to prefer. This one is heavily oxidized but isn’t heavy on the roasting. It is a little sweet with the taste of honey but only lightly. The main flavor is a woodsy sort of leafiness accompanied by mineral notes like you would expect in a mountain stream where the water rushes across big rocks. This one seems so familiar but looking through my notes on Oriental Beauty and Bao Zhong, the two I thought it might most resemble, proved not even a close match. As I ended my blog post, I am going to have to leave the taste of this one as The Mystery of the Red Buffalo.

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drank citrus kiss by Good Earth
1705 tasting notes

I had this one yesterday. For the life of me I can’t figure out why it is so badly rated. Other than it being a tea bag, the big complaint seems to be the added stevia. While stevia does have a bit of a saccharin type bitter aftertaste, I think it fits this tea. It gives a little sweet kick at the end. It certainly isn’t as sweet as anything pre-sweetened at Starbucks. I also found this to be fairly complex for a lowly bag, and the flavors are light and airy. First I taste the combination of lemongrass and lemon myrtle. It achieves a very nice balance of citrus flavor. It isn’t candy and certainly isn’t furniture polish. Next I catch a brief brush of rose. It isn’t perfume or gross. It is actually quite pleasant. Late in the sip I notice the chamomile and blackberry leaves. Possibly along with the citric acid, they add just a slight tartness before the stevia kick finishes it off. As I said, I don’t get it (the hate). I might not want it all the time but would definitely drink this again. As for the aftertaste – it didn’t offend me, even so, to me it is just an opportunity to have a snack with my tea.

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drank Banana Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

Man, everyone else rated this really high. I am glad I read the reviews first as it salvaged this one for me.

I prepared this with 1 tsp of powder and 8 ounces of cold 2% milk. I thought the taste was on the weird side. It was banana-ish but then there was another taste like rose water. It wasn’t real strong but distracting. I added a little sweetener (equivalent to 1 tsp of sugar). This reduced the rosewater note and brought the banana into the marshmallow candy range mentioned by others. With sweetener it is sweet but not too sweet for a dessert treat.

Sometime soon I plan to make this again and add ice cream, along with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel. This has potential!

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drank White Peony by teasenz
1705 tasting notes

This is the last sample I have provided by Teasenz. All of them have been very good quality at a reasonable price. They offer flat $5 worldwide shipping from China.

The aroma of this one is fresh field hay with soft floral notes. The dry leaf contains plenty of furry silver buds and light green to dark brown leaves. The taste of the first cup was like drinking fresh mountain stream water, filled with stone and mineral elements. Mid sip reminds me of damp forest leaves. Late sip has light floral elements that remind me of the namesake peony flowers. The second cup is much darker in flavor. It is a combination of stone, forest leaves, and fruit – like apricot with hints of plum. Second cup seems more syrupy.

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Yeah, so the first thing I want to say is unless you intentionally want the heat and cinnamon blast of Harney’s Cinnamon Spice, remove the bag after steeping. This will hold the cinnamon to a responsible level. This also has ginger in it, and although I can’t taste it, I am pretty sure it is helping build that awesome spicy blast.

Now if this stopped with the spice it could get boring in a hurry. That is where the orange fits in nicely. It adds a citrus zing. It also makes this very sweet. Do not add sugar until you taste. Even my Splenda monkey said, “Nope, not needed”, after tasting. I see no sugar or stevia in the ingredients. I don’t know how, except the orange, it is just sweet.

Basically, this is a teabag full of Redhots with an orange twist.

Terri HarpLady

;p I’ve never cared much for this one. Once year a friend gave me 3 boxes for my birthday. I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

Maddy Barone

I actually enjoy this one occasionally. Yes, it tastes exactly like liquid red hots candy.


I’ve had this Sweet & Spicy but only the herbal tea one (didn’t know they made it w/black tea). It’s a tea I enjoy~

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drank Strawberry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

I love strawberry black tea, even (maybe, especially) the cheap stuff in bags. I was a little hesitant to try this one as a cold latte. I mean, it sounds good in theory, I was just afraid it would taste like the powdered stuff we added to milk when we were kids. The reality is this is totally awesome. The strawberry tastes so natural I looked to see if any of the green tops were floating in my mug. Move over strawberry black tea, strawberry matcha is moving in.

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drank Ginger and Lime Rooibos by Zhi Tea
1705 tasting notes

Dry this smells intensely of lime. Hot it is lime, lemon, and ginger. Once it cools it becomes more ginger, lemon/lime. The ginger packs some heat. I still don’t know what green rooibos tastes like. It seems to fill in all the flavor voids in the cup. I think I most detect it as a sweet grassy aftertaste. There is licorice root in this. It only adds a tiny amount of sweetness. Halfway through the cup I added a little sweetener to see how it would react. No problem, though it added nothing but sweetness. It is not something I would drink much of, but I can see this being fun for fans of lime and ginger.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it


Indiana, USA



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