1719 Tasting Notes

Interesting. A young sheng that does not grab you by the throat with bitterness. In fact it has very little when short steeps are used. The dry leaf was field and leather scented. The wet was leather, asparagus, seaweed, and mint. The cup was apricot colored. The first thing I caught in the taste was a hint of smoke. I never catch smoke in poo. Everybody else does. Not me. Until today. Woot! The taste goes from light mineral to leather to cooling bite.

The next cup had a spicy cedar/cinnamon mixed with leather. Behind it was a light metallic brightness. The combination was an interesting cooling heat.

The qi hit me hard on the second cup. The medicine I take for my lungs reacts with caffeine apparently. I really want to indulge in more of this but I am putting it away until morning. Probably shouldn’t have taking the meds with poo. Yeah, I’ll be more careful next time. Anyway, for only a few years old, this was an amazing sheng.

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drank TÊTÊ Green Jade Tea by TÊTÊ
1719 tasting notes

Another from Nepal. This one is simply called green tea. What’s inside is not as simple as the name. The dry aroma is highly roasted. It made me nervous as I have to be in the mood for roasted (not my favorite). So I steeped it in 160F water for two minutes. The wet leaf is even more roasted. Cautiously, I took my first sip. Wow. The taste is nothing like the leaf scent. I really like this. It is nutty. Behind this is a green thing going on. It isn’t grassy or viney tasting. I hate using vegetal but I can’t come up with a better word except tasty. Just enough bite to excite the palette. My guess is this would be great iced. I have been impressed with both teas I have tried from TETE so far.

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drank TÊTÊ Golden Tea by TÊTÊ
1719 tasting notes

This is a tea from Nepal. I sampled it before I heard of the loss of life and utter devastation from the earthquake. I have not seen the news yet but my heart goes out to the people of Nepal.

TETE has printed in tiny letters across the front of the resealable bag the word “Simplify”. They sell exactly three teas – black, green, and white. This is their Himalayan full leaf premium tea otherwise known as Black. Their website says the teas are sourced from remote farms and are intended to make life simpler for those of us who sometimes don’t pay full attention to time and temperature.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to be so good. The aroma of the leaf is malt, and grain, grape and floral. Really it smells awesome. The leaf itself is complete full leaves and buds. The buds are golden and the leaves dark brown. Beautiful. The liquor is bright and clear, ruby red and orange in color. The taste is a bit malt with nice notes of grape and floral. The aftertaste is sweet, floral, and lingering. This is a smooth cup. I don’t catch any bitterness. The dryness is fairly minimal for a black tea, though I notice some cheek tingle. I am catching a light bite that I like.

I am very impressed by this one and can’t wait to try out the green and white tea.


This sounds really tasty. Will have to check them out when I’m back in the land of work.

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drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1719 tasting notes

Other than the teas I have been reviewing for the blog, about all I have chugged lately is Diet Lipton Citrus Green Tea. I think it is laced with something. I find it devoid of depth but so addictive (truthfully it is because it is easy and I am lazy). There are no more in the fridge at the moment. sigh. Oh well, I’ll just have to have some Earl Grey hot from my replicator. As I pop the tin, bergamot fills my olfactory. I can’t even imagine why EG is not everyone’s favorite. It is one of the very few teas I still always have with sweetener. It simply intensifies it and mellows it at the same time. All this typing has worn me out. Back to the couch. Make it so Number One… Spock why couldn’t you have been the EG guy? Then I could have just had Scotty beam me to the couch.


Watch that replicator tea…we watched Deep Space 9 last night and there was a virus that made the crew start talking nonsense words bear griffon organdy skizzlerank riogherk…


Well, bongy bongy, swizzlestick! and that’s why you always keep your anti-virus software updated kids.


Wouldn’t have happened if Commander Sisko wasn’t so snarky about needing his coffee. (DS9 is my favorite of the franchise—it’s like a great big shopping mall in the sky and all the weirdos come to them instead of vice versa.)

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1719 tasting notes

I have posted my blind taste testing of 12 matcha samples. This was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Not offering any spoilers here for those bloggers who haven’t finished their reviews yet. Click the link only if you want to see how it all works out. http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2015/04/matcha-madness.html


Neat experiment! And I love the way you compared the colour to a Crayola crayon. :)


fascinating! Thanks for posting!

Roswell Strange

That’s super interesting!


I kept thinking red leaf was too expensive for my husband’s desire for matcha smoothies, but I guess not! The comparison was really interesting! Thanks for posting!


Nice! One of my favorite green tea powders for matcha lattes came from Taiwan. Looks like it was spot on with what you like!


Ashmanra, that’s because you have good tastes ;) You should try a sample of the one I top rated. Only seems a lot more expensive than the Taiwan powder because you get it by the pound – which would last me about six month drinking it everyday.

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drank Sencha Fukujya by Curious Tea
1719 tasting notes

Looks like dried grass clippings. I have a lot of tiny particles in mine. The other tea in the package was undamaged, so I don’t know if this was roughed up in shipping? Others didn’t comment on this so I am believing it is just my bag. Steeping temp of 158F is hard to do but I stood guard over the kettle and got it.

I think Curious Tea nails the taste profile on their webpage by saying this “has a full vegetal and slightly toasty flavour. It strongly evokes green vegetables, such as spinach or greens with a nori undertone and a distinct dryness in the aftertaste.”

I think the only thing I would add is though the temperature is a bit of a pain to hit, it is worth the effort as the cup was nicely smooth.


Mercy, 158 sounds like far too much work. I need something that allows me 25 degrees and 90 seconds either way! :)


Japanese tea would never work with the old Hot Shot I used to use, but I really miss the simplicity of those days. I still have to be in a cooperative mood to attempt odd parameters – and that means never any where near early morning.

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drank Snow Bud (Xue Ya) by Curious Tea
1719 tasting notes

I have had Snow Bud before from another company. The teas appear pretty much identical. The difference is in the brewing approach. This one calls for 175F water and a 4 minute steep. The other used 195F and 30 second steeps. The difference is day and night. This one is smooth. The other was intense with a good bitter. Here I am getting lightly sweet field grass, along with hints of nuts and floral. The aftertaste is lingering and has the good bite I expected up front but here it is lighter and not at all scary. Although I taste the fresh spring water and floral notes I associate with good white tea, it is the ending that drifts towards Chinese green tea that sells this to me. I very much enjoyed this using Curious Teas parameters.

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drank Green Tea with Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1719 tasting notes

The first time I reviewed this on Steepster was 5 years ago (5!?!? – wow where does time go. I already had a long history with this tea before joining here. Looks like the last time I logged it was 8 months ago. I’ve missed you old friend. The Earl Green teabag version has a brighter bergamot and less interesting green base. The loose version tastes somewhere between a chun mee and a bold Vietnamese green. It is brash and loud – I like that. The bergamot is more of a light background support flavor in the loose version. If Ahmad would double the bergamot, I might need no other tea. This is less than $10/lb. So yeah, it is super cheap but has always been a personal favorite comfort tea. Fancy teas come and go in my collection but this one seems to always be waiting somewhere in the back.


Have you ever considered adding bergamot oil to it? If you put it in a bag, shook it up, and left it in a tin for a few weeks it might bring it up to the level you want!


To be honest, I can’t figure out which oils are safe for consumption and which are scent only oils.


The bergamot from Native American Nutritionals should be consumable, I think. Only tiny amounts of course! But if they say they are just for aromatherapy I wouldn’t, like NOW brand. NAN is the same company as Rocky Mountain Oils.

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Ello Kiddies, today I finally feel up to some pu time. I love the packaging on these samples. Clever and interesting. It kind of involved all my senses right from the start.

This is a loose leaf shou. The leaf is chocolate brown, large and lightly twisted. It has a boot leather aroma to me.

I tried doing 3 rinses as Wymm recommends on the website, but after drinking the first and the second, I gave up on the idea. The third was my first full cup. Copying straight from my blog: The taste is much like the rinses. Instead of boot leather like the dry scent, this is old family Bible leather. There is a gentle sweetness to it. I find it immediately warming and comforting. There is no bitterness and nothing off about it. This is nicely smooth with no rough edges. There is a woodsy cedar spiciness late in the sip that adds just enough bite to be interesting without adding distraction.

I’ll continue steeping this throughout the day. It has been a while since I have had pu-erh and my tummy is rumbling in appreciation.


I love the packaging, too! At first I thought the “tag” was terracotta but then when I got mine I saw it was some sort of leather or leather-like substance! I have it “artfully” arranged on a pewter tray on my secretary desk because I thought it was so pretty to display.

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drank Dong Ding by Sanne Tea
1719 tasting notes

First, thank you Lulu for the sample. I tried the survey link and could not get it to work.

I thought Dongding was a heavily roasted oolong. Happily, and to my surprise, this one isn’t. I do my best to fairly review heavy roasted stuff but it is honestly my least favorite type of tea. So Yeah for this one!

The dry leaf is so floral. Love. The nuggets are tightly rolled with just a little stem tail. After steeping I always am amazed. How did they get all that leaf and stem in there?

So, the taste… this is how I think all oolong should taste. I am not really catching any roasted note at all. Instead, I am catching the orchid like floral notes, followed by a passing buttery popcorn flavor. There is also a spice note along the lines of nutmeg. Very nice.

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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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