1719 Tasting Notes

I have pretty much avoided Assams. Back in my early teabag days, Assam is the type tea I held most responsible for stomach burn. Besides, it tasted like, well, tea. So it was a real pleasure trying this one. The malty fruity aroma is definitely sniff worthy. The sip is likewise malt with hints of fruitiness. Mostly what impressed me was how smooth this was to drink. I steeped for two minutes and there was no bitterness. There is a bit of dryness but I’m ok with that. Grocery store assam almost ruined this type tea for me. I know better leaf means better tea. This is a prime example. If you have been avoiding Assam, this is a good one to rethink that move.


So much of my early tea drinking was poor quality, bagged Assam, Ceylon and Darjeeling teas, probably scalded and oversteeped too. Even though I know this, I still sometimes expect these types of teas to be mediocre, and I feel uninspired to try them, but then am surprised by the quality and range of flavours when I do.


I had the same early impressions of Assam as well, but I’ve been coming to appreciate the quality ones out there.


The smoothness in this tea is what made me buy 250g during the BF sale…. I have loads of assams, but this is a smooth one that I’m glad I have a truckload of!

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I liked this one. I can’t say I tasted the honeysuckle. I do see the petals in the leaf. It is kind of like the Rose Toucha from Teavivre, it smooths out the cup more than adding flavor. That said I did catch some floral in the second cup. The aroma early on is barnyard. Later cups were smooth and dusty horse tack in taste with a warm spice and maybe cedar? Anyway, I enjoyed it.


Yeah, I couldn’t find the honeysuckle either!

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I continue my education with Darjeeling tea with this one today. This is completely different than the Giddapahar Muscatel I recently tried. With that one I caught a bready note along with fruit and hints of malt. It was quite brisk. This one is a beautiful golden color, tasting fruity and grape like along with wonderful floral notes. Neither the fruit or the floral are overwhelming. Actually, though obvious, they stay on the quiet side. Mostly smooth and mellow, with mild to moderate briskness (I really think mild but I seem to be a little desensitized to it from years of meh tea). It leaves only a light dryness. The aftertaste was my favorite part. It is a neat swirling of fruit and floral, that weave in an out of a woodsy leafy taste.

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I’m not sure why, probably because its from Andrews and Dunham, but I kind of expected this to be more Grrrrr, before I tasted it. Then looking at the leaf I realized I should have known better. This has lots of golden tips from the Yunnan leaf. It has a malty, honey, chocolate scent that is so good. So the brew taste is kind of the same, along with smooth and complex. The Ceylon does offer a healthy briskness mid sip and lingering long into the aftertaste to counter the smooth nature of the Yunnan. The the Darjeeling kicks in late in the sip offering up a woodsy fruitiness that is a neat topper. Somewhere along the lines there is a touch of smoke. It isn’t obvious but there if you wait for it.

I am not sure why this is called a holiday blend and I don’t even care. It is really good. Thanks Stephanie for sharing this one.


Great review, thanks! I definitely want to try this one and the Tiger Assam from A&D!

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1719 tasting notes

Like many of you, we have been in the deep freeze this week. This morning the sun was shining and we ventured out for breakfast anyway just to blow the stink off from being cooped up ;) Anyway they were really busy. The manager brought my tea. Typical restaurant version – kind of steaming water in a metal pitcher, a cold cup and a tea bag. Some assembly required. Tea was good but not like usual.

A friend happened in at the same time and I asked him to join us. His 90+ mom was in the hospital and is now back at the nursing home. She has given up. My friend is coming to terms. He has been her care giver for as long as I have known him. He is a good man and a great son. It was sad talking with him but glad I could be an ear today.

The server who loves tea was working the other side of the room. My wife took her the chai I had sacked up for her. She told my wife she starts chemo tomorrow. It brought a flood of thoughts as we just lost my sister-in-law right before Thanksgiving. The server told my wife, so far the jasmine pearls are still her favorite. I don’t know if chemo and caffeine are OK so I may need to hold off any more sacks for a while.

Had a second cup of tea and gave thanks that today we are doing well.


I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mum this summer. She drank matcha throughout her chemo, so I think caffeine should probably be okay, though I imagine it all depends on what type of chemo.



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drank Mindful Morning Blend by Plum Deluxe
1719 tasting notes

Fixing a cup of this to get me through to suppertime. Cranking out some BTO and REO Speedwagon. These were a couple of my favorites back in the day (when I had hair down to my waist). The music holds up well, better than I have :) Anyway, this smells delicious. I need to add honey to my normal EG and see if it turns creamy nice like this. Delicious. Feeling the need for some Ted Nugent…

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Man, did I need caffeine this morning. So of course that means road blocks at every turn. The biggest hurdle was getting the CTC from yesterday out of my teapot. That won’t happen again.

So this smells malty, dry. It smells malty, and a little baked brownies, steeped. It tastes lightly malt and unsweetened chocolate. There is a much desired, by me this morning, briskness to it that starts at the front, early in the sip, and expands around to the sides. It drifts into a sharp finish. Along the way I sense a fruity taste like the Muscat of the Darjeeling I had a couple days ago.

Not a one note tea by any means but not super complex either. Perfect for my first couple cups of the morning.

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drank Cookie by Lupicia
1719 tasting notes

The dry leaf smells good. The wet leaf smells better. The tea tastes yum! I can taste the caramelized bottom of the cookie from staying in the oven just a minute too long. So homemade. Going with the recommendation by Lupicia I added milk. I also added sweetener because, well, Cookie! This smooths everything out and adds a rich texture to it. This was a fun break. Thanks Stephanie.

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drank Malawi Zomba Pearls White by What-Cha
1719 tasting notes

Grabbed the gaiwan for some gong fu action. Amanda is a super taster. She tastes cucumber in this. What-Cha even says right on the label tangy cucumber. This is amazingly good, but even gong fu, I am getting sweet buttered corn. I do get passing hits of tangy something. Maybe I need to change my Brita filter or maybe I don’t know what cucumber tastes like. So when Red Lobster throws cucumber on top of my salad, am I tasting cucumber or what ever it is soaked in? I have experienced cucumber as I know it in Teavivre’s silver needle combined with melon notes. That is not what I get here. Amanda, I kneel before you and her super powers (I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy). Seriously, I wish I had your palate and descriptive abilities. Cucumbers or sweet buttered corn, this stuff is awesome.


Looks like cucumbers started a very philosophical contemplation- do any two people taste something the same? :)


With Jedi mind tricks, yes we would taste things alike.

Here, I am applauding Amanda and beginning to question my water. It is so heavily chemicalled I have to use a charcoal filter to even make it usable. Seriouly, the dogs refuse to drink it. When I was working, my tasting was all done on straight tap water from the city system. Now at home I have county water. Tomorrow I should grab some bottled water and see if it makes a difference.


Water is definitely important. While the filtered tap water here is acceptable, at my parents’ house just a few hours away it’s not nearly as good and they refuse to make tea with it. I hope you find a good and convenient water source—maybe it will open up new tea horizons and the dogs will be happier too!

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drank green tea powder 250g pack by Tradition
1719 tasting notes

Let me begin by saying, it is cold here. Negative numbers cold. So I have a box of Swiss Miss Candy Cane and some green tea powder. Hmmmm. Yeah, the idea is a good one, but the reality, not so much. The powder wanted to clump in warm milk. I usually use an ounce of room temperature water and it mixes fine. Maybe the carragean (sp?) in the Swiss Miss caused it to clump. Anyway the peppermint tasted old and the tea was BITTER. Live and learn. On to the next.


Sounded like a good approach, theoretically.

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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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