1705 Tasting Notes

reviewed Tumbler by Monocle Tea Products
1705 tasting notes

Received this tumbler for review. The look of it made me smile – the monocle and mustache logo amuse me. What I originally thought was a NO engraved in the lid actually stands for New Orleans where the owner Devin calls home.

This is a double-walled borosilicate glass tumbler. The 2 part infuser is stainless steel. The outside of the lid is bamboo. The inside of the lid is plastic.

The infuser can be used as a leaf basket. It rests on a lip inside the tumbler. After steeping it is easily removable. Or you can use top infuser top only for fruit infusions or grandpa style brewing.

The tumbler at 15 oz is tall and narrow. It fits in a standard auto cup holder. I found it easy to drink from and it held the heat well, in fact I left the lid off trying to cool the tea off as I don’t like it really hot.


Nice! I loved the double-walled glass tumbler I bought many years ago, but it unfortunately cracked only after a few months. Hope yours will last longer!

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Sample of the day to try out a new tumbler. What a clean wonderful tea. After steeping the leaves had a grassy scent with citrus notes. That was new. The tea is mineral into creamy. Nutty with a green bite. The weather was very pleasant outside this morning. Perfect weather with a perfect tea.

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drank Ruby 18 Taiwanese Black by Totem Tea
1705 tasting notes

Totem Tea sent this my way. As soon as I saw the label I went Ooooo out loud. This is a Sun Moon Lake black tea. If you have had one you know. If not this is a soothing black tea closer to Fujian than Assam in taste but not really. Dry it smells of dry field grass, malt, and fruit. Steeped at one minute it is honey and plums. I also taste caramel and a touch of cocoa. This is followed by a coolness that isn’t a blast to the senses, it is more like a welcome breeze. The winter mint is a felt not tasted, and lingers in the aftertaste. Definitely a nice cup.


Drool, those are some fabulous notes.


LOVE Ruby #18!

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drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong Oolong by Totem Tea
1705 tasting notes

Been a while since I’ve posted. I have been battling internet operating at dial up speed and some times less. The provider (satellite internet) hasn’t helped. The problem is a glitch on their end – no really it is. Today I upgraded the firmware on the router and switched anti-virus software. Getting the remnants of the old av off my computers was a lot o fun, not. So by the time I got to tea today I was a frazzled mess.

I opened the sample and at first I caught baked and roasted notes. Second whiff was more of grain accompanied by a sweet fruitiness. Once steeped a wonderful flowery aroma and a warm spiciness appears.

The sip is sweet buttery broth with strong notes of corn. At first I caught a tingly spiciness that I thought was going to turn into briskness but it doesn’t. This just stays incredibly smooth.

This is a subtle green oolong with wonderful taste. just what I needed to destress today.

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drank Peach Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

Found this with the pumpkin pie matcha I had yesterday. Prepared as a cold latte with sweetener. Peaches and cream. Very yummy.

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drank Pumpkin Pie Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1705 tasting notes

From yesterday. Found a sample I forgot I had. Made a cold latte with sweetener. To me it isn’t any pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. Not really a chai either. More like pumpkin spices. It is a comforting flavor even cold. I’m glad I was too lazy to get my normal matcha out of the freezer and refill my tin.

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I received an unexpected shipment from Kent & Sussex, so Thanks! In the box was this one and an Earl Grey. Normally I would always rip open the EG first, but even through the packaging this one smells so good. It is the kind of good that you would pour into a bowl and set out on the counter. Mostly orange scented but with cardamom, cinnamon, and apple. I used a healthy scoop and steeped for 4 minutes. I recall having this before and liking the taste but thought it a little light, so more leaf and longer steep. Nicely sweet on its own but takes sweetening well. The taste is orange, clove, cinnamon and cardamom, followed by just a touch from pink peppercorn. The black tea base is present but stays in the background. It does add a little dryness but no bitterness or bite. The only problem with this tea is I picked up my mug and it was empty.


Yeah, that happens to me a lot, too.

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drank Chamomile by Buddha's Herbs
1705 tasting notes

I had this one a couple days ago. I have been craving it since. Yes, it is a simple bagged chamomile and yet it is not. I personally think this might be the perfect time for a bag. Late in the evening I just want a cup to relax with. I don’t want to mess with strainers and stuff. While I think the bag does dull the flavor just a bit, I also find this one to have enough flavor that I don’t mind. My wife says she doesn’t like chamomile when it tastes too appley and she really enjoyed this one. To me it tasted a lot like apple pie filling – especially sweetened. Who’s right? Doesn’t matter as we both thought this one was pretty good. I think it is less than a quarter ($0.25) a cup.

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drank Hot Cinnamon Spice by Petit Tea
1705 tasting notes

Haven’t been around much lately. I have been way too busy lately. Part of it is some physical therapy I’m taking. I kind of have to program my time around it. I am so sore all over at the moment. I hurt in places I didn’t even know I had. Anyway, tea – so this one is the last of my Petit teas. Based on the name, I was expecting something akin to Harney’s. This sachet is a kinder gentler cinnamon tea. The cinnamon itself is not like the dull stuff found on your grocers shelf. It is full of rich flavor. It smells intense when dry but once steeped you can actually taste the assam base. I can’t recall the last cinnamon tea where I could taste the tea, so kudos Petit. I prepared this sans additions. After tasting I added sweetener per the label. The cinnamon flavor and heat were intensified yet still remained far below scary levels. Finally I added a splash of milk as recommended on the label. This took the cinnamon taste down a notch or two. The heat level remained. The milk and assam base blended together while the cinnamon danced around the edges and the heat warmed my tongue. While a bit more grown up than the Harney version this was still plenty fun. I enjoyed this one.

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This is for the 2016 tea. Thank you Angel for the sample.

Opening the packet this has a savory malt aroma. The flat leaves are smaller than I remember so I checked out the website and learned the tea is made of a bud and tiny leaf. The color is a soft spring green.

I couldn’t decide how to prepare it. I don’t really enjoy gaiwan brewing but I didn’t want a long 3-5 minute western steep either. I decided to use 8oz of water heated to 175F and steeped the leaf for 1 minute. The aroma as I removed the lid was a wonderful umami and steamed veggies. The brew color is very light – someone called it straw, I think that is close enough. Its clear and bright.

The taste is somewhere between nutty and creamed corn. It is very smooth and without bitterness. The aftertaste trails off into a lingering grassiness with just a mild bite.

This is really a light tea. If you enjoy the subtle nature of silver needle white tea (as example) you would enjoy this one. Not because they are similar because they are completely different, however both are subtle and mellow.

I personally prefer the taste of the more robust premium version for its bolder presence. That said, what moves me with this tea is the inner warming glow I get from drinking it. This one has possibly the strongest Qi I have experienced. I don’t feel buzzed or euphoric. Instead it gives me a strong sense of alertness and calm. Very few teas have this affect on me. A pot of this and I think I could snatch the pebble (the elders of us will get that reference).

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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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