1705 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey K-cup by Bigelow
1705 tasting notes

We did our Christmas at home this morning. My son’s K-cup machine died a while back so we got him a new one. He wanted to make a cup for all of us. I had this one. My opinion has not changed. No. Just no. He loves it though.

I am feeling almost human today. Yeah! Merry Christmas.


Merry Christmas!


Have a nice Christmas!


Yep. It just tastes like cup.

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I appear to have a bug. I guess it wasn’t my wife trying to poison me with grilled cheese two days ago. My back hurts and heating pad is the only relief I have found. My stomach is in knots. My head hurts. I am trying to keep hydrated but honestly I don’t feel like drinking. I’ve have wanted raw pu-erh for a couple days but no one in the house knows how to fix it (or even what it is) but me. Finally feel momentarily well enough. Used my gaiwan and a 15 sec steep. Raisin, woodsy, a touch of smoke, and a fruit – apricot I think. More important I get an immediate sticky lip feel and a much desired rumble in my bloated gut. Time for more.


get better soon !

boychik I hope you will get better by tomorrow !

Ich. Take care of yourself!


Hope you feel well soon!

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drank Pure Peppermint by Twinings
1705 tasting notes

My wife wanted grilled cheese. Not a fan. Now I remember why. I am doubled over with cramping. Found this on my desk. No idea where it came from. I am guessing my son through it there. It is obvious this is peppermint. It is just as obvious it is very old. It just isn’t working for me. Guess I’ll have to tough it out :(


Hope you feel better soon.


Oh no! That sounds awful! i am sorry :( Feel better soon!

Miss Starfish

Oh dear! You poor thing! :( Hope you mend up soon!


Feel better!


Cheese does the same to me :( Sometimes ginger tea helps me feel a bit better.


Aww too bad about the cheese. I hope you feel better soon!

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1705 tasting notes

My weekly update: I was so excited to play with my new (used) teapot I almost forgot to share about this one. The tea loving server saw us coming in this morning and begged the others to let her wait on us. Yeah – cause that means way better prepared tea. And a new tea bag with each cup. What a novel idea.

This week I took her a baggie of Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tips and a sample bag of Teavivre Jasmine Dragon Pearls. The pearls were harder to give away because I don’t know if I have any more at the moment. I told her these blow the ones I previously gave her out of the water.

I asked her if she was steeping the teas more than once. She said, “Are you kidding me, I’m steeping them until they have nothing left to give.” Awesome. She told me she pulled the teas out at her book club and shared with ‘the girls’. They loved them – dragon well was the favorite. As you can tell, I’m loving this.

I asked if she was willing to try pu-erh. She did not know what it was. I told her it smelled like a horse barn and tasted like leather. Her eyes lit up. Now I have to go through the drawer and figure out which one I have is the best example of what I just told her.

Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel.


I always enjoy hearing your stories of a fellow tea aficionado!


Aren’t tea padawans fun?


When I was working I had a couple guys I shared with. This lady has made me realize how much I miss the interaction with a fellow tea lover.

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drank Golden Yunnan by RiverTea
1705 tasting notes

After today, I have enough left for a couple more sessions. I was really looking forward to ordering more of this one. It is one of my favorite Yunnans. It kind of trades the sweet potato notes for a wonderful smoky bohea like flavor. Sorry to find out RiverTea is apparently no more.

Today I prepared this in a little green ceramic teapot my wife found for me at Goodwill. It holds roughly 12 oz. The perfect size for my needs. I have wanted one for a while, just for my black teas. I heated the pot first and brewed this at 194F for 2 minutes. It was so good. The smoke filled my olfactory, while the honey, caramel and leather (leather? – yup) rejoiced on the inside. Best $4 buy ever.

carol who

I’ve gotten some great tea ware finds at Goodwill, too. :D


Got to love a bargain, and it supports a good cause.

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drank Ginger Snappish by Bigelow
1705 tasting notes

This is one time I wish I had read other’s reviews before tasting. I mean there is a snow man on the box with kind of not decorated Christmas trees in the background and Bigelow says its a holiday season blend (IE Christmas without saying it). I am all geared up with a scarf and mittens (metaphorically speaking) and ready for a cinnamon and sugary ginger snap cookie like my grandmother made. So… this is nothing like that. Had I realized I would have approached this differently. This smells of ginger and lemongrass/lemon verbena. It tastes of lemongrass/ lemon verbena. The ginger to me only briefly appears late in the sip to add a little spicy heat. I added a little sweetener to see its affect. At first, I liked it better without. As the cup cooled it did bring out the ginger more, balancing the ginger with the lemon. Now, there is nothing wrong with the flavor. In fact it is a very pleasant and relaxing sip. The problem for me is it does not stir any holiday memories. I would be far more inclined to enjoy this one on a cool summer night out under the stars. Would I recommend this one? Yes, as long as you understand what you’re getting – It’s a lovely lemon herbal tea. Thanks GG!


What an odd flavour considering the look of the packaging.


I hold the same opinion as I do for Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. It needs to be a year-round flavor.


I have never seen either of the Bigelow teas around here. Our grocer (Walmart) has no imagination on the tea aisle.


… Then again I have to drive 30 miles to find Sleigh Ride.

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drank Salted Caramel by Bigelow
1705 tasting notes

It’s Cheapster Steepster time, it’s Cheapster Steepster time. I love bargain teas when they deliver. This one does. GGmathis shared this with me. It is not something I would have tried on my own. The smell when I open the bag is spot on to those little square squishy candies. The tea brews up a dark reddish brown. The taste was at first less than spectacular. I could taste the simple black base and faint traces of caramel. Nice enough but mostly meh. Then I noticed on the bag it said to add sugar and milk. I opted for Splenda. Just wow! it is like biting into one of those candy squares without the calories. Pffft. I could have the whole bag and not feel the least bit guilty. Except with green tea powder, I never add milk. Today, I made an exception. The taste was not a lot different but the tea looked more like the candy and it did feel richer and a little more decadent.

I am left wondering, if I used an apple tea bag and a bag of this, would I get a good caramel apple – the kind that does not get all over my beard? I guess first I would have to find a cheapster apple tea that actually tasted tart.

Oh and bonus, my fingers smell like caramel from squeezing the bag.


woohoo cheapster! :D


Glad you warmed up to it :)

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drank Malawi Zomba Pearls White by What-Cha
1705 tasting notes

It’s 6 AM. I’ve already had my morning green tea powder. Started to grab a black tea when I remembered this was still in the press from yesterday. This is the third western mug and the pearls have loosened up a lot. I suspect being left for several hours allowed them time to unfurl. One review I read elsewhere said it took 7 steeps to get the leaf to relax. The liquor is golden this morning. The scent is different today. It reminds me of a high mountain oolong from Taiwan. The aroma is fruity and floral. The taste is different too. The butter is gone. This now has a tangy bite at the beginning that fades quickly into a flavor I don’t quite know how to describe. It is kind of earth, slightly mushroom, and nutty. Combined with the aroma it makes for a great cup.


Zombie pearls :) You know we’re all thinking that.


Hah, I totally was. :P


I know how to describe the taste now… it tastes like BRAINS Muwahahahaha!


Yep, I was just going to say zombie pearls too. :D

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drank Malawi Zomba Pearls White by What-Cha
1705 tasting notes

I finally convinced the government I do exist even if my old email address does not. Whatever you do, if you change email accounts, inform them long before you lose access to the old one.

Today, I am celebrating with some Zomba Pearls. These look so cool. It reminds me of Cicada right after they crawl out of their shell. That’s awesome. After the first steep they look like cocoons (tent caterpillar – hate the real thing) which again I think is so cool.

The first mug I am expecting cucumber as the label says. I got something totally different. The scent is kind of green tea like. The taste is is butter, and corn, and hay. Very smooth. No bitterness. Only he slightest dryness. I love it.

The pearls are still very tightly wound and What-Cha says it takes six or so steeps to get them to completely relax. I hope to find out. Maybe the cucumber comes in later but even if it doesn’t this is a delicious cup of white tea.


This one really interests me.


I’m glad you were able to sort out that government business. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary stress to me.


This tea sounds ‘so cool’. Cicadas, cocoons and everything.

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drank Red Jade by Eco-Cha Artisan Teas
1705 tasting notes

I found this in one of my boxes. I really don’t recall who sent it to me. Apologies.

This is an interesting tea on many levels. The dry scent is awesome – malt, honey, sweet potato. The leaf is beautiful. The first sip is Mmmmm. It starts honey, sweet potato, and woodsy. Then after reading BrewTEAlly Sweet’s review I realize I am tasting cinnamon and clove, but without the sugar I normally associate with it. So, I am chugging this cup down when I begin to notice the white wine dryness. I’m still thinking where is the mint. That is when the cheek tingle kicked in. It has staying power. My cheeks tingled long after drinking. The first cup went straight down and immediately I started number two. What I thought was woodsy in the first is now much stronger and it is like apricot without the sweetness, surrounded by the spices. The mint sensation is also amplified. So this cup went straight down as well.

I am left perplexed. I just drank two cups straight down – that means I had to enjoy it, right? Yet, I find I am not craving any more of it. I’ve never had this experience before.

With the remaining leaf I will add sugar or honey and see if additions change my view one way or the other.

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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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