1700 Tasting Notes

I hope all of you are experiencing the same awesomely beautiful weather we are enjoying. Not a cloud in the sky. This morning I decided to completely forget all the stuff that I am supposed to be doing. Instead I got out my gorgeous Tivelasi teapot and filled it with Little Red Cup Lapsang Souchong. Grabbed the accompanying mug and a bowl of grits and parked myself on the front porch. It was so peaceful. No traffic. The sound of faint hammering across the road – the neighbors are building a barn for their horses. The sweet pine smoke from the tea along with the gentle warm breeze simply melted the stress away. The perfect early morning porch tea. Highly recommend you start your day the same way.

Unfortunately back to reality this afternoon.

Evol Ving Ness

A bowl of grits! How I miss grits.

Evol Ving Ness

Sounds like a perfect morning.


What a beautiful, evocative post!

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drank Earl Grey by Starbucks
1700 tasting notes

Had this yesterday while shopping. Actually it is the Teavana version from Starbucks. Iced with one Splenda. I always have to tell them 3 minutes on the steep. They will go 7 if I don’t. I figure they think tea is supposed to be as bitter as coffee. Anyway, made correctly this is pretty good. Buying one is a good reminder that we don’t flinch too badly when charged $2+ for a iced tea in a plastic cup, but hesitate to buy a tea leaf or bag when it is $0.60-$0.70 each. If we had to buy Starbucks 15-20 at a time the real cost would be more obvious and sales would plummet. Made correctly, this is bright and citrusy without bitterness

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drank Starter Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1700 tasting notes

Sitting here this morning checking email with a matcha latte and a bowl of grits that I added a 2 tsp of ground flax and a tsp of chia seeds. (My nurse practitioner said she lowered her cholesterol 40 points using flax)

So I am having my daily starter matcha from Red Leaf and I notice an ad from Amazon where this is on sale for $16.99/lb. I still have about 3/4 pound in my freezer and a full pound of Deluxe Matcha so I am able to resist but man that is a bargain price.

I used to add fruit to my morning glass, but now I’m just too lazy to get the blender out. Milk, matcha, and sweetener. I like the mildly grassy taste. It is better than any of the other starter matcha I have tried.

So would it be wrong of me to consider 2 tsp of powder to be equal to one serving of vegetables? ;) Yeah, I gained 10 pounds this winter and trying to do better. Heard on the news last night about the pizza and doughnut diet. Woman lost over 100 pounds. She ate what she wanted one day and fasted the next. I could do that, especially if they are chocolate eclairs with custard filling.


Interesting that flax lowers cholesterol.

I guess it’s, for the most part, about calories in and calories out, but damn, I could never eat nothing but pizza and donuts and successfully lose weight since they’re so calorie dense. I’d have to stretch out two slices of pizza and one donut throughout the entire day haha.


Flax – I mentioned adding flax to my oatmeal, after reading about it, at the NP’s office with my wife. Her cholesterol is up. NP said it worked for her. Flax and chia are both high in omega 3. I hate HATE fish, so thought I would try his route. Best part – no fish burps.

Pizza and doughnut diet – pretty sure the report was a bit exaggerated. The woman did say she ate normally (including pizza) one day – abt 2500 calories, then only took in 500 calories the next. Sounds like a normal weekend to me, so rinse and repeat.

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drank Traditional Chai Latte by Petit Tea
1700 tasting notes

Easter is over. Why haven’t I been able to have some down time yet? I just want to sit quietly with multiple cups of tea and get lost in them. Since that apparently isn’t going to happen soon, I am glad I have options. The Petit Tea sachets are actually pretty good options for days (week?) like these. Listing at $5.95/15 sachets = $0.40/mug. Cut that in half with a resteep. The sachets do not contain dust. The scent and taste are nicely balanced.

I prepared this chai with boiling water and steeped two minutes with sweetener added (because chai), then added hot milk and steeped two more minutes. I don’t have a stove top in my den so I couldn’t cook the tea in the traditional manner but close enough.

The taste is a medley of flavors. The cardamom drives with the clove close behind. Pepper, ginger, and cinnamon all pop in and out at different times. After some research, I decided I was tasting a mix of mace and anise late in the sip drifting into the aftertaste. It is a kind of sweet taste and kind of spicy floral but not really. I don’t recall having mace before. I like it, assuming that is what I am tasting.

More complex than I was expecting.

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reviewed Handmade Ceramic Teapot by Tivelasi Pottery
1700 tasting notes

Reviewed this yesterday on my blog. Thought I would show it off a little here as well. This is a 23 oz handcrafted stoneware teapot and 8.5 oz earthenware mugs. These come from Bulgaria. They are gorgeous. The size is perfect for me but larger sizes (up to 50 oz) are available. The teapot and mugs are fully glazed inside and out. The mugs are light in weight, comfortable to hold, and the lip is easy to sip from. The handle stays cool while drinking. The teapot feels heavy even when empty. Adding boiling water to it really heats up the outer surface of the pot, yet the handle stays nice and cool. The opening is small. It will require a flexible bottle brush to clean inside the pot. The spout pours easily and a little slow. I used a cloth drawstring bag to hold my loose leaf as I don’t have a brush and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to clean up if I turned the leaf loose and used a strainer. The handle over the top looks like it might interfere with adding water but I poured into the pot from my kettle without issue. Should be a beautiful treasure for years to come. http://tivelasipottery.com/


By the way, lead free and food safe glaze. Tivelasi says these are dishwasher and microwave safe but I will never ever find out.


neat! thanks for sharing!


What a work of art!




Wow! That page bowled me over. Which did you get? Those are gorgeous.


I looked at your blog and saw it. Stunning! You lucky duck!


Autumn collection. Almost got the Tulip. And yes, very lucky duck!


How gorgeous!!!

S.G. Sanders

It’s so inexpensive for such beautiful teaware! A must have!


R.F. Hill, I did not realize what a bargain it really is until I started looking around today.

S.G. Sanders

It’s a rare moment to find quality art for such a great price. Now I’m off to buy a nice teapot! :)

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drank Silver Snail (Yin Luo) by 3 Leaf Tea
1700 tasting notes

This is kind of a unique tea. I find it hard to define. It is listed as a white tea. The dry leaf resembles jasmine pearls with a lot of silver buds and without the jasmine. The steeped leaf has a lot of leaf in addition to the buds. The liquor is bright golden yellow after a two minute steep. The aroma is nutmeg and floral. Tasting it has a strong bite of the good kind of bitter. In this regard it reminds me of Chinese green tea. There is a fair amount of the nutmeg and floral in the taste. These notes, though no where near as intense, remind me of a green high mountain oolong. Under everything runs an earthy woods flavor. This is the note that most seems like a white tea. The flavor is strong but has good depth.

S.G. Sanders

Nutmeg for a White tea seems unusual, but peaks my curiosity.


Ah, this sounds like a must try!

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
1700 tasting notes

I used my last packet of crystals in a bottle of cold water. Nice refreshing and minty green tea without all the sugar RTD generally contains.

These packets were originally only available through a subscription plan. Now you can also buy individual boxes without the plan. For those who might be interested, Pique Tea made a promo code to save 15% off your first order, especially for my blog.

Pique Tea Promo Code

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drank Wellness Tonic by Lov Teas
1700 tasting notes

My wife always asks when I receive a box of samples for review, if there is anything in it she can drink. She cannot tolerate caffeine. Today is her lucky day. This tisane comes from Amsterdam. It is loose leaf. There are a lot of ingredients in the blend. Normally that scares me, especially in something called wellness tonic. This sounds like one of those horribly medicinal cheap teabag teas hiding on the bottom shelf at a grocer near you.

Fortunately, these people take their herbal very serious. This is 100% organic and loose leaf. The aroma of the leaf smells like my wife’s herb garden in the summer, except she cannot get chamomile to grow. I could make out rosemary, thyme, and sage. My wife said she smells turmeric. I checked. It’s in there.

The taste is interestingly complex. Usually a lot of ingredients means a muddy mess. Here the flavors blend really well together and you can pull out individual notes. The taste is savory, not too floral, and sweet enough. It feels nicely cooling and airy. I’m guessing that is the sage. Nicely relaxing as well. An interesting tisane.

Ingredient list (because using Steepster’s ingredient box frustrates me):
Lemon Balm*, Chamomile*, Nettle*, Rosehip*, Echinacea*, Ribwort*, Ladies Mantle*, Turmeric*, Elecampane Root*, Sage Leaves*, Blue Mallow Petals*, Rosemary*, Thyme*
*100% Organically Grown

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drank Cherry Blossom Frappuccino by Starbucks
1700 tasting notes

Many of you may recall my complaints about Starbucks people not understanding tea. That does not change the fact that I love the green tea frap. So when my wife mentioned the limited time Cherry Blossom Frap, I had to try it. Let me start by saying it was delicious. Next let say my mind is boggled. Why is this called cherry blossom? There is no, zero, zilch, nada, cherry or cherry flavoring in this thing. Instead it is strawberry and cream with white chocolate and matcha sprinkled over the top. It, like most stuff, is overpriced but if you get the chance, give it a try before it is gone. It could be a new favorite for me if it stayed on the menu. It does need a name change.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1700 tasting notes

My son wanted to download a game on his computer and I have been wanting to try out a rather large mod for my Kerbal Space Adventure game. We both have metered connections so, yeah, Starbucks it is.

I asked for an Earl Grey iced with a shot of vanilla syrup. She rang it up as a London Fog and charged 4 something for it (seriously $4 for iced tea in a disposable plastic cup? but I digress). Sat down with it at the table and my wife looks at it and says, “That’s not what you ordered”.

“I know. That’s just the price you pay for ordering tea in a coffee place.”

Apparently a London fog has milk in it making it a pricey latte. I didn’t order a latte and probably should have said something, however, it was actually pretty tasty. So much so that I will make this my own self for about one tenth the price at home and I get to use a fancy non-disposable tupperware tumbler. Nothing but the best for me and uncle Si. That’s a fact Jack.

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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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