774 Tasting Notes


Yup. This is still amazingly good. Deeply malty and caramely.

Having recently taken a thermometer into work to see what the actual water temp is out of the dedicated line and the coffee maker spigot, I was shocked to find how off I have been in my estimation. It is actually only about 160F. I’m amazed any of my blacks that I love turned out okay with temps this low! But… knowing this, I now give the cup a bump in the microwave before steeping till it’s bubbling.

This tea was good at work before, now it’s just as amazing as it is at home. And other teas I’ve been retrying at work have definitely improved. I’ve been switching between this, Single Origin’s Kenya Kaporet, Harney & Sons’ Indian Nimbu & Golden Blend (which was tons better at a higher temperature), and the no-name golden yunnan from Chinatown.

I haven’t been posting much since I’m just drinking down my collection and not really trying anything new. It hurts my heart because I really, really want to order two of the new Harney teas from China and my TeaVivre sale order has to be my only purchase for this month. I do get on and read reviews and discussions, though. :)

Plus, work has been nuts. It sucks since I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger for the next two months but after September, I have no idea what I’ll have to keep me occupied! I’m also working on something that could turn out to be super neat if it all turns out like I hope. I can’t say anything yet… but I am positive you folks will like it. Stay tuned. :p


I’m intrigued ;-)


Nicole, What steeping parameters, {tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min.}, did you use for such excellent results? I see you mentioned 205*F & 3 min. in your previous note. Thanks!


I used about 1.5 teaspoons in 10 ounces of water about 200-205F I’d guess (no thermometer at work any more but I could hold the cup for about 15 seconds before my hands got too hot and while the water wasn’t bubbly, the infuser & tea caused a brief bubble storm when I put them in) for about 2.5-3 minutes no rinse and it was filtered but not spring water.


Thanks! I’ll have to try it.

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This is soooo good cold. Steeped strong hot and chilled in fridge. Wonderful dark fruity flavor.

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Oooo… now that I’ve had this twice more I can say with certainty that I like it quite a bit. It’s a thick, leathery, masculine Earl that still smells very feminine. The bergamot is really bold and strong. Mom noticed right away today that it also smells of roses when dry in the tin. I hadn’t picked that out before but yeah – really, really rosy. In scent only, though. In taste, this is pure bergamot with that thick, mildly malty Yunnan base.

And having tried this with 3 different preparation methods I now know how I like it. My first time was here at home with tap water. Just kind of meh and somewhat disappointing. Second time was at work with filtered water. Okay, but still underwhelming – I have since discovered that my hot water at work isn’t really hot enough for most of the teas I drink at only 150F!

This time I made it here at home with boiling spring water. That’s more like it. I no longer feel like I wasted my money buying a tin of this. :)

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

that sounds great

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I do like this a LOT cold brewed. I used it as a “non-tea” for the tea party at work today. Steeped 24 hours in the fridge (about 3 tablespoons to 1 1/2 quarts of water) then added slices of fresh strawberry. Yum! Upping the rating based on how much I like it cold.

No one really said much about it specifically, but everyone drank their cups down so it must have been okay. :)



Nicole, those pastries … Oh you teasing us right ?

Cameron B.

Aw, I wanna have a Steepster tea party with you guys! D:


i miss this tea sigh also when we get closer to st louis day we need to coordinate with terri!


I wanna have a tea party too!! We should totally have a Steepstercon


Love that green floral teapot.


Steepstercon! What a great idea! Needs to be somewhere with lots of restrooms… I foresee a LOT of tea being downed… :)

@Sil: did you ever pick up any of the reblend and try it to see if it matched up to the original? I got some of it, but I have been hoarding the old one and haven’t even opened the reblend up yet.


Marzipan, that one is from Pier One. Not sure if they still carry it or not but worth checking. It pours pretty well, too.


reblend was close…but not the same :(

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This is soooo excellent cold. The flavor is lighter when it is cold steeped but it is super refreshing.


Hell yeah

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I can’t believe I haven’t logged this. And somehow it wasn’t in my cupboard. Could have sworn it was but since it wasn’t even in the database I guess I was just imagining things.

This is a lovely chamomile. Gorgeous large flowers. It steeps up to a pale, delicate buttery yellow. Smells of honey and well… chamomile. :) There is no honey in this but the taste of it is certainly there. Chamomile is the only drink I like putting honey in, but this one doesn’t even really need it. I put less than half a teaspoon in an 8 ounce cup. I also like it a lot with a couple drops of vanilla extract added along with the honey but I didn’t put any in tonight.

On a sad note, somehow one of the Jane Fern bumble bee bone china mugs my mom got me a couple of years ago has a huge crack in it. :(


I thought it was just stained and was telling myself to take the baking soda to it, but I inspected closer and I could feel the crack. All the way down the side. Have no idea how it could have happened. I’m always very careful with my cups. I guess I still have one but it makes me sad to lose the set.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Yup, still like this one a lot. It’s thick and brothy and smooth and yet still mineral-y and sweet. Still get no apples, though. :)

I have been looking at my tea stash(es) and my tea cupboard and my tea shelf and thinking “Man, you really have got to drink this stuff before you buy anything else, on sale or not. This is getting obsessive and probably it probably indicates an addiction. Not to caffeine but to collecting and hoarding.” So I threw out things that I knew from the last tastings were past their prime and not very good. I’m newly resolved to not let my tea “go bad” anymore. And if I do without a favorite for a little bit while I still have a second favorite or two, so be it.

And in pursuit of yet another stash reduction, anyone who wants to try something, let me know. No swap needed, please don’t send me anything. :) My cupboard is up to date. Browse and let me know!


you can dooo eeeet nicole! if i can get down from 350+ you can get manageable!


also…this is totally the part where i go… “i’ll take that…and that…and that….” lol


LOL…looking at my online cupboard it doesn’t look that bad. But they aren’t sample sizes and they take up huge amounts of real world estate! :)


LOL – I can only dream of being that under control….


steps away from dexter and nicole’s cupboards before the urge overcomes

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While this is woody and spicy and without bitterness, it is an overall disappointing cup. I can get Yunnans I like much better, with much more depth of flavor, for less or equal price from other companies. It’s not awful enough to not drink but I can tell it will be a long time before this gets to a sipdown.

First cup was at work. Filtered water, probably around 190F and for 3 minutes, then 5 minutes. Second cup was here at home with unfiltered water just off boiling for 3 minutes, then 5 minutes. I’ll keep trying with some different parameters, but for now there just isn’t much there there to this tea and it won’t be the first or even fourth thing I reach for when steeping a cup.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Maybe gongfu is in order


I think I’ll try that method this weekend.

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Cameron B was right when she sent me this, saying that I might like it because of my high rating of Paris. :) This is fruity and while not exceedingly bergamotty, it is there in the background for me along with some cocoa notes, oddly enough. This would not replace Paris for me but it is good to have tried it! Thanks, Cameron B!


I find this similar to St Petersburg .


Yes, I hadn’t thought about that but it is similar. Of the two, I think I prefer this one. But that could be because I have had it most recently. :)

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This is not one of the tiny CTC teas like a lot of the African teas are. The leaves are not huge, but still much larger than you find in most standard tea bags. There is an odd taste to this – fishy? Lake-y? Lake-y, I think is the best way to describe it. Woody and lake-y. It is a fairly consistent taste across Tanzanian teas I have had. All the bagged teas I had while over there had this same flavor profile. Not sure if this is because maybe the bagged teas I had were all made with Livingstonia Estate teas (doubtful), or if it is the terrior there that leads to the similar flavor.

Regardless this is a perfectly acceptable cup of tea. Nothing awesome, nothing standout, nothing to keep around but nothing to refuse a cup of. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Tea afficianado & founder of the Midwest Tea Festival. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :) I am also the proprietor of Tea-Historic, a tiny online dinosaur themed tea shop.


Kansas City, MO



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