1220 Tasting Notes

Awww yiss, sipdown!

Yesterday I drank far less tea than I thought I would. My friend came over to my boyfriend’s cause her car’s sunroof has a leaky spot and it ended up taking way longer because she partially opened it and it would not close again. In the midst of all this, I have my laptop off the charger and at 28% battery I decide it’s time to recharge…but the wires inside have completely snapped off so there’s no power. COOL.

Thankfully my mom flat out bought the new one because she had $25 in gift certificates to Best Buy, but buying a new charger for a Macbook is a scam. The thing only lasted 16 1/2 months. And I am still kind of irritated even today because that came out of NOWHERE.

I did have a bubble tea so that’s something.

Since I just had this earlier this week, I have nothing remarkable to add. I believe this ended up with closer to 2 tsp of tea than 1 1/2 for 12 oz, so it’s a bit more astringent, but totally drinkable still without adding milk.

Probably wouldn’t buy it in the future, but it’s not a bad choice for an English Breakfast.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’ve had 2 macbook chargers actually light on fire. Scary stuff.


Same here! I was using my 2006 MacBook (that was pretty much hanging on a thread) and suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see an orange flare up. When it happened a second time I realized it was coming from the charger.

It was terrifying because had the flare been any bigger my desk would have caught on fire.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yeah. I THINK they’ve fixed the fire hazard issue on the new chargers, but the durability still sucks. :/

Same with iPhone and iPod cords. They last like 6 months. The new iPhone cable looks very promising though.

Oh well, at least if all the cords break, we’ll still have tea!


I’ve faired better with iDevice cords, I still have my original iPhone charger in working condition.

Yes, indeed~ sip


I had a Macbook charger have a teeny explosion, a little pop, a smell of electrical smoke, and it ceased to work. I don’t know how you got a new one for $25 though – mine cost nearly $90! The rest of my power cords (iPod/iPhone) are fine though, and I’ve had them for over 2 years.


I didn’t get it for $25, I wish! I just got $25 towards its ridiculous price.

I wish tea could power laptops, I’d be set for years.


^ I concur. Power cords shouldn’t cost that much… it’s almost criminal…

Next Nobel Prize goes to the guy that creates tea fuel for cars too… think of how good the air would smell :)

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1220 tasting notes

Teaopia Strawberry Fields + Whispering Pines Coconut White

I only had 1 tsp of the Teaopia tea, and 8 oz requires 1.5 tsp…and I was using a 12 oz perfect tea mug. What’s close to the top of this shoebox that I can add? Coconut!

I love coconut and strawberry together. I was worried this coconut tea might be too old to really be really coconutty because I completely forgot about it (this is the first time I’m drinking it) but it’s very balanced with the strawberry flavor.

It’s very sweet, almost like frosting. And I finished a sample of a tea!!!! Amazing.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I can’t believe I’ve just been hoarding this one. I’ve set up my kettle and gaiwan on my nightstand because today has been OBNOXIOUS. It took me over 2 1/2 hours to get home because of a major accident. I got off the interstate about 15 miles from the accident, because the sign back there was mentioning the accident I figured get out quick. So this US highway parallels the interstate…but of course, halfway there everyone else has found out the secret and so the 45mph highway crawled to 20-25mph. And then I got home and some jerk had their U-haul truck completely blocking 5 parking spaces and the stupid office wouldn’t help me out and ask this jerk to move it out of the way. The entire time I was getting my stuff to my apartment, nobody was putting stuff in the truck. As I’m bringing the last of my stuff in, someone comes and shuts the back. SERIOUSLY??? Good riddance.

So I didn’t feel like tea. I felt like taking a nap. And now it is finally tea time. Sebastian agrees, as the water started bubbling, he started chirping and now he’s sitting on one foot, which I’ve never seen him do at home before (he does it while at my parents’ house constantly for some reason though).

I did the usual two rinses on this one…I also dumped part of the third because it went on way too long, I don’t entirely get this kettle so I wanted it to turn off and it was being difficult, so only part of it made it to my cup. And then I steeped again.

This issue is making this very hay tasting instead immediately instead of in later steepings like I noticed before. As it cools, there’s more of the semolina flour notes though.

I have no idea what to call the next steep then. Threeve? Now the vanilla and cinnamon are coming out a bit. Not sweet enough for angel food cake, but a bit like all the components for baking in a new, weird combination.

Next steep: definitely getting sweeter. More cinnamon too!

Actual fifth steep – even sweeter, definitely has that rock sugar taste to it again like it did at the beginning. This puerh is so much fun. I can’t believe how sweet it is, it’s definitely more like cake after I let it cool a bit again.

I kept telling myself only one more steep, but I think I have steeped this now a total of ten times. I can’t stop because it tastes so sweet and cinnamony, but also because my bird seriously chirps while the kettle heats up and it’s hilarious. I would have thought it’d scare him!
I think 10 steeps is fair for a day with this one. I would like to sleep at some point today so it is time to stop, even if it tastes amazing.


Happy weekend!

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoy this Puer. :)

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drank The Keeper Tea by Dryad Tea
1220 tasting notes

I’ll update this when Dryad’s shop is back up from vacation mode.

I totally did not realize the owner of the shop is part of this band called Pandora Celtica and that some of the teas in the Dryad Tea shop are based on their music. How cool! Admittedly I probably should have caught that from the shop banner but you know what, all the teas had my attention.

This one is okay, I don’t taste much apple. It tastes more like a sweet mint tea rather than apple mint with a hint of floral notes.

I think I may like it better iced, so I will save the rest of my sample for that purpose.

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Trying to finish up this sample, looks like I have one cup left after this one!

Still tasty, steeped it for 3 minutes this time around and definitely had no need to add any milk! This is pretty sweet and malty by itself. But sadly not enough to keep me awake, I had to take a nap already (thanks brother’s girlfriend for being a nutcase).

Would I get more of this? Not anytime soon after I added up all my teas and samples. Jeeeeeez.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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6 oz water, 6 oz milk, and a heaping tablespoon of this tea, simmered on the stove for about 10 minutes. Melt that chocolate! Definitely reminiscent of hot chocolate but less like drinking sugar. MUCH better this way than just made with water…it needs a heavier liquid to hold up to all the stuff in here.


I will definitely try your method next time!!!! Thanks for the tip.


this does sound like a great method YUM indeed


Thanks for leave the tip in the review. I am going to try making it your way. With just water I’m really not getting much flavor.

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drank Violet by Kusmi Tea
1220 tasting notes

Tried this with 195* water like Kusmi suggests and I have to say I like it much better with boiling water. It doesn’t have that same violet candy taste to it.

It just feels like the violet isn’t as sweet with the lower temperature, and maybe it’s better for the flavor of the black tea. Everything seems less pronounced this way, at least for me.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Yesssss 200 degrees makes Assam so good. Four minutes and 200 degree water, so sweet and tasty! Every other Assam I’ve had so far, I’ve had to only steep it for 3 minutes, add milk, or wait for it to cool way down. This is life changing.

So this is sweet, and malty, and actually helping me to wake up with its big burst of flavor. I am finishing it then for some reason going to Target, mostly because I got a stamping kit for my nails yesterday and really want to use it…but I only brought one bottle of nail polish with me. Oh well.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

It was 23 here but wind chill was wicked bitter cold. I HATE WINTER!


I was gonna say, “Noooooo! Stay outta the malls!” until I remembered you’re in the US and safe from Boxing Day madness. :)

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drank Cinnamon Crackle by Della Terra Teas
1220 tasting notes

Ok, now for the first cup I can drink with the use of the kettle!

This is quite a shock to drink at first because the pop rocks make it so sweet. And then once you get used to that, the cinnamon tastes like it’s really spicy!

Not sure if I like it. But I may have made it a bit strong for my tastes, so maybe 1 1/2 tsp would be better than 2 1/2.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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So I got an electric kettle and was curious how it could compare to the kettle on the stove here. It wasn’t much faster…which now makes me feel like it was kind of dumb to get because I have a gas stove at home. Then again, I can set the temperature so I guess that works. Or I can sit in bed and make tea. (I got the Cuisinart kettle because every year since I’ve moved out I seem to be expanding on Cuisinart things…immersion hand blender, food processor, griddler, and this year kettle. None of it has broken so I’ll stick with them!)

So because I was testing boiling water I thought I’d make something, and this seemed fitting. I used two bags because I was going to make a full mug, so roughly 12 oz of tea, and steeped it for only 3 minutes to make up for it.

This is totally undrinkable for me, it’s a nice plum flavor but it’s too sweet, and the aftertaste is not good. My mom was able to tolerate it for a few more sips than I could, so I tried diluting it, getting it more to the right level and while better, it still met the sink drain.

I will give it another chance, maybe 1 bag for the 12 oz and a 4 min steep, and see if that’s tolerable. Otherwise, onto the swapping sled it goes.


I got an electric kettle, too! :D


I use my roommate’s and I like it a lot more than my stovetop, even though it’s just simple. I like how it just shuts itself off, and it seems quicker, but I can’t prove it…

With the holiday Celestial Seasonings tea, I find they make great lattes due to their sweetness.


My electric kettle is only about 10 seconds faster than my stovetop. The great thing about it is being able to set the temp I want and not having to get out a thermometer and check the water, overshoot the temp ad have to let it cool, etc. I love it!


I’ve thought about getting a variable temperature kettle, I just don’t have any room for one more appliance in my kitchen. :)

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I have no standards so I drink everything I can :)



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