4151 Tasting Notes


Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – February 2024 Tea #4 - February 14 – World Library Lovers’ Day

Second tea for this prompt!  Another book that would definitely make my top ten:  ’Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’!   I had to break out this tea today.  Still is an unlikely tasty mix of ingredients, surprises me every time.  Just like every page of Douglas Adams is also a surprise.  I also had to wear my Hitchhiker’s Guide socks today.  Don’t panic!


As long as you know where your towel is, you’ll do fine!

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – February 2024 Tea #4 - February 14 – World Library Lovers’ Day

WHUT.  I had no idea that Feb 14 is library day!  Fitting, as personally, I think most of my love has definitely gone to books since a very early age.  I haven’t read it in quite a while, but I do believe ‘Jane Eyre’ would probably be on a list of my favorite books.   So here we have this tea for this prompt!   I also appreciate that it’s a blend named for all three sisters, rather than only one.  I have read books by all three sisters, and they are all talented.  I really want to read ‘Villette’ soon, but there are a billion other books in the line up. 
This blend was good!  More of a vague fruit blend… seemed like it was constantly wisping around to different fruit flavors, which is understandable as there are five fruit flavors here, not many of them really common tea flavors. But this has always been fitting for a fruit craving, especially as this blend is now a few years old.  I would consider buying it again, though it isn’t exactly in my list of favorites from S&V (and that list of favorites might be in the dozens by now.) (This was the sample in the Author box.)
2024 sipdowns: 17

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drank Feng Shui Wellness by Tealux
4151 tasting notes

Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – February 2024 Tea #3 – February 13 – Mardi Gras!

I always admired the photo for this tea.  It must have all the colors in it.  So it was beyond time to sip this down, especially for this colorful prompt. 
2024 sipdowns: 16

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additional notes: I was quite sure that adagio carried most of Angry Tea Room’s blends. Not sure about this one? Please someone inform me if you find it! I do crave this one quite a bit, and enjoy it when I steep it up. Love that dusty, dusky chocolate swirl at the bottom of the mug.


additional notes: Trying this one again after the six samples!  Just from the dry leaf fragrance and steeped leaf fragrance, I remember why I love this one.  Even with five grams (rather than the usual 10grams that I would use in the past), this is simply the richer, superior shou, with the flavors that I prefer over all the other Fengqing samples.  Four extremely strong steeps.  Just perfect flavor.  Ah, how I will miss it! 

So after trying all six shou samples, I think they were all great, all somehow unique, though none of them quite lived up to my very favorite:  Teavivre’s Fengqing Golden Buds 2013.  I think if I’m looking for that lovely bread quality, the best option is the Fengqing Ripened Anniversary Pu-erh Cake Tea 2014.  But that is also the most pricey.  I did love that a Menghai was in the mix of six, as it reminded me the flavor qualities that Menghai usually has, and reminded me why I like Fengqing even more.  I do wish I was able to buy a cake of my favorite back in the day, but I’m also grateful to Teavivre for having so many options.  Maybe it’s all about the “GOLDEN BUDS”, as none of the new offerings are described as “golden buds”.  Final ratings, all very close!
Fengqing Ripened Anniversary Pu-erh Cake Tea 2014 – 90
Fengqing Man Ting Fang Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2017 – 87
Fengqing Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2015 – 85
Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-erh Cake Tea 2017- 86
Fengqing Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2018- 84
Yun He Jia Mu Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2010  – 83  (the Menghai)
Steep #1 // half sample (5grams) for medium sized mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 7 second rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 11 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 10 min


So if anyone has any of this cake they wouldn’t mind rehomeing (even if it’s samples and not actually a cake), please let me know!

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additional notes: Wanted to try this one with two teaspoons to see if any bacon appeared: Nope. It was a burst of blueberry though, with some sweetness, though not as much as the Maple Pancakes. Hint of smoke, no cinnamon and thankfully also no noticeable hibiscus. I don’t think I would use two teaspoons in the future… 1 or 1 1/2 is enough.


LEt us know if bacon does come through at some point. I have found that bacon-flavored things I can’t stand. I bought some bacon-flavored honey and it’s weird…


Nope, I never noticed any bacon flavor in their teas, even when they were fresh… maybe it’s hiding behind the lapsang and I’m just not ever sensitive to the bacon. Maybe you would notice it more?

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The last new sample from Teavivre!  Another pu-erh with not really any gold to the leaf, bigger leaves, easy to pull apart, though slow to unravel on that first steep!  The color of the brew is certainly much lighter than the other shou samples.  I almost thought it was sheng for a minute.  There could almost be a fragrance coming from the mug that also reminds me of sheng.  Which is odd, as this is from 2010, so quite aged.  There is also a lingering mouthfeel that is unique.   The second steep is deeper, but it is still quite the mild tasting shou!  Third steep, a bit deeper though still mild.  I would agree with Teavivre — it’s “mellow” and “mushroom”.  A mellow little mushroom.  Certainly not as deep and dark as the other samples I have had recently.  To be fair, this one isn’t Fengqing like the others.  It’s from Menghai and might be reminding me why I gravitate to Fengqing shou.  Occasionally I could be in the mood for a mellow mushroom shou.  It’s an acceptable pu-erh, but also nice to remember why others are my favorites. 
Steep #1 // half sample (5grams) for medium sized mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 7 second rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 11 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 10 min 

Flavors: Mushrooms

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drank Green Vitality by Tealyra
4151 tasting notes

Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – February 2024 Tea #2 – Your most unusual tea

I suppose this is an unusual tea, or at least one I thought of, for its appearance, its flavors, and its ingredients.  I wish I could find some more blends with candied aloe!  But also, fennel? Sea buckthorn? turmeric SLICES? chlorella algae powder???  All very unusual.  And these are just some of the ingredients.  But together, the flavors are tasty enough — I would think they might clash.  But a really long steep melds everything together for a really unique cup of flavors.


That sounds like a truly unique blend to me! I have never before heard of candied aloe.


The aloe MIGHT be the most prominent flavor in this one, though it’s hard to tell with so many weird ingredients.

Martin Bednář

Definitely unusual!

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Ashmanra’s sipdown challenge – February 2024 Tea #1 – An unflavored black tea

additional notes:  Some years later, this might have the lowest rating for one of Teavivre’s teas.  I might have given it the highest rating of anyone, yet a 79 is probably the lowest I have ever rated a tea from Teavivre!  I REALLY overleafed to finish this one, an entire sample packet (7grams).   The flavor is fine.  Just fine.   But there isn’t really anything negative about it to justify such low ratings.  Maybe the leaf is SO big that the flavors are diminished because of it?  Now I’m tasting tangy lychee with a bit of malt.  It’s really not bad, but I’d choose practically every other black tea from Teavivre over this one.  Maybe the trick with this one is to use a TON of leaves, like the 7 grams I used this time around. BUT THEN I think I have discovered when this tea is at its best though:  next morning leftover cold tea.  YUM.  Cold. Cold is the way to drink this.  I think I might steep this at night to intentionally leave out to drink cold in the morning.  And I DID steep it and leave it for the next morning, and yes, it wasn’t a fluke — it was delicious and perfect the second morning.  Of course, now that it is gone from my cupboard (and from Teavivre’s site), I will miss it.   Does this happen EVERY TIME, even for teas I’m trying to finish because I don’t love them?
Steep #1 // entire sample for big mug // 21 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 //  just boiled // 3 min
2024 sipdowns: 15

Flavors: Lychee, Malt, Tangy

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Thanks so much for sharing this one, Cameron B!  I LOVE THIS. I did not expect to enjoy it at all… not really a grapefruit fan.  But the description also mentions bergamot, so I think it is this wonderful mix of flavors on a strong black tea base that really hits the spot on a cold winter day.  I’d say it’s more of a sweet grapefruit flavor, rather than an extremely bitter grapefruit flavor, which is probably why I never like grapefruit. I think I steeped it perfectly.  It just reminds me of my favorite Earl Greys of the past, that just don’t have flavoring like this anymore.  Bright, refreshing, crisp, brisk, with maybe a hint of cream flavor.    It’s just a great flavor that I also haven’t ever tasted from any other tea shop before.   Simpson & Vail does it again!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
Dammann Freres

Favorite tea shops (RIP):

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

I’m always in search of: Hattialli, Qu Hao black, Jin Jun Mei, teas using marshmallow root.

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer… I have a dumb phone so can’t access internet on that. As of 12/20/21 my wifi might start getting unreliable.)

Happy sipping!



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