348 Tasting Notes


Well, hiya Steepster – ol’ buddy, ol’ pal.

Once again, it’s been months.

Since that time, my tea backlog has quadrupled. That and I occasionally get gifts, like this Earl Grey from my Mum.

It’s in my Top 5 Earls List, now. Yes, there’s a list. I love me a good Earl. (Wow, that sounds wrong.)

Anywho, yes, this has everything one wants in an Earl including an extra bit o’ wood-sweet-citrus-ness. If that can count as “a thing”.

Full review with photos: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/127600247242/sipdown-n-chadup-ep-1-red-lodge-books-tea

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Well, hiya Steepster.

It’s been awhile. Like, almost a year. Time flies when drenched in caffeine. I finally thought about updating this here port when I noticed a favorite of mine was the TOP pu-erh on this site. Naturally, being a bit of a whore, I thought I’d weigh in as well.

I’ve liked pu-erh, I’ve loved pu-erh, but I’ve rarely deemed a pu-erh to be perfect. That all changed when I came in contact with the autumn 2014 pluck of this stuff. I’ve had several different years from this farm, but late-2014 – I dunno – something special was in the water, soil, processing, what-have-you. It was fruity, sweet, luscious, nuanced, medium-bodied, and brimming with tasting notes yearning to be sonnets.

Nan Nuo used to be my favorite pu-erh mountain. Yiwu is, now. That’s kind of a big deal.

More recenty, I had the opportunity to do a private tasting with the Misty Peaks seller. If you want, you can read about it here: http://steepstories.com/a-young-yiwu-pu-erh-afternoon/ (As well as marvel at the sight of a huge pu-erh ball.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Fruity, White Wine

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Geoffrey, Welcome back! I enjoyed your steepstory & the pictures!

Geoffrey Norman

@looseTman – Thank ya, sir. I’ll try to be less infrequent.


Good to see you!


Geoff, you and I have seemed to share simular tastes, and so I will have to take your advice, and order this one. I’ve been getting back into pu-erh again, after a long hiatus, and this sounds like one to try.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Round Two with TeaVivre offerings today. What? I had the day off, I can do what I want. Still haven’t left my pajamas, yet, either.

This was unlike any Dian Hong I’d ever come across. The earthen, sweet-like lean wasn’t there at all. If anything, this was more in line with a Ruby 18 or a Korean semi-oxidized tea than a Chinese one. Yunnan black characteristics didn’t show up until the aftertaste.

In a word: Gaaaaaaaaaaa….!

Okay, that wasn’t quite a word.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

but what a word :) I perfectly got the idea of the taste of the tea behind it!
Is the colour of the liquor the same lovely gold the picture shows ?


Happy Jammy Day!


Any combination of letters that properly and effectively communicates meaning is a word! Gaaaa is absolutely acceptable.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Well, hello Steepster, ol’ buddy ol’ pal,

How ya been?

In my effort to be more active with the various social media outlets at my disposal, I completely forgot about the one that is directly tea-related. Leave it to a day off to allow me to make steep-related reparations.

I actually received this sample a few months back, but with my major tea backlog, I didn’t get to it until – well – now. I hate that about myself.

This is…whoah.

As far as Keemuns go, it is perhaps the cleanest sipping experience. Floral, wood-sweet, but with a Keemun kick toward the end. It’s more medium-bodied than robust – unlike Mao Feng or Gong Fu…or even Hao Ya grades of Keemun that I’ve had. That said, still a mighty fine experience.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

A very incisive impression & Keemun comparison!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Major backlogging here

The first thing I noticed about this roasted bancha was…well…how roastly and – uh – bancha-like it smelled. All leaves and burnt nuts – a very autumn smell. The leaves basically looked like cut leaves – brown and oxidized-looking. All pleasantries and no pomp, regardless of circumstance. It reminded me of a San Nen (three-year-aged) bancha I had some three years back. Whoah, how fitting!

The Tealet profile on this bancha recommended bringing water to a boil, letting it cool for up to three minutes, then steeping for about the same time. I cut the “wait” part out and just waited until the water came to almost-a-boil before stopping the kettle. However, I did adhere to the three-minute steep.

The liquor brewed dark amber instead of radioactive green (like other senchas). The aroma was just as autumnal as the dry presentation, all nuts, leaf, and…tartness? Okay, now I had to sip this to make sure that was what I smelled. Oh my, yes it was. This was both roasty and tart, not unlike another bancha I tried – an awabancha (pickled green tea). However, this didn’t taste like pickles – just like a green with a dash of hibiscus on the palate. I first noticed the tartness in the middle, but it continued with the trail-off to the finish. The aftertaste lingered on the roasty notes but still had a bit of zest to it. Very unusual…-ly wonderful.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/81024471310/teacuplets-tealet-kyoto-obubu-kyobancha

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

OK, and triple Golden Slasher Bonus Points for Teacuplets. (I’m not sure where that phrase came from…something my husband made me listen to when we were dating and I pretended to like it, I think :)

Geoffrey Norman

“TeaCuplets” was the name for a segment I just started for the Tumblr I just opened – tea reviews…with a rhyming scheme. There was no better name for it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Golden Curls by O5 Tea
348 tasting notes

The cat woke me at the crack of 8
Begging for water, attention or some other ill-fate.
Since sleeping in was no longer the ideal,
I figured I’d start the day with a liquid meal.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/80892039954/teacuplets-o5-tea-yunnan-golden-curls

Flavors: Honey

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

And a gold star for the whimsy! (If Tazo slept that late, we would do the dance of joy. His body clock starts ticking between 4:30 and 5:00.)

Geoffrey Norman

@Gmathis – Thanks! I’m playing around with a review style to notch off teas at a far quicker rate.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Let’s get the “dirty” outta the way.

I’m kinda drunk as I write this..today?

I needed a tea capper for an evening well spent.

Joseph Wesley was where I paid my black rent.

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/post/80849224791/teacuplets-joseph-wesley-tea-no-3-chinese-classic

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I was having a conversation with A Gift of Tea earlier this eve – via Twitter – about pomelo-scented black teas. Then I remembered, Oh yeah! I have one!

So…I brewed it up.

Unlike jasmine, honeysuckle, rose congou-ish, or other flower-scented teas, this one had a distinct taste of fruit to go along with the honey-ish lean of the Bai Lin Gong Fu black tea base. It lasted a good four steeps at three minutes each, and the sweetness was thirst-quenching.

In the running for my favorite floral-scented tea.

Pic: http://instagram.com/p/l8XRgRknfS/

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Honey

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

That sounds wonderful!

Geoffrey Norman

I was happy with the results.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


I needed some caffeine as the sis, niece and I plopped down to watch American Hustle. No idea why I felt a white tea was necessary for this viewing, but I’m glad I went with it. First off, it’s a resilient white tea. There was even a steep that I forgot about for an hour, and the brew still turned out good.

Second, the taste: Holy whoah.

I’ve had wild and semi-wild white teas before, but this was the best of the lot. It was fruity, herbal, and just altogether robustly awesome. I can’t think of anything more fitting or flowery to say other than that. The perfect nightcap tea.

Now, if only I could find a way to go to sleep.

Pic: http://instagram.com/p/l8l-zoknSo/#

175 °F / 79 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I moonlight as a procrastinating writer and daylight as a trader of jack. I appreciate good tea, good beer, and food that is bad for me. Someday I’ll write the great American novel. And it’ll probably have something to do with tea or beer…or both. In the meantime, I subsist.

Tea Blog: http://www.steepstories.com

TeaCuplets: http://lazyliteratus.tumblr.com/





Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer