1170 Tasting Notes

drank Flower GABA Cake by Tea Thoughts
1170 tasting notes

Did anyone else notice that Steepster just 404’d? Sipdown of a tea that comes in a special shape for ashmanra’s sipdown challenge. This was part of the winter countdown box and I usually don’t count advents toward my sipdowns, but since it’s a coin and also I had forgotten that detail until I sat down to write the note, I’m making an exception. It’s got a hint of a honey note and a roasty grain note that’s reminding me of buckwheat today, though not quite. Looking at my previous note, apparently I had considered steeping this coin gong fu style since I did the first one Western-style. Alas, I drank most of this while working and didn’t want to be getting up constantly for more water (and had forgotten to check my previous note!).

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1170 tasting notes

I only got a couple of hours of sleep last night, so by late afternoon I needed something to maybe help get me through the rest of the workday without keeping me up all night again. I never know whether ginseng actually makes a difference, but I still had some left from when I was trying to break through post-Covid brain fog and this seemed like a good opportunity for a sipdown. The taste of ginseng is what I actually think of when I think “medicinal taste.” Tolerable, but generally not my favorite thing, and happy to have cleared the cupboard space.


Hope you’ve been able to catch up on the zzz’s!


Thanks! I literally slept 12 hours so doing better now.

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I’m so behind on tasting notes! The past few weeks it’s just been harder than usual to stay on top of things. Plus I have been drinking a lot of the same teas over and over, because it’s easy or I’m working towards a sipdown or it helps with health stuff in some way.

But! I did manage a sipdown of this very enjoyable blend. It’s just well balanced, true to the name, and makes a great latte. One of my favorites from the 2023 advent calendar.

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So tired from being up late listening to the new Beyoncé album the moment it came out! I thought about making oolong for my caffeine boost, but I really wanted something flavored and my flavored oolong options are rather limited at the moment. (Although I just remembered that I have DavidsTea’s Peaches & Cream Oolong and that would have hit the spot too, but apparently I was too tired to think of that earlier.) Instead I thought about what flavors I wanted and worked backwards, and landed on this airy, lemony delight. The hojicha is definitely stronger in the second steep than the first. While the first steep has lemon macaron vibes, the second is more tart and roasty. Definitely a good tea for a tired and cold spring day when you’re just waiting for the sun to really start shining again, but using the time to settle in and appreciate some new art.

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drank Turmeric Ginger Ninja by T2
1170 tasting notes

Just marking a sipdown here. Technically I didn’t finish this, my partner did because I super did not enjoy it. He would add soy or oat milk and agave and found that this smoothed out the flavor (but in a lot of ways he’s not as sensitive to flavor as I am).

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Te Company recently got some beautiful new Taiwanese pottery in. I couldn’t resist picking up a porcelain steeper mug from Anta Pottery. It’s a nice cream color and has a pretty floral design on it. So of course I had to welcome the new mug in style yesterday! I chose this tea, which we brought back from last year’s trip to Taiwan. It’s floral, buttery, and airy all at once. I got about five steeps out of it, with some being more floral, more buttery, or more evenly balanced between the two. I probably could have gotten another steep or two but as it is I was up half the night!

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Sipdown of an evening tea for ashmanra’s sipdown challenge. I got this in a previous Tea Thoughts countdown box. I’d never heard of Herald Tea before a few of their teas showed up in Tea Thoughts boxes, but I’m glad Nazanin included them because every one of Herald’s teas that I have tried has been excellent. They just seem to use genuinely good ingredients – I still have it filed away in the back of my head to keep their PNW mint in stock.
This particular blend is a really nice balance of apple-y chamomile and a nicely roasted hojicha. The combination also results in a dark chocolate note that’s really satisfying. I didn’t expect these two to work together as well as they do! Happy to have been wrong.

Flavors: Apple, Dark Chocolate, Roasty


What an interesting combination! I need to keep this company in mind because one of my daughters loves mint and that PNW sounds like a good one.


Yeah, it’s definitely not one I would have thought of!

Herald has the best mint I’ve tried from a US company. Kiani Tea has a phenomenal whole leaf peppermint, but that means paying for international shipping for anyone not in the UK. I still have a tab open to place an order with Foggy River Farm to try their mint blends, entirely on the strength of Roswell Strange’s glowing review and my own curiosity, but I’ve been slow to do it because of the international shipping from Canada to the US.

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drank Green Mango Peach by Tea Forte
1170 tasting notes

A friend grabbed a pyramid of this blend for me at some conference or other (thanks, friend!). I feel like mid-range conferences and hotels have really stepped up their tea game. The tea still isn’t great, but it’s definitely an improvement over the tossed-in-a-corner baskets of Lipton of yore. (Nothing against those who enjoy Lipton, more power to you, but there’s obviously higher quality tea out there.)
This particular blend is just sort of fine, you know? Completely inoffensive, but not really great either. The mango and peach notes are very candy-like without being overly sweet or cloying. I’m not really getting any ginger in this cup; I wouldn’t know that there’s ginger in the blend except from looking at the description. The base is hard to make out under the fruit notes. This actually makes a lot of sense as a choice for a conference tea. It’s not in any way distracting, neither so good nor so bad that I really want to give it much attention, the flavors are sweet but not overly so, and there’s none of the controversial flavors that can be an issue for folks (except ginger, I suppose, but you’d have to be allergic to it to know it’s here). Which is exactly what you want for a drink meant to be consumed while people are focusing on a presentation! Mission accomplished.

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drank Peppermint by Mist Valley
1170 tasting notes

After some internet sleuthing, I’m fairly confident that the hotel-branded peppermint tea from our Taiwan trip was this one. Funnily enough, the wrapper says that the leaf originated in the U.S. even though it was packed in Sri Lanka and ended up in a Taiwanese hotel. It’s a very serviceable peppermint tea. Neither exceptionally great nor bad in any way. Minty with a cooling menthol finish. One of many soothing and anti-inflammatory teas to help with today’s severe migraine.

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drank Sparkling Cranberry by DAVIDsTEA
1170 tasting notes

Sipdown, sort of. I only had enough for one cup. I pulled a bit out of the holiday sampler before leaving it behind at my partner’s parents’ house for Christmas. I really only ordered the sampler so I could try the Ho Ho Hojicha; I justified the purchase by making it one of the treats we brought with us when we went over.

I drank about half the mug hot and half iced. I do think it’s better iced. Hot, I get tart cranberry with a bit of sweetness. Iced, that sweetness is a more pronounced sweet berry flavor. Either way I’m not really getting anything effervescent, alas. It made for a decent tea soda when I added seltzer, but the tartness of the cranberry got washed out that way and it ended up being more of a strawberry soda that was a bit too sweet for my taste. Overall I think I prefer Davids’ Cranberry Gingerale for a cranberry soda tea from this company – the ginger helped temper the sweetness in that one a bit.

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Geek and nerd (shoutout to GeekSteep). Still trying to get a handle on this whole work/life balance while ALSO succeeding at work thing. I have some chronic illnesses that make that harder. Tea is my respite.

Favorite tea types, in order:

Don’t drink:

A sampling of tea shops I like:
Te Company
Tea Thoughts
Harney & Sons

RIP Butiki

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