1083 Tasting Notes


I was still in the mood for a smokey tea today, so I brought out my favorite. This is easily one of my top ten of all time teas. There’s a good amount of pine smoke, but also delicious cocoa notes mixed with malt and a flavor I always think of as baked grapefruit. It’s so good. The flavors play off of each other in the best of ways. It’s a great breakfast tea, but I’ve also reached for it in the afternoon when I’m looking for that break in the day to rest and regroup. This isn’t a tea I ever rush through. It’s too delicious for that.

Flavors: Cocoa, Grapefruit, Malt, Smoke

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Twinings
1083 tasting notes

I made a pot of this, and while it’s not my favorite LS, it’s decent. There’s a lot of smokey flavor, so much so that the base tea is almost hidden. What I could make out had a sweetness to it. It makes me understand why some people equate this to barbecue or barbecue sauce. I decided to add some sugar to my cup, and I enjoyed the smokey sweetness and smoothness of this tea.

This isn’t my first choice for a Lapsang Souchong, so I doubt I purchase it again. If I’m ever offered a cup I won’t say no. As with so many smokey teas, this would probably be at its best during the fall/winter months when the idea of sitting in front of a fire is most appealing. But whatever, I drink what I like. ;)

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 28 OZ / 828 ML

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I have a few reviews I’ve been trying to write, but Steepster isn’t cooperating. I’m writing them here just to get them out of my brain.

Tea #1
Queen Catherine from Harney and Sons

I’ve loved this tea for years, and I continue to love this tea. It’s robust and rich, perfect for a morning cup. The flavor is bittersweet chocolate and raisins with a good bit of malt. Sometimes I think I taste a bit of berry, especially as the tea cools. On the day I drank this I had an entire pot, and I regret nothing. 10/10 will drink again.

Tea #2
Mist Valley Estate Second Flush (TM98S) by Upton Tea Imports

I only bought a sample of this, and I’m thinking that’s a good thing. The dry leaf is beautiful with its silver tipped leaves. Once the water hits the leaves (212 degrees for 2- 3 minutes per package directions) there is an immediate sour note that is unpleasant. It reminds me of wet, rotten wood. There is a fruity sweet smell right at the end that gave me some hope that all was not lost. Unfortunately, the sip followed the smell as there was a sour, borderline rancid, note at the beginning with a bit of sweetness and generic fruity finish.

I’m going to play with the water temperature on this one to see if I can get a better result. Perhaps a lower temp and short steep will keep the rot away. Here’s hoping.

Tea #3
Cold brew – Random Steeping

I had four random green tea bags floating around in my stash, so I gathered them all together and cold brewed them. The result wasn’t mind blowing, but it was perfectly pleasant and perfect for these stupidly hot days. But more importantly, for two whole days I WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF GREEN TEA. Be excited for me y’all because, let me tell you, that was quite a feat! Since then I’ve had an order arrive from Samovar as well as one from Upton, but both were small, planned purchases (win!).

Ok, that’s all. Hopefully Steepster gets fixed. If I facepalm anymore I’m going to have a permanent headache.

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drank Organic Peachy Green by Tazo
1083 tasting notes

Cold brew.

Light peach flavor, but the green tea is surprisingly good. Vegetal with a bit of a sweet pea note. The peach flavor might be stronger is sweetener is added, but I like it sans additions. I’ll keep cold brewing this, but I’m curious to see how it performs hot, too.

Flavors: Peach, Peas, Vegetal

Iced 8 min or more

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drank Wild Apple Sarsaparilla by Tazo®
1083 tasting notes

Work tea #2.

When I know we’re going to have an influx of patients I’ll often throw an herbal tea bag into my cup. I don’t have to worry about overstepping, and I’ll still have something warm to sip once things calm down (my office is freezing!). Today it was this, and I liked it.

The apple flavor is mild. In fact, it taste a bit like slightly watered down apple juice. The sarsaparilla flavor came across more like caramel. So the end result was caramel apple tea, heavy on the caramel. I’m not sad about it, and I’m sure I’ll drink it again in the near future.

Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Hadn’t seen this one. Interesting combination! I have some sassafras concentrate that I have been throwing randomly into cold brews this summer with reasonably good results.


I love the idea, but I do wish it had more of a sweet root beer flavor, but the caramel is nice, too.

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Work tea #1

This is nice. The base tea is a bit woody, but it does have substance and body. The blueberry flavor is a bit odd. Some sips it’s right there, a delicious juicy blueberry flavor. Sweet and fruity. Other sips… nothing. I’m not sure why it’s that way, but if this tea were more consistent I’d be tempted to pick some up for myself. As it is, I’m glad I got to try it from the stash of teas they keep for us at my work. I think I’ll leave it at that.

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drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
1083 tasting notes

A friend of mine was looking for recipes to help her use up all of the zucchini her garden in currently producing. I guess there’s only so many zoodles a person can eat. :) In the spirit of friendship I gave her my great grandmother’s zucchini bread recipe. She, in turn, gifted me with a small loaf. I had a (very delicious) slice of it for breakfast this morning, and I made a pot of Golden Monkey to enjoy with it. If nothing else, I started my day off making very good decisions.

Golden Monkey is rich and full bodied. There is a deep molasses flavor along side nutty and caramel notes. I enjoy how it’s almost heavy at the start of the sip, but it finishes with a light sweetness. So good. I’m always nervous that steeping it for the full five minutes will add some bitterness to the finish, but there’s not a hint to be found. I’m well into my second cup, and each sip is as lovely as the last.

Between the tea and the bread, I’ve found myself wanting to bake. Maybe some Boston brown bread, or cinnamon raisin scones…. Yeah, I’m going to break out my cookbooks when I get home from work this afternoon. But until then, have a lovely day you lovely people.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I am not sure I still have the recipe, but my favorite zucchini bread ever was chocolate with chocolate chips!


Ooh, that sounds good! My grandma’s has pineapple, and a glaze on top that’s pineapple juice, confectioners sugar, and butter. I love quick breads in all their many forms!


The pinapple-y one is what I grew up eating most often. Mom would throw black walnuts in there, too.


Harney had the best GM I ever tasted, though for the price I have been sticking with Teavivre’s. Harney had a Flight Of Golden Monkeys that I resisted but I don’t know if I am glad I resisted…


YES Harney had the best golden monkey, but harvests change and the harvests I tried the last couple of times just weren’t the same as MY Harney Golden Monkey.

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
1083 tasting notes

This is delicious. It’s full of dark cocoa and honey flavors. There’s another sweet note, too. Hay maybe? It’s been quite awhile since I had this one. Steeped it twice and found the flavors consistent between the two cups. I might try a third steep later if the siren call of my pillow isn’t too alluring. I’m really glad I dug this one out and showed it some love. It’s a good one.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Sounds delicious!

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drank Citron Green by Harney & Sons
1083 tasting notes

Tea of the morning and a sipdown.

I don’t have to go into work today, which is awesome because I have a million little things that need to be done here at home. It also means that I could take my time and enjoy my tea in the quiet of my kitchen rather than rushing through it. It’s the little things, you know?

This tea has a nice orange flavor with just hints of grassiness coming from the green tea. It’s not overwhelming in any way, but sometimes I don’t want to be overwhelmed. Even by my tea. The orange flavor is true orange, no icky artificial notes. I will say that I used the majority of my container for cold brew, and I do prefer it that way. The long steep pulls out more flavor from the green tea, and it melds with the orange notes seamlessly. The overall taste also remains very mellow and pleasant. This isn’t a tea I’ll replace right away, but if it shows up in my stash again I won’t be sad about it.

And now I’m off to pull weeds, wash a small mountain of clothes, and dust all the things. Happy Monday, y’all.

Flavors: Grass, Orange

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Tea obsessed since 2010.

My Rating System:

100-95 = Teas I actively seek out and keep in my pantry. If you are a guest in my home chances are I will offer you one or all of these teas. Also, if/when these teas are discontinued I openly mourn their loss.

94-85 = Teas I truly like, often have in my pantry, and sometimes restock. These are my variety-is-the-spice-of-life teas.

84-75 = They’re good teas and I enjoy drinking them on occasion.

74-65 = These teas are ok, but not really my thing.

64-55 = meh.

54-45 = I will if I have no other option.

44 and below = Coffee, please.


New Jersey, USA



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