1940 Tasting Notes

drank Cinnamon by Kusmi Tea
1940 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 8 of 2020 (no. 603 total).

It was sort of weird as a cold brew. Weirder than I thought a cinnamon tea would be.

Why was it weird? I guess the part of my original note that mentioned the subtlety of the cinnamon flavor is closest to coming up with a reason. There isn’t enough cinnamon flavor for it to be obviously cinnamon, but there’s obviously something other than tea there. The puzzlement is what makes it weird, I suppose.

But the kids must not have had the same thought because they plowed through it pretty fast, particularly no. 2.

I hope everyone is staying safe — we are good so far. The stay at home is getting a bit old, but as our household falls into several risk categories I would rather stay home than risk our collective healths.


My family has a high-risk member too. We’ve all been staying in during lockdown in the UK so far, but I’m about to start training as a social carer where I’ll have to go out into the community, and I do worry about the risk. I’m glad you’re all doing well and staying safe.

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Sipdown no. 7 of 2020 (no. 602 total).

We drank the last of this as a cold brew and it made a good one. It has a rather intense tea essence. Like Nestea but obviously better. But that makes it a really excellent iced tea.

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Sipdown no. 6 of 2020 (no. 601 total).

We had a virtual coffee chat for my team at work and I brought the last of this along.

I must say that my group is doing a nice job of keeping people in touch even though we’re on week three of working from home. I probably see some people more on video now than I did in person.

Anyway, this tea. With age, it’s a little less juicy on the tea front and the cherry has a sort of “dry” aspect for lack of a better word. But it was still enjoyable. The original note provides an interesting record to compare this to from back when this tea was young.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

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drank Chocolate Mint by Harney & Sons
1940 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 5 of 2020 (no. 600 total). A milestone!

We drank the last of this as cold brew and it wasn’t as weird that way as it might sound.

As I mentioned in the original note, if you’re looking for a chocolate mint tea, this is a nice one. The mint is a little stronger than the chocolate, but not significantly so.


Congrats on so many sipdowns! I’m trying…

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Sipdown no. 4 of 2020 (no. 599 total).

It made a refreshing cold brew, as well as a nice take it to work tea for the couple of days before we were told to work from home because of the coronavirus. It pretty much held up to the original note I wrote about it. I still don’t totally get white tea, but flavored whites are easier to get.

Hope everyone is staying healthy. We are under a shelter in place order here.


Glad you have to ability to work from home! We’re as of yet unaffected by shelter-in-place in Sonoma County. If/when that changes, according to SF’s list, I’ll still be working :/


Oh no - sorry. Or maybe it’s a good thing? At least you are “essential.” :)

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Sipdown no. 3 of 2020 (no. 598 total).

My last note on this is pretty much where I ended up. Buying the huge bag was a mistake, and one I won’t make again. But a small tin for the occasional attempt to induce sleep might be ok.

I dunno. I really have tried to like chamomile but I’ve only had a couple that I thought were really enjoyable. The lavender in this cuts some of the less pleasant aspects of the chamomile, but it’s not that creamy fresh flavor that I’ve found in the very few that I really enjoyed.

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drank Grand Pouchong by Tavalon Tea
1940 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 2 of 2020 (no. 597 total).

This became my take it to work tea for a few days before it was gone. I steeped it western in the Breville for purposes of taking to work in the Timolino.

It was a nice work tea. It didn’t demand a lot of attention, in either a good or bad way. I didn’t notice the almond note so much as I did when I wrote my first note, but I did notice a sort of toasty woodiness that was enjoyable in cool weather.

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drank Matcha Kaze by Den's Tea
1940 tasting notes

Finally caught up! Sipdown no. 1 of 2020 (no. 596 total). And my original note is spot on. Nothing to add here.

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drank Ryokucha by Samovar
1940 tasting notes

Backlog. Let’s call this one Sipdown no. 2 of November 2019 (no. 107 of 2019 total, no. 595 grand total).

This was the last tea I sipped down before I fell off of tea for a while.

Three observations. One: I did ok in sipdowns for 2019, but I am a bit annoyed with myself for not making my goals each month. Also annoyed that I got all the way to November and then didn’t finish out the year. As it is already the third month of 2020, I’m not going to count sipdowns monthly this year, but I’ll count them as they occur (if any do — at this rate who knows).

Second, this tea didn’t age well at all. I usually don’t notice a lot of difference over time with teas. I have great storage capabilities and live in a climate that allows me to avoid humidity. But this one — no.

That sweetness that I remarked upon when I first tried this was totally gone, and all I could taste was a ricy flavor which, without the sweet green to offset it, was like drinking dissolved rice krispies and not wonderful. At least I have the memory of it when it was fresh recorded. I think the fact that this was not pleasant was what led me to an off tea period in the first place, which is surprising as I do love my Samovar teas.

Third, with this sipdown I am now at 17 cupboard pages. WOOT!

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Backlog. Let’s call this Sipdown no. 1 of November 2019 (no. 106 of 2019 total, no. 594 grand total). Sample tin.

A nice, mild, green tea that has dry leaves enjoyable to look at. I shall miss it.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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