2000 Tasting Notes


2000th note!

Sipdown no. 6 of 2022 (no. 656 total).

I had a mega bag of this and used it all to make cold brew, which no. 2 (the only kid still at home) loved as did I.

The only annoying thing about cold brewing this tisane was that the safflower petals were quite clingy and difficult to get off of the pitcher in which the brew took place. Because my pitcher’s shape doesn’t lend it self to cleaning implements, I had to resort to lengthy soaks and attempts to get a brush at hard to reach areas.

This isn’t my favorite Harney tisane, but it’s good. The base for all of them seems to be the same which gives them all a similar flavor, including hibiscus, but if you throw you mind out of focus a bit, you can taste the flavors that give these blends their names.

I’m working my way through a mega bag of strawberry kiwi now. That one doesn’t have petals, fortunately.


….2000 and still so many more to sample! :)


Wow, congrats on 2000 notes!! That is dedication.

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Sipdown no. 5 of 2022 (no. 655 total).

This made a quite popular cold brew in our household. No. 2 disappeared the first pitcher before I had much of a chance.

I think he liked it a bit more than I did. It was a bit heavy on the tart, heavy on the earth, and not as heavy as I would have liked on the actual orange and passion fruit. It’s possible I needed to significantly over scoop and didn’t. Which I’ll keep in mind because I have a lot of these 80 rated fruit teas which, given that my lowest rated teas in my cupboard are now 80, are going to get a lot more attention.

I also discovered that I had a big bag of the Blood Orange fruit tea from Harney. Which I hadn’t added to my cupboard. So getting to decupboard this is a wash, unfortunately.

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drank Yunnan Silver Needle by Andao
2000 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 4 of 2022 (no. 654 total).

It’s still pretty hot here, so I’m still mostly drinking cold tea.

I haven’t had many cold white teas, but this one was mild and refreshing. Not planty, which was my fear — just a little earthy.

I’m using the last little bit of it to give some heft to my next experiment — cold brewing a fruit tisane….

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Sipdown no. 3 of 2022 (no. 653 total).

I’ve recently had a number of green cold teas at various coffee places — mostly local to places I’ve been traveling, so I thought I’d do one at home and also go for a sipdown.

Alas, my home version didn’t live up to expectations. What hadn’t been a particularly vegetal green tea when hot became one when cold. It was a little like drinking cooked vegetable run off, though more pleasant.

Anyone watch Emily in Paris? It didn’t taste like leek soup, but made me think of it.

The last little bit is getting combined with an Andao white tea for another cold brew experiment — but my tin is empty so I’m calling it a sipdown.

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drank Toupet de Legumes by THEODOR
2000 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 2 of 2022 (no. 652 total).

This made a surprisingly delicious cold brew — I worried that the cold would make the vegetable notes come out and I’d feel like I was drinking cold vegetable soup with notes of tea, but fortunately that didn’t happen.

Instead, the cold brought out the spicy, peppery note. Which, as I write it, sounds unpleasant, but somehow wasn’t.

I saw a The O Dor store when I was in Paris last March, but I didn’t go in. I was afraid I’d buy more tea and I’m still terribly overloaded with old tea that I need to clear out as I’m contemplating beginning a house remodel — and every little bit I can get out of the house between now and then will help.

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Sipdown no. 1 of 2022 (no 651 total).

Hi! Did you miss me? I missed me. :-) I missed you too. It has been a crazy, crazy time. Not much tea drinking going on over here for a long time until pretty recently when it got super hot and I decided to make some of this iced. Then I made some more, and finally today I put the last bit into the fridge to cold brew.

It made a really nice cold brew. Probably nicer than it was hot, though that was so long ago I can’t say I really remember.

So, news since last time. Puppy is now a dog. No. 1 has graduated high school and is headed off to some form of higher education in the fall. No. 2 is a “rising junior” in high school. Work is still fun, and still very busy.

We have all managed to evade covid so far.

I have started doom scrolling again, which sucks. State of the world (or at least this country) and all.

How are you?


Dogs and teenagers…you have been busy! Good to see you back. We will keep the doom to a minimum!


Thank you!


We missed you! We missed you!


Welcome back! It’s been a wild ride, but I think you’re in good company here.


Good to see you back on steepster!


Welcome back! :)


Thank you all - I am drinking a lot of cold brew during this very hot summer so you may see more of me for a while ;)

Martin Bednář

Welcome back and another covid evader ;)
Times change. I can’t imagine I work for almost an year by now (okay, so far it is “only” 10 months, but you can imagine)

Looking forward to read more notes from you.

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
2000 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 30 of 2021 (no. 650 total).

One of the lower rated teas in my collection (since pretty much every true tea in my collection is rated over 80 now with maybe one exception, I’m enjoying an embarrassment of riches).

My original note on this, when I drank it hot through multiple steeps, identified one of its characteristics as fishy. I sipped this down with two cold pitchers worth and neither were fishy. So there’s that.

Cold shu is actually kind of nice when you’re in the mood.

I still have way too much pu’erh.


I adore cold steeped shu. Mmmmmmm


Nevah enough….

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Sipdown no. 29 of 2021 (no. 649 total).

This one strikes me as a true “84.” It’s a good, solid first flush darjeeling. Nice and grapey without the bloaty quality I sometimes get with first flush darjeelings. On the smooth side, not a lot of wood and stonefruit, but some.

And with that, I am down to only 15 cupboard pages in my Steepster cupboard. Huzzah!

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Sipdown no. 28 of 2021 (no. 648 total).

Another “84” that I’ve decided to demote. I just think I overinflated my rating the first time.

As smoky teas go, it’s about the right degree of smoke for me. Like Puer, I think I tried too hard to really love smoky teas and while I can appreciate them once in a while, too much smoke and ash reminds me of why I gave up smoking more than 20 years ago.

A small amount of smoke is fine, but I think that maybe a nice keemun without the lapsang would be plenty for me to have that hint without being hit over the head by it.

I do have one lapsang I quite like, though I could never drink it every day. I’m not sure I would need this in addition, but I’m not saying I’d never buy it again. I’m really, truly, on the fence.


Sounds like my annual attempt to learn to love Earl Grey :)

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drank Cookie by Lupicia
2000 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 27 of 2021 (no. 647 total).

Big news: we got a puppy!

I haven’t been drinking as much tea as usual because two weekends ago, we did a whirlwind road trip down to Southern California to pick up Reggie, our baby Basenji. Down on Saturday (one cup of tea in the morning) and back on Sunday (no cups of tea). Baby is very fun, and very smart — he’s already learned “sit” and is learning “down” — and potty training is going pretty well. After he goes potty outside, he comes over like “bruh, where’s my treat?” which is exactly the point.

Last weekend I had an early haircut appointment on Saturday — following strict covid protocols — so also didn’t get any real tea drinking in because I wasn’t back until the afternoon.

I did drink a bit of tea on Sunday, which enabled me to get into sipdown range with this for today.

I have to say, I’m conflicted about this. I mostly stand by my original note, it’s just that my current thinking would put something described in my original note as lower than an 84. So I’m bumping it down.

As I mentioned, it suggests cookie, but it’s not very sweet, which makes it not quite as cookie-ish as I’d expect. Yes, some cookies are sweeter than others, but most of them are pretty sweet or they wouldn’t be cookies. AmIright?

What kind of cookie? Slightly almondy, slightly shortbready, I guess. Not bad for the right mood. I guess I’ve just become more of a hardass on my grading scale.


Puuuuuuupppppppppppy! Pics or it didn’t happen!


Just for you, a post to my long neglected instagram! https://www.instagram.com/p/CMpuK1kj3BU/?igshid=9z18ta2hqc8a

Lexie Aleah

Aww Congrats!!


Thank you!

Tiffany :)

Sounds like regular life, sometimes it gets in the way of having tea. Also reminds me I haven’t had a haircut since 2019. I should probably figure out how to get that done or just let my boyfriend do it for the first time.. how did it go getting it done (obviously we live in different places)?


I have gone through a number of different scenarios. During lockdown my stylist put the color into squeeze bottles and my bf picked it up from her and then applied it for me. That would have been funny if we hadn’t been screaming at each other through the whole thing. So no cut that time, just color. Then we graduated to he coming to the house, cutting and coloring me and cutting my two boys’ hair. We were all masked and she had on a face shield as well. That happened a few times. Now the salon is open again, with only two customers and two stylists at a time at opposite sides of the room; everyone masked, everyone hand sanitized, no clothing changes, and if you get there early you have to wait outside. Also you have to answer a bunch of health questions. In between the home and reopening there was one small reopening before the tier went back up to purple — same deal then plus temp check.


Thank you for the puppy pic! My phone is almost exclusively photos and videos of dogs…mine, my kids’ dogs, the neighbor’s dog….I can always use a good “squeeeeee!” from a puppy pic!


Her not he.

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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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