After doing a rough count of my as yet untasted and unwritten about black teas, which I must now revise, I did a similar count of greens.

I have 24 untasted green teas according to my cupboard. Of those, 11 are matcha.

I’ve been taking matcha to work lately. I was scared of doing that at first, but then my BFF the internet showed me the way: I’m using the shake in the thermos method and it works just fine for a quick method in the morning.

The first time I tried it, it didn’t work so well. I used water that was too hot, and I didn’t shake long enough. The tea tasted ok, but the were a lot of undissolved matcha grains at the bottom and I got a mouth full of them in my last sip.

Here’s what I’ve found works:

1 matcha spoon (the bamboo ones) per 4 oz water. My timolino holds 12 oz, so that’s 3 spoons.

12 oz water heated to 175.

Spoon matcha into timolino, then add water, close lid and shake. I shake 100 times. Et voila.

But I digress. Actually, this was a digression to a digression. Let’s get back to the most recent point of divergence: the green teas in my cupboard.

I will say there are a couple of those that I don’t think I’ve seen in a while, so I could have failed to remove some teas in which case I’d have even fewer. But for now, I’m leaving the cupboard as is.

Now, stepping laterally into another digression: revised count of untasted, un-written about black teas (NOT including this tea): 13

And finally, back to the topic at hand. This tea.

This is a “tea of the holidays” so I’m having it over Veterans Day weekend. It has a citrus-floral smell in the packet.

After steeping it’s less citrusy and floral in aroma. It smells a little malty, with a caramel note. I know I used the word chestnut to describe a tea’s color already today, but I can’t think of a better one for this. It’s that color they use to describe brown horses that has a tinge of orange to it.

I think the caramel note is vanilla, somewhere on the continuum between chocolate and vanilla. I’m now thinking that caramel is on that continuum somewhere between the two.

The flavor is much milder than I expected. I expected a dominant citrus, but that’s not the case. The citrus is very gently represented in the blend, almost totally in the background.

Which makes it rather difficult to find something about this tea that makes it special. It’s obviously high quality and tastes just fine. It’s just a bit plain for what I’m wanting when I decide to drink a flavored black tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Citrus, Floral, Malt, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

I feel that way about a lot of the French teas. They are lovely and pleasing to drink, but rarely truly special.


I’m a huge fan of French teas, so it’s not often I find one that doesn’t excite me at least a little. Alas, this poor tea did not.

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I feel that way about a lot of the French teas. They are lovely and pleasing to drink, but rarely truly special.


I’m a huge fan of French teas, so it’s not often I find one that doesn’t excite me at least a little. Alas, this poor tea did not.

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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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