Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and I although I took the day off of work, I was scurrying around pretty much all day making preparations and it was every bit as stressful as going into the office. I considered taking a nap when I got home, but instead, it appears I will be drinking tea.

I got some cool little tea storage cans, and I decided that ritually transferring my Dammann Freres teas that Doulton so lovingly packed up after our buying fandango into these little tins would give me a great opportunity to sniff all of them and decide what one to taste next. I had to peel her labels off and stick them onto the tins (this one has a lion on it, my totem animal or at least one of them) because they’re so adorable. Anyway, this one called to me. It has an amazing, amazing smell coming out of the dry leaves. It’s a thick, rich, caramel that you can almost see melted and dripping over ice cream. Yum!

The aroma of the tea has a milder caramel smell, and the tea’s own rich, dreamy aroma comes out as well. Rich is a word I think I’ll be using a lot here. Just a warning.

I love the way this tastes. It’s… rich. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It’s deep. It’s a seamless blend with the tea. It’s smooth. It has that French black tea blend thing going on that makes you want to take a spoon to the leaves. They seem as though they’d melt on your tongue like mousse. (Though I wouldn’t try this at home, or anywhere for that matter.)

A good, comforting choice to punctuate a hectic day before the hectic evening picking up kids, getting them fed, getting homework done, etc. starts.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Oh… I have this one all set out to try in a bit, after I’m finished with my final cup of Shanti!


Now I have to decide whether I like this or the Kusmi better… hmmm…

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Oh… I have this one all set out to try in a bit, after I’m finished with my final cup of Shanti!


Now I have to decide whether I like this or the Kusmi better… hmmm…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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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