1945 Tasting Notes


Sipdown no. 130 of the year 2014.

I don’t have anything to add to my previous notes on this, except that I’m looking forward to repurposing the wonderful black matte Samovar tin.

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I wanted to try this again to see whether I thought it was worth tossing into the take to work pile. It’s billed as a lower caffeine tea so I thought it would be good for work in the afternoon. I had it on the heels of my oft-noted English Breakfast.

After I tasted it again, I decided to bring it to work. It’s not a favorite. It’s kind of bland and doesn’t have a lot of flavor except the peppery flavor I noted before.

I’m bumping the rating down a bit because I’ve had so many better black teas lately, including from Kusmi.


I saw the title and immediately thought, how were the other 40 Russian evenings? :P Cold? Probably cold.


Hah! I know, and the other 209 Lapsang Souchongs and the other 107 Bouquets de Fleurs.


or des Fleurs… as the case may be.

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drank Caribbean Breeze by Teavana
1945 tasting notes

Tea mystery!

In the realm of experiences relating to having way too much tea, I usually can’t find some tea or other that I could have sworn I had. Like the Adagio Silver Needle Jasmine.

This one is the opposite. I have the notes to prove I had a sipdown of this once upon a time. And yet, when I dug through my drawer looking for things to take to work, there was a humongoid tin of this.

At first I was kind of upset that I found it because I remember it being too tart to be fully enjoyed without sweetening, but I decided to give it a shot unsweetened. Instead, I basically doubled the amount of mix I’d used previously.

It’s much nicer than my previous notes reflect, and I don’t know whether that’s because I put in so much mix, it’s mellowed with age, or my body chemistry has changed over time and is now more compatible with it.

But whatever the reason, tonight it is not: too tart, too bitter, too uneven in flavor. It doesn’t require sweetening. In fact, it seems to have some natural sweetness and a prominent strawberry note.

This leads me to a generality I’ve been noticing about fruit blends with hibiscus in them. It’s not always true that substantially overleafing can cut the tartness to something enjoyable rather than unbearable, but it’s been true often enough lately that I’m going to continue to do it.

Giving it a significant ratings bump.

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Sipdown no. 129 of the year 2014.

Not a bad fruity rooibos blend, just not spectacular in my book, though the BF loved it. I am tasting a lot of apple tonight mixed in with the lemon but the pomegranate is still difficult for me to discern. I wonder whether if this was fresher I might have tasted it more. I liked that the rooibos was quietly in the background and didn’t stand up to be counted.

It appears that as of the date of this note, Teavana still offers this blend. So I have time to change my mind, or order more because the BF likes it.

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drank Ooooh Darjeeling by Adagio Teas
1945 tasting notes

Today was instrument selection day at the middle school and no. 1 has his heart set on playing the saxophone. He’d pretty much decided he wanted to play it two weeks ago ever since he learned he had to have an elective: art, band or orchestra. My immediate reaction was: great, another instrument I’ll have to fight with you to get you to practice (he’s in his third year of piano lessons). But then I thought perhaps there’d be a synergy. The things he doesn’t like about piano, like counting, might be things band would be incredibly good for learning. I imagine it only takes a few times of playing before the rest of the band because you didn’t count the quarter rest before you step in line.

Anyway. Small brag ahead, so if that sort of thing annoys you skip the next paragraph.

Amazingly, he wailed on all the instruments. On a scale of 1-5, five being the best (judged by the ability to get a coherent sound out of the instrument), he got 5s on sax, flute, trumpet, trombone and baritone, and a 4 on the clarinet. I have no idea where this comes from as I only ever played piano. But that’s one of the fun things about kids. They totally surprise you sometimes.

Anyway, he went to get fro-yo with the BF so I’m having an oolong. Ahhhh. Or perhaps I should say Ooooh. This is actually hitting the spot today. It’s really toasty and flavorful, and reminds me of what I like about dark oolongs. It’s quite fruity in its toastiness. I’m getting something peachy-plummy and some grape.

I shall be having a number of additional steeps of this. Carry on.




Thanks, but I really didn’t do anything—it was all him. :-)


You didnt do anything? Really?! I think we as parents deserve pat on back too. Don’t you agree? i think i wrote too many question marks :-)


yaaay for dark oolongs! ;) maybe because i’m a hojicha enthusiast ;p

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Exciting: within three servings of sipdown on this one. I’m so close to getting rid of my last tin and my last box of bags in the work stash that I took a big step today. I brought in two big tins and a box of tea bags.

The tins: Kusmi Bourbon Vanilla and LeafSpa Organic Blink Bonnie. I expect the latter may become a commuting home tea on the days when I need a boost, otherwise it will be an earlier in the day tea.

The bags: About 10 Numi Magnolia Puerh, and the last few Numi Red Rooibos and Tazo Honeybush. I was a little conflicted about the rooibos and honeybush. I needed decaf options for later in the afternoon, but the kids like these. Then again, the last few times I’ve tried to interest them in a cup they’ve said no. It is pretty hot here lately, so I expect that’s why.

I haven’t decided whether I have enough variety for a while now or whether I need to add a couple of other alternatives, but I’m leaning toward adding a couple.

In any case, I may sip this one down tomorrow, or it may be next week. But soon.


Peggie Bennett

I really like the Numi Magnolia! Good choice! :-)


I had it so long ago I don’t remember it! Will have to try again soon.

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Sipdown no. 128 of the year 2014. This is a minor backlog as I had it this morning. Unfortunately, it went cold while I was getting the kids to school. If I had more of this, I’d make a note to self to drink while hot. Cold, it was much heavier, and as it already had quite a bit of heft, it did a number on my stomach. I didn’t finish the last bit as I had to run out to a doctor’s appointment. It wasn’t enough to merit attempting to reheat, though.

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drank Lotus by Tazo
1945 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 127 of the year 2014. I didn’t drink a lot of tea today—a cup in the morning, two at work, and a commute home with this, plus the last two bags in my bigass Shakespeare mug that looks like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wedgwood-creamware-Shakespeare-mug-ca-1964-/161232245159?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item258a30d1a7

(Hope that link works.)

This isn’t goodbye, just until we meet again.


I really and truly like and covet your bigass Shakespeare mug.


I like how your not-a-lot-of-tea day would be a-lot-of-tea day for me, haha.


Haha! Yes, I love my mug. And Jennkay, today I had an even less tea day. Just two cups. Crazy schedule and I drank some flavored water a couple of times because it was easy to get.

Peggie Bennett

Lotus is definitely my favorite Tazo.

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I’ve been drinking a lot of the same things over and over working them toward sipdown. Sometimes there’s something new to say, but often there isn’t—so I haven’t been writing notes on everything I drink.

Today I’m drinking this from a teabag at work (I have a handful of Kusmi teabags of this and St. Petersbourg). It’s really different than I recall it being on any previous occasions.

It’s rose! That’s what I’m smelling, and that’s what I’m tasting. There is a slight citrusy note, too, but mostly it’s floral and mostly it’s rose.

Which is fine with me because I heart rose teas.

As it cools, it becomes more of a melange of indistinct floral, and not quite as enjoyable as it was when hotter.


I have SO many teabags to get through, thanks for the reminder.


Drink up!

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Does anyone know whether peppermint is associated with St. Patrick’s day for any reason other than that peppermint is green (and peppermint fillings in candies are often dyed green as well)? I googled this question but didn’t find an answer and lost patience after flipping through the first four pages of search results.

I’m glad it can contribute to today’s theme, even if the only reason is it’s green. The peppermint leaves in and among the mate certainly are, in any case. The steeped mate is rather the color of butterscotch candy.

This is progressing, slowly, toward sipdown. Maybe this week, but if not, certainly next.

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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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