2435 Tasting Notes

Eldest daughter, Superanna, ordered tea for me for Mother’s Day and had it shipped straight to me. It came yesterday – my first ever What-Cha order! I was intrigued by the name of this one alone, but reading the description and info made it even more intriguing.

The leaves are very narrow but long, deep dark green in color, with a purple sheen that made me double check to see if there was cornflower or lavender added. But no, it was just a purple sheen. Wet, the leaves are so shiny and such a deep green. They almost don’t look real!

I should have started with a white cup since this is the first tasting so we can enjoy the color, but I used dark blue Tianmu type cups. After we had already had a cup, I looked it up on the site and saw that lemon juice will make it turn pink!

I fetched a white cup, and here I saw that the color of the tea is grayish, not yellow or green or gold as I would have expected. Where the tea meets the edge of the cup it looks purple.

We added a few drops of lemon juice, and it swirled like pink cloud through the cup until the tea was all pink. I tried to get a good picture but it really didn’t capture how pink it looked in person.

Taste: I started with the lower recommended amount of leaves since we are just getting to know each other. Water was 160F. Steep was 45 seconds.

It was a fairly mild, grassy Sencha with a little briskness. Very pleasant.

I went for a second steep, same temp but a little extra time. My husband says he likes the second steep even better, and I think I do, too. It is definitely grassier with more briskness, and tingles the tongue, but the flavor is great and this would pair really well with something sweet, like hazelnut M&M’s (cough cough) or even with food. It would hold up to being served with a meal.

Neato tea! Thank you, Superanna, for the experience!


Oh, how interesting!


<3 Happy Mother’s Day and I think it’s so cool your daughter sent you a nice tea!


A friend sent me some Adagio Bella Luna Blue that’s supposed to have the same type of lemon juice alchemy; liked the tea, but haven’t played with it in that manner yet.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Time to take tea outside and drink one of my faves! I will probably drink this a lot in the next few weeks because my giant wall o’ jasmine is starting to bloom! Today a hummingbird was visiting the blossoms.

I like this better than their highest grade of jasmine pearls. This is a shelf staple. Smooth, perfect jasmine, it relaxes me and makes me melt. Ahhhh!

Here is my King of Dogs, Sam, in front of the wall of jasmine a few days ago as the first blossoms at the top were starting to open. The vine goes a short way around the corner and there is another, smaller vine on the end of the house by my bedroom window. We planted the big one about twenty years ago.



Jasmine goals! And omg look at that cute woofer! How old is he?


He is eight years old! I adore him. We fostered his mom and her pups from the time he was one day old. His mother was quite small and was the color of his brown spots. She looked like a very small American Dingo. We are guessing his dad was a Walker Treeing Coonhound or a bird dog.


Oh, and I put him in for scale, but really it is the next picture that shows the size of the vine best! He is a long legged pup, don’t know if you can tell. and about 55 pounds.


Your dog is cute, but why does he have such a small head?


Ha ha! Well, “Youngest”, I think his head (and everything else about him) is perfect!

Martin Bednář

Wonderful doggie.


Whoa, a jasmine wall! :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Organic Assam by Harney & Sons
2435 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Sparrow by Whispering Pines Teas
2435 tasting notes

I placed my first ever order with Whispering Pines! I am trying to get some small orders in during the quarantine to support the small businesses. I have had a number of their teas, but they were all ordered by other people as gifts to me.

I really wrestled with what to order and settled on the aged white tea pearls and a Bao Zhong, but I really, really wanted to try Sparrow. I guess Brendan read my mind across the miles because I had a generous sample of it in my box!

Now here’s the thing – I am not allowed to review it here yet because I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters, so I won’t say what it tasted like but rather what happened after drinking it.

This is a GABA oolong, and those are supposed to be very helpful during times of stress. There might be a little of that right now, right? That is one reason I really especially wanted to try it NOW.

I made lots of steeps and shared it with my husband rather late at night. I went to sleep and had a vivid dream. I can see it all even now, and I really haven’t been dreaming much lately that I remember.

The Dream – I was across the street at my neighbor’s house sitting in the front yard with my daughter who lives with us. I do go there five days a week to let his dog out. Suddenly a neighbor came out of her home, very agitated and frightened. She told me that a woman standing on the corner was a vampire. I looked at the woman from the distance and she was dressed in a long white gown, not very vampire-ish but definitely anachronistically dressed. Women began hurrying into my neighbor’s house carrying crystals and brooms, all banding together for protection from the “vampire.” I did not feel alarmed or frightened at any point in the dream.

I looked across at my house and saw the cars of my oldest daughter and son. I was surprised to see them there and I hurriedly put away the lawn chairs and headed home, but when we got there, they had already gone. They were only stopping for a moment to get something and left quickly because of the social distancing orders.

I sat down on the sofa, leaning my head against the back, understanding that it had to be but sad that I missed them and wishing I had been there to see them even if only for that brief moment. Then I woke up.

As I puzzled over the dream, which may have meant nothing at all, I wondered if the ”vampire” was the coronavirus, or social distancing. I assumed my brain was just processing the fact that I am a little sad at not being able to see my kids who don’t live here. I haven’t seen those two since January 4th. My youngest daughter did come for my birthday in March right before distancing began, so I have seen her fairly recently.

So now I wonder – was it the GABA that made the dream so vivid? Did it help me realize how much it bothers me that I can’t see my kids when I didn’t realize what a stressor it is to me?Was it helping me process or understand what I am feeling right now or was it purely coincidence that I had such a vivid dream that night?

It didn’t fix anything – I still can’t visit my kids! But I was so calm in the dream. The “vampire” didn’t scare me, the odd neighbor didn’t worry me, I just wanted to get home to see my son and daughter. And then I wasn’t devastated, I was just a bit sad. Is that the GABA working? Has anyone else experienced anything like this with a GABA tea?

Since I just drank the rest of the sample, it will be interesting to see if I dream again tonight.

Martin Bednář

I don’t know if tea can trigger dreams like that…
But interesting dream and somehow frightening.


Hope you don’t have another dream like that!


Whooie. Chamomile for you tonight.


GABA always relaxes me but I don’t think it’s ever triggered such a vivid dream. I think anxiety and stress happening in the back of our minds interferes with our ability to dream normally. The calming effect produced by GABA might free the brain to dream more easily by removing some of those stressors.

This does make me curious about the effects of GABA tea again. I have a bag of Mei Leaf GABA oolong – a souvenir from my trip to London last year – sitting in my cupboard. I may just experiment on myself tonight :-)


National Geographic online just had an article about an increase in vivid dreaming during the pandemic – “The pandemic is giving people vivid, unusual dreams. Here’s why.” It’s about the subconscious mind handling the stress of this horrible situation – “For all their variety, the one thing many pandemic dreams have in common is how weird they seem to participants in the studies. “It may be one of the mechanisms used by the sleeping brain to induce emotional regulation,” says Perrine Ruby, a researcher at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center.” It’s a fascinating read. I have had some very strange and vivid dreams myself here lately!


Thanks for the link, Teatotaler!

To clarify – I didn’t mind the dream or find it frightening. It didn’t bother me. I really feel that I had not acknowledged how I miss seeing them, and being asleep gave my mind a chance to nudge my brain into seeing and admitting it. I think it may actually helped in that I realize it is a bigger deal to me than I thought and I want to stay in touch better and maybe video chat instead of just texting. I was just wondering if the GABA perhaps gave that awareness a little boost.


Okay, read the article. Based on that, the dream was classic reaction to the quarantine and probably had nothing to do with the tea, but since GABA is calming maybe that is why I was pretty chill about there being a possible vampire, and not getting overly distressed about not seeing my kids. And maybe the dream was just a statement of my state of mind – I miss my kids but I am dealing with it, and I am not frightened of the virus though I am exercising all the recommended precautions.


Okay, I read the article,

Martin Bednář

Interesting Teatotaler. Luckily (?), I haven’t got that vivid dreams yet. But I dream more than usual, that’s true!


My dreams are usually very vivid – just like real life. So I wouldn’t really notice a difference in these times.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Okay, so there are a ton of teas that I have not added to cupboard. Some of them are small amounts, some of them are not listed on Steepster and I just don’t feel like adding them. With the quarantine, I am trying to sip down small packs and get my cupboard cleaned and organized, both online and in real life.

I don’t like most red rooibos, but I DO like honeybush. This has both. I figured this blend would have enough flavoring to mask the unpleasant cough syrup flavor. Happily, I was right.

This is really strong on the caramel flavor and is sweet and smooth. I added nothing to it, but if you wanted to go wild with milk (or cream) and sugar, I can tell this would be an amazing latte.

It says there is hazelnut, and it is a bit nutty, but I still feel like caramel dominates. I am drinking it hot right now, but made a liter of it lightly sweetened to serve as iced tea tomorrow.

I might try it soon as a totally unhealthy, rich and sugary latte.


Several years ago I drank a cup of this before going to play soccer to see if it would enhance my performance. Sadly it did not :)


Michelle: Think how much of it they would sell if it really did enhance performance! But maybe a nice cuppa improving our mood is quite magical enough! I am about to gong fu some Bao Zhong to chase away the cloudy Sunday Covid quarantine blues!


It is a nice cuppa, I should order some!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

derk sent me a generous sample of this a while back, and I think it was the first tea I pulled from the box to try. Today we did something new…since we couldn’t go to church for Easter or visit anyone, I made a little brunch of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and we had a gong fu tray outside. The forecast said rain wouldn’t start until 2pm, so I was pretty surprised to get out there and see lots of clouds. It held off long enough for a nice long session.

My husband ran an extension cord through the garden to the backyard where we were having tea on a blanket so I could keep the water hot enough. Had it been a green, I would have just used a tetsubin on a warmer.

This steeps up dark for a darjeeling, at least compared to the ones I have had. It is much more similar to black tea to me, and is smooth and lacking the bite that I always have to tame with just the right parameters for darjeeling. This is much more forgiving and boy did it ever last! Steep after steep.

When it started getting paler, I just steeped much longer, and it kept going and didn’t get bitter.

Even my husband liked it, and he is not a big fan of black tea without milk and sugar, though he has decided to eschew additives and is getting himself accustomed to plain black tea.

I must say it went well with the strawberries, as the fruitiness of the tea wasn’t biting and sharp like some darjeeling is to me, which would have been too much in my opinion.

Happy Easter to all!


Fantastic brunch. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Mélange Ladurée by Ladurée
2435 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I made a pot of this to go with a cinnamon breakfast bagel this morning. My husband has been asking for black and puerh tea “just in case” it helps against Covid19, and I was getting tired of the same very mild ones all the time. I made this hoping it would pass muster enough, but instead of just passing (he usually wants oolong, white, or green) he said he thought it was really good. He was drinking it sans additions, too. So hooray!

Naturally I showed him some other black teas and rattled the tins, and then let me hear the lack of rattle of this tin. The leaves are too fluffy and light to make a sound! We made two steeps and mixed them together for one big pot. It was gone before we knew it. Good stuff.

This doesn’t have the roughness of some Assams that my poor tummy can’t handle.


I just finished my first pouch of Mokalbari Assam. It was really good!


Neat! I am so pleased that my husband liked it and is getting used to black tea without milk and sugar. I wouldn’t have guessed he would like this one so much.


“too fluffy and light to make a sound” Nice. Also, that description made me tired. Where is my pillow made of these tea leaves.


I was saving leaves for a tea pillow once upon a time! I need to really do it and make that pillow!


By the way, I am suuuuuuuper jealous of your tea pillow now! Ha ha!


NO I didn’t mean I actually had a tea pillow! This tea just made it sound like a great idea. Oh gosh. haha


tea-sipper: They are a real thing, you know! Years ago I suggestion to save your leaves and dry them thoroughly and keep them until you have enough for a pillow! I did it for a while, mostly with large Ceylon leaves, but stopped saving them because the weather wasn’t good for drying leaves outside and I didn’t want them all soread out in the house,


Hmm.. I did NOT know tea pillows were real. :D


Here is one site recommending oolong, but I think most teas you enjoy can be used…although I don’t know if I would enjoy a shu puerh pillow!


Oh interesting, and the site says the tea pillow will crumble in a month or two, so that means continually collecting more tea to make the next tea pillow. Oh boy. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about ten years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer