1127 Tasting Notes

drank Indian Masala Chai Blend by Ketlee.in
1127 tasting notes

Figured I make a note for milk preparation. I rarely add milk or sugar to tea but here, milk is needed to mitigate the harsh body effects of a pelletized Assam.

1Tbsp masala, 1 cup water, simmer for 5 or so minutes. Add 1/2 cup whole milk, bring back to a bare simmer for a few minutes. No sweetener.

Cardamom is very much the forward spice in this blend and it perfumes my mouth after the swallow. Ginger is next, providing more heat than taste. Black pepper tingle. Cinnamon and clove definitely take the backseat.

This is still the best masala chai I’ve had. Cardamom lovers will be happy with this one :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Three years ago, gosh. I was at my aunt’s, on the second night of starting an anti-depressant medication. My brain – it felt like I was I was on acid. She keeps a drawer of at least 20 different bagged tisanes, and I remember packing 1 of each with me to take on my bus ride back to the city a few days later. I couldn’t handle caffeine while my system became tolerant to the first few weeks of the medication. After that round of anti-depressants, I vowed to never to take them again. I learned a lot during that period. TMI? I don’t care.

Bought a box for work, for the cold season. Brought a few bags home.

I’m a fan of turmeric, but this just tastes too savory for me. Like old curry powder, where the only thing that stands out is brothy, flat turmeric. It lacks the mellowed ginger-like spicy bite and earthy warmth of fresh, dried turmeric root. As stated in my note from three years ago, the vanilla is not enough. Cinnamon and cardamom, where are you? Rooibos and honeybush, you, too.

Numi teas, you’re not worth the price.

Piggybacking on CrowKettle’s recent Tame Impala selection:
Tame Impala – Let It Happen
headphones highly suggested

Martin Bednář

First week with pills like that are always, always awful. I remember my first month like it is yesterday. Awful experience, indeed.

Evol Ving Ness

Awful getting on and super awful, for many of them, getting off. One wonders whether the in-between time really is worth it. For some, it may be. However, Research has shown that daily meditation has exactly the same efficacy rate. I’ll go with that.


The initial side effects and withdrawals are horrendous. I’m not sure which was worse between the mania, insomnia and shits in the beginning, or the brain zaps, nystagmus and Parkinson’s-like shakes during withdrawal.

I’ve always struggled with recognizing when I’m feeling emotions. So many years of ‘all brain, no heart.’ I had gotten heavily into tea a few months before starting medication and joining Steepster. Sitting multiple times daily with tea became a wonderful diversion and meditation tool. Support systems are key, and listening to yourself. Not listening to or denying your essence leads to cognitive dissonance, which in my case, has been the source of major depressions. I have my own woo-woo theory on the neurological mechanisms that manifest major depression through cognitive dissonance but I am surely no neuroscientist, so I keep that to myself.

I hope the both of you are doing well, and anybody else who might read this note in the future. Let it happen.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, derk. Likewise.

Agreed. Listening to self and being aware of what is going on with self is essential.

A very sweet entertaining easy to read book on this theme—How to Be Miserable—40 strategies you already use by Randy Paterson. Recommend.


I am finding Therapy In A Nutshell on youtube helpful. I have notes everywhere…let yourself feel your feelings. Feelings change and they won’t last forever. Feelings are not good or bad, they teach us something if we let them. We can not protect ourselves from every bad emotion – grief, pain, fear, and we get anxious if we try to prevent them entirely. Gratitude is important and can be practiced. Look for beauty and focus on it for a few minutes each day. Awe and wonder do a lot for our mental state. And for me – breathe. That has been a biggie for derailing the runaway train. Those are just my takeaways and perhaps oversimplified, but are a few of the things that have helped.

Evol: that book sounds like something I would enjoy!

Wow, I love you, guys! This is my support group right here!

Evol Ving Ness

Ashmanra, those are excellent tips. Thank you.

Re book, yes. I think you would enjoy it. Parts are hilarious. I think every household should have one. Google it. You can read a few pages of it on Amazon.

And. <3. <———heart to all y’all.

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve started listening to ashmanra’ s playlist and here is some you mentioned, derk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1RETMlk8rc


At least you can say you tried the medication? but it’s definitely a tricky balance for every person on if a med is hurting more than helping. At least you found tea, Steepster and my favorite Tame Impala song. :D


Some great words in here. I’ve been struggling in particular lately and this all resonates. Sometimes we forget the simple things we need to be human. So like you all said, breathing, meditation, gratitude, supporting, feeling and accepting, and plenty more (drinking good tea?). Still figuring out the full list myself!


Also, good song. I listened to it a lot during my junior year in college.


We are all just a message away if you need it. I open that to anyone on here who may need it.


I second that, mrmopar. I’m grateful for all of you kind and friendly listeners.

Evol Ving Ness

And I third that. These are difficult days. Community helps. Tea people, generally speaking, are good people.


I fourth it! I am a listening ear if needed.


Never TMI when figuring out health stuff. There’s a lot of wisdom and experience in the Steepster community~

Thanks for being a Tame Impala buddy :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Cinnamon Hibiscus by Salada
1127 tasting notes

This stuff is awesome. Spiced, tart fruit punch with only 4 ingredients and no added flavors. The hibiscus is tart but not sour or biting. It also gives body. The amount of cinnamon is perfect and it creates a very aromatic tea. Rather floral-woody and soft, unlike cassia which is spicy-woody and sharp. Bonus – this stuff is cheap. A coworker came into my office today with the box in hand wanting to know where I got it. I sent him home with half the box :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruit Punch, Hibiscus, Orange Zest, Tart


That was so sweet! You always are! :)


no, you


Aw, shucks! (Blush)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


The Tie Luo Han tea I had came as part of a three-bag sampler, including Ban Tian Yao and Shui Jin Gui, with no descriptions for any of the teas. At the time (2018?), I don’t think any of the three had yet been offered by Old Ways Tea. Notes by other users for these three may not reflect the same teas I have.

At first, the aroma and flavor profile had me almost uninterested in continuing to brew. As the alkalinity faded by the end of my second cup, complex herbal-spice sensations revealed themselves while my body and mind became very relaxed.

In the mineral and rice-like sweetness reminiscent of a small stream with marshy banks, I could taste wet oak logs and wet yellow chrysanthemum. My mouth instantly tingled all over.

The tea had this unique quality that made me want to keep my mouth closed. I sat, and the complex herbal tastes materialized and shifted: the herb called chocolate mint, wintergreen, horehound, celery root, lettuce, spearmint, cucumber, anise, dill — but it didn’t taste green. The tea guided me through drawing a nature scene in my notebook that featured some of the sensations I was experiencing.

This Tie Luo Han’s nuanced structure and energy certainly speak of a very high quality tea, and I know nothing more about it.

Flavors: Anise, Brown Sugar, Celery, Charcoal, Chocolate, Chrysanthemum, Cucumber, Dill, Goji, Grass, Hazelnut, Lettuce, Medicinal, Mineral, Mint, Oak, Peanut, Raspberry, Rice, Roasted, Spearmint, Spicy, Spring Water, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet Wood, Wood

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

A winter harvest bancha tea, heavily roasted. The leaves are large, broken, rustic in appearance with some leaves blackened, burnt even, while others remain olive green. Same goes for the stems which are included in higher proportion than any other Japanese tea I’ve had excluding kukicha.

The easiest way to describe the type of smokiness and other qualities of the tea is to make a comparison. If you could bottle the essence of charred summer squash or chayote and corn husk with stray blackened kernels all with their steaming, gentle nutty-vegetal sweetness, this tea would be it. The liquor is silky smooth and carries the smoke quality with a deft touch across the palate. The char aroma is strong but for me it does not overwhelm at all. I find it comforting, like bringing a part of summer with me into depths of fall.

A refined tea this is not, however I want to say that whoever grew and processed this tea absolutely knows what they are doing. It brews consistently every time with boiling water. It is a functional tea made by a skilled craftsman.

For the price, I can’t think of a cheaper, more reliable tea to drink as I hopefully transition out of a time frame that’s left me questioning my sanity. This tea is gently grounding and refreshing. I am very to grateful to have it at my table.

Flavors: Burnt, Corn Husk, Grilled Food, Nutty, Smoke, Smooth, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal, Zucchini


Teas made by people who know what they’re doing. That is a comforting description. I love it.


It is a comforting description! Derk’s vivid description of the Tie Luo Han 铁罗汉 was awesome too. Gave me the feelys lol. Love it.


Agreed, not every good tea needs to be expensive. I had Tillerman’s Sweet Scented Dong Ding recently and thought basically the same thing, that this is a tea made by someone who knows what he’s doing.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

It’s been a few weeks since I finished this free sample (thank you to Thés du Japon). I suppose this tea didn’t capture my attention as much as the sample of a sencha also from Hon.yama, Umegashima, that made it into the parcel – https://steepster.com/teas/thes-du-japon/98173-sencha-from-hon-dot-yama-umegashima-tomochi-yabukita-cultivar

I recall this evoking a sensation of the image of vibrant green oxalis growing in damp evergreen forest understory. Sweet, muddled in structure and taste, drying. Heavy in the stomach with a bit of turning, meaning food was needed beforehand.

Is it worth buying a bag to pay more attention to? Maybe if I want to explore Zairai, or indigenous, teas but not at this time. For my tastes, this tea needs to be experimented with.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Two years later, really? Dry chunks smell like sour cream chocolate cake. In the mouth, a lot of meaty mushroom on top of that smooth, oily-mineral-earthy-tobacco and leather today. Cold basement concrete. Little bit of dates. Maybe the ‘nutritional yeast’ I had previously described transformed into that mushroom. Two twenty second rinses because the once-rinsed chunks do have some leftover fishfunk that I didn’t mention in the previous note.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Juroku Cha by Asahi
1127 tasting notes

Caffeine-free grain and herbal Japanese tea produced in Taiwan. Ingredients: purified water, pearl barley, barley, habu tea leaf, malted barley, corn, vitamin C, brown rice, loquat leaf, black soybean, malted brown rice, shiitake mushroom, jujube, mulberry leaf, black rice, foxtail millet, Japanese millet (kibi), red bean

Tons of roasted barley-grainy-soybean flavor, some sweetness, some light tang probably from the Vitamin C, some mushroom earthiness to fills out the base tones. Overall, it tastes mostly like a roasted barley tea but with more complexity of flavor. Great cold refreshment.

Sierge Krьstъ

Very interesting. I am revisiting my caution with herbals as I tend overdo things. Latest horsetail with liubao. Like good hash. Everything sparks up inside my body. Heartbeat stabilized after vaccine. Joints tingling with joy. Almost pineal gland decalcifying at the back of my head. Oh, I forgot, I don’t have pineal gland. I traded it for third eye. And heart, probably for iron knee. So what are all these aches. Yearning to fill voids with whatever will keep my immune system busy. Like sports, all about participation



Watching that video followed by the full Rammstein cover released something deep. That was a beautiful cry.


Mugworth with shou this evening.

Sierge Krьstъ

It is amazing how what crave is hardwiring our sensory preferences in other areas

Sierge Krьstъ

Mugworth, the name along would float with me but one cannot deny synchronicities, apparently it is powerful detox on its own


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Instead of being steamed like modern sencha, kama-iri cha is pan-fried.

Very robust taste and feeling in the mouth balanced by a dewy sweetness with a touch of astringency. Cooling evergreen forest and fresh medicinal bittersweet herbs layered over a thin, shifting matrix of roasted chestnut and boiled spinach, almost like the forward medicinal character passes through a sheer curtain weaved of pan-fired and vegetal tastes, picking up bits of those flavors as the tea moves through the mouth. There is also a brightness to the tea that I want to liken to citrus but it is not that. Bitterness persists in the back of the mouth; it is not necessarily penetrating, but it is certainly there, giving greater conviction to medicinal notions. The aftertaste shifts from this nature into something floral and vaguely fruity, reminiscent of sakura blossoms. Clean minerality is in the background and becomes evident after the swallow, when the mouth begins to water.

Despite having drank this tea maybe 5 times now, I still find the character elusive. I always feel like I’m on the edge of understanding, which keeps me coming back for more :) It feels like a mountain person, a pine forest hermit strengthened but somewhat burled by nature and who remains under cloak while gathering herbs for a concoction to be simmered over a small fire, in a clearing illuminated by the sun.

It was about dang time to stir up my taste buds and perceptions by exploring Japanese teas, which never really jived with me before. I had been in a tea appreciation slump for a while (several months? half a year?) and these teas from Thés du Japon are doing wonders for me right now.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Evergreen, Ginger, Herbs, Lemon, Medicinal, Mineral, Peach, Pineapple, Sakura, Spinach, Sweet, Thick


I can’t decide whether to use kaleidoscope or Pandora’s box to describe what your reviews of these Japanese teas remind me of. I think both terms fit a little. Something new with every sip!


Getting some nice sweet lemon cream and peach cream notes today. This tea has such an interesting cooling mix of bitterness and sweetness.


Pineapple and ginger flower, too. With maybe half of the 100g bag gone, I still remain perplexed yet satisfied.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This tea deserves an abstract impressionistic painting to be made of itself.

I feel like I do not have adequate words, but I will try my best below.

At first notice, the tea is floral forward and upward. The light color of the liquor cloaks a vegetal quality that is round, robust, grounding, deep; neither meek nor overbearing but something that reminds me of a forgotten mossy forest path, providing a springy base to soften one’s step across earth, wood and wet rock. A mild fruity and buttery back-end is revealed on the upper palate once some bitterness in the tonsils and back of the throat subsides, while a simultaneously dewy-sweet and cooling aftertaste presents. The retronasal perfume carries throughout the session. At times, there is a playful brush of astringency in the full body; in other moments the astringency is more prominent, as a light squeeze on the arm would feel. A joy for me as a lover of structure, and most importantly, the way the tea feels in my body.

The generosity of Thés du Japon is much appreciated.


Just wow.




I love it when a tea demands artistic tribute. I’ve been drinking mostly raw pu’er but am a sencha dude at heart. I may need to try teas from this vendor – they market their teas as higher-end senchas and don’t seem to have much in the way of competitors. The only thing that’s been stopping me from making an order is the shipping costs.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most. Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes. I might have attention issues. One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer