169 Tasting Notes


I decided to get all my Christmas cards done this morning.
Got the cards out and found my address book, and then went to fill up my tea kettle.
No water. What!??!
Apparently, my landlord came to fix some issues with our well and turned off the water.
Well, thought I, it should not take long, I will just get at these cards.
After a bit, when my card stack grew and my hand had a cramp in it, I thought surely they must be done.
It had been two hours and he was still out there.
I was starting to have a full on panic. You know…when you realize you have no water, suddenly the things you want to do most involve water usage.
Anyway, here it is, edging onto 1:30 pm and I am finally having my first cuppa of the day.
All my cards are written up and addressed and ready for the mailbox.
I have not had a genmachia in awhile, and when I placed an order with this company I realized I had a real hankering for Genmaicha, and I had not tried Mark T. Wendell’s as of yet.
Genmaicha is not a tea I drink every day, and sometimes a week or two will go by with me not even thinking twice about it, but I like to keep it on hand, because when I want some, I do not like to be without.
Mmmmm. When I poured the water over the leaves that cozy, toasty, nutty odor enveloped my nostrils.
Gosh, I missed this stuff.
Taste is more delicate than some of the genmaicha’s I have tried.
And the green tea is more sweet than a bit of a bite at the end, like in the others.
Tea color is a bright yellow.
Overall, very happy to have some of this tea in my cupboard as well as most of all in my cup:)
Will drink this more and see if it grows on me, at this point there is some other genmaicha’s I have tried that I enjoyed a little better than this one. This is still quite good though.
Happy Monday, Ya’all!

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

heh and that is why there is always enough water in the fridge at my place for at least 6 cups of tea :)

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I am currently eating carrot sticks in the attempt to remind my body of a food besides the carbs I have been ingesting the last 24 hours and drinking this tea because…well, just because! I don’t need a reason to drink tea.
I am also browsing through a book I bought on my tablet called ‘How to speak like Jane Austen and Live like Elizabeth Bennet’ by Kaelyn Caldwell.
Its quite a delightful and fun little read.
Anywho, the name of this tea brought pine-y loveliness to mind and since its winter time and I live in the land of no trees (seriously) I had visions of snow covered pine trees in my head.
Well, I could have read the full description before my hurried purchase and I might have known that vision was incorrect.
However, despite all that, this tea is very tasty.
It’s smell reminds me very much of a Milk Oolong.
It smells creamy and nutty.
I am getting a bit of sugared nuts and whipped cream, with a roasted veggie note…perhaps parsnips?
Taste will remind you that this is an oolong, a nice sweet, bright vegetal taste cuts through the creamy aroma, rounding off to just a dash of dryness at the back of the tongue.
A lovely tea, indeed!
Perfect companion to a bit of reading and for tagging along to the workshop for a woodcraft project this afternoon.
Have a Happy Day, all you lovely people!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m about to create your vision. Thank you so much for the push :)

Hesper June

Oooo! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Hello, all!
I have been absent as of late because I have been trying to dwindle down my ever growing tea supply.
Quite proud that I am down to approximatively 35 teas.
Since I have been doing so well, I treated myself to a few teas when I made a recent Christmas order.
And this delightful tea was one of those treats.
The dry leaves are dark in color and there is a crisp earthy-ness to the smell.
The tea brews up to a lovely amber orange.
The tea itself smells quite different than the leaves, there is still a earthy type odor, but what comes out more prevalently is warm notes of chocolate and a tinge of spice and bright citrus.
Taste is a milder version of the smell.
A little spicy, slightly citrus, earthy chocolate.
Nice mouth feel.
Really is quite lovely and different Oolong.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

go you! congrats on shrinking your cupboard :) Glad to see you back!

Hesper June

Thanks, Sil! Glad to be back..you steepster folks are just terrible for trying to eliminate large tea stashes. You lovely enablers, you;)


missed you!


35! I didn’t even know that was possible.


the tins are lovely …I have at least 85 teas with the sample sizeq, I admire your determination !

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That’s impressive! :D I have like 40 teas in my “Daily Cupboard” :P

Hesper June

Thank you, JJ!
KS,Ysaurella, and WPTC, Well, I realized that I could not possibly drink all the tea that I kept acquiring before they started to age or change in flavor.
I decided that really did not seem fair to the teas, my palate or my pocket book. Sigh…I hate when I am sensible;)


well, jane austen would be proud….. ‘sense and sensibility’ and all that! i’ve been sipping down fairly steadily. though i must admit i hoard my french teas in airtight containers. i sniff them, debate, and then put them away, lol.

i am amazed at the then and now of my tastes. where i began versus where i am…..

Hesper June

Ah, yes, well, I think we all have those teas that we can hardly bear to drink as they just seem to special.

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I have been drinking this nearly every morning as of late.
At first it was partly due to the fact it was in the front and easy to grab with my one arm.
I recently fell and tore some muscles and pulled some tendons in my left arm.
You see, I have been banned from farmwork (by my husband) and although there is some projects I have been wanting to do around the house…painting the spare bedroom or cleaning out that scary closet, don’t sound like good things to try to attempt with one arm either.
SO! I have been catching up on my reading.
I read Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (accompanied by this tea, which made me feel luxurious when she would explain the watered down tea her family could afford) after reading the book, that led me to watching Upstairs, Downstairs (I had seen some episodes growing up, but not all) which led me to watch the 2010 version, which then led Hulu to recommend Wives and Daughters.
As you can see, Queen Catherine tea is a very good choice to be drinking during all of this.
I love its gentle briskness.
I hear the tea timer calling, gonna grab my cuppa and sit down and push play.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Enjoy your “break” and catching up on some good books and tea! I hope your arm heals quickly.

Hesper June

Thank you! It feels a little better each day:)


Not coveting your injury….but the opportunity to read, drink tea, watch videos….yum!

Hesper June

Oh, yes! Its been lovely! I was trying to remember the last time I did something so indulgent, and I believe it was back when I was in my teens and had the chicken pox’s (the 2nd time I had them, mind you!) and watched all of Anne of Green Gables:)
I am currently trying to decide which to start next, Cranford or North and South.
What a delightful conundrum!

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A sample from the lovely High Adventure. Thank you!
I have had this tea a total of three times now.
This tea fascinates me.
The first time I tried this tea, I got more a savory experience, then the second time more of a bakery experience.
I waited to review this tea for my third tasting, to see if there is a tie breaker or some new experience coming through.
The dry leaves of this tea really do not smell much like anything at all.
But,once I add the water and stick my big ol’ Italian schnoz down into the steeping basket, I get a very lovely aroma.
Sometimes its a bit vegetal, other times it smells rather nutty or like bread baking.
As I grasp the mug in my hands and take a whiff in this moment, it smells like homemade bread baking in the oven.
Which is rather lovely, in my opinion.
Taste I am getting at first is toasted nuts, then some avocado.
The tea ends rather dry.
I have enjoyed drinking this tea and have found it to be a very interesting experience.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Just this afternoon, I was looking at the pretty card you sent a while back to me! :)

Hesper June

Aw! I still have a bit of the delicious teas you sent me. I am hoarding it away for a special treat.

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I love the mornings I awake thinking about a certain tea that I want to drink.
On this hot, smoky Sunday morning, I awoke thinking about this tea.
Whenever, I drink this tea, I am reminded of a story I saw long ago, in I believe a National Geographic.
I do not even know if the story took place in Kenya, Or Africa or anywhere even close to where there is a Kenya Sunrise, but the article was about a high-end resort that people stayed at, however, there were giraffes everywhere around the place.
There was one photo where there was a nicely dressed couple sharing breakfast/tea and a giraffe had his head stuck through the window checking out what they were doing.
To my young mind, this was just so incredibly awesome.(and apparently to my 29 year old mind as well, if it still is embedded in my brain)
I remember thinking I wanted to be a fancy lady sipping tea with giraffes.
This tea is different the moment you open the tin, because the leaves are not really leaves at all, but instead they are tiny little round tea shaped balls.
The odor of the dry leaf is lovely, bright and with something rather fruit-like maybe?
I agree with the description where it is rather like your assam-y breakfast teas, bright and encouraging awakening, but it lacks that strong astringent
bitterness that some of those teas can have, both in odor as well as taste.
It brews a beautiful dark red cuppa.
The smell of tea also mimics the dry leaf, bright with just a slight fruit and spice note.
Taste again is a little like assam, malty and such, but brighter and lighter.
It lacks the heaviness that assam can have as well (FYI, I am not dissing on Assam, I love me some assam)
I think this is a prefect summer breakfast tea.
I really enjoy sipping it.
I also think it would be perfectly acceptable to drink with giraffes, you know…in case you have some dropping by later for a visit;)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

i’m drinking a golden needle assam right now…. lighter and brighter on my side too!

Hesper June

Oh! thats sounds lovely!


we could always do a swap… this is a sample i bought from harney and sons but i have enough left to share. =0)

Hesper June

Here is the Giraffe Manor! I still want to go:)

Hesper June

Sure, James! Love to do a swap.
Is there anything else that you are interested in that’s in my cupboard?


Tea with giraffes…that just has the making of a children’s storybook, doesn’t it?

Hesper June

It does, G! Probably why my child brain fell so madly in love with the idea.
Maybe I should visit and then write a book on my experience:)

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drank La France Pear by David Rio
169 tasting notes

Another bagged tea from the lovely High Adventure
After my yoga session this morning, I had a craving for Matcha.
I am currently out, till I remembered this bag I had in my sample drawer.
When I first opened the packet I was a tad frightened since the pear smell was quite pronounced and almost candy-like.
Once the tea was brewed the smell had calmed down some.
The matcha taste is there, but its is rather overtaken by the pear, however, the pear taste is not so loud and candy-like as the smell of it at the beginning.
Nice little tea to sip while I am still on my yoga high.
Thank you again, High Adventure!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Another Sample from High Adventure
Lightly scented and lightly flavored jasmine tea.
If you are not into strong flavored floral teas, this would be a good tea for you, since the jasmine flavor is quite subtle.
A very tasty afternoon tea!
Thank you, High Adventure!

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Algothé by Kusmi Tea
169 tasting notes

Another sample from the lovely High Adventure
I turned over the little packet and it read these simple words “Seaweed and teas”
Alrighty than.
I don’t mind seaweed, in fact I like it, because usually when I smell it or taste it in the air it means I am by the sea and the sea is where my heart will always be (truly not trying to be a poet, I promise)
Today, with another hot day in store as well as being socked in with smoke, by the cool sea where salty breezes blow sounds just heavenly.
The website said that this is a restorative tea that is great to sip during a spa session.
Well, not sure if watching Spongebob Squarepants is qualified as a spa session but its as close to a spa session or the ocean as I am gonna get today.
I like the smell of this tea a lot.
It is refreshing or"restorative".
I can smell the salty seaweed and the bright mint.
I can also smell the green tea.
On the first sip, all I can taste is mint, which saddened me some, since I was looking forward to the “Seaweed and Teas”
However, as I let it cool more, I could taste the salty-ness of the seaweed.
This tea is unique, but I like that.
I wonder how it would taste cold-brewed?
Thanks again, High Adventure, for the sample!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Kashmir Tchai by Kusmi Tea
169 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from the generous High Adventure
I awoke this morning to a nasty sore throat, I know it is due to the fact that we are on fire around here and there is so much smoke.
Not only do I have a sore throat, but I can’t turn my neck because it is stiff and sore and all the stresses of this week (month?) have caught up to me and I have broke out in hives.
Blah. Need tea.
So, I have a number of bagged samples piling up and thought this would be a good day to try a few.
Started with this one, because of the sore throat, a chai is required.
I could smell the spices when I plunked the sachet into my favorite mug and poured the water over it.
The first sip tasted of cardamom, the second sip was cinnamon-y.
On the Kusmi website they simply say “Blend of Chinese black teas with 6 spices”
It would be kind of neat to know what spices are all in there, because some of them do not taste like the normal spices I taste in a Chai.
But, whatever spice are in there, I like this tea.
Its not a bold chai, but I like it.
Thank you, High Adventure, for sharing this sample with me!
I am off to curl up with this tea and watch cartoons.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

so sorry you’re suffering from the fires. that’s really not a pleasant time!

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A Farmer’s Wife who drinks her tea to forget the din of the world.
Love all tea, from black to herbal concoctions.
Usually start my day with black tea and then move on to Oolong or Green in the afternoon, then finish the day with a tisane.
Loose Leaf teas are my preference, I say “Free the Leaves!” :)
When I am not drinking tea, I enjoy knitting, baking, reading, playing with one of our rescue animals or working along side my husband on our farm.

My rating system is rather relaxed:
50’s or under- Um, is this tea or did I get this from the slop bucket?
60’s- Not really my thing, certainly will not be purchasing again.
70’s- I will give this tea a few more tries to see if it grows on me , right now it is okay but not thrilling me.
80’s- Like this tea a lot. It might be a tea that I have to be in a certain mood for and therefore not a daily drinker, but try to have on hand for those “moods”
90’s and higher- ADORE! Will never be without!

I most always drink my tea plain.
No sweeteners or milk/cream.



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