1015 Tasting Notes

drank Elyse's Blend by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

Okay, so my great luck with this tea last night wasn’t just luck. It is delish this morning also! Maybe it was a fresh batch when I got it and needed to mellow out a bit. But no matter why it is so much better to me now, the fact is that I like it way more than I did. This tea deserves a slight rating boost. It is so, so rich, hearty, honey sweet, bready that I just can’t stand it!

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drank Elyse's Blend by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

I like this a lot more than I did a week or two ago. I used a short steep time combined with a bit of cream and sugar which turned this hefty tea into a smoother, hefty tea. This is almost like a dessert tea tonight, just perfection. If I continue to enjoy this tea this much, a rating increase may be in order.

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I’m reaching for this tea yet again this morning. I don’t usually like Ceylons this much, but I also usually find them a bit too weak for my liking. Well, Steepsterites, this is not your typical whimpy Ceylon. This one has some heft to it that is quite satisfying with a bit of milk and sugar.

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drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

I can’t sleep and wanted tea, but was sure that caffeine wasn’t a good idea so I reached for Vanilla Comoro. I love the smooth vanilla/caramel flavor of this tea which is perfection with cream and sugar. I’m not sure if it will help me sleep, but at least I’ll enjoy my sleepless night!

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After submitting an order today from Upton (which was filled with lots of goodies including Rose Congou, Chocolate Earl Grey, East Frisian BOP and a couple of samples!!!), I had a hankering for this tea. I actually like this a bit better today than the first time I had it. Robust, rich and delicious – I almost forgot about my new tea order for a second.


I just placed an order with Upton that includes Rose Congou, too! Mmmmmmmm.

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I’ve been looking so forward to this gongfu session, that I almost did it last night!
1st infusion – 15 sec
Medium golden hue with a deep cocoa aroma. Light sweetness, taste is mainly that of cocoa.
2nd infusion – 25 sec
Aroma is now very toasty with no apparent sweetness. This infusion is not very flavorful and has a bitter edge. I’m hoping the next infusion is better.
3rd infusion – 35 sec
Sweetness is thankfully back in the aroma and taste. The infusion is much lighter in color and flavor than the others so far. Clean and sweet.
4th infusion – 55 sec
This infusion has a very bready smell. Flavor is still sweet and very much of cocoa.
5th infusion – 1 min 15 sec
The tea is much lighter in color and doesn’t have much of a scent. It just tastes like a basic, naturally sweet black tea. Luckily, the leaves are barely unfurled so I might get something interesting soon.
6th infusion – 1min 45 sec
Light, sweet, slight hint of figs.
7th infusion – 2min 45 sec
Not much to say about this one. The leaves are still rolled, but perhaps this gongfu idea just doesn’t suit this tea. I’ll give one more infusion a try though.
8th infusion – 4 min
Okay, this tea is officially done providing me enjoyment. It was good while it lasted though!

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This is definitely a very interesting and different tea. The dry leaves are long, dark and twisted with scents of cocoa and dark fruit.

1st infusion – 4 min boiling water
The tea is a medium, translucent brown and the tea leaves are not yet unfurled. The taste is smooth and naturally very sweet with hints of raisins and figs. There is very little to no bitterness or astringency.

There are not many teas that make me say “wow”, but this is one of them. Delicious and the natural sweetness is addictive.

2nd infusion – 5+ minutes boiling water
Unfortunately, I lost track of time on this infusion. Thankfully, this tea is quite forgiving. The scent is more cocoa this time around and less fruit which carries through to the taste. There is a slight roasty flavor – all around a really great, easy drinking tea.

The beautiful leaves are still not quite unfurled so I may have another steep or two (either tonight or tomorrow). Really great stuff, this is.

I only used about half the sample, so I’m looking forward to a round of gongfu brewing soon!


I understand that this is supposed. To be the same tea as Ruby 18 and Black Ruby. If so, this is one of my favorites and is a most unusual tea. It is almost impossible for it to get bitter, and it tastes great steep after steep. I am planning to get some from Shui Tea since theirs was so much better than Southern Season’s.


It was definitely one of the most unusual and interesting teas that I’ve had in awhile.

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As a former coffee drinker, I was excited to try this tea. After steeping this tea for about 8 minutes, it definitely smells like a coffee beverage which was aided by adding a bit of sweetener and milk. Although this does remind me of coffee, the underlying flavor is definitely that of tea which I appreciate. This is quite good!

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drank Orange U Slim by The Jade Teapot
1015 tasting notes

Prepared gongfu style in a beautiful blue and white gaiwan.

1st infusion – 30 sec
Strong, dark flavors, slightly bitter but definitely drinkable

2nd infusion – 25 sec
Much the same profile as the first infusion, but smoother with hints of orange becoming more prevalent

3rd infusion – 45 sec
More floral aroma, the crisp, earthy dark oolong flavor is starting to emerge with the orange pushed to the end of the sip and the aftertaste. This infusion is quite lovely and easy to drink.

4th infusion – 50 sec
Again, very floral aroma. The oolong and orange seem to equally share the stage in this infusion which is the most balanced so far.

5th infusion – 1 min
Round and flavorful. Delicious and well balanced in flavor.

6th infusion – 1 min 15 sec
Aroma is now of orange and the dark oolong flavor is back! Orange is not present in the flavor of the tea, just in the aroma.

7th infusion – 1min 25 sec
Good but very mild flavor. I think this oolong is at its breaking point but I’m very pleased with the number and quality of infusions today.

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
1015 tasting notes

I’m starting my day with a delicious cup of Queen Catherine… my last cup of the Queen to be exact. This will definitely be going back on my shopping list because this tea is magnificent. Perfectly strong and slightly smoky without being astringent or bitter – no matter how long you seem to steep it.

5 min, 0 sec

I am drinking the Queen today, too! With an English Muffin – hee!!

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Formally known as mrawlins2

I am a former coffee drinker turned tea lover.

Black tea is probably my favorite type of tea, but I rather enjoy most types… I’m even developing a taste for pu-erh.

Rating Scale:
0-10: This tea is either flavorless or just plain undrinkable. I will avoid these teas in the future.

11-20: I was only able to make it through a few sips before pouring the tea out.

21-30: I may have been able to make it through the first cup but the thought of having another has me cringing.

31-40: Teas in this range are not horrible, but nothing I would seek out in the future.

41-60: Would drink if offered, but would not purchase for myself.

61-70: Okay, nothing special

71-80: Enjoyable, but I have to be in the mood for these. Probably would purchase if I found a really great price.

81-90: Pretty good tea, will probably be one of my favorites.

91-95: These teas are really excellent. I wouldn’t necessarily run out and buy more of these (just because there are so many teas out there that I haven’t tried), but I would miss this tea.

96-99: Terrific, very impressive.

100: This special rating is reserved for teas that are absolutely perfect in my opinion. I will only give out a rating of 100 to one tea per category (Earl Grey, unflavored black, dessert tea, Irish Breakfast, etc). These are teas that I really want to have around.

Perfect Teas so Far:

Earl Grey: Saint Isaac’s Blend (Russian Earl Grey) from Upton

Dessert Tea: Marco Polo from Mariage Freres

Unflavored Black: Emperor’s Red from Premium Steap



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