17 Tasting Notes


I may have had to much tea today, I know that this is technically impossible but to much caffeine is not. Just hoping I don’t screw up my sleep rhythm. Nonetheless today was an exciting day, I compared this tea to two other TGY’s that I had in my cupboard. An interesting experience nonetheless.

I did come to on important revelation however, I really dislike this tea. Because now I realize what I have been missing and have to toss my other TGY’s cause I could never be happy with them again. This is indeed disturbing news.

But I will say it wasn’t even a contest, this tea blew my teas out of the water in every way. This tea is clean, crisp, beautiful and refreshing. The color is a beautiful green whereas my others had a nasty yellow tint to them, and the scent and taste didn’t even compare. Vegetal, buttery, smooth, crisp, clean, floral, refreshing. All things that pop into my head as the liquor hits my palate.

All in all a very nice tea, I am quite certain that there is probably better but this definitely ranks in the upper echelons. I will be keeping this one on hand for a while, at least until I find a better one that doesn’t cost me my friends firstborn, I am really running out of friends this way.


sometime too much caffeine CAN be a problem. ;-)


Funny :)). Now I have ANOTHER tea I want to buy from Teavivre. Looks like I found another tea company to order from.

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Its Monday. I don’t really feel I need to go into any further detail to explain the reason that I needed a comfort tea this evening. I’ve recently finished the last of the golden yunnan I bought from puerhshop.com, good riddance to the vile stuff. I really love my dian hongs but I had a hard time finishing that crap, sorry I’m in a mood, I mean less than quality tea.

So on to better things, I picked this up from Xiu Xian a couple months ago and have been patiently waiting to try it. Its awesome. It does help that compared to what I was drinking just about anything would be awesome, but this is definitely what a golden tip yunnan should be like. Its not dusty and doesn’t taste like coffee, yes I realize these are simple qualifiers but I am still bitter about the last stuff.

The liquor brews up very crisp and clean, gorgeous stuff really. But the flavor profile is awesome, really sweet. I could see this becoming too sweet after a couple months of drinking it but for the moment it is a nice change of pace. It has a really mild flavor, I mean its good and distinct, but not in your face and overbearing. The current drawback is it doesn’t seem to resteep as well as some that I have had, I’ll keep playing with it though.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I can’t finish any tea which I think is vile. You are a better person than I am. :)

The Seattle Tea Snob

Not better, just more delusional :), I kept telling myself, this is good tea, it high quality and unique, your just not brewing it right. Nope it wasn’t me. Never again am I buying 100 grams of a tea I haven’t had before, ever.


I drink just about any tea, although I did throw out 2 oz of Lapsang tea years ago. I do like mildly smokey teas, but this was one I tired of. I had a few cups, and it sat around forever, and then the last cup I attempted to drink was REALLY smokey. I threw it out.

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Ladies, gents and goons, the boys are back in town, well there is only one of me and I actually never left town so never mind. I should know better than to try and use pop culture references, never could quite get the hang of them, and if that means not understanding Lady Gaga than I am ok with this fact.

So its been some time since I’ve been on steepster, been quite sometime since I sat down and enjoyed a proper cup of tea as well, this is not an acceptable thing. But my life is beginning to calm a bit and I am indulging my fancies and enjoying my rituals again. Even bought a new pot to kick things off.

So yesterday I received a package in the mail, I like packages :), but this was no ordinary package it had green “China Post” tape all over it, these are very exciting packages. This parcel was particularly intriguing since I wasn’t expecting anything from China. I decided to leave the box unopened until I could remember what I ordered. This game lasted all of .0314159 seconds before I realized that this was a terrible idea for a game, the box probably contained tea or anthrax, either way inquiring minds wanted to know. Fortunately this time it was tea.

I opened the box and curiously discovered 4 high quality, sealed, opaque food grade bags, at this point I am relatively certain it is tea, the fact that the bags proudly proclaimed Teavivre didn’t hurt my theory. At this point I am confused, I really don’t remember ordering these, not that I am complaining however. Took me some time and I remember a lovely young lady contacting awhile back asking if I would review some teas for Teavivre, I know your asking yourself how I know that she was a lovely young lady, the answer should be obvious, she sent me tea! :)

So I should stop rambling and actually review the tea. First off many thanks to Teavivre! Now down to business.

The packaging was quite impressive! The aforementioned poly tea bags were packaged inside a decent size cardboard box with air mailers protecting the valuable contents. All in all the packaging was much larger than it needed to be but it was packaged in such a way to provide protection for the tea, not crammed into the smallest package possible like I have seen other companies do.

Today it was time to try one of them, as the sun decided to grace the pacific northwest with its presence today I settle on the TGY. As I prepared to open the bag I noticed that its contents did not feel like TGY leaves, or any type of tea leaves for that matter. I thought maybe they shipped me the seeds instead for me to grow my own bushes. Not that that wouldn’t be fun but I am glad I was wrong.

So inside of this sealed, opaque, food grade, thick poly bags there were 4 smaller, sealed opaque food grade bags that were vacuum packed with about 5 grams of leave in each bag. So I am officially impressed this degree of care in the packaging shows that alot of time, thought and money went into making sure your cup of tea is going to be the best it possibly could be. Considering these are samples I am a bit blown away. But wait there is more the package contains detailed information about the tea, location picked, manufacturer, production date. I really like that Teavivre went the extra mile here, makes you feel better about the quality of tea you are going to receive.

Now to be fair I do have mixed feelings about the packaging, while I like the care that was involved, the amount of disposable packaging that was used is not the greenest way to go and not terribly environmentally friendly, kinda a catch 22 though. Not really a complaint, more of a general musing.

Well this review is gone on long past long enough and I haven’t even reviewed the tea yet. T provide a fair and accurate review I am going to wait till after I have another sitting with this tea to get a good feel for it. I will say that I am on my seventh infusion and still getting a good flavor from it though. Yeah I’m impressed.

Also I promise the actually review will be much shorter, but I couldn’t help myself, I just missed ya’ll so much!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Well I’m going on a very last minute backpacking trip this weekend, the good news is I didn’t have to run to the store and got my gear packed in just over an hour, not bad. Now I sit here decompressing with my dinner of pita bread, hummus and a shou puerh. This is sad given the fact that I have some delicious greek stuffed chicken sitting in my fridge that I made the other day, but there are some days that you are just too lazy to use the microwave. Yeah, I’m that guy.

I’m debating about continuing the story of everyone’s favorite traveling tgy, but its late, I’m getting up early and I’m not sure that anyone besides me reads it. Good thing I like to hear the sound of my own … keystroke? So tgy shall wait till next week.

Oh right I’m supposed to be reviewing a tea, I knew there was a reason I was here. So I love pu. Yeah I just said that. While I generally prefer sheng, there is something enchanting about shou’s. Delicious earthy flavor, rich deep intoxicating smell, and sultry good looks. Yeah I think they may be some of the most beautiful teas I’ve had. A deep rich almost purple color. Sometimes I forget how much I like puerh and since this is the only loose one I have its the easiest for my lazy butt to brew. Therefore when I haven’t had pu for a while this is usually the one that reminds me, “Hey moron, remember me, I’m kinda awesome.”

I wouldn’t say this is a particularly stellar shou, but then again I haven’t had that many that I would say are. It does however have that amazing rich earthy flavor profile and an incredible nose. Plus as my first pu, it holds a warm fuzzy spot in my heart.

Well now I saw stick some fresh leaves in my gaiwan and retire with my book. Goodnight addicts.

4 grams leaf. 120 ml water. 10 to 60 second steeps. 205 F.

205 °F / 96 °C

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Steepster has gone retarded on me and won’t let me add a picture, almost gave up on adding the tea as I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. This was a very whelming tea, I mean it’s a golden tip dian hong which always warms my heart but it really wasn’t anything special which is sad. :( Oh well its drinkable and I’ve had worse but I won’t be buying this one again.

4 grams. 12 ounces. 4 min. 190F.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Kinda in a meh mood, so this is probably not the greatest time to be reviewing a tea, cept the fact that I feel this tea fit my mood quite well. This tea is like the friend that tries to please everyone and becomes what they think other people want them to be. Pretty soon they lose who they really are and just become a collection of fake personalities none of which are real. In the end no one really dislikes this person perse but they also fail to develop any kind of a meaningful relationship because they are not real.

That is what this tea is to me, it hints at being smoky, with a rich toasty robust flavor, while trying to also appeal to those who favor the more delicate lighter roasts. In the end it just kinda fails at life, you can’t really hate this tea, but just something about it bothers you.

Kinda a meh tea for a meh mood.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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We’ll I just got home from five days in the backcountry and after having the obligatory greasy burger and cold beer, I decided to treat my self to a cup of tea, like I really need a reason to do that though.

I have to admit this is the first da hong pao I’ve had, I’ve had many other wuyi’s but this one is quite fantastic and unique in its wonderful qualities.

I think this is the darkest tea I’ve brewed out of the wuyi region, and while being bold it still retains its delicate subtleties. This tea definitely would not cut it when I’m craving on of the lighter roasted wuyi’s yet when I want something a bit more robust this is the ticket. Sweet, bold, somewhat malty, layered and complex. Yeah I’ll drink this again. looking forward to trying the other da hong pao I got from jerry ma. Thanks again for the samples.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I feel like kinda a douche bag, all my reviews of late have not been overwhelmingly positive, unfortunately this isn’t going to be the tisane to change that.

First off let me state that I hate rooibos and honey bush, or more correctly my strainer hates rooibos and honey bush. But that has absolutely nothing to do with this review I just needed to get that off my chest.

Again beautiful packing and kudos on the single steep idea, it is wonderful for samples however that very environmentally sound for anyone who would drink this stuff regularly, but since I doubt that is likely that is a moot point.

When I opened the package I was quite impressed with the scent, it was as advertised, kiwi, lime and ginger all readily apparent. As I was pondering how they did this so well I soon picked up a chemical scent, then it started to smell like cleaner, not promising. Once brewed it takes on a strong ginger scent. Yeah I’m kinda nervous now.

As I poured the water onto the dried bits it immediately started to fizz slightly, what the ..? Once brewed it is quite hazy, why the smeg is it hazy? Ok time to suck it up and take the first sip.

OK FINE if your going to just sit there and watch then I’ll do it!

Well its not as bad as I … wait yeah it is. To be honest this is not terrible stuff, just not at all what was advertised. I was expecting a clean crisp cup of kiwi-lime with subtle ginger notes. Its very heavy for some reason, and the ginger completely dominates the palette with nearly indiscernible notes of citrus. I supposed that if you really like ginger or have stomach problems and ginger makes you feel better than you may enjoy this. As for me I’m tossing the rest of this and making myself a cup of tropical rooibos.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Ashley Bain

http://www.amazon.com/FORLIFE-Extra-fine-Infuser-Porcelain-Dish/dp/B001JP1KPO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313666935&sr=8-1 nothing gets through that strainer, NOTHING! I searched high and low for that thing. And bought several. And recommend them at every chance I can.

“Well its not as bad as I … wait yeah it is.” lol. that’s what I got out of this blend, too, unfortunately. All I tasted was ginger really, and if I wanted that I’d steep up a pot of fresh ginger tea. Which I love. Dried ginger just doesn’t do it for me like fresh.


Ditto on the tea being as bad as we thought it would be. I also feel guilty when giving too many bad reviews in a row, both to the tea companies and to my tastebuds. That’s usually when I reach for a tried-and-true Orange Pekoe or Jungle Ju Ju.

The Seattle Tea Snob

Ashley thanks for the recommendation, I’ve got one of those for one of my small tea pots and love it. For my daily brewing I stubbornly use my bodum, yes the forlife is probably a better infuser but my bodum is sentimental for me, its starting to break now though so I’m going to have to make some tough decisions. I think I’m going to try to repair it first, out comes the soldering gun. :)

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First off thanks a bunch to tea forte for the samples! The cherry cosmo was however a disappointment, the tea smelled like cherry cough syrup with … plastic? And no this was after I poured it out of the bag. The taste was worse, it did hold up to its cherry cough syrup scent though. It was overly tart almost to the point of tasting carbonated. I did manage to finish the cup but not by much.

This was however the one that looked the least appetizing so here is hoping the rest are better. On a plus note the packaging was fantastic.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this smelled like cough syrup. Heck my husband asked me why I had heated up cough syrup and since when did I have a cold. Now of course maybe I should have saved that tea for this week when I do have a cold. I still have 3 to try and I’m very nervous to do so.

The Seattle Tea Snob

Yeah I haven’t been to fond of the first two I’ve had so I’m hoping the other three are an improvement. Haven’t tried the Blueberry one yet but that one seems to be the best liked so I am hopeful.


I’ve seen all these mediocre and low rated teas from Tea Forte. I almost certainly will never order tea from them.

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I like tea.

Oh you mean you want to know more, demanding little sucker aren’t you?

I’ve been drinking tea since 2003, quickly became obsessed by it and now it consumes far more of my life then I’ll ever admit. If you haven’t already noticed I like to write and love friendly debates and discussions, that’s how we learn. It just so happens that I think my way is the best and I’m always right. :) At the same time I am very happy to be proven wrong because that just means that I’ve learned something new.

Disclaimer: Despite very strong evidence to the contrary I don’t mean to offend. I do however speak my mind quite unabashedly and I hope you do the same. However if you decide that your bound and determined to take offense to what I write anyways perhaps I can direct you to your mommy.


Follow me on twitter to find out when I update my blog and hear about tea related shenanigans.



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