Random Steepings

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200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 7 g 12 oz / 357 ml

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1826 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

Yes, I drank tea today. Yes, I am lazy, but I was also busy all day, so in an effort to not post lame reviews about teas I drank hours ago, & have reviewed plenty of times, I am once again going to lump them all into one summary. And here it is, at least in order:
- Irish Breakfast – Butiki – I’m not totally sure, but I think I like this one better than Malty Irish Breakfast, but then again, as I said before, I love the one I’m drinking while I’m drinking it.
- Elderberry – Cheryl’s Herbs – This morning I woke feeling a little flu-like. Elderberry rocks!
- Golden Monkey Black – Teavivre…sigh…oh, beautiful delicious tea…
- Black Beauty – Mandala – oh, other beautiful delicious tea…
- Premium Taiwanese Assam – oh….you get this picture here, right?
I pretty much made a point of pampering myself with delicious teas, good food, & just chilling out doing office work all day. Now I’m drinking a pot of Pumpkin Spice (Rooibos) from Harney & sons. My only complaint is the gross ‘silk’ bags. I hate those.


Seems like a rich black tea tuesday.

Also is this a new entry for just random tea logging?

Terri HarpLady

It was a rich black tea tuesday!
I set up this ‘random steepings’ page a year or so ago, for days like today when I drank alot of tea, but don’t really feel like I have much to contribute by way of review. Or for whatever people want to use it for :)


SHWEET! This is nice for when you want to talk about a tea you drank, but don’t have to put up a nice review for it yet. I always hated to do half-backed reviews just to talk about it.

Terri HarpLady

I also get tired of reviewing the same tea over & over again, no matter how much I love it. I mean, after the 9th post, what else is there to say? It’s delicious, it’s wonderful, it’s redundant (not the tea, the review…lol)


I don’t know how I hadn’t seen this before, but I just found it. You guys are kooky.


BTW, why’d you think to make a tea for this vs. put it in the discussions? To keep it more private? Just interested and wondering…always good to understand how and why people are using your product.

Terri HarpLady

I’m not sure, LOL, it just seemed like a good idea at the time :)

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15131 tasting notes

So the highlight of the tea festival for me? Vanilla Matcha in….ORANGE JUICE. Yeah, i know. I would never have thought to do that but man it was like drinking and orange creamsicle and made my day. Sadly, i’m not spending 35$ on 100g of flavoured matcha. So i’m going to see what david’s version tastes like tomorrow for breakfast lol


Oh, wow. So it was green tea matcha with vanilla made with orange juice? How noticeable was the green tea flavor?


it was more orange creamsicle than anything lol but it was such a neat idea.


That interests me since I am not the biggest fan of the flavor of matcha. :)


I think I need to pick up some OJ. I already have matcha. And vanilla powder.


haha i’ll report back on my experiment tomorrow :)

Evol Ving Ness

Sil, which booth was offering this? Need to know when I limp around tomorrow.


steeped tea – they were in the corner by the side of the stage on the left side. after majesteas


Steeped Tea? The party consultants? Hm. We’ll have one of those at our festival. Maybe I need to make sure she’s bringing vanilla matcha. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Sil. I missed them when I was flitting about today.


Nicole – yeah, i don’t much love their teas but this was a fantastic idea.


I hope they have it again tomorrow!

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2291 tasting notes

Labelled: Anhua Hei Cha 2009 Aged Black. From Dexter. Thank you!

I have no idea what this is. So of course I decided to try it! It’s pressed like a cake, and although I left the largest pieces in the sample baggie for later, what ended up in my travel gaiwan are still decent sized pieces.

Rinse, sniff. Whoa. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. It’s soooo plummy. Sweet. A little smoky.

Steep 1: 5-ish seconds. This is really light. I smell a bit of fermentation/aging smell, but it’s mostly smoke and plums. The tea is less plummy than the leaves. Oh, that’s tasty. Plums and forest loam? Yeah, pretty much. A little sweet-ish as well.

Steep 2: 5-ish seconds. You know, I’m not sure I like this. There’s something other than plums and forest loam that is not super great. Cedar or something. After the sip. The part that lingers. The actual taste while it’s in my mouth is good, but…

Steep 3: 10-ish seconds. Forest loam and some sort of wood. And varnish. Actually, yeah. It’s kind of like linseed oil. The kind you use to finish wood, not the kind you put on your salad. That’s the part that lingers.

Dexter, what do you think of this tea? I can’t actually drink any more, it tastes like I’m in my dad’s workshop.


That’s what it is….
Ummm not varnish – I’ve drank this three times – twice with my tea guy – he swore cherry (you are saying plum) – I didn’t think it was fruity at all. I thought it was more oolong than black. Milder than a black, a little woody and a touch of the mineral that can be in some oolongs. It’s an aged black.
I have two versions of it. I only sent you one because I wasn’t sure if you would like it or not. I normally drink it more Western. 2g (ish) chunk 95C water – rinse then first steep 45sec- 1 min.
If you don’t like it don’t drink it, but wow linseed oil – interesting…


Haha. I’ll have to try it Western. Yeah, it was like wood and linseed oil, in my dad’s workshop. Maybe not varnish, but like finishing wood the old school way. IDK. Maybe my taste buds are broken? :D That might be the mineral, though. The taste itself is like plums and a bit woody, but then the lingering whatever. SO WEIRD. I’d agree it’s more like an oolong.


I had other plans tonight but I’m going to break a chunk off and steep it really short like you did and see if it’s like that for me…. (I thought I sent you about 9-10g of it – so for traditional gongfu you should (bad word – Dex don’t tell people how to drink tea) have used about half of what I sent you – I’m wondering if not enough leaf?
When he does this he does this he does 1g/50ml of water – then steeps first steep 30sec-1min depending on the tea…. if you are going to go really short more leaf would normally be used…
I’m not an expert – I’m just spewing what people are telling me…


Yeah, I used about half. :) I’ll try it your way for sure. Just maybe not tonight! Part of the “problem” might be that I don’t really like the toasty/aged/dark/whatever they are oolongs. I think I have 2, and they’re both sip-downable because I’ve given a lot of them away.


Ahhhhhh sorry when you said you left the big chunks it just sounded like you only used a small bit of it.
I knew dark oolongs weren’t your fav – but I though this was different enough that it was worth a shot. Oh well – you don’t have to drink it. Toss it or pass it…


But I’m CURIOUS. :)


Explore, Explore….


poke me tomorrow and get me to try it…or uh maybe friday.


I think I OD’d on black at work today – I didn’t get to this tonight, needed something lighter. Will try it soon though in really short steeps….


I might revisit this one tonight as well. Depends on how I’m feeling, though. Might end up going with a shou.

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464 tasting notes

Since I’m in the neighborhood, I stopped by press tea and had the Wild Himalayan Black Tea. Last time I had it with cream and I felt I couldn’t properly gauge how the pressed tea compared to a normal black. This time I got it straight. Woohee! This is bitter and strongly malty. I had 3 sips and then I had to sweeten it. Once I added honey, it smoothed out the flavor and was much better. There is a build up of bitterness in the mouthfeel and I feel like I need to brush my teeth. This isn’tsmething I would drink on a regular basis.


I’ll have to go back and try this straight – it actually sounds like something I’d really enjoy, since I love black teas that are super strong and malty!


I like strong and malty, but not bitter.


Yeah, my bitterness threshold’s also pretty high – I think it comes from drinking too much (very strong) coffee over the years…


Could the bitterness just be the steeping process? Too bad you can’t just buy some leaves and make yourself. I love a good strong black tea, myself. Greenteafairy, our tastes are an exact match. lol.

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437 tasting notes

More lavender experiments

1 TSP lavender
Few slices of ginger
Cinnamon (@1.5 inches crushed)
1/8th TSP licorice shredded licorice root.

@ 16Oz mug

Cinnamon and lavender dominate scent.

The flavour is a little thin for the amount of water I used. Next time I might add more ginger and slightly increase the cinnamon and lavender. The licorice root is perfect. However, the flavour does intensify while you drink it.

Warm slightly spicy tea, with a touch of sweetness, and a bit of brightness from the ginger and lavender. Not overly floral, the lavender and cinnamon kind of blend into each other, with the lavender only slightly dominant.


I’m trying to imagine cinnamon and lavender together and totally failing in the attempt.


cinnamon and lavender…how’s that working out? a creative pairing, no doubt. i imagine this to be a clash of titans. did u enjoy this one?


Its kind of interesting, the lavender I have is quite a spicy one. In some sips they kind of create their own unique entity, while in others the cinnamon is kind of woody cinnamon hearts and the lavender comes off slightly powdery compared to some of my other lavender experiments. Mostly its a sweet spicy mix with a touch of brightness.


I’m actually enjoying it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but for some reason it was in my mind to try it.


Haha! I like reading about your little alchemy blend testings :-)


Oooh, interesting. I can see lavender and ginger being nice together… the cinnamon makes it a little scary, haha.


I’m not sure if I like it as much as the lemongrass, lavender, ginger but it did taste pleasant to me, I think I want something to deepen the base a bit, but I really liked the last half cup. I might add it to the coconut experiment sometime maybe I can get lemon pound cake with lavender ( I have had that before).

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1113 tasting notes

It’s my birthday!!!

I’ve had a nice relaxing morning so far. Woke up and made a cup of Laoshan Black (yum) and made a Dutch Baby with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar on top (also YUM). Then my husband gave me some of my gifts…all were tea so far LOL!

He got me the Starbuck’s matchaccino copy from RedLeaf, and a HUGE box from Butiki including-

The Black Lotus
Blackberry Lime Guayusa
Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black
2009 Banchang tree Puerh (having that one now, SO GOOD!)
Kenyan Silver Needle

Stacy also threw in some excellent samples! Birthday cake (totes apropos) the NEW Chocolate Espresso with Strawberry Cream frosting (OMG can’t wait) and the phase one butterscotch chai trial, and a new Taiwanese Black! Thanks Stacy!!!

Tonight I’m going to a neat local event the call Zoo Brew. They close the local Zoo for the evening and people pay to get in and there are a TON of booths with food and beer samples of all sorts. My husband is actually in the local homebrew club so he will be there with 5 gallons of his donated beer (an Amber Ale) serving samples to the masses. The homebrew club booth is always the MOST popular…these guys are fantastic brewers but they can’t SELL their beer without the proper licensing, but they CAN donate it to events like this! People go nuts for their unique and tasty beers :) Anyway should be a great time if it doesn’t get rained out!


Happy birthday!


Sounds like a great start to your day! Way to go hubby on the gifts! And I love Dutch Babies, especially with honey. My mom has always made them for her kids on their birthdays. Wish there was a way to make them delicious without half a stick of butter.


Happy birthday!


Happy Birthday!


Happy birthday, enjoy your tea. As an ex-homebrewer I’m sure the Zoo Brew will be a fun change of pace for your taste buds. Have fun!


Happy birthday!!!


Happy Birthday Stephanie, have fun tonight :-)


Happy Birthday!! Sounds like it’s already off to a great start!!


Happy Birthday!!!!!

carol who

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a lot of fun!


Happy Birthday, Stephanie!


Thanks everyone!

Dustin I will PM you my Dutch Baby recipe, we can compare notes :)


Happy birthday! Hope you have a great time at the Zoo!

Butiki Teas

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fantastic day! Your hubby happened to mention that the teas were for your Bday, so had to throw in a sample of the Birthday Cake. FYI, the Butterscotch Chai is not going to happen. Just feel as though it is not right but it tastes great with sugar. Have fun at the Zoo Brew! That sounds awesome!


Happy Birthday amazing tea friend!!!! Have lots of fun !!!!


A late happy birthday to you! Butiki for birthday – perfect! We have something for kids called the Zoo BOO around here. haha.

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1501 tasting notes

I was carded tonight! Holy moly. Let’s just say I gladly produced my ID, and told the gal I was easily old enough to be her Mom. She corrected me after seeing my birth date, saying I just looked really young. Still hilarious.

What was I carded for? Tea. Well, a Peppermint Toddy, to be exact. First time I’ve had one, and it was delicious. Peppermint tea, Kahlua and Baileys, served hot in a mason jar with a cute paper napkin tied around the rim like a bandanna to keep my fingers from scorching. So much fun!

Roswell Strange

Oh, that sounds really good! I bet that’s tea that even Tre could get into :P


Hee! You definitely read young enough to get carded. :D


I’m going to try and find a recipe to make my own. Really yummy!

OMGsrsly, you flatterer you! :)


Well I know what I’m making after dinner tonight. That sounds delicious!


I rarely, if ever, buy alcohol, so I never get carded. :) My mom was once in San Fran. I was offered a beer at 13. :D


I love hot alcoholic drinks! I’m going to have to try that one. Right now I’m on a hot buttered rum kick!


I’m definitely returning to this place to try more hot boozy drinks (hopefully also with some form of tea in them).


Here’s the recipe I used and it came out pretty tasty:
1 teabag Celestial Seasonings Peppermint/5 oz boiling water
steep for 10 minutes
add 1 oz Kahlua
add 1 oz Bailey’s Original
microwave 20 secs on high

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1112 tasting notes

So. I finally blended my own chai. I included pink peppercorns, crystallized ginger, whole cloves, whole cardamom (which I crack open with a mortar and pestle right before brewing), broken up cinnamon sticks, and rooibos (this is our nighttime treat). I scoop in a perfect teaspoon and a half per 8 oz of water, and serve it with vanilla infused honey and a splash of milk.

Wow! Maybe because the spices are glorious ones from Penzeys, or maybe because I used just enough to make things flavorful but not ultra spicy or bitey, but — I’m in love! My husband is in love, too! He requests it every night, and I have to cajole him to try another tisane at least one night a week!

I want to try it with black tea and I also have 2 packets of flavored rooibos and one of honeybush I want to give the chai treatment to. I hope that will allow us to have chai throughout the winter without purchasing more tea!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

This sounds wonderful. I am in complete agreement about the spices at Penzeys being glorious, too! Stay warm!


Another two resources are Savory Spice (online and in some cities) and happyluckys.com (they carry ‘true’ cinnamon chips not chassis and other herbs and spices in bulk for a good price…). I’ve said before that I keep a box of blending ingredients. Helps that I have 2 spice shops and happyluckys within 3miles of me though. Another thing people can add to tea is freeze dried fruit to get the natural flavors they’re looking for. Pineapple, blueberries etc.


Penzeys is awesome! We buy spices from them regularly. Can you recommend any favorites?


All of the ones I mentioned above are fantastic. Their powdered cinnamon “Penzeys Cinnamon” is so good too — perfect blend of I think 3 or 4 different cinnamons. I also love their powdered mustard and mustard seeds! I’ve been making my own mustard and it’s so easy and delicious. I also love the seeds in chutneys. The other thing I love is their mixes of spices to make your own salad dressings. I haven’t bought a bottle in ages. The French Vinaigrette is my favorite, and my husband loves when I make mayo and use the ranch spices to make a salad dressing.

But honestly — I haven’t had a single spice from them that I didn’t love. I also love their catalog. The stories in it are so heartwarming. I can’t believe I sit there and cry reading a spice catalog! I’m such a dork.


I agree that Penzeys never disappoints. My family loves: Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon, berbere, Southwest Seasoning and Sweet Curry Powder.


Never heard of Penzeys until y’all started dropping all these tantalizing hints. Merits some research, sounds like!


I went to Penzeys a month or so ago Andre quested help choosing some chai spices from a nice young man working there who is obsessed with chai! We came up with a very nice blend very similar to yours! I used an Assam as my base.


the look on my face right now… :o this sounds righteously delicious!!

The Leather City

Can You please Tell me How can I make zafrani Tea?

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361 tasting notes

My husband just returned from a trip to Singapore and brought me back a few teas. One of them was labeled a Lapsang Souchong. I thought, oh crap, I seriously do not like them. But when I opened it. It smelled amazing. Rich chocolate. Dark roast. Is that normal? I always thought LS were just meat smokey. And I don’t eat meat, so I really don’t like my tea to taste like it. But this one was either mislabeled, or maybe there are different kinds. Cause this one was amazing. Anybody have any insights?

I used my new favorite glass steeper. Perfect 8oz glass mug with glass steeping insert. Pictures here:





also…that is a really cute steeper


What Sil said! Love that steeper. :)


To answer your question yes! Current regulations have severely limited the use of pine smoke in LS so more and more of them are being produced with little to no smoke flavour and yes many of them have very strong chocolate notes. I tried one that tasted like a chocolate caramel and was buttery like an oolong. I suspect I know who sells it but I have to decide if I want to pay that much for it. On the other hand of the 2 LS I have bought recently one has sharp fruit notes over the chocolate and the other has roasted notes and is more caramel underneath than chocolate but I’m currently loving this version of LS.


From another site..Apparently “Yan Zhengshan Xiaozhong” (煙正山小種). is the smoked version.

Terri HarpLady

Sounds yum!

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818 tasting notes

We had a tea party today! I always have small ones with just a few people and we keep it casual. Everyone enjoys trying stuff out of my cupboard. Haha! I decided to introduce them to puerh today and steeped up special dark by Mandala. Everyone liked it and it was actually everyone’s favorite of the day! We drank lots of different teas. I personally drank snow view by Lupicia, special dark, TeaVivre’s white tea cake, and caramel & rum by Lupicia. It was a great chance to rediscover teas I had forgotten about. We had quite a spread too. My caramel apple scones were a hit, and we had goat cheese, shallot, and habanero sauce tea sandwiches, caprese kabobs, strawberry and goat cheese on crackers, and a lemon curd macadamia nut crust tart. Here’s a pic: https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/15621636997/in/photostream/

So fun! :)


Incredible looking tea party!


That looks great! And sounds very tasty!


Oh wow! That looks awesome! I could eat that whole picture right now. Sounds like an awesome tea party!


Looks delicious!


I am in awe of anybody who can make food look that pretty…especially that many kinds simultaneously! Two dishes at once just about kill me :)


gmathis- I can’t take the credit…my friends all chip in, so it’s not so hard. I usually make the scones, provide the tea and host it, while others bring sandwiches, sweets, etc. Works really well! :)

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