3294 Tasting Notes

I have this very long list of things to do before I leave town, & I already know I won’t be able to do all of them, but I’m trying to pick the priorities at least.
Today a friend came over that loves tea. We drank Ciel Phantomhive, an adagio fandom blend, but from what I don’t know. I received it from Sil, who got it from Shmiracles.
That was hours go, so I really have nothing to say about it, except it was drinkable & it was a sip down. We also drank a pot of Golden Monkey Imperial Yunnan, by Tealux. This one also came from Sil, but originated from TeaFairy. I can tell because of the cute little flower, & by the way TF, those flowers are all being used to decorate my desk bookshelf. I’ll try to post a photo when I get back in town.
My friend that was visiting loved flavored teas, so I hooked her up with the rest of the fandom blends, because I’m just not into them. I also gave her a few other things from my cupboard, so that counts as sip downs for me, with a resulting total of 378, I think!


Haha! Glad you are recycling the flowers :-) would love to see the photo!!

Terri HarpLady

When I get back from my trip I’ll get started on photos, I think I downloaded flickr or photo bucket, or something like that. Usually I just post things on FB :)

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It looks like this is the Tea of Day! And why not? It’s pretty awesome, so I’m drinking a cup.
I’m not really a happy camper today…so I’m drinking a cup.
I have issues on my mind, like indecision, which unfortunately causes problems for me, like clumsiness.
Exhibit A: I broke the lid of one of my favorite cups, a lovely white porcelain with blue lotuses on it (have I ever mentioned I love white porcelain with blue?). I’ve been dragging this cup all over my garden since spring, & guess what…it didn’t break in the garden, it feel off in the house & broke clean in half. Glue suggestions for porcelain? Gorilla glue not recommended for anything that will have steam or hot water, I know this from experience.
Exhibit B: Last night I tripped over basically nothing as I was approaching my front steps, & fell forward, smacking my right forearm on the edge of a step. I immediately applied an ice pack, & would have took Arnica, if I could find it. It throbbed all night. I’m pretty sure I didn’t break anything, but I have a hell of a bruise.

So here’s what’s up:
Years ago I taught Harp for St. Louis Visual & Performing Arts Magnet schools, on both Middle School & High School level. I had a great program, some of my kids have gone on to study the Harp in college, and they always make a point of letting me know what they’re doing & stop by to play for me when they’re in town. Others have gone on to other degrees, but still check in with me from time to time. None of these kids would ever have played the harp if I hadn’t been there, because they wouldn’t have had the opportunity. I was there for 12 years or so, & over that time things changed, including loss of funding, but the main reasons I quit were that the new principal was an asshole, & the quality & behavior of students I was getting got worse each year. Also, I had reached a point where I could get by without the money.

So now there is a newer principal, who I’ve met & really like, & he called & wants to start my harp program up again. It would be Mon, Weds, & Fri, 7am – 2:30pm, starting aug 11th. I have to apply for a substitute teacher’s license, which I’m in the process of. Admittedly, I have a lot of mixed feelings. Nothing has really changed there: I’ll have three groups of 10 per grade (6th, 7th, & 8th), most likely only 1 or 2 in each group will actually want to learn anything harp related; I don’t do well with concrete floors, loud noises (I’ll have to bring & wear earplugs), or bratty kids; I also don’t do well with ‘authority figures’, especially the kind that expect to be fawned over, but I’ve met the new guy, & I actually like him, so that’s one of the reasons I said yes.
Reason no. 2: One of my students from that school is graduating from Ball State in the coming spring, & it is her dream to teach there, so I want to set up a nice program for her, if she still wants it, for a graduation present.
Reason No. 3: The pay is pretty good, & I wouldn’t mind having a little extra money for awhile.
Final Note: I’ll have to rearrange my mon, wed, fri teaching schedule, because I have a lot of private students on those days, but my students are awesome, so that won’t be a problem.
Other Final Note: Sorry this is ridiculously long…I know I’ll sound like a spoiled brat, but I’ve really gotten used to doing whatever the hell I want all day, & I already don’t have time to do everything I want to do…1st world problems, I guess….

I need this tea…


YAAAAAY! that’s so exciting!


I like reason #2


So… a gig that lasts only two semesters, and all the money, minus gas, can be applied towards tea? ;) Seriously, I taught or tried to teach drafting to Junior High kids one semester while in college, it was the longest 7 years of my life – its a time dilation thing. This was definitely not my calling. You’ll make the right decision for you.


Have good tea, enjoy your trip and you will know what to do when you have to give them the answer. I hate when I have discombobulation – it makes me EVEN MORE clumsy than I already am.

Terri HarpLady

Have I mentioned that I love you guys?
p.s. Yeah, it will be nice to have more money


I think that passing your “talents” to others will give them real inspiration. Learning new things and not being afraid to try new things too. Music is an inspiration to lots of people.

Terri HarpLady

It IS MrM, & I do enjoy doing that. It’s so exciting when students are inspired. The frustrating thing is that I end up with kids in the class that really don’t want to play, & although I’m a pretty fun teacher & pretty good at coming up with novel activities to engage & entertain my class, I’m not always good at dealing with misbehavior & frustration.
But it will be fun spending the money, & I’m gonna work on keeping positive thoughts :)


I think you will do fine. I think making the attempt whether or not it is successful at first may manifest itself in the later years of a students progress. I always say if not today there is always tomorrow.

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I know this to be true! Even when students don’t necessarily stick to playing the harp, the benefits of playing an instrument are multiple, & kids who took my class years ago call me to let me know how they’re doing, email me pics of their kids, & it does feel good to know that I helped them to develop self-discipline & focus, & that they want to maintain a connection :)
One of my former students that came over for tea recently will be working on her Masters in Fine Arts Administration in London this fall. That’s pretty exciting! :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks for the pep talk!
The truth is, I like sitting around in my PJs all day sipping tea, crawling around in my garden, etc, & pretty much doing whatever I want. It will probably be good for me to have a routine for awhile, LOL


Everything has already being said so….one more thing: <3


Reason 2 is so sweet! :)

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I decided to go with a gongfu session with this tea today, & you know, the truth is I’ve never really been enamored with this tea all that much. It’s not this tea in particular, but more Taiwanese blacks overall, & not all of them, but some of this have this taste that I just don’t care for.

It has nothing to do with quality. This is a beautiful tea, large black leaves with red highlights, aroma of cinnamon toast crunch. It brewed into a honeyed cinnamon bun tasting tea, with a silky vanilla feel. There’s just this one taste that I can’t describe & don’t really care for. I’m sending the last of my stash to Sil, because I know she adores this.

Sipdown 391


I am the same way with most Taiwanese blacks! There is a taste I can’t describe and I don’t like. I wonder if it is the same taste as yours? :)

Terri HarpLady

I’d be willing to bet it is! :)

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This was my last tea of the day, & although I enjoyed it, I don’t really feel that I have much to say about it. I did enjoy the Cedar & the Elderberries. It is a gentle soothing cup, especially nice lightly sweetened.
Another sip down, as the rest of my sample is going to Sil.

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This is pleasant enough, in a smokey kind of way, especially with just a touch of sweetness added. Sorry I don’t have more to say about it.
The rest of this sample goes to Sil, so this is a sip down!

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This is a generous sample provided by Life in Teacup. Thanks!
Dry, this tea is in nugget form, in shades of jade, forest, & other appealing greens with a sweet Nectar of the Gods aroma of yellow spring flowers. When warmed, add butter to that.

I gave it a rinse & went with 20 second steepings, immediately it was sweet rain water, in a forest with lots of Orchids. Over the next couple of steeps the sweetness grew, as did the floral, sort of like an aromatherapy bubble bath, but not too soapy or anything like that.
Other impressions, as I continued down the steeping path:
Very fresh & spring-like, like fresh linens drying in the sun.
Beautiful iridescent green leaf
Fresh Green beans with their flowers
Tongue Tingle
Long beans, also with their flowers

I haven’t been drinking my oolong teas much lately. No real reason, just too much tea & not enough time, I guess, LOL.


Lovely review! Rain water, forests and orchids. I’m sold!


This sounds delightful

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So far I ate breakfast, took my son Drew on the garden tour to make sure he knows what to pick & where to pick it, because he has an eye detail & he’ll be in charge of picking produce & dealing with it while I’m gone. I also packaged up 2 copies of my CD, Cynical Serenity, for distribution! Yeah!

This review is regarding a tea from Life in Teacup that isn’t listed in the database, but it’s also no longer listed on their website, so rather than create a listing for a one time review, I’m just putting it here. It’s a 10G sample of 2013 Yunnan Black Pine Needle, & I’m using half of it for a gongfu session, & sending the other half to my tea sister, Sil.
Dry Leaf: No noticeable dry aroma, well…maybe some faint malt & hay. The appearance is very autumnal, with flat pressed needles in shades of tn, charcoal, wheat, brown, & black.
15 sec – mild & tasty honey wheat breath broth with a homey comforting feel
30 sec – The front of the sip is super clean & shiny, like hand blown glass…or the sound of a glass flute. The back of the sip is rich wood, honey, & melting caramel as it spreads out across my tongue & plate. Immediate good tea vibes.
45 & 60 secs, combined in one cup – I feel like I’m drinking a pure rain water that was stored in an oak tree stump. That probably sounds gross, but it’s not. I feel like I’m an old oak tree, after a summer rain, drinking in that rain that fell over night & filtered down through ever older layers of leaf & forest floor debris, absorbing animal, vegetable, & mineral. I’m that tree, sucking up that heavenly life sustaining elixir through my roots, & it is heavenly.
2min & 3min – Kind of a savory dark chocolate pumpernickel vibe…& my crown is glowing, I’m sure you could see it if you were sitting here.
The next couple of steeps reminded me of White Willow bark tea, kind of bitter.
Onward through the fog…

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I’m having a hard time getting motivated this morning. I’m leaving town on Thurs, & even though I’ll only be gone 5 days, there is SO MUCH TO DO before I leave, & I’m feeling overwhelmed, which only makes it harder to get started because then I can’t decide what to do first. In fact, I was also feeling a little overwhelmed about what tea to start the day with, I have so many teas I still haven’t tried. Decisions…decisions…LOL. So I relaxed, took a few deep breaths, & opened to the universe…

And chose a gongfu session with this one! I can’t remember if this was a free sample (& if it is, thank you Gingko), or if I purchased it, but anyway, I have 10 G here, so I put 5G in my tiny 4oz teapot (the pretty white porcelain one I got from Garret, with the blue lotuses on it), & gave it my usual treatment of 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 15/35/45 sec/1min/2/3/4/ etc

The first cup immediately had good color & strong energy, going straight to the throat & third eye. The flavor was sweet wood, the mouth all a tingle…ahhh I needed this!

With the 2nd cup the flavor becomes rich of toast, cedar, malt, & forest, with a camphor sensation as if I were drinking a puerh…

I combined steeps 3 & 4 into one mug. There was a slightly sour edge to this one, like a sourdough rye bread. Chewy, dense, & sweetened, but not heavily, with a dark molasses, and I can almost taste orange peel, a little clove, & other spices. This is the deep woodwind & low string group: bassoons, bass clarinet, english horn, cello, bass, marimba, wood block, bamboo wind chime…

In the 5th steep a little bitterness, but its the kind that comes with a really dark chocolate. I’ve got a really good tea buzz going on now. I love the sensation of a really good cup, spreading out into my extremities…every breath…

Next cups: Definitely a more chewy, peppery savory tea now, spicy even. The bitterness is gone.

I’d like to close my eyes & meditate. I have a nice mindfulness thing going on, a good vibe in every cell, feeling much more peaceful. I might go with a few more cups of this, but for the final note the flavors of spice & such have mellowed, & it’s a sweet creamy elixir, reminiscent of Yabao.

The rest of this sample goes to Sil, so this is a sip down.


Hold on to that good vibe :)


I hear ya about leaving for a trip and having so much to do to get ready… I am feeling the exact same way. Leaving for Chicago to visit a friend in two days and I have a million things to do. I was feeling overwhelmed when I wrote out my to-do list this morning, but it’s nice to know from your post I’m not alone! And, like you, I turned to tea for help. A soothing cup of oolong did the trick! :-) Hope all goes well for you!

Terri HarpLady

You too Charissa! Most of my tasks revolve around the garden, & making sure I take care of the produce we’ve picked, & that my sons take care of things while I’m gone, so I can come home to find my garden in good shape. It’s amazing how quickly things can die!


Nice review Terri!

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Ending the day with this one, which is pleasant enough, but probably not something I’d keep around.

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This is actually pretty good.
Of course, I enjoy a good lapsang, & if I hadn’t already had a week’s ration of Maple syrup this morning with breakfast, I’d probably try some in the 2nd half of the cup. But there is no need to, as it is tasty plain. I love roasted chicory root, alone & in blends.
To my knowledge, I’ve never drank roasted cedar in a tea, & now I’d like to drink a cup of it alone, just to give it a real try.
Just for the record, I can still taste & feel the spearmint from this morning, & my sinuses are remarkably clear, all day!


“actually” is always a backhanded compliment… ;-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You’ve never had roasted cedar since I’m the only one that makes it ;)

I’ll be coming out with plain roasted cedar under the name Cascadian Gold in the fall. It’s SUPER delicious stuff!

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I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!


St. Louis, MO



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