336 Tasting Notes


OH NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO. I just looked at a different version of the set list for the concert I just wrote program notes for – and I MISSED one of the pieces! NO! To be honest, the way my version of the music list was arranged confused me, and this ONE piece wound up being on the page after the rest of them, and the one that I thought was last was “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” which is traditionally performed last. And the notes will have already been sent in to print by now! CRAP CRAP CRAP! … Well, there’s probably not many people at that concert who have never heard “Sleigh Ride” before.


When I first started my tea thing, I LOVED LOVED LOVED jasmine, but I wound up drinking so much of it that I made myself sick of it. By the time I got this one as part of that 5-for-5 Verdant sampler, I took one whiff and went, “Ugh. No.” Well, after several months of not drinking jasmine, I decided to give this one a try.

I have this abiding memory of JustJames describing this as “a work of art.” I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but it is certainly quite tasty. The leaves are long and frosty-white-green and smell fresh and jasmine-y, with some red-pink flowers I don’t recognize. I put this on a low temperature for about 2 minutes. The main thing I get is a fresh jasmine flavor, but there’s a little something else… almost juicy. Grassy maybe? I was expecting it to be kind of buttery (which is exactly what turns me OFF jasmine teas), but it really doesn’t bother me at all. A nice, refreshing, quiet cup.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Maybe the audience will think they are getting a bonus song and will be tickled pink! :)

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drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
336 tasting notes

Did like 2.5 teaspoons for my cup this morning. Seriously, people. Seriously.

I think I’ve reviewed this before, but I don’t think I ever got the flavor quite present enough. Once you figure out the Overleaf The Heck Out of Adagio Teas to Make Them Taste Like Anything game, this is not a bad tea. I was expecting something maltier and darker, but it’s actually a little earthy. Slightly astringent, but that could possibly get fixed with a shorter steep time (I didn’t time mine exactly, but it was around 4 -5 min.) The aroma reminds me of black dragon pearls. The taste less so, but it’s fairly enjoyable.

Worth a try but not a restock; flavor not distinctive enough and too much leafage required.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
336 tasting notes

Tonight wound up being a bit of an experiment. I did TWO sachets for a cup instead of just one! And I got busy responding to an email from Stacy of Butiki and wound up steeping it raaaaaather long. Ah well.

The flavor’s a little fuller bodied tonight than it usually is. It’s a bit on the spicy side, though. Not like “ow that’s spicy!” but enough to define the flavor of the tea. Next time I’ll have to be a little more careful with the steep time.

So I’ve got orders coming in from Harney & Sons and Butiki, both of which are new companies to me (excepting this tea… OK and a couple of Butiki black teas too) and I’m quite excited. I was going to get some teas I’ve liked from a few other companies as well, and maybe try one or two new ones (I really REALLY want to try some French teas)… but I wound up getting a rather large and unexpected bill from my health care provider last night. I’m not sure it’s not my fault, since I didn’t really read the fine print to see what would and would not be covered before I scheduled this thing I’m paying for. But it is still unexpected. Guess who’s going to be on the phone tomorrow… sigh

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
336 tasting notes

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for falling off the NaNo front last month. Well, I don’t think it’s something I really need to apologize for, but I’m doing it anyway. I got SO pumped for writing it, and then I went to do it, and 1) in less than a week, finishing that novel lost almost all importance to me, and 2) I was only reminded of life priorities that are bigger to me than writing a novel. I’m lame, huh?

OK, enough with the ramble. I’m still a little funny with this tea, but it was about the right texture I was looking for this morning.


I didn’t manage to finish my Nano write either :( I became too busy and had awful writers block. Maybe we can both try again next year.

Terri HarpLady

You are not lame! You are in good company :)
I started off, knowing that this wasn’t gonna be a good year for it, & it wasn’t.
I did manage 17,000 words, but only by writing til 2am, because my days are so full right now with practicing, and that is my priority. So I had to put my novel aside…for now.

I love NaNoWriMo, but maybe I’ll do Janowrimo instead…

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
336 tasting notes

Seeing that this is the 9th time that I’ve logged this tea, I wasn’t going to post a tasting note – but then I had a little bit of a different experience this time. I steeped it a bit on the 3 min side, in contrast to my normal tendency to go 5+ minutes. The first several sips tasted just about like they always do. But then I had the cup close to my nose and happened to sniff – and there was fruit. OK maybe more like sweet potato, or maybe it really is plummy. It was a flash of scent, gone as soon as it came. I taste it when I’m looking for it, just shimmering under the surface.

I swear, tea is halfway a psychology experiment.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
336 tasting notes

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drank Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas
336 tasting notes

I wanted to use up some of this quickly, so I made two cups. And given my previous luck with leafage and Adagio teas, I used. about 4.5 teaspoons for two cups. That was about the right amount; the flavor is now present enough to seem “real.”

Shroomy. It tastes shroomy in that tart, slightly astringent way. It tastes like a lot of teas I’ve had before. Not a bad tea, but not exceptional enough to get again. Especially when it takes 4.5 teaspoons to make 2 cups worth.

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I went to fix myself this tea this morning and realized I had TWO cups’ worth left, not just one like I thought. This morning I put the tea through my accidental “steep it way longer than 5 minutes” test that seems to be becoming a trend…

It’s still great, and if anything, the longer steep time brings out the rose flavor. I’m upping the numbers on this. Anywhere below 95 is just not accurate anymore.

If I get one Teavivre tea in my splurge, it’ll be this. This is one of the rare teas I can’t get over my awe of.

…I did place my first Butiki order last night too.

8 min or more

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Sipdown! I’m going a little batty tonight with the program notes. There have been some… challenges while researching this particular batch.

Anywho, I was steeping this while I was researching one particular piece on which there is JUST ABOUT NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER besides the composer and the lyricist. No commission information, nothing about the first performance or the inspiration behind it, no hints as to whether or not the song is traditional or an original piece, can barely see the copyright date. NOTHING. Thanks a lot, publishers, thanks a lot. But the point is, I got so carried away in what I was doing that I steeped this thing for, oh… about fifteen minutes? Whoops. And guess what? It tastes fine. Hooray for forgiving teas?

So that’s one more down, not sure I’ll really miss it. Tomorrow I plan to finish off the Rose Dian Hong (CRYYYYYYYYY!) So that way I can make room for the impending tea splurge (YAYYYYYYYY!)

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
336 tasting notes

This one’s with cereal and the movie “Greedy” (on Netflix) today. Not a lot to say that I haven’t said before. Mmm LB is delicious, comforting, forgiving, amazeballs. I’m totes a writing major, guys. (I am, actually. Although these days I make far more use of my trumpet minor / the excess of classes that I took for it…)

It’s probably rude of me to talk about one tea company while writing a tasting note for another, but I’ve posted about how good this one is several times so eh. … I placed my first Harney & Sons order yesterday! Whee! Some of their flavored teas named after cities (notably Paris!), their Valentine tea, and the lavender tea that I honestly got as much for it being blue as anything. Excited!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I think I’m going to place my first H and S order today too!


I’m a big fan of H&S! I hope you enjoy the new teas!


That’s exciting! I hope you enjoy them. :)


Thank you!

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The name’s Holly. 27. Work for a small IT company. About to finish a Master’s degree this winter. ISFJ for what it’s worth. I play various instruments (mostly bass guitar right now), attempt to write songs that I’m too scared to play for anyone, and I’m currently taking voice lessons. I also enjoy starting various hobbies, wearing monochromes, writing, cooking, taking walks, and various and sundry other things…

I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is a source of happiness, positivity, curiosity, and relaxation (…and caffeine) for me.

I’ve been on and off this site over the years, and I even had a separate tea blog at one point. For now, I’m just working on getting back in the habit of enjoying tea regularly and to its fullest.

Love: Malty Chinese black teas, shu/ripe pu erhs, soft flowery teas (esp. jasmine teas)

Like: Japanese green teas, sheng/ripe pu erhs, white teas

Still trying to get into: Most oolongs, chai teas

Not crazy about: Roasty teas, fruity teas, rooibos, many (not all) herbal teas

90-100: YEAH!
80-89: Nice! This is good stuff.
70-79: Respectable tea.
60-69: Not bad.
50-59: Middling. Not really worth it.
25-49: Eeeeeugh. Not good.
0-24: Did you know you can use tea leaves as odor absorbent?



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