985 Tasting Notes


Tea of the evening……

I have forgotten how good this is. It really is the perfect evening tea. I did have to shorten the brew time due to the fact it is a decaf and a little more finicky than a regular black tea….too long of a steep and it tends to go a little bitter,just like most decaf blacks. The vanilla and the decaf base seem to work together so well that you hardly know it is a decaf. Bliss, and part of that is knowing that this tea won’t keep me up later than need be.

Teapot method with a 3 minute steep.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea of the afternoon……
And courtesy of KS! (Thank you! I have been waiting to try this for a time when I no longer had a cold! It has taken a little longer than I would have liked to be on the mend, but I am mostly back to normal!)

This is really good. My first green Earl Grey. I really think the bergamot goes better with a green tea base than it does a black. And the bergamot in this one is the bright kind….so rather strong, but it works! This is great hot, but I think it would be very good iced in the summer. So refreshing. And so missing summer right about now…. I think I need some of this! Thanks again for the sample!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Glad you enjoyed it. I drink it room temp all the time. Not quite iced but it is really good that way. BTW, I have the head pounding body aching cold now. Not fun.


Oh yuck, I hope you are feeling better, soon!

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Second tea of the morning……

I tried this one as an afternoon tea yesterday, but it just did not go as well as it does when I have it in the morning. It must be the smokey notes of bacon! Definitely smokier than the Wild Wuyi Black I just had, and very good. I will just have to make sure I keep it as a morning tea! I am not really wanting to rehome this one, because I think it is different enough from others that I have to keep it on the shelf.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Tea of the morning……

Oh, yum! I forgot how wonderful this tea is. It is definitely a little darker and more mysterious than the gong fu blacks I have been drinking. So sad I have only about an ounce left, which is why it is not in my Steepster cupboard. I was very indulgent and made a whole pot of this! I do hope it comes back in stock at Harney some day.

I am also going though my cupboard. I have so many teas that are close, especially in the Chinese black tea category. It is time to resample and hopefully edit! I am getting close to having my flavored blacks under control, but the traditional blacks are another matter. Time to start working on another list for swap!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Backlogging tea of yesterday evening…..

I have a new batch of this! Ovation has gone to a more coarse and organic honeybush base. It is just as good as I remember, but there are not as many bits escaping my infuser basket. Chocolate notes are light, the caramel is a little more prevalent. There are also pecan pieces in the tea along with the cocoa nibs and caramel pieces. Nice and cozy on a cold winter night.

I do have to comment on Ovation’s customer service. I had a mixup in tea base, and they were very prompt in answering my email, and sending out a corrected batch. Very friendly and helpful, as well as taking care of the issue very quickly. Thank you, Melanie!

Now…..is there anyone who wants some Chocolate Pecan Rooibos? I have several ounces to spare and it is not for sale on Ovation’s website….it is a very limited offering. ;)

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

I must say I am intrigued by chocolate pecan rooibos, especially something so exclusive!

Tina S.

Ooooh, I’m tempted!


pm me your addresses!


Ooh nice review sounds interesting and yummy.


Is it too late to get in on some?


I have at least two more offerings (after Mercuryhime). I am looking for small samples of greens and oolongs mostly in a swap, but really, you don’t need to send me anything! This was free tea!


One more…..

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Tea of the evening…..

First of all, thank you to Teavivre for this sample. I have really appreciated the way their tasting activity has made me expand my comfort zone for tea.

Now that I have a gaiwan, it is much easier to test this kind of tea. I am definitely still new to pu’erh, but I have to say this has been my favorite so far. It could be that I am finally getting better at preparing it, too. Leaf smell is very earthy, but more like the garden smells when you are planting, rather than a barn! I used what roughly looked like a tsp of leaves. I rinsed them. First steep was 1 minute, second was about a minute and a half. The liquor is more golden brown that I would have expected. The other few pu’erhs I have tried definitely had more of a dark reddishness to the tea. First steep smells of hay, but tastes earthy and very mellow. Really, the taste is somewhere between strong black tea and a porter beer. My very first pu’erh tasted of dirt, but this is not anywhere near the same. Earthy and warm. It has a heavy mouthfeel, and there are no small bits of debris like I have had from lower quality tuo chas from other companies (maybe I did not rinse them very well in the beginning…like I said, my preparation has improved, too). I am drinking this after a not so healthy dinner, so it is definitely helping calm my stomach. Second steep is a little stronger due tot he longer steep, but just tastes a little more intense than the first cup.

I do find it interesting that this one seems so much more mellow than the 2010 pu’erh that I recently had from another company. I did ask Teavivre for a beginner’s pu’erh, and I do think this is a good place to start.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I need to order some more puerh. Maybe I wlll try this one next!

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Tea of the afternoon…..

Yes, I am a Hot Cinnamon Junkie. I finally figured out that I would probably love this green as I am quite enamored with the black and herbal versions. Yes, this is good. The tea base is lighter than the black, a hint less rich tasting than the herbal version, but still oh so good. I am not sure how they get this to taste so sweet without adding anything, but I don’t really care. I just know I love my Hot Cinnamon Teas! There will be a pound of this one in my future. I had a friend over who tried a sample, and she loved it, too. (I sent home some of the Hot Cinnamon Spice black tea with her!)

Teapot method with about 180 water and 3 minutes.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Moroccan Mint by Harney & Sons
985 tasting notes

Back logging a tea of the afternoon….

Since I am going for the stronger flavors, I decided to give this one a try. I would not say it is heavily minty, but just enough. Definitely helps with the congestion. I definitely need to try it again when I am feeling better, but this works for when I am feeling a little under the weather. Warm and refreshing.

Usual teapot method, about 185 water, 3 minutes.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tisane of the evening……

I got this in a recent order, and it is really helping with the cold. The ginger is the main note with a touch of sweetness from the liqorice root. The ginger is really helping me breathe a little better. I am wondering how a little spearmint or holy basil would taste with this. All in all I am glad to have this in the cupboard.

Usual teapot method, 8 minutes, no additions.

Boiling 8 min or more

Feel better!

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Tea of the afternoon……

I am going through all my favorite strongly flavored teas in an attempt to feel better. (It was Hot Cinnamon Spice earlier….) I need the strong ones because I am all stuffed up with a cold. This one just smells so good, even though the congestion. So thankful to have some of this one as it reminds me of the kindness of many swappers, too. Buttery, creamy, coconutty, and yum.

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)



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