818 Tasting Notes

Enjoying a fabulous session with this tea before we have to hit the road and head up to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving dinner. This tea is one of my favorite shous. I just love the strength, the nutty roasty flavor, and how long lasting it is. Yum! I only have 1 disc left now! I’d order more, but I’ve already ordered tea from two companies this week, so better not! ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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drank Decaf Carol by Lupicia
818 tasting notes

I have to tell you my cute Lupicia story. I went in last week to pick up a fairly large list of teas for me and a few family members that put in orders with me. The people who work there are so incredibly sweet. The girl that helped me lined up each tea I asked for on the counter, but they were out of decaf carol. She said the company was more focused on the caffeinated version this year, but realized that they still had 1 tin left. Now, Lupicia’s tins are always packaged such that the tin contains a 50g foil-sealed pack…which is nice for freshness. I didn’t need the tin…I was there to pick up 3 packs. To my delight, she didn’t make me pay for the tin, but opened it and pulled out the pack for me! I didn’t even say anything about not needing the tin! It’s like she read my mind, and I really hope she doesn’t get in trouble for doing that, because that was really great service! In addition, she took my contact info down and told me they would let me know if they got more in. This was Thursday last week.

Yesterday, I got an email at 10am saying they had more in stock and that they would hold 2 packs for me for two weeks until I could come pick it up. I went over at my lunch break the same day and they had my two packs in a festive paper bag with my name on it! They were surprised that I came over so fast to pick it up, but hey, I wanted to get it before seeing family for Thanksgiving. This store has really impressed me. It’s nice to have such a positive experience, especially during the stressful holiday season. :)

So, here I am sipping decaf carol and it is nice. I like having another tea I can drink at night. The strawberry vanilla here is good, but honestly, I think I like the caffeinated version a bit more. It could also be my taste buds aren’t really up to snuff yet after my recent cold. Anyway, a nice cuppa.


That’s fantastic. Service normally sucks these days – it’s always nice to hear of a company/employee doing the little extras for the customer. :))


Aww, that’s awesome! So glad you had such a positive experience.


That’s great story. However when I send email several times inquiring abt some product nobody came back to me.

carol who

It’s great to hear that your experience in a store was so good! Often we don’t feel really excited about customer service.

But the real reason I am commenting… I saw the name – “Decaf Carol” and I thought you were trying to tell me something about my caffeine consumption lately… I know I’ve been overdoing it with the mate teas but really, they have to name a tea after my problem? ;-p


boychik – that sucks. Sorry the great service doesn’t seem to carry over to their online business.

carol – that’s funny! Like, “Decaf, Carol. You know you’ve had too much!” Haha!


I love this tea…. As soon as evenings get cooler, this is my go-to tea with nilla wafers aprés dinner…. Nom.

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I haven’t been posting for a few days because i got a cold. :( I drank a lot of tea, which helped, but didn’t want to drink new stuff because I can’t taste things that well right now. Anyway, I seem to be better today and I have today off from work for my birthday, so I’m going to enjoy it!

I sipped this tea down this morning. I’m out of all my golden black teas. Oh no!!! Time to get some more! I’m already planning to restock golden tips on Friday and maybe I’ll get some more of this one. I also just ordered my first teas from YS! Yay!


Happy Bday!


Thanks, boychik! I got a tiramisu cake for my birthday…can’t wait to have some!


I love tiramisu. I hope it was delicious. Enjoy your day!

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drank Sweet Autumn by Lupicia
818 tasting notes

I’m having a hard time wanting to drink this one, but when I do, it’s enjoyable. Weird, eh? It’s just not as crave-able as caramel and rum. So there you go. It’s good with brown sugar and almond milk…brings out it’s creamy side!

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Okay, so once again I’m trying to match wrappers of the mini tuochas from the variety pack with those online and…there are some similar to this, listed as 2011, but the wrappers I have include the same markings, but are different in color and have a 2007 date on them. Hmmm. So, I made a new tea page for it. Anyway, this is a solid ripe mini tuo. Nice and earthy and smooth. Nothing too remarkable, but easy to drink. :)


I had to do that with the Japanese tea samples I got. They all came with only Japanese writing on the package so I had to match it to the Ebay auction picture. Kinda fun!


I believe I just completed the same tea journey as you did. Searching out what each mini tuo acually is and what not. I landed at the lao cang tea factory on yunnansourcing.com as well as here. Cheers to curiosity!

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drank Carol by Lupicia
818 tasting notes

Got this as a sample with the latest newsletter and figured I should try it before I make my Lupicia run for the holiday teas. ;) I dont really get why this is a holiday tea as strawberry and vanilla don’t scream Christmas to me, but it turns out this is quite cozy. The vanilla makes it very creamy. The strawberry is very mild. I liked it! So, I guess I better add it to the ever growing list! I think I’ll get the decaf version, as I’m enjoying having tea in the evenings since the weather has gotten colder.


Mmm, this sounds like a great year-round blend!


Yum Yum! One of my Must-Have’s for a seasonal purchase from Lupicia! I didn’t get my newsletter yet with the sample. :(

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There are a few of these in the variety pack and I enjoyed my first today as an afternoon session. The little tuo is tightly compressed and more acorn-shaped, which I think caused the first steep to be too light in flavor. In the second steep, however, the leaf broke up and produced a dark liquor. This one might benefit from some time to open up between the rinse and the first steep.

The taste was very earthy, with some leather, some whole grain toast and in later steeps, some wood notes. The aroma was amazing, sweet, and caramel-like. The only thing I didn’t like was that the tea left this sediment quality sticking to my tongue. I wish it had been smoother. Overall though, I’ll be enjoying the rest of these. :)


Happy to see a review on these ones too! They are next on my list I think for the mini tuo sampler :)


glad you guys are reviewing these haha lets me know what i’d be getting in to if i order the variety pack!


You’re welcome! I like to do reviews, so I’ve been matching the wrappers to the ones in the pictures on Mandala’s site.

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drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
818 tasting notes

This morning this tea had a nice chocolate covered nut flavor. I always seem to get that more at home, whereas it’s less nutty at the office. Kinda cool actually, like two teas in one! Still love it, and I’m glad to have restocked!

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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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drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
818 tasting notes

This morning was a chai morning. I wanted something spicy to get me going and this did the trick! This is a great spicy chai. I don’t make it that often though because I follow the recommended brewing procedure and make it on the stovetop. I’ve never made it the usual black tea way. I could really use another chai in my cupboard, one that steeps up well the usual way, like Verdant’s laoshan village chai, but I’ve been trying not to buy tea lately. The only other “chai” I have right now is pumpkin chai, and that doesn’t qualify as a chai to me. Hmmm, maybe I’ll get some birthday money that I can use for tea!

Today I’m hosting a small tea party with a few coworkers. So excited! I better get going and make those caramel apple scones! Fingers crossed that they come out good! I don’t know what we’re going to drink this time. I was thinking to share some puerh…maybe I’ll just take everything out and let them decide what they’d like to try. :)

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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