One of these nests weighs over 5g, so I cut one in half and stuck it in the gaiwan. Rinsed, and steeped at boiling for 10/10/20/30/40/60/120/240/300/360

The nest didn’t have a particularly distinctive smell when dry — not fishy, a little sweet. After steeping it made a cherry wood color liquor that got darker with the first few steeps and then, rather abruptly, started to fade until it was a slightly coppery light yellow for the last few steeps.

This is pretty much what happened with the flavor, too. It had a nice intensity to it for the first few steeps, then faded away like it dropped off a cliff. I probably could have stopped at 5 or 6, but I soldiered on. The lighter intensity had its own flavor, but compared to the deeper intensity, it was a bit wan.

I remember as a kid going to the zoo with my mom. Whenever we got the the camel enclosure she’d tell me not to get too close because the camels would “spit tobacco” at you. Now, since camels probably don’t put just a pinch between their cheek and gum, I understood this to be metaphor.

Perhaps because of this association in my mind, though, my taste buds immediately went to tobacco for the dominant taste in this. But it was more than that; it was the scented tobacco my dad used to smoke in his pipe that always had some sort of alcohol flavor name. I’m thinking rum, here.

But all that goes away by steep 6 or so. I’d rate it higher if it had more staying power.

Flavors: Rum, Tobacco


Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer