1323 Tasting Notes

drank Blueberry Muffin by 52teas
1323 tasting notes

Day two of no caffeine after three.

Honeybush, or at least the type that Anne uses, seems to have an affinity for dense grainy butter and brown sugar type pastry flavours such as muffins and streusel topping for fruit crisps and such. Certainly works here delicately sweetened with the blue-est of blueberry flavours.

After I steeped this tea, I promptly dropped a full container of fresh blueberries into the most crowded area of my living space. Well, yay! I predict I will be discovering trapped and suddenly mobile blueberries for days to come. Hopefully not by stepping on them in the middle of the night.

This tea, however, is delicious. Have I mentioned that already?

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I had high hopes for accomplishments today. And nope, by noon, I was done. It seemed the world wanted to keep me on hold on the phone forever—each establishment with a different variety of musical annoying. By the time I spoke with a person, he and she were unable to complete the task at hand nor were they able to answer the relevant questions to nudge the thing forward. Ugh. Exhausting.

Thankfully, I had a nice cup of tea on hand.

Today’s cup was fragrant with orange rind and mulling spice. The eggnog cream was there, but trailing behind and gently so.

Interesting how each cup is the same and yet different—a flavour or two or three of the mix become more prominent, kaleidoscope-like.

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I went to see one of my Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners the other day— possibly the same one who suggested that I stop drinking tea altogether. Clearly, my response to that suggestion was nope, not going to happen.

This visit was about a new issue. The suggestion this time was to stop drinking caffeine at or before three. As opposed to approximately seven. Ok, not ideal but possibly do-able. At least as a health experiment. For a limited period of time. Just to see what will happen.

With this in mind, I’ve been slowly beginning to wrap my head around the concept while hunting a few non-caffeinated options down for the moment that I am psychologically prepared to follow these instructions. The moment arrived.

This tea is delicious. My spoon of leaf contained about three cranberries and that dense cranberry flavour permeated each sip. I steeped low and slow to escape the rooibos woodiness and that worked out nicely. The cranberry shines with a slight bit of citrus flavouring the tartness. The apple sweetens and softens the sip. And the gently cinnamon spiced honeybush and rooibos trails behind suggestive of sweet crumble pastry. Beautiful.

If I have to relax with the caffeine from three o’clock onwards, blends like this are going to make this challenging project a lot easier.


If I’d have to stop drinking caffeine at 3 in the afternoon, I’d have to get up about 10 hours earlier.

Evol Ving Ness

hahaha— yeah, baby next door has been helping me out with that.

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drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea Life
1323 tasting notes

The older this gets, the better it is. From my perspective anyway.

Mild gently sweet hazelnut brittle against the earthy roast of the oolong. A bit of cream sneaks in to sips too from time to time. Nice.

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drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea Life
1323 tasting notes

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This spoon of dry leaf had TWO colossal sticky sweet Bing or Bing-type cherries nestled among the sunflower seeds and gunpowder pebbles.

The cherry flavour hovers nicely over the earthiness of both the gunpowder and the slight saltiness, really or imagined, of the sunflower seeds. In some sips, the rich natural cherry follows up on the tailend of the sip as well.

I continue to be a bit undecided, in general, about the sunflower seeds which most definitely come through as sunflower seeds regardless of whatever we are calling the flavour. In this tea in particular, I find the sunflower seeds in the first few sips rather jarring—screaming SUNFLOWER SEEDS at me—and then, somehow, I get over it and it’s all rather lovely.

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I found a spoon and a half of this in my sample box and decided to split this into two sessions. This may have been a poor choice and I would have been better off with having a stronger solid cup during only one experience.

Tasty but ephemeral berry tartness supported by roasty toasty green.

I look forward to trying the remaining bit of leaf with far less water.

Thank you to whoever sent this my way.

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The coconut sweetness is a lovely match with the roasty toasty green. Made my day just a bit brighter.

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Today’s cup was delicate strawberry and green. Nice, but not particularly memorable.

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A monk sips morning tea

A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.

- Basho


Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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