4208 Tasting Notes


Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #5 – A pricey tea

Teavivre doesn’t sell this one anymore so I can’t really check, but I imagine it qualifies as a “pricey tea” for me.  I only ever had samples but I REALLY liked this oolong when it was fresh.  But since it’s from 2018, the nuance in flavor is mostly gone.  Mostly has a bitey quality and a mouth drying effect. I loved the full flowers flavor when this was fresh. My original tasting note says it’s the oolong I would stock even over the original amazing harvests of their Iron Goddess. So it’s a shame they don’t sell this anymore.  I’m still learning the lessons on fresh teas, which may take a while.  But good news!  Halfway through the year and I have spent ZERO DOLLARS on tea.  I’m only sad about that because I’m not supporting the great tea companies more than I would wish.
2022 sipdowns: 76

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drank Mt. Kenya Black by JusTea
4208 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #4 – An African tea

Ima miss this one.  Robust, smooth yet with plenty of depth.  Wonderful for its age.   Luckily this is only one pouch.  It looks like their “Mt. Kenya” tea is now their representative plain black tea now though. The original tea never said “Mount” or “Mt” and it looks like the Steepster name has been changed. I’m glad JusTea is still around AND I just looked and they have a sale on a ton of things right now.
2022 sipdowns: 75

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From Tiffany:)!   Thanks very much.  I wanted to try this one asap after the Earl to make sure the lemon was distinctly different in both blends.  It is.  Upon opening the pouch, there is such an intoxicating scent of bakey cinnamon.  It certainly smells like a pastry.  And that cinnamon also seems to take over the flavor.  Much more cinnamon here than lemon, despite so much lemongrass floating in the infuser.  But I will definitely gravitate to this blend when I’m craving that bakey cinnamon flavor.  It could be a cinnamon roll tea, really.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 3-4 minute steep

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by DAVIDsTEA
4208 tasting notes

additional notes: The last time I had this tea… about a year ago… there was this intense chemical flavor but this time it was back to its old self… so maybe it was never the tea last time, but something else happened… maybe I didn’t rinse the mug out well enough or something. But if I recall, it was ALL the steeps, not just the first (and wow, that is how much I will not waste tea, I will keep steeping a tea I think is chemically and bad?!?!) But I’m glad this steep session was back to somewhat its (old) normal self and I’m glad I didn’t toss the pouch. Who knows what happened last time though! So weird.

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Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #3: – An iced/cold brew tea

I want to get a few more of these June prompts done before I switch to July… probably not all of the prompts though! Good to the last drop.  The flavor is spot on even now.  Amazing.  Distinct notes of mostly strawberry, vanilla and chocolate.  Will miss it, but apparently I have a last pouch somewhere around here!  Awesome.  Will raise the rating from 83 because of its accuracy.
2022 sipdowns: 72

Flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla

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Thank you very much for this sample, Kawaii433!  I thought this would work for the “oceanic tasting” sipdown challenge, and no, NO it does not.  It is sweet creamed corn all the way.  Nothing oceanic about it.  These dark grass clipping leaves mostly resemble a lighter flavored, less nutty Laoshan green.  But I do love a creamed corn green tea so I am a fan of this one.   The second steep has a bit of dry quality to the mouthfeel, maybe a bit of smokiness but still more of the creamed corn.  It’s a very light brew, which is always so unexpected from such a dark grassy leaf.   But I like it.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 35 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep

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This is from Tiffany :).  Thank you!  I really tried with this one and I just am not a fan of Dessert By Deb’s bergamot.  To my tastebuds, honestly, sad to say, it tastes like bug spray.  I’m not sure if these other garden elements are enhancing that bug spray flavor or being overpowered by it.  Such a shame as I really wanted to like these blends.  Luckily Tiffany only sent me two Earls by Dessert By Deb so that was enough for me to try them and say I will pass on Dessert By Deb’s other Earls.  So now I know. At least the black tea is dark enough and offers some sort of caffeine.   But I couldn’t even boil a second steep of this, which is rare for me.  It’s a pretty gardeny looking blend anyway. 
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep

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So today is the 10th anniversary of Bird & Blend (Bluebird) and I have been “with” them since the beginning! I wish I could go to one of their awesome anniversary parties, but alas, I’m not in the UK.  So instead, it will be an ALL B&B TEA DAY to celebrate.   Also, just realized their Christmas in July sale is soon…already?!?  So last night I started early on the first steep of this, which I’m happy is now available ALL THE TIME if I ever run out…it won’t be for a while yet…  The rest of the day I will be sipping a second steep of this late,  Lemon & Raspberry, and haven’t decided yet between Peach Cobbler or One in a Melon.  I am a B&B fan!  I’m happy they are doing so well.


This note reminded me that I hadn’t received any emails from them in over six months, so I checked, and apparently they’ve been going to spam, whoops! Thanks for this reminder – looking forward to the sale!

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drank Black(berry) Rose by 52teas
4208 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #2: – A rose tea

I’m really trying not to sipdown my tasty blackberry teas, especially the blackberry teas from 52Teas. But this one was calling for the challenge today. The blackberry has faded a bit now, so I’m glad to finish it anyway. Such a great combination. Rose and blackberry. Maybe a reblend is in order.
2022 sipdowns: 71

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Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #1: – An orange tea

This tea, bleh, glad it’s gone now.
2022 sipdowns: 70
I’m back from visiting family. It was… rough. The most bizarre thing happened. My aunt is around my grandmother all the time so she would know… my aunt thinks something happened to my grandmother and it seems she had overnight Alzheimer’s and the sad part is, it seems to be focused on her direct family members. Like she has no map of her family tree at this point. She asked who my aunt was the day before we went for the visit, her main caregiver, then she didn’t recognize three others of her closest family, including me. The last time I saw her I distinctly remember her saying to me “I’ll never forget this lady.” She thinks we are all hired caregivers or long lost children she didn’t know she had. It’s terrible and hard to process. Not sure if it was consistent the entire time we were there for three weeks. She might have been embarrassed to say she didn’t know who we were, so she could have been pretending to know most of the time. I just kept pointing to the quick dial numbers on her phone. It was all of us on the top row. :( She did just recently survive covid so we are all hoping it is a temporary covid fog. I have heard covid ages everyone 20 years, so there you go. But to survive covid and then a month or two later this happens? uh. So sad. Watching someone go through memory loss has always been one of my greatest dreaded fears.

Maddy Barone

My mom had dementia. I would call her and I could tell she didn’t know who I was even though I identified myself at the start of the call. Then, ten minutes later, she suddenly realized who I was. It was so hard for me to lose my mom that way. So I have some idea of how this visit was for you. Hugs.


Hopefully she realizes that she is loved by her caretakers, even if she doesn’t quite know who they are. There are some things we can’t help our loved ones go through, we just have to be there for them, and it seems you have a supportive family to help you all cope!


@Maddy Barone – I’m sorry you had to experience that. I’m working up to my first phone call with her soon. We are all hoping she knows us over the phone as none of us live around her except my aunt…

@Michelle – thanks for your words. She said many times while we were there “I’m not sure who you are, but you are all wonderful people.” ah.

Mastress Alita

My grandma just passed last month after years of bad dementia. It’s one of the hardest things to go through. My condolenses.


I’m so sorry Mastress Alita. If you have mentioned her passing, I missed it, as I have lots of catching up on notes to do.


=( Oh gosh. I’m so sorry. This is no easy thing to go through and I truly hope someday we find something that helps correct it.


Thanks, skysamurai

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Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite tea shops (still operating):
Dammann Freres

Favorite tea shops (RIP):

My icon photo is Richard Mayhew from the graphic novel ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey & Glenn Fabry.

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! Many of my teas have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

I’m always in search of: Hattialli, Qu Hao black, Jin Jun Mei, teas using marshmallow root.

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), turmeric, bee pollen, charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites – cupboard essential
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
50-65 – Okay
1-50 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. (Or as evidenced by the great computer hiatus of 2019, something happened to my computer… I have a dumb phone so can’t access internet on that. As of 12/20/21 my wifi might start getting unreliable.)

Happy sipping!



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