149 Tasting Notes


Very dark and roasted, but not at all bitter. I can sort of detect a bit of cocoa, but honestly, all that my mind can register right now is roasted coffee minus the acidic bitterness of actual coffee. Rich and satisfying. Perfect for a coffee lover!

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drank Irish Breakfast by Butiki Teas
149 tasting notes

So, I told myself that I’d try this Irish Breakfast out tomorrow morning for breakfast, but I couldn’t resist trying it out now. I’m so glad I did.

This is delicious! Malty and smooth, with a hint of astringency. A bit of sweetness, too. Quite a polite Irish Breakfast, unlike some others I’ve had that were more of a kick-in-the-face-and-yell-my-brain-awake type breakfast teas. I’ll probably brew this on the stronger end for the mornings.

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Mmm, this is quite tasty! Very smooth, with a slight bit of smokiness and a little sweetness, too. Definitely a nice afternoon pick-me-up! Sort of reminds me of a softer version of Cara M’s Sherlock fandom blend (Sherlock being a little spicier and less sweet). I shall have to do a side by side tasting of them at some point.

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Made a cup of this for the morning. I may have oversteeped it in my sleepiness, but it’s still a very smooth and malty cup with just a bit of astringency! I’m impressed. I hope Hugo Tea’s website comes back up in the near future, since the bottom of the tin is slowly creeping up.


Hi Ag,

Thanks sincerely for all the support. It is true that Morning’s Journey is going away. We’ll always remember it fondly.

Full-Steam is replacing it—but they are quite similar. The difference being the there is no Ceylon in Full-Steam, so the new tea has less citrus notes, but more honey/chocolate notes.

I always wanted our “breakfast” tea to be, well, a breakfast tea. And Morning’s Journey was never quite bold enough. (Also there were supply issues at the farm). So now there is Full-Steam for warm, malty, chocolaty. And then there is Grey-Line for citrusy, bits of astringency, and higher notes.

The new site will be up promptly. Look for the Steepster Post.

Thanks again for your support :-).




The breakfast teas I tend to drink often seem to lean towards the maltier side, so I look forward to Full-Steam! Based on your description and the name, I take it Grey-Line is an Earl Grey blend?

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for updates on your website status! :)


That is correct. Grey-Line is an organic earl grey blend. We can’t help ourselves with the fun names—after all—there’s no standard for tea names, so we just make our own. It’s nice to hear that you could intuitively pick up on that. :-)

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drank Milk Oolong by Mandala Tea
149 tasting notes

Words cannot describe how incredibly surprised I am by this tea. My expectations were set pretty high from what others have said about this milk oolong, but oh my goodness that first sip was just magical. Broke my tea buying hiatus with this order (plus orders from TeaVivre and Verdant), but I think the deliciousness of this makes up for almost all of it.


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drank Shui Xian Wuyi Oolong by Verdant Tea
149 tasting notes

First day of classes, had some downtime so I thought I’d brew a cup of this before I run off to my next class. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, classes from 10 to 5 straight through in the part of campus where it’s hard to find food vendors. I’ll have to scarf down lunch in between classes. Will probably be making lots of sandwiches this semester! Anyway, I’ll deal with tomorrow when it comes.

I found a small packet of this tea when I was digging through my tea trunk (more of a storage container than trunk or box, but ‘tea trunk’ sounds nicer) last night. Brewed gongfu style, but I probably should have used a little more leaf.

The wet leaves smell like fall. Roasty and sweet. Kind of reminds me of the aftermath of the bonfires we had at my boarding high school, minus the smokiness. First steep, mineral taste with some sweetness.

Time to head to class! Definitely looking forward to more steeps of this later today.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve written any notes here, mostly because I’ve been on a tea buying hiatus since May and have also been interning/shadowing at my local hospital, which has been very exciting. Anyway, I hope all you wonderful Steepsterites are doing well!

I had a cup of Morning’s Journey with breakfast today, and wow, I’d forgotten how delicious it is! It’s so malty and smooth, and gently pokes my brain into waking up. I need to drink it more often.

Terri HarpLady

Oh, I miss this one. I wish I would have bought some more awhile back, because the last couple times I visited the website it was still down. I need to get someone in Kansas City to pick some up for me.


I just checked their Facebook fan page, and it looks like they’re replacing this with a similar blend called Full-Steam. They have pictures of their new tins, too, which look very nice. Hopefully their web store will come back up in the near future!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I also checked out the FB page & noticed that Morning’s Journey wasn’t on there. Bummer. Hopefully Full Steam will be as good, but I liked the name too.

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drank Cornfields Shu Tuocha by Verdant Tea
149 tasting notes

Whoo, first post since I’ve been back from Ethiopia!

I was there on a paleoanthropological field seminar with my professor. It was an amazing experience. We were in Addis Ababa for the first few weeks, doing labwork, and then went out to the desert for about a month to collect fossil specimens. It was the first time I’d ever done fieldwork this intense (I did go to Israel for an archaeological excavation last summer, but it was only for 2 weeks and the conditions were considerably more comfortable, since we had air conditioning in our cottage). I learned so much about anthropology, working in the field, and Ethiopian culture, and had a lot of fun in the meantime. The people I met were so friendly. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

Anyway, on to the tea!

When I first brewed this up, the aroma instantly reminded me of sticky rice. Sweet, light, with a hint of earthiness. It tastes exactly as it smells and has a very smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Very refreshing!


Welcome home. I hope you’ll share some stories here!

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drank Buttered Rum (Organic) by DAVIDsTEA
149 tasting notes

Almost finished with my pouch. Yum, the creamy butter and coconutiness!

Anyway, I’m mostly writing this to say goodbye for the next few months to my fellow Steepsterites. I was accepted to join a professor’s field seminar in Ethiopia, so I’ll be in a rural area for most of the next two and a half months and probably won’t be getting internet until the last few weeks of the seminar, in Addis Ababa. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning. Take care, everyone, and I look forward to reading all of your notes when I get back! :)


God be with you. Such a beautiful history but so much suffering too.I look forward to the stories on your return,especially when you’ve had a real coffee ceremony (maybe you’ve been to one here) . You’ll be there for all of Lent and possibly Pascha (Easter) which is a big deal there.

Terri HarpLady

I think this was one of my picks for International Talk Like a Pirate day!

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drank Yunnan White Jasmine by Verdant Tea
149 tasting notes

I thought I wasn’t a fan of white tea, but I suddenly felt like giving it a try and came across a sample of this in my tea drawer.


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I have far too many interests. Tea is one of them.

Background in bioethics, medical anthropology, and evolutionary biology with aspirations of eventually going into a medical field. I also have strong interests in theater, computer science, and food (which shouldn’t be particularly surprising).

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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