2919 Tasting Notes

Sipdown 2 for today and 3 for the month!

I enjoy rou gui oolong and love that mineral “rock” taste. I should have realized that the black tea was going to strongly favor that profile, but I didn’t think and made this when we were really wanting a strong black tea for lunch.

It was a good tea, but not what I would consider a black tea, and really if you are craving black tea this probably wouldn’t fill the bill for you. If you are craving a rock oolong, it would.

The color was light even on the first steep. There is no roasty taste like a dark oolong, but rather a rock oolong taste and smoothness with a hint of the extra oxidation that carries it into black tea territory. Just a hint, mind you.

Nice tea, but not one that I would re-purchase unless I wanted an alternative to a rock oolong.

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This was a nice, light oolong, somewhat creamy and came out a beautiful golden color. We actually had it late yesterday afternoon gong fu but I was so busy and distracted I could hardly pay attention to it. I saved the leaves and brewed them Western this morning for breakfast and the color was so stunning that I took a photo.

Not your usual breakfast tea, but I don’t normally seek huge caffeine hits early in the day anyway, plus I drank a whole pot of it by myself.

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February 2 Sipdown Prompt – drink the same tea twice!

I finished a box of the teabags and had requested a bag of loose leaf for Christmas. The bag is far bigger than I thought. I am drinking it for the stress relief it provides and not for the taste, which is rather flat and uninteresting to me plain. I do enjoy it in Bellocq’s Ashram Afternoon but that is considerably more expensive.

I tried it two ways to see if I could dress it up. First cup had Penzey’s Cinnamon Sugar. It didn’t add enough interest and ended up rather gritty, especially at the end.

The next cup was steeped with Penzey’s Mulling Spices. This was much better but I still wouldn’t call it an exciting tea. I tasted mostly clove and I don’t love clove.

I don’t know that I feel much less stressed this time, although sometimes it helps takes anxiety down a notch. I had a sleepless night two nights ago and a busy day today while fighting a headache. Maybe one more cup will do it.

Cameron B.

Ashman Afternoon XDDD


Nice catch, Cameron B! I don’t know if I typed it like that or if autocorrect changed it! LOLOL

Cameron B.

Either way, it made me giggle, so thank you! :P

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drank Victoria Grey by Fortnum & Mason
2919 tasting notes

Sipdown Prompt – A tea for joyful solitude and meditation

I woke up to dense fog and a forecast of clouds and showers – again. Like gmathis, I run on solar batteries. I decided this morning needed to be especially uplifting, especially since I have had four students reschedule this week and have a busier than usual Tuesday ahead.

I lit a couple of candles, turned on a meditation playlist, and set the table as prettily as I could for tea and toast with fig jam. One candle in front of me to enjoy its light, one across the room to draw my eye outside of myself to the bigger picture. The dryer thump-thumping in the background is actually a soothing rhythm to me.

The tea is a fairly decent Earl Grey with Lavender, not for everyone but I happen to enjoy lavender tea and most florals for that matter. It is hard to get one that is too floral for me. Since Ashman doesn’t enjoy bergamot this little advent tin is all mine to finish. I have enough left for at least one more pot.

It supposedly contains licorice root but I don’t taste it, and today I am not really getting the honey either, but it is good. You can tell it is not just Chinese black like the other blend from them, though. As it cools, it is a little brisk but refreshing the cup fixes that.

I could have done this all day, and I intend to do this again tonight, just with a caffeine free option!

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This was a Christmas gift from Superanna, but I just got it a couple of weeks ago because we had Covid at Christmas.

I decided to give myself a break from trying to frantically sip down all the advent tea and try something new. I am glad I looked at reviews first, because the smell of this was…scary. Well, definitely very weird.

As it steeped, I was thinking, “I thought there was supposed to be glitter. There’s no glitter.” Then I poured it and WOW. I don’t know if I have ever seen glitter quite like this in a tea, although I may have had one glitter tea long ago. It swirled and twirled and twinkled. I made a video and sent it to Superanna specifying that there was no filter. She asked why is it twinkling? It was so impressive that each member of the household got treated to a visit from the twinkling teacup.

The steeped tea no longer smells scary. It tastes like a pretty nice mix of berry and mint flavors. It is definitely not bright green by any stretch of the imagination. Trust me, I have seen this tea under several different types of light as it traveled around the house visiting Ashman, daughter, and finally the table where I drank it after filming it. This is almost black. No green anywhere.

It was a fun and pretty tea, and a nice little novelty. Tastewise, it is fine and enjoyable, but not absolutely knock your socks off. Easy to drink, though! I wonder if it is as pretty as an iced sweet tea? Hmmmmm….


At least you won’t have a hangover drinking this version!


“It was so impressive that each member of the household got treated to a visit from the twinkling teacup.” I love that visual!

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drank Holiday Chai by Stash Tea
2919 tasting notes

Sipdown! I use this for making syrup to make tea soda. I had not done that in a while, and started back because a doctor said that he felt women should limit their soda intake to two or fewer per week for better bone health, especially as we get older. We happen to have root beer floats as our little treat on the weekend, and even though there is no caffeine there are still those pesky chemicals that contribute to bone loss. So I am going to try to keep syrups on hand and use them for our floats. We tried it last week and it was really good. I added a touch of vanilla.

Since I am out of this tea, I will be using TheODor Travel to India next, and after that is all gone I will have to come up with some concoction that I like – some sort of chai that isn’t peppery, perhaps. Recommendations appreciated.

I did see a root beer flavored iced tea on Stash’s website but it contains monk fruit which I dislike strongly. I would really love to find something caffeine free that I could turn into a syrup and enjoy as a float.

Speaking of recommendations, does anyone have a bread box they love and recommend?


You could try making a syrup from sarsaparilla, I think that’s what root beer is flavored with.


They’ve renamed it now … but the bottles of Pappy’s Sassafras concentrate would work well, too. It’s now “Ancient Infusions,” but I will continue to call it Pappy’s. Don’t mess with good, solid Ozark names ;)


Great ideas! Thank you!


And it doesn’t have to be root beer flavored, anything good as a float will do! I have made homemade cola syrup before with cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla, and lots of other things I don’t recall at the moment, and recently made the three ingredient cola with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and vanilla. It wasn’t bad!

A homemade orange cola could be quite good, especially for summer! With ice cream it would be a lot like an Orange Julius…mmmmmm.

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Sipdown! I was happy to discover that a few of these flavored black teas from Fortnum that we enjoyed most are plenty strong enough to mix with plain black teas that we didn’t love, stretching the good ones and redeeming the ones we were not excited to drink.

This was finished this morning with the final half teaspoon of Afternoon Blend, which was actually one of my preferred plain blacks in the advent, but there was so little of it that I decided to finish it.

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Icky rainy day. Chicken soup and tea, steeped extra strong, for lunch because the blah outside is making the house feel chilly inside. Finished the tea with a bit of German chocolate as a treat before my next students arrive.

This is one of my preferred teas in the tins advent. It is just a good daily drinker and a typical tea, easy to drink with no additions and nicely balanced. Even slightly overleafed as I made it today, it was pleasant.

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drank White Bellini by Kusmi Tea
2919 tasting notes

I did not initially see that this is a white and green tea mix and I made the first cup with water that was a bit too hot -around 185F. It was good but astringent, so I checked the can, saw the green and their recommendation to go with 175F, and decided to dial it back even a bit more to 160F.

Ashman, Melissa, and I all liked it this way. Melissa (one of the many with that username here on Steepster, I think!) said it reminded her of Madame Butterfly from Gurman’s in Dublin, and that is one of her all time favorite teas.

This is very peachy and fruity. It will be easy to drink down this gift from Superanna!

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This was a tea I liked, even though the aroma is quite powerful and reminiscent of cherry cough syrup upon opening the tin. They managed the cranberry aspect well.

When the tin was about half gone, I decided to mix this half and half with Afternoon Blend and it made for a couple of really great pots of tea. I might stretch the remaining peach tea the same way. If we buy this advent again, I think that is how I will serve cranberry every time.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about twelve years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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