1337 Tasting Notes

drank Laurel by Chroma Tea
1337 tasting notes

I have found Laurel to be particularly refreshing and grounding the past several days, especially now that we’re in the midst of heavy winter rain. It’s going well with the tail end of COVID, mostly as a blend to gently help break up mucus. My sense of smell exists only if I bury my face in something, so it’s nice to drink a tea I can feel. Strangely, given the circumstance, I’m able to differentiate the flavor better than when I first tried this several months ago. The spearmint is clearest, the peppermint is soft. Neither tastes musty or stewed. Sweet fennel seed, earthy burdock root. I still can’t find tulsi. Simple but good for this moment.

Edit: turns out all the tulsi was at the bottom of bag. Tastes like clove cigarettes and not in a bad way.

Flavors: Clove, Earthy, Fennel Seed, Peppermint, Spearmint, Sweet, Tulsi

Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Following up on this morning’s pink pineapple with this flavored tea I took from my aunt’s tea drawer.

Once I got over that the pineapple flavoring tastes like candy, I actually like it a quite a bit. The strawberry isn’t necessarily distinct. It melts into that piercing pineapple in, what Cameron B. noted, a strawberry jam kind of way.

The base tea is fannings but it does give a nice body so that the flavoring isn’t necessarily a separate entity. The earthy mix of Hawaiian-grown green and white tea leaves something to be desired beyond its astingent-tannic character. I mostly taste sour hay and minerals. And I feel very warm like I’ve been in the sun, so that’s nice :) I’d have this if it were offered but it’s not something I’d seek out.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Earthy, Fruity, Hay, Jam, Mineral, Pineapple, Pleasantly Sour, Strawberry, Tannic, Viscous

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Today is beautiful :)

It’s about 10:30 am on Christmas Eve. The sun is out in the far south and shining through some glass art Kiki made that I have hanging in my bedroom’s sliding glass door. The glass is casting red, yellow, blue and green across a small triangle of the floor.

I hear the throaty gurgle of one of the troublemaker crows in the date palm out front (the resident crows inspired another non-review https://steepster.com/derk/posts/419916 ). A migratory waterfowl hollers softly in the distance and at least 4 other kinds of birds are chirping. I see some of the little ones hopping around on the hog wire hoop trellises we set up for the green beans and cucumbers last year. One little bird is going back and forth from the chamomile to the avocado, to one of the figs, to the pot of paperwhites in bloom, to the mandarin. I opened the door to get some fresh air and the temperature and humidity are perfect right now. The door is staying open for as long as this blessing of a day permits.

Kiki put a tray of breakfast at this isolating invalid’s door. My favorite breakfast — hearty toast topped with feta and a fried egg. A side of pink pineapple that is everything I thought a pink pineapple might be without having tasted it before. Side note: pink pineapples are GMO and Del Monte “remove and replant each crown before shipping, sustainably cultivating the next crop of this magnificent rarity.” That’s doublespeak for “we don’t want anybody else growing our trademarked plant at home and making money off it.”

This tea is a blessing, too. Made by the hands of some unknown people in Taiwan. I would like to see their hands tie the knots in the string that cradles the lemon.

I’m on the other side of this virus.

Feeling so overwhelmed with joy and beauty and gratitude right now that I’m on the edge of letting some of it leak out through my eyes. I feel ashamed to experience so much bounty when others are without. I have to reabsorb these feelings, wrap them up for now, pass the package on to somebody who needs it. Someone very important to me once told me I’m too sensitive; countless others have told me I need to open up more. There’s a lot going on in this fleshbag of chemical and electrical processes. It’s best to just carry on as I am.

Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Caraway, Flowers, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Medicinal, Molasses, Pleasantly Sour, Raisins, Soy Sauce, Thin

Boiling 8 min or more 12 OZ / 354 ML

When you write your heart like this, I feel like I am actually with you. Be wonderful beautiful marvelous unique you!

Martin Bednář

I agree with ashmanra absolutely word by word!


Beautiful words. I’ve been told that I’m too sensitive myself many, many times, by many different people, and I’ll tell you what I always tell them – there’s no such thing.


Wonderful note, glad to hear you’re getting better from the covid!

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Well, the cold turned COVID on me. All this time, I was hoping I was relatively immune but it finally caught me 3 years after the big debut in China. The nature of mutations. Now I’m holed up in my bedroom through at least Tuesday.

The dry cough is particularly annoying. It scratches and niggles. Linden tea wasn’t cutting it so I pulled out Mandala’s Ginseng Oolong for its licorice root during the day and now this licorice root-heavy spice blend for the evening. It helps a little. The flavor is nice. It’s sweet (almost cloying) and coating, sparkling and juicy with a good touch of warming spices and orange peel. Fished the horehound candies out from the pantry to aid with the coughing and throat soothing.

I thought the first time I tried Licorice Spice that I might finish it by the end of last winter. Well I didn’t but my propensity toward neglect came in clutch for once. Feeling grateful at the moment but also wondering how China is truly fairing after the Zero COVID policy was abandoned and how the effects will ripple through our globalized world.

Martin Bednář

Get better soon!


I hope you feel better soon! I think everyone getting COVID is pretty much inevitable now.


Sorry to hear the Rona finally got you. Hope you bounce back soon. I’m still a Covid virgin but it’s only a matter of time for me too


Take care of yourself.


Oh, derk! I am so sorry! Ashman has it right now, too, and he is also holed up until Tuesday. Drink lots of tea and stay cozy!

Maddy Barone

Oh, I am sorry you are sick. Take care of yourself. Hugs.


Get well soon!
I’ve managed to avoid Covid so far and haven’t had a serious cold/flu since college but I figure my time is probably coming with the way my brothers like to parade their sick children through my house.


Wishing you a speedy recovery!


Thanks everybody. Last night was the second of two nights of sweating my soul out after breaking fever. No fever today suggests I’m through the worst of it :)

ashmanra – Hope Ashman kicks it soon!


Thank you, derk! I hope you are on the mend and over the worst. Rest and tea!


oh no, derk! Recover quickly! I, too, am really worried about what will happen in China…


I’m sorry Covid got you. Hope you’re feeling better now!

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May 2022 harvest

Going to into my personal Steepster Wayback Machine with this Korean green tea. Thanks for the opportunity to try this again, What-Cha.

I have a cold. My sniffer is not defunct but I don’t feel like sitting with a tea. I’d rather stay here in bed.

Mostly a mild, toasty-nutty corn/cornsilk and crisp cucumber flavor with creaminess like vanilla and oats. Pungent nori note in the aroma smooths out very well in the taste. Leaves the mouth only a touch dry. Dewy sweetness gives way to a refreshing lemony tang. This is a good tea for the moment :)

Flavors: Chestnut, Cream, Cucumber, Drying, Juicy, Lemon, Nectar, Nori, Nutty, Oats, Sesame, Soft, Sweet, Sweet Corn, Tangy, Toasty, Vanilla

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 250 ML

I hope you feel better quick, derk!

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drank Black Cake by Liquid Proust Teas
1337 tasting notes

Random find in my cupboard, maybe from that group buy 4 years ago or from White Antlers?

Tastes like a fruity Yunnan? — reminds me of a red tea from Ailaoshan. Light and sweet with raisiny/dried fruit, cherrywood, muted herbs, mineral with no astringency or bitterness. Only when overleafed does the tea become heavy with tannins. Pleasant — it was fine but did not excite me in any way. Low caffeine, better for evening than morning, took long hot steeps very well.

Flavors: Cherry Wood, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Herbs, Mineral, Raisins, Soft, Sweet, Wet Rocks

205 °F / 96 °C 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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drank Organic Honey Bush by Tea & Trumpets
1337 tasting notes

Most Tuesdays for lunch, I take a walk across the street to the farmers market . There’s a killer Mexican food tent there serving up vibrant flavors reminiscent of Oaxaca with outstanding vegan tacos that light up all the tastebuds. And the quesabirria and the aguas frescas! I didn’t eat dinner tonight. I might be hungry.

Anyway, Tea & Trumpets also has a tent there. I first became acquainted with this Sonoma County tea merchant through some tea bags I pilfered from a good brunch spot called Dierk’s Parkside Cafe :P

None of this has anything to do with Honey Bush itself.

This time of year, I usually purchase some rooibos to get me through the coldest nights. Opted for honey bush this time, a relative of rooibos, which I’ve had on its own only once. It was a Numi teabag and entirely meh.

Full aroma — this stuff is fresh! Flavor is rich and sweet with a touch of tang, mineral. Tastes of black cherry, brown sugar and cedar with a smooth earthiness. It leaves the mouth feeling sweet, fruity and refreshed unlike Numi’s honey bush, which I recall leaving an annoying dry catch in the throat. I don’t think I’d recommend this to people who dislike rooibos as the profiles are very similar, but for me, this is a big step up from all but one unflavored rooibos I’ve tried. Glad I bought a bag :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cedar, Cherry, Earthy, Fruity, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

You’re making me hungry, too!

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A fairly mellow alkaline and buttery green tea that’s much like Dragonwell but also straddles yellow tea character. Consistent profile over the 3 harvests I’ve had, this note referencing 2021. I’d rather not be redundant with tasting notes right now so you can see them here: https://steepster.com/derk/posts/419378

Kiki, who is not much a fan of green tea, absolutely loved this one ambient brewed.

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drank Rolled Green Tea by Georgian Tea 1847
1337 tasting notes

Coming back to this tea to express my appreciation! It does very well grandpa style in a short glass. Viscous and sweet like raw zucchini with an aroma like golden raspberries – a little honey, a little apricot. Dry but sweet, pure apricot aftertaste, though a little too drying for my likes. Bitterness is fresh and on point. Of all the green teas I’ve had from different countries, this reminds me the most of Chinese, though I can’t say which region or style.

Dang, Georgia is doing great things with tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Bright, Brisk, Butter, Drying, Floral, Grass, Honey, Lavender, Pastries, Raspberry, Sage, Sweet, Viscous, Zucchini

175 °F / 79 °C 3 g
Martin Bednář

Join me with visiting their tea plantations (one day, haven’t decided when yet). I need a partner in crime for tea.

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Alkaline and creamy, subtly betel nut spicy. Hay bale and raw pumpkin seed flavor with touches of dried black olive, dates, smoked meat and cacao. Comfortable drying and tongue-tingling then playful numbing sensation. A purple-blue floral bitter aftertaste rises from the throat and sticks to the tongue. It feels like exhaling the scent of blueberry skins and violet with the tiniest bit of lavender through the nose. Fairly neutral energy temperature but leans more toward cooling.

Aroma, taste, texture, energy — all working together to create a very comfortable tea!

Thank you, White Antlers <3

Flavors: Alkaline, Baby Powder, Bittersweet, Blueberry, Cacao, Creamy, Dates, Dried Fruit, Drying, Floral, Grilled Food, Hay, Lavender, Mineral, Nutty, Olives, Petrichor, Pumpkin Seed, Seashell, Spicy, Violet

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

This is an especially nice Liubao :)

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Eventual tea farmer. If you are a tea grower, want to grow your own plants or are simply curious, please follow me so we can chat.

I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Always on the lookout for teas from countries and regions not commonly known for tea production or those that are not well represented in the western market. I seek these teas to gain an understanding, however vague, of how this plant performs in different climates.

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Sonoma County, CA

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