1403 Tasting Notes

drank Boston by Harney & Sons
1403 tasting notes

The plan was to reach for a builder’s tea like Scottish Morn to finish up this eggnog with, but I ended up choosing this one instead.

Two spoons steeped for four or five minutes, a glug or two of this new eggnog, sweeter and thinner that the previous one.

Good. Well, I’m not a big fan of Boston, as I’ve mentioned before.

Using two spoons of leaf is a good call here though. The berry is a bit tart, but the eggnog vanilla calms down the berry candy quality of it.

My problem with Boston is that it tastes very artificial to me. However, this eggnog greatly improves it, so there’s that.

At this rate, one day, I’ll finish this tea and be done with it. And you won’t need to listen to me whine about it.


I’m not a fan of Boston either. Also, I just realized I didn’t have any eggnog this year!


Or last year. This past holiday season.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for that, Shae. Before I began commenting and whining about it, I had just assumed everyone loved it. Then all the Boston haters came out of the woodwork.

Poor you without eggnog! Here, it is available for the next couple of weeks, I am guessing. Maybe there too? Eggnog is an awesome tea improver for those black or rooibos, maybe others too, that you are not all that crazy about.


Yeah, I’m pretty sure I tried this one at some point (from a swap) but loved it so much I didn’t bother to leave a note :P

Evol Ving Ness


CrowKettle, I meant to ask you—how do you feel about that Kracken rum? I was in the liquor store today, because I use it like an ATM, and saw the spiced rum there and thought I’d ask how you feel about it.


I like it – but I generally use it for mixing only. I think it’s sweeter than other types; it’s not necessarily better although it’s label art is pretty cool. I’d recommend grabbing a miniature bottle to sample first (I saw some Kraken minis at our BC Liquor stores; very cute).

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks. I didn’t see the minis, only something like 8oz and something huge, like 32 or 40 oz. I might get the small one, for medicinal purposes. :)

Evol Ving Ness

I notice that on our LCBO page, someone suggested mixing it with Bailey’s for a Kracken rising. May try it. Or not. Not much of a drinker. The idea of having a drink always seems more appealing than actually having one.


Same. I like the idea of the liquors and spirits more than actually drinking them. I buy half a dozen craft beer and they often live in the fridge for a year.

Kraken Rising sounds good though…

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drank Amaretto by Steeped Tea
1403 tasting notes

Still buzzing from the matcha with eggnog I had earlier, so I made this with eggnog.

It tastes like red rooibos with almond extract. Pretty close in flavour to Amaretto. It’s fine. The eggnog smoothes out the edges.

It’ll carry me through the evening.

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drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
1403 tasting notes

Okey-dokey then.

I purchased a matcha box from the online Quebec Tea Festival, https://en.festivalduthequebec.com/ , because I felt that it would be good to discover and rediscover matcha teas and products. This matcha packet amongst others was included, as was a matcha spoon, whisk, and small bowl.

(if you are interested, I think more discovery tea boxes are available in Canada. I have been pleased with everything I have sampled so far.)

Edit—just checked the site and only the grand cru box is left for sale. Good value though no matcha.

The matcha mood rarely strikes me, but wow, today was the day that I really had a craving for it.

Yesterday, I had purchased a different brand of eggnog from the one that I usually buy. This one is thinner and sweeter with less nutmeg. Perfect for a matcha accompaniment and so it is.

I whisked a heaping spoon of matcha powder with about a cup of 175 F water, added a glug of eggnog, and Bob’s your uncle.

This drink is divine. The matcha flavour shines as does the eggnog. A really good balance of both.

Now I need to take a look at the quality range of matcha s at DT’s. I hope I am not using the most expensive and highest quality matcha with eggnog. Maybe that would be a waste.

But even if so, this is plenty delicious, so no regrets though I may opt for a cheaper one next time if so.

I may have to go caffeine-free for the rest of the day as I’m already getting a bit of a buzz.

Edit—not the most expensive one, so yay!

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drank Masala Chai by Zen Tea
1403 tasting notes

This masala chai blend is heavy on aniseed, far too heavy on the aniseed.

I get around that by adding a spoon of the ultimate black tea improver, Keemun Classic by Capital Tea Ltd, and then a glug or two of store-bought eggnog.

This new, to me, eggnog I bought is thinner and sweeter that the previous one. Works well.

After more than a week of drinking only straight teas with no additions, this cup feels quite rich and extravagant.

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Sugarcane sweet. Juicy peach. Floral.

so many things that need doing and yet difficult to get in motion.

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Sweet. Butter. Green beans. More butter. Buttered corn.

Tastes like a hopeful spring.

At the beginning of January.

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Oh, how I love this tea!

Smoke, malt, sweet potato loveliness.

Today was the last day of the meditation retreat I was participating in. I learned a lot. I benefitted a lot. It was awesome and I am sad to see it end.


Hope reentry to your normal routine is gentle and smooth!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, gmathis.

The retreat acted like a recalibration on all the things. I certainly am in better shape than I was at the start of it. Now to carry that into everyday life. We’ll see.

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Ok, so Derk pointed out most helpfully that this is NOT the same tea as Persia Lahijian Black tea.

I have both, so today I cracked open this one and yes indeed, they are different. Still making my mind up about this one.

So far, I’ve got stone fruit, muscatel, malt, nut, wood, leather, something in the dried mint family, and a bit of the raspy back of throat thing (though chocolate is helping with that).

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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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