drank Blue Beauty by TeaSource
1198 tasting notes

Summer Vacation! Today is my last day of doing Chinese teas on my Summer Vacation monthly theme, and starting tomorrow I’ll be moving onto another country… Japan! I still have quite a stockpile of things I’ve bought from Yunomi and have yet to try, and I’m also a big fan of the flavored blends from Japanese company Lupicia so a few of those may make an appearance. I still have yet to try some of the teas my BFF from San Jose brought me back for my birthday when he went to Japan last March, which I really need to rectify…

Tonight, though, I have brewed up a Chinese oolong which I was craving… I think the migraine I’ve had all day had something to do with it. I forget what this stuff is called from other places, but it’s a green oolong from Fujian where the leaf is sprinkled with ginseng and licorice root before its folded into the tiny pellets. Normally I hate ginseng so I originally tried this with a sampler from a site that sources from TeaSource, and oddly enough, fell in love with it, because it didn’t have that strong medicinal taste that I had experienced before from ginseng tea. The oolong base and sweet licorice just balance it the right way. I knew I had to add it to my collection after that.

The smell of this tea really soothes me, though I think I’d have a hard time trying to describe the aroma properly. It comes off very sweet, silky, with a slightly minty/mineral quality, and the oolong base has that roasted/nutty quality, and when they all come together it has almost this dessert-like quality to the warm aroma. The flavor of the tea has that roasted nuts taste of a Se Chung, but it is followed by this really sweet aftertaste, so the final impression comes off like honey-roasted nuts. And there is just something quite soothing and settling about it. Despite having ginseng and licorice root, neither effect the flavor in a significant way; I don’t like the taste of ginseng and don’t notice it, and I love licorice root (yes, I’m one of those rare people) and don’t notice it, either; there is a natural sweetness to the tea, but it isn’t even the sort of heady “sticky sweetness” you normally taste with licorice root, but a soft, smooth, rather subdued sweetness.

I’m rather liking honey-roasted nuts in a cup. Especially when my head feels like butt.

Flavors: Honey, Mineral, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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