Happy National Apricot Day! For those participating in the Sipdown Challenge on the forums, today is the day to drink an apricot tea or a tea with apricot flavor notes! This is mine for the day!

One of my sipdown goals was to try to fit in more gong fu sessions this year. I pretty much only have the time for them on weekends/days off (they simply do not fit into my working schedule in the slightest) so this Saturday morning I decided to have a session with this sample of the September 2017 harvest I received from Derk, many a moon ago. Thanks Derk!

120ml mini pot | 4.45g | 185F | 20s/30s/40s/50s/60s

Dry leaf smells of hay and wildflowers. Once wet, the leaf aroma turns to wet hay, dandelions, and bitter melon. The aroma from the cup smells like hay, honeysuckle, apricots, and sour plum. The flavor is lovely even on the first steep; a fresh and crisp vegetal hay note, soft and sweet wildflowers (particularly honeysuckle and dandelion), pollen, a soft, sweet stonefruit note (it keeps shifting between apricot, nectarine, and plum on each sip), and a very subtle citrus note toward the end of the sip. A melon flavor appears on my tongue in the aftertaste. The second infusion boasted a little more tang, with the stonefruit/citrus notes popping a bit more at the front of the sip, and the hay/florality settling on my tongue toward the end. The melon note had turn a bit sharper/more of a bitter melon, as well. As the tea cooled, I got a strong impression of honeyed apricots and pollen. The citrus note became very strong and lemony on the third steep. Hay, dandelion/pollen, citrus, and melon were the main notes for the remainder of the session.

I’m really enjoying white teas, and I like that they hold up to my unintentional aging well. Thanks, Derk!

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter Melon, Citrus, Dandelion, Floral, Flowers, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Melon, Nectar, Plum, Smooth, Stonefruit

185 °F / 85 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

You’re welcome :) I’ve been sipping on some silver needles myself.

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You’re welcome :) I’ve been sipping on some silver needles myself.

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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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