122 Tasting Notes

82

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for the generous samples!

I could smell the dry leaf from the moment I opened the sample pouch. A savoury, roast-y aroma.

Steeped, the aroma becomes a bit more vegetal. The taste is quite light, still sort of savoury with a hint of nuttiness and to my surprise, a slight hint of sweetness. There’s a lightly astringent finish.

I usually don’t drink green teas (longjing being an exception), but I could see myself drinking more of this!

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85
drank Irish Breakfast by Butiki Teas
122 tasting notes

Whoa. Has it really been over a month since my last note? Doesn’t feel like that long ago.

Just came home from some travelling— took a short-term May abroad course about bioethics in the Netherlands for a few weeks, then went off to London on my own for another week or so. It was a wonderful experience. The history of the Netherlands and the influences it’s had on Dutch culture (a unique blend of individualism balanced with cooperation that ties in with a general theme of tolerance) is fascinating. The food was delicious, too (I fell in love with poffertjes, stroopwafels, and various rijsttafel dishes that I don’t know the names of). I’d love to go back and live there for an extended period of time, to be honest (studying bioethics there would be great).

London was just amazing. Words cannot describe how excited and stunned I was to be in the city, since there is so much history there (and just in the country in general). It’s also a really expensive city… think NYC prices numerically, then double it because of the GBP to USD conversion rate. Thank goodness for hostels (though I may try couchsurfing or AirBnB next time).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pick up any teas this trip (I was trying to fly hand luggage only and the cheeses I got from Gouda took up a lot of space). But I really hope to return in the future, because there are so many more museums I’d like to visit, and the rest of England and other countries of the UK as well!

Anyway, that long note was basically just to say that my status with this tea is almost a sipdown, and it’s definitely going on my repurchase list once I’m out. It’s smooth, malty, and a strong tea that isn’t at all a “yell-in-your-face” strong, but more of a firm shake of the shoulder, “hey, time to get up and meet the day” strong.

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80
drank Grapefruit Dragon by Butiki Teas
122 tasting notes

Sipdown!

This really does taste like grapefruit. Citrusy sour and sweet with a tiny hint of bitterness like you’d find when eating the actual thing.

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85
drank Peach HoppiTea by Butiki Teas
122 tasting notes

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86
drank Rhubarb Vanilla Ale by Butiki Teas
122 tasting notes

Another sad sipdown.

Tangy and fruity, but not overwhelmingly so, with some nice sweetness and a hint of spice from the hops. I get the feeling this would be amazing over ice or when cold brewed.

I think I might have to re-order this one, too, eventually.

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95
drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
122 tasting notes

A sad sipdown.

I’ll miss this. Deliciously malty and smooth. Makes mornings easier to work through, coming from a person who is very much not a morning person. I do plan on restocking once I get my tea box further under control, haha.

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83

Sipdown!
I love how the subtle pine blends in beautifully with the buttery green tea base and scent of jasmine. I think I’ve mentioned before that I generally dislike jasmine because I often find it overwhelming for me, but I’m really glad I gave this a try because everything is wonderfully blended.

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100
reviewed Smart Soak by Mandala Tea
122 tasting notes

This stuff is unbelievable. I got a sample of it from a Mandala order I placed a while back. Finally thought I’d try it out yesterday evening.

I have one fine mesh tea strainer that I’ve been using on an almost daily basis for the past three or four years. While I wash it regularly, over time it still accumulated a brownish tea-stain patina and while baking powder soaks helped get rid of some of it, it never completely went away.

Then I stuck the strainer in the Smart Soak for about thirty minutes.

The strainer looks brand-new. All those years of tea stains, gone. I’d forgotten how silvery the strainer looked originally.

I’m floored by how effective this stuff is.

Anna

Awesomeness! I don’t have a dishwasher here (that usually solves the problem for me) and I miss my shiny strainers.

Sil

i love this stuff!

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80

Sipdown!
I normally don’t like jasmine in my tea, but the mint really helps balance out the floral aspect. Very calming.

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75

Sipdown!

I was hoping I’d like this as much as I do the Sherlock blend, since this is currant and lapsang while Sherlock is oriental spice and lapsang, but for some reason, I couldn’t really taste the currant. So it pretty much tasted like an okay lapsang souchong. Hm.

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Bio

Update: Have been occupied as of late with graduate program applications. I’ll still be on Steepster, but will mostly be in lurk-mode with the occasional review.

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and the occasional shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. I plan to give my rating system an overhaul and will eventually get around to rescaling older ratings.

99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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