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500 Tasting Notes

drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
500 tasting notes

I accidently understeeped this by a minute. Wasn’t really paying attention and needed my morning cuppa! My cat seemed really interested in sniffing this one. Never licked it though, which is good for me. No kitty germs!! Eww!

Anyway, this one isn’t too guayusa-y. The added flavorings blend nicely with the base and transform the whole cup into one complex taste. The spices aren’t too spicy. It doesn’t taste like a Chai. It’s just a really nice, cohesive tasting cup.

I can distinguish orange and guayusa the most prominently. The cinnamon in this is very quiet and not overpowering, thank God. Cinnamon is almost always overdone in teas. This is just great! The more I sip, the more I like it. Stacy may have successfully converted me to guayusa fan! :)

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 2

I’m not a fan of Honeybush or banana-flavored teas. So, we’re off to a great start! :P I tried to remain open-minded while it steeped. Since I don’t make Honeybush often, I had no idea what the steeping parameters should be. I used 1 tsp in about 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 minutes. I didn’t add anything to it.

The aroma coming off this cup is probably divine if you like this sort of thing. To me, it’s…not appetizing. It’s kind of headache inducing. :( Not good. The taste is quite surprising! I taste pineapple and banana and a hint of orange. If I don’t inhale the smell while I sip it, it’s actually pretty good! Wow! Who knew?

For someone who doesn’t like anything about this type of blend, this must be a great tea to change my mind! It’s not enough to sway me completely though. I’m not loving the banana aftertaste that’s lingering in my mouth ten minutes after a sip. Yuck.

It deserves a much higher rating than I’m giving it. So, take my opinion with a grain of salt. :) Now I’m off to go see The Hobbit!!!!!!!!!! I’ve only waited my entire life for them to make this movie. Oh, and this is my 300th tasting note. :D

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Congrats and enjoy the movie!

Invader Zim

Congrats on 300! and enjoy the Hobbit, although I think you should watch the movie 300 to go along with your milestone!


Congrats on 300 reviews!! have fun at The Hobbit :)


Thanks all! :) P.S. The Hobbit is awesome!!! Although it does deviate from the book significantly. :(


Oh no! I heard they did a pretty good job with the lotr trilogy. What happened with the Hobbit?!


Well, they made changes to LOTR too, but those changes made sense to me. These changes do not. The Hobbit is one of my all time favorite books. My mom used to read it to me about 6x a year when I was growing up. To me, it’s perfect.

So I’m kind of annoyed that Jackson made so many changes and added stuff that never happens. I suppose he did it to make the movie more interesting/suspenseful/action-packed. But I think it was better without all this added nonsense. Some parts of the movie are perfect, but others made me cringe.

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it honestly. My initial reaction was shock. I don’t want to cite anything too specific in case people haven’t seen it yet. I hate spoilers. Let’s just say that some of the things that happen in the movie NEVER happen in the book. Jackson will find one or two random sentences in LOTR or one of Tolkien’s other works, and then he’ll fabricate what he assumes Tolkien alluded to. That’s taking A LOT of creative freedom in my opinion.

Then there’s the whole debate about how he filmed it: 48 frames per second instead of the traditional 24 fps. Now that argument I don’t understand at all. American television is broadcast at 60 fps. So, it’s not like the human eye isn’t used to watching something that fast. These people who say that watching the film at 48 fps made them sick and they had to leave…I just don’t buy it. What’s wrong with them? Do they get sick watching TV too?

Honestly, if people hadn’t told me that it was filmed at a different frame rate, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. And I’m a filmmaker. The whole thing is just ludicrous to me. I plan on watching it at least 4 more times in various theatres to see if I can even notice anything. The first time I saw it, I was only watching it for enjoyment, not to dissect it.


This is THE BEST article I’ve read on why Peter Jackson should NOT have made all the changes that he did to The Hobbit. Take the time to read this article and you will not be disappointed (it does contain spoilers though). I hope Peter Jackson reads it too and learns a thing or two about what fans want/need.



Interesting stuff! I haven’t read the book but hope to one day. Maybe then this will all have some context for me haha.
Silly how the frame rate is such a big deal but makes pretty much no difference!!

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drank Cotton Candy Black Tea by 52teas
500 tasting notes

52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 1

Woot!!!! There couldn’t be a better tea to kick off this year’s 12 Teas of Christmas!! I LOVE this tea!! It’s the best tea on the planet! As soon as I opened the pouch, I was greeted by a sugary, floral, familiar aroma. YES! I feel like I just hit the jackpot. Ka-ching! I let my kitty smell the pouch and he didn’t seem to want to stop. :) So cute. If kitty approves, I do too!

When it was finished brewing, I added a little bit of Truvia and skim milk. Mmmmm, this is just as delicious as I remember! It re-steeps wonderfully too. Better than any other 52teas’ blend. I just tried Red Leaf Tea’s Cotton Candy Matcha for the first time last night. It’s fantastic, but this tea is better. ;) This has a much more recognizable cotton candy flavor. It’s also a stronger flavoring, which I prefer. It overwhelms the tea in a perfectly delectable way.

This tea deserves three cheers for awesomeness! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip HOORAY!!! Thanks, Frank! And happy holidays to everyone!

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

I’m just guessing, you like this one.


I think I need to make a 52teas order :)



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OMG!!! The dry leaf aroma is spot on cotton candy!!! I gave it to my fiancé to smell and he said, “Ooh that smells good!” I asked him what he thought it smelled like, and he quickly and confidently replied, “Chocolate!” LOL! Well, so much for his opinion. I think that it smells exactly like sugary, slightly caramelized, spun sugar. Yum!

I bought the classic matcha with robust flavoring. Hmm, the taste of this one is really interesting. It’s not nearly as sugary as I would have thought from the aroma. The grassy matcha flavor is actually still quite strong, and the cotton candy flavoring lends the tea a natural sweetness. I had expected more in-your-face sugar. But this is delightful!

It’s so amazing to me that this tea has no added sweeteners. How is that even possible?! A peek at the ingredients list reveals “pure matcha powder from green leaves” and “cotton candy natural flavor.” It definitely tastes natural. But it must be a sweetener or sugar or Stevia or something!

This is definitely not one to get with a lighter flavoring level or I’m not sure you’d taste it at all. Maybe I’ll be bold and go for the “There’s Matcha in there?!” flavoring next time. :D Don’t get me wrong; I can definitely taste cotton candy. But the cotton candy flavor and the matcha flavor seem to be almost equal. Soooo delicious! I’m off to make a second cup because this one disappeared rather quickly. It’s just too yummy!!

Oh yeah, you can get yours here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/cotton-candy-matcha.html

175 °F / 79 °C

LOL chocolate :)


I know, right? LOL!

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Tried it again with 3 teaspoons this time (three times the recommended amount). Now this is yummy! Still no burnt sugar or vanilla custard. That’s sad because I love crème brulée. But it’s still a delicious pumpkin tea that pairs perfectly with my cinnamon sugar toast this morning. Mmm, yum! I sucked this cup down! Second steep for 3.5 minutes was still super yummy! What a treat!

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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I haven’t tried an Earl Grey green before, but I’ve heard good things! So, I picked up a sample of this back in June when I visited DAVIDsTEA in New York City and have held on to it ever since. It’s time to try it!

The aroma of the dry leaf is strong bergamot and citrus. The combination of the two reminds me of soap. Let’s hope it doesn’t taste like that! The brewed tea aroma is even more potent. But I can’t be afraid. Not of tea!! Here goes nothing!

First sip…phew! This tastes pretty much exactly like it smells. There’s virtually no green tea taste. Just lots of bergamot and lots of citrus. I guess if you love those two things, then this would be spectacular. But I’m finding this bergamot to be a little too powerful for me. It feels like I’m drinking it through my nose instead of my mouth, kind of like getting water up your nose when you go swimming. Not an entirely pleasant feeling.

Overall impression? Not good. First impression was maybe a 62. But upon further reflection (and further sips), this one is really too bergamot-y for me to enjoy so it’s getting a 45. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Maybe another Earl Grey green will be more to my liking. Or maybe this just isn’t a good combo for my taste buds. Either way, it was fun to try! :)

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m giving this tea another shot! Pistachio is an interesting thing to add to a tea…I don’t think I’d have come up with that on my own. Very creative, Stacy!

Well, here goes nothing! The green tea base is very grassy, which I was afraid of at first. That’s not my favorite flavor. But you know what? Pistachio and grassy green tea go well together! Of course, Stacy already knew this, but I’m a recent convert. ;)

This is a wonderful flavored sencha, just not my favorite. The flavoring is subtle and light and not very complex. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still delicious! This is a much better experience than the first time I tried it. Freshness makes all the difference with this tea.

Still though, I’m getting nothing in the way of ice cream here. There’s no milkiness, creaminess, or sweetness to speak of. It’s pretty much a nutty, grassy tea. So it’s not bad, it’s just false advertising. Raising the rating from 50 to 72. I used 2.5 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water and drank it straight with no additions. Second steep for 4 minutes is virtually flavorless. This tea seems to have only one good infusion in it.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

I find natural cream flavorings are a little bit more difficult for certain people to taste, especially in certain teas. This tea actually has more cream & vanilla flavoring than pistachio. I recommend trying 1 level teaspoon of tea (since 2.5 teaspoons will add a heavy tea flavor) and either drinking the tea on the warm side or adding a little bit of brown crystal sugar or sugar in the raw if you are up to experimenting a little. This seems to be a love it or hate it tea and we have found that in general men tend to enjoy it more than woman.

Butiki Teas

Sorry it’s “women” not “woman”.


so I’m a man regarding this tea :)

Butiki Teas

Ysaurella-In general, yes. Hahaha, but that makes me a man too.


I’ll keep experimenting with it. I tend to like heavier teas, so this one might just be a little subtle for my tastes.

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drank Organic Dragon Tip by Butiki Teas
500 tasting notes

I’ve been on a Butiki Tea marathon ever since my package arrived. I can’t get enough! I randomly picked out the next tea to try and this is it!

The leaves are very cool and look like flattened leaf tips. I used about 2.5 teaspoons in 8 ounces of water. The aroma of the brewed tea is very vegetal. And the taste? Like steamed artichokes. Yummy! It’s also very clean tasting. I know that sounds weird, but that’s the only way I can think to describe it. Vegetal, steamed artichokes, and clean.

I’m loving this! It’s definitely a very high quality tea. I’m not getting any astringency or bitterness at all. I did a second infusion for 2.5 minutes and a third for 3 minutes. The first steep was my favorite and the most flavorful. The others were still good, just not quite as good. ;)

Overall, this tea is outstanding! And this is one of my least favorite types of tea too!! But this is too good to rate anything other than what it deserves. De-lish! I highly recommend it (and strongly suggest that you pick it up in your next order). You’ll love it too. :)

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
500 tasting notes

Oh my goodness!!!! I’ve been waiting for this ever since I knew it existed. A while back (like maybe a year ago), I had some delicious maple pecan granola. I’ve never been able to find it again, and I always thought it would make a great flavoring for tea. Then I accidently stumbled across this tea here on Steepster and knew I had to purchase it ASAP!

And that brings us to today. It may not have the black tea base I was imagining or the granola flavoring, but it’s pretty darn close! I brewed this 10 degrees hotter than recommended because I thought 170 was too cool. I don’t even use that cool of water for matcha or white tea! So, I’m definitely not doing that for oolong.

I’m not sure where this oolong is from. It’s definitely not the green oolong that I love. I usually dislike the dark Formosa oolongs, which I assume this to be. But it actually works! The leaves are dark and thin. If I had to guess, I would have thought they were black tea leaves and not oolong! I used 2 teaspoons, and the resultant liquor is a light brown.

The flavor is awesome! But I knew it would be with a winning combination like maple and pecan. ;) The dark oolong adds a nice woodsy element that complements the pecan nuttiness perfectly. This tea really needs sweetener in my opinion. With just a little sugar, the maple really POPS! Even the third steep for 5.5 minutes is delicious! Oh, I’m so happy Stacy decided to make this magical creation! I’m in love!

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

This tea uses our Nilgiri Frost Oolong as a base. The slight bit of frost that cover the leaves makes them slightly sweeter.

Hesper June

This sounds so good! After the holidays I am going to get together another butiki order, I have a feeling this tea will be on it:-)


It really is insanely delicious!

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I got this Darjeeling because I’ve had very little experience with Darjeelings in general. I had one bagged version that was horrible. I had another loose leaf version that was delicious! So, here’s hoping this one is like the latter. On to tea #3!

This is classified as a black tea, but it’s really more like a white tea in my opinion. I used an extra half teaspoon than is recommended. The liquor is a very light yellow color. Honestly, I’d say it’s near colorless. It has that slightly floral, slightly dried grass, white tea flavor.

Why is this considered a Darjeeling black tea? I suppose maybe it’s because of the muscatel. I think I can detect that in this cup. But that’s also a new quality that I’m still trying to grasp, so you may want to refer to a more seasoned Darjeeling taster.

My verdict? Definitely enjoyable, but not at all what I expected. If you’re looking for a strong black tea, this isn’t the one for you. But if you’re looking for a Darjeeling white tea, this could be it! Very yummy!

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

After tasting this I contacted a representative from the Glenburn Estate to make sure that it was a black tea and according to them it is processed like a black tea and not a white tea. I’ve noticed a trend of Darjeelings getting lighter and lighter over the recent years but I must say that I really enjoy this one.


I definitely enjoy it too! It was just unexpected that it was so light.

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Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).


Maryland, USA

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