618 Tasting Notes
Hello, Steepsterites!!!! Sorry that I dropped off the face of the planet. I’ve been super busy with wedding planning, trips to visit family, handling what feels like a million problems at work, and still trying to find time to work out and remain sane.
I don’t think I can keep up with the rate at which I tea blogged and read/liked everyone’s posts. I haven’t even drunk a cup of tea in over a month! Well, unless you count the disgusting cup of overly sweetened iced green tea I had yesterday from Panera. Yuck. Tasted like lipstick. Anyway, I’m not disappearing forever. I’ll pop on every now and then, just not quite as often as I used to (i.e. not daily). Nonetheless, I apologize if anyone has been left feeling neglected. I promise it’s not on purpose and I still love all of you, even if I can’t like all your posts!
Okay, well here’s a long anticipated tea from the generous Kittenna!!! Golden Fleece, you are my heart’s desire. I can’t believe how long you’ve sat in my cupboard waiting to be steeped. Well, your wait is over!
The dry leaf aroma is a jumbled compilation of the other teas that Kittenna sent. But the brewed tea aroma? Malt and bread and cocoa. Ohhhh yeah! This is the tea of my dreams! Well actually, my dreams have been quite strange of late. Most are set in an apocalyptic world with someone trying to kill me. I often wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. So much for restful sleep.
Anyway, time to actually taste it. Ohhhh, this tea is incredible! Exactly what I could ever have hoped for and more. It’s the perfect Yunnan black. 100% complete yum factor. Who knew a tea could be so flavorful after a quick one minute steeping? I’m going for quality over quantity so the second steep was for two minutes. Mmm, this tea is sweet and silky and surprisingly frothy when you pour hot water over the leaves.
There’s also a hint of darkness. Not full bitterness and definitely not astringency. But there’s a subtle darkness to the cup, perhaps leaning towards bitterness but not completely there. This is interesting and quite unexpected. The first cup was very smooth. Maybe I should have used less than boiling water? Or maybe I should have gone for the gong fu method of brewing instead of Western style.
I’ll try 195 degrees for 2.5 minutes for the third steep. Yay! All traces of darkness are gone! Now I’m left with a cup of the Yunnan black I love. However, for that earlier odd hint of darkness, I feel compelled to lower the rating a tad. I was expecting 100, so maybe my high expectations tarnished the evaluation. But it is still amazing, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to try it. Without Kittenna I wouldn’t have had the chance. Thank you sooo much!!
I’m not feeling very poetic today, so this will be a short, straightforward review.
Hmm, I’m not sure I like papaya. No way to know until I tried it though! The Bai Mu Dan is quiet and lingers in the background. The mango is fairly quiet as well, overshadowed by the papaya. I’ve never wanted to add sweetener to a white tea before, but that changed with this cup. Then again, I don’t want to ruin a good thing. Thanks to Kittenna for the sample!
On a happy note, I’m in the 6th week of P90X and I can actually do real push-ups now!!! I couldn’t even begin to bend my arms before I started the program. But now I can go really low and still push myself back up!! And I can do more than one!!! EEEEEEHH!!!
This tea really surprised me. From all the mixed reviews, I expected it to be a letdown. But it’s tasty! And sooo much like real chocolate cake!! The only con is that instead of curbing my craving for the real thing, it intensifies it.
I get warm chocolate cake and even sugary chocolate frosting in each sip! You know the thick, luscious flavor of a decadent three-layer chocolate cake from Outback or Red Lobster? That’s exactly what this tea reminds me of. I’m really astonished that they put all this in a tea!
Big thank you to Kittenna for sharing a sample with me! This tea is spot on, but now I really want a big slice of chocolate cake. I bet the two together would be heaven, mmmm! Drool.
Oooh, Kittenna sent me another tea on my shopping list! Woot!! And this is my first Butiki tea; I’m so excited! I feel like I say that about every tea. Tea tasting is just a bundle of excitement for me, what can I say?
The leaves are really neat looking. Tightly twisted, spindly, curled black and gold leaves. Time to brew it up and see what it tastes like!
Wow, this brewed up really light! It’s a very light golden color. I haven’t liked Kenyan teas in the past, but this one is different. It does have that slight aroma and taste that I don’t know how to describe but that I recognize as Kenyan. But it’s not off-putting like I usually find it. It’s good!
Like the liquor color, the taste is light. That’s not to say flavorless. There’s lots of flavor. It’s just a light, subdued cup of tea with mild astringency. No bitterness though. The description says cocoa and milk chocolate notes. I’m not getting any of those. I can imagine a pear undertone, but I’m not sure how much is truly in the cup vs in my imagination.
The second steep for 4.5 minutes brewed up much darker. Now it’s a reddish amber color. The flavor is pretty much the same, except maybe a bit less astringent. I’m not overwhelmed by awesomeness, but this was a fun tea to try. Thanks again Kittenna for sending me a sample!
I know I just complained about drinking hot tea, but I just have so many new samples from generous Steepsterites that I can’t resist!! So, I cranked up the A/C, and now it’s time for some hot tea! Woot! :D
This one in particular is verrrrrry exciting! I thought it was Golden Fleece, but it’s actually Yunnan Golden Buds. Which means I received yet another awesome Yunnan Verdant tea from Kittenna!! You rock!
The brewed tea aroma is resplendent! Can I say that to describe a tea? I think so. Resplendent!!! After the first sip, I sighed with pleasure. This tea is just…I’m speechless. It’s just incredible. Amazing. It has natural notes of cocoa and malt with some honey thrown in for good measure. Sooooo good!!!!
It’s a good thing I’m home alone, because this tea is evoking some salacious sounds from me, hehehe. ;) I was originally planning on steeping the Golden Fleece right after this to compare the two. But now I kind of want to hoard it, haha! The second steep for 2.5 minutes is just as delicious as the first! Nearly identical, only slightly milder and smoother.
I’m probably gonna’ go for at least four infusions here. There just aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to describe how spectacular this tea is. Thanks soooo much for sharing Kittenna!!!
Phew! How can life manage to be so busy and so dull at the same time? :P I’ve been swamped with school work in the final class of my online graduate certificate. It’s proven to be an astounding amount of work. Luckily, my full-time job is dependent upon the certificate, so they do allow me to complete assignments during work hours. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be able to do it.
It’s also been so hot, I can’t even imagine drinking hot tea. Well, I can imagine it, but it’s not appealing. Time to try another iced tea from 52teas’ spin-off brand, Southern Boy Teas!!
I love sherbet! Lime sherbet is probably my favorite. My mom always used to buy me some when I got strep throat. I hope this tea will be a healthier alternative! I brewed it up per the instructions on the packet, except I subtracted one cup of water so I could add ice without diluting it.
But just like with ice cream, I’m not sure sherbet translates into tea well. I believe this tea is lime, orange, and raspberry flavored. Honestly, that’s kind of a weird combination in my book. I’m not sure what to make of it.
The more I drink it, the more the flavors blend together to become a true sherbet taste. It’s good, and it’s definitely well made. It’s just not a favorite flavor combo of mine. I think it may take me a few days to finish off this pitcher. If you love these flavors, then you really can’t go wrong with this tea! I just prefer the strawberry, vanilla, chocolate combo in the Neapolitan Ice Cream tea.
I made this yesterday and ended up drinking half the pitcher! Hahaha! So, I think that probably speaks volumes about how good it is. I try to make myself a cup of tea in the mornings before heading off to work. But today was a little too hectic, so I just poured a glass of this into my tea tumbler and headed out the door.
I don’t know how, but I had almost forgotten what it tasted like overnight. So, when I got to work and had a sip of this tea, my jaw hit the floor! This stuff is soo good! Sooo incredibly yummy!!!
It tastes like all three flavors equally: strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. I don’t get much in the way of ice cream, but honestly that’s one of those things that I don’t think can be replicated in tea form. The black tea base is smooth and assertive. It blends perfectly with the added flavorings. Not a hint of bitterness or astringency in sight.
Truly, this is a fantastic iced tea!! And I’m not a huge iced tea drinker. I almost always prefer to drink teas hot. But this, this was made to be iced and it’s just to die for! I could drink this everyday, and I bet I’d wake up each morning and still be surprised that it tastes this good! ;)
Wow, this smells exactly like buttery, caramel corn! Yum! I really want to make some popcorn right now. But I’ll settle for having this tea instead. Or at least I’ll try this first and then see if the craving is still around. ;)
The ratio of green tea leaves to apple and popcorn pieces is about 1:20, so I’m interested to see how tea-like this is. I also probably could have gotten two cups out of this sample, but I just dumped the whole thing in my strainer without measuring. :P
The brewed tea aroma is also caramel corn with an added component of green tea. I’m not sure the combination is all that appealing. The other popcorn/caramel corn teas I’ve tried have had black tea bases. The taste will be the deciding factor though.
Wow, this flavor was completely unexpected from that aroma! It doesn’t taste like caramel corn at all. It also doesn’t taste anything like buttery popcorn. Instead, it tastes exactly like caramel apples! I guess that’s what DAVIDsTEA gets for putting tart apple in here and trying to pass that off as popcorn. Surprise! Apple tastes like apple!
This is actually pretty incredible. I’ve never had an apple tea that really tastes like genuine apple. And the addition of the caramel takes it from nice apple tea to awesome treat tea! For all you people out there combining Red Leaf Tea’s green apple matcha with caramel matcha in hopes of making a caramel apple tea, try this instead!!! It’s not what it promises (because it tastes nothing like popcorn), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic tea! It just needs to be renamed. :)
Thank you Ninavampi for sharing this delightful surprise!!!
I’m so confused by this tea. I wanted to fall madly in love like everyone else seems to have. But I’m trying to figure out if I even like matcha, let alone vanilla-flavored matcha. I’ve only had matcha one other time, and it was in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It was part of my Japanese Civilization class in college. I think I liked it back then, but that was a long time ago…
Anyway, back to this matcha. It’s good. It’s spinachy and grassy. It’s noticeably vanilla. It’s very naturally flavored. There’s no weird aftertaste or funk. So, why don’t I love it? I tried it straight. I then added a tiny bit of sweetener. Then I tried frothing it in my milk frother. Finally, I added a little splash of skim milk. All of this tweaking helped squelch the grassiness. I’ve never really been of fan of green tea grassiness.
I think I would love this if I used it in cooking/baking. I can imagine amazing vanilla-flavored matcha icing on cupcakes (see DaisyChubb’s killer recipe here: http://www.daisychubb.com/recipe-chocolate-cupcakes-with-matcha-buttercream-chocolate-ganache/). I bet vanilla-flavored matcha scones would be good too. But this matcha by itself? Hmm, I think it’s something I’d have to learn to love. I don’t love it right now. I like it, and it’s definitely interesting. But it took me a good hour of slowly sipping on it to finish the cup.
Big thank you to Ninavampi for sharing her beloved matcha with me! I’m glad I got to try this before investing in a 30g bag. I think I’d enjoy a fruit flavored matcha more. So I’ll probably buy the strawberry one next with the strongest flavoring it comes with, which I believe would be “There’s matcha in there?!” I’ll let y’all know how that turns out, whenever I’m allowed to buy tea again that is. ;)
Mmm, strawberry shortcake tea! I took one sip plain and immediately knew the flavor would be enhanced with skim milk and Truvia, so I added some. It truly tastes like pound cake laden with strawberries and cream.
My mouth actually felt coated like when you eat heavy whipping cream. That coated mouthfeel overwhelms the strawberry and cake flavor, which is a little sad. I wish the strawberry was more bright and acidic like fresh strawberries.
Still, this is a yummy cup of tea. And who else can say they had strawberry shortcake for breakfast this morning? ;) Thanks for the sample, Kittenna!!