634 Tasting Notes

73
drank Apricot Guayusa by Butiki Teas
634 tasting notes

Apricot Guayusa! My first flavored guayusa. This is definitely better than unflavored guayusa. Nice apricot flavor. It’s not bad. I wish I had more to say about it, but it’s a fairly simple cup of tea. There’s not a lot of dimension to guayusa in my opinion. It’s a unique flavor, just not one of my favorites. It is nice every once in a while for a change of pace. Thanks to Kittenna for the chance to try another Butiki creation!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Not my favourite. I definitely recommend you try Good Morning Sunshine and/or Killer’s Vanilla! Or Tangerine Creamsicle. They’re all far, far better IMO!

CHAroma

I have heard a lot of good things about Good Morning Sunshine.

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72

Hmm, this tea is pretty bland. Not sure what all the hubbub is about. I received this sample from the lovely Kittenna who also sent along a giant assortment of teas (thank you!!!). The entire package smells like a hodge podge of tea aromas. So every time I open a baggie and have a whiff before brewing, there’s no way to tell it apart from the rest. It just smells like hodge podge.

But usually once I steep the tea, the brewed tea aroma is clean and whatever the tea is supposed to smell like. But this one? The brewed tea aroma still smells like hodge podge! Which leads me to believe that maybe this little sample overwhelmed all the other aromas in the package…but then it should be quite flavorful, no? Hmm, I’m perplexed. It’s not a bad flavor per say. Just light and kind of neutral and a tad hodge podge-y like the aroma.

I’ll go for a second steep before calling the verdict though. This time I used less water and let it steep for a full 6 minutes. Hmm, there’s really no nutty pistachio flavor to speak of still. Perhaps I let the sample sit too long in my cupboard…Suffice it to say that this tea is not a winner with me. Sad. It had so much potential.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

If you have a little raw sugar or something, add a little since this is one that comes alive that way. Hint!

CHAroma

I’m going to give this one another chance..just placed an order for an ounce!!

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91
drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
634 tasting notes

It’s fall, so it’s the perfect time of year to try this Pumpkin Chai from DAVIDsTEA! I’m so excited. I’ve been drinking Starbucks’ spiced pumpkin lattes to get my fall fix. But I’ve really wanted to try this Pumpkin Chai from the moment I heard about it. Thanks to Kittenna for making it possible!

The dry leaves definitely smell pumpkin-y. Part of me really wants to grab these orange hearts out of the mix and pop ‘em in my mouth just to see if they do taste like pumpkin. But alas, I’ll have to wait until the tea is brewed. Pouring hot water over the leaves releases a whoosh of pumpkin spice aroma. Mmm, wow. This smells awesome!!

And it tastes just as delicious as it smells. Mmm yum yum yummy yum! I’m not sure it can replace my Starbucks addiction, but this is pretty incredible. I’m definitely going to have to stock up on this myself! Thanks again Kittenna!!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Yum, I liked this one too! I have some other pumpkin teas to compare it to now as well, should really get on that! Tis nearly the appropriate season!

CHAroma

I’m really on a pumpkin kick. Wish I could get more of this but I just can’t justify it with the overflowing tea cupboard I presently have and the waaaaaaay over budget wedding I’m currently planning. Plus, I’m moving across town in about 3 weeks, so it’d just be one more thing to move. :( Sometime in the future though!

fleurdelily

WOW! you really make me want some, OK< There!—it’s on the ‘shopping list’ to remind myself for fall tea shopping :D

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45
drank Love Elixir for Her by DAVIDsTEA
634 tasting notes

I’m in an adventurous mood this morning, so I’m going to try something new. My very vocal kitty watched as I quickly brewed up this sample from Kittenna. The dry leaf aroma is chocolate and herbs and spices, while the brewed tea aroma is chocolate and licorice. Really strong licorice! No strawberry is detectable.

There’s lots of floaties that escaped from my strainer, and the liquor is a strange muddy, translucent brown. The taste is kind of strange too. I’m not sure what to make of it. The aftertaste is too funky for my liking. I guess chocolate, herbs, and licorice just isn’t my love elixir. Thanks to Kittenna for the chance to try it! Although I’m not sure it’s bothered me in the past, I think I share your opinion of licorice in teas now.

If anyone is looking for a true chocolate covered strawberry experience, go with Love Tea #7.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Yeah… this one was weird. Sounded like it could be great, but did not work for me either.

CHAroma

Yes, weird sums it up nicely. Just weird.

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88

Time for an oldie but a goodie! I’ve only tried this milk oolong (or any milk oolong for that matter) on one other occasion. It was delightful!! And I believe I even forgot about it at one point and let it steep for an hour or two and it was still good!

I’m definitely in the mood for oolong, so I picked this one out of my stash, set the tea kettle to boil, and pulled up my favorite application, Word! Today is going to be the day of exclamation points, I can just tell. ;) I can hear the water beginning to boil, and I’m getting super excited!! I’m going to try the first infusion at 1.5 minutes.

It really feels great to be drinking tea and blogging again. It’s very relaxing. And God knows I could use some relaxation after the non-stop dishwashing tour I went on this afternoon. Stupid dishwasher is broken. The maintenance guy came in, looked at it for 15 seconds and said it’s irreparable. On top of that, they don’t have any replacement dishwashers in stock. So, I’m on my own for the foreseeable future.

Thank God I’m leaving this ****hole in a month. It’s just one thing after another. Earlier this week, I went to check the mail and my key didn’t fit in the mailbox. I went by the office and they said they “accidently” changed the lock. What idiots. Seriously, who does that? Ugh.

So yeah, I could use a nice relaxing cup of tea. Mmmm, this is a yummy first cup! It’s sweet and floral and very honey-esque. I’m going to have to take the second infusion to go because I’m off to meet my fiancé, father, and step-mother for dinner. Although it wasn’t a whole lot of time to relax, this tea definitely settled my Ch’i. I’m feeling good!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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85

Buttered Rum! All right! I’ve been waiting to try this one for a while. Thanks to Ninavampi for making it possible!

The dry leaf aroma is butter and coconut. Maybe a hint of vanilla, or I could be imagining it since I read it in the ingredient list and therefore know it’s supposed to be present. Mmm, but it sure does smell yummy! After a four minute infusion, the brewed tea aroma is heaven! Pure butter and coconut!

Oof, I really have the munchies right now. I hope this tea hits the spot so that I don’t break my wedding diet. It was my fiancé’s 25th birthday yesterday, so we went out and had ice cream, buttery popcorn, crab cakes, oysters, snow crab legs, and hot wings. Definitely broke the diet yesterday. Can’t afford to break it two days in a row. Plus, I didn’t work out yesterday either.

Okay, this tea is really calling my name. My stomach is actually grumbling in anticipation! First sip…wow, bitterness followed by coconut followed by a mouthwatering butter flavor. The aftertaste is by far the best part of this tea. I think I’m going to have to add milk and sugar though to cut through that initial black tea bitterness. Or maybe it’s a rum flavoring? Not sure if that’s in here or not.

Mmmm, much better with milk and sugar. Yum! This is a tasty tea. Not sure it’s killing the munchies, but maybe I just need a couple more cups. Second infusion for 6.5 minutes. Mmm, still buttery and coconutty and delicious! Thanks again, Ninavampi!!!

Sadly, this tea is just making me hungrier. I think I might order a pizza. But thin crust. And with veggies! That’s not too bad, is it? Oh heck, you only live once! I still have 8 months till the wedding anyway. :P And now I’ll be guilted into working out tonight for sure!! ;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Yogini Undefined

hahhaha loved your review – very entertaining! I’m going to have to get my hands on this one as it sounds delightful. Did you end up ordering the pizza? ;)

Mercuryhime

This is indeed a tasty tea. With 8 months until your wedding, you have plenty of time to worry about diet later! :D I didn’t diet until about a month before mine and it still lost noticeable weight. Lose too much and your dress won’t fit. Gotta keep that in mind! As for the pizza, see if they’ll do less cheese. The cheese is a real diet killer. Have fun getting fit!

CHAroma

I did order the pizza, hahaha! And God punished me by breaking my dishwasher. Now I have to wash all my dishes by hand. Ugh. LOL!

canadianadia

awww….congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

CHAroma

Thanks, Canadianadia! :)

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96
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
634 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!!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Oh hey, I’ve been very absent for quite a while, just chance I stumbled across your review today! So glad you enjoyed this one! :D I haven’t tried it again since my first attempt at it, so I’m glad the packet I bought got some love :P

CHAroma

Haha, no worries. You’ve been way more active than me. I’ve missed about 4-5 pages of your recent posts!! Phew!! But really, thanks again for all the teas. I’m really enjoying them! :)

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72
drank Mango Papaya Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
634 tasting notes

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!!!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Helena

I hate papaya! I didn’t know until I picked up some one day on sale and ick… I’m glad you like the tea though :)

CHAroma

Yeah, it’s not terrible. Probably wouldn’t go buy one from the supermarket though. :)

Mercuryhime

Congrats on the push ups! I remember when I graduated to real push ups! Yoga really helps! I’ve since lost my arm muscles but gained some leg ones. Gotta work on a balance. ;)

CHAroma

I’d take leg muscles over arm muscles any day. Still, it is fun to see a measurable improvement. I’ve gotten a lot better at yoga too! One day I just woke up and could do the vinyasas without flaring my elbows out to the sides!

Ninavampi

Yay!!! Congrats!!! Working out and seeing how your body becomes stronger is such a great joy! I love to see what cool things I can get my body to do!

Kittenna

Full pushups still elude me, sigh! One day…

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87
drank Chocolate Cake by DAVIDsTEA
634 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
PatchworkSheep

This is one of my absolute favorites. I find the flavour comes out more as it cools a bit.

Kittenna

You’re very welcome! I’m a bit confused about the negative reviews as well, as I quite liked it. But yes, like many dessert teas, it just makes me crave the dessert more…

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81

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!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Best enjoyed without additions. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me as an option.

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Profile

Bio

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).

Location

Maryland, USA

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