544 Tasting Notes

80

I was planning to drink the rest of this and write a note earlier in the day but life got ahead of me. I managed to pay a visit to my grandfather in the hospital with my mother, as well as see my grandmother and my silly lovebird whom she is pet-sitting. I’m so grateful that everyone lives close by!

Anyways, I picked this tea to be one of those neat little samples that Butiki provides. Initially, I tried comparing this to Cantaloupe & Cream to figure out which one I would “keep” but I can’t make up my mind. Cantaloupe, Watermelon, White Peony, Silver Needle- can I have them all?

This tea smells and tastes like the juiciest, sweetest piece of watermelon on the plate. There is a prevailing honey-sweet aftertaste that is tricking my mind a little bit right now. Maybe it’s because I’m drowsy that I’m wondering if I swallowed all of the watermelon seeds.

I love how this tea is refreshing and cool despite the warm temperature of the actual cup. The back story behind the tea’s name and the music clip included on the blog are cute too.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Hope your grandpa is ok! I’ll have to order this one someday. Seems like a winner to me.

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76

This still isn’t my favourite thing to drink unaltered but I do enjoy it as a frothy latte with a generous drizzling of raspberry syrup over the top. It’s a nice comfort drink on rainy night like this. Maybe it will be a fun iced latte when it decides to be hot and sunny again. :/

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

That sounds yumm!

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86

Without milk I found this to be a somewhat sweet but boring black tea. With milk it becomes a syrupy, creamy cup of goodness that wants to be besties with my pancakes. Of the five big mugs that I had over the last few days I never got past the analytical point of deciding it was delicious.

I can’t tell you all if it had nutty notes (I think it had nutty notes), or if its base was interesting or not, but I can say for sure that I drank it very fast and it was a challenge not to have a mug full on hand 24/7. I’ll be revisiting this tea in the fall, on miserable rainy days, and on lazy weekend mornings when I want, but don’t have access to, pancakes.

Thank you, OMGsrsly!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Courtney

I love the fall-like teas! There’s something about them that just feels so cozy.

CrowKettle

Agreed! I think fall is my favourite season for tea, in regards to flavour and weather/temperature. :)

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74

Floral, soapy, and sweet jasmine pearls! I love that strong jasmine can taste like bananas. It’s sometimes a more convincing banana than some intentionally banana flavoured teas.

This is a very nice and simple tea but jasmine isn’t something I really crave too often, and, when I do, I think I prefer the scented white leaves over green tea. I’m still grateful for the chance to try this and for Teavivre’s extremely generous sample system!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I have never thought of banana with jasmine before. I will have to drink a cup and see if I can pick up that taste.

Dinosara

I too have never gotten bananas from jasmine. And I don’t want to… I don’t like bananans all that much! :)

CrowKettle

Ever since playing with the Yunnan White Jasmine I sometimes pick up bananas in jasmine. Maybe I’m crazy, but I enjoy bananas so I don’t mind. :)

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78

Thank you, Stacy, for this sample!

This tea does everything except outright transform into a solid Raspberry Truffle upon steeping. The candied raspberry center that has seeped into the surrounding sweet and creamy chocolate walls is something I can taste very vividly. Yet, despite that convincing profile the cup still manages to be all tea- and a smooth and mellow one to boot. This is delicious. I missed not having new Butiki teas to try.

Out of curiosity I added some milk to my first cup and it tasted as if I hadn’t added a thing. It’s the same level of creaminess with or without milk. Sorcery and witchcraft! I’ll pick up more of this one day.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Oooh, I miss this one. It’s a good one, indeed.

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I steeped this in a normal glass cup.

I wasn’t paying attention to the flavour of this one when I was drinking it; I steeped it to show a curious friend what a flowering tea looked like more than anything else.

The initial 2 minute steep was quite nice; it made a gentle and floral cup that even my friend enjoyed. The second steep was not so great. I should have poured it out after a minute and no more because the the thing got bitter in a ‘meh’ way really quick. Oh, well. Friend decided this was a good point to poke, prod, and dissect the flowering tea so that was the end of that. It was pleasant while it lasted!

Time to watch some Doctor Who and figure out what Devin Townsend songs I want on my iPod (the great internal debate).

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

OMG you’re a Devy fan? I was so angry I had to miss his concert with Gojira earlier this year. It is definitely a huge debate.

CrowKettle

Yep, Devy’s a favourite of mine. I’ve only seen him twice, most recently at the beginning of September when he toured with Katatonia. I’m not really cut out for gigs or mosh pits but it was a lot of fun! I couldn’t justify the January concert with Gojira and regret it a lot.

Fjellrev

I was SO upset I had to miss Katatonia. I had a late class that day and a class the next and would have been impossible. How was it? Katatonia are actually officially my favourite band so it definitely hurt. That’s the crappy part about living here; it’s quite isolated.

CrowKettle

It was fun, but also rushed and I wasn’t stoked about the set lists. I was familiar with Katatonia’s releases but they weren’t something I put on too often prior to this concert; they sounded great and it made me appreciate them more. They were promoting Dead End Kings, with only two songs each from the latest three albums, and one from Last Far Deal Gone. Devin didn’t play anything from or before Addicted except Vampira/Bad Devil; all Epicloud and Deconstruction.

Fjellrev

Ah, not surprised Katatonia played mostly their recent stuff. I mean, I like their newer stuff, but am definitely a Discouraged Ones/Tonight’s Decision/Last Fair Deal era fan. Luckily when I saw them in Sweden last year, they played Last Fair Deal in its entirety. I almost wept with joy since it’s my favourite album.

I’ll admit that I haven’t even given Epicloud a listen yet. Too bad about him not touching that much older stuff, but maybe it’s more a technicality thing, like only promoting DT Project stuff.

CrowKettle

That sounds like an amazing experience! Sweden and Norway are high on my travel list. Was that for an exchange?

I haven’t given Discouraged Ones and Tonight’s Decision a fair listen, and am still familiarizing myself with them. When I discovered Katatonia late in the game (around TGCD) I was initially put off their earlier releases by the difference in sound production but that’s not an issue anymore.

I like a majority of the DTP material and I’ve given Epicloud a lot of playtime since its release, but it isn’t my favourite. There are some excellent vocal moments from both Anneke and Devin though.

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78

Here’s another sample from OMGsrsly. She describes the flavour very well and I’m feeling lazy, so I’ll just add that I enjoyed this one with milk despite it being fruity. It also paired well with a mango gummy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Sipdown! There was a week where all I drank was this tea. I’m not bored of it yet; the whole mobile flowers equipped with astringent razor blades impression never ceases to amaze me. I strive to keep an ounce of this around in my theoretical perfect tea collection.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I like it too!

CrowKettle

I never thought I’d like this one but I do and I think it helped me branch out to stronger black teas. :)

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74

Thank you, OMGsrsly, for this sample from our Victoria crawl! I’ve enjoyed all of the Steam teas I’ve tried so far.

Drinking this tea hot to lukewarm right now. This one as a strong juicy aroma that is reminiscent of SunRype Strawberry Kiwi juice that my roommate and I liked to put vodka in last semester. The flavour is similar although it’s not as sugary as the aroma would lead on. It’s still sweet, however, and with a little bit of puckering dryness. The overall affect reminds me of a iced fruity alcoholic drink. The name of this tea further emphasizes that association. There’s a syrupy aftertaste.

Oh, I should make a note of the base tea. It’s green, a little seaweedy, but very subtle and soft in this blend- I’m willing to gamble that it’s a sencha. Probably. I think the pieces of fruit are papaya.

I’m using the rest of this sample for a mug of iced tea tonight. Mmmm… that sounds good. I kind of want to take some of this down to Palm Desert with me. Eh, I’ll likely and up with a travel bag full of fall themed rooibos blends.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec
Sil

oh man this sounds tasty!

CrowKettle

It’s refreshing, to say the least.

OMGsrsly

I had this one iced the other day. So good! Even my brother (who buys teas but forgets to drink them) liked it.

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70

So much new tea! The order I placed with Teavivre two months ago finally arrived, along with my official second order from Butiki. To think if I had withheld myself for another week or two I could’ve tried that delicious caramel tea Stacy just put up. Next time. Only when I’m down to 50 teas.

Anyways, that puts me back to just over one hundred teas again, despite my best efforts to swap away large quantities this week. It’s like starting all over again. at least I have tiny samples that I can drink up and check off to make me feel better tonight.

This one is from OMGsrsly and it smells amazing in that sour, milky, sweet way that rich floral green oolongs have. If someone told me I was drinking Quangzhou Milk Oolong from David’s Tea right now I would just nod my head in agreement. I can’t discern much of a difference, although this one tastes and smells almost fruity. The finish and the aftertaste are sweet! I thought I was crazy for picking up fruit but Tea Sipper mentions pineapple notes so I’m not alone!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww, you can’t keep up with the tea. My DTT and 52teas came in within two days of each other and I feel like I’m at square one again too, yet I’m also itching to make another Butiki order. Sigh. It never ends.

Sil

I told you…it creeps up on ya. Just have to put your foot down at 200 lol

CHAroma

I have 142 teas in my cupboard right now, and I don’t think it’s going to hit 50 for about 3 years at the rate I’m going. LOL!

Sil

Charoma – you’ll hit a point though when it’s too much and start sipping down as quickly as possible to get to a more manageable state. At least, that’s what happened to me when i hit 300. However, there are ppl like kittenna where apparently 800 isn’t overwhelming lol

CHAroma

Oh, I definitely want to get it down to a manageable state. But I honestly can’t drink more than 1-3 cups of tea a day. And I always add to my stash before I should. So, it’s just a never-ending problem of having too much tea. Of course, there are worse problems to have in life. So, I count myself lucky. ;)

Sil

first world problems – too many cups of tea to drink :)

CrowKettle

My brain cannot comprehend 800 teas. kittenna is a force. lol

I wish I had more tiny samples that I could finish off most of my tea is 2oz or over and the rest is stuff from Verdant, Butiki, and Red Leaf, that I could easily finish off but I want to savour. I’ve dedicated weeks to drinking certain teas. :/

Sil

yeah i’m not sure how i’m going to tackle the stuff i have that’s 1.5oz+ i’ve got a bunch of those. really want my cupboard down to 1oz max of things

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Ratings:

95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: …

Location

BC, Canada

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