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449 Tasting Notes

I made some pretty stupid choices and said some dumb things this weekend, but drinking this wasn’t part of that, thankfully. I used 2 servings worth for a banana smoothie, and another serving as a cold almond milk mix. The rest I rubbed over some white chocolate covered pretzels.

I’ve never actually had amaretto before, although I’ve had a few amaretto flavoured things. I gather that it’s cherry-like. It’s not an everyday flavour, but I’d consider picking some up. Thanks, Sil! Here’s looking to a fresh week filled with new tea (and school assignments).

Anna

As long as you restrict your stupid to the weekend, I’d say you’re doing really well. ;P

As for the amaretto, it’s true that amaretto and cherry is a classic combo, but the amaretto itself is pure almond goodness. Just very very almond.

Fjellrev

How did the midterm go?

CrowKettle

If there’s any almond in it I didn’t notice, except in a marzipan kind of way? I really need to try actual amaretto one of these days :P

I think it could’ve been a little better, with less strangely worded T/F, but I’m not too worried about it anymore. Thanks for asking! :)

Anna

Well, amaretto tastes of bitter almonds, and marzipan consists of almonds and sugar, so that sounds about right.

OMGsrsly

Amaretto (at least, what we usually get here) is made out of apricot pits. :) The more you know! Google tells me that there’s sometimes cherry in it too. Hmm. Cherries soaked in amaretto might need to be a Thing this summer.

Anna

Yeah, that’s what amaretto is. =) Inside stone fruits like apricot or plum, for example, there is a pit, and inside that, if you bother to crack it open, is a small, lovely, fresh almond that is sometimes used for cooking. Or, you know, to flavour amaretto. There is no cherry in classic, basic amaretto, aside from the possible addition of random fruit pulp for added sweetness during production, and it absolutely shouldn’t taste like cherry (or you got yourself a not so stellar kind) but there are a few weird variations, so who knows what you could find if you went looking… (Maybe there is a tea amaretto!!!)

CrowKettle

Thanks for all the information on amaretto, Anna! You’ve made amaretto tasting and experimenting with roommates a priority this month.

Looking through the other tasting notes, maybe there is an almond note to this matcha. I know I’m bad at picking up the nut notes in Red Leaf (I didn’t taste peanut in the peanut butter matcha), and tea/food in general. If any of you love amaretto this is worth a try, regardless of what I think taste! :)

OMGsrsly

I’m excited about this one, actually. When I get my Sil samples, I might try this one first. :)

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This one’s from Sil! It’s not bad at all as long as you like Swedish Berries or raspberry candies (jelly belly or Hasbro gummies). I do like those things, so this didn’t last long.

Preparation
3 tsp 8 OZ / 240 ML
Courtney

Haha! So not so raspberry au naturel?

Sil

courtney..nope not in my opinion either.. i dont like it

Courtney

Good to know haha. I’m always looking for the natural tasting ones.

CrowKettle

Yeah, not so much. The closest it comes is raspberry jam, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

Fjellrev

I tried it but haven’t reviewed it yet. Yeah, I personally find it artificial. Crowkettle, how many cups did you get out of it?

CrowKettle

There were 3 scoops but I threw it all in one big two portion smoothie. It was very concentrated and left a sugary aftertaste for a good hour.

Fjellrev

Holy crap, no wonder! Because I was like daaaaamn, there were around four servings worth in there. It must have been concentrated, indeed.

CrowKettle

I’m just super classy when it comes to matcha prep.. I used to be conservative with the portions, and still am with the warm lattes, but tend to go all in with the milkshakes and morning smoothies.

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86

Wow! I can taste the sweet, and slightly sour, whip cream, as well as the strawberries. It all makes for a pretty decadent and rich breakfast smoothie (bananas and strawberries pair so perfectly). I like how easy and straightforward this one is, and will consider picking some up for myself in the future.

Thanks Sil for sending all of this matcha to this side of the country, and Fjellrev for repackaging and distributing all of it!

Flavors: Berries, Cream

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75

Backlog. This is another generous matcha sample from Cavocorax!

I had this twice the other day; once in a banana almond milkshake, and a second time by doing a warm whisk and then mixing it with cold almond milk. The banana version definitely trumped the warm whisk method, which didn’t carry much bubblegum flavour until the very end of the cup.

The banana milkshake version made me feel like I should be chewing. I have mixed feelings about that.

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89

I whisked a spoonful up in warm water and then mixed it up with some almond milk. It’s crazy, maybe even slightly horrifying, how much this tastes like buttery caramel popcorn. With extra butter.

Thanks, Cavocorax! Not all the flavoured matcha I’ve tried from Red Leaf accurately represent what they are named, but this one certainly does!

Flavors: Butter, Caramel

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C

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Backlog. This made a good banana matcha smoothie, adding an extra degree of cream and sweetness. I’ll have to pick up a little more of this, since I’m below sustainable portions of flavoured matcha anyways.

Thanks, Cavocorax, for letting me try some of this!

Stephanie

That does sound good with banana

Cavocorax

It does! I’ll have to get more and try it!

TeaBrat

want! he he

CrowKettle

The banana acts as a great sweetener and thickener, but sometimes it overwhelms things if I don’t measure in enough matcha or milk :)

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86

Thought I was going to get “puerh” and ended up getting the world’s most glorious nut and raisin trail mix instead. I was not expecting that twist, but I don’t resent it at all.

Setting: a pretty big mug. Temperature: boiling. Time: 1 minute rinse (maybe that’s too long to be termed a “rinse”), 30 second steep. I’ll write a more serious note later.

Second steep of 40 seconds at first tasted more like olive oil and wood smoke, but took on sweet finish which made the earthy trail mix of my mind materialize again.

Flavors: Berries, Earth, Nuts, Raisins

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

mmm trail mix!

boychik

I read somewhere here 5 sec rinse couple min rest then 5/5/10/15 etc. I hope you don’t mind me telling this . This works pretty good for me for shu. Sheng is tricky. Short steeps always work.

CrowKettle

Oh, no, I actually really appreciate the advice! It’s part of the reason I record the time/temp. and check everyone’s puerh notes. Sometimes I get lucky and it comes out tasting great despite the experimenting, like this one did, but I’ve wrecked a few too. Thank you :)

cryptickoi

for shu cha I typically do 2 rinses,the second being long enough to draw just a little color out of the leaf…steep times will vary quite a bit from tea to tea,depending on leaf size,bing vs.loose,lao cha tou etc..

cryptickoi

there really is no wrong or right way though…I tend to brew “heavy”,I like to overleaf oversteep most teas…it just comes down to personal preference..

boychik

@cryptickoi. i agree there is no right or wrong. im a beginner so its easier for me to do shortest steeps and see how flavors develop. i’m more in control. once i know more or less what to expect from this particular tea i can increase the time. so many people are turned off by pu because of long steeps. i still dont feel comfortable with sheng :(

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97
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
449 tasting notes

I went to visit my parents for the week, expecting to try a bunch of new teas (mostly green and oolong), and then their temperature variable kettle decided to go kaput! I can’t help but feel it broke down just for me. Now we’re all using the pioneer copper stove kettle for boiling water. I recall something similar happening around this time last year too..

Pictured here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151486232145406&l=8ba0ae4cef

It’s quite the experience and adds a unique sensory profile to the water, but it’s not the kind of thing I want to use for my greener teas. That’s why amazingly tolerable black teas like this one exist, right?

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Roasted Barley

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Helena

eeek! I couldn’t live without my Breville variable temp kettle… hope you get a new kettle soon

CrowKettle

Thanks! I hope so too. I think my parents are thinking of getting it replaced since the electric kettle wasn’t even a year old.

TheTeaFairy

The copper kettle looks beautiful though :-)

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90
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
449 tasting notes

The first time I tried this tea I wasn’t completely wowed, however these last two steeps today have been sweet, in so many amazing ways. I may need to keep this rich tea around.

Apparently I tasted citrus the first time around, but I’m not tasting that at all now- maybe there’s a note like a lemon in a meringue pie? It’s somewhat of a stretch though. It’s more like delicious sweet potatoes, cream, with a bit of syrup.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MissB

Ah, hilarious. All I had to do was scroll down a bit to see your notes. Great minds…

Chizakura

I loooooove this one. It’s definitely one of my favorite whites, if not THE favorite. :D I find in addition to the cream notes, it tastes a lot like sweet corn. I made it at a much lower temperature mind you (185). Kind of curious to try it at boiling for comparison sake.

CrowKettle

It was a lovely afternoon in the lower mainland for this tea. :P

It’s amazing to see the variety of flavours people pick up in this one; it’s a good incentive to buy lots and go crazy experimenting with it.

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88

This was generously included as a sample in my Mandala order.

Today’s turning out to be a floral kind of day. I’m pleasantly surprised how heavy on the orchids this one is turning out to be. Besides flowers, there is a strong note of richly buttered grass. The finish is sour, with an increasingly sweet aftertaste. This combination of flavours creates one interesting cup.

I did a long rinse and some 30 second steeps in my tiny glass pot, using about 200F water. Puerh preparation techniques are currently a work in progress.

EDIT: After a 30 second rinse, I did a casual western mug steep for 1min and it came out incredibly rich and syrupy sweet.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Orchids

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Stephanie

Ooh sounds interesting!

CrowKettle

It really is! It has this syrupy sweetness that I’m beginning to love. I may have to pick up a cake when life’s less hectic. :)

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Profile

Bio

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

My tea preferences have changed a lot since joining here. I swore I’d never love black teas, and now they make up some of my favourites, both flavoured and unflavoured. I prefer my green and oolong teas buttery and roasted.

A good Silver Needle is my desert island tea.

Ratings:

90-100: A Personal Favourite
80-89: Great, buy 25g
70-79: Enjoyable, may buy more
60-69: OK, with some problems
50-59: Flat, but drinkable
30-49: Possibly better in cooking
1-29: This cup found sink

Location

BC, Canada

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