495 Tasting Notes

87

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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76

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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82

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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99
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
495 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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91
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
495 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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80

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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70

It only took a month, but my Wanja order is finally here! Yay for delayed tea!

Something in the dry leaf and liquor aroma makes me want to roll around like a cat on catnip.. except I’m not a cat so I did a lot of hopping and skipping around instead. After taking a sip, I did even more of that. Being caffeine sensitive is usually good for the spirit but bad for gaining a respectable public image.

This bright, vivid orange-brown cup is like floral silk and citrus rind. The finish is brisk but not drying. Second steep is even more floral silk, almost thick enough to be a thin cream.

I’m not sure I’d pick this over my favourite mouth shredder, the Wanja OP, but I’ve an ounce-length span to make that decision if I need to.

Flavors: Flowers, Orange Zest

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

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30

While I enjoyed the Shan First Flush, this one’s a complete miss for me. It has a delicious fruity note near the finish, but I’m not a fan of the amount of “marine” this tea throws at me. Or the metal taste. I think that last one is the biggest deal breaker for me; I don’t want to feel like I’ve been rolling pennies all day when I’m drinking tea.

I’m going to try some different steeping parameters, water, and palates (lucky roommates) before I move on.. hopefully my assessment as it stands now doesn’t stick!

Thanks, SFTGFOP, for another new green tea to try!

Flavors: Metallic, Ocean Breeze, Stonefruits

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I do not drink this one near enough.

This is your classic, straightforward breakfast tea with milk, and it’s all kinds of amazing. It gets huge comfort points. The wisp of smoke is an added bonus today.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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66

Vegetal greens aren’t really my thing, but there’s no denying I really enjoyed the citrus notes in this. The whole flavour profile reminds me of eating lobster (or insert your preferred seafood), with a good squeezing of lemon and a dash of butter.

This isn’t the cup to win me over to Team Green, but I don’t mind drinking up two individual tea bags of it. Thanks, SFTGFOP, for sending this smoky smelling Myanmar tea my way!

Flavors: Lemon Zest

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

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.

Tea Preferences: My absolute favourites are the floral inclined oolong and white teas. I also enjoy unflavoured green and black teas. Puerh is a hit or miss.

Fruit, cedar, anise, and vanilla are good. Black licorice, bergamot, and cheap chocolate are less good. Jasmine, cinnamon, and hibiscus are usually too strong in teas for my taste, but otherwise I like these flavours!

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: There’s no way to put it nicely..

Location

BC, Canada

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