602 Tasting Notes

A friend brought this pretty little box back from India for me- a touching gesture, considering that she’s not generally a gift-giver and has often described tea as “dirty, funny tasting water.” I will treasure this elephant box always, tea skeptical friend.

This is labelled as a Nilgiri variety, the implications of which go completely over my head.

I don’t know how this stacks against other Nilgiri teas, but it does make me want to give the wide variety of Indian black teas another thorough chance. (Golden Tips Tea has a crazy all-encompassing sampler on their website).

The medium length leaves are mostly black with some golden-white, and red speckled throughout (could be a blend?). They steep up ruddy brown and green.

The tea has a fruity aroma and flavour, coupled with a smoky woodsy note that may very well come from the box- the things you realize after you’ve dumped the tea into a flaky-painted wooden box.

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Pepper, Smoke, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

My son still calls it “water with aftertaste.”


Beautiful box!


My daughter used to say it tasted like “hot leaf pee.” She loves tea now. There is hope.


Ha, those are both good! I don’t think there’s much hope for my friend, although she doesn’t always mind chai? In this particular case, I think she was almost entirely motivated by the elephant. :)

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drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
602 tasting notes

I’m glad I got the chance to try Sil’s adaption at the end; it was on my bucket list for a while! The flavouring is no mystery (hello, chocolate orange), yet is subtler than I thought it would be.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Orange

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Here’s another tea/reason why I’ll miss Stacy’s amazing work at Butiki- like I needed one more. I wish I could bottle up the creamy sweet citrus aroma and keep it with me forever, but then I couldn’t drink it and appreciate it in all of it’s mouth puckering glory.. there’s no winning here, eh? At least an ounce seems to go a long way- it even has a decent second steep in it.

I’ve never had grapefruit creme brulee, and now I’ll be disappointed if it isn’t as tasty as this. Definitely one of my favourites out of the last wave of new teas I picked up!

Flavors: Bergamot, Burnt Sugar, Grapefruit, Malt

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

Missed out on this one but I’m glad it sounds tasty :) her grapefruit was always yum!

Maddy Barone

I really wish I would have come to Steepster soon and found Butiki before they went out of business.


I’m particularly going to miss her grapefruit and white tea blends. It was good times for tea, but now I have incentive to explore again. :)

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This one’s not bad at all; the lemon myrtle, lemon balm, and vanilla gives this herbal a fluffy citrus dessert vibe. I just wish OMGsrsly hadn’t told me what she thought of Valerian root (stinky cheese, sock), because now I get that a little too! :P

Here’s hoping this helps fix my last few weeks of incredibly poor sleep.

Flavors: Lemon, Peppermint, Vanilla


Sorry! (Actually not too sorry…)


You meant well, and now I’m no longer ignorant, which I think is for the best…



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I had a short, shallow moment of dread when I discovered the milk of yesterday was gone today (note: always check for this factor before steeping spice teas). Luckily, this tea seems pretty awesome without it.

This one’s quite wintery: gingerbread cookie spices, nuts, a versatile fruitiness that is one moment hot apple cider the next chocolate and orange rind, and maybe even a touch of smoke.

I’ll have to pick up some of Tippy’s keemun and assam to see how much they cultivate those delicious fruity dessert flavours- and there are so many flavours, but they work!

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cookie, Ginger

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

It’s really, really good with a little milk and sugar. Works really well as a tea-latte.

Maddy Barone

This one looks really good to me. We’re finally having a bout of cold weather, and I want warm, spicy tea!

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drank Minted Monkey by Tippy's Tea
602 tasting notes

Dry leaf smells like minty After Eights, the liquor like chocolate vanilla dessert with light mint garnish. The flavour is, um, one of those instances that make me realize how much I swear when attempting to express a strong emotion (it’s good). Mint leaves and vanilla always win in my book, and this tea is doing what my Laoshan Black hasn’t been doing lately in the cocoa/chocolate department.

Also, it’s a tasty tea with milk, which brings out a mild yet equally fantastic vanilla waffle cone, with a chocolate mint drizzle finish.

..and my roommate just got back from class and is giving me crap for the ice cream I bought today. Ugh. I’ve entered an alternate reality where Purdy’s ice cream and Toblerone cake are met with scorn, while the generic frozen Safeway cake, that existed in this apt. before my residency, is thrown onto a pedestal and enforcing proselytism on all unwilling basement inhabitants (me).

I refuse to eat that cake!

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Mint, Vanilla


Mmm, Purdy’s ice cream.


I can’t wait to order from them when all of their stuff is restocked.

And I haven’t even tried their ice cream before! The price has always scared me away. Any favourite flavours?

That Safeway cake must be freaking old. My god.


Expensive pints of ice cream are my guilty pleasure, but I try to make them last! I’ve only tried Chocolate Peanut Butter Fingers and Mayan Coffee Crunch, but both of those were good!

She probably picked it up in November or December (my residency here started in January), so it’s not as old as I made it sound, but I’m not a cake person to begin with.

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I think I’ve enjoyed past harvests of Tieguanyin from Verdant better. Although to be fair, I did a western brew (after a short rinse), which doesn’t seem to be my favourite way to drink oolong.

This one tastes predominantly of white foods- like cream, skinned nuts, rice pudding.. but the prevalent floral-lilac and sweet-melon aspects give this tea some playfully colourful highlights and a neat finish.

It’s a solid cup that improves on each re-steep, although I do wish there was a buttery presence.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Melon, Nutty, Rice Pudding

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Interesting…I haven’t seen teas compared to white foods like that. How many steeps did you get out of this? Is this a lighter TGY?


My roommate and I probably got about six pots out of it in combined total from last night and today, although we weren’t nursing it hard.

It was generally light, but it had a kind of vegetal/plant-based food creaminess which made it feel kind of thick at times? Roommate overdid one of the steeps and that pot tasted like a green tea..

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I was too harsh on this tea the first time, and too quick to send it off to send it off. There’s nothing wrong with malt, nougat, and nutella spread. It even managed to cancel out the homemade and lethal spicy kimchi jigae I ate today- I need to work on my spice measurements, big time.

I probably should’ve gone with a tea full of ginger and food as bland as socks, with the painful stomach bug I seem to have, but sweet and spice generally win out too often in my life.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Malt, Marshmallow


Hope you feel better soon!


Oh no! Maybe make some congee and have that with kimchi?

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whatshesaid, I have not forgotten you (well, I kind of did for a couple months but that’s fixed now!). Oh my gosh, that was months ago. Small envelope to send out asap!

I still have 4-6oz of this and it’s still tasty, which is good because it will probably be the last Butiki tea I’ll ever drink. :(


I have a little bit of stuff for you, actually. :P


I’m still recovering from my normal flu and stomach bug, but soon! Your teas are sitting here too. :)

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drank Napa Blanc by Lupicia
602 tasting notes

At a minute in boiling water, somehow this does manage to taste and smell like those little hard grape candies. So much nostalgia! Some burnt bitterness does creep out near the end but it’s not as bad as I anticipated when I saw the suggested steeping parameters.

Thanks, OMGsrsly (and MissB)!

Flavors: Candy, Grapes, Jasmine, Muscatel

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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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.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and green oolong varieties are my favourites.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, caramel, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, rose, vanilla.

Coconut is a big hit or miss.


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: …


BC, Canada

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