377 Tasting Notes

88

very nice. so glad i bought! teavivre had a sweet discount coupon going that i totally took advantage of.

exam tomorrow. aside from saying malt, chocolate, don’t want to study, wonderful to resteep, malt that isn’t astringent, very smooth and impressive pearl size!

does anyone have a suggestion for a magical tea that inspires a person to study? i am SO done. =0(

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
mj

My study tea used to be Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset. I graduated with honors, so it must have worked some ;-)

JustJames

mj…. you rock. thank you for answering my plea!!! xoxo =0)

Kaylee

FWIW, mine used to be Runa Guayusa. Pots and pots of it.

mj

I hope it works for you!

JustJames

=0) thank you!!

OMGsrsly

My tea was coffee, but that won’t work for you! Oh, or Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce, but that was before I got back into loose leaf.

Tea Sipper

Ginseng oolong is for super brain power! I haven’t tried the one from Teavivre yet though, I was planning on it tomorrow actually!

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100

this is a poignant paper umbrella!

a graceful gift from the brilliant VariaTea…..

this tea is velvet sadness. a paper umbrella driven outside by circumstance into a rainstorm, facing uncertainty. how is a paper umbrella to handle the onslaught of water? the rhubarb is a bitter stab of upset softened by the strawberry strands of optimism.

ombrelle de papier is whisked out the door under an impetus of regret, cushioned by the unconditional love of strawberry, padded by the dissolving paper umbrella structure of beautiful white tea.

magnificent. a story. poignant. although all the fruit is red i see it in my head as blue. bright and sprightly, but somehow tragic.

i am a ham. =0/

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

I love this review!

JustJames

sometimes i taste scenes in a tea…. when they are truly amazing. =0)

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100
drank Rembeng CTC BOP by SpecialTeas
377 tasting notes

this tea is the whole reason i headed in to special teas originally! i met a woman who works on campus who saw me carrying tea which started a conversation……. lol. ‘the rembeng!’ she said. ’that’s all you need to know…. that and they’re almost always out of it!’

i have never had a tea even remotely like this. it looks like tiny perfect ball bearings….. THIS is an ASSAM in vietnam? i wondered? okay. finer than any coffee grounds— believe me, i managed to spill it. we became intimately acquainted!

the second i poured water over it the water transformed into a charcoal colour. no waiting.

it didn’t smell like anything particularly familiar… a vegetal assam…. but i was missing something. that said, it was early yet, the steep was only a minute into three.

honey, yes. malt yes. sweet caramelized seaweed, yes. a perfectly smooth black base, oh yes. evolves over the span of degrees, each flavour taking its turn as the lead separately. it’s like they caramelized the tea….. how do you caramelize a tea? astonishing.

for the record, i had to call this morning and have them HOLD 100 grams of this for me. by the time i got there their entire supply was exhausted. i absolutely see why. i picked up a friend and offered her a sip….. i didn’t get much of it after that and i still have lipstick all over my travel mug, LMAO. (she apologized but didn’t stop stealing sips, ha ha ha)

would i recommend this tea? HELL YES! prepare to have your mind blown…..

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
JustJames

;0) yup. says so in the name. not like any ctc i’ve ever had in my life. not in taste, not in physical texture.

Stephanie

Oh duh LOL I’m stupid sorry!

Stephanie

Butiki Crimson Horizon is the only CTC I’ve had and it is addictive :)

JustJames

NO!!!! not stupid!!!! you had me scared i’d entered the data wrong, lol. i’ve had ctc’s before, nothing like this though…… nothing nothing.

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85

nice! never had a black like this…. took me completely offguard.

chocolate suggestion but not evolution, dark, dark cherry, malt…… strong neutral black base. complex. and i’m pretty sure i underleafed!

very nice =0)

back to the crush…. 12 hours until the exam and sadly i must sleep. (a little)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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68
drank Blackcurrant Cassis by Tea Guys
377 tasting notes

i am studying for an exam that i have only had 2 classes before. i was not in the mood for surprises. i wanted this tea. everything was fine- it was exactly the same as the last time i steeped and reviewed….. except this time instead of tea with cream and sugar i got curds and whey?!!!!

WE ARE NOT AMUSED.

i refused to drink it on principle. my steeping parameters were identical. the tea was identical. it was sitting in a cool dark area in a dark glass container with a silicone seal. there are no excuses, at least none i am prepared to hear.

my response (after chucking the clumpy mess down the sink)? ‘i want butiki’.

why? because i can count on it.

tea guys, my number is dropping by 20- that’s how ticked i am. and my recommendation is changing from yes to no. if your product changes under controlled conditions in such a short period of time then you either need to a) check product quality or b) issue a statement saying as much so people aren’t surprised.

sherapop

Didn’t they go out of business?

JustJames

i don’t know, but now i’m cross and i hope so. =0[

TheTeaFairy

Good luck on the exam…now go fix yourself a cup of Butiki something! :-)

JustJames

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90
drank Crimson Horizon by Butiki Teas
377 tasting notes

this tea does not possess patience as a virtue. it does not coddle someone new to the tea world in the least. it is impatient and demanding. while it would be very nice for you to recognize its impressive aspects, the presence of ‘crimson horizon’ doesn’t really require it… it stands very well all on its own whether you recognize its brilliance or not!

absolutely caffeinated. it taps its foot waiting for you to WAKE UP!!!
quite a dark tea… a non tea equivalent might be in the neighborhood of guinness.
aspects of bread, brown sugar, nothing floral, a sense of astringency that doesn’t evolve…… a Credible Threat! lol.

very nice. as smooth as an outright call out can be (this tea is a scrapper).

and of course it came as a sneaky sample in my order- enough for one steep and one resteep. stacy, how do you do that consistently!!??

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
whatshesaid

I loved this tea, must order someday. Great with breakfast!

JustJames

indeed. gives a solid kick in the a** with an impatient ‘hurry up!’ – perfect for breakfast!

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95

i have a new obsession.

depending on my mood this becomes fresh apricot preserves (with more sugar) or fresh apricots off the tree (less sugar).

brilliant.

very smooth, no astringency. i have experimented with standard and double (though not less than) amounts of leaf as well as longer steep times…. it has not gone bitter and i have not had negative results!

predominantly apricot flavour, though a very mild floral aspect after-the-fact. the tea base is the perfect compliment to the fruit component… warmth with very little malt, just enough to differentiate it from the blend assertively.

this is awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

I love fresh or preserve apricots( halfs, not jam). Do they sell online?

JustJames

they do! http://www.specialtea.com/ i think they have 400 blends? it’s the most amazing place. all blended in the store. the vietnamese OP1 black is amazzzzzzzzzzzing.

boychik

Good to know James! I have to check them out.

Terri HarpLady

When I eat preserves, which is rare but does happen on occasion, I always go for Apricot or peach.

JustJames

i prefer apricot… oddly i frequently get an element of tobacco with peach =0/

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85

this seems to be the experimental blend this season….

i’ve tried a few and this is the best so far! they all smell great dry, but fall short on the evolution after steeping. this one was balanced and soothing (for evening) but also lively!

can’t think of a time of day it wouldn’t be good…. might be even better cold steeped. =0)

doing a back flip into classes again tomorrow….. a whole five days off. wow. g’night! lol!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TheTeaFairy

This tea smells like pickles to me but it tastes good!! I’ve had it cold brewed only.
Have a good five days off :-)

JustJames

sadly, they are gone…. but they WERE nice, lol….. in between all the chores. sigh. (reminds self “you signed up dummy”)

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90
drank Casablanca by Special Tea Inc.
377 tasting notes

if we are friends on FB you have already seen the image i uploaded as the avatar for this tea (seeing as i didn’t have one, lol). the store itself is so cool the owner let me snap a pic when i explained just how much of a tea nerd i am =0).

an acquaintance at school mentioned a great tea place ‘special tea’, downtown on fort street. she looked at me a bit askew when i let slip i hadn’t heard of them. now that i’ve been there i completely understand the look! david’s teas before special tea?!!!! i committed a crime. =0(

the owner was great, very personable and funny… i learned some neat stuff too! (i love it when that happens). i told her about my allergies and she just kept a running tally in her head of things she checked off: ‘nope, nope, nope….’ and made some great suggestions within the scope of a) the things i had mentioned i really like and b) the things she knew i could have.

i am so impressed! at no point was i rushed, talked down to, hassled and i am loving the blends i came away with!

this is very smooth. i did it with cream and sugar because i got sunburned yesterday and am feeling sucky, but it could happily be done without. there’s a tropical/exotic element but the combination of roses and strawberries keep it grounded to a hot summer north american day versus coconuts in the caribbean .

predominant flavour for me is a subtle passionfruit followed by the strawberries and rose. the ceylon is the constant baseline.

this is great! can’t wait to try the rest!!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

this isn’t the same place SB likes to go is it?

JustJames

…. oooh. dunno!? =0/ lol! might be?

OMGsrsly

There’s Georgie’s, and also Janet’s Special Teas out in Sydney…

Sil

i’m probably thinking of janet’s special teas…SB goes there.

Skye Comstock

This sounds great. I’ll hafta try it once I get some of the ones I have already drank down. I’ve put myself on a little bit of a pause with buying tea at the moment since I have bought so much already :)

JustJames

i have done the same =0).
i have some butiki coming in- and really that’s all until september.

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5
drank Lotus Green Tea by Tealux
377 tasting notes

NOPE! musty spearmint mixed with….. something. absolutely not. there is creative license and then there is just gross. }=0(

dammit, i paid for this too! at least it was just a small one.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TheTeaFairy

Lol, I so agree, that one was so gross, I threw it out. But a friend bought me a lotus tea when she was in Asia, and it’s really good. It’s a floral tea with sweet vanilla earthy notes, very pretty. Tealux’s version just tasted like soap!

JustJames

the word ‘appalling’ comes to mind. vanilla dn earth were nowhere near this. yuck! this one goes to my wisteria!

Dexter

When Tealux gets flavors right, they can be very good – but they also get them VERY wrong. Sorry you wasted money James, but life is too short – dump it and move on.

TheTeaFairy

Yes, purge.

JustJames

agreed and agreed…. good bye! wait, i suspend the ‘good’…… ‘bye!’

looseTman

Another nominee for the “Hall of Shame”

Whispering Pines Tea Company

And I’m over here sulking in the corner because I liked this one…haha

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I got mine from Art of Tea though, and I’d assume they are the same since they have the same exact description. Haha

TheTeaFairy

LooseTman, I fully support and vote for its entry to the Hall of Shame. Brenden could always buy a ticket and go there if he ever feels the urge of drinking it again!!

Thanks Brenden for sharing this crucial information… Mental note: NEVER BUY ART OF TEA LOTUS TEA!!!!
;-)

JustJames

brenden…. i haven’t chucked mine yet…… i can ship it to you. heh heh. we could do a tea swap! lol

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Eh, it’s not something I would repurchase, but I did like it! :P

I’d be down for a tea swap except for the fact that I only have 2 more teas to finish and then I’m going to be starting my “tiny tea” collection, where I never buy more than an ounce, only buy the most amazing stuff I can find, and only have 16 spots available at any given time…though I might make that 8 instead :)

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Profile

Bio

Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.

Location

Victoria, BC

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