384 Tasting Notes

VariaTEA was thoughtful enough to send me this sample, thank you much!

this tea has outsmarted me tonight, lol. now, i was fiddling with it trying to sort out the steeping time without searching the steepster data base…. but i didn’t think i was that challenging?

the base is a rare green, i would go so far as to say BARELY a green. it reminds me very much of mandala’s yellow tea. very light, very sweet. the base is so gracious i found myself wanting it uninterrupted, which is what the almond was doing.

on its own the almond is a very nice flavour! not too strong, very smooth, a nice combination of a fresh almond crossed with marzipan. no amaretto. the separate halves are very nice on their own…. i just don’t know if i want them together?

rather unexpected that! no numbers yet. =0)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I was definitely on the fence about this tea too. In fact I still am. I found the marzipan flavor of the almond didn’t quite blend with the taste of the green tea base.

JustJames

i think it’s that they’re both good quality but argue as a result? holy moly, i anthropomorphize my teas!

MissB

“the base is so gracious i found myself wanting it uninterrupted”

I love this. Pure poetry.

JustJames

flatterer ;-P

sherapop

That is exactly my question, JustJames: do green tea and almond belong together?

JustJames

i certainly think they can is they are balanced correctly, the example that comes to mind as close kin is butiki’s pistachio ice cream. i don’t think there are any rules at all about what can/can’t go together…. you just have to be just that good to prove yourself under certain circumstances.

i’ll have to try it again, but i’m not sure this is one of those brilliant proofs.

JustJames

sherapop- i have plenty left (pretty sure), if you’re thinking of buying i can always throw some your way.

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91
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
384 tasting notes

this graceful tea has long gypsy curls, winding into cocoa, then twisting into malt. each arch is pronounced, distinct, but before long it wisps away and i must sip again. i am left with no bitterness or puerh mossiness…. just a memory of refined grace and surprise that this is in fact a puerh.

my cup has become a dark limpid pool of beauty. such a gracious gift from stephanie! thank you so much. most certainly the most evolved puerh i’ve ever tasted. so this is what the next level tastes like…..

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

That sounds lovely!

Sil

Cavo….it IS!

Garret

You just turned one of my favorite ripe teas into a poetic experience! Thank you for writing that up, my friend! Beautiful.

Stephanie

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it :)

JustJames

a beautiful tea deserves beautiful language.

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87
drank Cacao Mint Black by Teavana
384 tasting notes

i actually hit a sale!! i am renowned for missing them, lol.

exams begin next week. sounds like i may be having surgery done on at least one eye as early as tomorrow….. remember how i mentioned exams start next week? yeah. not too sure what happens if they decide to go after both eyes seeing as i have resistant infections in both. and yet, somehow, i just don’t have it in me to be stressed. studying, trying to make sense of christaller’s nonsense theory (trick is… to say that in an exam essay you have to fully understand it to be able to refute it and not get spanked, lol)…. and drinking tea. is the tea keeping me calm? because i really don’t see why i’m not more freaked out, lol.

this tea is nice and refreshing! caffeine that reminds me of an after eight! the first half of the cup is a dessert tea, but as it cools the mint evolves and the chocolate takes a back seat. the mint isn’t sweet or herbal as it cools, it becomes savory! not harsh, not overpowering. it in no way reminds me of tic tacs or toothpaste. ok, seriously…. it reminds me of mint culled from my garden after maybe 3 hours. a moderate peppermint, not a spearmint. paired with a dark chocolate. the hazelnuts are not obviously detectable, but add a nice creaminess to the base.

this is my first fall tea! very nice! must admit, teavana makes me smile. they know i’m picky and that i won’t be pushed. i found teas that were a good idea, but were incomplete. i have said this on occasion before and been met with blinks and crickets. what did we do after this tea? we made a custom blend. i had a lot of fun. maybe fun is why i’m not a wreck.

the teavana at mayfair rocks. and the manager, cedric, is very good at what he does.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
moraiwe

This is easily one of my favorite Teavana teas!

JustJames

it’s really good….. i find my scores are getting higher and higher as i figure out what i don’t like. i like to give high marks. this one was easy. i think this tea is very smartypants. (that’s a compliment)

momo

I just picked up some of this too. Well, I already had some but yeaaaah…sales…yeah.

JustJames

this is my first time with it….. i can see a lasting romance, lol.

momo

have you tried the white chocolate peppermint rooibos? my next plane of attack is to make a cup of them blended. PEPPERMINT BARK!

momo

or plan, I don’t have a plane.

JustJames

alas, even if i were on facebook i would not invite rooiboos to be my friend. i love the idea, but i don’t even like butiki’s rooiboos, and stacy’s stuff is always my exception.

i see this japanese zero fighter plane with momo written in kanji! it could be awesome!!! you could perform in airshows!!!

momo

it actually doesn’t taste like rooibos, I was shocked. I had to ask after I tasted it if it was in there.
Also now totally sold on having a plane.

JustJames

=0) let me know when you sell tickets!!!
i seem to have a bad reaction to rooiboos. the start of an allergy? it’s annoying. }=0|

Plunkybug

Cedric is pretty nice. Did you know he sings opera? Also, who is doing your eye surgery? I had surgery done a few years ago by Dr Pegado.

JustJames

i won’t know anything for sure until tomorrow. given the complication my illness provides i know they want to avoid cutting if at all possible. i have a neuro-opthomoligist on the mainland that will be watching over the process.

OMGsrsly

Fingers crossed for you, James!

JustJames

thank you…. still don’t know why i’m not more concerned? i guess what has to happen will happen is all…. vaguely concerned about exams being sticky though, lol.

OMGsrsly

Surgery is a good excuse to reschedule. :) I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Plunkybug

Good luck!

JustJames

thanks heather…..

i don’t want to reschedule. i want to do them and have them be done, lol!

OMGsrsly

I understand that feeling! Fingers crossed, etc. But if you have to take time to heal, then take the time!

JustJames

what you say is both true…. and wise…… and yet i am overcome with the need to argue against it, LOL!! how much more proof that i am lost in academia do you need? everything can be argued!!!!!!

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89

i much enjoyed this tea. after an appreciative umpteenth viewing of the brilliant set builds and costuming skills of hellboy II. not to mention the star himself— obviously there are more famous and graceful stars but ron perlman is colourful and honestly his irreverence entertains me, lol! and for a kid born in 1950 with a cleft lip and palate…. i dunno— could you tell? some of the best speakers come from challenging circumstances. darth vader had a terrible stammer, hellboy had multiple facial reconstructions starting as an infant (can’t have been fun), and the kid from breaking bad actually does have cerebral palsy. it’s good to see real people on the boob tube. if i’m going to pay netflix to babysit my brain ideally it should be babysat by a realistic cross-section of society, lol.

surprise, surprise, i digress and i haven’t even begun about the tea!

this was a very different green than i’ve ever had before. naturally sweetness, as well as a nice light flavour. no earth, nuttiness, musk, sea weed, floral or fruit tones. no wood. no muscat. no rice….. but about half way through my cup something changed and i got a very light, sweet smoke. i am not a fan of smoke. in the least. and yet….. it was as though as essence was captured from incense but without the perfume. a thin stick of sandalwood burned perhaps until nothing but white ash was left and wafted in the vicinity of the tea as it dried.

very nice. i will most certainly reorder. it absolutely doesn’t need sweetener. clear, light smooth with a very gentle segue into the finest smoke i have ever experienced.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Mango Lassi by Butiki Teas
384 tasting notes

it’s a sad state of affairs when the inevitable stabs you not in the back, but in the tongue.

i have suspected for quite some time that i was developing a sensitivity to rooiboos, not a full on allergy, but a warning shot across the bow shall we say? ‘then why would you drink it on purpose, james? (with an implied [idiot] in your tone of voice’ you might be wondering. because if it was made by stacy lim it must be an exception! that’s why!!!! ….. …… or not.

i got no mango, nor flavour whatsoever as soon as it touched my tongue i stopped being able to taste… and to swallow, not from swelling, from dryness. while stacy is almost always the exception, not so in this case.

no numbers. i failed stacy’s awesome tea. =0( BUT I GET REALLY GOOD GRADES!!!!! good thing this wasn’t a test relevant to my degree. however, on that note: i now have confirmed and very comfortable A+ averages in all my classes folks! i failed the mango lassi….. but i have my classes nailed!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
yyz

Congrats!

JustJames

thank you! i had an amazing opportunity to interview some veterans in my field of study who gave me expert advice. i know what i’m doing and exactly how i’m going to do it…. it’s been quite a week!

Stephanie

Congrats on the school stuff and bummer on the rooibos. I don’t get this effect with it…It just tastes really bitter and gross to me. How are you with Honeybush?

JustJames

honeybush i’m fine with…. no idea what the glitch is with rooiboos. =0(

Stephanie

I strongly prefer honeybush as well. Rooibos just ain’t right.

JustJames

it tasted that way to me always…. but, but this is stacy! stacy is different! but there’s not right, wrong, and then there’s sideaffects. no more playing with rooiboos.

ifjuly

woo, congrats, smartypants! hopefully you can relax a bit between sessions?

JustJames

uhhhhh…… you know how i was going to going to alternate semesters with hard and then easy? yeah. that didn’t happen. summer time it will though because heat makes me so sick. i was invited to a special class, i got 100% on a lab and given an additional bonus mark which was a first for the prof i got a 97 on my other major project and i’ve had some help deciding where i’m going and there’s no time to waste: doctorate of human geography with a minor in psychology. i’ll need lots of tea to sustain me, lol!

MissB

Woot! Congrats on the continued success. As for the rooibos, I was talking to someone about this the other day. Some folks have genetic unusualities (heh) that make us more or less susceptible to certain foods, flavors, tastes. For instance, there’s a fairly significant percentage of the population that tastes cilantro (the leaf) as soapy. I’m one of the few weirdos that, when eating fish, smells like it quite strongly within 2 hours, and it lasts about a day. Rooibos is also in that interesting reaction category, where some folks taste it as bitter.

JustJames

really…. hadn’t heard that, but i’m not surprised. the combination of mother nature’s natural creativity along with us muddling the planet breeds confusion. mine is a result (probably) of an already exigent autoimmune disease. they tend to multiply. and while i’m not thrilled with allergies, i’ll take those over diabetes or something more serious.

TheTeaFairy

Congrats on the grades James!
I can’t help wonder if green rooibos would have the same effect on you since it’s less processed. I dislike pretty much all red rooibos, but I love green. Sadly, compare to the red blends, there isn’t too many green ones available out there…maybe there isn’t enough people liking it and I’m the odd one!

MissB

Oh gosh, if anyone wants to try or have some green rooibos I have almost a pound left of it from Adagio.

JustJames

in future miss tea fairy, but i’ve stumbled into a slew of sensitivities lately and i’m just steering clear of all of them until things settle down. maltitol is plain old vicious to me. stevia isn’t far behind. roasted mate….. even though i love it!!!!! makes me snarly. so i’ll just leave it all be and hope i’m experiencing some overreactions.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, cilantro sure is soapy!

Congratulations on your grades, James! That’s so incredibly awesome. I’m so glad you have a focus and know where you’re going. :)

Plunkybug

Here’s me and rooibos…

I typically don’t like it, with the exception of a few rare blends (DT’s Orange Blossom and Alpine Punch, and this one from Stacy)…but I do know what you mean about the dry mouth because I do get that with most rooibos.

I prefer green rooibos to red (I love Swampwater) and I prefer honeybush over rooibos, in general. That said, I do try to find what rooibos I do like…which isn’t much, sadly.

Butiki Teas

Congrats on the grades, James! :) Bummer about the rooibos. I’m not a big rooibos fan either which is why we only have a few blends. Not that I don’t like it but I feel like tea is just much more complex and interesting.

JustJames

i ordered it originally for our daughter anyway…. but stacy lim building juicy mangoes? hmph….. i was going to try it though!

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89
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
384 tasting notes

my oh my….. dark chocolate, roastiness, but not over the top. layers, very clever layers. i swear i taste a fruit layer that alternates! like a tea version of a the blue and red alternating of a binary star system only instead of coloured light flickering in a dark sky, it’s banana and strawberry in my tea cup. how striking. very subtle…. not so subtle that i think i’m crazy though. =0)

very, very nicely done 52teas! it will also serve nicely to boot my butt into gear for morning classes!! thank you very much!!!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Fruit layer, eh? I always get banana from roasted mate. It’s the weirdest thing! So our taste buds must interpret it in the same way.

JustJames

isn’t it nice to know you’re not bananas? (couldn’t resist). sometimes it’s distinctly banana, others it’s a something-berry.

CelebriTEA

Sounds like another interesting one ;-)

JustJames

it is, very much so. different tea companies represent different traits to me: verdant is elegantly purist, butiki is the best flavoured teas in the business, french teas…. are another universe, 52 teas is whimsy. frank, the owner, is a highly creative individual. i actually have to be careful how much of this one i have the caffeine is so strong, lol. malted chocolate milkshakes with cherry bananas. =0)

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100
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
384 tasting notes

OH WOW! chocolate lovers of the world unite: try this as a base for your cocoa. Omigod. truly unreal.

JustJames

and this with a second steeping! 1 tsp xylitol, 1 tsp cocoa, bunch of water, some half and half…… life is good!

Stephanie

Whoa…does she have it for sale?

caile

Sounds delicious!

JustJames

i think so? she was debating last i heard. ask her, if she says no i’ll send you some stephanie.

Stephanie

Aww, that is super sweet JustJames! I’d be happy to send you something in return from my cupboard :)

JustJames

lol, PM me send me your addy. i have 3? 4? i’m sending out this week. i’ll try for today, but i’ve been feeling crummy =0(
i haven’t had a cold IN YEARS!!!! yay school? or that’s my guess. let’s see if i can send it out today….

Stephanie

You are super nice! I hope you feel better :)

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Why have I never heard of this one?! I’m super jealous!!

JustJames

it’s a custom build and just new. i’m open to sharing though! i also know one miss lim has been considering carrying it, so the more people that nag the more likely it is to happen! lol.

CelebriTEA

Where do you find this custom tea?
Sounds intriguing…

Sil

celebritea – stacy does custom blending. If you reach out to her she can work with you to make a custom tea for you

CelebriTEA

May I ask who Stacy is?

JustJames

stacy lim is the owner and master tea designer of butiki teas =0) i can probably muster some to send you. it was a custom tea for me. i have to say, the process was a lot of fun. and stacy is great.

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72
drank Maple Tea by Canada True
384 tasting notes

huh, not bad. this one was recouped from my winner’s tea expedition yesterday. it’s been a long time since i’ve had a bagged tea and honestly, i’ve become enough of a loose leaf snob that if i’d been using my literacy (notice i say IF) i likely wouldn’t have bought. i grabbed this one and a blueberry. really….. not bad. both teas carry a distinct cookie quality. i used two tea bags for my 16 oz mug and a 3 minute steep.

it has layers. the maple is more olfactory when it’s screaming hot, but becomes more tangible as taste as it cools.

don’t think i’ll buy again, but i have had far, far worse in my life!!!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Dexter

LOL Too funny, I saw this one at my Winners today but didn’t buy it. I did buy a box of Mighty Leaf Tea – Organic African Nectar – it says “whole leaf pouches” but that might be just a fancy name for teabags. It’s funny how when confronted with a “wall” of tea we forget everything we’ve learned and just buy randomly. :)

JustJames

i think i saw that one, lol. literacy was working there. apparently the word ‘pouches’ was working, but the word ‘bags’ was not. the blueberry from this company is quite nice…. haven’t gotten around to rating.

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89

stacy….. truly, how lovely. the softest scent of roses, the perfect balance of cream…. a hint of effervescence. beautiful. you are are so very good.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

You need to be writing advertising copy. I want this now, and I’m not even into rose teas…much :)

JustJames

(insert bright red face to match red mohawk) thank you. stacy did all the work….

CHAroma

Does this actually taste like liquor? I’m always wary of alcohol-related teas.

JustJames

no, not in the least. i wouldn’t like it if it were the case. i believe the champagne aspect references a very light effervescence present in the steep after the fact.

CHAroma

Cool, thanks!

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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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