376 Tasting Notes


i have a new conclusion regarding this tea… no milk (normally my MO) and no sugar either! simple syrup… about 1.5 tbsp. perfecto!

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my first verdant tea of the month club package came! okay, i even kept notes this time! (it’s a new level of organization for me, lol).

Celtic knots spill out of the bag.

Warm smell similar to roasted chestnuts mixed with pipe tobacco

No bitterness, no stick, very smooth

Light marine taste, but less seaweed and more sea wind.

Mellow in its evolution, but not lacking in personality.

Warm, golden, a sweet pipe tobacco tone but without the smoke.

Makes me think of a roasted green… unexpected, but brilliant.

Caramel notes

Added cream to my second cup— that was when the citrus tones came out. i hadn’t tasted them until then. almost has an echo that makes me think it should curdle.

brilliant with a simple syrup added!

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

You took the steps I’ve taken with tea reviews. I always imagined the ways other people would drink tea…plain, with cream then sweetened. Most often I end up adding a little something but not always. Depends. Always starting plain though out of respect for the tea leaves!


lovely high praise from you, miss bonnie… seeing as you have been studying tea far longer than i have! this was a one-of-a-kind tea. a roasted sweet green is a good metaphor for it!

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drank Apricot Guayusa by Butiki Teas
376 tasting notes

i find myself in unfamiliar territory. i am trying to sort out guayasa.

i’m not sure if i like it or not, thus i will suspend a numerical rating.

the smell is excellent. the visual with the fluffy saffron coloured bits of calendula curled over the chips of guayasa is very cool. the caffeine absorption is nice and smooth, not a rush and i’m not predicting a crash. BUT… i am detecting a twang. it’s the twang that’s throwing me off. i got it with the killer’s vanilla as well… but there were stronger flavours involved.


195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

My favorite use is cooking with it. I brew it and add to pancake batter or make complex butter.


ooh! now there’s an idea (because i’m not much enjoying drinking it). thanks for the idea!

Terri HarpLady

I still haven’t tried Guayusa yet. I’m not sure that it appeals to me


i really like the idea… but the twang i get is very marine and i find it odd with fruit.


Steep it lighter and less leaf. Play with it a bit. My preference is the more citrus flavor which seems creamy and perks up pancakes enhancing the grain while adding richness.

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drank Dragonfruit Devotion by Teavana
376 tasting notes

this is a great blend BUT this review actually rates the potential it exhibits when mixed with another teavana creation named ‘weight to go’.

today was ridiculously hot. 29 degrees? on vancouver island british columbia? we’re surrounded by ocean, we have ocean currents that are supposed to whisk the heat away! oh, wait, maybe it was the nutty humidity that weighed it down? you’d think we lived in ontario!

rant aside, apparently pervasive miserable heat and a fierce need for tea fuels the machine of invention. it was too hot to drink my conventional mugs today. i did try, i have heard that when the temperature outside soars that a hot cuppa can actually kick your internal homeostatic (today’s big word of the day) mechanisms into high gear. after today i am going to call B.S. on that theory by the way. i quit drinking it hot after two cups going quite red and feeling like i was running a fever.

tea! i wanted tea! wait….. isn’t there a thing called cold steeping? time to try it. so, the kick of and oolong/puerh from ‘weight to go’ (because sweet tea isn’t sweet tea without caffeine) and lots of fruit from ‘dragonfruit devotion’, 8 hours of peeking and sniffing at my experiment…. brewing up my signature simple syrup…. it was an amazing colour! (that had to be a good sign, right?) a brilliant fushia, smelled like strawberries and tropical fruit and flowers… i really hoped my ratio was right. please let me detect the caffeine? please? (alot please).

i am pleased to announce IT WAS AWESOME! and hugely refreshing. i am very refreshed and a tad bit proud… okay, maybe a smidge more than a tad, lol. not bad for a first attempt!

Iced 8 min or more

yes, i thought of you terri as i sipped away! i experimented with my simple syrup as well and added a golden cake of palm sugar to to the concoction. lovely, lovely.

Terri HarpLady

I feel honored :)
How do you like being the star of the frozen dashboard? LOL!


it’s pesky, isn’t it? wonder what the glitch is?

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, but at least we can still post tasting notes & read them!
I’m so glad to have discovered the Explore button.
I really hate it when the dashboard freezes & you can’t post either, but that’s what led me to using the Discussions.

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SORRY FRIENDS! this is a repost. i reviewed a tea by the same name but by a different company… see this is what happens when the weather dishes out excessive heat!

i have been musing over this sample… to review or not to review, that is the question!

okay two statements 1) this is a brilliant tea and 2) i don’t like it.

i know that a lot of steepsters don’t do negative reviews. i am not one of them… that said i really butiki teas, just not all of them apparently. i don’t like the idea of criticizing a company or an artist that i have so much respect for especially when it’s not the skills or the artistry i’m commenting on.

so i resolved that my numerical rating would be based on the tea’s execution as opposed to my personal appreciation of it.

there is a distinct floral component of the tea. ‘bouquet’ is exactly the right word for it… i taste all the layers—it’s not a random floral tone… every flower is independent. the rose is light, as is the calendula, to me the violet is strongest which is awesome! this is a tea that has kept its promise.

why don’t i like it? that’s a bit of an unknown, to be honest. i think it’s because it seems more like flowers than tea in my mouth? i feel similarly about the eight treasures yabao by verdant teas with a ‘good, but…’

it was very well done, just not quite me is all! ‘A’ for accomplishment, ‘D’ for personal taste (it’s not you, it’s me).

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec
Terri HarpLady

LOL, I don’t remember what I said the first time. ;)
uhhh….I tried this tea & haven’t commented about it yet, no because I have a problem saying negative things about teas I don’t care for, but because I’m gonna give it a 2nd try before I say anything. It was something like that…

Terri HarpLady

Oh yeah, & I think I said, “I love this post!”


lol, i do believe that was precisely what you said! it is stupidly hot here today…. yay tea! i was thinking of you a few hours ago when i set up my first cold steep!

Terri HarpLady

What did you cold steep?


a combination of teavana’s dragonfruit tisane and teavana’s weight to go (i really dislike that name…grr). i’m hoping for the fruit tones with a bit of caffeine punch. it’s a beautiful colour! haven’t tried it yet =0D

Terri HarpLady

I used to do a combo of weight to go (I agree, it’s a ridiculous name) with some fruity flavored brew…it’s been awhile, so I can’t remember what.

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apparently my tastes have changed… i used to love this blend and now i have to drop my score on a very large scale. apparently my steady diet of verdant tea and butiki has turned me into a snob.

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drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
376 tasting notes

a hundred times a week (almost always coinciding with an excellent cup of tea) i wonder if there could ever be a way for me to work in tea…. and then i got this sample. and my unwavering answer became nope.

the contents of the sample bag looked a lot like salad and smelled a lot like strawberry. there was no warning. butiki teas should have a sticker with a tongue exploding and morphing into a stretched out paypal symbol. ‘warning: sipping may induce self justified tea budget destruction’.

i taste strawberry madeleines, i taste the meringues that i whip up to put on top of pavlova… it is light, it is airy and i have absolutely NO idea how ginger and strawberry and dragonwell (among other ingredients) could possibly yield this result. how do you plan something like this????

sigh. and as always, if i didn’t have bad timing i would have no timing…. because i placed my butiki order LAST night. i am going to go and hit the ‘add to shopping list button’, reflect on whether or it is possible to be a strategical tea pusher (and whether or not that would even be a bad thing!!!), and assuming that being a tea pusher is possible how much mindblowing skill was employed in the creation that went into my sample bag….

OMG! it’s the lychee oolong all over again!!! sheesh…

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I wish I could work in tea too. When I was on mat leave I thought about becoming a tea distributor and starting a small online only business, but realized that I’d be relying on others to create the blends for me, and welll nope.

And if you’re looking to add this to your order, I’d run it by Stacy – maybe she could add it! Especially if she’s on holiday and the order is just sitting til she gets back anyway…

Butiki Teas

JustJames-I’m in the office now and will be working for the next 30-45 minutes. Let me know if you want me to hold your order otherwise it will be shipped today.

Butiki Teas

Actually, maybe I should hold it just in case. I’ll hold it, that way if you want to switch your order up you can.


I could see you being a tea pusher though – you are very poetic with your words – you’d be a marketing dream!


lol, well i’m on my way back to school for occupational psychology with a specific study in motivation. not sure i’d be a good pusher, but once i have my paperwork (and the alphabet soup after my name) i’ll be able to afford my habit!!!

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this is a bittersweet tea for me. i say in my profile that tea is a many splendoured, multi layered thing. tea is where tangible ingredients and steeping instructions connect with intangibles: memory, inspiration, imagination.

many teas that i love have elements of vanilla and almond, there’s a reason for that. thank you stacy for this gateway to memory. i will greedily journey back with every cup.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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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.


Victoria, BC

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