380 Tasting Notes


i do love this tea. this ATR blend was a game changer for me~ i had thought previously that i just wasn’t big on fruit teas? nope….. PEACH TEAS. apricot is a whole other story!

i love the depth in this one. i am persuaded that someone has brutalized an apricot on my behalf into my teacup =0)… and it makes me smile! (horrible, i know, but there it is).

so glad i finally have a full sample of this beauty!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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this is from my first whispering pines tea order… first tea from my first order! i held out trying this blend until today for A REASON!!!!!

the semester is OVER! insert soaring freedom music of your choice….. but only for three weeks, lol.

must admit, it was quite awesome- i changed my status on FB re the exam and who should inquire about how it went down? Brenden… the owner of whispering pines, lol.

saving this as my celebratory tea was a good call. dry it smells like vanilla chocolate ice cream. malt, but not the bitey kind. the base is a very deep chocolate- not a cacao, certainly not a milk. very smooth. vanilla is the first taste and surprisingly honey is the last!

superb. a gorgeous tea. brenden says it resteeps brilliantly…. i’m off to do that now =0)

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Freedom! YES. I have two weeks of exams to survive, then a week off before spring term haha. :P


you too? we must be connected. we shall commiserate! i just need to get it done before another distraction creeps up. spring compression classes= no fun, but it also means i’ve accomplished a pretty normal year even on a disabled student course load. yippee!


Yay! Haha I overloaded my courses the last two terms, which was hellish, but it means I’m closer to this degree being complete. Yes! I will fully enjoy my few days off before spring for sure. :)


we should be friends on FB…. we can whine to one another when exams roll around, lol.


yay! phew, congrats on the end of the semester.

this one sounds so amazing. one of these days i’m going to spring for some!


Happy Independence Day! I keep an MP3 of the Hallelujah Chorus on my computer for hitting “SEND” on a writing assignment.


gmathis…. you are Wonderful. =0)

ifjuly- it’s lovely… i can see you loving it. like a vanilla hued black lotus.

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right off the bat thanks need to go to david and jeff at american tea room~ this order was fraught with ghosts in machines and almost didn’t happen. they worked very hard, also very honourably to ensure a smooth result despite hiccups. i appreciate your efforts hugely- thank you both.

this tea. wow! it’s completely named for the smell… exotic, nutty, dark fruit, no flowers at all. i almost didn’t want to drink the tea… i just wanted to sniff it.

the next stage of the testing process: does the smell hold up once water is added? it did! a 4-5 minute steep…. i didn’t want to wait. i paced, which probably looked funny because i’m a clutz on my legs (in my chair i’m just a threat/menace, lol).

i gave a minute or two…. blisters on the tongue not so much fun aaaaaaaand. what’s this? it does not taste like how it smells. what does it, what do i…. um…. hmmm.

this was the smell: https://blackstonemonastery.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/a-red-tent-temple.jpg?w=240&h=300

this is the taste: http://www.organicauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/honeydew-melon-ccflcr-muffet.jpg

i was so confused! okay, i’ll admit- i stomped my foot a bit because i really wanted the tea to taste like that incredible smell!!!! and then i had to go to school for my last psych lab…. i couldn’t stop thinking about the tea i’d left behind. it was very smooth, not cloying or overpowering, really expertly balanced.

i’ve never had a tea remotely like it. the sesame is a perfect accompaniment… nutty but no bitterness like walnuts can sometimes lend.

very, very nice.

american tea room comes up with from remarkably unique blends- i find i don’t always like them, though i usually respect them. this one i both like and respect. i will buy again!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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i had a chance to try this tonight thanks to MissB and i am going to give it a doorknob rating; it’s there and there’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s nothing special about it and there are lots of others.

i will say though, as with cherry anything it could have been cough syrupy and it wasn’t.

i get no cheesecake.

it’s a tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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a number of years back there was a movie made called ‘being john malkovich’. i never watched it… i had no inclination. while i think he’s had the odd funny role i have no desire to imagine being him. in fact, the vast majority of famous people i would deliberately NOT MEET…. how could they meet up to the standard of their acting/singing/writing?


i would watch a movie about being stacy lim. what is it like to be her? i wonder. where some people have closets of hats and shoes, i imagine her wandering through a surrounding apothecary of teas….‘what shall i drink today?’ she wanders to the market in her neighborhood and sees a butterfly fluttering over a stand of fresh pineapples….. ‘i can capture that motion…’ she thinks and meanders away. a christmas gift of fudge, baked bananas and tapioca pudding…. scotch and a fine cigar….. everything is a challenge in the world of stacy lim. that’s a movie i would like to see =0)

i brought this tea to a coffee house for my team mates to try with me…. after giving away that amazing tea basket, they’d never tried butiki and this was a new one for me too. my africa calling team mates were wowed (to say the least) although the coffee house staff were underwhelmed that i’d brought my own anything, lol.

they gave me hot water and a criminal tea pot that spilled more tea than it poured…. but still, the tea….. oh the tea! a smooth green. no nuttiness, just a cool refreshing base. i would concur with the word buttery. the grapefruit astounds. the essence of peel, of fruit, even of pith— but with no bitterness.

at this point my imagination diverges; does stacy coax the flavour gently from pink grapefruit by whispering sweet nothings? or does she crush them and bludgeon them into doing her bidding without remorse? muahahahahaha?

stacy… remember i told you your teas turn me into a ham? yeah, well—

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Being John Malkovich was actually a really funny movie, but then I love John Malkovich. I had a (male) friend who referred to him as “the thinking woman’s crumpet” which I find hysterical, but true.


I can envision this as the best Food Network show ever.


me too kaylee!!!!

Butiki Teas

Hahaha. :D Trust me, I’m not that interesting. The vast majority of names and ideas for teas are accidents, randomly inspired, completely out of the blue, or hey what is the weirdest yet awesome tea I can come up with. The tea with the coolest story has to be With Open Eyes but other than that nothing terribly entertaining. Right now I’ve been contemplating a tea that has been plaguing me for years. One of these years it will be made. Being John Malkovich is an awesome movie. Definitely worth a watch.


he’s just not my cup of…..tea =0D. unless you’d like to persuade me with a perfect blend? lol. i think you’re that interesting.

Butiki Teas

I totally understand him not being someone’s cup of tea. The movie is just completely bizarre though. It’s not so much about him being as it is about being him. I definitely need to see that again to see if it still holds up today.


I loved this movie ! Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.Malkovich ?
James you need to see the restaurant scene !:) Thanks for reminding that souvenir.


lol….. and still i’m the stick-in-the-mud that doesn’t want to see it. =0D JM just isn’t my thing. restaurant scene, hmmmm? my wife is nodding. possibly. NO PROMISES, lol.

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drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
380 tasting notes

somehow steepster ate and buried this? grrr.

nope. wrong mix for me…. actually i thing chico chai might have ruined me for others, to be honest. i had high hopes….. but it was completely out of balance and so strong after a really moderate 5 minute steep that it went right down the sink.


the semester’s almost over. i spent the weekend working my butt off analyzing data on global theory that is outside my specialty only to have it ACTUALLY HAPPEN…..!!!!!!!!! and then i got marked down because i wasn’t focused enough. …. ……. ………… are you sure i wasn’t focused enough? because i’m pretty sure i was. do you feel like reading it again maybe?

however, at least i loved the project. and at least my ‘lower mark’ was an A-. and at least that was tying together SO many different disciplines that regardless of the mark i am very bloody proud.

this chai. hum. if you would like to have random patches of body hair forcibly burned off by spice via tea containing milk and agave…. then steep this for 5 and have at her. this will be going in the traveling tea box for my part. arrivederci!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’m so glad your pride in your work exists independently of someone else’s assessment. That’s so important and you’re awesome.


=0) i really need that keychange~ thanks. sometimes good is good, regardless of a grade gained. and i’m pretty self critical and i still say: this was bloody good.

keychange~ you’re awesome too….. xoxo

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drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
380 tasting notes

i will never be without this. or the lychee oolong…. not ever.

Terri HarpLady

I need to get some more of the lychee sometime


JustJames, That’s quite a recommendation for both teas!

For those of us who have not yet had the pleasure, what specific characteristics about The Black Lotus made it so enjoyable? Thanks!


looseTman! first i will give you this link: http://steepster.com/JustJames/posts/205447 which is my first review of this tea. =0)

candidly, this tea turns me into a ham… it is refined, it has depth and character unlike any other tea i have known (even the flavoured ones). a heavy dark base note, an almost playful green and a moderate malt note which persuades but does not kick. the malty tone that follows with bread dough while it is cooking; mild, warm, unobtrusive…. =0)

see? ham.

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drank Genmaicha by Zen Tea
380 tasting notes

hum. how could my three minute steep have been too long for this? it has a truly bitter twang =0(

tiny bit of my sample left, i’ll have to try again. as it stands right now though i have a harsh green kick with a side of nicely roasted rice. humph!

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drank Caramel Toffee by Octavia Tea
380 tasting notes

this was a lovely MissB treat!

now obviously i don’t taste the caramel…. what i do taste though is well ripened anjou pear and brown sugar against a dark oolong background….. a lovely pear curl. (i say that normally liking pear particularly in tea). this is the smell of a pear crumble with fresh pears picked right off the tree…. basted with brown sugar…. gooey in the oven.

who needs dessert? lol.

this is lovely. thank you so much MissB!

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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oh dear.

rishi, i am normally such a fan. even after the chocolate chai fiasco. this blend stopped me almost as soon as i started….. it was pepto bismol tea. =0/

believe me i wish i could say otherwise. i do feel very badly. i couldn’t even finish my cup. correction, i couldn’t swallow more than 2 sips of my cup— down the drain!

(i need to gargle)

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Oh wow, really? I love this stuff. I’m so sorry it didn’t agree with you. :(


everyone’s got their own creatively spun tastebuds. this was all about sore tummies to me. everything else you’ve sent me has been awesome =0D

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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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