400 Tasting Notes

94

My life has turned into a comedy of errors. Half my family is mad at me for saying something I didn’t say, and thanks to the time zone difference I won’t be able to sort it out until tomorrow. I’m actually really upset about it on multiple levels, not least of which is the fact that anyone would even believe that I said it. So…tea?

I really like this blend. The summery pineapple flavor is dead on and good for at least three steeps. Sadly, this is the last of it. sipdown. Wah.

TheTeaFairy

Sorry you’re stucked in such an awkward situation…hope it gets resolved soon, sending you good vibes :-)

Cavocorax

Ugh. That sounds really frustarting. And having to wait to sort it out must be making you crazy… Hope it works out tomorrow.

mj

Family drama is the worst! I hope everything gets smoothed out soon.

Kaylee

Thanks for the support folks! I think it’s mostly worked out now.

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82

I had a pyramid bag of this tea in my travel mug for breakfast. It’s not bad.

The tropical fruit flavor hits right up front in the sip. I got pineapple and mango. There’s no mango or mango flavoring in here, but that’s what I tasted. The fruitiness gently fades into green-tea-ness. I had trouble figuring out how to describe it. Not vegetal, grassy, or seaweedy, but definitely very green. Each sip left my mouth feeling slightly dry. This tea is better as it cools because the tropical flavor lasts longer through the sip. It would probably be good as an iced tea.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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92
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
400 tasting notes

Wah! Sipdown! I really loved this one. Smooth vanilla awesomeness. Thank you Christina!

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93
drank Lemon Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
400 tasting notes

Wah! Sad sad sipdown. This is still creamy lemony goodness. Just a lovely caffeine-free dessert blend. Pretty good iced, but I prefer it hot in the evenings. This or the orange & cream is on my ideal rotation list. Alas, I am now out of all the cream/citrus Della Terra blends.

EDIT: On a whim, I added a shot of Irish cream to the rest of the cup. Yum yum yum! The creaminess factor is dialed way up by the booze and the lemon flavor plays beautifully with the creaminess. What a lovely nightcap!

Preparation
Boiling 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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94
drank Polo Club by Mariage Frères
400 tasting notes

Good… morning? Between family stuff and (unrelated) SO stuff, I’m working off about 4 hours of sleep today. And I couldn’t sleep in because I have to go to the cemetery. Woohoo.

So I needed to start the day with a tea that can help kick me into gear. A mate should do the trick. This is my first Mariage Freres tea. I have such high expectations built up from their reputation that a) it feels indulgent in a good way to even make this tea and b) I’m afraid of being disappointed.

Wow. I’ve never had a mate like this. The flavor is fruity… blueberry? The scent is roasty, blueberry, strawberry, and vanilla (although that last one only became apparent after I looked at the Steepster page). The texture is smooth and creamy. Sooo surprisingly creamy for a mate. The vanilla notes really come to the fore as the tea cools and I reach the bottom of the cup.

I am so glad that my first MF tea didn’t disappoint. Many thanks to JustJames for sending me some of this!

Flavors: Berries, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
JustJames

i think it’s quite distinctively different because it’s a green mate, not a roasted. i’ve never had another like it. so glad you like it!

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90

Pumpkin Milkshake showdown! It’s the original Pumpkin Milkshake versus Milkshake 2.0. Which shall emerge victorious?!

The first steep of the original is creamy, with a lovely pumpkin overlay. The pumpkin is strong, but natural tasting. A bit of brown crystal sugar brings out the creaminess and really makes the flavor dead on for its name. The second steep (again with some brown crystal sugar) is more vanilla than creamy, with the pumpkin and vanilla holding about equal weight.

The first steep of the 2.0 is woodsy. Like walking through dark forest on a crisp autumn night. My theory is that it’s the base tea coming out, overwhelming the flavoring. It’s fantastic, but not as pumpkin-y or creamy as the original. A bit of brown crystal sugar brings out the flavoring and tones down the base. Now it tastes more like the original, albeit drier and malty. The driness and malty/woodsy notes really linger long after the sip. In the second steep, the flavor is weaker and the base tea even more dominant. Like the original Milkshake, creaminess gives way to vanilla on the second go-round once a bit of brown crystal sugar is added. The pumpkin fades far, far into the background. More of an idea than a presence really.

Pumpkin Milkshake
steep 1: 180f, 4 mins
steep 2: 194f, 4 mins 30 secs

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0
steep 1: 170f, 4 mins
steep 2: 180f, 4 mins 30 secs

Cross-posting on both teas’ pages, so apologies for this showing up twice on your dashboard!

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96
drank Pumpkin Milkshake by Butiki Teas
400 tasting notes

Pumpkin Milkshake showdown! It’s the original Pumpkin Milkshake versus Milkshake 2.0. Which shall emerge victorious?!

The first steep of the original is creamy, with a lovely pumpkin overlay. The pumpkin is strong, but natural tasting. A bit of brown crystal sugar brings out the creaminess and really makes the flavor dead on for its name. The second steep (again with some brown crystal sugar) is more vanilla than creamy, with the pumpkin and vanilla holding about equal weight.

The first steep of the 2.0 is woodsy. Like walking through dark forest on a crisp autumn night. My theory is that it’s the base tea coming out, overwhelming the flavoring. It’s fantastic, but not as pumpkin-y or creamy as the original. A bit of brown crystal sugar brings out the flavoring and tones down the base. Now it tastes more like the original, albeit drier and malty. The driness and malty/woodsy notes really linger long after the sip. In the second steep, the flavor is weaker and the base tea even more dominant. Like the original Milkshake, creaminess gives way to vanilla on the second go-round once a bit of brown crystal sugar is added. The pumpkin fades far, far into the background. More of an idea than a presence really.

Pumpkin Milkshake
steep 1: 180f, 4 mins
steep 2: 194f, 4 mins 30 secs

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0
steep 1: 170f, 4 mins
steep 2: 180f, 4 mins 30 secs

Cross-posting on both teas’ pages, so apologies for this showing up twice on your dashboard!

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77

I’ve had genmaicha and I’ve had hojicha, but I’ve never had a blend of the two. The golden brew smells like burnt popcorn. It tastes of toast, rice, and nuts with a touch of sweetness at the end. Not bad, but it’s making me crave real popcorn.

Dexter

I think I should pull this one out to drink tomorrow – keep taking inspiration from my dashboard. If it makes you crave popcorn – then I’m going to like it. Thanks for the inspiration, off to find where I have this hidden… :))

Kaylee

Glad to be of service!

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drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
400 tasting notes

I really really disliked this one last time I tried it. Per Stacy’s suggestion, I steeped at a lower temp this time around.

I made this gongfu style, 2.5 tsp for 5 oz with a 5 second initial rinse. I ended up drinking this tea over the course of three days, ultimately getting somewhere between 15 and 20 steeps. I never did grow to like it. I just wanted to see how many steeps I could get out of it. I took notes on the first four steeps, but after that the cups were so similar that it seemed redundant to take detailed notes.

first steep – 180f, 30 seconds
It’s hard to find the right word for the smell. Mineral, maybe. It tastes of dirt and that mineral(?) note. There’s almost a saltiness to it. The mouthfeel is heavy.

second steep – 180f, 40 seconds
While the first steep was very pale, this one is a deep orange. It has the same earthy mineral scent as the first steep. Just like the color, the scent is deeper in this steep. The flavor is about the same.

third steep – 185f, 60 seconds
This steep is actually slightly paler than the second one, almost a honey color. The smell is earthy now. That mineral/rock note has scurried off from the scent. Aaand apparently it ran right into the flavor. Ugh. Somebody recently asked on the message board what a mineral note tastes like and the first response was “go lick a rock”. Yup, this tastes like licking a rock. Or, more accurately, what I imagine a rock would taste like. With the exception of thoroughly washed fruits, veggies, tubers, and legumes, I make it a general rule not to lick things that come off the ground. So there’s that.

fourth steep – 180f, 30 seconds
This steep is SO much better! More earthy than rocky, with a hint of sweetness at the end. It’s actually better when it cools to room temperature. It takes on a more toasty character with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasantly fresh aftertaste.

I found that the brew consistently came out best at a 30 second steep between 180-190f. The flavor was always earthy and rocky, but it got smoother over time. It did grow on me but never quite got to “delicious”. I am very impressed by the high number of good steeps that I got out of it. No rating because I’m not sure how to split the difference between blegh taste and impressive steepability. Also because I think someone who enjoys dirt & rock notes would totally enjoy this tea.

Nicole

“dirt and rock notes” LOL

TheTeaFairy

Very nice review!

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92
drank Spicy Mint Oolong by Butiki Teas
400 tasting notes

I keep putting off writing a tasting note for this one because I want to be thorough. Meanwhile, I’ve already drunk most of it. D’oh!

This is easily one of my favorite mint teas. I consistently get 4 solid steeps out of these leaves. The flavor is crisp and clean, but the oolong base gives it more depth than most mint teas. The tingly mintiness lingers long after the sip. Mmm.

Stacy, this is conspicuously absent from the site right now. Please tell me that this is either an oversight or you’ll be restocking soon!

mj

This sounds interesting…

Butiki Teas

So sorry, we discontinued that one a while ago. It just didn’t have high enough sales for us to justify keeping.

Kaylee

Awww. Sad! Guess I’ll be hoarding the little bit I have left…

Kaylee

(But thanks for answering the question)

Butiki Teas

So Sorry. I really liked this one but I think our customers tend to go for the crazier flavors and sometimes the simple but good ones get lost.

Kaylee

The solution is clearly to stop blending crazy flavors that might distract from the solid basic ones.

::waiting for everyone to start pelting me with used tea leaves::

Butiki Teas

Hahaha :D

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