169 Tasting Notes

93

Backlog… I bought Mandala’s mini-tuocha sampler and this, along with the 2005 Pu Wen Ripe Coin Pu’er is the absolute best of the bunch in my opinion. They’re all tasty, but these ones just seem to be way ahead of the rest in terms of quality and taste.

So how can I describe it? Smooth is the first thing that comes to mind, very smooth. Also very sweet with a pretty intense chocolatey flavor. And, well, these things are huge. Double to TRIPLE the size of most of the other minis. These are very very good, and this sampler has done its job because I’ve found my new favorite mini-tuochas (though nothing will top Verdant’s Cornfields minis in my eyes).

Azzrian

Im sold. On the wish list it goes! Hope he has some when I have a need for more Pu-erh!

Scatterbrain

These are well worth it, as are the “coin” mini tuos.

Garret

Hey there, friends!!!!
I love the unwrapped coins! We bought all we could from the rep. They are long gone from China but we have about 15 lbs left. Sarah is threatening to take them off the site so she doesn’t run out as they are her favorite :) Her 2nd favorite are the “not-so-minis” which I picked up 75 lbs of last year in Kunming. I’ll save some for you, Amy :)

Asaf Mazar

verdant’s corfield mini’s were indeed surprising in quality. I got to try them twice.

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87

Sipdown… This is becoming a favorite of mine and I’m really gonna miss it. The bergamot continues to mellow and taste more natural while the cheesecake creaminess pops out more and more and it’s really tasting better and better with each day that’s going by. This one is AMAZING iced (this is the first time I’ve ever iced an earl grey, I always thought it would be weird but NOW I UNDERSTAND. So crisp and refreshing, and in this case a little creamy.

So there goes my last tea from 52teas in my cupboard, but I don’t need to worry because I’ve got more on the way! Blueberry Zabaglione, Strawberry Zabaglione, Earl Black (which I believe I’m the first to review?), Cinnamon Roll Honeybush and a few SBT teas. I went a little crazy (by my standards anyway). Can’t wait!

Scatterbrain

Man, I’ve been on quite the flavored tea kick lately. Never thought it would happen.

Alphakitty

Ooh, I have to try this one iced, I’ve done cold brews for EGs before but I never thought to try it with this blend.

DaisyChubb

Oh no sipdown already?! It’s that good!

Scatterbrain

That and I don’t have many teas at the moment. Haha

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87

I’ve been camping since friday morning and I just got back today, and it feels good to be home. I enjoy camping for the most part, but for some reason my family just loves the campground with the beaten down trailers and pink lawn flamingoes, and the tattered rebel flags wavin’ proud while old toothless men sit around drinking bud light and blasting country music. I’m not being judgemental, that’s just not my scene.

I had to listen to one too many conversations about how terrible a president Obama is, how he’s “a foreigner and a muslim and he should be assasinated” and things of that nature. All this has left me in a bad mood. One of the most resounding sentences that I heard come out of someone’s mouth was “Now I ain’t racist or nothin’, but I just don’t think that an african-american or a muslim should be running this country”. WOW. Sometimes I just have my mind blown by just how bigoted and mean and misled and racist some people can be. So yeah, I’m really glad to be home.

Anyway, on to the tea. I definitely am starting to see what Liberteas said about letting this tea sit for a little bit. I’m already starting to notice a creaminess coming out that was totally absent before, it’s not quite cheesecake but it’s good. Along with that, the bergamot is starting to mellow out and taste a little more natural. I better enjoy my stash while I can because my tea budget just went out the window after I bought my girlfriend a very expensive piece of jewelry for her 18th birthday. I’ll enjoy this stuff while I have it.

Helena

while camping can be fun if your with friends and if your campsite has an indoor bathroom instead of an outhouse :D There will sadly always be judgemental people in the world, it’s part of being human. All we can do is our best to be tolerant, understanding, and when all else fails remember you can always wear headphones :D or if online hit an ignore button :D

ashmanra

When you say to let it sit, do you mean let the tea age and flavors meld in the pouch before you open it, or let the cup sit and cool a little? I have heard people say to let custom blends age, so when I got my Butterbeer, I didn’t open it for thee weeks. Now THAT was hard! :)

Scatterbrain

Let the flavors meld a little bit, although letting the cup cool defiitely helps as well. Yeah, I devoured my butterbeer in a matter of a week. It was very hard to resist, especially after smelling it. And I have very little self-control when it comes to waiting to try a new tea, it just gets me so excited. :)

Hesper June

Wow! When My hubby and I go camping, we go out into the mountains (no campgrounds for us) we make sure we have no cell reception and usually never see another human the entire time.
We sleep outside and cook over a fire.
As I describe this it sounds more like a episode of Survivor than a Vacation;)
But, at least we only have to listen to our own conversation around the campfire.
I am glad you had this tea to come home too:)

Scatterbrain

That’s the way I like to do it too. :)

Scatterbrain

When I lived in Oregon we would just find a nice isolated spot in the mountains and pitch a tent, or just lay outside on a sleeping bag. But here in Pennsylvania it’s actually ILLEGAL to just set up camp in the woods, you can only camp in a campground. It’s ridiculous.

Hesper June

Really? Illegal!?
Here in Idaho, if someone tried to pass that law, everyone would be rolling on the ground with laughter.

Scatterbrain

Yep, it’s insane. So you’re in Idaho huh? If you like the mountains you should take a trip up to the Sisters area in Oregon, beautiful place.

Hesper June

I do love the mountains, and I agree the Sisters area is lovely:)

Helena

I’ve camped in the mountains in British Columbia, Canada when I was a lot younger. It was pretty fun but could be really cold at night :D

LiberTEAS

Now… I ain’t racist or nothin’ … (LOL! Just kidding, I just felt I needed to start the comment with that!) Personally, I love Obama… he’s been the best president since President Clinton. :)

I am glad that you’re getting more out of this tea now!!!

Scatterbrain

British Columbia is at the top of my list of places I want to visit.

Hesper June

I love BC. Its so lovely.
When we camp in the mountains, Helena, it has got down to the 20’s.
We were so happy that we brought our doggies with because we were all snuggled together and warm:)

Helena

If I let my dog sleep with me she might push me out of the bed/sleeping blanket. A link for more info on English Mastiffs if your curious
http://www.canadasguidetodogs.com/mastiff.htm

momo

I saw a billboard on my way to North Carolina that said “LOSING HOPE? VOTE REPUBLICAN” and I was just like ….what. This is also a county with an active KKK group who wants to adopt a highway. Ah, the middle of nowhere.

gmathis

Mountains. Solitude. Quiet. Fresh air. Can I come, wherever it is?

Hesper June

Lol, I bet she would not share the bed well.
What Beautiful dogs!
I have fostered a couple Mastiff mixes and just love their personalities:)

Helena

they are very good natured :D it’s really funny to see them playing with chihuahuas or other small critters. There are some cute videos on youtube. I saw one where the mastiff was watching a silly siberian kitten. Another one was where the mastiff was giving the kiteen a tongue bath sooo cute!

Lynne-tea

That is why you skip the campground and find a beach somewhere to set up camp on! .. or a lake.. or wilderness… somewhere where you can’t find people having those narrow-minded conversations

Helena

oooh a beach with nice white sand and some good cold tea :D

Michelle

I mean, if a sentence starts with “I ain’t a racist…” I mean, the fact that that has to act as a qualifier for what is to follow kinda says something about a person.

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81
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
169 tasting notes

I’ve been eyeing this for a looong time now, I love Harry Potter and I also love root beer, it’s easily my favorite soda of all time (the real stuff that is, along with Pennsylvania Dutch birch beer). As other people have said, the smell of the dry leaf is incredible. I mean really, it shocked me with how amazing it smelled. Pure root beer.

But… I think the sheer greatness of the smell of the dry leaf set me up to be a little disappointed with the taste of the tea itself. But I can’t deny that it’s tasty, it just didn’t wow me like strawberry zabaglione (I’m still very limited in my experience with 52teas).

All in all, it’s tasty stuff and it’s worth having around if only to stick my nose in the pouch and repeatedly inhale its intoxicating aroma. :)

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89

This is one of the samples I got today from TeaEqualsBliss, thanks so much to her. I LOVE cranberries and I’ve had good luck with Harney’s flavored teas so far so I was excited about this one. It’s very good. The black tea is smooth and the flavors are light, but they’re strong enough to let you know they’re there while remaining natural tasting. The cranberry is stronger than the orange, and there’s definitely some cranberry tartness (which is why I love cranberries so). Good stuff, now I gotta try Boston. Thanks, TeaEqualsBliss!

ashmanra

Love this one, LOVE Boston!

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63

Since I need to cut back on the caffeine late at night, I thought I’d give this another try. This time I used double the amount of “leaf” and steeped for ten minutes and I actually kinda like it. The spice was comforting, and I actually tasted some of the chocolate. I guess rooibos is just sort of an acquired taste. Now I’m on the hunt for some tasty rooibos/honeybush blends for late night sippin’!

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56

Sigh… Another sleepless night, this is the second time this week. I suppose it has something to do with my habit of drinking tea late at night, it’s just a hard thing for me to give up because I really enjoy doing that. Night time is my time of peace when I can truly be alone and savor my tea. Soo, I’m now on the hunt for some kind of decaf or herbal alternative. I’m just a little weary of decaf teas and I’ve never been all that fond of herbals for the most part. So hit me guys, what are some of your favorite decafs or herbals?

Anyways, the review. Hehe. Not much to say about this one, it’s alright I guess. Not great, ever so slightly above teabags in flavor. Easy to overbrew and it seems to have some acidity to it which I’ve never really experienced in tea before. But this is the first tea I’ve had from Ito En that let me down, I would still recommend their teas overall, especially their higher quality Japanese greens.

And now I wait for the rest of the Steepster world to get up because I have nothing better to do… :)

gmathis

Rooibos and honeybush blends are good evening teas—they’re a little bit “heavy” in taste and texture if you’re trying to fool yourself it’s real black tea.

The only tisane ingredient that I truly think assists me with relaxation/sleep is tulsi, and I suppose it’s a bit of an acquired taste.

Michelle

At night, I sometimes do a chamomile-spearmint-lavender-rose blend with a bit of local lavender honey, but I also find that I usually want to drink black or pu’erh teas at night… and then suffer the consequences!

Batrachoid

Oswego (or any plant in the monarda genus) is a great tea substitute in terms of taste. Fresh hops, passionflower, lavender and chamomile all help with sleep. Personally, bancha or genmaicha is usually the comforting brew before bed I need.

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94

Early morning cuppa. Instead of the usual in-your-face bold cup of caffeine overload (coffee) that I would normally go for, I decided to brew up something gentle to ease me into the day. It’s a peaceful morning here in Pennsylvania, the birds are chirping and there’s a light fog as I sip this mellow goodness and stare into the woods behind my house. Life is good. Good morning Steepsterites!

gmathis

You’re way too young for a rocking chair, but after reading that, I want to come rest my weary, saggy bones in one wherever you are :)

Scatterbrain

I may be young, but I’m an old soul. :)

Bonnie

Yes you are Kwinter, my granddaughter is an oldsoul too. (she’s not writing reviews this week because she got a scholarship to an adult music camp in Pennsylvania and flew away on Wed.)

Garret

Bonnie, I am a musician, too. What does your granddaughter play? That’s wonderful that she got a scholarship for the music camp!

Bonnie

She’s a composer and conductor…aged 16 (if you see who follows me she’s oldsoul)

Scatterbrain

Whaa?! I had no idea she was your granddaughter! That’s cool. Congratulations to her.

Bonnie

Cool! She’ll smile knowing that you followed her not knowing! She writes jazz, orchestral,choral and band music and arranges but where she is this week is Liturgical Music for the Orthodox Church which is primarily Byzantine and all A cappella (this is the correct spelling). She has been working on a Cherubic Hymn and has written a few other pieces. Here’s an example of a Cherubic Hymn we sing (GREAT choir) http://youtu.be/GDCwdreKpXI

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96

Aroma of steeping tea: The aroma reminded me of camping in the great outdoors. It was very smokey with lots of woodsy smells reminding me of damp moss, citronella and sandalwood. At this point I’m very excited, this is exactly the type of thing I was looking for.

Taste: The smokiness is the dominant flavor, but there are a lot of other things going on. I get hints of tangy lemon, crisp mint and eucalyptus and a very pleasing bittersweet nature. This tea has a very thick and full mouthfeel, there is a lot of substance to it. Throughout the course of steepings the flavors have seemed to stay mostly the same, just becoming a little more muted with each steep…but that doesn’t mean the tea becomes boring. There is more going on in this tea than I can really even name. This is a truly exciting tea (not to mention the level of energy its giving me is unbelievable, don’t drink this one too late at night!).

All in all, I’m very much enjoying this one and I’m happy with my purchase. This one was a bargain.

Garret

Yo, Kyle! Did I include a sample of that wild tree mao cha? If so, I am mighty curious as to what you will think of that. It is FULL of tea energy! I just listed it on mandalatea.com last night (finally) – we’ve been selling it so fast here in the shop I hadn’t gotten it online yet.

Scatterbrain

Yeah, you threw some my way. Thanks for that.

Garret

Yes!!! Glad you got that one.

TeaBrat

Oh! Yes I am going to get some of this soon. I’m waiting until payday now!

ScottTeaMan

It’s interesting Kwinter-caffeine usually doesn’t keep me awake at night, but this Pu-erh really gave me an energy boost & left me wide awake most of the night! ://

http://steepster.com/teas/menghai-tea-factory/17935-2010-dayi-7562-ripe-pu-erh-tea-brick

Garret

I’ve still got 2 of the 2007 7562’s around here if ya need some, Scott :)

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94

I got my first order from Mandala today and I could barely contain the excitement. Inside my package were some very generous bonus goodies including a tea needle, thanks so much Garret.

First steep:
The aroma of the steeped tea produced the scents I am accustomed to in a typical silver needle, which are nectar and hay. There was also a bit of that “aged” smell along with it. As for the taste, all the flavors were subtle as I expected. The most dominant flavor to me is that of a crisp, sweet and slightly tart apple, with just the slightest bit of pu-erh earthiness. Some hints of spice are also present.

Second steep:
The apple flavor has turned more towards pear, and there are hints of sandalwood and a trace of camphor. Along with that, there is also some maltiness.

And I’m gonna leave it at that for now, I’l take it to further steepings some other time but for now I’m just too excited about trying my other new teas! This was a truly unique and delicious tea experience, I quite enjoyed it.

ScottTeaMan

My next tea order has to be from Mandala! :))

Scatterbrain

Amy, just brewed up the Xiaguan FT Flame and it smells GREAT. Smoky, woodsy, sandalwood, damp earth…just gotta wait for it to cool.

TeaBrat

oooh. I do want some!

Scatterbrain

Just tried a cup and I’m definitely gonna order more, my advice is definitely to buy one for yourself…it’s a steal.

Garret

Hi! If you check out the new products section, you will see that I just listed a bunch of new items (20 more or so to load up tonight if I have the gumption) – check out the new silver buds pressing I did in China in April, just arrived. Also the Wild Tree Tea mao cha – amazing and addictive in the best possible way! Pretty excited by my Year of the Dragon ripe pressing (wild arbor, spring-pick) and the two new sheng cakes (made from material I bought at the farms near Lincang) will be up soon, too!

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Profile

Bio

My name is Kyle. I love good tea, a good book, the great outdoors, and I am passionate about music. I also find enjoyment in writing and mountain biking here in beautiful Central Oregon.

Tea is a hugely misunderstood and under-appreciated gift in the western world, and my hope is to spread the gift of quality tea. It is communion between the passion of man and the raw beauty of nature. It is art, and it is therapy. I hope you enjoy my writings.

Location

Bend, Oregon

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