281 Tasting Notes


Sil ‘s sample sipdown! I am not really counting my sipdowns but I’m trying to go through all these baggies that are taking over my kitchen! The goal is to finish off all baggies by July and just have properly stored teas — in their original packaging, be it tins or otherwise — of my shelf. All these bags in bowls are starting to get to me a little bit.

I keep forgetting this is a pu’erh because I like it and I really don’t dig pu’erh yet. It’s like I have a short term memory problem. Every so often I think “wait, this is a pu’erh?”, and then I remember, only to have to go through it again the following week as I drink it.

This gets too cinnamon heavy as it cools, almost loses the bread part so maybe you should try to drink it faster, don’t take it in the bathtub with you like I did, and then leave it sitting there in the corner all neglected.

Not as good as the first time because a) I accidentally let it cool and b) it lost the surprise/novelty element.


I think it’s only partly puerh, right? I understand the love/hate relationship with sample baggies haha

Terri HarpLady

I love your sipdown enthusiasm! My dining room table (which is big, luckily) has several boxes on it:
- tea trade from sil
- tea trade from Cavo
- tea trade from NofarS
- TOMC Bundle from Verdant
- Recently acquired teas from Mandala, Verdant, Butiki, thepuritea…As I try them, they get moved to the cupboard
- A box I’m packing for Sil
- A box I was suppose to mail yesterday to TastyBrew (sorry…I promise I’ll get to the post office tomorrow!)
- other random tea paraphenalia: journal, scale, etc…

There’s also some other samples from other friends on a shelf in the kitchen. I really need to do some major sip-down-age too!


Wow. Do you , errrr, dine on this dining room table? Lol

Terri HarpLady

Believe it or not, yes! It’s round, it’s big, the sides fold down so it can be square. One side is folded so its up against a wall. We eat on the edges

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I had all these plans for what I would do with my July tea budget but I think by July I am going to be scrapping most of the plans.

This afternoon I really wished I had ordered the Grapefruit Dragon like I originally intended to. It is beautifully sunny out and I’m making snapper with dill beurre blanc (fancy way of saying white butter dill sauce). I need a tea to go with it as there’s no white wine in the house. So thought to myself “self, you should have bought the grapefruit dragon!”

Oh well, next time.

Onto this tea. I wanted a green tea and I wanted the pistachio ice cream. Oh looky here, the pistachio icecream is a green tea! And to top it off, i had just I bought almond milk. Now I’m sure I’m zapping all the green tea healthy properties by adding sugar and almond milk but hey, it’s my tea.

I did try it without milk at first. I’m not really eloquent with this stuff so I’ll just tell you I get mostly pistachio, which is fine because that’s exactly why I bought this. Vegetal? Forget it. And here I thought green teas were mostly barely flavoured warm water. Nay!

I steeped using butiki parameters because I trust them more than I trust me at his point and I got a almost clear but not quite liquor which tasted and smelled like roasted pistachio. I should really drink this cold so that I am actually reminded of icecream but my ice cubes smell of freezer … wha?!? … so I can’t put any in.

Hurray for green teas, there’s hope!

PS. I also had “with open eyes” earlier, but that’s a whole different note.


i am certain you are reviewing your new butikis knowing it will torment me, lol. i ALMOST chose this one as my sample. so many choices so little budget!


Grapefruit Dragon is the only Butiki blend I have not been a fan of.


Stephanie, I have no idea what grapefruit dragon was even going to taste like but I was hoping for light grapefruit? I ended up pairing it with lupicia’s paradise green instead

Terri HarpLady

I still haven’t tried this one or the grapefruit dragon.


Terri – ill send you grapefruit :)

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It is going to be impossible to be descriptive when it comes to this tea because all I want to do is repeat “oh my god”.

First off, the dry leaf. I have never seen tea like this but I am sure it’s because I’m new! The leaves are … furry? And the bag smells so nice!

1 tbsp @ 185 F. It smells so good even as the water hits it. I put the lid on quickly so as not to lose anything. You know they say all that good stuff you smell when cooking things (or brewing tea in this case) is actually flavour escaping with the steam. That’s one of the reasons sous vide cooking became so popular, the stuff is trapped in a bag and the bag immersed in water, no flavour escapes there!

This tea is so refreshing, the flavour matches the aroma. You almost want to drink this in the winter when you miss watermelon but there is no fresh watermelon to be had! (for most people anyway).

This is like watermelon water!

You make tomato water by hanging a cheesecloth bag with a concassee of tomato and you let it drip. The water is clear, there is absolutely no colour but the taste is pure tomato. I wonder if you make watermelon water the same way… And then you soak the tea leaves in it and maybe after a few days you dry it out and see what happens. In theory the water evaporates and the flavour remains. I should make my own experiment.

Stacy if you’re laughing, this is my way of thanking you for this tea: with entertainment!

This is the most delicious tea I have ever had so far.


YAY!!!!! butiki teas rock my world :)


The key is natural which Stacy is known for. No sour artificial flavors!


My top fave Butiki blend of all time

Terri HarpLady

When I have a real watermelon around, I like to put chunks of it in the vitamix, wave my magic wand (chopstick) around, push the button, & say, “Liquidate”. It’s my magic word, & it always works! Liquidated watermelon is awesome. This tea is awesome. So beautiful to look at, so delicious to drink. Stacy really outdid herself with this, & I’ll have to order more…soon!


I love fresh pressed watermelon juice, so I ordered this with our recent co-op purchase. Can’t wait to try it.

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I requested a sample of this with my order and Stacy was kind enough to oblige. I made this first thing this morning and was quite excited because the dry leaf smells so good and the reviews on here were so favourable. Which is maybe what set me up…

The smell of the brewed tea is mostly black tea, followed by banana. For the taste I expected out of the ball park banana but I didn’t get that. It’s a muted flavour, more like banana walnut bread or some baked good featuring banana. Once you get past the juicy banana expectation — which I shouldn’t have had, not even given the name, I know! — the tea is quite enjoyable. You can smell it as it sits there on the table. I allowed it to cool and the flavour does come out a little more.

For the resteep I sweetened with maple syrup. I was itching to see what would happen. Sorry Stacy, hope you don’t think less of me for ruining perfectly good tea. But it was oh so delicious with the maple syrup, as I knew it would be, and I couldn’t resist. Yummy!!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
High Adventure

Maple syrup in tea? What whaat? You’re an innovator!


It’s a Canadian thing :)

High Adventure

That makes perfect sense. :)


maple syrup in smokey wonderful teas = the best time ever. I also love maple syrup in keemuns…. mmmm


i don’t often add sweetner to teas but maple syrup to straight blacks is wonderful!


Glad you like this one :-)

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drank Lychee Oolong by Butiki Teas
281 tasting notes

I think I found one way to wean myself off of sugar yet continue drinking tea. Just buy a whole bunch of tea form Stacy. Just drink butiki oolongs until I no longer feel the need for sugar, or as much sugar.

You really don’t need sugar in this one, and if I say that, you better believe it. I’m usually the kind of girl you ask “you want tea (or coffee) with your sugar?” Or… “Let me just sprinkle some coffee on your sugar bowl there”. I used to get tease like that a lot. I still do. Really, I don’t have a sweet tooth. I do not eat any desserts, almost ever, with the exception of ice cream. I have no idea where the need to sugar everything to death comes from. And it’s gotten so bad where if I don’t add any sugar, well, stuff is just flavourless. Like when you decide to no longer salt your food (assuming you cook from scratch, otherwise you take in added salt from everywhere) and find it bland.

This tea, and I’m on the second steep, doesn’t benefit from sugar almost at all. Weird, right? Sugar just makes it sweet, really, but doesn’t contribute to the flavour an awful lot.

1 tsp for 8 oz, 180 F results in a clear pale yellow liquid, quite fragrant. There are floral notes in there, to me it smells faintly of jasmine. I hope I don’t end up calling every floral note jasmine, but this smells like jasmine just a wee bit in the back. Really really long aftertaste. The fruit just stays with you. You can have minutes go buy between sips (if you can manage that!) and still have the fruit with you.

I find the second steep stronger even though i didn’t increase the steep time (thank goodness?) and I think there is a bit less fruit and more … other stuff. I mean, this stuff is not juice, it’s tea. So don’t be expecting a lychee martini base or anything.

I’m only beginning my oolong experience but I’m glad to have a good starting point.


I have a sweet tooth in teas too. I have weened down from 2 spoons to 1.25-1.5 depending on the tea. Working one reducing further to one spoon. I do sometimes one spoon, but I always go back to the 1.25-1.5…not that it is bad with one, but I prefer it with more. Slow progress at this point, but there is still a goal. I have had the odd oolong without sugar, but that is pretty rare.

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
281 tasting notes

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I’m not a fan of this tea. A white tea, so I brewed for 3 minutes with 180 water. A pale yellow liquor, almost clear. Slight citrus aroma when hot but it all disappears when the tea cools. It has a tangerine flavour and unfortunately a bitterness envelops the tongue at the end of the sip. I didn’t oversteep and I didn’t use too hot water, it feels like the bitterness is from the citrus rinds.

Will not resteep and will not finish the cup. Sorry Sil ! It sounded like it would be so good too! Bummer.


white teas are tricky buggers :)


Or maybe I’m a peasant.


Haha naw…

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drank Super Fruit Sencha by Fusion Teas
281 tasting notes

Continuing on my quest to find green teas I enjoy I went ahead and brewed this one again following package instruction. I always brew tea the suggested way first before I start making adjustments. I received a few comments where people mention overleafing if flavour is not strong enough for me. This is fair and it makes sense, but I don’t want to overleaf if not necessary.

Fragrant dry leaf, gorgeous to look at with the red berries and blue flowers throughout the green tea. brewed 1.5 tsp for 2 minutes in 170 F water for a clear pale yellow liquor. Very very aromatic but lighter in flavour. Light base too. Second steep similar to first, continues to be extremely fragrant. Even as the tea cooled significantly, one can still smell it from few feet away.

There is great flavour here but still the base is too weak for me. I am still trying to figure it out if it’s the green tea itself or the tea company becauseI had similar experience with the lychee Licious from Fusion and with Japanese Cherry from PureAroma. Maybe I’ve been drinking so much flavoured blacks and oologs in the last couple of days that I forget greens are not as punchy.

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drank Black Currant by Fusion Teas
281 tasting notes

I should not be drinking this tea in the morning, it is not a morning tea. However, being the glutton that I am I’m dying to try all my new teas at once which means I’m not paying attention to the time of day, or my moods. I really should, I’m doing them a disservice this way.

I received this as a sample with my order. It really captures black currant. There have been many teas I’ve tried which ended up lacking in the flavour department, despite the fact that their names sound full of promise. This tea does deliver. Not sure it is my kind of tea, I tend to shy away from tart (cranberry, currants etc) however I can still appreciate the technique and end result and the fact that flavour is indeed captured.

The dry leaf has a really nice smell. Once brewed, the liquor is a clear reddish brown and its aroma is mostly black tea with currant. It is tangy, I can’t tell just how tangy because I added sugar right off the bat, but it is not hibiscus tangy, it is berry tangy, possibly sour cherry. I do not drink milk so I did not add any, however I do not think this would go well with milk. It would make a great refreshing iced drink for a hot summer day.

1.5 tsp for 8 oz, off boiling water, 4 minutes. Very light astringency at 4 minutes.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Lychee Licious by Fusion Teas
281 tasting notes

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I started drinking loose leaf tea in the spring of 2013 (why do we feel compelled to mark the date of tea drinking somewhat like addicts counting their sobriety days?)

Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I lean heavily towards flavoured black teas. I’ve started to crave the occasional straight oolong and green but so far unflavoured black teas leave me unimpressed.

I’m learning so I drink them all. Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

Note*: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity.

Note**: My partner, our home improvements, gadgets, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.


Toronto-ish, Canada

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