277 Tasting Notes

drank Lychee Oolong by Butiki Teas
277 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
277 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
277 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
277 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
277 tasting notes

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drank Japanese Cherry by PureAromaTea
277 tasting notes

I keep thinking there is something I am not getting about green tea. I’ve had two today — the other one I have to add to steepster before I can review, I guess nobody is into lychee green tea?!? — and they don’t taste like much. Now I’m trying to remember have I ever liked green tea?

I was so excited about this one, from Sil, that I have been holding on to it until the mood was right. I mean, Japanese Cherry sounds so beautiful. Now I should add that I’m trying to drink this without any sugar. The brewed tea is clear, pale yellow. There is indeed a slight cherry aroma and a slight cherry aftertaste. Aside from this, I am not getting much. It is mostly warm water with cherry aftertaste. I doubt sugar would do much here but let’s see. ..

I was right. Sweet water with cherry aftertaste. The cherry is so barely there that it tastes even more faint than those vitamin waters, if you ever had them. Someone remind me why I’m drinking this?

I steeped for one minute, about a rounded teaspoon (that measure sounds a bit vague to me) like it says here on Steepster. Water 2 minutes off boiling. I even timed that. Not much is happening in the cup. Sorry. Am not a big fan of warm water that I have to pay a lot of money for. Granted I didn’t pay for this, Sil shared it with me, but it is quite possible I would have bought it.

I’m willing to give green tea a good honest try and to be fair i will try a few more but so far it’s failing in the flavour department.


If you’re having issues on tea delivering in the flavor department for you, try more leaf next time! There are definitely some people who just need more leaf to make a satisfactory cup of tea. Or go ahead and steep it for longer. Play around with your parameters… the ones provided by companies are just suggestions, and everyone’s tastes are different.


Agree with dinosara!


Thanks, I will try! I am afraid they’ll go bitter though. Kokomo green ruined me for green tea :) I will try again tomorrow or tonight.


It shouldn’t go bitter with more tea. It will go bitter if you steep it too long. More tea, not more time, to make a stronger cup.


My answer is always add more cherry, but that’s just how I roll. Personally, I like Chinese green better than Japanese green.

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
277 tasting notes

Sil thank you so much for this sample!

What a wonderful tea. I am not a pie person so when I saw Ruby Pie in my swap package I decided this would be the last to try. nothing against butikis wonderful teas, I’m just not that into baked goods. If it’s cake this and bread that, I don’t rush to get it.

Today is the day Ruby Pie meets the brew basket. The dry leaf is not overly fragrant. Once steeped, pow, aroma wafts out of the jar. A mason jar is so not the right vessel for this tea, I don’t know what I was thinking. Still, you can smell it in there. The brewed liquor is light caramel, I expected red for some reason. And the flavour is so unbelievably … pie crust! I love this tea. It is absolutely delicious. This is not a bandwagon tasting note. I am not saying this because everyone loves butiki and I must conform. This tea manages to capture pie entirely. Liquid pie crust in your cup. Fantastic job, I have no idea what goes into it. I don’t mean ingredients, I mean the balance of getting everything just so, in order to have tea drinkers everywhere go “omg, that’s pie crust!”

Now when it comes to the strawberry or rhubarb, it’s getting foggy for me, I can’t really tell where one stops and the other begins. And there’s a wonderful aftertaste of pie crust with something slightly tart. Could be hibiscus. I think it is hibiscus. Booyah!

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

YAY! glad you liked it :)

JustJames is it the middle of july yet?

justjames…i wish!


this is going to sound hysterical, but one of my aims once i finish my degree is to have a stress free card carrying tea habit. to buy what i want when i want without fussing over such a tight budget! there are lots of other goals as well, but that’s the really selfish one, lol!

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My very first Darjeeling. It just sounded so intimidating before, it still does. Mostly because I have not yet progressed where I should be having straight black tea. I thought this would be really dark (black) and really bitter. I confess I haven’t actually seen a tea so dark that it’s black but I thought if any tea were to be that, it would be Darjeeling.

To me this tastes like straight black tea. The info says there’s cherry and strawberry, am not getting that at all. It is unfair to this tea that I’m drinking it and botching up a tasting note but we all start somewhere.

The dry leaf is so pretty, there are tiny orangey pink flowers in there. No clue what they are. They look prickly instead of soft though, like it would hurt if you ate it. Liquor is brown, almost reddish brown. Like clay. So much for the imagined black. It is slightly astringent after 3 minutes and there is a slight bitterness that most would likely tolerate. I don’t. Hope this doesn’t mean I won’t be able to drink straight black teas. I think beer is bitter too and someone said the more I drank the more I got used to it. Nope. Still don’t like the darker ales, I go with light lagers usually.

I feel bad for this darling of a tea. Although I am thankful to Sil for sending some my way, maybe my introduction to Darjeeling should have been done with a more of a peasant tea. But who would want that honour? Yes, I’m a sh**ty Darjeeling, drink me!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Hahahaha I have actually found that darjeeslings aren’t quite up my alley. I should send you a sample of the butiki ones I have….they’re nice though still won’t ever be my fav

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drank Acai Berry Blend by Fusion Teas
277 tasting notes

I think my total count for oolongs consumed is now a whopping 3. Are they usually quite delicate in their flavouring and aroma? The dry leaf has a really strong berry smell. But once brewed, you practically have to put your nose so far in the cup you’re almost touching the liquor in order to get a good aromatic inhale. Ditto for the flavour. It’s there but oh so faint. And I’m getting jasmine in here. The one other person who reviewed this said it’s floral. I can go farther and say it’s jasmine but I don’t see it listed.

It is a very pale yellow liquor and oh so delicate flavour. I probably could have had it without sugar but decided to add a pinch (not even a teaspoon, am so proud of myself!) and see what it does.

Steeped twice so far, could probably go for three but I can’t get a whole lot of difference in flavours between steeps and I’m falling asleep so it’s time for a good kick in the pants black.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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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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