1216 Tasting Notes

100
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
1216 tasting notes

Well, hello there! You’re the deliciousness that obliterated all other smells coming from all the various tea swaps, packages and gifts I’ve had on my desk the past few days. Creamy, perfect coconut. Even before steeping, I knew I’d LOVE this tea.

And truly, it is perfect. JustJames, I adore you, and now even more so for working with Stacy to create this amazingness. Thank you so much for the generous sample.

To me, this tastes like buttery coconut in a cup. It’s so buttery, I’m actually massaging it into my lips as a moisturizer right now. I feel decadent, it is lovely and sweet and slightly vegetal, and there’s zero sugar needed. As it cools, I get more of a real coconut flavor as well as the tea itself, however it’s still lovely and evolving by the minute.

For the record: add me to the list of folks who would also buy this in larger quantities, should it be made available to the public for sale.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i am distinctly certain that stacy has her custom blends set up to an alarm and possibly key words as well…. either way, the more people say the magic words ‘i would buy’ the closer the bell is to ringing and this blend is to getting its wings =0)

you know i have maybe 2 servings left? whew! easy come…..

Courtney

All these “Hello Sweetie” tea notes are so intriguing!

Allie

This tea sounds amazing!

CelebriTEA

Ahhh…I so would love to try this :-)

moraiwe

I keep reading notes about this tea, and it just keeps sounding more and more amazing haha!

Butiki Teas

I think this one may get a spot on our shelf. :)

CelebriTEA

Woot! Woot!

JustJames

and the blend get wings ;0)

MissB

Yay!!

Cavocorax

Woooooooo!

tigress_al

I am not really the biggest fan if banana in tea but this sounds amazing!

JustJames

you know, i have a serious banana bias as well…. i was the one that suggested the banana? i think stacy almost fell over. the tea wants what the tea wants i guess, lol. needless to say it really does work perfectly.

Butiki Teas

Hahaha. Yep. I was thinking, “banana, that’s not going to work at all. Ok never mind, it’s awesome!”

JustJames

i remember you saying that and wondering who i was insisting that it really was going to be great, lol. geez. life’s a funny old thing…. me, the banana hater.

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72

A huge thank you to CelebriTEA for including this in the Turkey Gift swap gift to me!

I just got home. It’s 2:00am, and I’ve been drinking. So, I turn to tea to re-hydrate and make me feel a bit less tipsy, because it was one of those nights. You know, the one where you’re laughing so much your cheeks hurt, you feel loved and appreciated by new, dear friends, and where you’re kicked out of not one, but two establishments for lingering so late.

This was the first decaf tea I came across as I logged everything CelebriTEA sent (in her third package! holy moly gal, you really do swaps with style!), and it was on my shopping list for 52Teas, so this was great timing.

I missing getting a whiff before I steeped it, and after steeping it just smelled like honeybush. My first few sips were uneventful, so I added some Truvia to the mix. Yep, that amped things up a bit. Something sweet in there, like… candied ginger…. maybe? Really, I’m just getting a sweet honeybush – which I like, and is nice, however I’m missing the pumpkin and cheesecake entirely.

I’ll try this again when it’s cooled as I made a litre; I find many of Frank’s blends better after they’re lukewarm or iced.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
CelebriTEA

Next time you try it warm, add a lil packet of truvia and a spot of cream.
My favorite with it is eggnog creamer….mmmmm…YUM!

Tuscanteal

What a wonderful evening by the sounds of it! I love those nights where the laughter is so abundant you feel like your abs and cheeks had a work out. This tea note made me giggle because I can picture you coming home and thinking “Tea” followed by “Must log this on Steepster.”

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99

What a beautiful, unusual tea!

I’ve got two tea gift bags and a swap package sitting next to me, so whatever it is I’m smelling is delicious – and likely something other than the tea I’m drinking. ;)

Huge green leaves, chunks of what look like potato and something else? are in this blend. Steeped, it was a very, very light color, which surprised me – I actually opened up the Breville to make sure the tea had steeped properly. It did.

I can taste the tea foremost (lovely!), the applesauce, and something very latke-ish. It’s comforting, sweet and full, like biting into a potato almost, although I find there’s little taste there the few times I have eaten a raw potato, so it’s more the mouthfeel I’m comparing it to than anything. I added sweetener only because I’m a huge applesauce fan, and because we used to make our latkes like they were applesauce with latkes instead of the other way around.

Interesting note, of only semi-relation to the tea: I was raised with little to no religious instruction or guidance. I knew there was a story there, however my parents both passed before I really was able to get any sort of fleshed out details, and asking the family members left was… puzzling and, well, met with negative reactions. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, occasionally went to midnight mass (my Dad was Italian Catholic, my Mom, Dutch), and then for a few years we attended these amazing get-togethers at what I think was UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, where we made dreidels, ate latkes and listened to people sing in Hebrew. It was magical and a whole lot of fun.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I’m in Seattle attending film school, and I meet a Jewish man that I end up writing a rom-com with. It’s Friday night Shabbat, and as he joins me in the ceremony, I start crying. Quietly. I realize, in that moment, I am Jewish, and that this is something I’ve done many times before, yet had zero idea why, or even when. I kept quiet, wiped my tears, and went on with the evening.

Later, I received confirmation that yes, my Mother’s mother was Jewish and therefore I am as well. Long story short, a great uncle of mine along with my grandfather, published Mein Kampf in Dutch to avert the authorities from realizing they were Jewish. I have a cousin in her 80s in Amsterdam who still runs the bookstore and art shop where this all went down. I should note that this all occurred before my Mom was born – the beauty of having a family so large there’s a generation that divides them.

Anyway. This tea is an emotional one for me, for many of the reasons listed above. I am thankful to all of you who chose to read this novel of a tealog, to Stacy for making it, and for the opportunity to share these details (for the first time in public) here. Chag Sameach!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JustJames

i have a jewish step family. it is important to note that judaism is one of the few religions where you can be a non believer and still be a member: a jew is a jew, regardless of belief. a rare thing. my step father always reveled in ‘jewish pork chop wednesdays’ lol, and griped as he helped us haul up the christmas tree… just like every year he would wince as we muddled the hebrew words of the channukah prayers…. we tried hard!

happy channukha MissB. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

yyz

Thanks for sharing such and intimate and personal experience and memory. Interfaith families can flesh out to be really interesting but also confusing experiences. I have friends who have Hindu/ Muslim, and Sikh/Catholic as well as other various backgrounds. My family with a few exceptions has fallen out of faith which is kind of sad considering my G. grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, but I do understand the value of spirituality and have felt incredible energy and had incredible experiences in spiritual places and sharing in the rites of others. Most of the time, I kind of feel like a spiritual refugee. The faiths of my ancestors have been lost to time and I haven’t really found a form of spirituality that I connect completely with. Even my older Christian relatives used to go to different denomination churches every week when I visited them. I’m glad that you were able to find such an intimate connection to your faith and heritage. Enjoy this holiday season!

JustJames

yyz…. has anyone told you today that you are awesome?

MissB

More tears, the good kind. Thank you both. :)

Ysaurella

what a lovely review :) I have a sample of this tea and I should have it tomorrow

TheTeaFairy

Awww! MissB , you have me all choked up and full of chills…The irony that they had to print that awful book. I had to read it many years ago for a school project and I wished I could just forget about its madness.
What an incredible and inspiring story. You’re a very good writer, such a heartfelt story. thanks for sharing :-)

Butiki Teas

Thank you for sharing that! :)

Bonnie

Beautiful!

MissB

Thank you all. :) When I was researching my heritage, I heard a story from a relatively famous rabbi who said, “Mein Kampf was the best book ever written.” Puzzled, the interviewer asked why he would ever say such a thing. I’m paraphrasing, however he responded something along the lines of, “Many a Jew kept this book in their home during the war, and that’s why I, and others like me, are/still alive.” So I too am grateful for the book, even if it’s an unusual take on the subject.

yyz

have you ever seen Europa, Europa? It’s a movie from the early to mid 80’s I think, but along similar veins. It’s a true story about how a teenage Jewish boy survives the second world war among the Nazi’s. His attempts at fleeing result in him being adopted by a German army unit, and he ends up having to play along in order to survive. It’s a movie I think you might appreciate, as I always find that it is also a message about how we can still find humanity and kindness among other even in very dark times.

boychik

Your story made me cry. Beautiful note

MissB

Thank you boychik. I mean, crying is a good thing in this case, right? :) Also, thanks for the suggestion yyz!

boychik

Amazing that you made such a discovery and bad that jews were prosecuted for many centures. i ordered Run boy run for my daughter last summer. turned out i was a reader, she said its too sad for her. i will make sure she reads it but dont want any pressure.

Lynxiebrat

Made me tear up, but that’s ok. smiles It’s hard for many people to contemplate the idea of doing distastful or outrightly awful things in the name of survival.

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drank Carrot Cake by Della Terra Teas
1216 tasting notes

I’m cranky. I’m tired. I wanted tea more than anything tonight, and had little patience to find something I really, really wanted without caffeine. So, I grabbed this. I actually grabbed a few others prior, because I wanted to try something Della Terra -ish tonight as I made an order with them. This was the only decaf that smelled like something other than the seemingly standard maple syrup -flavored pancake syrup smell I’ve come to associate with many of DT’s rooibos teas.

Dry and steeped, I got little from this other than perhaps some carrot and rooibos. It’s an okay blend, however I’m still getting that pancake-syrupy sweetness and little else. Cream cheese? I wish I tasted some. Carrot cake? Well, maybe. A little, teensy bit?

I feel like I’m doing something wrong with these teas, as all of the DTs have basically tasted the same to me, so far. Not going to rate it, as my crankiness has now taken over.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

That must be why the Pumpkin one and the Oatmeal Cookie one are so similar – the ubiquitous “flavour”. I hope you find some that work for you.

MissB

I’m sure I will. Really though, I also know there are tons of folks here who will gladly take them off my hands. It could also be me and my general grouchiness tonight. A shower and some tea helped. :)

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93
drank Good Morning Sunshine by Butiki Teas
1216 tasting notes

What a lovely wake-up tea, even if I messed it up a bit.

You see, I was in a rush yesterday to grab a rental vehicle to grab a desk and chair for my daughter from a friend whose moving. I’ve struggled with sleep the past few days, so I thought something called “Good Morning, Sunshine!” would do nicely. I steeped it exactly as per Stacy’s instructions, and then promptly left it on the counter, in my go-to cup, as I ran out the door. By the time I got home late last night, I knew it was too late for a guayusa. And so, I packed it up and left the tea until now.

Maybe it’s because I left it out overnight, however I taste more of the sharpness of the guayasa in this blend than in other Butiki guayasa’s. Still, it’s absolutely lovely, and tastes like meringue pie. This actually strongly reminds me of Lemon Meringue Rooibos by Tealish – sweet, creamy and tartly lemonlicious. Only difference between the two is the base, and I could love them equally depending on the time of day.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Amariel

I almost had this one this morning/afternoon when I got up, but opted to try the sample of Hattialli Golden Lion Assam instead.

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75
drank Red Bush Chai by Teajo Teas
1216 tasting notes

Received my order from Teajo today, and this was my first choice to try. Why? Because the bag exploded everywhere while in transit, covering the inside of the shipping container with rooibos and ‘natural spices’ (that’s the list of ingredients on the bag). I, having zero tolerance for exploding tea, poured the whole shebang into my Breville for 1L of tea. Who knows if the proportions are right? I’m not measuring the mess.

This smells like a chai, and tastes like licorice. That’s all I’m getting here. Which, is nice if you like licorice (I do), I just wanted more depth from this tea than that one flavor. Oh, wait, I can taste something spicier now too a few sips in… peppery, maybe some ginger sans bite.

Ah, well look at that. This sample bag should have netted me 8-10 cups, and I used it for four. Well, that explains that.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
JennyFur

I’ve heard more stories lately about exploding tea or stuff getting opened in shipping over the last few weeks. How unfortunate. Maybe contact the company?

MissB

Yea, I sent them a note. Still waiting to hear back. Another package arrived the same day that was even more odd (two 1lb bags taped together), however everything in that was intact.

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79
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
1216 tasting notes

My go-to cup when I’m in the mall and wanting a nice pick-me-up. Sadly, I just noticed there’s actual dairy/chocolate bits in there (a downfall when asking someone else to make tea for you, is that you avoid seeing the bits and pieces in the brew).

Of bigger note during this visit was the reaction of a staffer for whom I’d left some tea for a few days back. The person who took it from me failed to tell said staffer, and just ‘left it in the back’. So when I entered DAVIDs today, I asked the gal I’d brought it for if she got it… and then all hell (in a good way!) broke out. Squeals, laughter, hugs across the counter, and even a long, slow running actual hug in thanks. She went in the back to find it, said she’d hoped it was the tea I’d left for her, and would I be offended if she brewed some up right now?

Gosh no. And so, the smell of Mint Chocolate Chip tea from another company took over DAVIDs at Metrotown today, and I take full responsibility for the chaos, squeals, and new friendships that ensued. Yay for tea!

OMGsrsly

That’s too awesome. :)

JustJames

hmmmm. heh heh heh. have i got a treat for you leaving…… =0)

Dexter

Awwweeee great story!!!!

MissB

What was funniest was the gal behind the counter showing me how much I’d made her day by this tiny gift, while the friend I’d dragged into DAVIDs laughed at our nerdiness, and then spent most of the visit texting. Which is cool, because I do the same thing sometimes. Just funny to me how tea can really bond some of us.

Heh. I look forward to what you have in store, JustJames!

VariaTEA

My sister has a friend who gets really excited with me about teas and my sister just kind of sits there and shakes her head. I think our love of tea is just too much for some people.

JustJames

i love to surprise people with tea…. love to spring a happy leafy surprise. i’m glad you had such an awesome tea ninja day!

Tuscanteal

Sooo cute!! My boyfriend thinks I’m a tea junkie, but has accepted it as one of my very very cute quirks. I love tea!

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90

Beautifully well-balanced cup!

Wasn’t much to this other than a ‘normal’ chai smell both in the bag and as it brewed. It’s got a bit of bite to it at the end (just like it says in the description), however it’s minor and complements the tea well. I can taste everything here in perfect proportions… cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, even the black decaf. I think it’s perfect just as a decaf black; adding Truvia upped the ginger a bit and the heat dimmed down ever so slightly.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
MissB

Dexter, I’ve saved the last cup of this for you. There’s definitely cinnamon in it, however it’s well blended into the cup. I think (hope?) you’ll enjoy it.

Dexter

Awesome thank you!! I don’t mind cinnamon, I just don’t want it to be the ONLY spice in a chai.

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77

Long day, longer night, and I was still having dreams about coming home to the Laoshan Black from earlier today. Yet, I need to sleep at some point, so I grabbed the first rooibos I found: this one.

It smells delicious, like juicy, ripe peaches, and even more so as it steeps. The smell however threw me as I drank it. Sure, it’s flavored tea, however it got lost in the rooibos. >sniffsip

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
CelebriTEA

This sounds good.
I love peaches and apricots in tea, but sometimes if the flavor
isn’t strong enough it does seem to “get lost”…
I fell in love with the Apricot Guayusa from Butiki and in a few days,
I will have to order more ;-)

MissB

The Apricot Guayasa is amazing! I’ll put some of this aside for you CelebriTEA, and you can try it, too.

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98
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1216 tasting notes

A HUGE thank you to Dexter3657 for very generously sending some of this along to me in a swap.

As soon as I opened the bag, I knew I was a goner. It smells like dark, expensive chocolate, the kind that’s pure cocoa. Oh. My. Goodness. Steeped, it filled my kitchen full of the same smell, and when my teenage daughter came home, she asked what I was baking. (Tea, I must add, was a disappointing answer to her).

It tastes dark, strong and bitter – but not in an astringent kind of way. Bitter as in cacao bitter, like the nibs. I want to share this with all of my tea-loving friends, and then I think.. no, I want to hoard this. Which is funny since I’m far from a hoarder, and yet this tea makes me want to keep it all to myself to enjoy. Forever. Always.

Top five teas of all time. Definitely. A great way to start murder mystery day!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dexter

Awesome, so glad that you like it. I have another in this style that you would probably also like. Remind me next time I send you tea…

Bonnie

I’ve been drinking this tea for 2 years with delight! One thing that I use the tea for is as a boost to other Verdant blends like the Winter Ginger Blend which hasn’t any tea, our my own creations. A little goes a long way. Resteeps well. Western brewing is the favorite style for about everyone.

MissB

I wish I’d kept the leaves to resteep it. I was just.. too tired. Definitely will become a staple in this house though. Great idea, Bonnie!

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Profile

Bio

Teaholic! Currently loving flavored blacks, greens, whites, green rooibos blends, straight blacks and greens, and have a long-standing adoration for herbals/medicinals. Dessert teas top my list along with anything cocoa-y.

I own an obscene amount of tea, and am always happy to share. Having said that, I’m traveling indefinitely (currently in France, was in Ireland and England prior, next up Belgium) so my stash will sit and wait for me, as I send back tea to explore more when I get home again.

In addition to loving tea, I’m a dating columnist, single mom, nerd, and avid knitter. I read way too much, type even more, and spend my ‘free’ time exploring, playing board games, reading, hiking, hanging with friends.

Allergies: Strawberries and all grains. I’m having a mild allergic reaction to both lavender and some roses in tea, and thus I’m avoiding these for now as well. I also avoid sugar and Splenda where possible.

Location

Burnaby, BC, Canada

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