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I received this is this month’s Hapa-tite tea swap from my paired swap-buddy KittyLovesTea thanks Kayleigh! I actually received the package probably a week ago, and have tried several of the teas included but have been too busy to review any. I also have to send mine off (sorry, Kayleigh) which should be done today. I mentioned in my last post that life is kinda hectic at the moment, and annoyingly it still is. I have to write 2000 words by Monday, and then another 2000 by the next day, as I totally forgot I’m going away for a week and won’t be back until the essay deadline! So yeah, panic mode. I’m making a little time to write this up, though, because A) I wanted to thank Kayleigh for my package (which was totally amazing – so many wishlist teas I can now tick off!! Thank you!!) and B) as it was a sipdown which I actually had yesterday, and I don’t want to leave it so long I forget what it was like.

When opening the package, this really intrigued me, as I’ve never seen anything like it before. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be sort of sour, or salty almost, so I decided to have it as my wake-up tea. This turned out to be a complete misjudgement, as the tea is in fact thick, with a little touch of sweetness, and very very buttery. A little too rich for my not-quite-awake-yet stomach, but my tastebuds sure did appreciate it. The dry mix smells sweet, which should have been my first clue, and the liquor, which I expected to come out a dark brown (I seriously have no idea where I got any of this from) actually came out at a creamy light browny yellow – pretty much like a standard British cuppa with a lot of milk added. I drank this plain, and it was sweet enough as is to not need sugar, and so thick that I think adding milk to it would be as bizarre a thing to do as adding it to a green tea.

Other than what I’ve already said, I can’t seem to find the words to explain the taste. It is so very unlike anything I’ve had before that the only thing which I can find to say is that it’s buttery, which goes without saying! The other flavours and notes are new to me, and I am very glad to have had the chance to try such an unusual yet tasty tea. Who knows – perhaps at some point in time I may find myself purchasing some of this. If I came across it in a shop, I would definitely be more likely to pick some up now I know what it’s like.

A very enjoyable, if surprising, cup. Thanks again, KittyLovesTea!

Preparation
Boiling
Marzipan

Yak butter?

Nattie

Yeah! It sounds so strange, but it was really good! (: I wouldn’t have even considered buying it just because of that, so I’m even more glad I got it in my swap

gmathis

You are a brave and intrepid tea taster. I first read about this when writing a curriculum project for kids, and while we are supposed to test the activities we write, I couldn’t bring myself to butter a cup of tea :)

Nattie

Hehe, I try! Writing the first tasting note for a tea is a very daunting task. I’m not sure I did it justice.

I was very dubious at first, but as soon as I had my first sip I relaxed! If you come across it again, I would recommend trying it (: very tasty

Marzipan

I had to go read up on this. I thought “yak butter” might not be literal, but I guess it is! Curious what it looked like? Did it appear to already have the butter in it? Wikipedia suggests people add their own local butter now.

Copy/paste (I love learning new things!)
The highest quality tea is made by boiling the tea leaves in water for half a day, achieving a dark brown color. It is then skimmed, and poured into a cylinder with fresh yak butter and salt which is then shaken. The result is a purplish liquid that is about the thickness of a stew2 or thick oil. It is then poured into clay tea-pots, or jars, that resemble Japanese teapots.5

Another method is to boil water, and add handfuls of the tea into the water, which is allowed to steep until it turns almost black. Salt is then added, along with a little soda if wanted. The tea is then strained through a horse-hair or reed colander into a wooden butter churn, and a large lump of butter is added. This is then churned until the tea reaches the proper consistency and transferred to copper pots that sit on a brazier to keep them warm. When a churn is not available, a wooden bowl and rapid stirring will suffice.6

Nowadays, when tea leaves, yak butter and wooden butter churn is not available, people often make butter tea using tea bags, different types of butter available in the market and a blender to churn.7

Nattie

Oh that’s so interesting! I didn’t even think to look it up :‘)
It was instant tea, so like a powder in a sachet. Very lightly coloured, about the colour of butter so I think it had already been mixed in and then ground up. It definitely wasn’t purple!

KittyLovesTea

This didn’t show up in my feed :( I came by to say that I received your tea swap parcel from the Hapa-tite exchange today. Thanks for the teas :) Particularly intrigued by the Honey & Melon – English Tea Shop as I adore melon.

I’m also glad I added this tea in for you to try, it arrived the same morning I sent your package out. I’m also guilty of not yet daring to try it but aim to in the next day or two. Hope things calm down for you soon, my life is on a down slope at the moment too. I look forward to seeing more reviews when you return :)

Nattie

I’m glad they reached you alright! I wanted to add more, but then I would have been doubling up on teas I’ve planned on adding to the tea box :/ not sure if I mentioned it on my note, but the honey & melon is very melon-y! Not much tea, but lots of melon – I would recommend two bags per cup unless you have a delicate palate. I’m sure I’ve already said all that on the package, but just in case I forgot!

I hope this review encourages you to try it, it’s really not quite as difficult a leap to make as it sounds once you’ve plucked up the courage to open the little packet (:

Cwyn

This is the tea of Tibetan monks, I intend to make some and try it sometime, it is a brave cuppa!

Nattie

It’s definitely worth trying, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to attempt to make it from scratch, though! (:

Cwyn

My plan is to use something like a Xiaguan Tibetan tuo cha or a brick and use our local butter or cream and see how it turns out. The recipe also includes sugar and a pinch of salt.

Nattie

Review it on Steepster if you do, I’d love to read how it goes (:
I bet that would be really good, authentic Tibetan tea (:

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Comments

Marzipan

Yak butter?

Nattie

Yeah! It sounds so strange, but it was really good! (: I wouldn’t have even considered buying it just because of that, so I’m even more glad I got it in my swap

gmathis

You are a brave and intrepid tea taster. I first read about this when writing a curriculum project for kids, and while we are supposed to test the activities we write, I couldn’t bring myself to butter a cup of tea :)

Nattie

Hehe, I try! Writing the first tasting note for a tea is a very daunting task. I’m not sure I did it justice.

I was very dubious at first, but as soon as I had my first sip I relaxed! If you come across it again, I would recommend trying it (: very tasty

Marzipan

I had to go read up on this. I thought “yak butter” might not be literal, but I guess it is! Curious what it looked like? Did it appear to already have the butter in it? Wikipedia suggests people add their own local butter now.

Copy/paste (I love learning new things!)
The highest quality tea is made by boiling the tea leaves in water for half a day, achieving a dark brown color. It is then skimmed, and poured into a cylinder with fresh yak butter and salt which is then shaken. The result is a purplish liquid that is about the thickness of a stew2 or thick oil. It is then poured into clay tea-pots, or jars, that resemble Japanese teapots.5

Another method is to boil water, and add handfuls of the tea into the water, which is allowed to steep until it turns almost black. Salt is then added, along with a little soda if wanted. The tea is then strained through a horse-hair or reed colander into a wooden butter churn, and a large lump of butter is added. This is then churned until the tea reaches the proper consistency and transferred to copper pots that sit on a brazier to keep them warm. When a churn is not available, a wooden bowl and rapid stirring will suffice.6

Nowadays, when tea leaves, yak butter and wooden butter churn is not available, people often make butter tea using tea bags, different types of butter available in the market and a blender to churn.7

Nattie

Oh that’s so interesting! I didn’t even think to look it up :‘)
It was instant tea, so like a powder in a sachet. Very lightly coloured, about the colour of butter so I think it had already been mixed in and then ground up. It definitely wasn’t purple!

KittyLovesTea

This didn’t show up in my feed :( I came by to say that I received your tea swap parcel from the Hapa-tite exchange today. Thanks for the teas :) Particularly intrigued by the Honey & Melon – English Tea Shop as I adore melon.

I’m also glad I added this tea in for you to try, it arrived the same morning I sent your package out. I’m also guilty of not yet daring to try it but aim to in the next day or two. Hope things calm down for you soon, my life is on a down slope at the moment too. I look forward to seeing more reviews when you return :)

Nattie

I’m glad they reached you alright! I wanted to add more, but then I would have been doubling up on teas I’ve planned on adding to the tea box :/ not sure if I mentioned it on my note, but the honey & melon is very melon-y! Not much tea, but lots of melon – I would recommend two bags per cup unless you have a delicate palate. I’m sure I’ve already said all that on the package, but just in case I forgot!

I hope this review encourages you to try it, it’s really not quite as difficult a leap to make as it sounds once you’ve plucked up the courage to open the little packet (:

Cwyn

This is the tea of Tibetan monks, I intend to make some and try it sometime, it is a brave cuppa!

Nattie

It’s definitely worth trying, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to attempt to make it from scratch, though! (:

Cwyn

My plan is to use something like a Xiaguan Tibetan tuo cha or a brick and use our local butter or cream and see how it turns out. The recipe also includes sugar and a pinch of salt.

Nattie

Review it on Steepster if you do, I’d love to read how it goes (:
I bet that would be really good, authentic Tibetan tea (:

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Hi. I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a couple of years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for over a year.

I mainly drink black teas, and they make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m trying to include natural teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: a lot of different things, but my absolute favourites are caramel, chestnut, chilli, raspberry, coconut, and really fruity teas

Tea-dislikes: vanilla, ginger, coriander/cilantro and cardamom

I am a 19 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day! I stopped drinking alcohol only a few months after becoming old enough to drink it, and don’t miss it one bit. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV quiz shows (about the only things I watch regularly, unless Sherlock or Doctor Who is on), basketball (NBA, both the video game and actual sport – Chicago Bulls fan, and playing with my university girls’ team. I also watch my partner play, as he’s on the men’s team) and football/soccer (just watching – a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rare for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard (which should be up to date) and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap!

I tend to ramble. Sorry.

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