148 Tasting Notes

62

EU TTB Round 2!

Spicy and a little fruity. 62, no keep.

That’s the extent of my original note on this tea. Unfortunately I don’t remember enough to add any more to that.

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52
drank Keemun Hao Ya by Tea Palace
148 tasting notes

Yet another from the EU TTB! Man I was bad at logging those. Apparently I wasn’t so keen – all I have written about it is ‘52. No keep.’ Haha so not for me! I remember thinking it was a little odd and sour, but that’s about it. I’ve read the other notes on it, and I don’t remember tasting anything that the other girls did. Maybe the sample was funked up by something else in the box?

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76
drank Golden Monkey by Tea Palace
148 tasting notes

Another tea from the EU TTB round 2. I remember this a little better, but still not well. It was quite malty and almost bready, and I remember being quite impressed. I didn’t keep it as I was more into trying flavoured teas at the time, but I think if I happened across it again I’d give it another shot.

Preparation
1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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51

I tried this during the EU TTB Round 2 an age back, and only looking through my tries just now noticed that I never write up a note on it. I don’t remember a great deal about it, only that it wasn’t that memorable. Which I guess is self-explanatory seeing as I don’t remember it lol. It was nice enough, green, mild, and a little perfume-y.

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67
drank Shalimar by Tealux
148 tasting notes

Sipdown! (25/312)

This one came from KittyLovesTea, though I don’t know if it was from our regular swap or the Secret Pumpkin. Anyway, thanks Kayleigh!

I’ve had this for a while, and always just expected it to be ‘meh’ so never really got excited to drink it. I put it in my ‘to drink’ box as part of my sipdown challenge, though, and decided to have a cup a few days back. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it! To which I owe the tea, company and Kitty an apology. I’ve been drinking it ever since, and just had my final cup now. The oolong is fairly dark, and slightly nutty, and the flavours kind of meld together so that it seems quite natural. It’s definitely juicy, and fruity, but I’m not sure I’d be able to identify which fruits exactly are involved if I didn’t already know. The rose comes up as a vaguely floral aftertaste. This is a nice summery tea, and if I had more I would probably try cold steeping in the summer. But I don’t, so I won’t – it’s good, but I have others I’d be more likely to restock.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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18
drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
148 tasting notes

I know I’m kinda of bucking the trend here, but I really can’t get behind this tea.

The dry mix smelled really good, so I was pretty hopeful, but as soon as I poured the water it went really sour. Plain, all I taste is sour, with a mild aftertaste of coconut. I added a sweetener to see if that helped it out any, and it ended up WAY too sweet, but I think I tasted the pineapple a little more. Finally I added a splash of milk, which I prefer not t do with honey bush usually, and it actually helped a bit. As it started to cool, I still got sour honeybush as the main flavour, but it was followed up by creamy coconut and pineapple. I’m not sure why, but even then I couldn’t enjoy it. I could tell that it was sort of like a piña colada, and I could tell that the flavours were there. There is just something about it which made me dislike it, and I can’t put my finger on what. I’ve disliked nearly every pineapple tea I’ve ever tried, despite loving the fruit, so maybe it’s that. It might just be time to officially add ‘pineapple’ to the ‘never in tea’ list.

Frank finished off my cup, since I couldn’t stomach it. I’m thinking I’ll probably either give him the rest of the pouch or cold brew it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Ah, maybe dried pineapple isn’t your thing? I’m kind of like that with the canned stuff despite loving it fresh.

Nattie

Yeah that could be it! I’ve had the little cubies and I’m not a fan of those either…

Fjellrev

It’s funny how pineapple can taste SO different depending on how it’s preserved. :)

Nattie

Totally. I think pineapple is definitely going on my no-no list.

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74

First tea from my last proper Butiki order! I have two mystery boxes on the way, so there’s still that to look forward to.

This is tasty. But it’s more ‘strawberries and cream’ than ‘strawberry Irish cream’. The strawberry scent in the bag is very strong. It tempers down after brewing, but the taste is prominently strawberry, too. The cream comes through in the aftertaste to round it out, along with a light vegetal note from the base. It’s a very smooth cup. I added a sweetener part way through, and honestly I prefered it without. The base comes out a little more and the strawberry fades a bit, but it’s sweet enough on its own. I don’t get any of the ‘Irish’ either way.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83
drank Treacle Tart by Custom-Adagio Teas
148 tasting notes

IT’S MY FIRST STEEPSTER BIRTHDAY!!!

I feel like I need to post a tasting note to commemorate the occasion. This will have to do. It’s been another deadline day for me today, which means staying in pyjamas all day, unshowered while staring at my laptop and wishing I was dead. Not a good day for a birthday/anniversary, overall. I chose to review this tea because it was one of only two cups I had today while I was working, and I don’t even remember what the first one was.

This is a nice tea to sip on. I chose it today since I needed calming down, and it actually kind of helped. The mixture of black and rooibos in the base makes it robust enough to keep me focused while relaxing me at the same time. I quite like the combined base! The predominant flavour here is definitely caramel. As somebody who grew up having treacle tart as dessert with school lunches, I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect match, but it definitely reminds me of the filling. There’s a burnt caramel, thick treacle-y note which transports me right back, and it’s actually very tasty. There’s even a suet-y taste, although I’m not sure if that’s maybe coming from the rooibos or my imagination. I’m missing the flaky pastry taste which would make this a spot on representation of a treacle tart in tea form, but as it is it’s a good tea and I don’t suppose you’d know the difference if you’d never had treacle tart before. I’ve just started considering making tea syrup, as I’ve read a few interesting things about them, and this might be a good place to start.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Lindsay

Happy Steepster-versary :)

Roswell Strange

Happy Steepster birthday!

Fjellrev

Yay, happy anniversary!

ashmanra

Happy Steepster Anniversary, Nattie, and many more!

Sil

yay for steepsterversary’s!

carol who

Congrats!

DeliriumsFrogs

Happy Steepster Bday! :))

Nattie

Thanks everyone! (:

Red Fennekin

Happy belated Steepster Birthday! :D

Nattie

Thank you! :D

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100
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
148 tasting notes

This is my favourite tea of all time, and what better way to celebrate my 100th tasting note? There’s nothing I can rate this tea other than 100, because it is just that beautiful.

After spending ages writing up this note and concentrating really hard on it, Steepster decided to crash on me and delete the entire thing. I wanted to give this tea an amazing review, but that will now have to wait for another time as I have work to do. So sad I lost my review! It was almost finished, too ):

This tea is crazy good. The scent is perfect maple syrup when hot, and then the woodsy base and the pecans come out to play when it cools a little, though the maple is still prominent. The flavour is fairly similar – sweet and maple syrupy when hot, with the Nilgiri frost becoming more prominent as the tea cools. This brings out some woodsiness and nuttiness, which work perfectly with the pecan, which also becomes more prominent when cooled slightly. I also get fairly strong buttery notes as it cooled, which I would tentatively attribute to the Nilgiri, although I’ve never had it in its unadulterated form. These buttery notes come across to me as pastry-like, and I think that one of the reasons I love this tea so much is that it reminds me strongly of a pecan plait – a Danish pastry filled with a thick mixture of pecans and maple syrup. I love the flavours of the pastry, although they’re maybe even better in the tea, in my opinion, but I have a couple of issues with them in that they’re so unhealthy and after the first couple of bites become far too sweet and sickly. This tea is the perfect alternative – all of the flavour amped up by a wonderful base tea, with none of the guilty, greasy-fingered queasiness afterwards.

The mouthfeel of this tea amazes me. It’s thick and syrupy while I’m drinking it, and afterwards I get a feeling which is difficult to put into words but it’s exactly the texture I associate with pecans.

I can get three wonderful western-style steeps out of this (4 mins @80, then 5 mins @80, and finally 5 mins @90), although now that I have a limited supply I will probably try to eke out all the flavour I can and maybe go for a fourth or even fifth steep. I once managed to get 7. I would like to try this gong fu, but I’m a little hesitant to use some of my already-far-too-small supply to do so, as I already know that I love it brewed Western style.

Drinking this is bittersweet. Each sip brings me closer to never drinking it again, and I just don’t know how I’ll handle that.

Decadent and elegant and so so good.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

Oh, the feels! Thanks for this note, since I just went to the Butiki site to see the change for myself (closed for business). It feels so final now.

adagio breeze

Yeah, the flavored teas are the hardest to part with. We’ll be able to find replacements for most of the straight teas easily enough, but nobody does flavor alchemy like Stacy. I’m actually starting to consider finding flavorings so I can try to recreate some of my favorites.

Nattie

That was my plan at one point. Buying flavourings at retail is ridiculous, they’re all such large quantities.

You’re right about the flavour alchemy though – I doubt I’d ever be able to do what Stacy does did. ):

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86

This was supposed to be a sipdown, but I did a silly thing. I was brewing up the last of my sample of this tea from MissB to share with a visiting friend, who asked me to pick out his tea for him. I had roughly 2.5 teaspoons left, so the plan was to brew 2 of that in my IngenuiTEA to make us a cup each, and then make a small cup with the remaining half a spoon to fill my travel mug up. I have to go into university as I have a lot of work to do which involves many late-night library sessions, and I thought one final big mug of this would be nice company.

BUT then I did the silly thing. When I’m making 2 cups worth in my IngenuiTEA, I often find that the first cup pours out really strong and the second pretty weak, due to the settling of the leaves in the pot. To counteract this, I’ll pour the cups back in so that they mix and then refill the cups right away. I usually do this over the sink, to avoid messy spillage, but today I was in a hurry so I thought what the heck, what harm can it do to pour it over the bench? There’ll maybe be a few drips to wipe up, so what. Only I wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was doing, and I ended up pouring the first cup back in while the IngenuiTEA was still sitting on top of the second cup. Of course, this meant that the mechanism which releases the tea was open, and the tea I poured in just came flooding straight back out, and ended up all over the bench and floor, including under the microwave D: so I ended up having a really tiny cup and saving the also tiny remaining leaf to make a final cup which I can properly concentrate on for my sipdown. Sigh.

Briefly, though, I am still loving Cara’s fandom blends. They are seriously inspired. This one is just like Moriarty – seemingly sweet and delicious at first, with a kick that isn’t discovered until he’s already got you hooked. I prefer this to the ‘Moriarty’ tea by Cara, as there’s a lot less ginger, but it’s definitely still present. I am very glad MissB was kind enough to include in in my mystery box, as it was a wishlist tea I didn’t have too much hope of trying, seeing as the UK Adagio store doesn’t stock it. (I seriously hate how limited it is compared to the US one). This tea actually reminds me a lot of the ‘Mycroft’ blend, which I love. Despite not containing any of the same teas, when combined their ingredients are very similar. Both start off with a chocolatey, sweet chai flavour which translates as spiced cake (I believe it’s meant to in the Mycroft blend). Only where Mycroft finishes with vanilla and cream notes which evoke frosting, Science of Destruction lures you in and then hits you at the end of the sip with a spicy ginger kick. Super yummy, and great for these cold winter nights. I wish I hadn’t wasted nearly a whole cup. ):

tl;dr – I temporarily disengaged my brain and poured tea everywhere, and I wish I hadn’t because this is tasty.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Bio

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 almost three years.

Black teas 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 growing increasingly fond of unflavoured 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, raspberry, coconut, blueberry and pumpkin

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice and pineapple

I am a 20 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day. 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 parter 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 of regular old fannings 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. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 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 rarer 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. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

Huddersfield, UK

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