158 Tasting Notes
These are so cute! I don’t know why I didn’t try them as soon as I got my Butiki order. But whatevs!
Method: 6 stars, 10 oz, 180 degrees, 5 minutes, Dr. Who Mug
Aroma: mmmmm grassy!
Flavor: This is kind of interesting. I’m not a big fan of greens, so I really don’t know why I bought these. Probably just because they are so darn cute, if we want to be honest here. And they’re certainly adorable and spiky as they steep and open a bit.
I’m surprised and impressed by the flavor. They SMELL grassy, but I don’t find the taste to be overly grassy. They taste freshly green, but mildly so. There’s a buttery feel to this tea also. I’ll be adding this to the short list of green teas that I really like!
Thanks to Cameron B for the sample!
This is my first H&S tea, and I’m a little sad because I don’t love it. I use one sachet in 208 degree water for 4 minutes. The instructions said boiling for 5, but I always get a little nervous about long steeps at high temps, so I bumped it down a bit.
This one has some pleasant flavors, but it’s rather bitter on the finish. So the sip starts nicely, but then I go BLARGH! at the end.
I have one more sachet, so maybe I will try a low temp, short steep, for the heck of it!
Edit: So, I lied. I did this for 5.5 min at 200 degrees using Cam’s suggestion and it IS less bitter. Mind=blown. How does that happen? I still wouldn’t call it a fave, but it’s definitely better, so I am bumping up the score a bit. TEA TWILIGHT ZONE!!!!!
I’m having a lovely evening at home, relaxing with my dogs, reading some Joseph Campbell. You simply haven’t lived if you’ve never read “The Power of Myth”. It’s a life-changer, swearsies!
Method: 3.3 g, 3 oz, rinse, 10-15-20 seconds, 200 degrees, ru kiln gaiwan
Aroma: fruit and new leather. Hey, dried apricots! This also smells like dried plums! And spring forests!
Flavor: This is so mild and pretty. I think this one has a slightly more astringent finish than some of the other shengs I’ve tried. It’s kind of refreshing. It definitely has some fruity flavors, but is a little less sweet.
The only things missing from my wonderful evening are my boyfriend, who is at work, and a huge, puffy reading chair which I do not own. Yet.
I think I am going to work out some kind of goal to read at least one chapter of a chosen Joseph Campbell book per week, and to do so while drinking a pretty sheng. JC and sheng are pretty much a perfect match. I really have to work on that puffy reading chair, too…
Holy Crap. This tea is BLACK. Like my soul. :p
Method: I followed MzPriss’s instructions. But I did just do 1/2 a batch to start because I wasn’t sure I could handle the dark side. So it was about 1.5 tsp Special dark, a small pinch? of Black Beauty, 8 oz water, 208 degrees.
Aroma: This smells like a cave of mystery
Flavor: Well. It turns out that I am not quite ready for the dark side. This tastes a little burny. Not like the burninator or anything, but a wee bit smoky perhaps?
Luckily, I know I’m kind of a weenie when it comes to the ultra darks, so I brought along the bottle of maple syrup. 1 tsp later and this is like a dark heaven. This has an amazing mouthfeel, heavy and thick. It’s surprisingly not overly bitter.
I know this flavor. My Nana used to make these sugar cookies for Xmas every year, and they were super thin. Ribbon cookies? Anyway, she would always burn them because they were so thin that it was impossible to get the temp and timing just right in an old oven. That’s what this reminds me of! Nana’s cookies!
I never say “No” to anything that reminds me of my Nana. Except wooden paddles!
Edit: I did a 2nd steep of this. At this point, the teas are already mixed together in the strainer. I steeped for 5 minutes and wow, I like the 2nd steep even better. I still did the maple, but the 2nd steep is much milder. What was already just a light burn/smoke is now a whisper. I can taste a little cocoa and more bakery notes. Less like Nana burned cookies, and more cakey?
BTW: Nana’s burny cookies were famous and everyone was actually excited to get them. They were only every lightly burned around the edges, and the contrast of dark and sweet was always kind of pleasant. So it’s not a negative thing AT ALL!
First of all, GTT has great customer service. There was a mix up with brewing instructions so my tea was oversteeped the first time, and GTT responded with an apology and offer to send a new sample. Lovely. They clarified the steeping parameters and resent the Honey Black, along with 2 more samples. Very helpful company. I would definitely purchase from them.
Method: I made this one in my little banko houhin which is dedicated to black teas. 5 grams, 5 oz, 200 degrees, 20 seconds and 40 seconds
Aroma: Malty sweetness
Flavor: SO. MUCH. BETTER! The daunting bitterness is gone. There’s a lovely malt flavor and a hint of sweetness. There’s also a very mild bitterness on the end of the sip and a teensy bit of astringency in the aftertaste, but nothing unpleasant at all. This tea is very smooth and has a nice feel in the mouth. Not too thin, not too heavy.
I hadn’t really planned on making this, but then I saw boychik’s note and figured I’d give this a go. I’m glad I did! This story has a happy ending and now I’ll have a little caffeine to help me through an evening of babysitting my nephew, who is almost 3, and has enough energy to power a small country!
Thanks to GTT for the second sample and for being so gracious!
I was going to bust this open tomorrow, but when MzP said it was her fave sheng, I decided I couldn’t wait!!!
Method: 3.5 g, 3 oz, rinse, 10-15-20, 205 degrees, ru kiln gaiwan
Aroma: apricot, plum!, spinach, a little floral
Flavor: This is buttery and sweet, smooth and a little fruity. It tastes a teensy bit vegetal, too. This has a light bitterness on the end of the sip. Not too much. It has a pleasant aftertaste. This tastes a little brothy on some sips, sweeter on others. I’m into it. Shengs are totally my jam. :p
Post hike noms
The berries this year are just awesome in PA! Check out some of our blueberry haul
I love this particular state park because you have to drive up a mountain to get there, and it all looks like random shrubberies from afar, but then you get up close and realize that the whole mountain is covered in wild blueberry and huckleberry plants. THEN you hike elsewhere in PA and realize that many PA state parks are covered with these shrubs!
And then you get home and drink this and feel your happy tea buzz!!!!
And then you realize you’ve never rated any tea 100, and if any tea is it, this is the one. So you fix it. :p
This one’s for you, Foxy!!!
Method: 3.3 g, 3 oz, 200 degrees, 10 sec rinse, 10-15-20-25 seconds, ru kiln gaiwan, all 4 steeps blended into one mug
Dry Leaf Aroma: smells like a fruity cave
Brewing Aroma: did someone sneak into my house in the night and scent all my shengs with apricot? Sneaky monkey! Also leather (yay!) and forest
Flavor: leather fruit! Not fruit leather, but leather fruit. This is also sweet and has a toasty finish. Wasn’t expecting that. I love you, sheng!!!!!
And now we hike, through the woods, drunk on shengy leather fruit, hunting for the wild blueberry. Onward!
Sunday morning yums!!!!
I made this in my new banko clay pot that was seasoned for unflavored black teas.
I’m working up some motivation for a hike, and today Brian & I will also be picking wild blueberries and huckleberries along the trail. The plan is to pick enough to make some wild blueberry huckleberry wine. Fingers crossed!!!!! Wheeeeeee!!!!!
Thanks to the lovely Cameron B for sharing this tea with me!
Method: 4 balls, 6 oz, 200 degrees, 5 min, banko houhin (Eeeeee!!!!)
Aroma: smells a little malty and roasty. I catch a little hint of cocoa, too.
Flavor: I think it’s pretty solid. It has a nice weight, and a mild malty taste. It only has a bare hint of bitterness, and a slight astringent finish. The flavor lingers nicely. I think this would be a great candidate for a little maple booster, but I didn’t try that yet.
I ended up doing two steeps blended into one mug because the leaves really sucked up a lot of water. Both were 5 minutes long. To sum up – I wouldn’t kick this one out of bed. LOL