899 Tasting Notes

The waiting game begins!! I did it, today I ordered the Xbone and I am so full of excitement I can barely function. Really I don’t think I have been this kind of excited since I was a kid…I hearken back to Middle School where my dad pre-ordered a Playstation and I was just the hotness at school, of course I spent the entire day bouncing off the walls waiting to get home so I could play the pile of demos because I didn’t have money for the games yet. I could say I felt this kind of excitement when I got an Xbox360, but considering Ben just surprised me with it one day the excitement was a very short explosion…maybe I could compare it to being super excited about Mass Effect 3 where I went to the release party, that had a sad ending though so maybe not.

Guys, guys….guys…it is Dian Hong time!! I am addicted to Dian Hong, it is probably no secret at this point, I mean I love Hong Cha in general, but I go into full on twitchy addict mode around Dian Hong. So today why not look at White2Tea’s Bang Dong Hong Black Tea, made from big leaf Puerh varietal material but processed like a red tea, which means fun times for me! I have had other Dian Hongs that specifically are made from Puerh material and they have made me immensely happy, they have unique nuances. The aroma of the really quite enormous leaves is crisp and gently smoky, with sweet honey and cocoa undertones, a nice starchy yam note, and a slightly camphor finish. It is like sniffing a chocolate covered Sheng, and I hope everyone is as amused by that mental image as I am.

Into my red tea yixing teapot the leaves went for a water filled adventure! The aroma of the now soggy leaves is subtly sweet, with notes of malt and yams, pine resin and camphor, and a finish of honey and cocoa. It has a crispness despite the rich notes, and it is probably the camphor I have to thank for that. The liquid (or soup if you feel fancy) has a gentle and sweet aroma, blending molasses, burnt sugar, cocoa, yams, pine sap, and a tiny tiny hint of camphor at the finish. It smells more of a Dian Hong in the liquid and only has a hint of its puerh cousin.

The first steeping is smooth and sweet, starting with notes of honey and pine sap with a nice midtaste of cocoa that almost borders on chocolate, but not quite that milky sweet. Around the midtaste notes of yam and molasses appear, and the finish brings in a slightly cedar slightly camphor note. It is not cooling, more like the ghost of cedar and camphor, giving it, if anything, a bit of crispness.

Second steeping time, and the aroma is quite malty with notes of pine sap, starchy yams, and a touch of sweet cocoa. This steeping is mostly smooth, with a hint of dryness at the finish, it is not a strong unpleasant dryness, just slight. The taste is rich this steeping, strong notes of cocoa and malt mix with molasses and a slight pine wood note. It finishes with yams, honey, and molasses, the molasses taste lingers for a while after the sipping.

The aroma of the third steeping is still very malty and rich, with stronger yam notes and cocoa, the honey sweetness is not as strong, as it is more rich than sweet. Sipping the red gold (it is like gold to me!) it is all smoothness, no dryness what so ever, just smooth rich sweetness. The taste is sweet and malty, very rich with notes of yam and honey, with strong molasses and malt at the finish. I got several more steeps after this one, it is a Red Tea that keeps giving, getting sweeter after the richness,

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/white2tea-bang-dong-hong-black-tea-tea.html


Yea Xbone! Need to get yr gamer tag sometime after you get it.

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I was going to take the weekend off, but decided holidays or no, I have been far to lazy the last week…I blame the new update for Minecraft coming out. Of course since I will be ordering an Xbone on Monday, well, let’s just say I need to get my affairs in order because when that thing arrives I am not going to be doing much other than playing on my new MASSIVE world. It was a good Christmas, I surprisingly got everything I wanted (even things I didn’t talk about wanting, Santa is a mind reader) everyone really like their presents, and I was surprisingly relaxed. Usually I am not a huge holiday person because my stress level goes bonkers, but this year I wanted to give myself the gift of ‘chill’ and I think spending the entire month (ok several months) tea drunk really helped.

So last week I talked about a beautiful cup from Teaware.house and why not continue the series with another beautiful cup, the Silver Threaded Red Hat Teacup or as I call it, the hyperdrive cup! The really astoundingly gorgeous glaze looks like falling through stars, you know, like in Star Wars when the ship (iconically in my mind the Millennium Falcon) goes into hyperspace and the stars become lines and you look like you are falling through light. See, perpetual tea drunk makes me see fun things in my tea cup, science fiction hallucinations aside, this cup is gorgeous, I really do find myself getting lost in it.

I love the shape of it most of all I think, hat shaped cups are possibly one of my favorite shapes for a cup, though really I am a sucker for any wide cup that allows the tea to cool off to a not melting my tongue temperature quickly. Also this shape just feels very elegant to hold, especially with its little pedestal foot, whenever I drink out of it I feel the urge to lounge and recite poetry…conveniently for anyone around I rarely give in to temptation.

For Christmas my awesome grandparents essentially bankrolled an order for more tea gear (because I have an addiction) meaning I have more tea themed loot on the way, including the blue version of this cup, which I am very excited to match to the red. Other than me absolutely loving it, Ben (the Tea Barbarian) also really loves it and keeps insisting on using it…Ben…who usually gets annoyed with my ‘thimble cups’ and wants to drink large mugs wants to use this cup because it is that pretty. That is my reasoning for getting the blue one to match, I swear!

For blog and pictures: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/teawarehouse-silver-threaded-red-hat.html


It’s a beautiful cup! I was just wondering what kind of effect did you feel it had on the tea (aside from cooling quickly)? I’m about to place an order on teaware.house myself haha.


I felt that it gave the taste a crispness, it was barely noticeable, similar to my porcelain pieces by lighter. :D

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Well, so much for waiting for after Christmas to get a new Betta. I cleaned the tank and made sure the loach and snail were healthy and brought home a new friend. He looks almost identical to a Betta I had back in 2009 called Wraith, who was my baby, he was gloriously red with flashes of blue that were visible when he would turn and his eyes lit up teal like flashes of lightning. He was spunky and was far too smart for his own good, similar to how the late Fish Beleren was. So far this new Betta, who keeping with the Magic The Gathering naming convention is called Niv-Mizzet, also is spunky and clever. Hopefully he will last longer, but he is a petstore Betta, so who knows? I have had some live for years and others for a few days. I am going to try to not get attached to soon, but I am bad at that.

Today’s tea come from What-Cha (since it is Wednesday and the tradition must continue!) and is their India Nilgiri Teaneer Hand-Made Yellow Tea, yep, you read that right, it is a Yellow Tea from Nilgiri, which I find just super fascinating! I love when other tea growing regions borrow techniques from each other, it creates some real works of art or at the very least something unique and special. The tea comes from the Teaneer company, who is devoted to small batch teas in a sustainable manner, and the Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm is purely biodynamic, which has some very odd techniques, but hey if it makes good tea then they can be as mystical with their farming as they desire, I am not picky. The aroma of the loose leaf tea is quite interesting, unlike any yellow tea I have had before, it is very herbaceous with notes of sage and pepper, with a lettuce undertone. Notes of spicy white whine and fresh grapes with a slightly wet hay and slightly cooling note at the finish. This is a unique sniffing experience!

Into the gaiwan the leaves traveled, once they were wet the surprisingly dark leaves turned really springy green, quite the vibrant transition. The aroma of the leaves is still herbaceous with notes of sage and even a hint of basil, wet hay and broken green grass, and a finish of honey. The liquid is quite sweet, smelling of creamy honey and broken fresh hay, also a hint of wet hay, it is hay all the way down. At the finish there is a hint of sage and crushed pepper keeping that herbaceous tone.

First steeping, the liquid is pretty and golden yellow, it reminds me of the color of hay. What is it with this tea and hay! Guess what, the smooth and light textured tea tastes like sweet hay, and slightly wet hay, with strong honey notes, and a crisp green finish of sage and celery. This tea balances between green and sweet pretty well.

Second steeping time and wow, the liquid has gone from hay colored to honey golden, it is very pretty. The aroma this time around is a touch sweeter, with hay and honey, and a touch of broken straw as well. There is again a bit of sage at the finish as well. The taste is very similar to the first steep, smooth and sweet with hay notes and honey. The finish is not quite as crisp, more like cooked celery and sage, though it is still refreshing. This tea kinda piddled out after this steep, it is refreshing and light but does not last overly long, so your mileage may vary. I am not sure why, but this tea did not overly wow me, there was nothing wrong with it and it was certainly tasty, but nothing jumped out and grabbed my attention, so it turned out this was a great tea to have as a background tea rather than one that demands my undivided attention. Having teas like that, to me, are just as important as the ones that get jealous if my attention wavers.

For blog and photo: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/what-cha-india-nilgiri-teaneer-hand.html

Mano Archibald

beautiful …. as a nilgiri tea producer feeling proud

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Not really sure where to put this, so random steepings it is!

It is probably a well known (since I never seem to shut up about it) fact about me at this point, I absolutely LOVE fancy bath products, but with an allergy to Aloe my ability to enjoy what seems like 90% of bath products is severely limited. Seriously, so many things have aloe in them, don’t even get me started on razors and wipes! So when I found a pair of tea themed bath products from Sanne Tea, you can bet I was filled with tiny squishy joy! The problem is, reviewing soap takes time…I like to evaluate it after many washes, and when the Tea For Tub arrived it was the middle of summer, not so much soaking season, but it is winter (kinda, still feels like fall) and that means the season of soaks.

Hilariously I used Tea For Tub back in October, but the other day a dear tea friend of mine sent me a box of goodies including a fresh box of Tea For Tub and I thought ‘crap, I totally forgot to write about that!’ and then frolicked off to the bathtub to steep myself. This is actually a very clever use for teas that are maybe not quite up to being steeped, instead of passing them off as drinkable or tossing them, the black tea is stuffed in a large bag and you toss it in a hot bath. Other than the fantastical decadence of bathing in tea just for the fun of it, it does have a purpose, turns out tea is great for skin inflammation.

Got a sunburn, slap a teabag on it, got puffy eyes, slap a teabag on it, want to soothe dry skin…soak in a tub full of tea! This is not the first time I have done that, I have been known to buy boxes of cheap black tea bags and just soaking in them, but unlike those, these bags of tea smell really good. It smells like quality black tea, meaning it is sensory pleasing as well as soothing on the skin. If you are feeling adventurous, you can reuse these bags at least once, just make sure to squeeze them gently or you will pop the bag and make a mess.

The next is a soap, which sadly is not in their shop, meaning when my bar finally piddles out I am going to have a panic. This is made from the good stuff, castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, lye, tea tree oil, tea leaves, and water…no aloe to be seen! This soap is pretty great, works as a good cleaning substance for both my face and the rest of me. The aroma is really light and clean, fresh and tea like, which I love! I really love soaps that use lye, call me old fashioned, but I enjoy how it strips away my scales (I have Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and get scaly like a lizard!) and allows my skin to soak up the nice oils from the soap, so I end up feeling all soft after using it. This soap is made of win!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/sanne-tea-tea-soap-tea-for-tub-tea-life.html

carol who

Sounds lovely! I’m a big fan of bath product, too. It must be tough with an allergy to aloe. You’re right… I think it is in everything. I’ll have try get some of this.


my problem would be the tea tree oil. Dries me right out! love the leaf, not the oil :P

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It is a sad day in my tea and art area, my little blue peacock of a fish passed yesterday after fighting with dropsy. I live in fear of the pinecone infliction (called that because the bacterial infection causes swelling which makes their scales pop out like a pinecone) because it is almost always fatal. Pretty sure it was brought in by one of the mystery snails I bought, since one died and then a day later Fish Beleren took ill. I was ridiculously attached to that fish and I feel immense sadness, I will get another Betta after Christmas because I like having them around, but I doubt I will find one as epic as him…those fish are a rarity. At least Espeon can tell I am sad and has been staying close to keep me company, comfort from cats is always welcomed.

Today’s tea is all sorts of holiday cheer! I totally forgot to get real holiday teas this year, so I am winging it. From Teaguys, this is their Maple, Bourbon & Nutmeg (Eggnog) blend, which is concocted from rooibos, honeybush, buckwheat, maple sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, flavors, nutmeg, sliced almonds, coconut, soy pieces, marshmallow pieces, stevia, turmeric, which is quite the list of ingredients! Browsing around their catalog, they have a bunch of unique looking blends that I need to get my hands on at some point. The aroma of this eggnog themed tea is not so much eggnog, but certainly get the bourbon and nutmeg. Underneath strong bourbon and nutmeg is woody sweetness and coconut with just a hint of maple at the finish. It is very sweet smelling, and the woodiness blends well with the maple and bourbon.

Steeping time, the liquid is rather cloudy, probably from the marshmallow or the coconut, or one of the other random ingredients. The aroma is quite woody and sweet, with strong notes of maple and bourbon, with lesser notes of nutmeg, coconut, and a gentle nuttiness. The liquid sans tea and bits is woody and spicy, very creamy with notes of coconut and bourbon, it is quite sweet smelling and I am starting to pick up on the eggnog idea.

The website gives the instructions to make this into a latte, and in hindsight I kinda wish I would have tried that, but I was only gifted enough for a cup so oops. The first thing I notice is the oily and thick mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish, typical of a rooibos and honeybush blend with coconut, a clever way of combating the strong dryness of this woody plant. The taste is rather sweet, strong notes of bourbon and coconut with a slight metallic note (honeybush always tastes vaguely metallic to me, not really sure why) and a maple and marshmallow midtaste. The finish has an odd coconut candy that lingers. This is an alright blend, not my favorite, but points for unique!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/teaguys-maple-bourbon-nutmeg-eggnog-tea.html


I feel you. I have lost a schoolmate and a friend in the last three days.


So sorry to both of you Amanda and mrmopar


oh mrmopar, I am so very sorry for your loss!


I’m so sorry. That is a terrible loss.

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reviewed Geyao Fish Cup by teaware.house
899 tasting notes

I am half tempted to start a new series on my blog called confessions of a teaware hoarder, because wow, I have a lot of stuff. Really though, this will just be a continuation of my long lagging teaware review, but it really could be a tale of how Amanda spends all her money on tea gear and eventually runs out of room to keep it all. Honestly it was running out of shelf space that finally made me realize that I might have a bit of a problem, of course this problem was made worse today by the grand opening of teaware.house, created by TwoDog of White2Tea.

Yours truly was lucky enough to get a little sneak peak at some of the goodies that are being offered at the new shop, like all good drug pushers, the first hit is free…my cart is already filling up with things I don’t need but can’t say no to. And yes, I know I said no more tea shopping until I get my new Xbone, but well…I have a problem. Plus this means I have the opportunity to talk about teaware again, yay! And first up I am going to showcase the Geyao Fish Cup, oh my one greatest weakness, teaware with fishes!

This cup fascinates me with its beauty! I have seen (and own for that matter) cups with raised fishies swimming around giving the illusion of the fish swimming around in tea, even without tea in the cups they are usually celadon so it resembles water. This cup goes the extra mile, I feel, with the combination of celadon coloring and earthenware unglazed clay, it really reminds me of water lapping against the edge of a pond, the surface gently disturbed as a koi noticing you are close to the edge pops up expecting food.

Plus the texture of the cup is wonderful, it is slightly rough (as one expects from clay) meaning I am less likely to drop it, which is always a serious win!! Also it feels good in my hand, against my mouth when I am drinking, and it holds the heat like a boss, all of these make for an enjoyable sipping experience, especially when you have a friendly fish sharing your cup with you! Now, with any luck my teaware hoarder friends will leave a few pieces of awesome for me to procure with Christmas money, until then I will sit and stare at my full cart with crossed fingers for an early Christmas!

For photos and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/teawarehouse-geyao-fish-cup-teaware.html


You are not alone on that site….


that site is going to undo me, I just know it :P


Again …out little hobby sounds like a drug ring :p


That sounds like a fun exercise. Put everything that you want on the site into your cart then cry when you find out how much it is. Or pray for the winning lottery numbers.


You are not alone in your teaware hoarding. I’m with you and many others suffering from #tad which is incurable.


I succumbed. But I shared an order with a new tea friend, so with both of us it worked out really well. I got just what I wanted and nothing more. :)

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Wooo!!! The long awaited Minecraft console update is out! I saw it as soon as I woke up and have been busily playing ever since. I am in a happy place, building with the new blocks and playing the the Guardians (I made them an aquarium.) A lot of my builds are getting spruced up with new blocks, especially the various Ocean monument blocks because they are blue. Perfect timing, since I feel like I am coming down with a cold, so now I have an excuse to take it easy for the next couple days.

Today’s tea comes from Sichuan by way of MeiMei Fine Teas. Organic Sichuan Zao Bai Jian Premium Green Tea. Usually this tea is processed as a black/red tea, at least everything I read about this tea lists Zao Bai Jian as Imperial Black, but with all teas, you can process the leaves in a myriad of ways, so why not process it as a green, and they are pretty leaves at that, curly little leaves with a silvery shimmer to them. The aroma is crisp and green, notes of gentle chestnuts and almonds along side sweet peas, artichoke, greenbeans, and a touch of celery. It smells quite rich and the vegetal notes are accented nicely by the nutty ones.

In the gaiwan after steeping, the leaves are so vibrantly green, the aroma of the wet leaves is a bit brothy with notes of vegetable broth. sauteed bok choy and asparagus, sesame seeds and water chestnuts. It is rather savory and reminds me of food. The liquid, however, is gentle sweet like roasted chestnuts and sesames with a touch of water chestnut’s crispness, and a blend of asparagus and broccoli.

First steeping is very smooth and green, like an explosion of green in my mouth! Notes of veggie broth and sauteed bok choy with a hint of sweet peas. This gentle sweetness moves into chestnut and water chestnut, with a finish of sugar cane. It is mellow and sweet at the finish which is a fun contrast with the savory vegetal start.

On to the second steep! The aroma is very green and fresh, notes of sweet peas, celery, bean sprouts, and bok choy, it is a bit broth like again, but more like crisp veggies overall. The taste starts out veggie heavy again, notes of cooked bok choy, mustard greens, bean sprouts, and asparagus eventually fade to sweet peas and water chestnuts, and again a finish of sugar cane. The sweet at the finish is rather refreshing.

I did not take too detailed notes as of steep three, mostly because it was mostly like steep two but less, no real change except diminished. I will say this for this particular tea, it was immensely refreshing. It is not the most memorable or nuanced tea I have had, and certainly not the best I have had from MeiMei Fine Teas, though it is tasty so it has my slurp of approval.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/meimei-fine-teas-organic-sichuan-zao.html

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drank Alpine Punch by DAVIDsTEA
899 tasting notes

Boo, I have nothing of relevance to start today’s blog with, turns out my plans for today are going to go poof and now I am sulking. So instead I shall talk about how Ben’s phone keeps changing his ringtone to totally random stuff. He did have the default for a while (so boring) and then about a day after Thanksgiving it switched to random Christmas jingles…which he promptly switched back to the default. Then his phone just rang and it was something random (some lady going do do DO DO do) which prompted him to be immensely confused. I am not sure why his phone is trolling him, but I am ok with it.

Once again we wander through the annals of history, aka my older tea notebook pile for a bit of a throwback tea. Today we are looking at DAVIDsTEA Alpine Punch, and it has been quite a long time since I looked at one of their teas! Usually I would get a sample of a seasonal tea, and by the time I got around to reviewing it, it had already stopped existing, oops, but Alpine Punch stayed around. It is a blend of Rooibos, Coconut Chips, Coconut Rasps, Apple, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamon, Black Pepper, Almonds, Rose Blossoms, and Natural and Artificial Almond Cream Flavoring. Looking at that list of ingredients intrigued me, it was like a Rooibos Kulfi, chai…thing, so I had to try some. The aroma is pretty delicious, like a blend of marzipan and roses, spices, and coconut. For some reason this tea reminds me of the best cake ever…not that I have ever had one that smelled like this, the blend is cake like and I want this as a cake.

Into the basket the bits go, I do not look forward to cleaning up the rooibos, always a pain since they get stuck in the strainer. The aroma is super delicious, strong notes of almonds and coconut with a heady accompaniment of roses and apples. The more I sniff the more the spice builds, it starts with cardamon and is joined by ginger and cinnamon with a sharp peppery finish. The aroma has a bit of coconut and apples, with sweet marzipan, and a strong woody sweetness. At the finish is the building warmth of spices that blend quite nicely with the woody Rooibos tones.

Since this is a tea with coconut in it, the mouthfeel is super thick and oily, which counteracts the at times dry and raspy mouthfeel of Rooibos, so if you are a person that hates that about Rooibos (I know several people like that) then I would say this one mostly bypasses it. The taste starts with coconut and apples, right around the end of the front taste, the cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper starts to build and stays quite strong until the end. At the midtaste there are roses and almonds, and the finish is a woody, honey note that lingers. This is a warm tea, aptly named, because I want to drink this while lounging in a snow fort.

For blog and (mediocre) photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/davidstea-alpine-punch-tbt-tea-review.html


Have you thought about taking Ben’s phone to a voodoo priestess? It sounds like it’s been possessed.

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Well, I finally got an email from Fujifilm, they plan to have my camera fixed and shipped back in ten days. Ugh, waiting sucks! I am pretty sure everything is going to be covered by my warranty and such, and Ben is telling me not to worry too much because he will make sure things get handled, I just miss my camera. While it is away on its little vacation, I am only drinking teas I have logged notes for in my notebook pile and photographed, basically time for a giant sip-down.

Today’s tea from What-Cha is a bit of a magical one, or at least I think it is, Thailand Winter Frost Jin Xuan Oolong Tea. This fancy Jin Xuan is picked during the cold time of the year, allowing the leaves to be covered in frost causing the leaves to turn brown which changes the taste of the tea. Like bug-bitten teas but being bit by Jack Frost! Ok, I admit it, I have a thing for ice and frost, I want to be like Sub-Zero and learn Cryomancy, but since I can’t I get my magical frosty fix elsewhere. Also known as Hoarfrost Tea or Dong Pian (winter flake) this tea is quite fascinating, and currently seasonal! The aroma of the dry leaves is surprisingly fruity (unlike what I usually expect from a creamy Jin Xuan) with notes of nectarine, honeydew, and orange blossoms. Along with the fruit (and fruit flower) is honey and a touch of chestnut and a finish of gentle vegetation. This tea smells immensely sweet, and not really like winter, but that is not surprising.

Into the gaiwan the leaves go! The aroma of the now soggy and slowly unfurling leaves is a combination of necatrine and honeydew melon with a strange slightly rank undertone, it reminds me ever so slightly of rotten fruit being both sickly and sweet. The liquid is all sweetness, very citrus with notes of nectarines and oranges with orange blossom and honeysuckles.

The first steep is pleasantly mild, it starts with a gentle mineral note that transistions to sweet cream and then BOOM! Nectarines! it is like I bit into a juicy sweet nectarine (a warm one, mind you) it is smooth and a little citric sharp and immensely sweet. I love tangerines, they might be my favorite citrus (other than lemons, but I eat them wayyy differently than more orange-like citrus, I cover my lemons in salt) so having a note so reminiscent of tangerine in a tea is delightful.

Second steeping time, the aroma of the kinda rank fruit leaks into the aroma of the liquid this time, though giving it a good sniff, it isn’t rotting fruit…it is one of those more foul smelling orchids. Not the rotten meat orchid, but certainly one of the ones that smell like a weird mixture of honey and decay. Of course there are also notes of nectarines, and a tiny hint of cinnamon which adds a level of warmth. The mouthfeel is buttery and smooth, a slight sharpness reminiscent of biting into a citrus fruit. The taste is light and buttery with a blend of nectarine and gentle honey, it is sweet and very light, an especially gentle Oolong.

For the aroma of the third steeping, there is only a little bit of that slightly rank orchid, along with honey and nectarines. The mouthfeel starts out smooth and ends with a crispness, like biting into a pile of lettuce. Tasting starts with gentle sweet honey and spice with sweet nectarine juiciness, this moves to a slight hint of cream and spice, and the finish is lettuce (specifically butterhead if you want to know the varietal) with a light aftertaste of nectarine. This tea was very light and pretty much always sweet, I admit the rank orchid aroma was a little off putting, but since it did not show up at all in the taste it was easy to overlook, similar to how I have run into a Sheng puerh that smells like a barn floor but tastes nothing like one, which is always a relief.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/what-cha-thailand-winter-frost-jin-xuan.html

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Patiently I am waiting, any day now the update for Minecraft will be released and boy is it a doozy! Currently I am wandering around my creative world, Ramble, making sure my transition to the update will be smooth. Building an aquarium for Guardians, getting the gardens ready for new flowers, creating a spot for a new ice castle…lots to do!

It is time for some Sheng! Today I am looking at Tanlong Premium Tea Collection’s 2011 Mengku Snow Mountain Hundreds Year Old Tea Tree Puerh, this Sheng comes from old trees high up in the mountains, and wow, are these leaves BIG. Big and silvery, covered with delicate trichomes, I admit I admired them for quite a while before I got around to drinking them. The aroma of these leaves is pungent! Strong notes of wet cedar, camphor, wet hay, and sweet raisins mix with a distinct aroma of white wine and cooked lettuce. Definitely an intense smelling tea, one that I indulged in sniffing for the entire time my kettle was heating up.

I decided to brew this one in my gaiwan, sometimes I give my Sheng pot a break, usually that is when I want to admire the leaves, and this was one of those times. The aroma of the now soggy leaves is a pungent blend of wine and fresh grapes, wet hay, wet grass, spinach, and an extremely delicate distant floral note that is almost impossible to pin down. The liquid is surprisingly sweet, with aroma notes of apples, honey, sweet freshly broken hay, grapes, and a hint of sweeter raisins. The aroma borders on creamy with its sweetness, making this possibly the sweetest Sheng I have sniffed.

The first steep is delicious! Very mellow and sweet with strong notes of raisins and broken hay, the raisin notes freshen up towards the end with notes of grapes and a finish of slightly crisp lettuce. I notice right away how this tea has a very relaxing and cooling qi, I will not be surprised if this tea gets me super tea drunk.

For this steep, the first thing I noticed about the aroma is the slightly surprising note of fresh dill, not what I was expecting! There are also notes of honey and grapes with a touch of hay and sage. The herbaceous turn of the aroma carried over to the taste, blending intensely sweet honey and grapes with a finish of sage and lingering dill. The taste reminds me of summer and gardening, and the cooling qi is refreshing.

That dill note is still here, which is really fun, I love dill and might say it is my favorite herb. There are notes of hay and oxalis with a touch of sage, not really sweet anymore focusing instead on herbaceous. Whoa, this tea did an about face, instead of being intensely sweet it starts out with an herbaceous bitterness that reminds me of fenugreek and spinach. After this bitterness there is a burst of sweetness like grapes and an intense salivary response, the finish is a floral blend of dill and asters with a lingering cedar coolness.

I went several more steeps with this tea, it stays herbaceous for quite a while, finishing off with mineral notes and a lingering sweetness. My prediction was correct, the qi was mellow but strong, I found myself wanting to melt into my chair while contemplating the wafts of steam coming from my cup.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/12/tanlong-premium-tea-collection-2011.html


I grow oxalis but didn’t know it was edible. I will have to experiment with it and see what it tastes like!


I am not sure if all oxalis is edible, I know there is a variety that grows in yards (the one that just looks like green clover with tiny yellow flowers) where the seed pods takes vaguely of pickles. Pickles and a bit of woodiness and straw, I tend to nibble on them a lot during the summer :P

So I just looked it up and, from wikipedia: Wood sorrel (a type of oxalis) is an edible wild plant that has been consumed by humans around the world for millennia.2 In Dr. James Duke’s Handbook of Edible Weeds, he notes that the Kiowa Indian tribe chewed wood sorrel to alleviate thirst on long trips, that the Potawatomi Indians cooked it with sugar to make a dessert, the Algonquin Indians considered it an aphrodisiac, the Cherokee ate wood sorrel to alleviate mouth sores and a sore throat, and the Iroquois ate wood sorrel to help with cramps, fever and nausea.2

The fleshy, juicy edible tubers of the oca (O. tuberosa), have long been cultivated for food in Colombia and elsewhere in the northern Andes mountains of South America.

It is grown and sold in New Zealand as “New Zealand yam” (although not a true yam), and varieties are now available in yellow, orange, apricot, pink, as well as the traditional red-orange3

The leaves of scurvy-grass sorrel (O. enneaphylla) were eaten by sailors travelling around Patagonia as a source of vitamin C to avoid scurvy.

In India, creeping wood sorrel (O. corniculata) is eaten only seasonally, starting December–January. The leaves of common wood sorrel (O. acetosella) may be used to make a lemony-tasting tea when dried

I did not know all of that! Very cool!


Oxalis can cause or worsen gout as a warning…


I have a Plum Crazy oxalis which has magenta and black speckled leaves and yellow flowers, but it is currently in hibernation in my closet. I read that if they start to look weak you can cut them off from water and light for a few months to let them rest and they’ll come back strong when you start giving them water and light again.

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I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a large chunk of my life painting miniatures and contemplating my various army layouts. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading and researching category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. I love nature and worked as a Naturalist in the Northwoods one summer, it might have been the best job ever.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it so fair warning! I do tend to not vanish very long though. Also I have some ‘social disorders’ which basically translates to I am really awkward and bad at socializing, so forgive any lack of social graces.

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, have teal hair, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony black teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P


Kansas City, MO



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