361 Tasting Notes

drank The Black Lotus by Butiki Teas
361 tasting notes

I hadn’t read the description of this tea before I bought and drank it. Just that it was an English Breakfast and i’ve been looking for a good morning black tea to be my go to morning tea. So I bought all the black teas that could fit the bill during the Butiki sale. I made this one first thing this morning. As the water hit the tea I realized this is a taiwanese assam blend (the sweet smell) and I was so glad I’d grabbed some. This is super delicious. It will definitely be a staple. I haven’t ever loved Darjeeling before, but it is a really nice complement in this tea. I didn’t entirely notice the keemun, but I’ll look for it next time. Great tea to start the day!

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YUM!!!! Got this from Terri Harplady in the BBBB and it is absolutely delicious! Made it in the gaiwan and enjoyed about 5 steeps before it started to lose the robust flavor. This is seriously good. Thanks Terri!


bwahaahaha we both drank this this afternoon haha

Terri HarpLady

Too bad I didn’t drink it today also…oh wait…I drank it all already…damn! Time for another YS order I guess!



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Another one from Red Blossom. This one is a Chinese blend and is a really high quality. Unfortunately, there’s Keemun-y or smoky flavor in there I don’t love. Still a nice cup, but I won’t re-order.


awe… add some maple! haha


nice, I love the Red Blossom store

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I placed an order with Red Blossom and am so far enjoying their teas! I really like their tins too. Super cute. This tea actually surprised me a bit. I was expecting it to be fruity and not too deep or full, but it was all of the above! It’s a pretty decent morning cup. Happy to have more of this!


i really loved this one as a cold brew

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drank Jack Frost by Joy's Teaspoon
361 tasting notes

2 days ago I was in 80 degree weather today it’s below freezing. I wanted something to warm me back up! This came in my ocho sampler and then as a free sample in my recent Joys teaspoon order, but this is the first time I’ve had it.

It’s a really good flavored tea! There’s black for a good case and the oolong gives it a roast butter and mate a good nuttiness, plus chestnut flavor and almond slices. It’s a really balanced tea that I can see drinking a lot of this winter. Glad I finally tried it. I wish I’d tried it before my recent Black Friday order so I could have gotten more!

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When I first got to Kauai, I googled ‘Kauai tea’ to see if there were any interesting tea shops I should visit. There was nothing! But there was a website for Cloudwater Tea and the teas sounded really good. I called to see if they sold their teas in any local shops and she said, no, but we could come to the farm and pick some up. I got off the phone and told my family that my one activity I wanted to do on this trip was visit this farm. I had never been to a tea farm before.

We drove up there and headed into the mountains and saw the most gorgeous estates and farms on the way. When we arrived, we were greeted by about 30 chickens. Michelle and her husband introduced themselves and I introduced my group (the Bean, the little man, the teenager, my husband, and my parents – we were a big crew!) Michelle, the tea grower, immediately started walking me all over the property showing different plants and explaining all about the challenges of getting the tea plants to Hawaii as well as growing them. It was awesome. Their property is pretty much as amazing as it gets. No words to describe its beauty. Plus her husband is an architect so the house and off buildings are equally amazing.

We went and sat on the porch and enjoyed some tea she had made in preparation of our arrival. She talked about the various steps she takes once the tea is picked to make each variety (white, green, wulong, and black). We had some of her white tea (the best white tea I’ve had – almost tastes like a black) and this Assamica.

This is a smooth Assam with fruity notes and no bitterness at all. Similar to some of the Taiwanese varieties but a little less sweet. It’s got a full mouth flavor and is an easy to drink straight, but also tasty with just a touch of milk and honey (I made it that way just to try it). It resteeps a few time and has some of the largest leaves I’ve ever seen.

The tea and the whole experience was pretty awesome. I thought I was just popping in to buy some tea, I had no idea we’d get treated to such a nice afternoon (including a bamboo sword fight between Michelle and my little man)!

(And BBB ladies, I got enough to share a few cups with you!)


That is amazing Hun….sounds incredible!


p.s. yyz – I have some for you too!


Wow, Thanks! Seems like it was a great experience for everyone!


That sounds like so much fun! Glad to hear it went so well.


Love Kauai (not the roosters me up early though!)!0

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Back home from vacation! Super happy to be back with my tea stash, but will definitely miss the warmth of Kuaui!

With my order from TTC, I received a surprise sample of a new black tea they are growing themselves called ‘Formosa Golden Dragon Tippy Black Tea’. It’s not on their website site yet, but when it is, I’ll move this review over to the appropriate steepster page.

This tea is delicious. Has that signature Taiwan Black Tea flavor, but is markedly different as well. The aftertaste is totally cinnamon, like cinnamon candy, but not fake, just good. The cup is super smooth and has a bit of a Fujian flavor to it. Will definitely order it when it pops on the website. But their samples are so huge, I have several cups left before I’ll need to order.

TTC has quickly joined the ranks of Verdant, Butiki, and Yezi teas for me. Amazing tea and customer service.

Terri HarpLady

Welcome back!!
This one sounds tasty!


so glad to have you back! :)

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
361 tasting notes

This tea is kind of amazing. The addition of honey and milk transforms it into a liquid caramel. I’ve been drinking it all morning. And it’s cleared up that headache I woke up with from staying up too late chatting with a friend while drinking hard ginger cider (delicious).

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I didn’t love this tea the first few times I tried it so I took it out of the rotation for awhile. I think the wuyi oolong tastes just doesn’t work for me. But I was in a pinch this morning and made it in my favorite portable steeping mug since I knew it could be resteeped a few times.

I actually really enjoyed it! I was prepared to be bugged by the Wuyi, but instead enjoyed the buttery nuttiness it adds. Yay! This will be coming with me on my trip!


P.s. This was successfully posted from the very cool steepster iphone app!

Terri HarpLady

Awesome! I haven’t actually posted from the app yet, although I did log in from it & read some posts :)

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Since I’ve posted some less than stellar reviews of some other utopia teas, I need to post a positive one when given the opportunity. And this is the opportunity. My name is Amy, and I’m addicted to this tea.

It’s a strange tea. It’s cinnamonny, almond, roasty, a slight citrus sweetness, and a somewhat burnt flavor in there too. The black tea base is a nice balance to all the flavors. I honestly find myself craving this tea. And then once I have it, it’s all i can drink for the rest of the day. Nothing else sounds good. I just want more. When I pull it out to have a cup, I’ve already decided that there will be no other teas that day.

I’ve read comparisons of this to Brioche. It’s nothing like Brioche. Brioche is delicious in a “how could you not love this?” way. While I enjoy this tea, I can see how some people don’t. But I also drink it way more than I drink brioche. Not because I like it more, but I honestly crave it. There’s something dark and bit dirty about it. The only comparable tea would be Butiki’s almond indulgence on steroids.

Of all my flavored teas (which has recently been reduced in a massive way), I drink this way more than anything else.


Lol. I should get you to add a sample next round for me to try.


Oh god oh god oh god, Brioche. Don’t remind me of the upcoming Black Friday and potential Brioche madness.

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I love tea. And I love beer. I spent my twenties thoroughly enjoying all that beer has to offer but now that I’m into my thirties and a stay at home mom of 2 little kids and 1 big kid, I spend more time enjoying tea.

I joined steepster in Feb 2013 and it’s crazy how much my tastes have changed since joining. Before, I liked cream and honey in all teas and loved mostly dessert blacks. Now I almost rarely drink them, but enjoy them from time to time. What I love more than anything are straight rich black teas, Fujian, Laoshan, Rizhao, etc… I also love pretty much any black tea that the little leaf hoppers have gotten their teeth on.

I’m still not too into the green/white/oolong varieties. I keep trying to but my tastes are evolving pretty slowly on that front.

Overall, I just enjoy tea. Something about it that just settles me.


Portland, OR

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