1576 Tasting Notes
Another from the anniversary sample sale a while back. Thank you, Teavivre! As expected, another lovely pu-erh. I used the entire sample pouch (probably 10 grams) of these reddish gold tinged leaves. The first steep is so sweet and subtle, probably from waiting ten minutes to steep. None of those unlikeable pu-erh characteristics even before the rinse. Any Teavivre pu-erh is excellent if you’re trying to avoid those. The second and third steeps are pure coffee and dark chocolate delicious. Normally I’m not a fan of coffee, but I think a good pu-erh has all of the things I actually like about coffee. I’m also learning that any pu-erh tastes like coffee and dark chocolate if you use THIS many leaves. I probably shouldn’t be using so much for a 12 ounce mug, but it’s delicious this way anyway. But I DID describe the other Menghai 2009 as chocolate and coffee, looking at my review. The last steep had hints of maple syrup. I think I’ve tried so many ripened Teavivre pu-erhs that it might be a little difficult for me to tell them apart (might be my tastebuds aren’t refined enough). All of them are very high quality and have very similar flavor profiles. I end up loving them all so I couldn’t make a mistake buying any of them anyway.
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #3 // 6 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 5 min
A very old sample but sealed in metallic like packaging. The leaves are longer, larger, and the color seems a little bit on the brown side. The flavor was okay, definitely no old-green-tea-flavor which was nice, but overall, this one doesn’t really have too much other flavor either. Almost like drinking plain hot water. Nothing offensive, but also nothing special. Too bad. Not a resteep for me.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Thank you for the swap a while back, TeaTiff! Gray days mean Earl Gray. Haven’t tried this one yet! The blend looks like it has some sort of white tea that isn’t on the ingredient list. The scent has a very strong citrus but sadly the flavor does not. The black tea is on the lighter side, and the citrus is subtle at first, but then gets stronger and more enjoyable as the cup cools. There is a touch of flavor that reminds me of grapefruit. I was a little worried there would be more grapefruit, as I don’t love it. So acceptable grapefruit level here! I’ve been Earl Grey spoiled though, so I think they have to be special at this point. And I love STRONG bergamot. The second steep was light as well but still had the same amount of bergamot.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 3-4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 7+ min
Thank again for the lovely tea package, Beorhthraefn! This one always sounded like something I’d like to try. Chocolate raspberry is definitely my favorite combo. This was a nice little sealed sample, so I ended up using the entire pouch – about 1 3/4 teaspoons. A little bit more that what is called for, but it seemed to work for me. The color of the cup is like a dark cup of coffee, but the flavor is great… a really ideal combination and also an ideal balance of those flavors. Roasted yerba mate, hints of chocolate, sweet raspberry and just enough chicory to make itself known (not over the top chicory like I had in a tea the other day… mostly chicory and very gross). I wish there had been more of those promised almonds, but there wasn’t much flavor from the one tiny almond sliver I noticed. I really like this blend and I’m very glad I got the chance to try it! I can see it converting some to being fans of yerba mate.
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Additional notes: This one is ancient and it still tastes delicious. The flavor never diminishes and the flavor is just so good. Upping the rating (from 88). It’s also mixed with the Teavana blend, since it’s the same (and about the only thing Teavana ever did right was carry this tea)… but I wasn’t planning on swapping it or anything, since it’s so old, so I thought I’d mix them together anyway in a better package.
ETA: Could have fooled me, but in the comments ATR says the two blends are not the same.
Happy New Year’s everyone! …. in three minutes!
From the Lewis & Clark teabox a while ago… gradually making progress! Sadly, this oolong seems to be a good one, but the flavors are never distinct enough for me. It’s a tough one to figure out. The flavor stays pretty consistent throughout three steeps. The scent of the cup makes me think it will be a sweet oolong, but the flavor is a little savory. It seems to lie in the middle of sweet and savory though. A little buttery, salty, seaweed, but also fruity (maybe something mild like mango?) and sweet. Not as savory as some oolongs tend to be, but also not as sweet. Kind of disappointing… I’d rather it decides what it wants to be! Perhaps this one needs other steeping parameters though. Definitely never was over astringent… very smooth throughout.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. // rinse // 8 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
Another from the order! The leaves to me just look like a couple squash pieces and a lovely bai mu dan white tea. I don’t see any vanilla or cinnamon in my teaspoon and a half parceled out for this steeping session. I tried to mix up the pouch too. To me, bai mu dan usually seems lemony so I’m not sure if it would go with a squash tea. The flavor is nice enough. Oddly the main note is something roasty and nutty. Not really any cinnamon and vanilla. Hints of lemon. A lovely idea for a blend, but it’s not the usual Butiki magic to me! I’ll try it again differently soon, maybe I’ll have more to say.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 27 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 24 min a. b. // 3 min
This is from my free Steepster box a while back (a year!) The samples are nicely sealed, so I don’t think this one has aged too badly. I love a nice green tea occasionally. This looks like it had a lot more than a teaspoon of these thin grassy leaves. The flavor is fairly strong (again probably because of the more than a teaspoon)… very nutty, savory, salty, buttery, seaweed, creamed corn. I like how much flavor a green tea can have though. Looking at the mug (both steeps), it looks like it’s full of matcha. I’m not sure if the blend actually is full of matcha or the leaves are so small, but now that I think about it, the tea tastes exactly like matcha anyway. I’m glad I took so long deciding on which tea to have! Any more of a temp or steep time (and leaves… the infuser was almost 1/3 full!) and this one would have been a bit on the bitter side. Since the wait was 40 minutes, it kind of had to be a tea like this one anyway.
Steep #1 // 40 min after boiling // 1 1/2-2 min steep
Steep #2 // 30 min a.b. // 2 min
Thank you for the sale, Ali! This one seemed interesting (and also unavailable on the site anymore). The leaves seem finely chopped, a little turned in on themselves, if that makes sense and more gold than black. The leaves have a dried grass scent. The flavor is like one of those lighter, sweeter, grassy, malty assams. It’s nice enough, but I think I was expecting something special? Also, when I want a black tea I think I want something big and bold most of the time. I guess the golden leaves should have tipped me otherwise. The second steep was too light!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // couple min a.b. // 4-5 min
This is from the Lewis & Clark teabox a while back. Why… this is too light and sweet to be The Jabberwocky! This is a mix of three black teas: I’ve tried the Ailaoshan on its own a while back and I know I have a little bit of the Fujian around (not tried yet). The Wild Arbor Yunnan sounds nice. Primarily the flavor reminds me of a lighter, sweeter Laoshan, but somehow I think I like it better than Laoshan (though the flavor in general I’m beginning to like more and more.) I can’t really pinpoint what the other teas would taste like without the Fujian, though if they are all Chinese black teas, they probably have a similar flavor profile anyway. Somehow I was able to make all three steeps fairly similar – such a light cup but very smooth and caramel delicious. I’ll try the Fujian alone soon. Again, doesn’t bring to mind the Jabberwocky but I love the name!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // 7 min after boiling // 4-5 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 7 min