813 Tasting Notes

drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
813 tasting notes

I’m so glad I picked up a bunch of this before Butiki closed up shop. It’s become my daily drinker at the office, since I can’t really do gong fu, so I make a nice big western mug of this instead. The milk chocolate notes bring me back over and over. Yesterday, I wanted chai and only had a little left of El Dorado Chai by Whispering Pines, so I mixed it with this tea and it was scrumptious! It’s going to be sad when I’m out of this, but it will likely happen in the near future. :(


I ran out of mine from A Southern Season. I need to go back there!

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Thanks to boychik for this sample! Without your generosity, I would not have known to pick this one up, and now I happily have an ounce all to myself. This tea is awesome. It steeps up with a pretty orange color. It’s roasty and incredibly juicy! The flavor notes are complex, with toasted coconut, peach, and citrus. It’s incredibly aromatic and has a lasting aftertaste. Yum!

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I finally have a cake of this in my cupboard! Yes! I enjoyed the loose leaf and was waiting to get one of these and finally the timing was perfect. This Shou is so yummy! Absolutely no funk, but thick and inky, and so creamy! This is definitely a Shou that could be a “go-to” Shou for me. I had it the other night and I wasn’t even in the mood for Shou and it was awesome. Oh, and did I mention how adorable the wrapper and cloth bag are? Love it!

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Thanks to boychik for this sample! I came home absolutely exhausted from work and this tea really helped me wind down. It says in the description that it can help with headaches, and I had one, but not anymore! Miracle tea, haha! I think it’s a solid DHP. Nice and roasty, sweet, and pretty durable, lasting for a good number of steeps. I would definitely consider picking some of this up in my next order. Yay for good tea and awesome tea friends!

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Thanks to Grill for this sample!

Right from the beginning, this tea has a spicy and slightly smoky aroma. It also tastes spicy and smoky, but not overpowering. It’s a very savory brew, and thick and oily. I love the oily ones! It reminds me a lot of the Xianshu LinChang cake I have from puerh.sk, but the smoke is much less pronounced. It really caused me to sweat, so serious Qi. Overall, I wouldn’t mind drinking it again, but I like the puerh.sk one better.

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I really need to start logging more teas. I’m drinking tea, I am! The problem is a bunch of the ones I’ve had recently are not in the Steepster database, so I have to go through the trouble of adding the tea.

Anyway, I did it! Thanks to Grill for this sample!

I haven’t developed a taste for sheng with some years on it, but this one ain’t bad! Very clean taste. Brews up amber in color with a slightly minty aroma. Tastes kinda fruity, like dried fruit! Mmm! It has some bitterness, especially in early steeps. Not super thick, but decent. It’s also very reasonably priced. I really like the dried fruit taste, so this one is wishlisted!

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Thanks to Grill for this sample. This is a deliciously sweet and aromatic sheng, and it has great longevity. You can push it and there’s really no bitterness to speak of. It’s silky sweet. I felt some energy from the Qi, but it didn’t make me crazy. Very nice!

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Thanks to boychik for a generous sample, of which I got to enjoy two sessions with this tea. It reminds me of a cross between Drunk on Red from YS and Bangdonghong from W2T. It has a bit of raspberry fruitiness, and a little spiciness. Very nice tea, and I wouldn’t mind having more in my cupboard.

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Thanks to Boychik for this sample! She knows what I like…we have very similar tastes! This tea has a hint of smoke, a bit of bitterness, but it’s smooth and has a medium oily texture…love the oily ones! The aroma is sweet and vegetal. Turns out, it’s not super sweet, but has a bit of complexity that I like. Boychik reminded me that this is not puerh, but border tea. Still tasty though, and that’s all that really matters to me. :)

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I had to pick up some of these as everyone kept raving about them. They steep up dark pretty quick, but they’re light on flavor at the beginning. It takes maybe four or more steeps to get them going, and you really gotta steep them out long….several minutes, and then they’re amazing! Sweet, rich cocoa, mmm! Reminds me of Mandala’s special dark…that kind of cocoa, but maybe sweeter! My kinda Shou! I almost feel like I shouldn’t like them though, because aren’t they like the leftovers? The scraps? So delicious though!


To have the full flavor on the first steep, you may wish to try the following: After preheating your gaiwan, rinsing the nuggets, and a mrmopar recommended 20 min rest, insert a cocktail fork into each nugget to loosen them up. Enjoy!

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Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)


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