771 Tasting Notes

I haven’t had this tea in awhile. I still really like it. It’s a nice roasted oolong with caramel! Looks like Della Terra doesn’t have this one anymore, which is too bad. They used to be so involved in Steepster and having sales all the time and now they’re so quiet. Hmmm. Anyway, good thing I still have at least a couple more cups of this one left. :)

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drank Masala Chai by Rishi Tea
771 tasting notes

Felt like some chai this morning. I always make this one on the stovetop with almond milk. Really good and balanced spice. I’ve never made it by just steeping it with water and adding a splash of milk because the stovetop way makes it so creamy. Sometimes I’m too lazy to do the stovetop though, and because I’ve never tried it the other way, I just don’t have it. I really should just try it sometime.

It’s nice to have chai on a cold morning. I’ve been kinda bummed about my weekly chai outings with my coworkers because Samovar’s chai has been inconsistent lately. It was really burnt one day and last week there was hardly any spice. Hope they fix that soon, because it used to be the best chai. This one is winning out right now.

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drank Kotobuki by Lupicia
771 tasting notes

I wanted an oolong this afternoon and this one won out. I decided to try it gong fu-style, which was fun, but I think I like it better brewed western style. Western style brings out the fruit flavor, whereas, gong fu brings out the floral. So, if you’re a lover of floral, take note!

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I could smell this tea the minute I opened the mailing envelope. It has a smoky aroma, even the dry leaf does. The dry leaf is a very pretty silver green. Here’s a pic, but it doesn’t really show the silver effect well:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16296255385/

When I brewed it up, there was an old man tobacco smell. No other way to describe that. ;)

The tea had a warming effect on me from the first sip…interesting. I gong fu-brewed it as usual. About the third steep or so, it tasted like grilled veggies, which turned into a grilled meat flavor. According to JalamTeas, they make a soup out of this tea with garlic…I can see why that would go well together. The grilled veggie/meat flavor was kind of good, and I’m a vegetarian!

This is a tea that I probably would have hated when I first started drinking loose leaf, but I really like it! It does sweeten up like most shengs, but in much later steeps. The smoky grill flavor is nice for a cold day like today.

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This was surprise tea from Stephanie! Thank you!
I think the only times I’ve gotten to try A&D teas were from swaps with Stephanie. :) They are very good, but I wish they sold smaller sizes, like 2 oz. packets because I don’t really want 4.4 oz. of one tea in my cupboard. I like variety too much!

This tea is really good! It has a baked good quality to it, like freshly baked bread! Mmmm! My mom used to make bread…buttermilk loaf to be exact. Freshly baked bread is so amazing…I used to cut a really thick slice and toast it with butter spread on top for breakfast. Delicious!

This tea is also smooth and you get a little freshness from the Darjeeling at the end of the sip. I brewed it for 2 minutes and that was delicious, but the website says 4! I’ll have to try that with the remaining sample. This would be on the “buy” list, if not for the ridiculous size, because it’s really yummy!

Tealizzy

Update: ordered. Yes, I’m a sucker. ;)

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Another tea from my Secret Santa. She said this one is her favorite.

It’s a very solid cinnamon tea. Not overly complex, but good and warming on a cold foggy day like today.

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drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
771 tasting notes

This tea came from my Secret Santa. :)

Smells like a Christmas store. Tastes like one too. It’s like holiday potpourri, but not floral. Must be the clove? I also taste a little citrus. It’s not bad, but not one I would restock.

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drank Praline Horizon by Butiki Teas
771 tasting notes

I was really excited when Stacy put out this tea, so of course, I made another order!

The leaf is CTC, which always reminds me of grapenuts. I used to love grapenuts…nutty and sweet, just like this tea! The dry leaf smells very nutty and sweet….I could just inhale it all day. Seriously, we need candles that smell like some of these teas!

So, the directions said to steep it for 1 minute…silly CTC, but trust me, don’t ignore it!

The taste of the tea does remind me of pralines, like in Baskin Robbins pralines & cream ice cream! It’s nutty and sweet, but the sweetness isn’t sickly sweet. I almost want it to be sweeter in taste, but then it could get too sweet, so really, don’t listen to me. ;P

I’m also getting some wood and citrus notes, which lo and behold, Stacy notes for the base tea! My tastebuds are getting good! It’s bordering on astringent, but it’s not…definitely has some strength to it.

Second steep…oh this is nice. The base isn’t as strong and the flavors blend nicely. I might even like this resteep more than the first steep! It’s like the first steep would be good to enjoy as a wake up tea and the second in the afternoon with a scone. :) OMG, I really like this steep.

Stacy said she thought it would be too simplistic, but it’s actually very complex! And for those of you who make tea syrups, this would make a really yummy one (hint hint…if you do, please send me some!) ;)

Butiki Teas

Awesome! So glad you like it! I was so happy with how it came out. If you are getting a mild astringency, I would recommend to use even less tea. There is a really nice sweet spot on this tea where the praline is full and the tea is malty with no astringency. :)

OMGsrsly

I am so excited for this one!

Tealizzy

I measured it with my cute new teaspoon (has a cat on it), but maybe I’ll try the 3/4 teaspoon next time!

Butiki Teas

Awww, that sounds adorable. 3/4 might work better or even a reduced water temp. I’m not entirely convinced that all measuring spoons provide the exact same amount.

Tealizzy

You’re probably right about measuring spoons. I should note, my water temperature was 200 degrees. :)

Butiki Teas

I think our measuring spoons are smaller than average based on some feedback I’ve heard throughout the years.

OMGsrsly

Isn’t a tsp 5ml?

Tealizzy

Good question, OMGsrsly. I have no idea…and nothing with small enough volumetric measure to actually measure it! One of those volumetric cylinders from chem class comes to mind!

Butiki Teas

OMGsrsly-It’s slightly under that. What I wonder is how the shape of the spoon affects the amount of leaf used. Our spoons have a very deep bowl and are narrower. So, not as much “surface area”. Leaf naturally sits slightly above the lip, so I am wondering if spoons that are wider end up with more leaf.

OMGsrsly

Oh, ok. I can see the shape causing different measurements for sure, especially with larger leafed teas. Ours are mostly labelled 5ml in Canada. I might bring one to work and measure it. For science. :)

Butiki Teas

OMGsrsly-Hmmm, maybe I should measure our teaspoon with our small liquid measuring cup to see if it is accurate.

Stephanie

Alright I gotta order some

Tealizzy

Lol @ Stephanie! ;)

AllanK

This sounds really good.

AllanK

I just had to get up and look at this thread. I just had to order this tea and 10 others from Butiki tonight. I have not had any willpower since probably 1980.

Tealizzy

AllanK, you are too funny! :)

Stephanie

Might as well get them before they’re gone AllanK!

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drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
771 tasting notes

This was a gift from my Secret Santa. :) I really wanted to try this blend, as it is spoken of favorably by Steepster peeps. It also sounded very cozy for winter, and cranberry and almond sound like a winning combo. Unfortunately, I didn’t taste any almond in this tea, and that was even after adding a splash of almond milk! I did get some tart, slightly juicy cranberry flavor, but it was kind of faint. I can’t vouch for how old the tea is because it wasn’t sent to me in its original container, but overall, I don’t think it’s flavorful enough for me. Besides my love for their Viennese earl grey and Paris teas, I’m still not a Harney’s girl.

Sakura Sushi

Try it iced, if you drink iced tea at all. You still won’t get almond, but you should get a slight sweet, berry flavor. I found this really pleasant as an iced tea, not that interesting as a hot tea.

Nightshifter

Me too- I wasn’t getting what the blend was supposed to be when I tried it. I love Paris also, but I’ve never tried Viennese Earl Grey (which I will now need to remedy). If you haven’t tasted before, I enjoyed Earl Grey Supreme, too.

Tealizzy

Thanks for the tips!

boychik Love Viennese Earl Grey !
Tealizzy

@boychik – yay! :)

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I probably shouldn’t have had another cup of black tea, but I couldn’t resist trying my last sample from Cameron B.!

So, based on other reviews, I knew it wasn’t going to taste exactly like the name suggests. I tried really hard to get apple, and I could maybe see how this was apple flavoring turned something else. That something else being honeydew! As a honeydew tea, it’s good! I’m not sure about a honeydew tea with a black base, but it turned out to be very silky in texture. Again, an indication of a good base tea.

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Profile

Bio

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! :)

Location

San Francisco Bay Area

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