348 Tasting Notes

86
drank Black Pearl Sumatra by Tealux
348 tasting notes

This is sold as an oolong at Tealux, but I’m unsure if it should be listed as a black tea instead. It’s rolled and looks like it’s oolong, but the taste tells a different story. I’ve had dark oolongs that were closer to black teas, but this one has crossed the border it seems! Feel free to enlighten me if you know more please :-)

So first sip got me so confused, I googled it to find out more. I hardly found any information, but it seems I’m not the only one who can’t make up her mind about it! Some shops have it listed as black tea, some as oolong. Nevertheless, it is the same tea, grown in volcanic Indonesian soils. And quite frankly, (though it got me curious enough to look it up) in the end, I don’t care if it’s completely oxidized or not, it just tastes happy to me!

The liquor is a deep amber sunset, very orange pekoe like. First impression (meaning this is what I think of while I close my eyes, inhale the aroma and drink it): cinnamon, brandy, raisins, big fruity notes and so sweet! It’s just superb and it produces a rich flavorful cup. Now, did I find the described Washington Red Apple in there? No I didn’t, that’s a little too far fetch for my taste buds! But it reminds me a lot of Taiwanese Assam, maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to it. It has no roasty or nutty characteristics, and not a tiny little bit of astringency, even in that forgotten 10 min. 2nd steep! If anything, the burst of flavor described above increased tenfold, very forgiving!

A new treasure tea that will be added to the permanent collection!

Wish I had bought a pound instead of just a sample, I would sprinkle all of you Steepster friends with these little nuggets so you could have a chance to taste it!

Talking about black, I am on cloud nine right now, just found out The Black Keys are playing outdoors in my area in July. Guess who’s going? Oh yeah, this Fairy is a happy one, doing «sauts de joie»!!

Good tea… summer…picturesque outdoors venue… epic music…all the right ingredients for a good life recipe :-)

Cheers everyone!

Alysha

Oh wow that should be an amazing concert!! Crossing my fingers that they come out this way!

Sil

Ill have to put this on my shopping list.

TheTeaFairy

Alysha, I checked their schedule, don’t see any tour dates for BC, but the schedule stops in july, so there’s still hope they’re heading west in August :-) I adore them!

TheTeaFairy

Sil, I’m pretty confident you will like this one since it’s the most «un-oolong» oolong I’ve ever had, LOL!

Alysha

Thanks for checking that. I’ll keep an eye out. They are one of my favourite bands too :)

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79

Made tuna tataki and soba noodles for supper tonight. I usually have Genmaicha or Sencha with this type of meal but wanted to try something different. This tea is perfect!

What a beautiful green! It’s sweet at first, midly grassy/vegetal, then It releases just a touch of smokiness with a nice astringent finish. I know most poeple don’t appreciate astringency, but strange enough, I love it, especially with food. This type of tea is a real mouth wash! Yet, it’s delicate enough to have on its own.

I will surprise my guests tonight with something new, perfect!

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92

The accidental pairing of Banana & Keemun

Soooo, being a big fan of The Banana makes me quite critical and hard to please when it comes to recreate its taste.

I have encountered only one banana tea that I truly enjoyed, the others end up tasting weird to me.

One day, I was drinking some Keemun tea while eating a very sweet and ripe banana. I thought, hey! That’s pretty awesome, they taste incredible together!

Then I decided I wanted to have fun and pretend I could make my own blend. I soaked some walnuts in a Keemun infusion then added some mashed banana and a little nutmeg. Beleive it or not, it was tasty! ( but of course the texture was awful, unless you like banana grime floats!)

I started wondering how come Butiki didn’t have a banana tea to offer, cause if someone can do it right, it’s Almighty Tea Alchemist herself, Stacy!

So I emailed her and told her about the accidental pairing on Banana Keemun and my own concoction. Turned out she was already working on a banana blend! She told me she had tried a few blends so far but was not completely pleased with the results, so she gave the Keemun a shot!

The rest is history :-)

So, am I biased when it comes to describing this tea? Of course I am! But the fact that I am is so irrelevant…just try it and see for yourself! It is fantatic!

The dry blend looks amazing as always. Lots of walnuts and pieces of sumptuous freeze dried bananas! I am loving the sweet natural banana taste, and paired with the walnuts, it’s an instant cupboard classic!

I love the fact that the taste of walnut isn’t overpowering. I’m glad she didn’t put any nutmeg, it would be too much. Her Keemun makes it just the perfect base to bring it all together. And it re-steeps pretty well!

Thank you so much Stacy for giving me my perfect banana cup and making me part of that process, it was so much fun! Whenever I have a conversation about customer service, I mention you cause you are the standard in my opinion. At this rate, I think your business will unstoppably bloom, like a big blooming tea flower!

But I hope not too much though…selfishly, I wouldn’t want to lose that proximity you so graciously offer :-)
_________________________________________
ETA: Well, this was good while it lasted…but I’m afraid it’s all gone now :-( So long Foxy Roxy, till we meet again. Don’t want to tease too much, but this little tea just got better and better, such a nice and soft creamy bananarama delight, let’s just see how long I can resist another Butiki order!

Sil

Yay! I’m so glad you sent her a note about this one. I’m excited to try it out :)

CrowKettle

Ok, I could persuade myself into not buying the Caramel Vanilla Assam right now but this is another story. It sounds amazing.

Sil

Haha crow kettle….

TheTeaFairy

Girls, feel free to indulge! It is amazing! Caramel Vanilla also looks irresistible, I got a sample of it, smells divine, yum! Can’t wait to try, but I have to calm down my banana fever first!

Sil

Oh i’ll be placing an order, but first I need a few more sipdowns and my swap packages to arrive because otherwise i’ll be back up to 300 before you can blink!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, Sil, just embrace your addiction, I accept you as you are :-)

Butiki Teas

I’m so glad you mentined the banana keemum combo and at just the right time. :)

Terri HarpLady

Wowza! This is officially on the list for my NEXT butiki order!

TheTeaFairy

Terri Harplady, hope you like it as much as I do :)

Sil

on my list as well! lol

TheTeaFairy

Sil, no more list for you!! Just sipdowns, remember???

Sil

hahaha ok fine, it’s on my spreadsheet? :) I’m actually hoping i get put a nice dent in my tea stash on the weekend since i have a lot of small sample sizes to go through (like 60). Luckily with stacy’s teas, i can hold off because they’ll be there for a while, and because i like to place giant orders at a time. I have about 20 of her teas in my cupboard so i need a few more of those gone first heh

TheTeaFairy

LOL for the spreadsheet! Have a happy sipdown week end then :-)

Rie

Oh, wow, thank you for helping bring this to the world! ~~
I love banana, I’m excited to finally try a tea blend that lives up to the fruit.

TheTeaFairy

Rie T., what I like the most about it is the fact that there’s none of that artificial banana taste your normal get from banana flavoring. It is subtle though, you can really taste the base tea and the walnuts through it all, so don’t expect a big bold banana taste, this is not it. But if you want a delicious mellow black tea enhanced with natural banana and walnut , THIS IS IT :-)

Rie

In that case, definitely cemented on my list. (‘v’)/

Fjellrev

Mashed banana and tea. Crazy!

TheTeaFairy

Incendiare, oops! What can Ii say? I know this one was a little over the top, my tea obsession gets messy sometimes :-)

DaisyChubb

Wow I can’t wait! I ordered some of this and Ruby Pie because… after reading this… I just could not resist! Ack!
It’s allowed though, since Butiki is one of the only companies I will allow myself to buy from while I do my sipdowns lol

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88

I woke up with a stomach ache. Too much food for Easter last night, and I don’t eat meat very often. So I turned to puerh to help out. As I was getting things ready, the doorbell rang. Jack, the son of a dearest friend, was at the door. We’ve known him forever and he’s family to us. Says he was in the neighbourhood and wanted to say hi. He’s a troubled 18 year old kid but he has a good heart and I love him. I have my ways with teenagers, they trust me and confide in me. I help in ways I know how. As a true teenager, he usually drops by for two things:

1- Load his ipod with awesome music for free (never a problem!)
2- Money (and I’m hoping he doesn’t ask today)

I ask how he’s doing.

«Fine.»

That’s all I’m gonna get.

«Come, I’m about to have some puerh tuocha, want some?»

«????» then a big smirk on his face.

Oh, I get it! It’s in a wrapper half opened… from his perspective, it «kind of» looks like some other substance… He thinks I’m about to roll something??

«No silly, it’s just tea!»

I go through the process. As I’m pouring, I explain what a Yixing is and why I have to rinse the tea first. That part makes him question my sanity.

«as I understand it, you rinse it cause it’s old and dirty?Now why would I want to drink some old and dirty bad smelling tea?»

I know he doesn’t have the patience to listen to the lecture I could give him on the subject so I spare him.

«Oh Just sip it! If you’re man enough that is».

I’ve had this puerh only once, over a year ago, at a time when I could not appreciate it much. Things have changed, though I have only scratched the surface of puerh knowledge, at least I’m past the stage of being scared of it.

This tuocha is big. The first very short steep after the rinse is a dark brown purplish color. It’s so fragrant of leather, I can’t help thinking of horse stables, the smell of heavy duty leather that worn saddles are made of. It’s rich and bold. I get a faint sweetness, reminiscent of ripe figs or dates. Also very woodsy. It’s accessible I would say, a good quality everyday tea.

A much better experience than the first time I had it! I knew nothing about puerh and had done no homework. As I remember, I over steeped and the taste was revolting! Took me a while after that to start experimenting with any puerh. But I now find myself liking it more and more. There’s just so much to explore!

As for Jack, well, he just spitted his in the kitchen sink. Not his thing apparently!

The only word that came out with the tea was «Gross!». We laughed!

After the fun puerh tasting, he asked for the usual iPod refill. I was so relieved that the money issue was left alone.

Means he’s doing well this time. Sober for the last 45 days. Longest time since he was 16.

He’s not giving up. Happy fun little moments like this morning have been rare between us in the last two years and I will cherish that. Happy tea day…
__________________________________________________

ETA: This afternoon, Jack and I had this tea again. We’ve had a few tea sessions since that day, and to my disbelief, he asked if he could try the «gross spitting tea» again! (his words, not mine!) I said yes, but only if he’d promise to keep at least one sip in this time.

Not only did he drink many Gongfu shots, he actually liked the last ones as they were getting weaker. I think tea is becoming a project to him and that’s what I had hoped for…it keeps him away from other stuff that’s bad for him. Thanks to this little tuocha, we had once again a terrific time together! For that alone, I am grateful…

K S

Love your description and his reaction. Bet he wanted to spit out the first alcohol he sipped as well. Keep working on him!

TheTeaFairy

KS, Thank you. Yes, I’ll definitely keep working on him, for the tea and for his well being…

Ysaurella

at least he tried …the main point is YOU loved the pu-erh

Sil

thank you for sharing this story. :) and i’m with Ysaurella, at least he tried it!

Bonnie

Kids often spit out veggies that they love later on as adults. I love your stories! You inspire me.

TheTeaFairy

Sil & Ysaurella: How right you are! I admit I explained about «rinsing the dirt» to gross him out a little, thinking he wouldn’t want to try it anyways. I was shocked that he actually tasted it and told him after how brave he was, that’s why we laughed so much :-)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie! Aside from the spitting part, I think he was intrigued by this new experience. He needs new things in his life right now, I won’t push it on him, but I have a feeling he’ll be around for more… I told him that there are better choices for beginners and that this tuocha was pretty bold to start with!

Bonnie

Tea is a cool subculture thing for many young people. At my shop, you see lots of young people (no oldies except me) and they hang out there. Free wi-fi, not expensive and good place to meet people.

Sil

YAY! thanks for the update on jack :)

Kittenna

Agreed! That’s awesome to hear :D

TheTeaFairy

thanks girls, I’m so proud of him, he’s doing great…

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100

Thank you so much Stacy for letting me try this jewel of the mountains!

On this beautiful Easter Sunday morning, I needed the perfect tea. Time to open this coveted oolong sample.

Over the past year, I have developed a profound love for Oolongs. It has emancipated my palate by offering me an infinite range of variety and possibilities.

One thing I love the most, is the anticipation it creates each time I try a new one. Oolongs are so different from one another, on so many levels. (I realize this is fact for most teas, but I find it to be particularly true for Oolongs.)

It goes from the % of oxidization, the roasting process with the aged ones, the way it is rolled, the way the leaf unfurls, the climate it is grown in, all the way to the insect that will ignite the sweetest defence mechanism. No surprise that Oolong is on my list of this world’s greatest wonders!

Gungu brew will allow me to experience all its subtleties.

The look: beautiful unbroken leaves that unfurled rapidly. The infusion is bright yellow, almost phosphorescent, it is worth pouring in clear glass to appreciate all its nuances.

The taste is so sweet and delicate. The fragrance brings the image of a rare and fragile flower, a unique gem timidly revealing its splendour. One sip and I’m transported in altitude, at the top of the highest unattainable mountain peak. If I could take a bite out of a mellow fluffy cloud, I’d imagine it would taste just like this tea.

It is slightly vegetal, fresh notes of flowers and citrus. It is exquisitely balanced by a sweet buttery mouthfeel that lingers for a long time.

Not long enough though, cause I feel sadness when it’s all over after 6 steeps…

The fact that Mr. Right unapologetically salivated all over it (sorry for the mental image, it happens on very rare occasions) helped in my decision to immediately place an order with Butiki!

Happy Easter everyone!

Sil

Yay! That’s awesome news :) sounds like you and mister right had a fantastic time with this tea

TheTeaFairy

Well, he’s not into tea the way I am ( then again, who is?? Oh yeah, you Sil!!!! ), but once in a while comes a tea that he just freaks about and if it turns out I equaly like it, then from the hungry look in his eyes, I get scared and very protective of my supply depending of how little I have in custody at the moment. Having only a sample of this one, IT WAS A SCARY SITUATION THIS MORNING! But I always en up sharing anyways :-)

Ysaurella

this tea sounds really appealing !

Sil

haha my other half is the same way. everything tastes like “tea”

TheTeaFairy

So nice to see your beautiful face Bonnie :-)

Charles Thomas Draper

And a Happy Easter to you as well…

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88

Who said white teas had to be bland?

The smell of the brew: I get lost in it, tea drunk at first sniff! Oh, I could just bathe in its holy water!

1rst steep:

It has a round texture, feels like a cloud of pudding in my mouth!

Of course, I can’t deny the freshly cut hay, it dominates this first infusion. It’s sweet and slightly flowery. Beautiful pale yellow nectar. I’m slurping it like there’s no tomorrow, thinking my 4oz Gaiwan is way too small, I’d rather have a gigantic pot of this! But as they say, with great patience comes great rewards!

2nd steep:

Brings more sweet, honey like flavor with hints of citrus and melon in the background. I can see this being an excellent iced tea.

The later steeps are still sweet, but they also kick in with a peppery aftertaste, nice addition to the already complex symphony of flavors, it gives it a second life. It’s definitely very potent.

L-O-V-E it!

In conclusion, this is white tea with an attitude , some kind of a white boy with a James Brown swag signing «I got soul!!»

Bonnie

I got the feelin..Uh…

TheTeaFairy

I’m superbad, Uh!

Bonnie

I’ll answer your note when I’m better.I am sick. Glad to see you here!

TheTeaFairy

I had a strange feeling when I say today that your last post was 3days old, not a habit of yours.but then I saw your comment on my post and I stopped worrying. Should have known… Please be well soon, sending healthy vides your way.

Charles Thomas Draper

When the surf is huge and epic this song always comes into my head and gives me wings…

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! Now that’s a vision!

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89

To me, Earl Grey is the father figure of all tea. A solid dude that you can rely on at all times.

Always there to support you, loving you and hugging you when you need to. Keeping things simple and comforting cause you know exactly what to expect.

This Earl is a very good illustration of that. Not all Earl Greys are created equally, they often are unbalanced, bergamot kicking a little too strong.

The balance on this one is perfection! The bergamot is done just right in a non bitter way, leaving plenty of room for the excellent assam base to shine through. It’s creamy without any vanilla flavouring addition.

This is my go to tea of the morning when there’s no time for fuss, knowing I won’t have to compromise on the quality.

Thank you Teajo for giving me a good Papa Earl to rely on :-)

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96

ETA: since I wrote this review a few months ago, I have almost gone through the 2oz I bought…Today, I lost count of all the gongfu infusions I made. I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS OOLONG!!
_________________________________________________________________________

Major backlog:

Last Thanksgiving, I won Stacy’s contest for a Gaiwan of my choice. I was super excited and chose one especially for oolongs cause it’s 8oz and it leaves plenty of room the leaves to expend. She knows how happy I was, thanks to her, I am no longer part of those whiny people who “never win anything”! I also bought from her a clear glass cup and saucer that I enjoy using almost everyday, here’s a few pics of both:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/8544559687/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/8545714720/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/8544559785/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/8544559745/lightbox/

Thanks again Stacy, love the Gaiwan, excellent quality and so pretty!

Now the tea. First aged oolong for me. Tommy the Toad’s raving reviews made it impossible for me not to buy it. Thanks Tommy, this is now one of my favorite tea and has helped me relax and focus lately.

Smoky ink black lustrous nuggets, they look like magic pebbles!

The rinse is super caramel and honey sweet with a faint mineral taste. ( yeah, I can help tasting my rinse, sometimes it turns out yummy like this one and it would be such a waste to just throw it!)

1rst steep: OMG! What? Really? Ahhh. I need more, this is so potent!

Fruity, slightly woody, strong burnt caramel. I also get buttery macadamia nuts, I get coffee, there’s so much going on, wow!

There’s also a very interesting texture to it, it feels like a silk ribbon in my mouth.

The smell of the wet leaf is very pungent, an acre smokiness that doesn’t reflect in the taste being so smooth.

The 2nd steep is still honey like, but loosing a bit of its sweet intensity, leaving room for those burnt roasted notes that are trying to emerge more strongly.

What is that “je ne sais quoi” everyone is trying to describe? It reminds me of that honeycomb crunchy toffee my mom used to make out of corn syrup and baking soda. It had a strong taste of sweet burnt caramel and a mineral aftertaste that came from the baking soda, put in there for one reason: create a chemical reaction that made the preparation look like a volcano in eruption! A pan full of lava, how cool was that?

Funny, cause in my adult life, I’m not a huge fan of sugar and desserts, but I have so many vivid childhood memories related to them! Maybe some shrink could explain that?

3 tsp Gungfu style will render about 10 steeps, all better than one another. Just like Tommy says, this tea is “Liquid Love” and is good which ever way you decide to brew it!

Because it is equally as good as it makes me feel, it well deserves a 100 rating!!

Sil

happy to have you back!

TheTeaFairy

Thank you Sil! Don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with your 1200 notes, but I’ll sure try:-)

Ysaurella

nice to see you back and with a so beautiful tasting note

Butiki Teas

Welcome back! :) Oh wow, that sounds crazy scary. Good thing your intuition kicked in.

Those are some awesome pics! Would you consider entering them in our photo contest? http://www.butikiteas.com/Contest.html I’d love to post one of them on our “community” page.

I love that silk ribbon feel. I know exactly what you mean.

TheTeaFairy

Merci Ysaurella! Great to be back :-)

TheTeaFairy

Thank you Stacy, didn’t know you had a contest, I guess I missed a lot about what’s going on here! I will definitely look into it, which one would you like me to post?

Fjellrev

I am so sorry that happened to you. Some people criticize the concept of intuition but I’m with you. It’s definitely there. I’m lucky to be ultra intuitive and perceptive too.

The gaiwan is beautiful. Congrats on the win! I have been eyeing Stacy’s paisley gaiwan.

Butiki Teas

TheTeaFairy-Ooh, well I think number 4 is my favorite though I do like the others and number 3 is great too! You can certainly submit as many photos as you like.

Incendiare-I agree it is there and is so important. I’ve had some times where I’ve felt a horrible pit in my stomach and a deep sense of dread and this overwhelming feeling and I’ve listened to my intuition then but there are a few times when I’ve met a couple people where I instantly didn’t like them and felt very negative towards for no reason (and I’m the type of person that likes everyone) and not listened to my intuition and they turned out to be a really bad person. I had this when I met a good friend’s new boyfriend. He seemed really nice and was very conversational and a good listener but I felt really negative towards him. I remember having a conversation with my husband where I was convincing myself to like him. A few months later we found out that he was pretty much a horrible human.

TheTeaFairy

@Incendiare and Butiki:

Yes, we all have it inside but some of us are hypersensitive to it. Many years ago, human beings needed it for survival, but as we evolved in modern society, we don’t need it as much and for most people, it is just buried. This is fact by the way, it’s not a theory. I say this cause I’m a super sceptical person, I don’t believe in many things, especially supernatural stuff.
Stacy, what you wrote illustrates just that. Our brain is designed to catch signals by perception, we just don’t listen or pay attention to them most of the time, cause we don’t focus on that. Our mind is so busy with so many distractions, who has the time, right? But that little voice told you this man was bad news, cause his composure probably sent some signals that your brain was able to catch. I studied body language a little, and I find this stuff fascinating. I hope your friend didn’t suffer too much from this bad relationship…

As for the photos, if there are no restrictions I’ll post them all then :-)

Indigobloom

Wow so glad you are safe and that you listened to your gut!
Welcome back, you’ve been missed!

Butiki Teas

Huh, I’ve never thought about intuition from a science-y perspective. I always assumed it was more on the psychic-y front. I wonder what it was in his body language that my brain picked up. Unfortunately, she did suffer but she was able to leave the relationship immediately. A few years later, we found out that his violence had escalated towards women and he ended up killing his current girlfriend.

I would love to learn about body language a little more. I bet its a very fascinating subject.

Nope, no restrictions. Send in anything you want. :)

TheTeaFairy

What??? Holy crap, now that was a signal! I have chills… how right you were!

Butiki Teas

I don’t think the signal was as strong as some situations I’ve been in that I’ve left but I think that was because I was in no immediate danger. Its pretty creepy to know that I’ve hung out a few times with a murderer.

Fjellrev

I wonder if one can go as far as connecting intuition to introversion. People who are more introverted have sensory processing sensitivity, so they’re more sensitive to stimuli. I wouldn’t be surprised if introverts who can easily read others also have a strong intuition. I, for one, am quite introverted and my perceptiveness always freaks people out.

Stacy, that is so terrifying. I am really glad your friend got out of that relationship, but still tragic that someone else ended up being a victim instead.

Butiki Teas

Incendiare-That’s an interesting theory and it does make sense.

TheTeaFairy

incendiare, it is an interresting theory. I for one wouldn’t qualify myself to be introvert, but I am very sensitive to my surroundings at all times, I do focus a lot more on my entourage than on myself. For instance, I often feel other peoples distress before they ever mention anything. Then I get the « How did you know?» comment and a weird look sometimes:-)

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful review & I love all the comments too.
I have a sample of this, waiting to be sampled.
Drugs of choice: tea, music, food (growing, preparing, eating).
Intuition: couldn’t live without it!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Terri! I hope you won’t be disappointed with this tea, I tend to be over the top enthusiast when I love something, that’s just who I am :-)
Wish I could grow stuff, but aside from basics such as tomatoes and parsley (cause they basically grow themselves!) I suck at it, always end up being the serial killer of my own garden!

Terri HarpLady

I used to tell my friends that giving me a houseplant was like writing it’s death warrant! That was a long time ago, & luckily I’m better with plants than I used to be! Not all of my gardening experiments are successful, but years of gardening have helped :)
I love walking out my back door to see what I’m eating today!

Chelle

Thanks for sharing your story. Your gaiwan is gorgeous. And I too do not have a green thumb except when its covered with matcha!

TheTeaFairy

@Terri: I won’t give up then :-) Must be awesome to go grocery shopping in your back yard everyday!
@Chelle: Matcha green thumb, hilarious :-)

Doug F

This is also one of my favorite teas. It’s hard to find a good aged oolong.

TheTeaFairy

I’m with you Doug, this was my first aged oolong, but I have tried a few since then, and none have provided me with the same level of enjoyment! Having said that, 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is my second favourite and is ALSO from Butiki. I just sampled it, it’s really good, sweeter, but I prefer my 2003.

Doug F

Thanks for the tip! I’ll try the 1991 in my next order.

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83

There’s something whimsical about this tea. The dry leaves look so pretty and unusual, I’ve never seen this rolling method, very different from oolong.

Before they go for a swim, I take some in the palm of my hand to observe them… they look like little silver grasshoppers about to jump!

I’m always in awe of the craftsmanship that goes into hand rolled tea. I can’t help thinking about ancient times and how luckily for us, some traditions are still anchored and necessary, too extraordinary to die…

They smell very sweet, promising a real treat when infused.

I’m using about 3 gr in a small clear glass gaiwan.

I won’t be describing infusion time cause as I’m getting more experienced with gongfu brewings, I have developed a sense of knowing what’s best for me, so I increase time as a «feel and smell» technique rather than a fixed time parameter. The purists might say I have this all wrong, but it works great for my own tastebuds! However, this method would have been such a disaster on my first gongfu session a couple of months ago :-)

The first steep renders a delicate sweet and floral taste, paired with a «not in your face» grassiness. What a nice morning buzz that is! Unlike oolong, the leaf almost opens up immediately, eager to reveal its splendor to the world!

Second infusion is a little more grassy and crisp, but still sweet . It’s delicate it every possible way, but yet, it gives such burst of flavour. The leaves are now fully opened, I think they are the most perfect leaves I have ever seen. No trace of discoloration on ANY of them… Full, beautifully twisted and unbroken, tender uniform green color, that’s got to tell you something about the way this tea is cared for when harvested…

The later steeps added more bite to the taste, tickled my tongue just a little :-)

I come to the conclusion that this embodies everything I love about green tea in one package. Like a fusion of my 2 favorite greens…
Pssst…trying not to alert the Paparazzi Tea Press, but I think Mr Dragonwell got married to Mrs Sencha and harvested this Curled Dragon…mmmm, really wonder who it got its curls from!

Sil

LOL i love your last comment :)

Bonnie

well written and you are right to brew this your way

TheTeaFairy

@Sil: It’s just tea gossips :-)

JC

Nice! I love the kind of tea that reminds you of several others. I have to review one that I got recently. It feels like it has a mix of Bi Luo Chun, Dragon Well and Silver Needle. Confuses/Amazes me how the same plant can produce so many flavors.

TheTeaFairy

Bonnie, it’s strange, but ever since I started to relax about gungfu brewing, I get so much more out of it! I used to do this almost like a science project, it became stressful! Then I decided I had to just enjoy and learn from my mistakes instead of trying to reach perfection. Now I have no idea if I do it «right», and I don’t care, cause it works for me :-)

TheTeaFairy

JC, it’s like a bonus round, right? Getting a two for one deal or something… But a trio is even better :-) Camellia Sinensis does work in mysterious ways…

Bonnie

I’ve always played with my tea.First I follow the suggested brewing because I believe in respecting the hard work that goes into bringing tea to the consumer.(it’s an art) However, afterwards game on and I might steep longer or shorter,with more or less leaf,or by a different method (config,western..or with additions).

JC

Very true @ TheTeaFairy. And I agree with you Bonnie. Besides trying the tea different ways seems like the real ‘gong fu’. Gong fu is about making the best tea you possibly can with the given leaf. So constricting yourself from enjoyment just to follow a ‘rule’ is ridiculous. I have found some that traditional gong fu is the way to go, and others that western cup is where it is.

Bonnie

the word config was gong fu but my kindle fire was kind enough to think that I couldn’t spell and changed it for me…haha.

Ysaurella

mais où es tu passée, Mlle la fée du thé ? tu nous manques ici ! :) Hope to read your new reviews soon

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, what a sweet heart you are! Unfortunate events I’ve had to deal with lately kept me away…I really appreciate your concern, I also miss you all! Hope to be back soon, take care :-)

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83

Happy New Year to all of you! (Better late than never!)

The past few days, it seems that every time I’m about to sit, relax, and enjoy some time on Steepster, something happens! Today was no exception… As I was prepared to write this review I heard a loud weird and abnormal sound… looked out the window…and saw chaos! Our supposedly 4 season solarium had just collapsed under the snow! What a mess! What can I say, it’s been snowing every second day around here since the beginning of December, we just can’t keep up with it!!! On a positive note, we’ve been having lots of fun playing outside during the holidays and it makes us feel very cozy inside!

So, finally, my review of this tea. Since it wasn’t on Steepster yet, I’ve just added it with Teajo’s permission and will be the first one to review on it.

The smell of the dry blend is mesmerizing, yum, so berry-chocolaty! Very promising, my hopes are very high! But I try to keep expectations at a reasonable level, disappointment is often following olfactory ecstasy. Got to keep it real folks!

I steeped as recommended. Wow, heavenly aroma, couldn’t wait for it to cool down! I’ve tried many raspberry teas from larger flavoured tea retailers, and for me, something is always either missing, or shouldn’t be there. But I’m happy to say my quest for the perfect one is officially over, this one is the bomb!

This tea is hands down the best raspberry tea I’ve ever had! And so naturally tasting that is. I’m a big fan of raspberries, I could eat them all the time. To all raspberry tea lovers out there
(and I know there’s quite a few here) I’m telling you people, you have got to try this one!

You know what I like the most about it? It tastes exactly what I spent my money on: a black tea, complimented by raspberry and chocolate flavourings. Bonus: all natural! There. Could it be any simpler than that? Apparently, it is not that simple cause I don’t know how many times I have had flavoured teas not tasting what they were advertised for.

This one is done just right!

Real raspberries are sweet, but a little tart at the same time. I get some of that!

Chocolate is expected to add some decadent twist to the cup. I get some of that!

But what strikes me the most is the tea base. I get lots of that! The richness of full body and fresh full leaf Assam! I am totally under its spell!

See, what I like the most about tea is…tea! I will enjoy a good dessert tea once in a while, but too often, I can’t even identify what the tea base is, cause, well, it’s completely overwhelmed by the other stuff…I understand that there’s a market for that, and that people enjoy having those «desserts» minus the calories. I do too, I have plenty of them in my cupboard! But to me, it’s such a reward when I find the flavours I expect to find, with no fuss, just the bare essence of it.

Teajo seem to care a lot about the ingredients they put in their teas, and they seem to have an understanding of what differentiates a good flavoured tea from superior one: the tea itself !

I’m glad I was able to discover them through their big Thanksgiving sale, I am very impressed so far by their products, but also by their personalized customer service. Thank you Piccolo :-) I will be a returning customer…later that is, I do have to drink tons of tea I already have and keep up on New Years resolution to spend less on tea orders… (no worries, I never keep my resolutions!)

Bonnie

Missed your voice here…glad you found your perfect raspberry chocolate and that it’s NATURAL!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie! You know me by now, right? Life happens, I disappear for a while, but I always come back… Missed you too :-)

Sil

mmmmm i’ll have to put this on my wish list to try out!

Donna A

TeaFairy, i have enjoyed the Teajo teas I’ve had including this one. They do a good job, and now offer a good deal on 10-12 cup samples.

Indigobloom

wow now I have another shop on my list!! this sounds heavenly

TheTeaFairy

Sil, I know tastes are very personal, but I’m pretty sure this one could win you over!

TheTeaFairy

@Donna: Also love a retailer that will let you purchase samples at a decent price! Hate being stuck with a 3 oz pouch of tea that I don’t like!

@Indigobloom: I’m actually surprised that this company is not more present here on Steepster. I really liked the teas I’ve tried so far, very fresh and natural tasting :-)

Sil

Tea fairy – it was one of the teas I was going to pick up on Black Friday but sadly something else came up. After this review I’m going to make sure it’s on my list to pick up once I place another order heh

Cissystix

I love a good raspberry anything and a little chocolate with it is even better. Your review has inspired me to order some of this one to try!

TheTeaFairy

Cissystix, you will probably enjoy it then :-)

Donna A

@Teafairy-I thought the same thing when I first started ordering from Teajo-why not more of a presence on Steepster? I have had several of their teas now and not a bad one in the bunch-their teas do taste fresh and natural. Offering well-priced samples was a good move on their part which may increase new customers for them. I’ve noticed that the companies that have a strong presence on Steepster usually not only have good teas, but also know how to get the spotlight on their offerings through samples, sales, free shipping offers, etc. With all the online tea companies out there, it can be overwhelming for someone new with tea.

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Profile

Bio

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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