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176 Tasting Notes

88

Once upon a time, we used to cherish a month called March. After a long and cold winter, we’d get all excited to see March arrive and bring along the promise that spring was well on its way.

Yes, spring, remember that? Used to be one of our four seasons…but nowadays, winter seems to be the only season left…On March 4th today, it’s freakin MINUS 20 CELSIUS!!!

Thank god I have this tea to remind me what spring season is like.

Mmmm, Darjeeling, with its fresh citrusy notes. A beautiful first flush this tea. Sweet but slightly astringent and very juicy. It’s what I call a sunny tea :-)

Thank you so much for sharing this “sunshine in a cup” with me Sil. Such a good pick me up on this cold winter day!

Fjellrev

Haha it’s definitely coming in like a lion, I guess. It’s been raining constantly here, and on the cold(er) side. At least not -20!

Kat_Maria

I seriously don’t believe it will ever get warm.

Dexter3657

LOL it’s colder there than here today. Hope it warms up for you soon.

yyz

I know what you mean… On the other hand I saw a Robin today, good thing my neighbourhood has lots of bird feeders!

TheTeaFairy

Fjellrev, I’ll take rain, hell, I’m not that difficult, I’ll take anything over this freezing arctic weather! The thing is I love winter, but enough already!

Kat_Maria, I sure hope you’re wrong, lol!

Dexter, the forecast was WRONG today, they actually predicted a “comfortable” winter day. Yes, comfortable for polar bears…mmmaybe???

yyz, really? But what if Mrs. Robin just leaves and goes back south thinking she’s got her calendar all wrong?

yyz

Poor thing! She just might. The front yard is looking a little like!e an intro to glaciology, formation of icepacks project!

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95

Not always the biggest fan of white teas, but I do have my favourite Bai Mu Dan and Silver Needle. Never had a white pu’erh until I’ve tried Mandala’s teas.

Another first is the look of this tea. Very unusual cute little white buds, they are just perfect. The look like mini pinecones.

Since it’s my first experience with this type of tea, I diligently followed Mandala’s instructions (If you know me, you know I’m usually not so good at following “the rules”!)

The brewed liquor is really pale, almost colourless.

This is sweet and fresh at the same time, it reminds me of the purest maple water. It’s almost candy sweet and It’s got that soft mineral alkalinity, it’s round and velvety in the mouth. It’s similar to some yellow tea I really love. It’s subtle, but there’s still a nice distinct pu’erh earthiness to it.

Awww…I’ve fallen in love with so many teas lately! Thought I was all set with my usuals, and now I keep adding to my staple list. That’s your fault Garret! (And Dexter3657’s, and Sil’s, lol!) But that’s what I call a good problem, is it not?

It was pretty spectacular, it provided a beautiful relaxation moment… This was a blind buy and I’m so happy I went for it. It reminded me of happy times when I was just a little girl.

My grand father was everything to me, he was a mentor and his influence made me who I am today. He was a hard working farmer, and a maple syrup producer. He was a master at transforming quenching maple water into the most amazing treat ever. I’d spend hours at the sugar shack watching him perform his art. He’d let me drink the maple water directly from the bucket that had collected the precious nectar from maple trees. If you ever tasted maple sap, you know it’s unlike any other beverage. Here, we now find maple water at the grocery store, just like coconut water. Not quite as good and fresh as having it directly from the tree but close enough!

This tea was a good reminder of those happy memories…

__Morgana__

Beautiful memory. :-)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Morgana! This tea is just AMAZING!

JC

Nice note!

Fjellrev

Wow, that’s an amazing story. :)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks JC and Fjellrev, tea inspiration :-)

OMGsrsly

That’s so neat! Maple is awesome. :)

Ysaurella

Maple water definitively didn’t reach yet my part of the world !I need to try this. Grand parents are often a big part of what we are, I miss mines

Stephanie

I would love to try maple water. Sounds amazing!

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella & Stephanie, I really hope that maple water sold in stores reaches your part of the world eventually :-) It is something new even here, about time someone thought about the fact that there’s a market for it.

mrmopar

I got some of this on the way! Maple water sounds great TeaFairy! We do molasses in my neck of the woods.

TheTeaFairy

Well its only my interpretation of it, maybe you’ll find molasses in yours mrmopar :-)
I just hope you enjoy its purity and unusualness as much as I did…let me know!

boychik

We have birch tree water in Russia. We used to joke that its just water with sugar added. is maple water clear or have some color?

TheTeaFairy

Boychik, that’s interresting, I never heard of birch tree water before, do you make syrup out of it like we do with maple? Yes, maple water is clear.

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87
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
176 tasting notes

This morning I made fresh peanut butter to have with my toasts. It was warm and so creamy, I ate a big spoonful before spreading it!

Not all teas make the peanut butter list. (K S already know that) I usually have my regular straight Assam, Yunnan and Keemun to pair with it. Don’t like any flavoured tea with it.
You have to understand that I’m picky cause peanut butter is considered heaven food in my household.

K S mentioned in a recent post that earl grey came highly recommended on his PBJ tea list so I made a mental note of that (I personally am more of a purist, I prefer classic unaltered PB on my toasts, I ditched the J a long time ago).

So, I chose this favourite Earl of mine. I usually prefer this version cause the creamy part mellows the bergamot I sometimes find offensive in blends. The reason I like it so much is that unlike other EGC, this one doesn’t scream vanilla. I don’t mind vanilla when it’s done right, but it can be heavy and a little sickening to me. Here, it just rounds the edges of Miss Bergamot. It’s a perfect cup! And yes, it complimented wonderfully my PB toasts this morning.

So K S, thank you, earl grey officially makes THE PB list!!!

Fjellrev

Wow, making fresh peanut butter! That’s ambition.

Mmm, this one is wonderful.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, no merits here, it’s actually super easy when you have the tools. I have a high power blender (vitamix). I just buy a jar of roasted peanuts, and in 30 seconds I have fresh warm peanut butter! I make a one week provision every week end, it’s not really cheaper but it tastes so good, once you start you can’t stop!!

Fjellrev

Nice! I read those vitamix blenders are very powerful. Maybe if I ever get a blender I’ll get that one. :)

TheTeaFairy

Lol, I think I should just work for them, I’ve been such an ambassador since I got mine, I’ve convinced many people to buy one. It’s just a life changer, it makes hot soup within 10 minutes, it actually cooks by friction! So yes, hope you get to have one someday, much more than just a blender…

Fjellrev

Wow, they’re expensive! Just looked it up. I had no idea they cook by friction. I was wondering why the peanut butter was warm haha.

K S

When I have PB I like it on a Ritz. I do this often as PB is definitely heaven food. I often toast PBJ sandwiches in a skillet. Yumm. This is making me hungry. lol I have never made PB. The ‘natural’ ones I have bought seem to separate really bad. Maybe they have been on the shelf too long?

K S

Oh, and if PB is heaven food (and it is), then EG is heaven drink. Sorry Sil, deal with it. ha

gmathis

Heaven food: buttermilk donuts, lemon meringue pie, meat loaf (well, that’s soul food).

TheTeaFairy

Fjellrev, yes it’s quite an investment and I first thought you had to be nuts to pay that kind of money for a blender, lol! Turns out it is worth every penny, as it replaces so many appliances…

K S, agreed that earl grey is also heaven drink, just like jasmine tea, it’s been part of my life since childhood…
I am so going to try a grilled PB sandwich now! Think it works without the jam??
Yes, can’t stand store bought natural peanut butter, they’re so hard to mix with all that oil on top. But when you do it yourself, you don’t have that problem, it doesn’t separate cause you put it in the fridge right away. So good!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, gmathis, thank god it’s dinner time, so hungry!!!

Dexter3657

You “ditched the j a long time ago” ? You ditched the j ?!!!? Why did you ditch the j ? Poor j ….. It’s ok j I still love you. I’ll take the j – you can have the icky bergamot stuff ;))

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! Oh Dexter, aren’t you the funny one…yeah, thanks for taking care of poor J.
(Bergamott hater!!!)

Ysaurella

I probably need to retry with Fresh PB because olala this food is kind of mystery …why does my daughter love that…(skippy brand)

TheTeaFairy

Haha, Ysaurella, just saw your comment, we also have the infamous Skippy here, that stuff is so sweet, I call it peanut jam! I can’t stand it and don’t like the natural PB found in stores, nothing like making your own with fresh roasted arachides, I highly recommend but don’t take Skippy away from your daughter, she will hate me :-)

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91
drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
176 tasting notes

Thanks you Dexter3657 for this special offering…

First, I do realize I a m drinking Morning Sun at night. Well, I checked and I couldn’t find any Evening Moon in my cupboard…besides, nothing stipulates that it should be drunk only in the morning, right?

The leaves are so pretty, they look like sunny little spirals. I basket brewed for only 3 min. as I watched and smelled the beautiful golden liquid, I knew it was enough. I’m usually a heavy steeper, but this tea is quite potent.

It may sound a little weird, but I get the sharpness of green peppers in this tea. But it’s also sweet and slightly woodsy. It feels thick and dusty in the mouth, it’s kind of hard to explain. I also get something reminiscent of a baked potato peel, earthy and roasted. I like it a lot. It has floral notes to top it all. It does have similarities to some Golden Monkey I’ve had, but I find this to be more complex.

Most of the time, I don’t re-steep black teas unless I gongfu brew. But this one had a lot more to give, the leaves were not fully unfurled, I managed to get three very tasty infusions.

So glad I made this part of my recent Mandala order, I know I have many more cups to come, and yes, will be able to experience the joy of having it in the morning!

Thanks Dexter3657 for another tasty treat :-)

Fjellrev

Now the tea gods will curse you for drinking a morning tea at night!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! I know, was so afraid of that…jeez, what’s a tea god curse, 7 years of bad tea???

keychange

It’s ok—it’s always morning somewhere!

Fjellrev

Hahaha just stay away from Teavana and I’m sure you’ll avoid the bad tea issue.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, keychange, we used to say the opposite back in the days when we’d start drinking again at 10am after a sleepless night, those were the days. OMG the thought of it now makes me sick, I’m so old!!!!!

Fjellrev, staying away from Teavana is very easy, haha!

ifjuly

I love this one. Yum! It’s that green chile element that keeps me coming back, so unique and sounds weird for tea, but tastes good!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, ifjuly, green chilli is even more precise, lol! I’ve only had red chillis, so I woudn’t know, are they spicy?
To me the green bell pepper came to mind because the tea might be sweet but it also has that sharpness and freshness found in green peppers. Isn’t it hard to explain? I just know it’s there, lol.

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83

I’ve been thinking about it for months now but haven’t had the guts to actually do it. I want to start painting again. I stopped a while ago due to complicated reasons. But I feel time is right now. Just need to kick myself in the petuli and get my “clutter closet” in order, where all the painting gears are.

You know that space in your home where things get cluttered over the years and one day you open it and think, what the hell happened in there? Well that’s the closet I’m talking about. Am I the only one with such a problem?

Well I was up at 5h30 this morning, thinking, you can do this girl, it’s early and will take just a couple of hours. Just have a cup of delicious tea and read a little before you start. Several hours later, still sipping good tea and reading. WTF?? Come on fairy, gather some energy and just do it already!

Think this Guayusa combo might help? I just mixed whatever I had left of Good Morning Sunshine in the Tangerine Creamsicle jar. I made a large pot and hoping the Guayusa will kick in soon.

Beside its high energy concentration, Guayusa is delicious. These blends from Butilki are some of the best I have tried. There’s something about citrus and Gayusa that makes the flavours just explode! It is so fresh and bright, should have had it right from the start, my closet would be in order and I’d be painting by now!!!

Oh well, it’s never too late!

Thanks Butiki for being part of my creativity project!

yyz

Good luck with the clutter closet. If it makes you feel better I have a storage unit full of stuff I haven’t looked at deeply for years. It came from inheriting almost two household full of things before I finished University.

Have fun with re-embracing painting. My cousin is doing the same right now. Her career does involve art ( she owns an industrial interior design co.), but as she is the most involved in the marketing/management part of her work among her partners she does not get as many opportunities to do the part she loves. Enjoy it once you rediscover what you have!

__Morgana__

It’s awesome that you want to renew an artistic endeavor. I have periods where I stop writing for (also) complicated reasons and then re-engage with my typical monomania.

And you are not alone with the clutter problem. It is a part of my daily life ever since having kids. I have not had a cleared surface in ten years and it makes my skin crawl. Every now and then I go into a frenzy and try to get everything cleared away but inevitably it’s back where it started within days. Sigh.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks for the encouragement you gals! yyz, OMG, two household, how to deal with that?

I understand your cousin…the thing is once you stop, there’s lime a piece of you missing. So yes, I am planning on re-embracing it, no matter how rusted I may be :-)

Morgana, at least you have small children running around to excuse yourself, lol, I don’t!
Writing is also something I identify with a lot. (I’m a lot more eloquent in French as it comes a lot easier to me).
What do you like to write about?

Ysaurella

and what are you painting ? now we want to see your paintings :)

TheTeaFairy

Hehe, Ysaurella, I’m afraid I’m not ready to “expose” myself just yet! I haven’t done anything in many years…used to paint mostly solitaire trees in different variations of styles and colours…Never took lessons so don’t know if what I’m doing is right or wrong, just feels good doing it. My sister begs me to do more, she has several hanging on her walls, she’s so cute, she swears she doesn’t like them just because I’m her sister :-)

Ysaurella

ahaha I’ll wait so :)

__Morgana__

TF, I write short fiction. I started out writing straight literary stuff but for the last couple of years I’ve focused on speculative fiction.

OMGsrsly

TheTeaFairy, one thing you learn after doing art lessons for a few years (I did fine art all through high school), is that technique is baloney. Whatever get you the effect you want is A-OK. :)

TheTeaFairy

Morgana, i just saw a link in your bio, is that what you are referring to? Sure gonna have a closer look :-)

Thank you OMGsrsly for this comment, a confidence booster, maybe I’ll post my next “oeuvre d’art” sooner then, haha!

__Morgana__

TF, yep, that’s my bare bones “author” web site for speculative fiction that I was told in a class I really ought to have. ;-) If not for that I probably would have waited until I have a professional sale to report, but since it appears to be expected even of new authors in the genre I went ahead and put one up.

TheTeaFairy

Holly molly, this is serious stuff, you might just be the next big thing!!! I have bookmarked you, you’re on my official “to read” list :-)

__Morgana__

LOL. Well, that would be nice. But I have a long road ahead and my biggest challenge is to keep writing. I get frustrated when things in my brain don’t come out the way I want them to on the page, and I get frustrated when I have near misses from the big magazines. I know it’s all part of the process, but it’s still hard to keep motivated.

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100

On a good or a bad day, I have tea. Yes, it’s part of my life everyday. It’s something that brings me pleasure no matter how shitty my day is. I’ll take pleasure over happiness. Happiness isn’t reliable, you can’t expect to be happy everyday even if you want to. But you can experience the pleasure of having tea everyday :-)

Tea pleasure is reliable and measurable. This one is proof to my theory. It’s not a concept, but a moment in time that exists and is seizable, a simple pleasure in its purest form.

It is with such a pride that I broke a piece of my first sheng cake today. I know I have already reviewed this tea not long ago. This is just a quick addition.

It is stunning… a mossy-earthy-smoky feel and fresh minty grassy notes that make it so enjoyable… if that’s even possible, it tastes better than the first time I had it!

Dexter3657, I must thank you again for sending a sample in the first place.

(See previous note)

sherapop

Very philosophical! ;-)

Sil

i love this tea.

TheTeaFairy

Sherapop, I guess this tea is making a philosopher out of me :-)

Sil, how much exactly do you love this tea????

Stephanie

I love it too :)

Sil

I love it! probably more than i love what starts at 32:01
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQD9EBCwlQc

Kamyria

Very beautiful philosophical note. I love it!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Kamyria :-)

Sil: hahaha!!! Of course only YOU could come up with an answer like that…you made me work there, little missy, had to find the exact spot! Good thing I looove me some Parrell <3

TheTeaFairy

(Oops, I meant “Pharrell”)

Sil

those stupid things dancing kills me… i’ve been laughing for days…

TheTeaFairy

Yes, and lucky me, now they will be in my head just like the swedish chef has been for I don’t know how many days now, thanks to you!!!
(Are you messing with me? What just happened to Heffalump???)

Sil

wall-e wanted to play…

keychange

I love this note. You describe the importance of pleasure so perfectly. Thank you!!

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful review, fun video. I love you guys, you make me smile :)

Rosehips

Fab review. So very, vry true.

mrmopar

Are we not a crazy bunch? I think so and may lead the pack!

TheTeaFairy

Aww, you guys are so awesome, thank you :-)

Haha! Mrmopar, yes we are…where else can you find at the same spot references to philosophy, sheng, Heffalump, Wall-e and weird tall yellow dancing mascots????

Terri HarpLady

and don’t forget profanity! LOL

TheTeaFairy

Oh Terri, how could I forget about the most enjoyable part???

K S

Nothing to add but a smile. Good way to start my morning.

Charles Thomas Draper

I’m ordering it right now based on your review and my love of Sheng

TheTeaFairy

Charles, I don’t have your knowledge with Sheng, but I don’t think you are taking much of a risk by ordering this one, let us know how you enjoy it later :-)

Charles Thomas Draper

I will. Thank you. :)

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88
drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
176 tasting notes

This tea is a regular but I ran out about 2 months ago and just restocked on it now. When I opened my order today (in a frantic fashion as usual), I fetched it out quickly cause I wanted it now!!

Im not one to seek after smoky teas, therefore, Keemun can be a real hit or a real miss for me. I like the more fruity type of Keemun, such as this one.

The smell is smoky, but very lightly, and even more so in the taste. Smoky in a way an egg would be when fried in bacon fat, yum!

The light smoke blends perfectly with the natural saltiness I find in it. Lol, did I just write that this tea basically reminds me of salt, bacon and eggs?
Winning combination, is it not? Need I to mention this is the perfect tea for brunch and breakfast.

But the main characteristics are the rich cocoa feel and fruitiness of this tea. It has no astringency, even when brewed longer (5 min. for me) and it is naturally sweet in a dried fruit kind of way. I personally would’t think of adding anything to it since it is so tasty, but this is the kind of tea that would sustain milk and sugar for sure. (And if your name is Sil, a dash of maple syrup would make it heavenly good!)

Zen Tea might not carry a zillion different types of the same teas, but I realize I hold many staples from them: a Darjeeling, an Assam, a Keemun, an Earl Grey…that tells me that Kenneth the owner chooses wisely what he decides to carry.

IMHO, This is tea is a steal and it compares to any higher end Keemun, it well deserves its permanent stash status in my cupboard!

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84

This was sent to me by the wonderful Sil.

Having this tea as I’m getting ready to go out.

Whoa! Did not expect to like it this much. I have no idea what’s in a French Breakfast, and Mariage Frères not giving any detailed info on most of their blends, there’s no way of knowing. It bugs me cause I like to know exactly what I’m having.

The smell once brewed gave me the impression it was going to be smoky. Not in a Lapsang kind of way, but more of a Keemun. Smoky yes, but it doesn’t taste nearly as much as it smells and that makes me happy. Not a fan of heavy smoke. I forgot to examine the dry blend of my sample, but from the look of the picture and the taste, I would think golden tip Assam, and maybe Darjeeling and Ceylon? I’m just guessing here, from the level of fruitiness and astringency. (I steeped a good five minutes, 2 tsp in a 12oz mug.)

Anyways, whatever is in there, it’s a lovely tea, gave me the kick I needed to go and accomplish undesired duties!

Thanks a lot Sil, really digging this one :-)

Sil

yay!! i like this one, but i like american breakfast a little more.. but if you ever wat/need more just let me know..i have a full tin of this that i’m gradually working through

TheTeaFairy

Aww, thanks sil! Will keep in mind…

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84

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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

near montreal

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