404 Tasting Notes

83

Ok, this morning, I need Thurbo as in turbo, propeller, fast fuse, or what have you. Just give me energy please. This tea will hopefully help me stay grounded, as I have big plans!

I like this Thurbo, another tasty Darjeeling from Butiki. It’s a little spicy and astringent, lots of muscatel. All these big flavours peak for me at second infusion which is the best one in my opinion. Later, it gets a little woodsy.

Although my favourite Darj from Butiki remains Castleton Moonlight, I still feel this one is an excellent pick me up!

I have a special day planned with a very special friend of mine today. Having had serious health issues for several months now, it’s my first attempt at a real outing with a friend and though I am quite anxious about the whole thing, I am beyond excited…this means I am doing better :-)

I haven’t slept all night but that’s ok, I’m used to it and I know I can still manage to have a good time. What we have planned doesn’t require acute intellectual abilities anyways, lol:

1)Breakfast at our favourite restaurant
2)short girly shopping session – only shoes and tea are on the list
3)talk some more and have some tea in the afternoon

She is such a good caring friend, I know that no matter how I feel today, she’ll be there for me. She doesn’t know, but I have prepared a little tea gift for her. I took a giant mug and filled it with a bunch of tea samples from tea merchants she never tried (she only knows DavidsTea!)

Hope she likes it!

Butiki Teas

Sounds like you have a fun day planned! Have a great time! Friends like that are awesome. :)

Terri HarpLady

That does sound like a wonderful outing! Have fun!

Amariel

Have a fun day. I know about the not sleeping at night. I’ve had sleeping issues the last week or so, myself.

keychange

It’s so wonderful to have friends who will enjoy your company, regardless of what type of state you’re in: healthy or unhealthy, happy or miserable, etc. We all need people like that, and she’s also lucky to have a kind tea friend!

Fjellrev

I hope you’ll have an awesome day! You deserve a relaxing day.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks everyone, I had a wonderful day and my friend was beyond happy about the tea gift. She said the best gifts are the ones involving a true passion and she could see that passion not only in the way everything was wrapped but also in the way each pouch was selected to match her own personal tastes… She definitely made my day :-)

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100

I don’t resent coffee, I was a coffee lover for most of my life, alternating with tea, coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and at night. I ditched coffee about 3 years ago, when I started experiencing what real tea bliss was.

Why should I settle for coffee when I can have something like Premium Taiwanese Assam in the morning? From the first to the last sip, I have only 4 words in mind: Thank you tea God!!!
(I don’t recall ever thinking there was a coffee God when I was drinking it).

Malty, chocolaty goodness, even when I feel like sh…, you make my mornings look brighter and sunnier, love ya!

Butiki Teas

That’s how I feel about this tea! :)

Fjellrev

Seriously, Assam is the greatest thing ever for the morning. :)

TheTeaFairy

Stacy, I’m glad you feel the same…but I’ve had a strong second best of the morning lately: Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. Now I’m not sure which is my favourite anymore!!

Fjellrev, you are so right, Assams just kick ass in the morning!

Butiki Teas

The PTA is morning tea and the TWMB is my afternoon tea. Both are my favs! :)

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81

(By mistake I logged this note under DavidsTea Licorice twist, sorry big mistake, Butiki’s blend is far more superior! Now corrected )

Love how licorice is soooo soothing for my extremely soooo soar throat!

This blend is perfect the way it is, but feeling under the weather, I added one teaspoon of spearmint and it makes it pretty darn effective, I can breathe more easily already!

I’m in love with the scent. In itself, the smell of this tea when infused reminds me of one of my favourite perfume, Angel from Thierry Mugler. The sweet licorice is well balanced by the kick all the other spicy ingredients have to offer.

Feeling sick is not all bad when you’re lucky to have a nice fire going on right in front of you, and a large canine blanket to keep you warm :-)

Fjellrev

Hope you feel better soon!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Fjellrev (ever since your bee polen matcha review, I can’t help thinking of the Swedish Chef whenever I see your new name, Thanks to you and Sil,lol)

Nxtdoor

Markus Samuelsson?

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Nxtdoor, no, much more sophosticated than Markus:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mbs64GvGgPU

Sil

lmao… making donuts…

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90
drank Lychee Oolong by Butiki Teas
404 tasting notes

Wow, this is pretty incredible! I know that my description demonstrates a lack of finesse and creativity in my choice of words, but this is what comes to mind: The taste of lychee is so…lychee!

People either LOVE or HATE lychee. Very seldom you will hear someone say «what, lychee? meh…it’s ok…» It’s usually more something like «Oh, I so adooore lychees!!!!», or «Bleh, lychees are gross little slimy-juicy-perfumy eyeballs». I realize I do possess a strong sense of exaggeration but you get what I’m trying to illustrate, right??

My aunt’s boyfriend was Cambodian. i remember the first time I met with him, I was about 11years old. There was a big crate of lychees on the outdoor picnic table. I remember looking at him peeling those strange little alien fruits. It was such an exotic novelty for me, I was just in awe! He explained that they had been picked only a few days before and he had them specially delivered to Canada. At the time they were really hard to find in regular grocery stores so he had managed to get his own private supply cause that the one thing he couldn’t live without since he had left his country!

He showed me how to eat them, and I fell in love with this gorgeous gift from Miss Nature.

This tea is clean and pure lychee. First, the oolong in itself is deliciously light and floral. And after one sip, lychee goodness invades your mouth in a joyful triumph, cause yes, lychee is the star here, it’s undeniable. I’ve had only a couple of lychee flavoured teas before, black teas so unmemorable that I can’t even tell what the brand was. They usually render a soapy flavour, way too «eau de parfum».

Butiki’s rendition doesn’t do that. Works perfectly with oolong it seems. It’s a burst of juiciness, and as it cools, it becomes even more tasty, and it lingers long after the last sip. Dang, wish I had bought more…I’m glad this is good at least for a few re-steeps!

Tuscanteal

This is so true. I don’t like the way the lychee peel smells, but I do like the taste of it once it’s been peels or it’s used in a dessert etc. You have the best descriptions!

TheTeaFairy

Glad you can relate, Tuscanteal :-)

Ysaurella

that’s so true, this is quite a fresh lychee juice, I loved it

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90

I love, love reading reviews here… What about that moment, when you read a post and get instant craving for that tea AND you happen to be so fortunate to have a suply somewhere in the cupboard?

Don’t you feel like the luckiest of them all then? (Once you are able find it that is)

It took me a frustrating 5min. Call me crazy (it’s ok, I know I am), but I became obsessed during that frantic search. I had one goal only: FIND IT AND HAVE IT, NOW!!

Premium Taiwanese Assam, you know how much I adore you, but get out of my way, you’re not the chosen one today!

Ahhhh…there it is, one oz left, plenty to make me a gigantic pot!

The bold and the beautiful…with that «in your face» assam taste, (I like to abuse it with steeping time), warm crimson red/copper color, the intoxicating aroma reminiscent of good quality pipe tobacco…(what could she possibly know about good quality pipe tobacco you ask? Well I had a grandpa that I loved very much !!).

That’s the tea I needed and I didn’t even know until I read Terri HarpLady’s post…the beauty of Steepster!

Thank you Terri :-)

(More details on previous note)

TastyBrew

Ha ha. Love it!

TheTeaFairy

Thank god I found it!!!

Shelley_Lorraine

Terri does have a way of making you crave a tea, although she often says very little about the tea itself! She clearly has some sort of mind-control power. :p

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Totally!

Fjellrev

Oh, pipe tobacco. I like that description!

Bonnie

Yes. I’ve smelled that in some puerhs. There’s a Netflix video Somm about 4guys testing for Master Sommeliers. The way they taste, describe wine reminds me of how we do the same with tea.I think being wineries and orchards all my life is why I love puerh.

Tea Sipper

I love when Steepster notes give me ideas on what to drink. :D

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87

So sweet, so creamy, so velvety…yummmmmm!!!!!!!!!

(My shortest review ever…)

Sil

this one is tasty? Ive had a couple yellow teas but only one knocked my socks off and you can’t get it anymore…

TheTeaFairy

I guess it’s the «taste bud of the beholder», lol!
I know some have mentioned it’s a little on the bowring side, true that it’s not very assertive. BUT, it is definitly tasty, you just have to overleaf a little and play with it. It never becomes astringent, and it’s one of the sweetest plain tea I’ve ever had. I like that it’s so smooth you can have it as a comfort tea.

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96

Today, I had planned to dedicate my day to drinking my favourite teas.

When I woke up and looked outside I had a shock: the scenery had no pigmentation left in it, only white EVERYWHERE! 60cm added to what was already there… took me hours to get out of the house. The joy of having 4 seasons :-)

Daba, you will be missed… I have tried to extend your life for as long as I could, but sadly, it all comes to an end today.

You have been a good companion, I think I have treated you well, making you my official favourite green tea.

You didn’t sell for cheap, that I remember, but tragically, you are not for sale anymore, that’s right, you’re hometown Butiki doesn’t seem to carry you any longer.

I’d like to think that we’ll meet again in this life, Daba chéri, my cute Lilliputian green tea (see previous note )

Ysaurella

This tea seems to be nice. I’m still exploring the green teas because I think they are not my thing. I can drink now more and more flavoured greens but plain ones are still difficult to me.
The exceptions are green Oolong…I love them !
Are you doing home office when you have such snow ?

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, I don’t blame you, greens are often finicky and need a lot of care, it’s so sensitive to temperature and easy to over steep, don’t you find? But when you find your sweet spot, some are amazing. I love senchas and long jing. Also, I find it is hard not to like Verdant Laoshan green!
To answer you question, even if I’m 45 min. away from work, I normally go in no matter how bad the weather is, even ice storms! don’t forget, i am used to drive under those conditions but I would recommend to your friend who’s coming to live in Montreal shortly to use public transportation for his first winter here :-)

Ysaurella

tricky greens, yes they are !
Au Canada vous êtes bien équipés en pneus neige, c’est certain :)

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83

This tea order was not eco friendly…The boxes reserved for parcels at the stand where I get my mail delivered are always full (welcome holiday season!!!)

So I end up getting a notice card, drive 30 min. to go pick it up and therefore ditch I don’t know how much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not proud of myself.

To my small town, I say this: please invest in more mailboxes, I want «greener» tea supplies!!!! (end of rant)

Zen Tea is not very present here on Steepster but it’s a company I like more and more. They don’t carry the biggest variety, but what they have is good at a very decent price. Plus they send 3 generous samples. I could have asked for my own sample choice, but decided, hey surprise me! I appreciate the fact that they have chosen samples according to the tastes expressed by my orders with them. I got some breakfast blend, earl grey and oolong. Now that shows attention to details, thank you very much for that!

I love Oolongs and I lost count of how many I have tried…It never cease to amaze me, how different they are from one another, in taste and in shape.

Tie guan yin will transport you to a rich and luxuriant garden, invading your senses with the mysterious and attractive floral scent of orchid, coating your mouth with silk and butter. She’s a Seductress.

Roasted aged oolong will take charge of your taste buds in a more assertive fashion, almost assaulting your ability to identify its notes. It’s a chameleon, transforming even before you can grasp its true essence. It’s roasty, it’s nutty, its sweet yet slightly bitter, it feels simultaneously cool and warm. He’s a Player.

There’s Baozhong Pouchong , looking so much different from the previous mentioned. Instead of little rolled nuggets, this beautiful tea is crafted in long twisted strands. Almost considered a green tea, the taste is very delicate, floral and sophisticated, and it’s one the most elegant looking of them all… He’s a polished Dandy.

So where I am going with all this you ask? Wiki-oolong or something?

I think, hey, I have seen oolong in any way, shape or form.

And then there’s this fragrant branch thing and I’m baffled. What is this?

I admit, I don’t know what to do with it, I’m intimidated… No one else has reviewed it, so I have to be the first to experiment here. How do I brew this, heck, how do I measure it? I decide I’m going to spend a lot of time with it cause it deserves a traditional Gongfu brew and I opt for the scale, 5g. For a 8oz Gaiwan. I have a feeling it will expend quite a lot.

First and foremost, it visually is stunning, looks like one of those intricate asian artsy tree paintings. It is obvious that the leaf is rolled while still attached to the little branch and I can’t help thinking how tedious this job must be…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376311323/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376225854/lightbox/

I did not research it, so I have no clue what kind a benefit the branch portion will add to the brew.

First steep and the leaves are already unfurling. It’s light and fresh, the smell is a lot stronger than the taste, floral and woodsy bark aroma.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376190936/in/photostream/lightbox/

I get floral sweet notes, but in a lot more subtle way than with a tie guan yin.

I feel there’s a light citrus astringency in the background that is waiting to emerge in the later steeps, and that’s exactly how this tea evolves. At the fifth infusion, the floral notes are almost gone and I get that fresh citrus along with musky and more earthy bark vibe. That’s where the branch portion becomes game changer. They have tripled in size and the gaiwan feels overwhelmed now, not much room to breathe! The twigs are no longer wrinkled, having soaked all the water they needed. The leaves are perfectly shaped, not damaged at all, really a beautifully crafted tea

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376176985/in/photostream/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376310813/in/photostream/lightbox/

I will be able to sip on this for at least 4 or 5 more infusions I think.

This oolong is a showstopper and it knows it. It enjoys spreading its splendour before your eyes in all its glory. He’s a Peacock.

Writing about tea is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, isn’t is? Sorry for this way too long review!!!! My curiosity and amazement got carried away…

P.S. I wonder if these guys are on Steepster…I think they are the cutest, I love the way they review together :-)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XsEpTHF-mUw

Fjellrev

Don’t beat yourself up for having to drive to get your parcel! That is what I hate about my hometown being in the middle of nowhere. Whenever I go home to visit, I have to drive everywhere because everything is quite remote.

I like Zen Tea too much I wish they would offer a wider variety of teas.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Incendiare for your support, glad to know I’m not alone! don’t you just hate it when it’s for such a small parcel that fits perfectly in the regular box?? Rroarrrr!!!

yes, zen tea needs to upgrade a little with variety. It’s not that bad cause I always go back to restock on favourites, but it would make things more exciting if they had more blends cause they do them really well. Heck, they made me like a flavoured puehr! I usually like straight puerh only, but their mint blend is super tasty!

tigress_al

Wow what a review. I like your descriptions of each oolong!
And you are right zen tea is a great company!

Fjellrev

Yeah, I have my favourites too but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough to justify another order. Let’s hope they’re reading this and maybe they’ll whip up some new stuff in the future!

TheTeaFairy

Thank you tigress :-)
Incendiare, unfortunately, I doubt they will ever read this thread…have you ever seen them posting on Steepster? Too bad, if I was a small retailer, I would not underestimate the Power of Steepster! I think this place is the best publicity one can ever get and it’s FREE!!!

Bonnie

Beautiful tea! Thank you for sharing pictures!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie, it has become a real hobby of mine!
Of all the people here, maybe you have seen this type of tea before? Isn’t it unusual?

Roughage

What a superb review. I love the characterisation and the sheer life you breathed into your words. The tea sounds pretty good too.

Bonnie

Nope, have not seen that tea! I will show the picture to Eric and My other tea friends who’ve been or lived in China. Cool stuff!

TheTeaFairy

Awww, Roughage what a nice thing to say, you really made my day :-) I’m always self-conscious about my English, especially when I want to express things in a more serious way…doesn’t always flow the way it would in French :-)

Bonnie, please let me know what they say… I can’t seem to find any information on it and I’m curious to find out if it’s a new harvest method or an ancient one.

Ysaurella

that’s why my reviews are so short. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can manage to express cleverly thing in English as I would in French so I finally express less things. You’re lucky to live n a country using both languages, this is really great.

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, I know your prose would be much different in French, however, I’ve come to really like and appreciate your english reviews just the way they are, candid and unpretentious :-)
(I’m self-concious cause I learned by my myself, not at school, so I know I make mistakes!!! But it doesn’t keep me from writing cause I like it too much)

anodyne

I just came across your review- I actually emailed Zen about this tea because I was so intrigued when I saw it. Kenneth, whom I assume to be the owner, has always been very helpful when I’ve emailed them. I had a shipping problem and a damaged gaiwan and he remedied both issues with haste. I’ve also asked him about other teas and I got detailed replies, which is awesome. He says this in regards to this tea:
“Oolong-Fragrant Golden Branch is new kind of Oolong from Fujian, China. In China, it doesn’t have fixed name yet as I know. Some producer call it ‘Fragrant leaves Golden branch(XiangyeJinzhi)’, and I thought that name will be the most suitable for this Oolong. It is a little similar to Tieguanyin flavour at first, but I think it is smoother than Tieguanyin. Also after smell is really fragrant and mild.”

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79
drank Peach HoppiTea by Butiki Teas
404 tasting notes

Though I don’t drink as much flavoured tea as I used to, I still keep some variety around and I especially like to drink them during the Holidays.

This is a casual conversation between me and my brother on his last visit (M=me, B= bro)

M: Want something to drink? I’ll make some tea.

B: I’d prefer a beer.

M: I didn’t buy any, I’ll make you some beer tea.

B: ?????

M: Yes, I have a tea that tastes exactly like peach beer, pretttt-ty awww-some!

B: ?????

M: What, you don’t believe me?

B: Not even tempted. Do you have cola, rootbeer?

M: Hmmm…no. Sorry…but…dare I say it…I have rootbeer tea, does that count?

B: Sis, you need to see a doctor, really. I worry. It’s bad. Addictions need to be treated.

M: Well, before we rush to the emergency, sure you don’t want to give peachy beer a try?

B: Either that or tap?

M: Pretty much, yep…

B: Alright, but just to please YOU! Promise this never happened, I don’t want urban legends to start spreading, I have a reputation to preserve, I’m a beer guy and I don’t do peachy girly tea!

M: Oh, common, just quit it Macho Man, we all know you watch General Hospital every day. A little bit of tea won’t kill ya!

B: General Hospital is underrated.

M: Whatever… So? How do you like them now, peachy beer tea?

B: Honest? Tastes just like day after lukewarm flat beer that accidentally got mixed with peach baby food puree during the party. I. Don’t. Ever. Want. To. Drink. This. Again. Please?

(Sorry Stacy, that’s not MY opinion but HIS, remember?)

M: Ah!!!! So you admit it does taste like beer!!! Told you! Please admire and appreciate this as it should. Takes hours and hours of practice and immense knowledge and wisdom to create that kind of magic. Requires tea alchemist skills that only Stacy has acquired. Respect. Remember that, bro.

End of conversation. At this point, we lost it. We are cracking up, crying of laughter.

Me and my brother have always «played» together like this. As any healthy brother/sister relationship, we love to tease each other. His visit was a big surprise, I wasn’t expecting him. He didn’t say so, but I know he came to check on me, to make sure I’m ok. His presence chased away the darkness for a little while. He’s got my back, he always has and I love him so much for that. Family is everything folks…

Cheers bro, love ya!

P.S. To make things clear, I do love this tea!!!

JustJames

lololololol!

MissB

Amazing. I look forward to trying this, and will most definitely think of this story when I do!

Ysaurella

agree this tea is delicious. I miss my brother…enjoy your relationship it’s precious :)

Bonnie

He’s blessed to have you too!

Terri HarpLady

I love this post!

Sil

awesome! haha

TheTeaFairy

@James: I wrote this at 5am, and didn’t read it back before posting it…lol, now I feel silly … My brother is going to kill me when he finds out his secret is out on the web, hahaha!

@MissB: ok, think of the post, but forget about the lukewarm baby food please, lol!

@Ysaurella: yes, I feel very lucky to have him. Sorry that you don’t seem to see yours as often as you’d want to…

@Bonnie and Terri: :-) :-):-)

Butiki Teas

That is too funny. :) You seem like you have a wonderful relationship with your bro.

keychange

I’m so glad your brother popped in to check on you. Isn’t family wonderful like that? You can insist they leave you be but they love you enough to ignore you and check in anyway :D.

TheTeaFairy

@Butiki: Glad you’re not upset about the flat beer comment! Your tea often triggers fun little adventures in my household :-) And yes, our relationship is the greatest, meaning we also fight and argue very well together like true brothers and sisters!

@Keychange: You seem to know exactly what I’m talking about :-)

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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 :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:

http://instagram.com/theteafairy

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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