432 Tasting Notes

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
432 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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86

This tea should win a trophy for creativity and originality. It manages to combine savoury and sweet…without tasting weird!

Such an unusual blend, yet it works so well! Potato and tea, who would have thought?

And you can really taste it, there are so many of those cute little white potato dices. They really bring a broth quality to this succulent green tea beverage. Don’t know why, but I think chicken noodles when I drink it, and I might try just that one day, add some shredded leftover chicken breast and cook some noodles in it, would be fabulous!

Love, love the cinnamon in it, so delicate and it really brings the savoury and sweet notes together. I had ordered 2oz of it last spring and I completely forgot about it. But it still tastes as fresh as brand new.

I drank it this morning while eating my weekly peanut butter toasts (I «indulge» in peanut butter once a week, and by «indulge» I mean I transform into a real glutton and eat almost half a jar on that morning, lol!) Do you know potato candies? They are made out of a soft rolled potato mixture with peanut butter layers. Well, I promise you, having peanut butter with this tea tastes almost exactly like those candies (minus the sugar load, naturally).

What a treat this is, possibly one of my favourite flavoured tea of all time!!!!

Fjellrev

I know, right? I was unsure about this one based on the description, but it’s so delicious.

TheTeaFairy

It is!!! I also remember telling Stacy how unsure I was about it when I first ordered a sample, and later on, I so regretted not ordering that 2oz to begin with!

Fjellrev

Haha me too. It was a pleasant surprise, but an automatic grumble grumble, should have gotten more.

Bonnie

If I wasn’t allergic to potatoes I would have ordered this tea in a hurry! Sounds like so much fun!

TheTeaFairy

Bonnie, if I could, I would transfer all you allergies to me for a little while to give you a break…then, I would send you some of this and you could drink gallons of it :-)

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81

My inner girly girl needed her fix today, I’m watching one my favourite feel good movie, Pretty Woman!

I know, I know… It’s considered lame by the intellectual community, and you might think it’s old, superficial and unoriginal. But I don’t care, I love it! Hey, I totally endorse my lameness. Julia Robert’s wits and moods bring me joy, that’s all I have to say. ( Plus Richard Gere is easy on the eyes, that’s also noteworthy)

I’m at the classic scene when she goes back (with a hundred fancy shopping bags in her hands) to see that snob sales lady on Rodeo Drive. She hits her with that killer line «You work on commission right? Big mistake, big…HUGE!!!!» ( As I’m watching her, I can’t help wonderering how it would feel like to have this many bags filled with tea instead of clothes, what kind of fancy tea do they sell on Rodeo Drive??? lol)

It made me want to have a pretty and girly tea. A few months ago, I swapped some tea with lovely Ysaurella. She allowed me to try the famous French teas for the first time and I was so grateful for that. I tasted them all, but not showing up on Steepster very often, I ended up reviewing only a few of them. Luckily, I had enough for more than one serving of each, so it’s not too late.

I chose Pleine Lune cause it’s her favourite tea and the smell is just so beautiful.

I had written a little note on the pouch to steep longer next time, so I did. And it was better for me this time around.

It’s such a nice comforting tea. Surprisingly, it’s very mellow and smooth. I say surprisingly, cause when I read the description, I thought it was going to be spicy and bold, but it’s quite the opposite.

Although the almond essence is easily identifiable, it doesn’t take over the black base, which I’m assuming is ceylon here (it’s not specified). I hate when almond flavoured teas taste like this overpowering fake almond extract used in baking).

The background is slightly fruity and spicy. I wouldn’t qualify it as a dessert tea, cause it’s not overly sweet either, it just renders a subtle honey sweetness that feels very natural, which is a very good thing.

This is such a pretty and special blend, perfect companion to watch my movie.

I understand why Ysaurella likes it so much, it was an honour to have the chance to try it again and give it a decent review :-)

JustJames

i remember that movie…. i bought it for my mom the first year i had money at christmas. i don’t know hoe many times we watched that movie…. she didn’t like the other one i bought her (arnold schwartenegger’s total recall) though she was mostly polite enough not to say anything. i remember the scene you’re talking about too, lol.

if it weren’t for you i wouldn’t have a hoard of this blend held in a glass, airtight vault….. i would never have heard of it. =0)

bags of clothes? meh. bags of tea….. wow.

TheTeaFairy

Ha! I also remember the original Total Recall! (my brother was very fond of the 3 breasted woman, do you remember her?? lol!)
Oh, you have a tea airtight vault too???
Now, I have to keep it real with you James and disagree on the bags of clothes «meh»… Bags of clothes are always as welcomed as bags of teas…(I do have a preference of drinking my tea with clothes on, lol, but that’s just me!)

JustJames

i do remember her!!!!! can’t believe i’m admitting it here, but hey!

bags of cool boots… like NPS or fluevogs, okay, clothes…. no bags of clothes. clothes necessary with tea? not if the heat is on and as long as there are no mosquitoes about. ;0P

Terri HarpLady

This is such a lovely tea!

Ysaurella

ho I didn’t even see that note before ! I’m happy you liked this one, of course especially this one :)
Clearly a so comforting sweet winter tea…to share with Julia or Richard…well regarding Arnold I cannot imagine him with a flowery bone china cup…no I can’t :)

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90

How lucky am I to still have a bit of this left?

Sweet snap pea, buttery spinach, creamy corn deliciousness! I get a faint vanilla bean note also. This green tea is one of a kind!

Don’t really know how it compares to the other harvests, I’ve been buying spring harvest for two years in a row. The first year, I thought next year, I’m gonna wait for the summer harvest. But then I get an email from Verdant announcing spring 2013 has arrived and I just can’t wait for the summer harvest cause I crave this tea right now!

Let’s see what happens with 2014 harvest :-)

Donna A

Really enjoying the last of this today. Still very good.

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87

This is the only yellow tea I’ve ever tried, so I can’t compare it with others.

It’s been a staple in my cupboard for over a year now, I reordered twice, so it’s not just a novelty liking, me do like this tea! But it’s hard to describe since I have no reference point.

I drink Sencha on a regular basis, one of my favorite green tea. Though I’m a firm believer that people should have their tea which ever way they like it, I just choose not to add anything, with the exception of a few flavoured teas. But if I was a cream and sugar lover, I’d say this tea tastes like Sencha with a big dash of both!

Of course, it’s only to illustrate how naturaly creamy and sugarcane sweet it is.

How would I know what creamy-sugary Sencha really tastes like, I hate cream… Yes, I’m that boring girl who drinks soy, almond and coconut milk, snacks on seeds and gets excited by leafy greens…please don’t resent me, I promise I can be decadent from time to time!

It’s a beautiful tea, delicate yet very tasty, just not in an assertive way. Smooth, zero astringency, not floral, just slightly vegetal.

To me, it’s definitely closer to green than it is to white tea. But you know when people say they dislike green tea cause it can be bitter or too grassy? Then this is the one to try, I’m tagging it as «green tea friendly».

Non-tea related content:

It’s been 4 years in the making, but today, big puppy Doberman let me clip his nails. (usually requires 2 strong adults at the pet groomer!)
He is terrified of it, and therefore, almost impossible to control. I stopped trying when he was 6 months old cause it was becoming a dangerous task. Why did I wait so long to try again?

Last week, I bought a good clipper. Today, I took it out for the first time, thinking he would just freak out and that I should have spent that money on tea instead. But Dexter looked at it, recognized what it was for, got off the couch and just laid down at my feet. I clipped all his nails, as if it was the easiest thing to do.

With dogs, trust doesn’t happen over night, it has to be earned. Once you have it, you can experience one of the most powerful and unconditional love…just the way he totally abandoned himself to me today, under such a stressful situation, it says it all :-)

Love your puppies Steepster people!

Nxtdoor

Nah, you’re just lucky. Charlie the chihuahua hated the nail clipping for all of his 12 years. It took a muzzle and two people to get his little doggie might under control. And he still squealed, even through the muzzle. It sounded like we were stabbing him to death.

TheTeaFairy

Oh my, poor Charlie and poor you! Well, that’s pretty much what Dexter does at the groomer, even if it’s always the same two groomers taking care of him! That’s how I know he now feels he can trust me at least. Hopefully, I’ll be able to repeat this procedure next time without him transforming into a great white shark!

TeaBrat

your food loves sound like mine. I can get decadent sometimes too. Still love chocolate and a glass of wine!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, Amy oh!! Yes please, chocolate and wine!!!!!

Charles Thomas Draper

My Akita Kibo thankfully has his nails filed from 20 minute walks every day. Now Hope my Jug, half Pug half Jack Russell, needs to be held down at the vet but thankfully shes not even 20 pounds.

TheTeaFairy

Charles, you are right, a walk a day keeps the clipper away! Back when I was a city girl, I owned a chocolate Lab and the sidewalks were taking care of business.
But Dobermans paws are peculiar, the nails don’t curve much, they grow more straight and pretty much never touch the ground. It wouldn’t make a difference anyways, there are no sidewalks around here, only trails!
I realize it’s a little cheesy but I can help myself, heres a picture my baby Dexter:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/10899799146/lightbox/

Akitas are beautiful strong dogs, but I never heard of Jugs before… How cute a mix of Pug and Jack Russell must look like :-)

JennyFur

This made me so happy to read. Tea and puppies

TheTeaFairy

Glad it made you happy JennyFur, me too, Love to hear about pets and their families!

Charles Thomas Draper

Your dog is beautiful! How do I send a picture of mine. Remember I am partially Amish LOL….

TheTeaFairy

Charles, a partially Amish surfer, for real??? Never heard of such a thing, LOL!
I will PM you later, d’love to see your dogs :-)

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89

Last week end was Canada’s Thanksgiving. I had a lot to be thankful for at the end of the day and this aged oolong was just another reason.

I’m a fan of roasted aged oolongs, and to me it is no surprise that my two favourites are from Butiki!

This tea is very dear to me, it makes me feel special. Taiwan seems to be the cradle of what I call my Gem tea collection, little treasures I just can’t live without!

The liquor is reminiscent of a citrine gemstone, a glowing sunny amber colour. I strongly recommend pouring in glass teaware to fully admire.

I love the fact that each time I drink this, it feels different from the time before, and I can detect new subtleties. That’s what this tea is all about, nuances. It has a very distinct texture, like a roundness in the mouth. Interesting cause I don’t think many teas have an actual texture. I wrote about Butiki’s 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong that it felt like a silk ribbon in my mouth. It’s even truer for this aged oolong because of its buttery and creamy attributes.

Unlike other similar teas I have tried, the roasted aspect doesn’t overpower with a strong burnt aftertaste. Instead, it adds just the right amount of complexity. This tea offers so many different layers, I think it has a multiple personality disorder! But they all come together to create the perfect cup…many perfect cups that is, if you choose to brew it gongfu style.

It would be a shame to see Stacy’s info become reality… I sure hope the craft of aging oolong will continue for many years to come.


Warning: Please skip this part if you’re not interested in the «story». (I’ve been away for awhile, but for those who know me, you already know there’s often a story!)

Family came over on Sunday for Thanksgiving, and it was such a beautiful autumn day, we all decided to go to this wonderful hiking river park I’m so lucky to have very nearby. Fall in the Laurentians is breathtaking. We call this time a year «Le Festival des Couleurs» (colour festival), and people come from all over to feast their eyes on nature’s beauty.

My nephew and godchild Gabriel is only 3 years old. He can’t get enough of the outdoors. He’s going through a «fish» phase. When we go visit a new place, he always asks if there’s going to be fishes in the water.

He visited the park we were going to many times this summer. Knowing there are no fishes to be seen in that river, he never asks for them. But for some reason, this time he kept telling me we were going to see fishes. In order to avoid a big disappointment later on, I gently reminded him with all the adult wisdom I could give him that unfortunately, there were no fishes where we were going. His reply to that: «We’re going to see the fishes». Ah! That cute little dimpled smiley face of his!

As we were walking on the riverside, we saw a narrow path heading to the woods. We had never noticed it before and decided to go explore a little. It led us to a small pond with a footbridge built over to cross to the other side. Gabriel was so excited, he said even before we started crossing,
«Come auntie, let’s go find the fishes!» Well what do you know… I was dumbfounded to find swimming on the surface the largest trouts I have ever seen! From the bridge, we could see dozens of them, almost jumping out of the water, probably hoping to get food from us. There are no words to describe the glow I saw in my godchild’s eyes. Lesson learned, I thought. Even when the odds are not on your side, good things can happen if you truly believe they can.

Being sick all summer, I’ve been looking for answers I couldn’t find cause I kept digging at the same spot…it took a 3 year old to teach me otherwise.

It was Einstein who said that insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. Gabriel reminded me that in order to find my own fish pond, I just had to take a different path. Best thanksgiving ever I’d say.

JustJames

xoxoxoxoxoxox

TheTeaFairy

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Bonnie

Missed you sweet girl. Happy Thanksgiving! What a wonderful story! I’m so glad you enjoyed your Godson and the fishes. You had a lesson in hope, belief and joy. You deserve them all!

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful story! :)

gmathis

Love it. My faith could use some faith like that today.

TheTeaFairy

@Bonnie: only one word for you, Love!
@gmatis: I have a large faith reserve in store today, so I’m sending a big chunk your way:-)

TheTeaFairy

@Terri: thank you, life is a beautiful story, we just don’t pay attention sometimes…

Terri HarpLady

I agree!
I’m glad to see your face here, I always enjoy your shares. :)

Doug F

I love the 2003, so I’m sure to love this one.

Butiki Teas

Awwww, lovely story! Glad to hear your Thanksgiving was a success! :)

TheTeaFairy

@Doug: When I drink 1991, I think it’s my favourite of the two, but the next time I have the 2003, I also think that’s my favourite! Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
@Butiki: Hey Stacy! Missed you :-)

Butiki Teas

TheTeaFairy-I missed ya too and I always love reading your tea stories! :)

Charles Thomas Draper

I did not skip the fish story. Lifes little lessons…

TheTeaFairy

Thank you charles, nice to see you’re still around :-)

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92

Not much to say really…

Is there a proper way to describe such tea? What if there isn’t? I think you must experience it to feel whatever it is suppose to make you feel.

It’s sweet gold and glitters for the soul. Every steep evolves and brings a new level of enjoyment.

I first tried it a while ago… I was at a different place in my life then, but it still brought me joy, just not in the same manner.

Today, this tea reminds me that I must be grateful for what I have now, and not regretful for what I’ve lost.

This is how powerful it is in all its purity. Tea can be fun and silly, and tea can be wisdom and clarity. You get to choose as you feel and as you please, that’s the beauty of it.

I love birds. I feed them and in return, they let me observe their beauty at very close range. I have over 40 different species coming and going. Sitting outside as I’m drinking this special tea, I see this strong and magnificent male woodpecker, pecking on the grain I provide for him. It’s the only sound I hear, along with the breeze caressing the trees.

It is so easy to forget how beautiful life is… These moments are free, and yet, they make you feel as rich as you could ever be…

Today, this tea is just perfection.

JustJames

beautiful bit of writing. i agree—about tea, about birds, about gratitude and beauty. may you see beauty everywhere always…

TheTeaFairy

Thank you James for such a lovely and thoughtful comment…

Bonnie

I’m happy to read this lovely description of the interaction between tea, the natural world around you and how they fill you with joy.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

I love how people on Steepster compare teas to the other beautiful things they love in their life. This was a lovely image! And this tea is beautiful as well. :-)

caile

Such a beautiful post!!

Bonnie

Where are you?

Ysaurella

+ one with Bonnie, where are you dear Canadian Cousin !

TheTeaFairy

Awww! thank you my dear Steepster friends for your heartfelt comments. Sorry for not answering before. For those of you inquiring about my whereabouts, i’m afraid my «fairy wings» are still broken…but I’m hoping to return very soon, I miss tea and mostly, I miss each and everyone of you!

Ysaurella

we hope too ! take care of you

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92

Sooo…Shengs are part of my tea no man’s land, having tried just a couple I have very few references when it comes to write a review… I always envy those of you who seem so taken by it (Charles, if you read this, you know I’m thinking of you!)

Following up on my resolution of drinking special teas at non special times, I reached for my special box tonight and fetched this one out.

I’m using 7g and a gaiwan.

Dry, it smells so strongly of spices and raisins, one would think it’s a flavoured blend!

I’m thinking, this will render a similar taste, but not at all! I wont describe each steep as I rarely do, but I’m on the 4th right now and I’m just in awe…

I can already tell this is not a tea that will appeal to everyone though. It has lots of bite and astringency. Loving these characteristics, it’s tailor made for my likings.

I visited an olive oil shop a few months ago in Montréal. They make you sample the oils the way you would for wine at a winery. You get to experience all the subtleties this fruit of the gods has to offer.

This Sheng reminds me of a peppery olive oil I bought.

First, the bite tickles your tongue and your mouth is filled with a nice fresh citrusy and woodsy feeling. Then emerges a round coating sensation that balances everything out.

Now, I know this is a young Sheng, and I have yet to experiment a lot more in order to make up my mind and see if Sheng is a new found passion, but I have this cute yixing pot I’ve been saving for I don’t know what. I have a feeling it will be dedicated to Sheng in a very near future…

Sorry for those seeking a more specific tasting note, but as this happens very often when I come across something new that blows my mind, I can’t give much more as a taste description. This is what I classify as a «feel tea», it gives me clarity and makes me see colours…

As I’m on a leave of absence from work for at least a month, I might start painting again. Haven’t done that in years, and I realize my creativity has been put to rest for way too long…

Thank you Verdant for that.

Terri HarpLady

I vote yes for painting! Let that Chaqi flow through your brush onto the canvas!
There’s a shop a few minutes from my house that sells oils, vinegars, etc called Vom Fass. They’ve got maybe a dozen or so olive oils, ranging from buttery to peppery, & it’s the same way. You can stand there sampling things all afternoon, & they have the best balsamic vinegar I’ve every tried, the real deal. It’s sweet & thick & amazing!

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! I have a feeling the ChaQi will create a rainbow splatter on that canvas :-)
That’s exactly how my shop made me feel, the name is Olive & Olives and they carry the balsamic too! They have walls full of different bottles and they sell online, but going there is so much fun, I don’t mind the 45min drive!

Charles Thomas Draper

Welcome to the world of Sheng. A very mystical brew if I might say so myself….

TheTeaFairy

Oh, I’d say you may say so yourself :-) However, I have to remember not to have it so late at night, it just kept giving and now I feel so energized, I can’t sleep!

Terri HarpLady

A very mystical brew, indeed! :)

Bonnie

You’re on the right path! Love the comparison to olive oil tasting. We have a shop here in town where I can sample oil, vinegar and wine taste all in the same shop(just need cheese and a baguette).
I recently unpacked my poor eisle (I can’t remember how to spell it right) so you and I will be drinking tea and painting. I decided for me, to begin with painting how tea made me feel instead of trying to make anyone else’s idea of a proper picture. It was liberating to paint and draw feelings.

Charles Thomas Draper

And yes, proceed with caution. They will keep you awake…

TheTeaFairy

@Terri: No doubt, and mystical is good for me right now :-)

@Bonnie, I’m actually looking for mine today…somewhere in the basement or garage. plus I don’t even know if the paint tubes are still good! But I also have pastels somewhere. I like the idea of a tea-inspired painting too, that’s how the idea came to mind after all. We can compare our «work» later :-) But my interpretation will end up being a tree I think, I used to paint trees all the time and I miss that…

@Charles: Thank you, I will remember that, for sure! I got a few more infusions out of it this morning, still had something to give it seems…

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88

I’ve been drinking my best teas lately, the ones I usually keep for special occasions.

Why wait?

As I’m going through lots of changes in my life, I realize the way I drink tea is also changing. I no longer want to have over 150 teas to choose from in my cupboard. Don’t want to be a tea hoarder anymore. I want to fully appreciate and take time with what I choose to buy. I no longer want to be disappointed when I remember a certain tea and realize it’s not fresh anymore cause I forgot it was there for the last 12 months!

Doesn’t mean I wont experiment and try new stuff, I’m too curious about tea for that. But I’ve been selling myself short by having too much…Never thought I’d say that!

Now the tea.

Just as its name leads you to believe, this tea is special so I am not saving it, I am drinking the life out of it!

I know I went heavy on the leaf, but this first flush has a lot of character, and that’s a very good thing. Nice golden colour, and fruity aroma. It is packed with taste, mostly peaches and sweet apples at first.

I get a nice fresh citrus astringency that I’m very fond of.

As a blind test, I would have guessed second flush because it’s so fruity. Then, the flower-power hits me, and I am reminded that it is a FF. It’s like a mix, best of both worlds!

The second steep was just as tasty, but less sweet, a little more astringent.

I have several other Darjeelings to review from Butiki, as the Darjeeling sampler was part of my last order.

Story…

Sorry I’ve had to neglect Steepster and all its lovely people lately…

Funny how life can take you on a ride. Mine just took such a turn, I will be forever changed.

The last 3 weeks have been hell. I’ve had to isolate myself to cope with what was happening.

I have thrown myself into exercising. This past week, I pushed my body to its limit by doing intense workouts. I just discovered HIIT (high intensity interval training) I am now hooked.

I also biked for 12 long hours yesterday, cross country trails. Meaning, hills, hills and more hills.

My new motto: exorcise with exercise! Yes, my back, my tooshie and my legs are killing me! But physical pain helps put my mind to rest… So as long as my body is allowing it, I’ll keep pushing for a while.

Aside from doing crazy workouts, I’ve kept my sanity by drinking lots of tea as usual.

And now I will catch up by reading my dashboard, as I’m sure your reviews will cheer me up :-)

Sil

Welcome back! Hope things are going smoother for you.

tigress_al

Good for you in taking a constructive approach to stressful situations with excercise!

Bonnie

Hi good fairy!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Sil, nice to see you!
Tigress, yes, sport is definitely a stress reliever :-)
Hi Bonnie, love your new pic, very artsy!

JustJames

so glad you’re back… my head is happier as a rule when i’m exercising. lol, it really does exorcise life’s grouchy moments out of our brains. i just grabbed one of 52teas root beer float black teas… i can send some off to you if you need a root beer pick-me-up? xo

TheTeaFairy

James, thank you…I have missed this place too! I am a restless type of person, I always say tea, books and music exist to make me stop… So workouts aren’t new to me. But this HIIT thing brings it to whole new level! Gosh, when you first look at it, you think, hey, I got this, easy! But when you start, oh my!
And thanks for your kind offer. But I will start by «cleaning up» my stash and rediscover what I have first! And when things are better for me and my head is back on my shoulders where it should be, I migh offfer major swaps to get rid of all the unwanted «babies» and find new families for them :-)

canadianadia

sending hugs and strength to help you through your difficult times

TheTeaFairy

Canadianadia, I’ve missed you and your kind words, thank you:-)

Butiki Teas

I hope your stressful times are over soon. Exercise is very cathartic for me too. I love HIIT as well. I find it to be the best as far as stress relieving and no other exercise improves cardio faster. I have been solely focusing on weights lately but I can’t wait to get back to cardio and especially HIIT. What do you do for HIIT? I have this video set for HIIT (Turbofire) but I also do running days with HIIT.

Charles Thomas Draper

I like the way you think….

TheTeaFairy

@butiki: Thanks Stacy… You and I have a very similar lifestyle :-) Having acces to Youtube on my tv set, I have subscribed to FitnessBlender, they offer so many HIIT sessions, and they are very well done. You can customize your workouts by choosing a series of videos and target what you really want. They have beginners and advanced sessions. Those «burpees» sessions are real killers! I also do HIIT running sessions, but on the treadmill, running in the countryside here is too hazardous,I have sprained my ankles too many times! Who knew running this way was so much more effective? After almost two weeks, I feel I have improved on almost every aspects, my breathing, my heart rate…plus it’s less boring this way cause you keep changing and adjusting pace every 30 sec. (that’s the pace I’m going at right now) I’m really into it!

@Charles: :-)

Butiki Teas

Interesting, I will have to check out FitnessBlender. HIIT is definitely more effective. I do trail running because I find it less stressful on my joints and I love being in nature but I did just acquire a treadmill from my parents. I can’t wait to set it up. :)

Donna A

I just finished a sample of this and like you, I really enjoyed it. I can really identify with your post. After experimenting extensively with lots of teas, I had so much in my cupboard that I backed off for awhile from trying new ones. And there was so much going on in my life that I have neglected Steepster, knowing I would eventually get back. I totally agree that physical activity is extremely important for stress relief, so I have taken up hiking and fast walking. I need to add more, but its a good start. Being physically active means I’m on the computer less, but things have settled down in my life some and I’m going to try to check in with Steepster more regularly. I hope your life gets easier very soon.

TheTeaFairy

Donna, I’m glad you could identify with what I wrote… balance is the key to everything, I’m still trying to find mine. Thanks for your kind words, happy to know things have settled down a bit for you :-)

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Profile

Bio

Time to update this profile of mine…it’s 2015!!

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

My relationship with tea in a nutshell:

I’m married to straight Black. I have torrid love affairs with Oolong and Puerh. I party with Green and White occasionally. Flavored are not my BFF, I usually stay away from them.

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 they are and expect the same in return.

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

Music is also something I can’t live without… From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Animal and nature lover, amateur photographer.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember.

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

Not a big «swapper», but will occasionally. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m trying not to hoard so much.

Also, I have narrowed down the teas I really like over the years, and I don’t feel the need to try and buy everything the way I used to. (Maybe I have become a tea snob? Sigh…)

My ratings: because I pretty much drink only teas that I judge exceptional, my ratings are usually high. Don’t be shocked to see lots of 90’s and a few 100’s. That’s because I’ve had my share of crapy teas and I’m done with that ;-)

You can find me on Instagram here, I post about my tea sessions mostly, but also about the beautiful nature that surrounds me, and my fury companions :-)

http://instagram.com/theteafairy/

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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