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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks CelebriTEA for adding this on in the box. I had this a while back, but I remember not being in the correct frame of mind. I had just finished the real eggnog season and one of the things that I love about eggnog is the spice. This tea doesn’t have that, but it is incredibly creamy, smooth and sweet. I am really really enjoying this tonight. It is much better when I know what to expect. I will add it to the low caffeine wish list!
Of the tea I made this morning, this is the one that I was really craving and it definitely hit the spot! I enjoyed sipping at it slowly out of my newest mug: a pretty “Canada” themed ceramic stoneware mug with a pretty blue glazed outside and a white/beige inside. And I actually got it at work which is even cooler because it only cost me two dollars!
I added milk to this one which definitely made it creamier; lovely soft orange and chocolate notes that were decadent and smooth with that milky creaminess provided the perfect ease into the day. I’m not sure if I got “marshmallow” notes so much, but that’s ok – I think it was more the chocolate/orange that I was really craving in the first place, and the milk tied everything together really well anyway.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Orange
I made this so I could try a side-by-side comparison with the TTC Hong Yun. Ultimately I have come to the conclusion that I enjoy both Hong Yun teas. I can tell there is a difference between the two but it is so minimal that I can’t pinpoint what exactly it is. At the end of the day, the two are close enough that I would be happy with either or. Thank you Cavocorax for the chance to try both of them!
I really really disliked this one last time I tried it. Per Stacy’s suggestion, I steeped at a lower temp this time around.
I made this gongfu style, 2.5 tsp for 5 oz with a 5 second initial rinse. I ended up drinking this tea over the course of three days, ultimately getting somewhere between 15 and 20 steeps. I never did grow to like it. I just wanted to see how many steeps I could get out of it. I took notes on the first four steeps, but after that the cups were so similar that it seemed redundant to take detailed notes.
first steep – 180f, 30 seconds
It’s hard to find the right word for the smell. Mineral, maybe. It tastes of dirt and that mineral(?) note. There’s almost a saltiness to it. The mouthfeel is heavy.
second steep – 180f, 40 seconds
While the first steep was very pale, this one is a deep orange. It has the same earthy mineral scent as the first steep. Just like the color, the scent is deeper in this steep. The flavor is about the same.
third steep – 185f, 60 seconds
This steep is actually slightly paler than the second one, almost a honey color. The smell is earthy now. That mineral/rock note has scurried off from the scent. Aaand apparently it ran right into the flavor. Ugh. Somebody recently asked on the message board what a mineral note tastes like and the first response was “go lick a rock”. Yup, this tastes like licking a rock. Or, more accurately, what I imagine a rock would taste like. With the exception of thoroughly washed fruits, veggies, tubers, and legumes, I make it a general rule not to lick things that come off the ground. So there’s that.
fourth steep – 180f, 30 seconds
This steep is SO much better! More earthy than rocky, with a hint of sweetness at the end. It’s actually better when it cools to room temperature. It takes on a more toasty character with a smooth mouthfeel and pleasantly fresh aftertaste.
I found that the brew consistently came out best at a 30 second steep between 180-190f. The flavor was always earthy and rocky, but it got smoother over time. It did grow on me but never quite got to “delicious”. I am very impressed by the high number of good steeps that I got out of it. No rating because I’m not sure how to split the difference between blegh taste and impressive steepability. Also because I think someone who enjoys dirt & rock notes would totally enjoy this tea.
I should have already reviewed this one already because I have been enjoying it for a while. Oops! :)
Dry: Shorter cut dark black tea leaves blended with amaranth and almond slices. It smells pretty much like an almond cookie straight from the bag. If you like dessert almond flavors then this is for you.
Steeped: Lovely red-brown clear liquor. Tiny bit of dust at the top of the cup, but I am wondering if it is from flower bits getting a bit smushed by almonds and tea because the tea itself doesn’t seem to have dust or anything on the leaves. The almond and spices are coming through more strongly in the steeped tea for sure. Smells wonderful!
Taste: This is one good almond tea. From the description, it is made with Organic Kundaly Indian Black Tea, which I don’t think I have ever had separately before. Initially the sip tastes just the tiniest touch citrusy and the almond comes through in aroma and taste quite nicely. Cinnamon touches the blend, but does not overwhelm it as this spice can in some other teas I’ve tried from different vendors. I am not a huge cinnamon fan normally, but it works with this tea in a very zen fashion. The black tea base must not be a potent flavor on its own as I can barely detect it over the almond spice notes, which actually works out great. While I wouldn’t think this is the most complex tea on the palate, it lives up to its namesake just right- a perfect cup of almond indulgence. :)
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus
This is a pleasant tisane, if not an outstanding one. It’s light and very sweet, even without any sugar added, and I’m getting vanilla frosting more than cake itself. I do wish it had more in the way of pastry notes, but as it is it’s still an enjoyable caffeine-free option (if not a standout like Butiki’s Peppermint Patty).
First tea of the day and I’m having it with slices of buttered bread with rapsberry jam.
I was expecting something maltier. Of course it is not a black tea but there is a lack of body to meet my tastes.
I particularly like the apricot notes, very present from the first sip. I love apricot notes in a tea and I’m glad this one is so fruity. But it’s not enough for me especially in the morning. I may have chosen the bad moment to prepare Black Rhino and I’m afraid I am too much a black tea personne to appreciate this tea for what it is.
Thank you Stacy for the sample, I’m glad to have had the chance to taste it.
Another one that I’ve been meaning to try but just never got around to it. I love it because it is very different: there’s some nice blueberry notes , with a big splash of cream and some oak notes as well. I love the fruitiness of this cup, because although it does taste like a lot of different fruit as the sip progresses, it’s not too intense, and the flavours develop within the sip as opposed to being like “BAM! I’M A SUPER OBVIOUS (place fruit flavour of your choice here) TEA, WHADDUP!”.
I just re read the description on Stacy’s website and nowhere does she mention blueberry notes. Lol. Maybe my taste buds are weird, but those blueberry notes are undeniable. As it cools down, they fade away, and are replaced with stonefruit flavours.
Ooosh. I don’t know about Oriental Beauty. It is very earthy. Like ear-thay. Something that could almost be something like honey at the beginning of the sip but not quite, imo. Oh no, this really is not for me. I’m sorry cup of tea, I hate to waste :( I will not rate this, because it is not BAD, but I really dislike that earthy taste.
Cup of the morning. Generous sample from Stephanie – thank you so much.
This is my first guayusa tea. The smell is incredible. It’s like blackberries and citrus. Stacy is famous with her flavorings. I do like it on a hot and humid morning when you don’t want anything heavy but need some boost. I added tiny bit of maple syrup and it made it shine. I wouldn’t mind a little more of lime. Prepared according to Butiki parameters.
Thank you Stephanie, it was fun
I like this. It’s nice. But I don’t necessarily feel like writing a ton about it. I’ve never found anything remotely similar to rhubarb in any of the supposed rhubarb teas I’ve had before this one. I am pleasantly surprised to find it here. I like the tang with the vanilla. There’s a strange flavour in there though, it comes and goes in an instant…Is it the hops? I’ve never had it so I really don’t know. I added sugar and I enjoyed it less.
I got this tea in a swap from Cheri. Thanks Cheri, this was one that I really wanted to try! This tea is just gorgeous with all the petite little rosebuds in it. Brewing, this tea smelled overwhelmingly of rose in a perfume-like way (I know, what was I expecting with a rose tea?). At first taste, the rose was a little overwhelming to me as well and I didn’t think I was going to like this tea. However, after it cooled a bit, the rose really toned down and I enjoyed it so much more. The rose is at the forefront of the sip above a creamy sensation. It’s not really a creamy taste, but more of a sensation. It leaves a tingly feeling on my tongue that is reminiscent of champagne.
Flavors: Creamy, Rose
I have procrastinated with this one as well. I think the reason why I don’t drink unflavoured oolongs, whites and greens as often is because I just want to sit down and enjoy them, focus on them and analyze them….Since my life is kind of crazy now, I don’t have time to do that, so these guys have been sitting on a shelf, begging for me to choose them for a while now.
I’m also extremely lazy with watching steep temps and too stingy to risk screwing up an expensive tea, so there’s that.
Had I checked the steeping guidelines on this one, I would’ve had it a lot sooner: boiling, 3 min….Really??? This is a white tea? Amazing.
It actually smells a lot like a black tea. Very malty (well, not very, but very for a white tea I guess :P) with honey. What a pleasant surprise! Now taste wise, I’m like :o . It’s so much more delicate than a black tea, but just as flavourful. Malt and sweet potato are the things that jump out at first, followed by a drizzle of honey. There’s also something that reminds me of fresh, raw, garden picked green peas in the background. What a lovely cup of tea.
I really love this. As a matter of fact, I just grabbed the bag, put it in my purse and said “You’re coming to work with me, you.” Lucky.
Before I ever tried this, I knew I was pretty much guaranteed to love it. I’ve always loved pistachios, and my love for ice cream and green tea, and this was perfect from the start.
My friend and I were house sitting, and were both tipsy, and we both dropped our phones in the hot tub, and couldn’t find rice. So, I saw this gigantic jar filled with pistachios, and I say: “lets put our phones in there, because theyre salty like rice.” Now, we were recording ourselves on the webcam at the time so I actually have this on tape. I even told future sober me to remember when we can’t find our phones in the morning, that we put them in the pistachios. I still to this day can’t believe drunk me thought rice was salty and that’s why it absorbed water xD.
First, I want to talk about the base of this tea. It’s everything I love about green tea. If this is what they mean by seaweed type green tea, then I want tons of seaweed type green teas. It’s fresh vegetal and so lovely. Makes me want to do a happy dance.
And then, there’s a fantastic creaminess to this tea, both in taste and flavor. And a delicious nuttiness. And the aftertaste is distinctly pistachio. I’m pretty positive if there was a green tea and pistachio ice cream, and you let it melt, and maybe thinned it out with some water, you’d end up with this tea.
I want more of this, because I feel like 1oz just isn’t enough.
I made this into iced tea! Delicious and refreshing! The only unfortunate thing is that the cocoa butter from the chocolate chips make unappealing solid fat blobs when the tea cold. I’m also detecting that flavor I associate with artificial chocolate. It’s not as prominent when hot. Either way, this was a nice cool glass on a hot day.
I think I prefer my actual chocolate mint plant as a tea though. More cooling effect.
WORLD CUP SPOILERS AHEAD – Brazil vs Nederland*
On an unrelated note, I was really hoping Brazil would learn their lesson from their last game and make a good showing this time. I felt so bad for them, alas.
I really do like this one a lot. I think it is special :)
I was having a really bad craving for it at dialysis clinic today I’m not really sure what brought about the craving I just knew that I must have some Zhen Qu when I get home, I’m really glad I did too.
It is very delicious.
I steeped it this time around in a tall glass with no steeping time, just blowing the leafe away as i drink, It held up to 2 good brews the third one is kinda weak.
The first 2 brews were outstanding! much better than the last time i remember having it, It was strong in flavor but not heavy or anything like that actually quite light and smooth but with killer amount of flavor.
I get Caramel, Cocoa and malt, with a nice sweetness and this time the Nutty note IS in fact like a hint of Pecan, almost like toasted pecan, I was tasting for Pecan last time and missed it but this time it is surely there, It must be the steeping style that brought it out for me :)
Super good tea, I keep hiding it away after I try it for some reason, like i’m scared i’ll loose it or something, I must really like it more than I realize.
Really Good Tea, Go get ya some!
Bumped up to 95 for me :)
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Pecan, Sweet