Tribute Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

I got a sample of this with my last order from Tribute Tea, and although I enjoyed it, I can’t really say much about it, because I was teaching & perhaps not as attentive as I could be.
I can say that it was good! I can say that it was a little tangy, a little on the savory end of things, with a slight bitter edge, kind of like citrus peel.
This is a lame review, I know, but thus is life!

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I’m enjoying a delicious cup of this tea, along with a deliciously relaxing Sunday morning.
Toasty, malty, nice tongue tingle, a little spice, a rich resinous feel, a sweet aftertaste.
Kind of like having a bowl of oatmeal, drizzled with bee pollen, cinnamon, & honey, & a piece of toast.
Now for breakfast…

Fjellrev

Marvelous description. ;)

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We’ve had a couple of steeps of this one.
Mi Lan Xiang always reminds me of grapefruit, with a little floral laced in.
That’s really all I can think of to say, LOL. Hopefully Sil has more insight into this one.

Sil

nope, not me :)

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77

drinking tea with terri! woot woot!

um…distracted by tea snooping and such (and yes guys…terri’s cupboard IS really full) this is decent enough but it’s not really up my alley, which we know, which is also why we decided to share a cup rather than me taking some home! i hereby call this the terri grapefruit tea. there’s a story there…but for now.. OFF TO THE TEA SHOP!

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One more tea from Brett at Tribute Tea (in Chicago). Thanks!
I do enjoy occasional florals, jasmine being one of them.
Like the other teas I received from Tribute, the leaf appears to be of excellent quality, & care has been taken to maintain a lovely appearance.
This is a very nice jasmine tea, naturally scented, & tasty.

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This is another sample from Brett @ Tribute Tea, which BTW is in Chicago, not to be confused with another company of the same name in Seattle
http://tributeteacompany.com
This is a lovely sweet cup of yum! Kind of buttery, caramel corn & yellow flowers.
The sweet aftertaste lingers, with an almost apricot mouth.
All of the teas I’ve tried from Tribute have been tasty & of excellent quality.

Shadowfall

I didn’t even realize there was another tea company in Chicago (Aside from the 5 I knew about). Do you know if they have a physical store I can go into?

Sil

hmmm need to try this company out. :)

Terri HarpLady

Shadowfall, I’m not sure
Sil, I ordered some of their blacks, samples for you are coming

Sil

ok lady!

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Another tea from Brett at Tribute Tea, thank you!
I haven’t been drinking that much oolong lately. I blame this on being busy. Oolong is a tea I prefer to drink when I have time to relax, so I drank a cup of this in the bathtub.
This is a pleasantly sweet one, with a fruity essence & a wonderful aroma :)

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Here I am…back at my house.
I’d rather be hanging out in my PJs, but I got stuff I have to do, so I came home to do some of it, while Tony went to shoot a little pool with friends (I haven’t shot pool in months, my pool cue has probably disowned me by now, along with my Harley…)

Brett, the owner of Tribute Tea, graciously sent me samples of several of his teas awhile back…much farther back than I want to admit…I’m so behind on things…

I’ve put off drinking the white tea samples he sent, mainly cuz I just don’t drink white tea that much. It’s not even that I don’t like white tea, although I have been known to describe white teas as bland, milk toast, & other words that imply tasteless & boring in the past. The truth is, I have developed more of a taste for white tea, but it’s still near the lowest end of my totem pole of teas I want to drink. The only things lower than white are rooibos, followed by artificially flavored things.

That makes it sound like I would give white tea a low rating, but this is about taste preference, not quality of the leaf itself, & since I don’t actually rate teas anymore, it’s irrelevant. The truth is, I will always choose a black tea first, but I will occasionally want something different, & on rare occasions I actually want white tea.

This tea:
First off, I can tell that it is of wonderful quality, because it smells awesome, like a super clean barn, newly packed with freshly baled straw. It smells clean, fresh, green, refreshing, & even a little tart.
Next, the leaf material is beautifully intact, & visually it reminds me of freshly dried clover. Very clean & fluffy. White teas such as this one are fragile, & you can end up with a lot of ‘dust’. That’s not the case here at all. I can tell great care was taken with these leaves.
Parameters: I used the entire 5G sample in my test tube steeper at 190F for 1 minutes, with a resteep at 2 minutes. The liquor is a beautiful rich gold. Usually I go with shorter steeps, but lately I’ve been giving whites a bit longer, & I admit, the results makes me happier.
Flavor: Clean & crisp, like white linens, like spring. There is a slight astringency & a tad of mildly bitter cucumber mouthfeel. This tea is refreshing, savory, with a sweet tart quality like apricot.
The 2nd steep also features a creaminess, a little malt, & a green veggie kind of taste, kind of like long beans, with their green & floral flavor.

Brett, thanks for sharing with me, & my apologies for taking so long to sample this!

Shadowfall

If your Harley has disowned you, it can come live with me. XD

Terri HarpLady

Bring me some money & you can ride her (ruby) home :)

Shadowfall

Lol! Would you take tea in trade instead? XD
Though honestly, if/when I ever get a bike it’ll probly be a Honda Shadow. Not that I can say for definite since I don’t even have time/money to take riding classes, so I’ll have to win the lottery before I’ll likely ever get a bike anyway. XD

Brett

THANKS Terri! I don’t have a bike, but I do have a scooter, which I often use to deliver small tea orders haha – people seem to love that too…

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83

This one gave me a wonderful surprise toward the end that I hope repeats on subsequent tries. I used a gaiwan 1Tbsp/190°/30/60/90. The dry nose had a bit of fresh mown grass to it, but the first wet odor struck me as seaweed, but also lightly toasted, and with something sweet in the background (raisins maybe? or apricot?). The brew was very pale (did I understeep?), just barely sweet, and with a soft lingering finish. Second steep was slightly darker, not sweet and just a bit tannic, but still has some apricot in there somewhere. The final steep threw me for a loop when I came over a bit lemony. No idea where that came from, but it sure was nice.

Flavors: Apricot, Freshly Cut Grass, Lemon, Seaweed, Toasty

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90

Ahhhhh – how true. Today’s tea of choice was a delicious little number I picked up from tributeteacompany.com called “green smile” (or, more precisely, “hari muskan”) from the Nilgiri Hills region of India. My first impression was the fragrance of ripe, sweet apricots when I opened the pouch. It brews into a pale yellow/green color and is subtle but completely enjoyable. And, not to ruin it for you, but, the leaves are hand rolled to resemble actual smiles. I don’t see it on tribute tea company’s website any more but if you want to try this tea, you might want to email them to see if more will be arriving.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I drank this on Monday, before I realized that steepster was out of commission, & although I didn’t take notes, I’ll do my best to share my experience, because Brett was generous enough to send me a sample, for which I’m grateful.

I do enjoy Da Hong Pao teas, & although this one is a lighter roast than what I tend to go for, it’s a lovely cup of fruitiness, perfectly sweet & fragrant with the aroma of apricot & apple, & with a beautiful clean & fresh kind of aroma, almost crisp, like a sweet tart apple.
Thanks Brett!

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I’ve said it before, & I’m sure I’ll probably say it again: I’m a sucker for novelty tea shapes!
So there! Pearls, cakes, twists, brooms, tuochas, flowers….my eye delights in them all.
Of course, if they don’t deliver in the flavor department, they get pushed off to the side.
Or given away to friends who aren’t as picky as I am, because they will enjoy them.

And this one is delicious. My previous attempts were made with a sample, trying a few different parameters, & that sample is gone. So I ordered more, & today we’re going gongfu, baby! Yeah!
5G + beautiful 4oz or so yixing (rinse) X 15/30/45 sec/1/1.5/2/3 min etc
I drank the 1st steeping by itself with my adorable little yixing cups & pitcher, then combined the rest of them in a mug in pairs while I was fixing breakfast.
Although I enjoy watching these spring snails unfurl, without a doubt, this is my favorite way to enjoy this tea. Everytime I open the tiny teapot, the leaves have expanded & are posing, like a series of photos. The texture is creamy, the aroma is honey, maltomeal, & milk chocolate. My mouth is tingly & I got a nice morning tea buzz to enjoy with my breakfast (after I finish drinking the tea).

A wonderful start to my busy day!

mj

I love tea with shapes too :)

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This is a lovely bi luo chun style black tea, very golden, nicely rolled up into the classic spring snail form. For my first cup, I steeped a tsp for a minute, which was weak. I sampled it again at 3 minutes, & ended up giving it a full 5 minutes. The resulting tea was tasty, like a pale milk chocolate, a little honey, & pastry. I’m also getting that flavor that translates to coriander for me, commonly found in ‘Beauty’ teas.

I gave it a 2nd try, this time using 2 tsp for 3 minutes. The flavors are basically the same, with a little more pastry, a little more honey, etc. This is a pleasant & gentle tea, nicely refined & sweet. I kind of wish, in retrospect, that I had dumped the entire sample into a Gaiwan & given it the gongfu treatment, but I wanted to save some of it for my dear Sil, and so this is a sipdown. Tea Sister, I’ve officially started a new box for you :)

Sil

uh oh… lol i need to get through some of the other teas from the last 2 BBB’s!

Terri HarpLady

That’s ok, it will be awhile. Also, I’m begging you now, please don’t send me 5000 flavored teas in the next box, LOL

Sil

Hahaha no that’s over…. You said you wanted the adagio ones so you got them. Otherwise I RARELY send you flavoured unless they’re uber special :)

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First off, thanks to Brett for sharing a sample of this tea with me.
The leaves are rolled up tightly & are of a chocolate brown, with a warm honey aroma that is very enticing. After steeping, the tea reminded me of honey nut cherrios, creating a mildly sweet & comforting cup, with a hint of cinnamon. The leaves are slow to unfurl, & resteep on & on. Once they open, they are beautiful, dark, & their aroma is like cinnamon & vanilla, &…well…honey nut cherrios!

Sarsonator

Sounds amazing. I am adding this one to my wishlist. :)

TheTeaFairy

Yummy! So funny, I drank butiki’s gui fei yesterday, and all I could think of was burnt toasts dripping with honey!

Brett

Thanks Terri, always interesting to hear what different people are tasting… I think I’ll have some for breakfast tomorrow and see if I’m tasting the cheerios as well! Usually in my head I’m thinking about pecan pie, but either way, it’s a fun leaf..

Terri HarpLady

oohhh…toast dripping with honey…
ooohhh, pecan pie!
:)

Terri HarpLady

It really is fun how everyone tastes things a little differently, but then we’ll all notice the same one thing (like honey).

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I don’t think I’ve ever met a tea from Fujian Province that I haven’t enjoyed, & this one is no exception! I enjoy Rou Gui Oolongs, with their sweet cinnamon & caramelized sugar flavor, & this is a nice one, with a slight hint of charcoal in the background.
1 T in 8oz @ 200, for 2 minutes, enjoying this first cup & looking forward to re-steeps.
Thanks Brett for sending a sample! You’re awesome!

Brett

THANKS Terri! Glad you enjoyed it… In our family, this is my Dad’s favorite leaf — which is kind of a problem, and a serious shock to my supply. I mean, that guy can drink tea!
Happy sipping…

Terri HarpLady

And it’s so nice of you to keep him, supplied! :)

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93

Attention Jasmine lovers!! If you crave the soothing flavor of jasmine blossom, you’re going to love this silver needle/jasmine combo… I’m not really a big scented tea drinker, but the unmistakable scent and flavor of jasmine is very nostalgic for me. It takes me back to my early tea discovering days in Hong Kong, when I would travel with a small pouch of ever-convenient jasmine pearls, soaking in the culture and exploring tea houses in search of something new…

The notable point that I would like to make about this tea is its lack of astringency, especially compared to the more common Jasmine Pearl green tea, which is often slightly bitter. When sipping the green variety, I often find myself wrestling with the dichotomy of the jasmine — which I love — with the bitterness of a base green tea — which I do not love… Some people enjoy the bite of astringency though, so that is just my personal opinion.

In this case, the jasmine comes through very clearly… Truthfully, it’s hard to even taste the silver needle white tea, which is a shame, but who cares!

I tried this before and found that shorter infusions are better for extending the infusion potential (# of times) of this leaf. Jasmine releases quite quickly, so 30sec – 1min for the first 2-3 infusions is fine, with longer infusions following that.

Flavors: Honey, Jasmine

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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92

A unique bouquet almost bursts with so many flavors, it’s difficult to narrow down exactly what is being tasted… The obvious notes include various types of honey — I taste buckwheat, tupelo, wildflower, but I’m quite certain that my honey palate is hardly delicate enough to make those claims, but anyway..

When I asked a grower why the process of producing Gui Fei went so deep into the summer, he answered quickly… “Oh, well of course, because we have to wait for the bug bite.” I thought that was hilarious. Wait what? The bug bite?? Was he joking? No. The “bug bite” he was referring to was the invasion of green leafhoppers, which alter the chemical composition of the leaf, and apparently impart its unique flavor profile.

Also, I usually give it a rinse and then jump in with 20-30 second infusions, noting that the 2nd and 3rd infusion result in a unusually thick liquor which is sweet and carries a fairly impressive hui gan… Later infusions, say 4-6 will bring more floral and spicy notes, but the sweet fruits lay off a bit.. Also, the leaves don’t seem to want to unfurl, so I’d add 15-30 seconds in subsequent infusions beyond the 3rd.

So all in all, its an oddly addicting oolong, and highly unique, so please try and let me know what type of tasting notes you are able to pull out, curious to hear!

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Honey, Nuts

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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97

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec

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97

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90

no surprises with this one – just a nice, full bodied and full flavored oolong.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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98

I’m more of a pure green/oolong drinker but wanted to step outside my comfort zone and (not to sound cliche but) “boy, am I glad I did!!!” This black tea (which is a fully oxodized green tea – rather like a wolf in sheeps clothing in a good way) surprised me with its hot chocolate aroma and full, but not overwhelming, flavor. Due to its enticing aroma, this would make an excellent after dinner tea for anyone who has a sweet tooth and craves dessert after mealtime but doesn’t want the extra calories. This tea just went on my re-order list. and

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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