Tribute Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

84

It’s a very bold leaf with lots of stimulating effects if you drink it long enough… I’m able to get several infusions as the twisted leaves unravel, which is unusual of course for a green tea. I really think that this could replace coffee for caffeine addicts, as it’s boldness is no joke.

The appearance almost looks like a Guangdong oolong, albeit a bit on the greener side… It’s flavor definitely nods to some Chinese greens: roasted, buttery, corn notes… For people that think that India only produces good black teas, think again… This is a great and unexpectedly delicious green tea with medium-higher astringency and again, an unbelievable ability to provide several infusions.

I came at this with too much time in the pot the first time, and perhaps a higher temperature than is necessary, and since have dialed back to find my personal sweet spot at about 175F and no more than 20-30 seconds per infusion. This allowed me to prolong my sipping session, as well as gradually introduce the caffeine into my body, which is not a problem for most of us, but something to rightly consider….

All in all, I LOVE that Hari Muskan has more flavor than some of the finer, lighter Chinese greens, and I love that India is producing some real quality these days as a distinct alternative to Chinese and Japanese greenery (NOT that I don’t love them, but who doesn’t love some variety).

My girlfriend claims that this ices well in a cold-brew style of preparation, but I haven’t ventured there – especially now that it’s chilling out in Chicago!

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grapefruit, Walnut

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

thank you terri! for saving some of this for me. I am really enjoying this version of snaily tea. It’s sweet and malty and mostly just really great this morning. It’s got a pastry, honey sort of thing going on, that is just the thing to kick off my really long day. I’ve got an overnight tonight with work, and if things go the way they usually, do… i’ll have been up since 5:30 this morning and won’t be sleeping until 9am ish on saturday. I’ll try to nap but it never seems to work.

Cameron B.

I’m having a snail as well! :D

Terri HarpLady

Always glad to encourage your happiness, my dear tea sister!
BTW, I think our pumpkin ginger tea is almost ready for pickup.
How ugh am I sending to you, half a lb?

Sil

LOL we’ll need to figure that out. I know we have to send some to dexter…sooo maybe not a whole half pound to me haha. Or you can um i dunno…send part in the next box and the other part later?

Terri HarpLady

She is packing it up in 2 8oz bags, so I figured 1 for you, one for me, LOL

Dexter

I know it’s precious, but will buy off of you whatever you are willing to part with. Just excited to get to try some of this. :)))

Sil

I’ll share mine with Dexter terri, was part of my plan anyway lol

bizbee1

I am not familiar with snail teas but see them a lot, how do they relate to assam? I am about to finish off some of that so I can buy something new!

Sil

that’s a tough one, since i’ve had such a wide variety of assams, whose flavour profiles were incredibly different from one another lol

bizbee1

yes how does a line relate to a cat or something! Oh well I’ll just have tot try some of both

Kittenna

Pumpkin ginger tea?! Custom blend from someone?

Sil

K – it’s the one from travelling tea that terri and i fell in love with last year.

Kittenna

No memory of that, but that’s ok! Was curious :D

Kittenna

Thanks :) Looks like that was during a time I was not reading notes, given that I don’t have a single like on any of your/Terri’s notes.

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This is a sample provided by Brett, & although I don’t really have much to say for it right now, I don’t have anything to say against it. The truth is, I think I under leafed, so its just not all that exciting, however, its me, not the tea. I happen to enjoy this one, in part because it is probably the most beautiful presentation of all green teas, with its long flat buds. Absolutely beautiful, both dry & wet.

I went ahead & added the rest of the sample to my test tube steeper, & now its much better! Sweet & crisp, like a salad of greens & pear. I taste lightly roasted pepitas too.

Cheri

Taiping Houkui needs a lot of leaves because of the way it’s processed. It’s so easy to underleaf. I always seem to underleaf this unless I weigh the leaves.

Terri HarpLady

I also have this same tea from Teavivre, & yeah, its one I definitely should weigh

Brett

I just like to look at it sometimes… beautiful leaves huh? I agree though, not nearly enough potency for a lot of folks

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no rating on this one – another from Terri. This type of oolong is not my favourite even though it’s a roasty oolong. There’s a taste to these that just never works for me, no matter how much i try. This is a smooth tea though, so i recommend giving it a try if rui gui oolongs are something you enjoy :)

In other news, my creamy basil tomato soup with tortellini is delicious! so happy :)

boychik

Mmm soup!!! I do love Rou Gui , sorry you didn’t enjoy it.

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77

mmm another tea from terri. As most of you know, oolongs and i don’t really get along, though the roasty variety does better by me. I’ve found a few that i’ve really loved, but on the whole if i had to eliminate them from my tea cupboard, it wouldn’t kill me :)

This is a roasty oolong, but there is a really sweet note in this brew that i quite like. I had a few infusions of this and rather enjoyed them. I would recommend this to anyone who really likes roasty oolongs with a little sweetness :) (f oolongs were my thing this would likely be closer to an 85, but i can still taste OOLONG…which i’m not a fan of)

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71

another from terri! I’m attempting to get to 115 teas today while i work on making soup; cleaning the house; seasoning my first teapot and possibly baking something delicious to go with our homemade mac and cheese tonight. All our friends are off visiting family for the holiday so we have a grand ol’ day of doing nothing at the house…no commitments,just relaxing and enjoying things. Sadly this tea is not my favorite. there’s a note i’m getting here that is just meh… boring and meh. I’ll pass the rest of this off to cavo and see if it works for her heh

boychik

Pot ? Do share the source and pic if possible

caile

That’s a cute teapot! I have it on my teavivre wish list. :)

Sil

it was on sale during their anniversary stuff, so i bit the bullet and bought my first one. There’s one that garrett has that i really want as well, but we’ll see how this goes first. heh

caile

Yeah, that sale tempted me too…
What kind of tea are you going to use it for?

Sil

i seasoned it with special dark :)

caile

Ah, nice!

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I’ve been sipping this one over the late afternoon. I got a sample with my Tribute Tea order. Looking in the envelope, I found 2 dense chunks, each about 7.5 grams, looking like chunks of dark chocolate. I used one of them.
It’s one of those woodsy, aged forest floor kind of teas, kind of musty, with a taste of cedar, tobacco, peat, & leather, and a little smoke. It has a strong kind of savory & peppery quality, with a sweet after-taste, & it tickles my sinuses! I’m not sure how many steeps I’ve had, but I suspect I can have quite a few more.
I’ll have to drink them later, it’s time to go to Taichi class.

Sarsonator

You make me want all the teas. LOL

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oooh, so sweet!
This is a beautiful fresh looking green tea. The thin grassy looking leaves have a savory edamame like aroma, with a hint of spice.
They open to become lovely spring green leaves, and the tea tastes of sweet chestnuts & freshly picked white corn. Did I mention that this tea is gentle & sweet? There’s also a light floral quality, & it’s a very refreshing cup.
Thank you to Brett for sharing a sample of this one with me. It’s not currently listed on the site, but here’s the link for his other teas, which have all been of high quality!
http://tributeteacompany.com

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Delicious! This is reminding me of an earthy oval tine on the 3rd steep! Peat, milk, light chocolate. An aromatic wood, maybe cedar, joins the ensemble after a few steeps, gradually building, with a lingering sensation in the front sinuses, & a building third eye energy. My mouth & throat are all a tingle, with a vics vaporub camphor/eucalyptus sensation too.
It’s a very potent 5th, 6th, & 7th chakra opening mind blower.
And now I think I’ll go play my Harp for awhile.

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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
Brett

Ahhhh, thanks for your patience — It’s up on the site now and I’m sipping some as we speak. Not for the faint of heart, this leaf has a lasting kick! (great to replace coffee we hope)
http://tributeteacompany.com/collections/loose-tea-green/products/new-2014-green-smile

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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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First tea of the day at Tony’s house. Honey, maltomeal, milk chocolate. It’s a gentle kind of creamy cup .

Sil

can;t wait to try the samples you gave me

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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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