162 Tasting Notes
This is by far the best experience I’ve had with any white tea, ever. I suppose it’s not surprising, since I love jasmine and it’s done perfectly here. The jasmine is soft and natural and totally lacking in those jarring soapy notes lesser jasmines sometimes have. It’s certainly the dominant flavor, though; happily for me, the silver needle really just serves as a sweet, mellow backdrop. There’s something very relaxing about good jasmine teas, and this one’s no exception.
There’s a purer jasmine flavor here than I get with my usual jasmine greens; there are no vegetal notes to complicate, distract from, or clash with the pure, delightful floral. Depending on the tea and my mood, I sometimes enjoy the interplay between sweet jasmine and savory grass and sometimes don’t. I think this tea will be a wonderful option for those times when I’m in the mood for something more one-note (in the best way possible).
This is a very old sample I received from Rie, who I don’t think is on Steepster anymore. But I’m very grateful for the chance to have sampled it! I’ll definitely be picking up some more of this whenever I (finally) get around to ordering from Teavivre.
I like this one quite a bit. It’s very fruity. I’m mostly getting dried apricot, which really comes out in the aftertaste. There’s just a hint of something floral lurking in the background, and exactly enough astringency to keep things interesting. It’s complex, full bodied, and an all-around enjoyable tea.
To be honest, I have a hard time picking out the differences among Darjeelings—I can tell a first flush from a second, but beyond that I’m lost. I don’t get the whole muscatel thing either; neither this nor any other Darjeeling I’ve tried strikes me as particularly wine-like (although I admit I’m not much of a wine drinker) and I only occasionally get grape notes. I do tend to like second flushes quite a bit, though, and this one’s no exception. Thanks to Nicole_Martin for the sample!
This reminds me of Butiki’s Cider Guayusa, minus the guayusa. The flavoring’s spot-on for cider. There’s mostly apple with a hint of cinnamon, and not much sweetness. As far as apple tisanes go I think I prefer the ones that mimic more of a sour fresh apple flavor, but for what it is this is a very pleasant tisane and one I certainly wouldn’t mind drinking again.
Unsurprisingly, this reminds me of my beloved genamicha. I love the toasted rice in that tea, and I’m enjoying those flavors here as well. I could swear I’m tasting the faintest hint of seaweed, too, but maybe it’s just my brain taking the connection a little too far. I’m also getting some soy sauce, but there’s a sweet finish. This is quite roasty, but aside from that—and, perhaps, from the depth of texture—I wouldn’t say it’s particularly reminiscent of coffee. It’s a very smooth tea as well, and not very earthy at all by puerh standards. It does leave my mouth feeling kind of dry, which is strange and not entirely welcome, but for a tea this unique and flavourful I can deal with it. Definitely one of my favorites from Butiki.
This is a nice rendition of what I’d consider a standard sort of Assam. It’s smooth, malty, and sweet. I’m picking up on the caramel but am not getting much in the way of chocolate. This is a good thing for me, as I’m that rare person who doesn’t like intense chocolate notes in black teas. This tea may even be a little bit too far on the side of smooth and sweet for me—I do tend to prefer a little more bite in my black teas—but it’s making for a very enjoyable cup nonetheless, and I won’t have any trouble finishing up my stash.
I received a sample of this in my January Lupicia newsletter. I tend to be skeptical of dessert teas, especially the ones that claim to taste like pastries or baked goods, plus I’m not a fan of the tea base Lupicia uses for many (most?) of their black blends. So I was prepared for disappointment. But I ended up enjoying Cookie quite a bit. It does taste surprisingly cookie-like—although I know there’s no chocolate, for some reason I’m reminded of the cookie part of an Oreo. I guess it’s the interplay between the assertive base and the caramel flavoring that’s giving me the sense of something chocolate-ish; I see most people seem to get more of a butter cookie flavor, but it’s very much not that for me.
I’m not sure whether or not this uses the Lupicia black base of doom, to be honest. I’m certainly not bothered by the base here—it is surprisingly bold, though, with some astringency and a touch of bitterness—but I can’t say whether or not that’s just because it works better with the flavors here than it has in other, often fruit-flavored blends I’ve tried. I’d consider picking some more of this up next time I order from Lupicia; it’s not a must-have for me but I think there’d be a place for it in my cupboard.
This really tastes like passion fruit! Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and it doesn’t show up in teas or tisanes all that often so I was pleased when my mother brought a bag of this back from Israel for me. The hibiscus had me slightly concerned, but while it is present it’s only strong enough to add some pleasant (and accurate, passion fruit-wise) tartness. I’m not really picking up on the mango, but I can live with that. This is one of the nicest caffeine-free options I’ve tried lately, and it’s certainly something I’d like to pick up more of when I’ve made some progress working through my current stash. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by most of the Wissotzky teas and tisanes I’ve tried so far; they’ve almost all been a cut above the average bagged grocery option.
This is a really nice Darjeeling. It’s quite fruity—grape and dried apricot, mainly—and not very floral. I’m not picking up on the nuttiness mentioned in the description, and I wouldn’t say it’s sweet either. It’s just as astringent as a good Darjeeling should be, and it’s not too heavy on the grassy, herbal kinds of notes that I often find overwhelming. I tried the 2012 Sungma First Flush from Happy Earth and didn’t much care for it, but I tend to prefer second flush Darjeelings so it’s no surprise that this one’s more to my liking. Thanks for the sample, Nicole_Martin!
This is the other Steepster Select sample I picked up from Jason at the meetup, and I think it might be my first karigane. It’s light and vegetal, with no bitterness whatsoever. I’m getting some grass and some seaweed and a little bit of nuttiness; there’s the tiniest bit of astringency (which is a good thing in my opinion). There’s something very fresh and spring-like about this tea, and I’m liking it quite a bit. This is one I wouldn’t mind having some more of.
I love roasted oolongs, so I was very happy to receive this sample from Jason at the last NYC meetup. This is indeed roasty, but it’s surprisingly light at the same time. A bit too light for me, in fact—I love those super dark, strong-bodied coffee-esque oolongs, and this is not one of them. It almost reminds me of houjicha. I’m enjoying this and would happily drink it again, but it’s probably not something I’d want to keep around.