513 Tasting Notes

90
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
513 tasting notes

Sipdown (93)! And not a moment too soon. I tragically realized that there was a hole in the plastic baggie with this tea in it, so this last steep was tasting a bit stale. Anyway, I would definitely consider repurchasing this one in the future. It has that nice brisk maltiness that is perfect for perking me up in the mornings.

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85

I decided to have this light, calming tea for an after dinner treat alongside some macarons. The flavors in this tea are so light and subtle that it was a little overpowered by the sweet macarons I was eating. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the sweet, slightly hay-like flavor of the tea. I think that white teas are really starting to grow on me. I’ll have to do some more exploring in terms of white teas!

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74
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
513 tasting notes

I had forgotten that I grabbed one sachet of this from the last round of the Tea & Cards TTB, so it was a pleasant discovery in my box of mixed miscellaneous teas. I generally love Lupicia’s teas because they seem to get the flavorings spot on without going overboard or too artificial tasting. Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this particular tea. On a positive note, it does not taste like children’s cherry flavored cough syrup as most cherry teas seem to taste to me. It actually has that tart and sweet combo that fresh real cherries have. After tasting so many fake cherry teas, I can really appreciate that part of this tea. However, there is also something peppery about this tea (probably because of the peppercorn), and I do not like pepper at all. I can barely tolerate it in my food much less my tea. In conclusion, I don’t think I will repurchase this just because of the pepper flavor, but I really wish I could get over that. For those who don’t mind (or even like) peppery flavors, I think this is a great cherry tea to have around.

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drank Cantaloupe & Cream by Butiki Teas
513 tasting notes

This was one of the teas I was most excited to try from my Butiki order (though, let’s be honest, I was pretty excited to try all of them). I had read so many rave reviews about this tea on Steepster, so I had to order some for myself before it was gone forever! Right off the bat, when I smelled the dry leaves, I could smell that cantaloupe smell, but there was also something a little weird about the scent that I can’t quite put my finger on. After steeping it up per the parameters written on the package, I basically had the same experience with the tea. I can taste the lovely cantaloupe and creaminess that everyone loves, but there is also something else in the aftertaste there that seems off-putting to me. So perhaps it is just that I am not fond of the base white tea? I’m not an expert on white teas, so it’s hard to pinpoint if that’s what it is. Although, I think it’s more prevalent in the smell of the tea more than the actual tea itself.

I really want to love this one because I can already say I love the cantaloupe flavor behind the other weird flavor that I’m finding. I will definitely be experimenting (carefully, since I only have so much) and perhaps even trying out a cold brew? It seems like a good candidate for that. I’ll add my number rating after I try this out again.

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92
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
513 tasting notes

Backlog. I had tasted this tea before thanks to a sample from another generous Steepsterite and really loved the tea. So of course when I put in my order with Butiki, I had to make sure that this was on the list. I had a cup of this to sip on this evening, and it was just as perfect as I remembered. There are those baked bread and malty notes that I love about black teas, and yet some lightness and grassiness (or maybe hay?) from the white tea base. Reading it back, it sounds a bit odd, but the flavors all combined into this nicely complex tea that is amazing. And normally, I don’t care for white teas as much either, so this tea is extra impressive to me. I’ll savor the rest of what I have because I just checked the website and it looks like they’re out!

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87
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
513 tasting notes

Backlog. Okay, so when I saw that Butiki is closing it’s doors, I had to break my spending hiatus immediately to put in my first (and possibly, sadly my last?) order. Of course, I had to make sure to add this one to the cart because I have been dying to try it for the longest time. What better time to try this one out than a crisp fall morning? It smelled wonderfully maple-y with some nutty notes. Oh, and the tea actually has pecan bits in it! Awesome. I was skeptical about the low temperature suggested on the package, but I just decided to trust in Stacy as everyone else around here seems to do, and I’m glad I did because the tea turned out to be wonderfully smooth and maple-y and nutty and delicious. Perhaps this is not the most well organized tasting note, but the point is, I really enjoyed it, and I can see this one being perfect for fall/winter morning pick-me-ups. Yum.

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89

I’m a little bit scared because this tea tasted different and a bit off to me today. I’m hoping that it was just my taste buds or washing my teaware and not that this tea is going bad. I steeped this for 3-4 minutes at 212 F as usual, and everything seemed to be going well. However, when I tasted the tea, there was a bit of minty flavor that I have never experienced with this tea. It didn’t taste bad necessarily, but it just made me apprehensive because I have not tasted that in this tea before. The peach and black tea flavors were still there, of course. I’ll have to give this another shot later, but if it happens again, I may need to take a closer look and perhaps throw it out (gasp!). Fingers crossed.

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60
drank Fruits d'Alsace by Harney & Sons
513 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday. I keep having to apologize because all my swap samples got mixed up in my move, so I can’t remember who sent me this one. Anyway, thank you to whoever sent me this sample! As soon as I opened up the packet, I could smell some tart fruitiness going on. I am generally not a fan of tarter fruit flavors in my tea, but I had to give this one a shot anyway. As it was steeping, the tart smell became a bit stronger and also became a bit perfume-y as well. For me, those are not great signs for a tea. To be fair, the actual taste of the tea was less intense than the scent, but still going on with those tart flavors like plum and cherry. Cherry flavored teas are very tricky for me because it is easy for them to taste like children’s cough syrup to me. Unfortunately, that was the case with this tea. And that flavor only seemed to intensify as the cup cooled down. I really wanted to love this tea, but it just wasn’t doing it for me, sadly.

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79

Backlog & Sipdown (88)! I went on another weekend road trip down to LA, so I needed a nice cold brew to keep me company for the drive. I steeped this in the fridge for 3 1/2 hours, and it was nice at first when it was still ice cold. However, as it came to room temp, the bitterness and sharpness from the grassy flavor just all became a bit too much for me to handle, so I sadly did not finish the whole water bottle of tea. I won’t be repurchasing this one just because it was just not special or tasty enough to make me want to buy much more of it, but I did really appreciate the cold brews it gave me while it lasted!

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83

Sipdown (89)! I know I got this from someone on Steepster in a swap, but all the samples got mixed up in my move across the country, so I can’t remember who, sorry! Anyway, I finally got around to trying this one out. Even though I used (visually speaking, not a lot of measuring going on) a pretty hefty leaf to water ratio, the flavor of this one was still pretty mild. I may have let my water cool down a touch too much. The main flavor I was getting kind of rode the line between floral and grassy if that makes any sense. I wasn’t getting much nuttiness as I often do from greener oolongs, but it was still pretty tasty. I’ll probably resteep the leaves with some hotter water when I get back from the gym later, so I will update this note with any new findings if I do!

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Bio

I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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