528 Tasting Notes

100

Backlog. I had this tea yesterday because my stomach was feeling a bit queasy and sensitive, so I had to go for my favorite roasty comfort tea. I have to say that it really did help. I even resteeped a couple of times but had to stop myself because it was getting a little late in the evening. My stomach is feeling a bit better today, so perhaps I will venture out to other teas…

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92
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
528 tasting notes

Oops, I did a really bad thing. Or maybe a good thing? I was sipping on this gloriously malty white tea this evening when I decided that I must have some more of it before it’s gone forever. I guess a lot of other people had the same thought because it’s all gone! Eek! So then I went into panic mode and ordered a bunch more teas from Butiki before they could have a chance to run out. I guess I won’t be participating in Black Friday sales this year… but it’s totally worth it to stock up on Butiki teas!

Anyway, I’m always on and off about white teas, but this white tea has been consistently on the good side for me (other than my very first time with it). I’m trying my hardest not to reach for this one too often now that I know I have to ration it out to last longer. I’ll really miss this one when I’m out (which hopefully will not be for a while!).

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76
drank White Cinnamon Sage by Tea Forte
528 tasting notes

Today is a rainy Halloween in California. I’ve already seen some trick or treaters floating around downtown. Adorable. So when I got back home from being out in the rain, I needed a nice, warm cup of tea. I had this sample sent to me by another Steepsterite who I can’t remember, but thank you!

Anyway, as soon as I opened up this package, the cinnamon and sage scents hit me like a brick. My first thought was that it smelled like a Christmas candle. Actually, I would love to have this as a holiday candle. After steeping it up at a low 175 F, I can confirm that it does taste exactly how it smells and how it is described: cinnamon & sage. I think the cinnamon was more prominent when the tea was piping hot and the sage slowly came out as the tea cooled a bit. Normally, it wouldn’t be my pick of flavors for a tea, but in this almost wintry weather, it’s actually quite nice to cozy up with. I’m drinking this while watching Parenthood on Netflix, so it’s turning out to be a nice, cozy afternoon all around.

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86

Let me preface this with a note that I’m not the best at distinguishing specific tastes and such, so bear with me. So, after falling in love with the 2003 Four Seasons, I decided to break open my other straight oolong from my Butiki order. Thanks to my handy dandy new variable temperature kettle, I was able to steep as directed on the package (180 F, ~4 min). The first time steeping, I was still pretty sleepy from waking up earlier than usual, so my thoughts were limited to “yummy leaf juice.” But it actually did taste very leafy, if that makes any sense at all.

Later in the day, when I was much more awake, I resteeped the tea and really started getting a hold of more concrete flavors than before. My initial thought was that it smelled and tasted like raisins. So I went to the Butiki website to see what was listed there, and I could slowly pick apart the buttery, honey, and mineral notes as well. I’m not sure that I’m getting much chestnut, but it could totally just be that it’s there and I just can’t identify it as such.

Anyway, it was a very delicious oolong. I wasn’t as over the moon about it as the 2003 Four Seasons, but I can definitely appreciate the clean flavors and warmth of this cup. I will definitely treasure what I have left of this!

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100

I just have to say.. OH MY GOD. This tea is heaven. Lately, I’ve been trying to get through my sipdown box, which consists of a lot of teas that I’m on the fence about. As a result, I’ve forgotten how it is to completely be in love with a tea. It’s roasty and has a charcoal note without being too smoky. I even resteeped it several times without the flavor fading at all. This tea seriously deserves a perfect rating in my book. I think I may have to put in another order with Butiki to grab some more of this before it’s gone forever!

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90
drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
528 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
528 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
528 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
528 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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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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