44 Tasting Notes

98
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
44 tasting notes

This tea is special and amazing. I’m sooooo glad I tried it before I lost my chance. Anyway, this is such a naturally sweet tea. It has a brightness to it while maintaining a strong taste of honey. The tea is still kind of vegetable, which adds a pleasant roundness to the cup.

I brewed this western style, but I’m going to gung fu brew it sometime this week. I’m so excited to try it that way, as it is truly great even brewed western style.

Anyway, I love this tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70
drank Santa's Secret by DAVIDsTEA
44 tasting notes

I mentioned in my tasting note yesterday that I got a lot of this tea when I purchased a latte mug on clearance in David’s Tea yesterday. My mug is beautiful and wonderful. I didn’t need this tea. I have a lot of sweet peppermint tea right now.

And unfortunately, I really do prefer Adagio’s Candy Cane to this tea. I suspected I did after sampling Santa’s Secret in the store one day, but today confirmed it.

This tea is good, though. It is sweet and malty while having a backbone of mint. The problem is that this tea doesn’t really sing to me. The sweet vanilla aspect of the tea cuts the mint, and I lose some of the brightness I expect from a candy cane.

On the other hand, I finally devised a way to heat my milk for lattes. I don’t have a microwave, so I needed an easy way to heat milk on the stove. I’m glad I devised something, as my lattes have definitely improved.

I may have to have some friends over and host a tea party where only peppermint teas are served. I’m drowning in the stuff.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75
drank Quangzhou Milk Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
44 tasting notes

I went into David’s Tea today just to pick up a cup of tea. I promised my boyfriend I wouldn’t buy anymore tea or teaware, and I don’t need anymore. I was about to ask for my cup of tea when I saw that they had the Latte mug I wanted that had sold out before I bought it. I bought it, because I probably won’t have another chance. It was in a Latte tea set with Santa’s Secret, so the mug itself was the same price as usual. It just came with 100 g of free tea. Unfortunately I DEFINITELY don’t need more peppermint tea, as I have 6 oz of Adagio’s Candy Cane tea, which I actually prefer. Oh well. I really wanted the mug, and I’ll just be serving a whole ton of peppermint tea to guests as well as drinking it myself. a lot. For the rest of the year.

So what does that have to do with the Milk Oolong? Why did I just spill my heart out about my new latte mug? Well I did buy a cup of tea, and I bought a cup of the milk oolong. Then I stole an umbrella bag from the front door and carried the used teabag home for a second infusion. I have NO shame. the first infusion I think was brewed too hot, but it was still lovely. It is a buttery tea, and I also get a strong taste of milk from the tea. The second infusion I brewed at a lower temperature (180 degrees, which I the temp I tend to prefer to brew my oolongs). The second infusion is good. It’s smoother than the first infusion, but it is also very sweet. The sweetness I find a bit strange, as if something has been added to the oolong. The tea is very good, though. I probably won’t buy it for myself from David’s, but I’m glad I bought a cup of it. I’m hoping to get a third infusion from this teabag.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Tie Guan Yin recently, and I think I prefer that as a kind of oolong. I’m going to keep investigating milk oolongs, though, because I find the idea of them intriguing.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Qi'Lan Fireside Oolong by Teavana
44 tasting notes

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drank Ooooh Darjeeling by Adagio Teas
44 tasting notes

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75
drank Coconut Pouchong by Adagio Teas
44 tasting notes

I got two packages today! One from a Teavana sale, and the other from Adagio. I did not expect to get both, but the timing is very appreciated, since I am leaving to visit my parents later today.

I’ve been really craving oolongs recently, and I thought I would try this as a lower expense tea I could drink often and still get a few steepings out of. I brewed it in one of Adagio’s steeper mugs that I picked up, because I had the points to get half off and I wanted a 12 oz mug for when I brewed teas I could resteep.

Okay, so this tea. I prefer more roasted oolongs, but this is nice. It’s not much else than nice, though. The oolong base is light and floral. It is pleasant enough, but I feel like the coconut flavor overpowers the base. I lose any sort of complexity that might exist within the oolong base. I find the coconut to have more of a roasted flavor, and I feel like it would be more suited for a less floral base. I wish I had bought the unflavored version of this tea to compare the two.

However, my cup of tea is more than enjoyable. It is a light tea, but it has some body, the kind of light but not too light profile I like in oolongs. I’m glad I bought it. When I resteep this cup and also when I drink this more often, I’ll have a more telling opinion. I don’t know if I would actually repurchase this right now, even though I like it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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75
drank Spiced Nog by Butiki Teas
44 tasting notes

I have a confession people of Steepster: I love eggnog flavored things. In fact, I’m not a very big eggnog person, but the winter season always brings me lots of eggnog alternatives which I adore. Buying this tea seemed obvious.

When I open the package, it smells amazing. The bag literally explodes with nutmeg and cream. It’s impressive.

But I do not actually love this tea, and it’s not the blends fault. Recently, I’ve noticed that I cannot come to terms with green tea. Even expensive green teas kind of let me down. I find that they lack a certain amount of weight to me, and that I am off-put by the vegetable aspect of them.

So this is a lovely tea base, but it is not suited for me. The tea is a light yellow color when it brews, and the nutmeg and other eggnog flavors do merge with the base. However, the tea is less flavored than the scent would promise. I think this is a benefit for the tea ultimately, but not necessarily a benefit for me. What I mean by that is that the tea is a nice base, so covering it would be unfortunate, but I’m just not fond of the base.

Anyway, this is a good tea, but it’s not my speed. It rebrews well, though, which is nice. Also it’s very visually appealing.

Flavors: Cream, Eggnog, Nutmeg

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Tamarind Gui Fei by Butiki Teas
44 tasting notes

Oh wow I like this tea.

I’m really glad I bought it, and I might try to throw another order Butiki’s way before the store retires. This is a solid oolong base. The brewing instructions scared me a bit, as four minutes seemed like a long time. However I followed the brewing instructions. I’m glad I did.

Anyway, the tea. The individual leaves are beautifully rolled, and they opened up and expanded wonderfully. The liquor of the tea is light, honey colored.

The tea is sweet, and I get strong notes of honey. The tamarind is just there, a light tropical note. I assume the honey taste is also a result of the tamarind.

Anyway, this is a great cup of tea. I’m very excited about steeping this a second time. It’s really lovely.

Flavors: Honey, Tropical

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Butiki Teas

The honey is from the tea. The leaves have been bitten by leafhoppers, which creates prominent honey notes. You can also find these same honey notes in Oriental Beauty teas and certain Taiwanese Black teas.

Kat

Oh thanks for the clarification. We discussed it in chat, and I had pretty much reached that conclusion. Anyway, this is a really special tea, then. The base is really exceptional, and I’d love to try it on its own. (Might have to order some more tea).

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75
drank Cream by Adagio Teas
44 tasting notes

I have really come around to Adagio recently. I really appreciate being about to buy very decent teas for a low price which are solid blends and flavors. I used to find their teas a bit astringent, but I’ve really come around to drinking Ceylon teas these days, so I suspect I am finding the flavored tea base much better.

Anyway, this tea is fine. It is very drinkable, but it is also a bit shallow in flavor. The cream flavor is very sweet, which makes a good drinkable tea, but also deadens the complexity of the actual black tea. I am very comfortable serving this tea to non-tea drinkers, though, because it is hard not to tolerate.

However, it makes a cracker jack milk tea, which is how I’m drinking it now. I would say it makes the best tasting milk tea that I can make at home that fits all the perimeters of a good milk tea. (It may be a little better, even than what I can buy outside of my house, but it lacks the ambiance of actually purchasing a milk tea out.)

I make my milk tea by brewing tea with water and then adding milk and steeping a bit longer, which is how it’s made when I order it in Flushing, at least. I feel like I should include that here. It’s also heavily sweetened, because it’s milk tea. I try to use low fat milk, too, which also might account for why I can’t get it just right to my liking. (But I don’t need to be drinking whole fat milk with my tea on a regular basis.) I frothed a bit of milk to pour on top of my tea, too, because I can.

I bought a large bowl shaped mug with Mickey Mouse on it so I could make tea lattes. I like tea lattes, but after drinking them for about a week, I think I like milk tea better. I guess I’m not classy. Anyway, the mug is shockingly lovely. I only paid like 4$ for it at Marshals, and it was the only one they had. But it’s sturdy without being heavy and has really good heat retention. My tea is still hot, even though I used cold milk in it like at least ten minutes ago. I really want another mug like this one, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for something of a similar size and style. I haven’t tried brewing directly in this mug, though, as I’ve been brewing tea in my Nordic mug and transferring. I think this mug is too shallow for any of my non-ball shaped infusers.

But yes, this is a solid showing from Adagio. When my 3oz are out, I won’t rush to buy more, but it’s been really nice to have around, especially since it mixes so well with milk. It’s not half the tea Adagio’s Candy Cane tea is (my new favorite flavored tea at the moment, actually), but it’s not a bad cup by any means.

Flavors: Cake, Cream, Malt, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Eggnog by DAVIDsTEA
44 tasting notes

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