795 Tasting Notes

91

I like that this is orange instead of bergamot. I don’t know why there is even a difference to me (probably because I associate bergamot with cream and vanilla flavors since I love Earl Grey Creams…) but this orange is bright and juicy with its base.

Bergamot screams breakfast to me, and this really seems more of an afternoon tea. Like, instead of having hot tea with lemon an orange slice was used instead. Fitting since I believe that’s the story behind this blend in the first place, haha.

Oh, Dammann. I love your teas – the only thing I don’t love is how all the accents in the names make it really hard to search for you on Steepster. (If anyone has keyboard shortcuts for this, let me know – this feels like a terribly frivolous thing to be picky about).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
JoonSusanna

You seriously must know ALL THE THINGS. This is fabulous!

Sil

I grew up in a French immersion program so we had to use alt codes all the the time heh

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93

This really hit the spot in the early morning. I am glad I chose to forgo any additives because it allowed to experience (and marvel at) the tangy cheesecake and sweet creamy notes. The texture was thick and reminiscent of cheesecake even!

What a fortuitous, and much appreciated steeping. I have a few days off coming up and I need them to fully de-stress from work. This was a great starting point. Upping the rating for it being such a wonderful cup today.

Flavors: Cream

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

Why did I think that this one was a herbal? Maybe the original one was? Huh. Well, regardless I was halfway through steeping it a bit late at night and realized my mistake too late. Luckily caffeine doesn’t affect me that much.

I was not really wowed by this. The pumpkin/squash flavor was weak and the spices (cinnamon, predictably) were more prominent. I like to taste actual pumpkin so that’s the main source of my ambivalence. But I will play around with it – and maybe add some sugar next time to see if that makes a difference.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

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

Nope, never an herbal. The previous version was also an oolong.

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93

WHOA. I had seen the new changes on the site last night but this is my first time logging a tasting note. I repeat: WHOA.

I’ve been here for three years and its the first real layout change I remember so it’s probably going to take a minute for my eyes to adjust, haha. But I do like the streamlined look and the font change. Once I get my bearings a bit more I will be fine.

As for the tea: the dry leaf scent is pleasantly milky caramel – not overwhelming at all. I really like this about Butiki teas in general – all of the scents and flavors seem very natural and balanced.

I used my Vanilla coffee creamer on it since I figured it wouldn’t hurt the flavor (since the tea is so strongly vanilla itself) and I’m getting a sweetened milky caramel tea that is to die for. A nice little afternoon dessert, if I do say so myself.

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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64

SIPDOWN!

Yay! If I can get a few more down I may possibly be able to order some Earl Grey Cheesecake and Peanut butter cup black! I better spend most of my day drinking, which was what I was planning on anyway so yay again!

I remember how bitter this was from last time so I bumped the time down to 3 minutes, which I almost never do with black teas. I also found some of the Nestle Bliss creamer (only sugar and milk and cream as ingredients) so I wanted to give that a try in this to see what happened.

Hmm… By itself the flavor is a bit mellower but still bitter. I also think I’m getting some flavor contamination as I’m picking up some fruity notes which shouldn’t be there :(. Yeah, even at three minutes this is still a blend that requires additives.

So, a splash of creamer it is! This solves the astringency problem well but now I feel like I’ve lost the tea-ness of it. I don’t think there was any winning with this one for me: it’s undrinkable plain and not quite strong enough to hold its own at the minimum steep time. I’m glad I got to try it but I’d much prefer Uptons East Frisian BOP for my breakfast.

On to other teas then!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Jen M

“I spend most of my time drinking” +<3 just for that.

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97

Sooo close to a sipdown. Just one more cup that the boyfriend will likely finish as he likes it too.

Ugh, I can’t believe that this was really the only tea I had during Atlanta’s Frozen Fiasco of 2014. In my defense, I wasn’t really home all that much – duty calls regardless of the weather (and inadequate highway infrastructure) when you’re a nurse. Eh. It’s done now.

I have one more day of work tonight and then I’ve got a few days off to catch up on school and tea drinking. I sooooo can’t wait!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82

This still needed a bit of sugar even at the slightly reduced steeping time. Still a bit astringent, so I imagine next time I’ll go down another 30 seconds and see what happens.

It’s a good breakfast tea, but not as wonderful as the East Frisian that I consider my staple.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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100

Things I’ve discovered about this tea -

1.) It is better as it cools
2.) It tastes horrible in my Klean Kanteen, likely because of the fact it stays hot for so long.

I still prefer it with no sweetener and milk, but I imagine it would be tasty that way. Once you get it at the right temperature, it is lemon and vanilla heaven. I am so glad I splurged for it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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77

So- I only go to Starbucks when I’m meeting this one friend of mine.

She’s a coworker who was my mentor at work for the past year, and it became our thing, monthly ‘mentor’ sessions that turned into ‘vent’ sessions. I remember when I first started working with her that I felt we were such a terrible fit for each other – I couldn’t do anything right and she just seemed so different from me, so loud and outspoken.

Then my first year ended, that whole official mentor relationship ended…and we still do our meetings and just talk.

So I had this tea yesterday and it was good, but I can’t really tell you much about it because I didn’t drink it with the intent of paying attention to it. It was more sweet than spicy, and I have better chai’s in my cupboard at home. But it was tea, on a cold morning, and I’ll take it.

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100
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
795 tasting notes

All my pretty Verdant teas just seem so intimidating to me, sometimes. Or I don’t want to waste them, or something, so I end up hoarding them. Hence why there such big gaps in my tasting notes. I love drinking them and should do so more often. This is my official reminder to myself.

I steeped this western style yesterday (1 tbsp to 8 oz. water), and the rich scent was almost overwhelming. It reminded me of a dark rye bread – grainy with the savory unsweetened cocoa note. This steep is always really strong and it never did tone down into sweetness. That’s what the second steep is for.

Really the second steep has always been my favorite. Thats the one where the chocolate turns sweet and the bread note combines to create brownie in my mouth. I know from experience that I can get more out of the leaves but…this steep is always best.

I suppose if I used less leaf I could probably turn that second steep into the first one, but I do love that savory to sweet transition. It’s like dinner to dessert. All in one cup.

Seriously. I’m going to try that trick where I leave this by my Breville and see if the convenience gets me to drink this more. Because I really, really should.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
teataku

I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to “waste” the teas you have that you think are the best. It’s like, I want to save these for when something special enough to warrant this delicousness happens.

Sil

I do the same thing JOon…but i started to just force myself. No point in not drinking something you love (unless it’s never coming back..curse you anxi fo shou!)

Cavocorax

Joon – I’m totally intimidated by my Verdant teas. Laoshan Black is the only one I’ve gotten comfortable with and that’s only because I had 4 oz of it to play with…

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Profile

Bio

I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

Location

Atlanta, GA

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