116 Tasting Notes

40

Eh. Mostly I’m getting cherry flavored, watery green tea. Not cough syrup cherry, but not real cherry. It’s like the slightly sour sweet cherry topping you get on cheesecake. Sadly, no cheesecake flavor that I can tell. That’s a real disappointment. The tea base itself is very blah. Doesn’t stand out very much.

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This isn’t bad. I’m getting a light coconut flavor in the background (which tastes more like coconut creme pie—artificial coconut flavor—than actual coconut, let’s be honest). At the forefront there’s white chocolate, a creamy, thick flavor that reminds me of chocolate mousse. They work very well with the tea base. I’m tasting more green and white tea than anything else. It’s smooth, the way the flavors meld, though there is a touch of astringency at the end of each sip. (Might have been my fault because I goofed the water temperature.) I’m actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I’m not sure I would buy it again, but I can see myself reaching for it when I’m craving something desserty and can’t bring myself to drink the other teas I’m scrimping and saving.

Thanks for the sample marzipan!

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72

This tea has a very distinct, fresh pumpkin flavor to it. I’m getting the texture of firm fruits that give under your teeth, like peaches, plums, mangos…meaty fruits. The tea base is vegetal and a little bitter, but I intentionally overleaf when I brew. That might have something to do with it. I’ll try brewing with the recommended amount next time. Anyway, I’ve had this tea a few times before sitting down to write, and I haven’t noticed much about it that says “milkshake” to me. I get the pumpkin and a green, vegetal taste that follows soon after, but no milkshake. There’s a slight creaminess after the initial flavors that hit my tongue, but it’s veerrrryy slight. I don’t think anything is wrong with my tastebuds. ): Ah, well.

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92

The dry leaves are gorgeous to look at. I often will pluck a leaf out of the bag and turn it over in my fingers, marveling at the color and the fine golden dust it’s covered with. The color of the tea liquor ranges from a mellow gold to a light amber. It’s definitely malty—but it sits lightly on the tongue. There’s a smooth, silky feel to the tea liquid. Sweetness lies at the end of each sip, like caramel, and lingers soon after. Sort of like a light perfume. It doesn’t coat your tongue, but it definitely builds and leaves this clean, sweet feeling behind. Sooo hard to describe. It’s delicate and complex. I prefer to drink this tea in the evening. It doesn’t really have the punch of a strong black tea I would drink in the morning, or middle of the day. I dare say it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. Later steeps bring out more honeyed, chocolate notes coupled with a full, juicy freshness. Simply lovely. (:

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Malt

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78

This one has a very strong and very distinct toffee-caramel aroma! I was worried for a moment that it would be too strong when brewed. Nope. There is a nice balance between the B/C/T flavor and the mild, but decent base tea. No astringency that I can tell. (I used a 3 minute steep.) Each sip leaves a lingering buttery sweet feeling in my mouth. It’s almost sticky in the way that toffee leaves a stickiness behind. It’s not a very complex tea. Very one-dimensional. But the tea base and flavoring works well together—and it’s enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. (: I might try adding milk to this the next time I brew.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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92
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
116 tasting notes

Absolutely wonderful! The banana and coconut are very light, natural additions to this tea. There’s a slight fruitiness that I attribute to the Assam. (I haven’t had PTA by itself, so I can only guess.) The dry and wet leaves smell SO GOOD. Crazy, dessert-y cake good. The tea base is very mellow, no astringency, which I would have expected from the 4-minute steep time. I’m glad I was wrong. Creaminess creeps in at the end of each sip. The second steep tones down the fruity tropical flavors and brings out buttery caramel toffee goodness. Yeeessss. I’m in love. I’ll need to be careful to ration it out until my next Butiki order. (:

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Got my Butiki order in today! Aaaahhhhh! This one was included as a sample! I was really, really tempted to buy a 1/2 oz of it with the rest of my order BUT, knowing how finicky I can be about white teas, I held off. It was sitting prettily right at the top of the box. When I picked it up I smelled lemon candy and faint sweetness. Brewed up, it smells very similar to the way the dry leaf smells. I definitely agree with other posters—the flavors meld much better at cooler temperatures. The citrus backs off and becomes more soft. It was more tart when hot, but as it cooled I was able to discern more creaminess and pastry-like flavor. Like a very lightly sweetened cookie. Or, like a macaroon. (: I enjoyed my cup tremendously but I don’t think I’ll be getting any more for myself. It has nothing to do with the quality of the blend and everything to do with my dislike of white tea. A little too light for my taste.

Bravo Stacy!

EDIT: Now I find myself craving this tea. Guess it’s going on my next order after all. :P

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92

I received this as a sample from BrewTEAlly Sweet. Oohh my goodness. The dry and wet leaf smell very similar: spicy-sweet, nutty, and bread-like. Like warm pastries, freshly baked bread. The tea gives off a slightly citrusy aroma, which I believe has something to do with the tea base? Hmm. It reminds me of French toast, with its cinnamon and almond flavors. The predominant flavor, however, is bread. Eggy and sweet and delightful. It has a nutty, sugary finish. It’s a light tea despite the 4 minute steep time. No astringency. A good tea for evening time. (:

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Cream, Nuts

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100

I can’t believe I haven’t written a note about this tea yet.

Really, it’s shameful.

This has been a staple in my cupboard since day one. When I started drinking tea I preferred greens and oolongs because I could differentiate between the flavors more easily. I had more experience with hot green tea that I did with black tea. Black tea always tasted the same to me. (How wrong I was!) This was a tea that completely changed my perspective. It changed my expectations of how pure black tea could taste, and how dynamic the range of flavors I could experience actually was.

So, to begin. I always overleaf by half. I use pre-boiling water and start steeping at 45 seconds, increasing by increments of 15 sec. (I also rinse the leaves before starting.) The tea liquor starts at a light amber; the color deepens to a beautiful reddish gold before settling into a yellow gold with later steeps. The smell is so, so lovely. Fruity and light with the suggestion of a darker complexity. Reminds me of olive oil, similar to the way that Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan reminds me of it. (Though not quite so intense.)

Early steeps are lighter and “brighter” with a fruit-like flavor. The end of each sip verges on spicy and chocolatey. Darker flavors counterbalance the light. As I continue steeping, the tea coats my mouth with a delicate sweetness. Later steeps bring out malt chocolate and caramel notes. It becomes smoother, more mellow and less “bright”. Less astringency with every steep—not that there was any to begin with. There is a slight cedary wood taste…it’s very delicate. Spice undertones prevail throughout. There are hints of sweet cream that grow stronger in each infusion. I usually steep about 4-6 times, or until the leaves are exhausted and I feel like I’m drinking hot water.

So good. So, so good. I save this tea for when I want something special. (: I squirrel it away for months because it’s never available for very long. It consistently gives me a beautiful, heavenly brew.

I’ve tried several high-quality straight black teas from other retailers and this is my FAVORITE to date. Hands down.

Bam.

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Cream, Malt, Wood

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I’m thinking that I used water that was too hot—at the forefront of the sip there’s a slightly astringent, bold fruitiness. It mellows out until I’m left with a sweet, smooth, malty caramel coating on my tongue. There’s a light floral undertone beneath the sweet that’s quite nice. I’ll lower my brew temp next time to see if I can lessen the acidity. (:

EDIT: Second steep was MUCH better, with the flavors described above, a bit sweeter, and no astringency/bitterness. This would make a wonderful evening tea!

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I have been drinking tea all of my life, but I have only been drinking loose leaf since 2013. It has been a journey! I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, sweet individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

My cupboard is reflective of the teas I have on-hand. (Though, of course, not quantities.) I’m always up for swaps so if you want to trade teas just send me a message!

I love, love love pure black teas. Definitely my favorite. I also quite enjoy white teas, puerh, and darker/roasted oolongs. Matcha is a secret love that I neglect too often. I try to stay away from flavored teas, but I do enjoy a well crafted blend. I drink dessert teas on occasion—usually when I’m craving something sweet. It’s a mood-driven decision. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, artificially flavored teas, straight greens.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well. It’s basically me saying “I hate it” with varying intensity and inflection.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea
-Butiki Teas

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