129 Tasting Notes

drank Heaven's Trash by Butiki Teas
129 tasting notes

(Brewed to my own specifications.)
2min 30sec

Wow, this is really something lovely. It’s dark and rich while maintaining a lightness in body. It’s malty, but not heavy. Each sip begins with a strong and somewhat bitter cocoa flavor. There are undertones of damp leaves, wet earth, wood. It then smoothly transitions into a springy, plummy fruitiness. There’s something like raisins there. But there’s also tang. Following quickly behind are notes of honey, baked bread, and butter. The flavors are thick and coat the lining of your tongue. After, I notice those flavors receding as floral, somewhat vegetal notes take their place. These I presume come from the Giddapahar. I haven’t tried any of the teas on their own, so it’s difficult to say. A touch of bitterness rests on my tongue, along with nuttiness, and that light floral finish. I’m impressed. It’s been a while since I’ve had a tea so complex. It took a lot of concentration and discernment to be able to pull every flavor apart. I’m out of practice! I would love to have this tea in the morning. After consideration, I believe it would best be saved for slow, reflective mornings…and mornings with someone special. It’s a special tea, for special mornings.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Bitter, Butter, Cocoa, Floral, Honey, Malt, Nutty, Plums, Raisins, Smooth, Tangy, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Wood

Butiki Teas

Awesome, glad you are enjoying it! I came up with this one as a sort of cohesive chaos.

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The tea base has a light hay-like flavor to it. It’s also buttery, and floral-vegetal like only a white tea could be. It actually reminds me a little of honeysuckle flowers. It’s delicate. It’s light. It also manages to be savory, somehow! The irish cream flavor is present as an undercurrent, and only noticed after the initial sip. I feel like I’m tasting the tea more than the flavoring…or rather, the flavoring serves to enhance the same qualities in the tea. The overall effect is one that’s creamy, sweet, buttery, and floral. It doesn’t taste quite like sugar cookies but it’s enough to remind me of them. And call me crazy, but the aftertaste that lingers is one that makes me think of soybeans. Soybeans! Interesting. When I started my cup, I was wholly unimpressed, but the more I sip the more I take a liking to it. The flavors intensify and the aftertaste is lush and lovely.

3min 30sec

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Hay, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Soybean, Sweet

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I accidentally ordered two pouches of this, and I’m glad because it’s darned good! The flavors at the forefront are tangy plum and hints of brandy. It has a distinctly dark “purple” taste that I can’t explain. There is a little bitterness, but rather than detracting from the tea, I think it adds to it by calling to mind the slight bitterness of plum skins when you bite into them. Mmmm. There’s a soft, creamy finish to each sip—THAT’s where the cheesecake really is. It’s more in the mouthfeel than the taste.

Overall it’s sweet, fruity, creamy, and spot-on with the plum flavoring. I’m so glad I put in this order.

Flavors: Brandy, Creamy, Fruity, Plums, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy

4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

Welcome back!


This one was I just wasn’t sure about ordering, but now that I’ve read a few reviews, I’m disappointed in myself for not trying it. Ah well.


I’d be more than happy to send you some! I have more on the way already. Couldn’t help myself. :)


Wow! Two pouches of this and more on the way! You really do like this one. If I try this one, I’ll probably just be disappointed that I didn’t order any, so don’t worry about it. Thanks for the offer, though!

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drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
129 tasting notes

Marco Polo Traveling Tea Box – Tea #2

Very green and very melon. Wow. It tastes like fresh honeydew! Not artificial in the slightest. It’s juicy and lush, with undercurrents that are floral and buttery. (From the oolong base.) I added a fair amount of sugar to make the juiciness of the melon pop. Otherwise, it tasted very green, like it was “underripe”…or like the melon flesh that’s closest to the rind. I bet it would be spectacular as an iced tea.

2min 15sec

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Honeydew, Melon, Vegetal

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Marco Polo Traveling Tea Box – Tea #1

Finally getting around to writing reviews of the teas I sampled! Oh boy. I have some catching up to do. I poofed from Steepster a few months ago, due to many things—the largest reason being that I started smoking cigarettes again and slowly lost my ability to accurately taste. I stopped drinking tea for a while. It seemed such a waste to drink tea when I couldn’t fully appreciate it. Anyway, I kicked the habit, and now I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. Starting with the teas from the last box I participated in…

This is a very unique tea. It opens with a spicy, herbaceous flavor that’s much like eucalyptus and little like sage. It’s refreshing. It’s a taste that’s very “green”, smooth, and a little sweet. The smell of the tea is somewhat acidic—I believe Tea Sipper called it “sour plums”—but it doesn’t translate into the taste as much as the texture. Almost minty, a little drying, but smooth. It’s not overpowering. It’s an undertone. There’s a bit of that acidic quality to the taste, but it reminds me more of bitter nut skins than plums. There’s also a hint of floral here. It’s hard to pick out exactly how or what it reminds me of. This tea is silky in texture, and it’s drying in a way that makes my mouth water. I’m catching hints of dried fruit, wood, nuts, and a slight mineral taste. It gains a lot of sweetness and a creamy, milky finish as you sip. Very strong qi for a black tea. Very enjoyable cup. Not a heavy tea by any means.

First steep: 1min
Second steep: 2min
Third steep: 3min

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Drying, Eucalyptus, Floral, Herbaceous, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood

Cameron B.

Welcome back! :D


Thank you! :D


I love this one

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Rinse: 20sec
First steep: 45sec
Second steep: 50sec
Third steep: 55sec
Fourth steep: 55sec
Fifth steep: 1min 05sec

I wish I could tell you what temperature the water was. I use an Adagio UtiliTEA to heat water and I don’t have a thermometer. I did the touch test for temp: I dipped my finger in and pulled it away quickly. It registered as “hot” for a moment, but not enough to burn. It’s the temp I use for green teas.

1. Herbaceous aroma and taste at the tip of the tongue. There is a slightly tangy flavor that I can’t place as a fruit. Not quite bitter, but tangy. There are woodsy notes too. Like fresh wood and forest. Each sip finishes creamy, sweet, and floral…similar to a tieguanyin. There is a buttery mouthfeel that’s more texture than flavor. It actually reminds me of a very light cheesecake, or whipped topping.

2. Now THIS infusion says “tangy lime” to me! It is slightly tart, with just a touch of bitterness that makes me think of lime zest. There is a spice quality that I can’t put my finger on. Oh, that frustrates me. It’s an herbaceous, plant-like spice that I’ve noticed in other shengs. Particularly Mandala’s Wild Monk. The creamy, floral finish coupled with the tangy lime flavor makes me think of key lime pie! I’m just missing the graham cracker crust.

3. Very similar to the second. Begins with tanginess and bitter lemon/lime zest. A very leafy, plant-like flavor too. I seem to be catching notes of aloe/eucalyptus. It’s a green freshness. Not as potent as the notes I was catching in the Jabber though. I hope I’m not reading it wrong, because eucalyptus is still a flavor that’s new to my palate. Finish is long: floral, cream, dairy.

4. Compared to previous steeps the fourth is soooo smoothed out. There is absolutely no bitterness. The tangy lime/citrus flavor has dissipated as well. It’s sweet, with notes of honey and melon. Unripe melon. Honeydew! There’s a hint of pine. It could be cedar, I admit, but it’s most certainly an evergreen. It feels juicy in a way that makes my mouth water. Again, cream in the finish.

5. This one is floral and fresh, sweet like honeysuckle. The melon flavor is still present—ripe, not unripe. Long finish with butter and cream. Buttery both in taste and texture this time! This steep has notes of hay like a white tea. Not quite grain, but hay, yes. Creaminess that coats your mouth.

Overall an interesting experience. I would like to see how this tea ages with time. I imagine the first few steeps wouldn’t be so rough. I drank this yesterday and threw the leaves into a jar of water to cold-steep overnight. Today it’s very leafy and fresh with faint notes of honeysuckle and cream. I didn’t catch all of the flavors that were described, but then, I don’t know what “camphor” or “oakmoss” taste like. It was definitely very green, as shengs tend to be. There were indefinable undertones of evergreen spice. Flavors that I have a hard time putting into words!

I’m excited to see what other people think of this one. (:

Flavors: Butter, Citrus Zest, Cream, Creamy, Eucalyptus, Floral, Forest Floor, Green, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lime, Melon, Pine, Tangy, Wood


I should have done this one today, but I was in the mood for something different.


Shorter steeps to tame bitterness like 10-15 sec, sometimes shorter

Whispering Pines Tea Company

The evergreen spice you’re getting is oakmoss. :) The variety of oakmoss I’ve drank in the past grew on pine and had a light cooling spice to them as well as sweet pine resin.


I’m so glad you posted… I’ve been so anxious to hear other experiences with steeping this tea!


That was an awesome review kimquat!

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Oh yes.

My tiny, tiny WPT order came in today. This is just what I needed!

I couldn’t tell you what camphor or eucalyptus tastes like, but I can tell you that it’s similar to aloe. Or at least, the way aloe smells. It smells like a pale green plant. Not minty, but it awakens similar taste buds. It’s like a breath of fresh air. A cool mountain breeze, carrying the scent of evergreen trees. I still don’t know what eucalyptus tastes like but I bet it’s delicious. ;) This was the first note I found in this tea. Following closely behind is the deep, rich flavor of dark chocolate. It’s SOOO dark and so robust! Just the way I like it! It intensifies as I keep sipping, and covers my mouth with a dark malty sweetness. Mmmm, cocoa. There is the suggestion of stone fruits in the background. (I recognize this from Ailaoshan Black.) Red fruits. Plums, raisins, maybe cherries. Each sip finishes with honey and thick caramel. It has a pudding-like texture. It coats your whole mouth and leaves you wanting moooore! After, when I exhale, I taste aloe/eucalyptus/freshness. It’s a very “clean” sensation (which is why I likened it to mint).

The second steep is more smooth and mellow. The flavors have melded together a little more and the aloe/eucalyptus has receded. It still has a freshness to it, but it’s not as pervasive. There’s a woodsiness/earthiness to this steep as well. Notes of cocoa still present, and strong. They contribute to the dark forest flavors very well. If I try very hard I can discern a grainy, bready flavor behind everything. It’s not like fresh buttered bread. It’s dry. Fresh, but dry. Maybe toasted wheat bread or bread crust. And omg, pudding mouth. There’s a very creamy, caramelly, custard-like finish! Ahhhh, this is great. I’m so glad I got this before it sold out.

Dang it Brenden. Adding yet another to my cupboard staples.


Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Custard, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Eucalyptus, Honey, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits, Wood


Soooo yummy!!!! And Oh! We both used “pudding mouth” in our reviews!! Great minds think alike :-)


Ohhh yeah! Only because it’s true! Honey mouth, pudding mouth. These should be widely accepted tea terms.

And I got a sample of Arbor Mist in my box today! swoons Does anyone else have this? I think it’ll be my morning tea tomorrow! I’m SO EXCITED


Please do review!!! My order of Arbor Mist is on the way…would love to know what you think :-)


I will. (: I’m probably not going to follow instructions with this tea. I don’t have a lot of experience with shengs; I’m more of a shu girl. With shengs I overleaf, use low temp, and do short steeps. Sort of a western gong fu. We’ll see how this goes. I hope I don’t mess it up because I just have a sample. D:


Yes I agree, I would do short steeps with this one also :-)
(I have a few mao cha that I adore and I always do them gongfu style cause they tend to get bitter otherwise)


I love the Jabberwocky soooo much


My order had shipped MzPriss!!! Jabber will be here soon!!! Twas brillig!!!


BRILLIG!!!!! You NEED a supply of the Jabber. Oh maybe I’ll have that next…

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I’m trying to make room in my cupboard, so I’m going back and drinking down teas that are close to finished! I’d like to make this a Saturday sipdown; I’ve only got one TB of this left. Yeesh, my other note on this is so vague!

Nearly 2TB/10oz
Rinse: 15sec
First steep: 55 seconds
Second steep: 1min 15
Third steep: 1min 40
Fourth steep: 2min 10

(Aroma from the rinse: apple, cinnamon, damp earth, mineral, raisin.)

1. At the front of each sip I’m getting strong mineral notes and a wet, dark earthiness. It’s clean and tastes like spring water. River stones. Rocks. Midway through sipping it takes on a roasted flavor, then notes of cinnamon and cream appear. The finish is smooth and buttery. Silky! It’s not heavy at all. It’s very light on the tongue. Maybe medium-bodied, since I used SO much leaf. As the liquid cools the mineral and earth notes step back. It tastes like lightly buttered, slightly charred cinnamon raisin bread. Very darkly toasted but not quite burnt.

2. There is much less mineral in this cup. It’s slightly earthy with a taste like autumn leaves. The dominant flavors are cream, butter, cinnamon and honey. The roastiness is still present, but it’s toned down a bit as well. The buttery cream taste coats my mouth as I continue sipping. At the bottom of the cup, the lukewarm liquid brings back the mineral/spring water flavors I was getting earlier. Now my tongue is coated with honey sweetness and a touch of malt.

3. Earthiness and mineral notes have all but dissipated. This steep is very soft, creamy, and slightly floral. There is a fruity undertone: it’s like raisins or maybe plums. A little tart. (Just a little.) Finish is long: notes of butter, cream, honey, and flowers. Lingering cream/floral flavor. Cinnamon spice is barely present in the background. Impressions: Dairy. Lightly sweetened whipped cream. Fleece. Light peach/coral color. Greek yogurt. (From the thickness of the dairy flavor.)

4. Stronger honey taste. It’s at the beginning of each sip. Rocky, mineral notes are back but rather than being dark, they’re light and sparkling. Like gray stones splashed with spring water, glistening in the sun. There is honeysuckle and cream at the end of each sip. Honey persists throughout. I think I taste a golden delicious apple somewhere in there…but I can’t tell if I’m imagining it or not. Long finish, again. A lot of dairy. And honeysuckle flowers.

There is a lot more complexity to this tea than I remembered. Holy crap. I’m glad I came back to it. This could be a sign of me getting back into oolongs! GREAT for gong fu, or bastardized western versions of gong fu. (Which is usually what I do.)

Leaves are still going strong…but after drinking this all afternoon, I’m in the mood for something different. I’ll probably throw this into a mason jar in the fridge overnight. We’ll see what happens. (:

Flavors: Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Milk, Mineral, Raisins, Roasted, Toast, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks

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Sipdown! Shared the last of this with a friend of mine. Very delicious, good for at least three steeps. I forgot how BUTTERY and SMOOTH and wonderful this was! The tieguanyin adds the buttery, floral dimension while the yabao lends to the evergreen freshness of the pine and cedar. It’s creamy, spicy, and minty. There are flavors both cool and warm; everything balances quite beautifully. I get a lot of qi from this tea. It makes me feel warm, relaxed, and alert. Very centering. Good for meditation, I’m sure! I upped the rating because it’s quite simply a beautiful tea. I’m very, very sad that this is no longer in my cupboard. As soon as I collect the funds for another HUGE Whispering Pines order I’m going to ask for it to be re-blended! I need more of this in my life.

Flavors: Butter, Cedar, Cinnamon, Creamy, Floral, Mint, Peppercorn, Pine, Roasted, Smooth, Spices, Vanilla

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One of the samples sent to me by Green Terrace Teas!

Steep 1: 2min
Steep 2: 2min 15
Steep 3: 2min 45

Predominantly I’m getting thick, syrupy honey notes. They’re lovely and sweet without being cloying. There is a mild floral flavor in the background, along with some juicy, fruity tones in the foreground. Some people say peach, but to me, it’s apricot. I’m not quite sure how I make the distinction. There is an elusive winey/muscatel note that peeks out every now and then, but refuses to stick around. As soon as I notice it’s gone again! This tea is smooth, smooth, smooth. Like velvet. And creamy, too! Each sip finishes with notes of buttery, lightly toasted bread. Oats. Grain. Mostly fresh bread. Delicious…SO delicious. Butter, bread, and honey are the notes that linger behind after sipping.

The second steep is very similar to the first. Honey and pastry are at the fore, though a slightly floral element remains in the background. The fruit notes have smoothed out some—it seems that they’ve melded with the honey flavor. They’re not immediately evident. I have to look for them, and they’re a bit less tart. No muscatel here either. There is a distinctly caramel-like flavor that appears at the end of each sip. It’s coupled with a thick, creamy, ice-cream like taste. Vanilla custard! That’s it, or similar enough. Mmmm. It’s a little malty and it coats the tongue with sweetness. This cup was strong—much stronger than expected, given that the tea is so light. Well, let me clarify: the flavors found in the tea are light, but the texture and weight of the tea are not. It has me stymied but I LIKE it! I’m not usually a fan of “light” black teas, and the texture makes up for the “lightness” of flavor. These are flavors I find frequently in less oxidized teas.

In the third steep, the flavors mellowed and evened out a bit more. I still have intense honeymouth. It’s good, but not as layered or complex as previous infusions. (That or I’m just too tired to tell.) The leaves could probably be used at least once more. I wish I could continue, but it’s past my bedtime. (:

Marvelous, marvelous tea. I’m so glad I could try it!
I’m ordering this as soon as I get the chance.

Also: 100th TASTING NOTE!

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Caramel, Creamy, Custard, Floral, Grain, Honey, Malt, Oats, Peach, Vanilla


Woohoooo Grats on 100 notes!


Congrats, and lovely review as always :-)


Sounds yummy! Congrats on 100!


Congrats on your 100th review!!


Congrats!! Also you made that tea seem so much more in my book :O I’ll have to try it.


Thanks so much! :D

@Ost, you must. If I order mine before yours I’ll send you a sample!

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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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