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This week has been pretty busy for us. We just got back from vacation mid week which was really a work vacation and will start prepping for another office closure as we will probably be taking off for another 2 weeks in about two weeks but this time for a real vacation. Also, we received in a ton of tea, including many new teas. We are also changing up a few teas. Here is a sneak peek of just a few of the many changes:

Adding: Hattialli Golden Paw (very similar to our Hattialli Golden Lion)

Changing: Irish Cream Cheesecake. Based on the reviews, we are thinking the base is just wrong for the flavoring. We used our everyday Sourenee, which is very good but also very fickle. It can be pretty challenging to get that tea to its sweet spot and it can turn astringent if the water cools too much.

Changing: Sourenee. We are exchanging the current everyday Sourenee for a very high quality limited edition Sourenee.

Adding: Hello Sweetie. It’s coming soon but first we will be doing a promotion with it.

Changing: Da Yu Ling. We moved too slowly on the Da Yu Ling for the winter harvest but the Fu Shou Shan is a fantastic replacement!

Adding: A baked Ali Shan.

Mi Xian: Just a little warning. We are low on Mi Xian right now and will not be able to get more when we run out as it is scarce at the moment.

These are just a few additions and changes. There are many more to come and many more flavors in the works, including the Custom Blend Contest tea which is getting close to finishing the recipe. We will also be removing a few flavors and teas that just aren’t up to the standards of the rest of the teas. I would love to hear any suggestions from anyone who believes there is a tea that should be removed from our collection.

On to the tea! This harvest has a slightly deeper dark chocolate note. There really isn’t much difference from this harvest and the last harvest but the chocolate is stronger and the malt is slightly stronger. There are less stems, which is fantastic! The upgrade version on the other hand has some cherry notes that were not detectable in the previous version.

Courtney

YES Hello Sweetie! And Hattialli Golden Paw. :)

Butiki Teas

Courtney-Glad to hear you are excited about those 2! :)

Roswell Strange

Very excited to be able to try Hello Sweetie!

Courtney

Also the others haha, but especially those two.

Stephanie

Excited about Hello Sweetie too, but also a little sad that the Irish cream cheesecake is changing. It was one of my favorites from my last order! Hope you have a great vacation in a couple of weeks :)

Cavocorax

Hello Sweetie!!!
I have a lot of Butiki teas from the BF sale, and from what I grabbed off other people, but I WILL be buying 2oz+ of that one… And to make the shipping worth it, I guess I’ll have to get some more Caramel Vanilla Assam etc.

Cavocorax

Will you give us all warning on the blends which are being removed? Just in case some of them are near and dear to our hearts?

moraiwe

Oh my! Hello Sweetie and a baked Ali Shan. Be still my heart. :D

TheTeaFairy

Wow, lots of changes, everything sounds really good!

As for the teas that should be removed, the one that comes to mind is apricot Guayusa, never did anything for me, but doesn’t mean it no good, just my own personal taste.

I had stock up on Taiwanese Assam, but now I’m running low…hmmm, for the upgrade, did you really mention cherry notes??? OMG!!! I might be in trouble…

P.S. I won’t wish you a good vacation in february cause I just know it will be awesome :-)

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Hello sweetie!!! Been dying to try that and the hattialli golden paw and Ali Shan!!! I have soooooooooookko much tea from you from BF though!!! So much!!!

JustJames

i need more caramel vanilla….. and i think i have to have a hoard stash of black lotus. i drink it and it makes me poetical— i think that’s a sign, don’t you? and btw, the fact that steepster’s auto correct is not freaking over the word ‘poetical’ is HYSTERICAL! it must be a fan of firefly…..

Butiki Teas

Roswell Strange-Excellent! Glad to hear that you guys are looking forward to that one. It turned out so good!

Stephanie-Well, I hope you like the new version! I’m glad you enjoyed the old version. Thanks for the vacation wishes! :)

Cavocorax-The Hello Sweetie won’t be coming out completely until March, so you have some time. :) We will be giving some warnings when we decide which blends are getting chopped. I’m not quite sure which ones will go. All of the popular, highly rated teas will definitely be staying.

Moraiwe-Glad to hear you are interested in those two :)

TheTeaFairy-And those are just some of the changes. I can think of at least 10 new additions that I didn’t mention, including maybe one of Stephanie’s tea entries. I think you might be right about the Apricot Guayusa. It really has only stayed around as long as it has because a friend of mine requests it. I always make her a pot of it with a cinnamon stick and rock sugar. Oh yeah, I am definitely tasting cherry notes. Well, my February vacation is changing a bit but not sure how yet. Unfortunately, I tore a tendon in my foot pretty badly from ignoring my plantar fascistis and continuing to stay on my feet despite doctor warnings. Not sure how the vacation will change but will definitely be traveling less. Thanks for the vacation wishes, I will definitely have a good time!

Butiki Teas

BrewTEAlly Sweet-Glad to hear you are interested in the Hello Sweetie! A big thanks to James on that one, for letting the tea go wherever it goes.

JustJames-Hahaha, poetical. Love that word. Glad you are a fan of The Black Lotus. I love that one so much! :)

TheTeaFairy

Oh nooo! That’s pretty tragic about your foot, so sorry about that…Hmmm, I understand why it might change your plans a little, that would suck though. I’m sure you will figure figure out something no matter what :-)

It will be hard to resist ordering soon…( keep it quiet, but I’m suppose to be on a tea hiatus)

Butiki Teas

TheTeaFairy-Of course it had to happen now. Doh! I can’t complain though, I have certainly had my fill of fun vacations. I know this will be fun too, even if scaled back. No worries, your secret is safe with me…and the rest of the internet. :D

Sil

Tea fairy… The two assams are totally different teas imo. I prefer the non upgraded version, but the upgraded one is tasty, but just a different tea. If youth in k of it as an upgrade to PTA, it falls short….treat it like a new tea:)

Butiki Teas

Sil-This upgrade harvest is a little bit different though. :)

Chizakura

SO excited for Hello Sweetie! :D When I read the description for it, I positively whimpered that it was a custom blend, haha. Especially since PTA is the base!

So glad that PTA and Upgrade are back in stock. :D I haven’t tried out all the teas I got from my last order from you, but I’m already loading up a cart for another. I miss my two PTAs!

… Just promise me that Foxy Roxy Banana Walnut Treat isn’t going. D: If it were to be discontinued, I think I’d go crazy and buy ALL of it and make it last as long as possible. xD

Chizakura

Will Mi Xian be gone forever? Or just until the next harvest?

TheTeaFairy

For obvious reasons, I also hope you’re not removing Foxy Roxy :-)

Butiki Teas

No worries guys, Foxy Roxy is here to stay!

Chizakura-Glad to hear that Hello Sweetie sounds interesting to you. PTA is my morning tea, I’m glad its back too! I was rationing my tea out for that one.

It’s one of my favorites. At the moment its scarce but hopefully not for too long.

Butiki Teas

I meant to say that Mi Xian is one of my favorites and is scarce, not the PTA. Just wanted to clarify in case that is confusing.

ifjuly

Aw, I seem to have a curse where my favorite Butikis relatively few others dig and they get changed or discontinued! I’m not complaining really, I totally understand, but it’s funny being the odd duck out. I mean this as a compliment, not a complaint, but I love the Irish Cream Cheesecake! I’ve been drinking it as a breakfast tea and loving it that way, where it’s brisk like a breakfast blend but with that treaty reward for getting out of bed, ha. Looking forward to seeing what’s new and excited about Hello Sweetie!

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98

Let’s just get one thing clear here. This will probably not be news to most of you.

Fujian black = OM NOM NOM NOM!!!

That said, let’s move on.

I should do a proper intro first. You see, you may have heard about this here massive order I put in with Le Palais des Thes recently. Massive. Massive, Steepsterites. When the boyfriend came home and saw the opened box, this is what happened.

“That’s for work, right?” says he.

“Um, no…” says I.

I was being Looked At

“What?” says I, somewhat defensively.

“That’s enough tea for an army!” says he.

innocent look says I.

That was when I decided to not tell him about this order, although it’s much more reasonable in size with only three different teas. And yes, the LPdT one did get slightly out of hand. Slightly.

So the TeaVivre order arrived today. I have tinned it and hidden as much of the evidence as I could in my own room. I recently rearranged the Tea Corner slightly, so I’m counting on him not noticing the three extra tins that have appeared.

If he sees them, he’ll mock me for weeks.

So that’s the current status in my house. Yup. Sneaky tea. At least I don’t have to hide it in a desk drawer like I do with chocolate when I get cravings after having told him to help me cut down on snacking and sweets.

Now, tying it all back to the very beginning of the post, anybody who has known me for a while will know that when it comes socks-in-orbit-awesome, nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, surpasses Tan Yang in my opinion. I love all Fujian blacks, I’ve never met one in recent history that I didn’t, but Tan Yang is the very definition of tea perfection for me. Bai Lin came close, but not quite there. A little less wild, a little more well behaved. I love the wacky feel to Tan Yang that I get some times, when it seems to display multiple personalities between steeps, and often between sips if brewed Just So.

I have to say that the first sip of this one had me eyeing the cup suspiciously. I have, it appears, been drinking the wrong Bai Lin. This one hits almost all the markers that I love about Tan Yang. The only one missing the wacky feeling, but I can’t tell that from just one cup anyway. It might be there.

There’s nothing well behaved about this. It’s loud and self assured. It marches into the room shouting, “BAI LIN IS HERE! HI FANS!” It’s not at all subtle, but it seduces me all the same.

But I expect you lot wants to know about my experience in more descriptive terms as well. The aroma is malty sweet and a bit grainy. I got a whiff of caramel, but only because the flavour told me to look for it. You see, this has a pretty good caramel-y note. It’s mostly in the aftertaste and it reminds me of the dulche de leche (an expensive and rare luxury) I had on toast for breakfast this morning. The body of the sip is all long and grainy and dark, but at the very front was where I found the real surprise. Sort of prickly, kinda floral and kinda almost pseudo-smoky! More floral than smoky, but it was definitely pointing vaguely in that direction.

And that, I expect, is what broke the Good Boy image for this one. That’s the sort of thing I expect from Keemuns and Tan Yang. This tea definitely feels male to me, which is peculiar, because all other Bai Lins I’ve had struck me as rather more female tasting.

(Yes, flavours occasionally have genders. They sometimes have colours too.)

Tina S.

OMG I loved the sneaking tea story! My friends and family are attempting to tea-intervention me soon so I totally get it!

kOmpir

Good stuff, in terms of black tea it comes second just after Jin Jun Mei for me (haven’t tried Tan Yang yet).

ashmanra

Barley tastes purple. I love how our dirty little secrets are tea orders and we hide tea the way some people hide booze. LOL! Lately I have taken to loudly announcing that I have to order tea for my son, or for my daughter, and they are paying us back. No need to mention that there are several tins for me included in that order, right? :)

LadyLondonderry

I have the mailroom guys at work making comments like, “So, you haven’t ordered any tea in a while …” For some reason they find it hugely amusing that I get tea shipped to me.

CHAroma

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post get 37 likes before, but this one definitely deserves it! I laughed out loud at your story. I could totally see you surrounded by tea packets and your boyfriend walking in the room, stopping, and staring like you’d gone mad. Hahahahaahhaa!! Priceless! What a wonderful tea story, and I think all us tea fanatics can relate in one way or another.

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97
drank Black Currant Bai Mu Dan by 52teas
1192 tasting notes

This would be the first cup of the return of an old favourite recently returned to my collection backlog.

And actually, slightly unfair to the tea because it’s a really good tea, today it’s just a decoy cup.

See, something interesting happened to me this afternoon, involving me getting proposed to.

If you can guess what I answered, you win a cookie.

(Edit: Oh my goshy-wosh, this is still every bit as excellent as I remembered!)

JacquelineM

I hope I am the first to give you and your husband-to-be (do I win the cookie?! Of course I win the cookie!!!) the very best wishes!!!!

Angrboda

Apart from our parents, yes. :)

Alana237

Congratulations!!! Best wishes!

teawing

Congrats!

LadyLondonderry

Ooh, I’m happy for you!! Best wishes to you and the groom-to-be!

JoonSusanna

Congratulations!!!!

Carolyn

Congratulations!

Stephanie

Congratulations!! :)

Angrboda

Thanks everybody. :D

gmathis

Proposals always make me think of the sage advice my mom gave me when we broke the news to her (and no, I’m not making this up): “Just remember, you’ll be washing this man’s dirty underwear for the rest of your life.”

Here’s to happy boxers, briefs, and other unmentionables. Be blessed!

Angrboda

Ha, actually his underwear goes in the kind of loads that he usually washes. :D I get to wash his handkerchiefs, though…

Cattibrie

Congrats. We want details on how he did it though. You can’t just tell us you were proposed to and not tell us how. LOL

Angrboda

Well, he said, “will you marry me?” and whipped out this ring: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/hUyvZSFX3Kt1Pi3cbvN89Tt0rtk7VScRcTAqR2hWR8Q?feat=directlink
I said, “yes.”
And then after a little while he said, “I can’t believe you said yes so quickly! Are you sure you don’t want to think it over?”
So I offered to take it back and think about it if he would like, but he said that was against the rules.
All in all very straightforward without a lot of romantic nonsense and what not involved which is how I prefer it, as all that stuff with hearts and roses and whatnot mostly tend to make me a little uncomfortable.

And also, FYI, that’s just a place holder! If you consequently answer ‘a pony’ to all questions about whether you need something from the supermarket, apparently you get one of those. :p
The real ring will follow. We are going to go look at some next week and then I get to choose my own.

SimplyJenW

Congratulations! I actully love the pony ring. I know you will cherish that one, too, even when it is replaced with a real one.

TeaEqualsBliss

Congrats!!!!

Cattibrie

The pony ring is too cute. Did you ever watch Gilmore Girls? It reminds me of that. One guy proposes to his girlfriend with an Elk’s Lodge ring from the pawn shop and after he gets approval from her mother and asks her again the mother says “Here is your grandmother’s ring. That one you put in drawer so it doesn’t scare the children”.

52teas

Congrats! And I’m glad you’re still enjoying this tea. It’s still one of my personal favorites.

ssajami

Congratulations! The pony ring looks perfect.

DaisyChubb

Oh my gooooosh!
Congrats so much! That pony ring is amazing, what an amazing time for the both of you! Many years of happiness!!

ashmanra

AAWWWW! If he gave you that pony ring, then he is a great guy! Many happy years to you…we are about to celebrate 25!

Tamm

:O Congrats!!! I bet you’re super excited!

QuiltGuppy

Congratulations!!! :D

Angrboda

Thank you again, everybody!

teamax

Congratulations!

Megs

Aw congratulations! Here’s to many many more happy years. :-)

Winter Salo

Congratulations – that’s wonderful news. :)

Indigobloom

Awwww yay! Muchos congrats!!!!

Jason

Congrats! Best wishes for many happy days to come!

Angrboda

Thanks again, everybody. :)

Kashyap

very awesome..my best to your future and your present may one inform the other and both wedded in growing laughter, love, and connection….

CHAroma

Wow, so exciting!!! Best wishes!!!

wombatgirl

I saw this elsewhere and was running out the door so I didn’t get a chance to offer congratualtions. I’m thrilled for you two.

Kittenna

D’awwwww :) Every time I navigate to this page I read your post and feel all mushy because it’s sweet and makes me smile.

Angrboda

Thank you Krystaleyn. :) Little over two months left now. :)

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79
drank Turkish Tea by Unknown
1192 tasting notes

Gather round, Steepsterites, because I am going to have probably one of the most interesting teas of a long time now.

I have a colleague, a turkish girl, and she asked me, “Have you ever had Turkish tea?”
I told her I had once. I’ve never been to Turkey, but I’ve studied with a turkish girl and once when we were writing a paper to do with some questionnaires she had asked her uncle to take a stack with him to the mosque next time he went. He invited us for tea, so she could explain to him what the questionnaires were about. Her aunt made traditional turkish tea for us.
Then we talked about about how to brew it and my colleague told me that while they do drink a lot of that apple tea, they also drink a lot of plain black tea, taken with sugar. They brew it so strong that it’s nearly undrinkable without sugar, and my colleague gave me this that she had and never drank at home and explained to me how to brew it like a turkish person would. Of course I didn’t write it down at the time, thinking it was easy enough to remember, but when I came home I still had to google it. I found this site (http://turkish-food.suite101.com/article.cfm/turkish_tea) which has guidelines for brewing. It rang a bell, so I feel pretty confident that this is also how my colleague told me to do.

_QUOTE
1. Prepare a small teapot by adding about one heaping teaspoon of good, black tea (Keemun, Assam, Russian Caravan, English Breakfast all work well) per cup.
2. Boil about 1 cup of water per cup of tea (either in a samovar – or on a stove top).
3. Pour HALF of the steaming water into the teapot and let it steep for at least 15 minutes, keeping both the teapot and the remaining water piping hot. (Without a samovar, you can accomplish this with a good tea cozy for the pot and a very low flame for the water. (I almost hate to admit it, but a microwave works pretty well, too, for keeping the water very hot…. but I “didn’t say that…”).
4. Pour the tea into a small glass cup, about halfway up, and add the water to fill the remainder. Add sugar to taste – BUT NEVER MILK OR HONEY.

Read more at Suite101: Turkish Tea: Brewing and Drinking Tea in Turkey http://turkish-food.suite101.com/article.cfm/turkish_tea#ixzz0chWxExdO
END QUOTE_

So now I’m wondering what sort of leaves she has actually given me. They don’t have a very strong aroma. Ever so slightly smoky-ish is about the only characteristic I can pick up. It’s a quite large leaf size for a black though. Since my colleague actually travels to visit her husband’s family in Turkey at least once a year, I wonder if I could be so lucky that it was actually a tea produced in Turkey. Think about it, it’s not that unlikely. It would be cool if it was. I may have to interrogate her some on this matter. She gave me a relatively small amount. Big for a sample, but small for an amount to have lying around when one never takes tea. I’m not sure if that was what she meant but it did sound like, if I liked it, she had more that I could have. Anyway, the leaves look a bit faded in colour, so they’re probably getting a bit on in age. With this method of brewing, though, I can’t imagine it would spell disaster.

Five minutes still to go of this extremely long steep!

Okay, ready for the next step! Obviously, I don’t own the proper tulip-shaped tea glasses, so my cup with the farm animals on it will have to do. I tried a sip of the tea before adding more water to the cup. It had a nice reddish amberish colour and while it did have a strong flavour, it wasn’t undrinkably strong. Not at the one small sip, anyway. Quite astringent, but it didn’t taste bitter or oversteeped.

After adding water the taste was a little less astringent, but still not undrinkably strong. I was expecting something almost tar-like here and I’m actually wondering if I didn’t add enough leaf. I think I was supposed to have made it with another spoonful.

I feel pretty certain that I could easily have taken it without a grain of sugar and enjoyed it, but I’m trying to be authentic here. I did wonder about whether the type of sugar used was important since the instructions said to not use milk or honey. I’ve decided they probably would have said if it was, so I used cane sugar.

The aroma is very similar to the dry leaf. Not as smokey, though, which I think must be because of the sugar in it.

It’s definitely sweet to the taste. If you want a dessert tea, forget about any odd additives and flavouring, because this is a dessert in a cup. I can’t really pick up anything underneath the sweetness though. It’s a flavour where you’re aware that there is tea there, but apart from a light astringency, I can’t really tell you anything about it. I know it’s odd to my colleague that I can drink tea at all without sugar in it, so it’s supposed to be very sweet, but the unobtrusiveness and the lack of strongness of the black tea, only strengthens my belief that I should have used a spoonful more leaves.

Still, I used a third more leaf than usual (should probably have been double) and I steeped it for a quarter of an hour. I’m shocked that it didn’t turn out stronger! I’ll have to try again though, but for now… I don’t know if I’m really a big fan of tea turkish style, but I think I might rather like it as a rare treat rather than a regular occurence.

eta: why is it the quoted bit refuses to be in italics? What am I doing wrong? squints at it

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Heyes

Thanks for taking one for the team.

Angrboda

Hey, it was fun. :)

Cofftea

There was a lot of good stuff in this review! I’ll have to come back to it later and read it a 2nd time to let it all sink in. I wonder what she’d think of UTI’s turkish apple?

Angrboda

She doesn’t really drink tea much at all, so she probably wouldn’t be particularly interested. I gather it’s mostly something she drinks when they’re visiting or when they have guests in a more formal sort of way.

teaplz

Super-interesting! I love how it’s so super-concentrated that you need sugar!

Angrboda

It worked a lot better on the second cup, but then that one had had a half hour steep. :p

Cofftea

This is where the making 2 teas at once would come in handy. I can’t wait that long between infusions lol.

Angrboda

The second one had steeped longer because of the way I brew. I always have the leaves loose in the pot, so when I don’t drain it completely, there will be some stewing while I’m drinking the first cup.

Cofftea

Gotcha. I do that too, but I have a reverse french press so there isn’t any left. I do have a problem getting my pot from Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden to drain completely though.

takgoti

Huh. This sounds incredibly interesting. I’ll try this sometime when I’m feeling brave.

Also, I’m unsure on the italics, but perhaps try removing the colon? Or maybe the URL is throwing it off. Just thoughts.

Angrboda

You should, it would be fun to see what you think. :) I’ll have to find out what sort of tea this is, since it would be so cool if it was turkish grown, but since you can use any good black, there’s lots of room for experimentation. :)

Cofftea

Yes! Suggest a good Turkish tea for us:)

Angrboda

According to the website I quoted above, Turkey grow tea in the Black Sea regions, but the production is all for the home market. So you would probably have to go there to get some.

Ricky

We’ve been gathered! =], I LOLed at the end. I stupidly put my face close to the screen and started staring or maybe squinting at the words squints at it OH, I think I was thinking it was a command. Sort of like, come closer so I can finish the story. =P

Angrboda

Ricky, LOL! No, I put it in *s because that’s how I’ve always been used to denoting an action. It disturbs me a bit that that’s also how I make it bold here. I suppose I should try to get used to using ::s at Steepster, but it just looks wrong to me. I like the *s better. (And it’s probably going to make a large portion of this comment bold now too)

And yes, you have indeed been gathered. :D I don’t recall any of my posts ever having been this popular before. O.o

takgoti

Speaking of which, I meant to click the heart. Today is not a good brain day for me.

Angrboda

Bad brain days suck. I hadn’t even noticed you hadn’t clicked it the first time you were here. :)

Jillian

That sounds really neat. My friend’s boyfriend is from Iran and that’s how they drink their tea there aswell.

Angrboda

It’s probably a general middle eastern thing, then. I had a colleague from Iran, who said that the next time she went to Iran, she would get me some Iranian grown tea. Unfortunately she was in a temporary position and left before she had the opportunity to do so. But then again I’ve since read somewhere or other that the iranian grown tea has a little trouble measuring up to the quality we’re used to from India, Sri Lanka and China.

sophistre

Interesting! Why did my updates not clue me in about this? It sounds fun. This is going on the To-Do list!

Angrboda

It was definitely fun to try. I’m not done experimenting with this method of brewing by far, but I’ve decided that it would be awesome to have a real samovar in my living room. :D The brewing method after all is pretty similar so far as I can tell. A real old-fashioned russian one, that would be so cool. But I’ll have to keep dreaming. :)

sophistre

They’re very pretty. I was in NYC recently to visit friends and went to the Russian Tea Room, and the ones they had displayed were gorgeous…I was sort of disappointed that they didn’t actually have any samovars in use, as I’ve only ever seen them from afar.

Angrboda

I only googled briefly and apparently you can get some electric ones that have that oldfashioned look, but you would have to shell out some 2-400 dollars for it. I tell myself they probably use a dreadful amount of energy anyway. ;)

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100

First tasting note
It is an odd occasion that this tea information was posted today May 23, 2012 and the tea arrived at my home today also, and today is my Birthday “64”! It was meant to be.

With the rain pouring down outside and a day that was going to be spent alone with no plans, the arrival of my Verdant tea was extra joyful. David (the owner of Verdant) put a little something extra inside my shipment besides the regular sample for me to try which brought a tear to my eye. The kindness of strangers as they say. More and more the people I encounter on Steepster, and several tea providers, are less like strangers and are individuals that I care about. Thank you!

I was determined NOT to do a complicated long review of this tea.
I followed the instructions on the Verdant site for Western Style preparation because it was later in the day when my tea arrived. Using Spring water I could count on a great pot of tea.

My first flavor impression was Chocolate. A big, then bigger, then huge mouthful of chocolate at first… followed by what I imagined was pecan pound cake. (Now I think the cake was not made with wheat flour but potato. I know…that sounds crazy.) The tea wasn’t vanilla, yam, cinnamon or malty tasting like so many other popular black tea’s. This was fruity (but not discernable as to what fruit) and clean. I hunted for some acid or tannin…but couldn’t find any. The smoothness was creamy and rich. The difference between this black tea and others was…well…this was like an expensive satin covered down comforter and the others are wool blankets, rough and kind of thin. Everything in a cup like liquid, shimmering amber gold.

I let the tea cool down. It was so good plain. Straight up it was sweet, genteel and smooth with NO acid at all! The finish was creamy and I am in love with it!

I love this tea! I really am amazed! This is the first Black Tea of any kind that I can and would drink straight up without sugar or cream always! I love the Laoshan Black but I think it’s a tie here. This is so mellow!

Second Steep Still amazing! I forgot to say that when I stuck my nose way down into the cup I was reminded of the fruity scent of wine inside the barrels at Fortino’s Winery where I worked one Summer but without sourness and just the sweet dry wine. The wine produced in that area of California was like liquid sunshine. Ripe sunkissed berries. That’s the fruit somewhere in the scent.
The flavor of this tea has no sourness either, but now I taste that distant berry. I feel the cedar and pepper on the front of my tongue but not at the finish so the smoothness is still good. Chocolate delight. Naked!
Third Steeping I’m not going into the flavor that much. I has all the same qualities that it had before. Such a strong leaf! What I have found at this point is another dimension. One that I stumbled upon because I had an Artist friend that cooked a fantastic dinner served outdoors in the evening served by candlelight. The end of the meal was followed by fine cigars and an aged, expensive Port. Here’s the part I want to share. This tea has the essense of fine cigars and port about it. A taste, scent…something.
There I’ve done it. I can’t explain why. See for yourself. I’m putting it out for you to tell me if I’m right or wrong! Because of this brilliance, I’ve upped the rating! I could not help myself!

TeaBrat

Congrats! I find that Chinese black teas are also easier to drink plain.

Indigobloom

Happy Birthday Bonnie!!!! XXO

Bonnie

Thank you!

Azzrian

Hope your bday was the best! :)

Geoffrey

Happy Birthday, Bonnie!

Bonnie

Just saw Steven Tyler and Arrowsmith…he’s my age…and he’s nut’s! I guess I can be nut’s too! Thanks for the Happy B’s! Tea for everyone!

Ninavampi

Happy Birthday!!!! I hope you had an amazing day! :)

Michelle

Happy Birthday!

Bonnie

Well if everyone was here we’d go beer tasting…I mean…tea tasting and such!

Kittenna

Happy birthday! Glad you could celebrate with such a delicious tea :D

Alphakitty

Happy Birthday! This seems like a great tea to celebrate with~

Joshua Smith

Wow. this sounds really good! I’m suddenly really excited to go to work today, to try it out!

ScottTeaMan

Happy Birthday Bonnie! A really good tea helps make Birthdays more special IMHO. :))

Spoonvonstup

Happy birthday! What a great package to receive. I’m looking forward to getting to know this Lady Zhurong tea better. Thank you for the exciting tasting note!

David Duckler

I am so honored that these teas got to share your birthday with you, and happy that they made fine companions. Your tasting note for the Zhu Rong is leagues better than my own tasting notes. It inspires me to go back and try the tea specifically with your thoughts in mind. Being a dark rainy day here in Minneapolis, perhaps I will do so. We are lucky to get to share in your well-written and thoughtful experiences here on Steepster.

Dinosara

Happy Birthday!!

Bonnie

Oh my! I am truly humbled by such words! My heart is so full the tears …ah …time for tea! I’ll go all grandma on you and blubber! Thank you! Come for tea!

Geoffrey

Ah ha! Fine cigars and port… yes. That’s what that is. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now it’s clear. Must go back a try this again. Thanks Bonne.

Angrboda

Happy belated birthday. :)

Ze_Teamaker

I must agree that this tea is AWESOME!!! It is like drinking dessert…

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Today was not a very good day. I’m very physically and mentally exhausted and the weather has been so cold and dreary. My arthritis has been acting up and I think driving today seeing the damage in my neighborhood has dragged my mood down a bit. Tonight I went to a viewing of an old best friend. It was very tough. Even though I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, I feel like a chapter of my life has closed and I feel like I had missed out by not reconnecting.

I just needed something to cheer me up and help wake me up so I can catch up on some work. This is definitely my cheer me up guayusa. The smell and the taste of the lemon, creaminess, and earthiness make me smile and the caffeine is helping me make it through this long day and get some work in. Think its time for another cup of Helena’s guayusa.

Sil

Lol yes “Helena’s” tea :) that made me smile a lot after hearing about your crappy day. I’m so sorry to hear that things have been a bit of a struggle today. I can’t imagine what it must like to be around the destruction from the storm and a viewing on top of that. A least, there is still some comfort to be found in tea. hug

Butiki Teas

I totally think of this guayusa as “Helena’s guayusa”. Might as well be called, “Good Morning Sunshine, Helena”. There was some novelty to the destruction at first. It was interesting to see things, such as this wooded area that the trees are now leaning all in one direction and about 10% of the trees had fallen and seeing these massive trees completely uprooted and knocked into things. Now its kinda settling in a bit as reality and how lucky we are. The viewing was tough and there were a lot of unresolved issues but I like to think about all good times and positive things. Tea can be very comforting. Thanks, I can use the hugs. :)

Bonnie

You could use Helena’s 100%! I’m sorry for your physical and emotional pain my friend! Memory Eternal for the old best friend. We all have those people who we have let drift a bit. I’ve often thought the only people who would know I’m gone are Steepster’s. So strange. If you ever need a break you are welcome here!

Hesper June

I am sorry for your grey day.
I hope tomorrow brings more sunshine in your cup as well as in the sky.

Terri HarpLady

A big hug for you, Stacey.

Michelle

Feel better, dear <3

Butiki Teas

Thanks guys. hugs for all you for being sweet.

Geoffrey Norman

Sorry to hear it was a tough day, but kudos on the guayusa. Unlike yerba mate, I think it blends with things very well.

Fjellrev

Oh no, I am so incredibly sorry. :(

Nik

It’s a new day! Good morning to you, and here’s hoping it’s a much better one than yesterday. I’m sorry for your loss—unresolved stuff sucks. I admire your focus on the positive! Sending you good vibes and keeping you in my thoughts.

gmathis

What a tough day! May there be sunshine inside and out for you today.

Helena

A tough day, and of course the only cure is Good Morning Sunshine!

Azzrian

Wish I could give ya a hug. :(

Butiki Teas

Definitely feeling much better today. There is some sun here and things are looking up. Thanks for all the kind words. :)

Guayusa definitely seems to work great as a base.

Charles Thomas Draper

Yes, I agree it’s been tough in NJ lately. Very

Lynne-tea

So very sorry to hear this! Sending positive thoughts your way. I hope the clouds open up and you get some sunshine… and I’m not just talking about the weather =)

TheTeaFairy

Big big hugs Stacy… know that your tea cheers me up on a daily basis… Since you’re «the creator» I’m glad it can return the favor to you by giving you comfort :-)

Butiki Teas

I just wanted to say thanks for the comments everyone, they really did cheer me up. :)

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100

Thank you David Duckler for this great Sample!

Attempting to review this Pu’er is like me auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance”!

All the equipment I used was glass…pot, cup etc. I used spring water, made sure not to eat first, no perfumes or lipstick, just everything clean! Steeping time 2-3 minutes.
I recorded 3 infusions but this 1 tsp to 4oz water method can go 12 infusions (gulp)!

The Pu’er is so intense that I felt like I was in an old movie and this is how I am going to discribe the experience, in scenes.
The color of the Pu’er liquor remained a beautiful shimmering light gold.

Scene (steep) 1. If you picture an old movie set…a cloak and dagger type by Agatha Christy then I’m the old lady in the library and a gentleman (David Duckler) has handed me a glass with a golden liquid. He disappears.
Unaffraid (or stupid) I take a sip of the liquid…it reminds me of linen…and my grandmama’s attic long ago…when I would sneak vanilla wafers. I can smell the vanilla far off down in the kitchen. My tongue tingles. My tongue feels quite furry and I taste earthiness with the sensation that I’m about to be buried in a cave. I feel different. Is the golden statue in the corner of the room watching me?

Scene 2. The earthy flavor makes me feel like a Greek goddess…yes…like I have taken a big bite out of Corfu! Corfu tastes really good, not muddy whatever and salty! Wait now, put your nose in the cup and there’s coffee toffee latte! BREATHE DEEPLY! INHALE!
I need my fan! I need my lounge chair and a nap! My mouth is tingling and juicy and where is everyone? This is not natural! The room is askew!

Scene 3. Must have dozed off. My cup refilled itself…peculiar. A hand, leather gloved and looking like Geoffrey’s hand, has slipped some more golden liquor into my glass. It smells faintly like a fruit…pineapple? A flower perhaps? My tongue tingles like fire and then turns into a silky creaminess. NO! It almost tastes like coconut water and earth.
My desire to be or do anything else has disappeared like a vapor.
Have I been drugged? The elixer is too enjoyable to resist.
Where is David Duckler and Geoffrey to tell me what to do next. I must have more!

This was all in fun…I loved this Pu’er! I hope you don’t mind my playful attitude!

To Sum it up:
Sweet, Tingles, Salt, Linen, Earthy, Pineapple, Creamy/Silky, Vanilla Cookie, Coffee Toffee Latte, Coconut Water, Some Flower, Furry, Cave, Higher than a Kite!

I give this Pu’er…a standing ovation. It is fantastic and mystical. Thank you to David for the opportunity to drink this Pu’er!
http://youtu.be/21NCH2sPlhc You’ll never guess!

Geoffrey

awesome.

Bonnie

Glad you’re not mad!

Azzrian

AWESOME review! Just amazing! :)

ashmanra

Now I want to listen to “The Friends of Mr. Cairo” by Jon and Vangelis. Geat review!

Autumn Hearth

Wonderful! I need a second session with this tea before I review it. I had it after Two Elephants Tea Trail, which was a lot more intense. After the first three infusions I just didn’t feel like I could listen closely enough, though I could tell it was really lovely.

David Duckler

Perfect review for a tea like this. I have never had this with friends without the conversation immediately moving towards the fantastic the surreal and the realm of memory. There is a realm of tea that is only accesible through those darker and more obscured channels, the realm of tea that can be profoundly moving. This one belongs squarely in that realm. (Also- I am happy to play the gentleman in this scene)

Your steeping is right in line with Xingyang Workshops recommendations. The tea is a totally different experience worth trying at some point done in a gaiwan or yixing with shorter 5-10 second infusions, limiting to 4-5 ounces of water. Not as rich and grounded, but more lunar and sparkling.

Bonnie

Thank you! I almost trashed this review fearing that I would offend the purist tea lovers! Something about this Pu’er takes you over though. I will try the other method…maybe not by myself!

Bonnie

Yes I fixed something here and I didn’t think it was going to put it up at the top, but it did. Crying out loud! I thought the boys in the think tank fixed this.

Claire

My first time seeing this, I LOVE this review Bonnie!

Terri HarpLady

It really is an awesome tea, and now I wish I’d bought (even) more of it. This is a tea I want to drink for years!

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98
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
158 tasting notes

Yay! I’m in New York! After the horrible hurricane my flight got cancelled. I was comming because I had been invited to the marathon race directors program and was super excited…. Eventually thing worked out, flights started leaving again. I finally got to New York, only to find out that the racewas cancelled the next day. I am really sorry for all the people that were affected by the hurricane, I hope that everyone is OK! But I am also really sad for all of the runners who worked really hard to be able to run the race and payed to get to NYConly to find out the race was cancelled 2 days before the race….

On a positive note, I made it into my first David’s Tea shop!!! I had to really control myself and be frugal… Or as frugal as you can possibly be when you love tea and walk into a David’s Tea Shop!!! After I finally picked out my tea, I got a free cup of this. Oh my WOW vanilla and smooth sweetness. I have never had anything like this. It is by far the most enchanting and well achieved flavored vanilla oolong I have ever had.

I didn’t get to go through the entire brewing process on my own, since it was made for me in a paper cup, but I think that I managed to pull out the little Baggie in time for it to not oversteep. The little bit of scent that made it through the opening in the lid was incredible. Pure vanilla with a hint of oolong to remind you that you aren’t drinking vanilla extract, but true delicious tea!

Each sip was increasingly smooth and the vanilla wrapped around me in the cold of the wind on NYC in November. I was in tea heaven… The vanilla was a vanilla bean ice cream sort of vanilla. The kind that promises to be sweet, smooth and provide instant smiles.

All in all my trip to NYC, while not productive, has been great fun and great for Christmas shopping. I will surely enjoy my last day here!!!

Also, I have to share this, I bought a BREVILLE ONE TOUCH!!! I did it! I gave in and bought the last one they had at William Sonoma!!! I even got 10% discount on it since it was on display! I can’t wait to go home and try it! I will take it with me carry on… Wish me luck with the trip and it getting through security! I would be devasted if it didn’t!

ashmanra

How exciting! I am sorry your plans went awry, but to get to go in a DAVIDs Tea! You make this tea sound mouth wateringly good.

Mrnixonpants

Congrats on the Breville you are gonna love it!!

Ysaurella

enjoy your journey in NYC Ninavampi, but it seems your wallet will remember it ;)

Nik

Congratulations on your Breville purchase, and on your first visit to DT. How exciting! =) If it weren’t such rotten timing, what with Sandy and all, it would be great fun to gather the few of us regulars who live in the area and have a little tea party. Maybe you’ll get invited to the marathon directors’ programme again next year and we can plan something then?

Enjoy the rest of your stay, and have a safe and pleasant journey home. =)

LiberTEAS

Hurray for the Breville! You’re going to love it!

Amariel

I can’t wait to try this one…I smelled it on Halloween, just before it was released, and I haven’t had a day off to go and try it since. Soon though, soon…

Ninavampi

I just landed back in Ecuador with my BREVILLE in one piece and through customs!!! Waiting to go to my city, currently it is pouring rain… Fingers crossed that I will make it today!! Can’t wait to sleep in my own bed, sip my tea and cuddle with hubby and dog!!!

And yes… My wallet will remember this trip well, but it is for the best!

Amariel

I got some today…made it to the store after work, just before closing. All I can say is <3!!!

TheTeaFairy

Bummer about the situation but Yay for shopping in new-york!

mynameismoe

yay for the breville one touch! i’m buying one tonight, as long as there’s still some in stock. i’m so grabby hands for it!! i can’t WAIT!

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67

I hated matcha the first time I tried it. It was uber BITTER, foul, and disgusting. I couldn’t even bring myself to rate it because I didn’t want to do that to 52 Teas.

I’d been thinking about the matcha since then. I was sad I didn’t like it at all. I had wanted to like it. I’d even thought about trying it again on a few days but pushed it off when the time came. Finally, yesterday evening I gave it another go.

I followed Cofftea’s recommendation using a very rough conversation from weight to volume. I figured it would at least be a place to start. All was pretty much the same as far as smells and looks until my first sip. ??? Was this the same tea I used the first time? I CANNOT believe the difference in taste using 1/4 the amount of matcha and nearly double the amount of water. I had thought no matter what I did it would still be horribly bitter.

The Strawberry Matcha was smooth, light, definitely green, and strawberry. Like “Hey! I’m GREEN! You want to make something of it?”. Unlike the smell, the strawberry wasn’t kiddie breakfast cereal marshmallows. It was distinctively strawberry and I could noticeably taste it. Last time, I could barely tell it was there. It was a little weak and there was lots of matcha sediment towards the bottom so maybe I need to whisk it more or perhaps use a bit more matcha. I have rated it but I suspect the rating will go up as I refine how I like it.

So complete 180. Matcha is good!

1/4 tsp in 8 oz water.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
Cofftea

On one hand I think I need to just stop reading these cuz I’m so upset mine still is not here- but on the other hand I’m ABSOFRICKIN UBBERLY EXCITED that you figured out a better ratio!:)

SoccerMom

Chrine, I didn’t hate my S.M. the second time around either. SO I’m still on TEAM CHRINE!! Lol

S

So glad that you figured out the right ratios!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yours STILL hasn’t come?? It’s nearly two weeks now. It needs to come! I want to read your tealog on it and see how it compares to other matchas. I’m thinking positive thought for a Wednesday arrival!

I know! I was so excited too. I’m trying to convince my husband to try it again. He’s extremely skeptical. I made some for him the first time I made it and he thought it was awful.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

lol

GO TEAM CHRINE!! MATCHA SUPERSTARS!!

Cofftea

Chrine… I’m VERY upset w/ 52teas… and at this point I don’t care if Frank reads it here or not. I’ve placed 3 orders w/ them and they have all taken 2 weeks. I’m in WI. There’s no way that should happen. The reason he gave for my previous order being so late was because of a computer problem or something… but that was ONLY after I complained… he said he was trying to get the problem fixed “before anyone noticed”… um… HELLO! It’s been two weeks, I’m gonna notice if my tea isn’t here. So I’ve been dupped, decieved, and taken for stupid. And all I got was an apology that, from as much as I could tell online, didn’t sound very sincere. I do realize that my matcha was free (I won their contest), but that’s no excuse for the crap I’ve gotten from them. I placed another (and most likely my last) order on the 8th, so we shall see how long that one takes.

Cofftea

P.S. sharing matcha w/ your special someone is an awesome experience!:)

SoccerMom

Chrine, Was it just me or did you feel like this tea might be okay cold like maybe iced? Call me crazy and maybe it’s the strawberry that has me thinking it may not be bad iced.

SoccerMom

Oh and uh GO TEAM CHRINE!!

Ricky

I might have to try this tomorrow!

Cofftea

Do it Ricky! Torture me!

Ricky

Well that was the idea ;)

Cofftea

It shouldn’t have to be that way, but that’s the only choice cuz you should not deprive yourself.

Ricky

Haha, you’ll get yours soon, don’t worry! Just have some Mandarin matcha instead in the meantime or grind up some Tencha =]

Cofftea

I’m getting low on my mandarin so I’m trying to ration it. And I have no matcha mill so I steep and decant my tencha.

SoccerMom

Cofftea – Don’t get mad at me but I think what you have is a case of Matcha Envy! hehe

Cofftea

SoccerMom- oh I always have matcha envy! I will be the very 1st to admit that. But this is case is just me being pissed at a company:)

SoccerMom

Okay Cofftea I’m sorry to be the one to call you out on this but why is it okay for you to say pissed (which doesn’t bother me BTW) but you won’t order A&D because it has “Damn” in the name. I’m only asking because I’ve noticed that you’ve said you won’t buy A&D a couple of times because of the name yet I notice that you curse too.? Am I missing something about A&D product labeling. I would be mad too if my tea took two weeks to get to me but most of my tea orders take like 9 days anyway.

52teas

Dear Ms. “Cofftea”,

As I told you via private message earlier yesterday, I do not know what happened to your package. I am 100% positive that it shipped out on the same day with the first big batch of Strawberry Matcha orders. Apparently, it has been lost by the USPS, which is not my fault, however, (as I stated in my PM) we are going to send a replacement package to you right away. I am sorry you have had to cope with this inconvenience.

I am also sorry you feel the need to insult me (when you insult my business, you insult me). I take pride in what we do here at 52teas. I think we provide some of the best and most unique tea blends on the market. We are a small business, and frankly, we do not have the resources that some of our competitors have to spend on order processing and fulfillment. Sometimes I drop the ball; I am human, it happens. All I can do is try to do better the next time. But to say that we have duped you, deceived you, or taken you for stupid is hurtful in the extreme as is intimating that my apology for your inconvenience was somehow insincere.

Somewhere along the line, people are being taught that the nastier we can be about a situation, the better results we will get when it comes to resolving the problem. Well, maybe this is contrary to good business sense (and you can insult me for this too), but I don’t work that way. If you sincerely believe that my motives are so evil as to require such a public verbal scourging, then perhaps you shouldn’t order from me any more.

Don’t get me wrong, I need customers. But I would rather go out of business than have customers who assign such terrible motives to me. I have been working at this business for three years now. I have used up all of my savings and borrowed every penny I could get. I haven’t paid myself one thin dime. But I am still doing it—because this is what I love. I do it because I love reading these reviews on Steepster and knowing that people are enjoying our teas all over the world. For you to say that we have duped you, deceived you, or taken you for stupid makes me seriously question why I am doing this.

Cofftea

Frank, I’m sorry you feel that my stating facts is insulting you or your company. Perhaps then you should change your practices so my statements are no longer fact. Maybe you should question why you’re doing this. It’s odd that I seem to be the only customer that has had several poor experiences with your customer service (except for my groundhog order where a computer glitch which you tried to hide from your customers delayed my order… I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing… If it is truely the fault of USPS (except when you have computer problems whether you hide them or not), then perhaps you should speak to someone there about it. My advice from a business stand point would be to start giving tracking numbers- that way you know and the customer both know exactly who is to blame for delayed/lost packaging.

Ricky

Be nice children ;)

@SoccerMom she refuses to purchase from A&D due to a religion thing. Nothing wrong with that. People have their beliefs.

@Frank Sorry, great post, but I just laughed when I read the word Frankly. Frankly, Frank, sorry, bad joke. It was just funny.

Actually Frank, I recall you use stamps.com to ship out a package. Tracking #s for first class packages are only 50 cents more. Why not add an extra option to let them have it if they so choose to.

Cofftea

Ricky, I do not appreciate being refered to as a child. I am simply stating facts and defending myself in the most polite way possible, but this is not a pleasant situation and my emotions are not positve.

Ricky

It was a joke, did you not see the smiley face. =]

Cofftea

Some things are not funny no matter if you add it or not, I view it as an insult. (Just ask Jason, I’ve gotten in trouble for the same thing).

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Cofftea ~ Does your boyfriend share your love of tea?

SoccerMom ~ Hmm, I don’t know what I’d think about it iced. I’ve be interested to read your tealog about it if you tried it though! I did think a splash of milk might be good in it.

Ricky ~ TEAM CHRINE says you should try some Strawberry Matcha today! TEAM CHRINE firmly believes you will enjoy it.

lol @ matcha envy!

Cofftea

Chrine, not so much- just sweet tea.. and you know my personal opinion of sweet tea lol. I bought his mom the decaf (which is really herbal… grrr) adagio sampler plus some extra decaf samples. Thanks for reminding me, I need to find out what she’s tried and how she likes them. I’m hoping I can convert Grant as easily as I converted my ex:)

And Ricky- try it the plain way… aren’t you w/ LiberTEAS in that easier is better? A matcha smoothie/latte is too much work!=D

S

I never thought I’d see this day…

LiberTEAS

A smoothie/latte is not too much work – but additional gadgetry would be required to make a smoothie or a latte, so I would not prepare a smoothie or latte for myself on a regular basis. But I do occasionally prepare these things for myself when I want to.

It’s not just that it’s extra work, in fact, that is the smallest of the issue. It’s that I keep the extra gadgets stored away… not on my countertop for easy access. We have limited kitchen space and I have three other people in my household, not to mention that a good part of my kitchen space is used for my business. I don’t think it’s very fair to have ADDITIONAL tea gadgetry everywhere you look. My family lives here too, and I’m the only one using the tea kettle.

SoccerMom

And WHO said tea drinkers were boring??? We got drama too. :)

52teas

Tracking is now availble for your 52teas orders:

http://www.52teas.com/2010/04/14/tracking/

Cofftea

Thank you so much 52teas! Are plans to have it available for Manteas as well? Possibly for free since there’s no place to add "STEEPSTER for a $1 off our order like you have generously provided at 52teas?

52teas

LOL. “Give an inch…” I’ll see what I can do with Manteas. Running out of time today. Too much work to do. Just finally got the email newsletter trivia challenge resolved (check your inboxes—someone is going to be happy), and I STILL desperately need to update my 52teas In-Stock page. (I’m so far behind.) And I have packages to take to the post office (Including yours, Cofftea—you should have your tracking number in your email inbox (tho it hasn’t been scanned yet)).

Cofftea

I don’t see it as the “give an inch” addage- I see it as you should give the same (good) customer service to all your customers no mater what website they order from. I won’t have the $ or the space for my 1lb Mayan Chocolate Chai order any time soon so it won’t affect me personally if you don’t get around to it today- it is, after all, mid afternoon. “As soon as is convenient” works for me. I want that chai, but I don’t want risk anything happening to it so I probably won’t purchase it before tracking is available. Tracking recieved, now just waiting til it gets in the system. Thanks:)

Ricky

@SoccerMom Life would be pretty bland without drama in it :D Think about all the drama movies that wouldn’t exist!

Cofftea

Ricky, I disagree. If there were no drama life would be a happier place.

Cofftea

Chrine- your positive thinking didn’t work. :(

SoccerMom

@Ricky I do like (watching) drama after all I’m totally addicted to The Real Housewives of New York. I mean who couldn’t not like drama and like that show.

Ricky

o.O whistles

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95

Something really important happened this weekend… Something important enough to keep me away from tea and Steepster for a weekend! … It was my 27 birthday!!! 27… Wow… I feel like I was just graduating from University… Time flies… In celebration, my boyfriend took me to a resort at the natural hot springs here in Ecuador (Papallacta) and we spent a great weekend there. We even got massages and champagne! I think it was a surprise worthy of a tea break, though I am thankful that I got to have my cup of birthday tea today! 

Pancake is such a happy flavor. This tea captures it perfectly. I have bought it so many times, and I will keep on doing so until Frank gets tired of making it. I go through it too quickly. Sweetened it fools your mouth into thinking you are eating pancakes. It never fails to amaze me. 

I sipped my cup while sitting with Sencha (my dog) and just enjoying the tea. I got no bitterness, just a tiny bit of astringency. The tea flavor shines through the pancake flavor just the right amount to make it a tea and not just a cup of hot water that tastes like pancake. Tea is wonderful like that, it magically turns a cup of water into a delicious beverage that makes every moment brighter!

Now, off to have my second cup of tea for my birthday after a long and positive day at work! :) Happy Birthday to me!

momo

Happy Birthday!

Ninavampi

Thanks Amanda! :)

Fjellrev

Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Nik

Happy birthday! =)

Indigobloom

Happy Birthday!!! sounds like it was a fun one :)

Sil

Woot! Happy birthday!

Alphakitty

Happy birthday! ^^

Bonnie

Happy 27th youngster!

Azzrian

Happy 27th!!

Missy

Happy Birthday!!!

Kittenna

Happy birthday! :)

Michelle

Happy birthday!

ashmanra

Happy birthday!

Dinosara

Happy Birthday!!

Mélissa

Happy birthday! (P.s: Awesome name for a dog.)

Helena

Happy Birthday!! your a little older than me :D

TheTeaFairy

Bonne Fête Ninavampi!

DaisyChubb

Yay Happy Bday!

tigress_al

Happy birthday! You chose a wonderful bday tea!

LiberTEAS

Happy Birthday!

Ninavampi

Thanks everyone! It was like having a second birthday celebration from all of my friends here on Steepster! :)

Angrboda

Happy birthday. :)

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100

On a good or a bad day, I have tea. Yes, it’s part of my life everyday. It’s something that brings me pleasure no matter how shitty my day is. I’ll take pleasure over happiness. Happiness isn’t reliable, you can’t expect to be happy everyday even if you want to. But you can experience the pleasure of having tea everyday :-)

Tea pleasure is reliable and measurable. This one is proof to my theory. It’s not a concept, but a moment in time that exists and is seizable, a simple pleasure in its purest form.

It is with such a pride that I broke a piece of my first sheng cake today. I know I have already reviewed this tea not long ago. This is just a quick addition.

It is stunning… a mossy-earthy-smoky feel and fresh minty grassy notes that make it so enjoyable… if that’s even possible, it tastes better than the first time I had it!

Dexter3657, I must thank you again for sending a sample in the first place.

(See previous note)

sherapop

Very philosophical! ;-)

Sil

i love this tea.

TheTeaFairy

Sherapop, I guess this tea is making a philosopher out of me :-)

Sil, how much exactly do you love this tea????

Stephanie

I love it too :)

Sil

I love it! probably more than i love what starts at 32:01
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQD9EBCwlQc

Kamyria

Very beautiful philosophical note. I love it!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Kamyria :-)

Sil: hahaha!!! Of course only YOU could come up with an answer like that…you made me work there, little missy, had to find the exact spot! Good thing I looove me some Parrell <3

TheTeaFairy

(Oops, I meant “Pharrell”)

Sil

those stupid things dancing kills me… i’ve been laughing for days…

TheTeaFairy

Yes, and lucky me, now they will be in my head just like the swedish chef has been for I don’t know how many days now, thanks to you!!!
(Are you messing with me? What just happened to Heffalump???)

Sil

wall-e wanted to play…

keychange

I love this note. You describe the importance of pleasure so perfectly. Thank you!!

Terri HarpLady

Beautiful review, fun video. I love you guys, you make me smile :)

Rosehips

Fab review. So very, vry true.

mrmopar

Are we not a crazy bunch? I think so and may lead the pack!

TheTeaFairy

Aww, you guys are so awesome, thank you :-)

Haha! Mrmopar, yes we are…where else can you find at the same spot references to philosophy, sheng, Heffalump, Wall-e and weird tall yellow dancing mascots????

Terri HarpLady

and don’t forget profanity! LOL

TheTeaFairy

Oh Terri, how could I forget about the most enjoyable part???

K S

Nothing to add but a smile. Good way to start my morning.

Charles Thomas Draper

I’m ordering it right now based on your review and my love of Sheng

TheTeaFairy

Charles, I don’t have your knowledge with Sheng, but I don’t think you are taking much of a risk by ordering this one, let us know how you enjoy it later :-)

Charles Thomas Draper

I will. Thank you. :)

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77
drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
403 tasting notes

GM sample #2/31

The boyfriend requested something “fruity” from the GM sampler, so this seemed like the one to try. This is… interesting. Not what I expected. The honey is the strongest flavor, but it’s not sweet exactly – like someone separated all the honey flavor from the sugar and just added the flavor. Well, the ingredients do say “pollen” so I guess that makes sense. The black tea base is actually a little harsh for my taste – even at 3 minutes I can taste some bitterness. The pear comes through more as the tea cools.

Will try this chilled next. Used 1/3 of the sample (~1.3g, hooray for tiny scales) with 3.5oz water.
ETA: Very good chilled, on the second and third infusions; the sweetness comes through more. The 3rd infusion was looking pretty weak though, so I’ll stop here

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec
LiberTEAS

I enjoyed this tea from Golden Moon. I think I liked the second infusion even better than the first, because some of those harsher notes you mentioned in the black tea soften a bit and the pear and honey flavors become a bit more prominent.

Cofftea

Wow this is one of the bigger samples then! After being REALLY disappointed w/ adagio’s white pear, I have some hopes for this.

LiberTEAS

Pear is a difficult flavor, because it is such a subtle fruit that is easily overwhelmed. Which reminds me, I purchased the white spiced pear tea from 52 Teas – but I haven’t yet tried it. Perhaps later this afternoon, I shall open the package!

Cofftea

Very true LiberTEAS, the black base concerns me for that reason- not just cuz I don’t care for blacks.

teabird

I’m doing a second steep now – will update the post after trying. I’m optimistic, for the same reasons you mentioned LiberTEAS – second steep is usually mellower, and the flavors seemed strong enough to last. Cofftea, I just got the scale a couple days ago, so I’ve been measuring everything. The White Persian Melon sample was only 2g, this one was 3.8 :)

Cofftea

Other people have measured these samples- some are as light as 1.8! :( Mine goes to .01.

~lauren.

Tea Bird – which tea scale did you get? I’ve been looking on Amazon for some but haven’t come to any conclusions yet. Also looked on Upton’s website for theirs ….

Cofftea

Lauren, I know you didn’t ask me but I hope you don’t mind my advice. I got this one and LOVE it. http://www.amazon.com/WeighMax-Precision-Digital-Pocket-Scale/dp/B001QB2N1G/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1271032415&sr=1-16 I, too, looked at the UTI one when I was looking at their matcha sets… but they don’t have the precision of .01g accuracy. W/ low density teas there are is a lot of leaf that goes into .1g or even .05g. Whatever scale you decide on, I would strongly suggest getting one that has a sensitivity of at least .01g. I looked for one even more sensitive but couldn’t find one. I take mine everywhere- it just can’t go thru the xray at the airport.

teabird

Mine also goes to .01g, with a max weight of 500g – maybe got the same one?. I’m liking it so far, but obviously have no idea how it’ll do over time. It uses two AAA batteries, which were included. For $15, I’m quite pleased. Link here http://tinyurl.com/y52fga6

LiberTEAS

Bah! Humbug! All this talk of scales! LOL!

Cofftea

LiberTEAS, no one said you had to like or even use them. But some people do.

~lauren.

Where were you guys when I spent, like, 4 hours on Amazon the other night on scales? Thank you both very much! The more I get into teas, the more I think I need this kind of equipment – I’ve been using my measuring spoons and am a bit disappointed with the highly inaccurate nature of it for tea leaves.

Cofftea

Tea Bird, same brand but slightly different model. I love that yours has a place to put an extra battery! Great for going on vacation.

Cofftea

lauren, my love for whites especially, but also oolongs made me get a scale… measuring them is SUCH a pain in the butt. It also came in handy when my friend gave me some dried spearment and lemon verbena from her garden because the leaf size was not altered in any way. A tea scale probably wouldn’t be as neccessary for someone who drinks mostly blacks.

Cofftea

Tea Bird, I’d love to hear the details of your theory on having a different scale for every type of tea. As much as I LOVE mine and am a complete tea gadget addict, that seems to be over kill even to me lol.

LiberTEAS

Cofftea: I know that. I was joking. That’s why I included the LOL in my comment.

I am just so anti-gadgetry when it comes to tea… I like it to be simple. This is why I don’t drink as much Matcha as I think I would like to – because I don’t want to get my chawan, chasen and sifter out. LOL! It took me a couple of years before I actually broke down and bought myself a tea kettle, and now, second only to the refrigerator, it is the most used appliance in my kitchen! hehe! The truth is, that if I were to get myself a scale, I probably would find it just as indispensable. I just cringe at that thought though. I don’t like it when gadgets become indispensable. Simple, simple, simple…

~lauren.

The more I get into this new-methodical-way-of-tea-ing, the more I appreciate the posts where the steepsterite posts oz/g to water ratio along with all the other tea parameters (water temp & steep time)! It’s so very helpful to me when I am trying a new-to-me tea!

teabird

I don’t have different scales for different tea types; not sure where you got that from, Cofftea. I do actually have a second scale, but it’s for general kitchen purposes with a 1g-5kg range. I wanted a little one for tea in general, and large leafed teas in particular, because trying to measure white tea by the “teaspoon” was driving me crazy.

Cofftea

LiberTEAS, that’s fine… but then why do you even have a chawan and chasen? It seems like a waste to buy something and then not use it.

I’m very into authentic/historic preperation so I use it a lot. That and it’s just my opinion that if I’m going to invest in anything, I want it to come out the best possible… and I am ABSOFREAKINLUTELY horrible at winging it and having it come out both good and consistant.

teabird

~lauren, that’s why I do it! If someone loves a tea, I always want to know exactly how they prepared it so that I can try to replicate their parameters. Also so that I can replicate my own, when I get it right ;) Making tea is just like any other recipe to me in that respect.

~lauren.

I think I understand your position, LiberTEAS, afterall teas have been around since 2737 BC (I wiki’d this a while back) and simplicity really does have it’s draw but then again, I am so new to this methodical tea drinking, it does help me define the way a tea is supposed to be in theory (without any guessing on my part). Today, after deciding to drink Jasmine Pearls, I searched hi & lo for some idea of how many pearls I was supposed to put in for 10 oz of water …. LOL.

Cofftea

lauren, I can help you with that… or at least I can tell you what parameters work for me. For EVERY tea that doesn’t have unique steeping parameters (i.e. every Japanese green is different) and chai, I use the ratio of 2.25g of leaf/6oz water… so the number of pearls used would depend on how heavy they are. P.S. this is another tea thats a PITB to cram into a teaspoon:)

__Morgana__

Lauren, I got the upton scale and I’m happy with it. It may not be as precise as the other one mentioned but it’s fine for my needs. I tend to experiment with putting in a bit more or less anyway from try to try. It’s the right blend of simplicity and method for me at this point though I can see myself becoming more anal about this as I go along. ;-)

~lauren.

Thanks y’all for the advice, insight & tea scale suggestions! Keep ‘em coming, I’m a learnin’!

LiberTEAS

Lauren: For me, seven is the magic number when it comes to pearls. That is for my 8 ounce glass tea mug – another “gadget” that I don’t like getting down to make tea. LOL! But I do get it down for jasmine pearls because I do enjoy watching them unfurl and I do get it down for blossoming teas for the same reason.

Cofftea: I have the chawan and chasen because I do enjoy matcha very much. I just don’t enjoy the ceremony/ritual of the gadgets. But, the chasen does give my matcha a nice foamy consistency that I appreciate and I love my chawan… I collect teacups and teapots. I just don’t like to get all that stuff out a lot, because then I have to clean it and put it away. If I were by myself in this house, I’d probably have this stuff out and not have a problem with it… but, hubby kind of loses it when my tea stuff “spreads” LOL

Cofftea

I hate cleaning (anything really) as well. But drinking from a bowl is just way too fun lol. And I also get your point about the spreading… but those things help me enjoy my tea. I found I don’t like my matcha cold, but I have a suggestion for you if that’s something you like. Pour cold water, milk, or a mix of the two in a water bottle, add matcha, and shake- I made cold matcha lemonade (unsweetened) last nite and was shocked at how much it foamed! Being able to screw on the cover really made it easy to shake it good. You could try it hot as well but you’d have to be careful to not melt the bottle. If you’re gonna buy water in a bottle, might as well use it more than once.

Ricky

I finished watching a movie and I come back to check my mail + steepster and I see about 36 emails in my inbox… it seems it all came from this thread and the talk about scales =]

I have a similar tiny scale like you Tea Bird =]

~lauren.

That’s my fault, Ricky – I solicited their expert advice (if I had done it earlier, I would’ve saved myself a LOT of time perusing Amazon & Upton the other day) on tea scales. Sorry about the inbox explosion! But then again, it’s us! it’s fun! it’s much better getting mail from us than all that spam!

Cofftea

Hey, he’s the one that sets his email settings LOL.=D

Ricky

Hahah, it’s okay. I don’t mind all the emails. I’m slowly working my way through them =], but they just keep piling up!

Cofftea

For the most part I just delete them and go off my notices.

Ricky

Notices, notices, notices…. uhoh 1961 notices remaining

Cofftea

Don’t you EVER click on them to clear them out??? LOL at least the number doesn’t go down as you read them (I wish they did though), click it once and it starts over.

Ricky

Haha, I click on it every once in a blue moon =P

For the most part I only use dashboard, recent/all and email notifications.

~lauren.

LiberTEAS – I just saw your comment – SEVEN for 8 ounces? Oh, I used too many of my precious pearls today! OH NO! I wish I thought to PM you or something and ask your advice … I knew that you really enjoyed jasmine pearls from some comment you had made earlier in one of your posts. Sigh. SEVEN, huh? BUMMED NOW I used 34 for 10 oz.

Cofftea

LiberTEAS… you consider a glass mug a gadget?!

LiberTEAS

Lauren: Yikes… yeah, that’s a bit too many. Seven has always been my magic number for pearls. If you like a tea a little stronger, you can up by a few, but 34 is a lot for 10 oz.

Cofftea: Yes, because it is not something I use on a regular basis. I have 3 mugs that I use on regular rotation, they hold about 16 ounces of liquid. This is just perfect for my smart brewing system, which brews about 16 ounces of liquid (simplicity at it’s finest) These are a breeze to clean because I can put them in the dishwasher. (simplicity) My regular, essential devices that I use are my mugs, my smart brewing system, a tea spoon for measuring, and my tea kettle. Any variation from these devices are additional gismos or gadgets – niceties that are not absolutely necessary to get the job done – but are nice to have and occasionally give me a little variety on my normal routine. Example: If I want Matcha, I suppose I could simply stir some matcha into my mug with hot water, but, it makes for a better matcha to get my chasen and chawan out and use them. But, I don’t want to have to get these things out every day.

I believe that tea should be as simple as possible. For some, that means weighing on a scale to get just the right measurement of leaves. For others, this means winging it. I’m the kind of gal that likes to wing it. Now my hubby, he’s a planner, and he would – if he were a tea drinker – want to weigh and be precise. I think that’s why we balance each other out so well.

I realize I may have come off as snarkly when I talked about gismos and gadgets, but honestly, I truly have a great respect for it. It’s just not in my nature to be like that. But, for those of you who are, that’s great. I say, keep doing what you’re doing. If it makes your tea more enjoyable that way, that’s cool. For me, it would make my tea less enjoyable and more like math. And I hate math. LOL

Cofftea

Haha LiberTEAS I hate math too. And I’m normally so extremely not type A (I’m not type B either as I have no creative side/talent so I have no clue what the heck I am), but a recipe I can follow and a method for making tea is just a recipe. I normally only make 1 serving of tea at once (I have the ingenuiTEA and love it as well) so I actually don’t do that much math…. only when making chai- and I know I like 4g of leaf in 6oz water for chai so I’ve committed to memory that a 16oz serving would be 10 2/3g.I can be type A, get my tea perfect and not really do much math- yay! lol.

LiberTEAS

Cofftea: I don’t follow recipes either. LOL

Cofftea

How do you get anything to taste good? Are you just lucky? Maybe if I had your luck I wouldn’t be so tea anal. LOL

LiberTEAS

I guess I’m lucky. I like to play around with spices and stuff… so I get a general idea of how something is made or what goes well with it and I just play around with it. I have a family with three pretty picky eaters, and I’m the only one cooking, so I must be doing something right because nobody is starving!
But then, cooking is so very much like art for me, and so it’s like a passion. But… baking… that’s another matter all together, I don’t like to bake because measuring and following recipes is essential to successful baking. I can bake, and do very well with it, but I don’t enjoy it as much as cooking because of the need of being precise with baking.

Cofftea

Go figure… I can wing it when it comes to blending, but when it comes to the preparation I need formulas lol.

Ricky

Baking n cookin by winging. Uhhhh I’m scared :P. Just a tad. Well I can understand winging when it comes to cooking but baking. Hmmm how’d those cookies turn out =P

LiberTEAS

I am sorry if I was misleading in my post… but I don’t wing it when I bake. I measure, I follow the recipe to the letter. And I don’t like doing it. That’s why I bake far less often than I cook. :)

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100
drank Four Seasons by Samovar
260 tasting notes

The scene in Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne comes crawling out of the tunnel into the rain.

That is me today. Crawling through foot after foot, yard after yard, of metaphorical sewage to reach the cleansing downpour of sweet, sweet FREEDOM.

Yes, Steepsterites. I am free. I. Am. FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

At least until mid-January, when the whole process starts anew. But for now, I am going to savor this unadulterated sense of not needing to do…anything. I have big, big plans for winter break, part of which include trying to catch up with what I’ve been missing on this site [I can’t even fathom how long that’s going to take] and inundating you with tea logs [FUN FOR YOU]. Because yes, in true tea dork fashion, I TOOK NOTES when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to write logs on here. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be jotting down things to remember about a tea in a moleskine so that I could semi-accurately log it later, I would have laughed at you. Just laughed and laughed and laughed. And then apologized, and then probably laughed some more.

So, after being released from my last final of the semester, I turned the kettle on and began an impromptu dance party. Some Ting Tings, a little Modeselektor, a bit of La Roux, a slice of Roisin Murphy and an Under the Influence of Giants track later, I was drinking this tea and laughing madly. Partially because I was so giddy with being finished with school, and partially because of the enormous lack of sleep I have had these past few weeks.

There are very few teas that I would reach for in lieu of this in such a moment of intense celebration. I luckily got my Samovar package in the mail right before studying for finals commenced in earnest, so I replenished my stash of Four Seasons and I drank a fair amount of it while trying to cram every bit of information I could into my already bursting at the seams brain.

It is, far and away, beyond a shadow of a doubt, four monkeys on top of a giraffe, my favorite oolong. It is buttery, and washes into a lightly floral finish as it progresses through the steeps. I will admit that is more expensive than other oolongs I have chanced upon, but considering that I get about 5 cups on the regular [more if I’m feeling patient] from it, it ends up being not that bad.

It is a tea that just makes my inner being sigh and melt into a daze of pleasant complacency. Delicious, intricate, complex, and balanced. Coupled with the unshackling of my SOUL, it made for a singularly fantastic afternoon. [It also motivated me to spend a couple of hours cleaning my car.] I cannot think of anything that would have been more appropriate.

So, brace yourself Steepster. Hide your children and iron your pants, because I’M BACK!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

YAY!!!!!

Angrboda

irons pants s great to see you back. :D

Angrboda

And half my comment disappeared. Again. Apparently Steepster doesn’t like it when I draw arrows like this <—-

teaplz

WHEEE! YUMMY TEA AND HAPPINESS. re finished and back among the living and sane and drinking tea! :D Missed having you around, tak-tak. Srsly.

Jillian

Whooo! The Return of Takgoti!!!!! XD

Jason

Sheeee’s Baaaaaaccck (ominous tone). UTIOG FTW

TeaEqualsBliss

YAY! Go to see you again!

gmathis

Congratulations. I have always said the best days are full of get-to’s, not have-to’s. Hope you have many over your holidays.

sophistre

Welcome back! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been sipping on. Already this review has me ready to buy more tea! Technically I guess I should be dreading the slew of tasting notes that are incoming, but…who am I kidding?

teaplz

P.S. I LOVE SHAWSHANK. Just thought I needed to get that out there. But I think we’ve discussed this before. :P

Laura

welcome back! always glad to read your notes. ps: i <3 utiog.

Mike

Welcome back!! Great re-introduction. Officially shop’listed. Prepping an epic Samovar order for the new year…

Bethany

@Mike, I’m doing the same. They’ve been on my list for some time!

takgoti

@Auggy BOOKOOYASHA! [Sorry, they were saying that on Top Chef and I’ve been itching to say it all day.]

@Angrboda Haha, that’s happened to me as well. Anyhow, thank you! De-wrinkling FTW!

@teaplz Aw, I missed being around, teepee! [Blerg, I cannot think of anything as cute as tak-tak. I really love that. I’ll work on it and get back to you.] Oh, and Brooks was here. So was Red.

@Jillian Coming to a theatre near you in 2072.

@Jason Heeeeere’s takgoti! UTIOG FTW INDEED.

@TeaEqualsBliss Thank you! Good to see you too!

@gmathis That’s fantastic. I see myself using that phrase a bunch in the future. I hope you have a lot of them as well!

@sophistre Thank you so much! And hehehehehe I drank a LOT of tea, so dread away!

@Laura That gives me warm fuzzies! I absolutely love your avatar, by the way. [And utiog is one of those bands that can make me happy in almost any given situation, so when I’m ALREADY elated it just gets ridiculous.]

@Mike Danke! EXCELLENT. Samovar just came out with a BUNCH OF NEW TEAS, too, so I expect my next order is going to be epic as well.

@Bethany WOOHOO! I love domino-ing Samovar love! It gives me much pleasure.

You all rock. Thank you for making a girl feel loved! I’m about to dash to try to finish my shopping but I foresee much Steepster activity in my future.

Mike

@Bethany, cool! I was partially persuaded by ms. takgoti’s constant raving but also this video: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2009/08/25/sbiz_tips_samovar_tea.smb/

OK…it was mostly Takgoti’s fault…

Auggy

That’s it! Anyone else wanna take a field trip to SF????

chana

@Auggy Would love to, but that’s waaaay outta my budget….would make it the most expensive tea around for me. :D

East Side Rob

And to think that my wife and I were getting nostalgic about our college days. Thanks for slapping us back to reality. Kinda like a good Assam in the morning.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Yay! You’re back! I’ve missed your tealogs (and you).

takgoti

@Mike I only do it because I love them so. You will understand soon.

@Auggy YES PLS.

@East Side Rob It’s what I do.

@chrine Aw, hugs! Prepare yourself for the onslaught, I’m about to start diving into what people have been up to. Your dashboard shall be stormed. To quote one of my favorite movies, “At my signal, UNLEASH HELL.”

sophistre

RE: Samovar

They have the ryokucha, finally. I have been waiting and checking. If you are out, or you have also been waiting, then…probably now is the time to storm the gates. ;)

Also? Reading the blurb for a specific tea on their site, I found myself totally in love with the flavor profile described, only to discover as I was about to click that it would cost me $250.00 for 1.41oz of tea. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t help but feel that my lifelong love of spicy foods has resulted in a palate that will never, ever be able to properly appreciate the value of quality to quantity that price tag is describing. ;)

takgoti

Ah, yes. I like to bug Samovar’s owner via email every now and then and he mentioned that their out of stock issue with teas should be more or less cleared up by 2010. Not necessarily that they’ll have everything available all the time, but that they should have either the small can or the large can in stock for teas pretty consistently.

And haha yeah, the Inoka Hill? It’s more affordable in the lounge because you can just get it by the “cup” [though still not inexpensive]. My understanding is that if you don’t really like gyokuros or aren’t very accustomed to Japanese greens, you’ll want to stay away until you are. It’s very strong. I guess it’s similar to trying a super aged pu-erh before getting your palate used to pu-erhs. It’s kind of a waste and unlikely that you’ll enjoy it.

Anyhow, it tickles me so to see more people looking into Samovar! They truly are my favorite tea company. The Ryokucha should be in stock for a while. [Watch it sell out tomorrow.] Fingers crossed, it won’t disappear again anytime soon if at all!

Ricky

You have me looking into Samovar as well now! All those tealogs / reviews about it, argh. I took a look at it and the ryokucha caught my eye even before I saw you guys posting about it. Samovar doesn’t offer samplers =(, oh if only…

takgoti

Shh… You may be getting your wish soon.

Ricky

Haha, have you become their number one customer? ;D

takgoti

HAH, no, I just like to poke at Jesse with questions from time to time and he is kind enough to answer me.

Jillian

Maybe I should get you to harass them about better International shipping fees more often. ;D

takgoti

@Jillian Haha, all I can tell you is that they’re aware of how they rate against other companies and are doing what they can to lower costs. Not much else I can do on my end, unfortunately!

Micah

First. Love La Roux! I discovered her at some point in September and listened to her all semester. Go team!

And I desperately need to get more tea…. I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some of this oolong.

takgoti

@Micah She’s pretty amazing. I am in love with her eponymous album. And if you get nothing else from Samovar, you should get Four Seasons. I am that dead serious in love with it.

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drank Chinese Flower by Harney & Sons
344 tasting notes

my it’s been a couple of days! brilliant because of classes winding down and very satisfying grades being locked in place…. but sad with the death of nelson mandela. i wonder if it would have hit me as profoundly before one of my majors had me studying people and the influence that we outwardly have on one another on one another in my human geography class….. there is no way for me to answer.

perhaps it is a lack of faith on my part, that as the old guard ages and passes (mandela, the dalai lama, mother theresa) that while there will always be good people, i don’t see any obvious stand ins for these outstanding individuals. brangelina? bono who got a TED award? i don’t think so……

SO i wrote that bit about 9 hours ago. stopped after the dot dot dots. dropped. wound up in an ambulance and at the hospital. KIDNEY STONES.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? so, surgery on one eye coming up…. and a stone IN ONE KIDNEY???? they’re asking me about pain levels in the ambulance ‘out of 10 sir’. 10? make it 20 and it would still be 21!!!!! OMG.

the tea. okay…. this was more of a frustrated rant and less a review. i don’t remember the tea. but i have another sample from stephanie.

=0(

Veronica

Whoa! I am so sorry. I hope you can find some comfort soon. Kidney Stones suck.

As for outstanding individuals the first person I thought of was

Veronica

Ok… I can’t type. Anyway, I was going to say Malala. I know ahe’s young, but she’s also using her voice in a powerful way.

Sil

woah hope you get back to better soon mister…sorry for the crappy times :(

JustJames

malala? i will look her up. thanks veronica.

keychange

Seconding Malala. Very bright young girl, although I worry about the pressure that is currently resting on her tiny shoulders. and my dear James, rest up! I’m worried about you, and am sorry you were in so much pain!

yyz

Ow James! I’ve heard that’s horrible. Malala the first that came to my mind as well. Another person that comes to mind for me is the Bangledashi man who started the micro financing movement. I forget his name, but micro financing has changed many peoples lives in huge ways.

JustJames

i just keep thinking ‘um…. final project? final exam? HELLO?? B.E.T.T.E.R. things to do!’ but i can’t even think because they gave me a really good drug. NOT an opiate (wouldn’t let em’….. by IV? nuh uh) but a really good anti inflammatory….. but it’s still making me fuzzy.

GEEZ!

caile

Oh my gosh, that is awful! I hope you feel better soon!!

JustJames

yes, grameen…. that’s true, yyz.

i know there are brilliant minds on TED… and i know there are good people every place i look. genuinely. but i find it disconcerting when the people that i have spent my life admiring start popping off.

JustJames

thanks caile. it has just been a STUPID month health wise. absolutely ridiculous!!

caile

It does sound like a terrible month! A big hug for you!

yyz

I think I have had to deal with the knowledge of death since I was very young so it bothers me a little less. It’s still sad and the passing of great persons seem to in away acting as book marks or closures to great era’s, but my family tends to have children late and the men at least live long lives so this cycle seems a little expected and natural to me. My grandfather knew Dali, Hemingway, and Castro. Having said that Mandela was truly a great man.

JustJames

yyz…. someday i think we should meet. for tea. someplace. i have a feeling you are a story keeper….

ifjuly

ackackack, i am sorry to hear the bad news. i’ve had friends tell me kidney stones were the worst pain they’ve ever felt, like worse than childbirth or any other medical malady they’ve encountered. you are tough!

Cavocorax

:( I’m sorry. I hope you recover quickly!

JustJames

well, miss july, i am nursing my kidneys (i’ve been told to drink and drink and drink….. i’m thrilled about the tea part, less so about if things get blocked again part) back to health with your awesome fruits d’alsace sample. it makes me feel better.

i don’t feel tough. i feel distinctly whiney, lol. makes me wonder if it’s been brewing for a few days though because i’ve been in a rotten mood for a few days without explanation.

}=0[

OMGsrsly

Oh, sweet goodness! I REALLY hope that this gets resolved soon and you recover quickly. Kidney stones are the opposite of fun. :/

JustJames

i just wish i knew if there was anything i could do to make sure this one goes AWAY and that it’a a one time occurrence!

OMGsrsly

There are dietary things that you can avoid to reduce the chances, but I’m not sure about guaranteeing that you never get them again. :/ You kinda need your kidneys, so it’s not like you can take them out like you can a gall bladder! :) I haven’t had them, but an ex did. I don’t remember what was recommended, sadly.

JustJames

all they said was ‘drink’…. which is great…. but wow it hurts! i asked every question my addled brain could think up…. boils down to: many studies, no definitive answers. drink.

not sure how i’m going to pull off my exam of tuesday: can’t see, and now pain meds. greeeeeeeeeeeeat. hmph.

OMGsrsly

Haha, and you’ll be asking to go to the washroom every 5 minutes if you’re drinking enough, too. :D

JustJames

well, i have a note from the ERP. this month is ridiculous!!

Stephanie

Awwwwww, I bet that was so painful! Feel better JustJames! :(

Terri HarpLady

Oh James, so sorry you have to suffer this :(
Here comes the woo-woo esoteric view: kidney stones are the physical manifestation of the sorrows/griefs we hold/repress, because the are painful to express. Sound like you are in the process of letting go of something, hence the stone is on the move!
The only pain in change is our resistance, I like to say, although sometimes it hurts like hell! Sending some Reiki your way!

boychik

I’m so sorry and I hope you get better soon

JustJames

terri….. that is a remarkable thought! i have never heard that before. fascinating! not woo-woo, lol…..

JustJames

boychik, i’m feeling a bit better today…. stressed to the max. i have until 11:59 pm to finish a massive project and then an exam tuesday. no idea how this is going to work. none.

JustJames

stephanie, i’m so sorry i couldn’t comment on your lovely tea! i don’t remember it at all =0(, but i have another bag =0)

MissB

Drink, yes. You should be drinking enough to urinate about 2L a day – when you’ve got kidney stones, output decreases dramatically, and it’s how I know I’ve got to start drinking more liquids. Increase your fiber intake slowly and keep it there – it helps get rid of the calcium and oxalate (sp?) that turns into kidney stones. Reduce salt where possible. Also, find teas with (or add yourself) some nettle leaf, which will promote urination and help flush things out to reduce the pain. I actually have a tea for this somewhere with a horrible name and okay taste, and it usually reduces/removes the pain for me in a day or two. I’ll see it has any of your known allergens in it, and if not, I’ll send some your way ASAP.

Stephanie

You’re going to have a bad association with this tea now, I bet! And don’t apologize! :)

Kaylee

Oh my. Feel better!

JustJames

thanks Kaylee….. it’s been a stupid month, lol. random beyond random.

CelebriTEA

Geez…so sorry for all your pain :-(

I have had kidney stones before
(In the hospital with projectile vomiting from the pain)
I have also had many serious eye issues, torn cornea,
ulcers on cornea, cellulitis in my eye (hospitalized AGAIN)
I just said a prayer for you, and now I am going to drink
a cup of tea in your honor ;-) Creamy Earl Grey (DT)
the most relaxing version of my favorite tea.
Seriously, I pray tou are 100% feeling good way before Christmas

CelebriTEA

You not tou…lol…sometimes I type dislexic

JustJames

thank you for such kindness CelebriTEA. i am really not a happy drug person normally, and i refused opiates….. but they gave me torridol? which is an awesome anti inflammatory…. that helped alot. i was still foggy, but it could very well have been from pain.

going to make tea now. and study. one last exam. tomorrow.
=0)

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52

Thanks to Magic Carpet Tea for offering a great deal so I could try this. Oolong is my fave. Dates are a weakness. This sounded perfect!

Unfortunately, I learned that there was date sugar in this blend as well. And, upon receiving it, I could see it looked like quite a lot of date sugar. One, I’ve never put sweetener in my tea so am not used to it and thus don’t like sweetened tea for the most part. Two, I have type 1 diabetes. When I have to make calculations for everything else I put past my lips, I definitely don’t want to worry about how much insulin I need when it comes to tea. Tea is my refuge. I’d might as well go eat a piece of bread or a bowl of rice! One of my pet peeves is beverages that include sweetener and aren’t up-front about this. I find it a lot in flavoured matchas.

Another grievance is that this came really, really crushed. I can’t really even identify tea leaves at first glance since it is all crushed together and dusty. It also made it hard to strain. I’m not sure to what extent this is how the tea is blended because the package (an envelope) came pressed alarmingly, uniformly, completely flat. I’m wondering if it got sent as letter mail, which really isn’t acceptable for tea.

It is moderately enjoyable. There was an earthy date flavour that I expected from the combination, but it was a lot more muted than I expected. Especially with all the date sugar! I’m sure I’ll drink the rest of this but it won’t be a re-buy, unfortunately. I think it’s not the kind of experience I was expecting from an oolong blend.

Jessie

Thanks for the info!

I’d take issue with your statement that date sugar doesn’t contain any kind of “actual sugar”. It is naturally processed from dried dates, which means it’s certainly sugar. It’s comprised of sucrose, glucose, and fructose. As you mention, dates are very highly glycemic (they’re actually what I keep on hand to correct hypoglycemia, since they’re so tasty and act faster than fruit juice!), so of course dried, granulated dates are also. However, steeping dates doesn’t cause a caloric or carbohydrate content in the tea that’s anything more than negligible. Added, granulated sweeteners that will make it into my cup are the worry. You must have added it to the blend for sweetness, so there’s no way around that. But, something being natural does not make it sugar-free or healthier for someone with diabetes. This is why the marketing around agave nectar really bothers me. It contains more fructose than corn syrup but because it’s advertised as natural, people believe it’s not harmful.

The new blend sounds great, and I would definitely be interested in trying a sample. Just to clarify: I don’t have a problem with there being date sugar in your blend, at all. I just wished it had been clearly stated as an ingredient. :)

Jessie

Wow. I will actually opt out of the offer of a sample after being accused of “libel” by a company from which I bought tea.

aisling of tea

You know, this conversation kind of cements my admiration of DavidsTea. There was recently a similar issue with one of their winter blends, and as soon as it was brought to their attention, they apologized for their mess-up (instead of “I’m sorry you had an issue”, which isn’t really an apology at all), offered to make things right, and immediately fixed the issue in all of their stores.

And, frankly, I’m going to take Jessie’s word on what affects diabetes, seeing as how she spends her life watching out for such things, over a company that admits to not knowing the addition of date sugar needed to be mentioned. It kind of makes you wonder what else is being added that they think doesn’t need to be mentioned.

Seeing as how “date sugar” contains, you know, sugars, I see absolutely nothing wrong with her review. Though I had been tempted to try this tea, the behavior of the company here has convinced me that my money would be better spent elsewhere. If nothing else, this should have been handled in a DM or e-mail.

Angrboda

I agree with aisling of tea, especially the part where it should have been handled outside of the comment section, and I should think the company would have had an interest in that as well. This can’t be good for publicity.

But since it IS out here in public, I also find it very problematic that a company requests a customer to CHANGE THEIR REVIEW because the customer doesn’t like the way it was phrased.

Jessie’s review is not an objective opinion, nor should it be. It’s a subjective post about how SHE experienced trying this tea, and from what I can tell she did explain in it and in following comments exactly what her problem with it was and WHY it was a problem.

Jessie doesn’t have to change a thing is she doesn’t want to, because her review is all about HER personal experience of it, and it doesn’t affect anybody else.
The company’s information on the other hand is something that directly affects their customers because the customers have to be able to trust that that information is as correct as possible.

Jessie, good for you, refusing that sample. I wouldn’t have wanted one either if I were you.

aisling of tea

I just blows my mind that there is no sense of “We’re so sorry we put your health and potentially your life at risk” coming from the company. They asked others to change their reviews too….it all just strikes me as shady.

Angrboda

We’re a mom and pop operation. Literally, two people who sell one, single blend of tea

This does not mean that you have an excuse to not have your information in order!

Also, I would like to know exactly where it says anybody urged others to shop elsewhere. Because I can’t find it.

(And no thank you, I personally am not interested in your blend, but that’s because I don’t like dates)

aisling of tea

I didn’t compare you to DavidsTea, I compared your reaction to an issue to their reaction to the same issue. I would expect their reaction out of any company that mislabeled their teas, no matter how small they are.

I didn’t urge anyone not to buy from you, and neither did Angrboda. I simply said I wouldn’t be willing to buy from you. Others can make their own decisions.

The plug at the end of the comment combined with the “my wife was in tears” comment that was obviously added to make us feel guilty as well as referring to Jessie as “him” kind of cements my decision not to buy or try this blend.

There is something to be said for Public Relations….this thread is doing you absolutely no favors.

Angrboda

The plug at the end of the comment combined with the “my wife was in tears” comment that was obviously added to make us feel guilty as well as referring to Jessie as “him” kind of cements my decision not to buy or try this blend.

This. Also, no, nobody here is being ‘inconsiderate’. If you guys didn’t like Jessie’s honest opinion (and she’s a she, by the way!), that’s not really her problem. It is NOT the customer’s job to mollycoddle the company, no matter the size of said company. If the customer chooses to post a review of the product, it is the customer’s job to do so by describing their experience of it honestly. Which Jessie did.

Why is it inconsiderate to voice an opinion on something one believes is problematic?

Jessie

Thanks, aisling and Angrboda. This was actually also handled in e-mails, which were rather accusatory.

The initial mention in my review in fact termed it date sugar. From there on out I shortened it to sugar since this is an informal review format and the ingredient in question is sugar. That’s really not misrepresentation.

While I appreciate your suggestion that “obviously dates are going to effect your diabetes,” I understand my condition and what affects it very well, having spent every day of my life from the age of seven observing it. As I previously mentioned, infusing dates or any type of dried fruit doesn’t contribute significantly to carbohydrate content. That’s one of the reasons flavoured tea blends are so great. Consuming granulated dehydrated dates is a lot different from consuming an infusion of dates. My concern here was the labelling, and I’m really glad you updated that and that I could clarify how granulated dates used as sweetener and chunks of dates act differently.

I indeed learned that there was date sugar in the blend before choosing to try it, and wasn’t in danger. But, that was after two emails from me and a mention of it in a discussion on Steepster and not before I bought it. I mention this in the review. I’m not upset that there is sweetener in the blend, since that was an executive decision of the blenders. I just give my opinion on the inclusion of date sugar and suggest that this should be explicitly stated.

I love supporting small businesses, but part of the reason why I respect them is that they have to contend with the big guys. You can’t really expect to be held to different standards, and you shouldn’t advertise your tea on a community like Steepster if you’re going to take issue with customers voicing their opinions. I wasn’t malicious in my review and my intention was certainly not to make anyone feel bad, but as Angrboda stated I gave my subjective opinion. Everyone reading it knows this. I’m not advertising this review and even after all this, I’m not discouraging people from buying from you. Nor have the others commenting here.

LiberTEAS

You know… this whole thing sort of reminds me of an issue with another company that posts pretty regularly on this site… a company that I personally refuse to buy from now because of my witnessing the treatment of the customer by this company. (Not going to mention any names, but I am sure that some of you probably know which company I’m talking about).

Having been a “mom and pop” operation before (actually, it was just a “mom” operation, just me.) I too poured my heart and soul into the blends I created. I spent nearly a year perfecting my chai. Almost that long with my caramel. My “perfect” chocolate blend took years to create; although I admit that before that, I sold “near perfect” chocolate blends because they were still better than any that I had come across before. That blend was always in a state of being perfected until I reached the perfection point.

Anyway, my point is, I know what it’s like to pour one’s heart and soul into a blend… and how hard it is to read harsh words about the blends. But, you’re in a business, and you have to develop a tough skin and realize that not everyone is going to love your blend the way that you do. There are going to be some people who don’t enjoy it. That’s the way it is. It was a difficult lesson for me to learn as well.

Another difficult lesson for me to learn was how to still treat the customer (even the disgruntled ones) with the respect that they deserve. As a company, the customer is your lifeblood, and it is better to bite the tongue and accept the criticism without taking the stance of “I’m sorry that you have an issue with it” (which makes it sound as though the customer is wrong and you are right) and changing that stance to a more gracious “I’m very sorry. How can I make this right?” This second, more gracious tone validates the customer’s complaint, and makes them feel as though their input is valued, and that is incredibly important. You may not be able to resolve the problem with this particular customer (since dates, date sugar, or date crystals or whatever … is a no-no for a diabetic) but a gracious stance may earn you more customers in the long run.

There are a lot of people out there selling tea. Some may sell it cheaper, some may not have as good a product, but what will keep me coming back is not necessarily these factors but the customer service I receive. If I’m treated well by the company, I’ll be a returning customer.

aisling of tea

I do feel the need to point out that I have ordered from companies simply because they handled issues with other customers well. Or like Verdant Teas, they make an effort to listen to their customers and connect with their customers. My wife and I are huge supporters of their teas because of the personal touch.

I have also cut all ties with certain other companies (one of which I was prepared to spend over $150 on) due to poor customer service/relations.

I have to say, I admire Jessie. But I also have to say that if any of my tea friends are considering ordering from this company, I do plan to refer them to this post and let them make their own decision.

LiberTEAS

Hmmmmm… I wonder who “X” might be.

aisling of tea

This, ladies and gentlemen, is called a “flounce”.

Dorothy

@LiberTeas, X is just http://steepster.com/Magic_Carpet_Tea with a renamed display name.
I think this whole ordeal, with the deletion of the shop and trying to cover up the Steepster details could have been easily avoided.

Jessie

Thanks Rachel! :)

I feel like you were inappropriately bullied into an apology, though. You say you were corrected and that the tea contains “date sugar,” not “real sugar.” They’ve acknowledged that they understand it is sugar. I can’t believe we were both e-mailed with accusations of being “guilty of libel”. It boggles my mind that they would actually make legal threats when we simply offered our opinons. Your original review didn’t say anything inaccurate, though it may have been in wording that they didn’t like.

Jessie

And, sorry for the drama, everyone! I hate causing a fuss.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Probably true. I have also just noticed that they are no longer on Steepster, Twitter , and Tea Trade. Crazy huh?

The Purrfect Cup

You were just giving your honest opinion on a tea. Which is what this site is all about. Thank you for giving it.

LiberTEAS

@Dorothy: I knew that. I was just being snarky.

LiberTEAS

Oh… and Jessie… the drama is not your fault. You were giving an honest review, it was “X” that chose to blow it out of proportion. Not you. :)

Jessie

That is crazy, Rachel. I didn’t want to discourage them from selling tea or make it difficult for them to do so. But as aisling said, there’s something to be said for PR!

Dorothy

I can’t believe they removed their store over one disagreement. Steepster is a good place to write about your tea experiences, because not everyone has the same tastes. I am sure that someone out there would read Jessie’s review and buy the tea anyway because they love oolong and date sugar. To each their own.

And on the note of libel… really? Dislike and making up amazing claims is something different. I’m sad to see that word being toss around on a tea review site filled with our honest opinions.

aisling of tea

Oh, I have no doubt they’re still watching this thread. I hope they enjoy it! I agree with Jessie, Rachel, you were both bullied into making apologies. All of their stuff, the Twitter, the Shop, the account here, they were all gone within seconds of their flounce. They’re just pouting in the corner like any other three year old not getting their way. I have no doubt that they’ll be back.

And, frankly, at the base of the matter, it seems like their tea was really low-quality anyway, so I’m not exactly counting this as a loss for the tea world.

Also, can we all agree that date sugar is, in fact, a “real sugar”? If it weren’t, then it would be called “granulated dates” or something like that.

Tea Trade

This is interesting….

This is something that came extremely fast today and is certainly, in some senses, not a surprise and in some respect, I feel that I owe the tea community something of an apology.

We, at Tea Trade, hosted the Magic Carpet store. I personally assisted them in getting their operation going. We have a number of excellent sellers (many of whom you know here on Steepster), who provide great products and service to their customers. However, the principal person behind Magic Carpet was a known quantity. There were members of our community that were publicly attacked and I had more than one tense conversation with the owner of the company about his manner. We originally hosted two sites (a blog site and the store) for them, but after an incident in the early fall (the second incident this year) we deleted the blog site and I deleted the user account from our system and told him he was no longer welcome on Tea Trade.

The owner and I negotiated a deal, however (though I was told it was primarily going to be Mrs. Magic Carpet, with whom I had very little contact with) to host their sales site. We did so warily but vowed to monitor their activities, knowing full well what Mr Magic Carpet was capable of. Our thinking was that since they (more he) was now in the tea business, there was an ethical burden to behave under pressures of running a good business.

There was a rather public, and shocking, incident that occurred on Twitter about 2 weeks ago that caused us to think again about continued support for their business. That incident came and went and evidence of it has been deleted. And we’ve had no chatter with them on Tea Trade recently, with them only logging in to check orders. From our previous arrangement, they were forbidden to use any of the social features of Tea Trade.

Anyhow, this thread was brought to our attention and, quite frankly, I’m not surprised. I am aware, having watched them for the last 6 months, of what is possible and of the causes for it. I am not at liberty to talk about them, because those are private to the people involved, but they do not excuse inappropriate behavior.

For myself, and my wife Jackie, with whom I operate Tea Trade, I am sorry that the community was subjected to this. I do feel some burden of responsibility for this because we enabled them to operate their business and I am saddened that he was not able to keep himself in check after the chances and help we gave him.

I have personally seen the types of insults that he is known to send at people, some of it has been actually disgusting. I am disappointed that the community even had to put with it and I am deeply sorry to any of you who may have been insulted or offended by him.

Pete Davenport
Tea Trade

Angrboda

Holy monkeys, this blew up BIG while I was sleeping!!! O.O

I’m sorry about all the drama, Jessie, it probably wouldn’t have got this bad if the rest of us hadn’t stuck our noses in where it technically didn’t really belong. Sometimes it’s just impossible to ignore it when we see one of our own getting an unfair treatment.

And Pete, I don’t think you bear any guilt in this. You were willing to give someone a second chance to correct their behaviour, and I think that’s a good thing even when it doesn’t work out.

aisling of tea

Wow…yeah, since this whole mess went down, several people have come out to tell about their bad experiences with this particular person. I just don’t understand how someone like that can get into tea, it’s such an awesome, calming, good-vibe kind of thing.

I agree with Angrboda on several points, the first being that it’s hard to ignore it when we see one of our own getting unfair treatment…it’s called a community for a reason. I can just remember being bullied by companies or people and wishing someone else would speak up and show support. My wife read this when it was all said and done and she said “Wow. That was the nicest gang-up I’ve ever seen.”

The second point I agree with is that no one, Pete, Jessie, or anyone else, bears any blame in this except for Magic Carpet Tea/The Tea Show.

Angrboda

The Tea Sh- what, them again??? Are they involved with Magic Carpet? Or are they the same? I’m missing something here…

aisling of tea

As I understand it, they are one and the same.

Angrboda

Ha, that doesn’t surprise me one bit. I distinctly remember a certain debacle.

aisling of tea

Yeah, that’s what everyone seems to be saying. I don’t know that much about them, but what I’ve seen, I don’t particularly care for.

Jessie

I agree with you both that no one’s at fault but those in question. And, wow, has it been interesting learning more! It all makes sense now.

I also agree with “the nicest gang-up”! Perfect way of putting it. Thanks for chiming in, everyone. What a great community Steepster is.

Angrboda

Yes it is! Sometimes we come across someone who’s not very nice, but for every annoying person there are at least fifty nice ones. I wouldn’t want to be without. :)

Robert Godden

This pair have a massive history of this:
Here’s how they tried to shake done a tea company : http://westiseast.co.uk/blog/weird-seo-twitter-scam/
And here’s how I picked a fight with them
http://thedevotea.teatra.de/2011/10/05/fine-china-as-a-stabbing-device/

But Jesse, you missed a golden opportunity. You should have adopted THEIR methods, and asked for $10 for a good reveiw

Angrboda

GOSH! That guy is seriously scary. That rather makes the debacle I ended up in seem like water in comparison. All we got were a few fatty comments. Oh, and we were all internet newbies. That has all been deleted now, so I can’t link to it. (I possess screenshots, though. Sadly I didn’t think to take any of this thread before the Great Magic Carpet Flounce, but I’ve still got the comments in email notifications. Right now I’m thinking I should hang on to these.)

Jessie

Wow! This makes their statement in an email that “As a tea reviewer myself, I don’t review teas if I have as many bad things to say about them as you did, because nobody sets out to blend or grow bad tea” even more ridiculous.

In this email they also quoted part of my review in order to complain but ALTERED it to fit their argument. Also in this email? “I’m sorry if you’ve had a nasty experience. If it makes you feel better, we did too. With the coupon that you used, we made no profit off of you.”

I had been curious why the seller’s name(s) weren’t anywhere on their site and they seemed to purposely not sign emails. No wonder!

Angrboda: good call. I’m hanging onto my email notifications too.

DaisyChubb

Sending good energy to everyone!

Some people scare me, but the amount of totally amazing wonderful people, the nicest people I have ever had contact with, are on this website. Gracious, kind, honest and passionate. That’s you! :)

ssajami

Wow, I am not wholly surprised that this is the same user as the Tea Show. The bullying techniques are the same.

It appears there have been more than one incidents involving these people, but only those directly involved in each know what had happened.

I am not sure I agree with the “delete the whole thread” method. Would it not be better to flag the threads/comments as potentially offensive, but leave them up so that others can see who these people are – and maybe prevent someone else from being scammed / insulted / bullied?

I agree with DaisyChubb, it’s a truly beautiful thing to see how much honesty and integrity there is here in our little tea-loving community and in the vast majority of the people here – and how the community really comes together to protect/defend one of our own

Angrboda

It depends on whether or not their account gets terminated though. I think when it does, either because someone gets the boot or because they choose to have it terminated themselves, in most places everything they’ve posted would disappear as well.

I’ve seen some places on the internet though where you can get points for good and bad behaviour. Not sure how that works though, seems like it would be an enormous admin task keeping an eye on everybody, but in principle it sounds like a good idea. Then you can get an impression at a glance if someone is being less than nice.

Their argument that nobody sets out to grow and sell bad tea is leaking like a sieve too. Nobody sets out to make a bad cd or a bad film or open a bad restaurant or provide a bad customer experience, yet there are negative, even scathing reviews of such things in the papers every day. A review is, in my opinion, all about the experience of the customer with a certain product, and if that experience is not a good one, that means telling it as it is. A low score and negative adverbs. I was surprised to learn yesterday that there are tea review sites out there that won’t allow mostly negative reviews. I don’t understand that. If you know that everything they say HAS to have a positive spin on it, are they really being honest? Can you really trust anything they have to say about a product? I can’t see why the product of tea has to be ‘protected’ this way. I remember the owner of Golden Moon posting on the boards about how he had taken some of the negative reviews his product had received to hearts, looked for trends in them and used them to try and make a better product and that he felt he had succeeded in that.

Me, if I was given something date flavoured to review and I wasn’t allowed to say anything negative in it, I’d probably have to resort to, it’s tea. It has an aroma and a flavour. It came in the mail. The stamp on the box was pretty. How useful is that?

Finally, yes, Jessie, I’m holding on to mine as well! Gmail is awesome that way. Lots of space and they’re easy to find again later. :) Did you ever change anything in the original review? Shame we didn’t get a screenshot of how it looked at first.

Oh, and DaisyChubb, thank you, you’re very kind. :)

Jessie

Angrboda, I have a friend who wrote music reviews for a while. The site she contributed to made her revise at least one of her reviews for being mostly negative. It is really confusing, and doesn’t really serve the purpose of a review. That’s why Steepster’s format is helpful to consumers.

The only thing I changed was that my original mention said “date sugar” and the second and third mentions said simply “sugar”. So I added “date” in twice. I wish I hadn’t now, but I was trying to get them to calm down while explaining to them that, in fact, saying “sugar” and not “date sugar” does not constitute libel. This was so silly!

Angrboda

Yeah, I know. Clearly every mention of sugar afterwards, unless otherwise specified, links back to that first mention. If you’re writing something about say gluten-free all-purpose flour, you don’t put in ‘gluten-free all-purpose flour’ every time you mention flour. You just put flour, right?

My boyfriend, when I showed him all this yesterday, (which led back to rereading those other screenshots) stated that clearly this guy has some anger management issues. Me, I get the impression that he’s trying to be a manipulative bastard, only it’s not working because we’re not letting ourselves be manipulated. We’re just getting annoyed. :p

And to put a positive spin on things, look how we’re all being brought together and bonding and stuff! Isn’t that awesome? I think it is. :D

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98
drank Heart of Love by Teaposy
6770 tasting notes

2,000TH!!!!!

That’s right!!! This is my 2,000th tasting note!!!! For those of you who participate in the discussion threads and saw and participated in the contest I was holding…THANK YOU ALL!

I also want to thank each and every one of you for following my notes, liking or commenting on them, feeding my habit, and of course, the Steepster Founders for creating this site. We are a family or some may say a cult even…jk…regardless I LOVE IT here!!! Here’s to another 2,000, eh!?

I thought I would make my 2,000th Tea Note a tea that is used to celebrate something…a flowering or blooming tea.

I decided to try this one and when I took it out of the wrapper that was vacuumed sealed it was in the shape of a heart. This is the first time I have had a flowering tea that was in the shape of anything other than a ball. WOOT!

It completely and perfectly opened in less than 5 minutes.

It had a strong aroma of rose and almost a champagne type smell…maybe…I was just THINKING champagne in celebration of my 2,000th…not sure…but still…it was highly scented for a flowering tea…oh yeah…and JASMINE…it also smelled of Jasmine.

The color of the tea liquid is a light yellow brown.

It is a medium strength type flowering tea taste. It’s NOT bitter AT ALL…it’s not even overly floral tasting which is totally fine with me. It’s a sweeter type taste! It’s very nice. Pleasant. Satisfying. I really like this.

You know…it’s even quite juicy. I REALLY like this. Lovely.

I am going to shoot for multiple infusions on this as well as ICED attempts. YAY! I made it to 2,000!!!!

Now for some AWARDS!!!

The person who guessed the correct DAY was EWA…Congrats!!! That was quite a guess!!! You are the GRAND PRIZE WINNER…lol…that seems so weird to say…what I mean by that is I am going to send you a Mystery Mailing with at least 20 random samplings from my own personal stash!

Katie Cooper…you were so darned close and such a good sport I would like to send you a little something as well. It’s just for FUN!

AND…AmazonV…you took it upon yourself to post and keep track of everyone’s entries! WOW!!! That was AWESOME!!! No one asked you – you just DID it!!!! Thank you! You are such a wonderful Steepster! I would also like to send you a little something in the near future!

So…if you 3 would be able to PM me with your snail mail info that would be great! Thanks so much for participating and for the encouragement! It means the world!!!!!

Now…let’s see how many comments we can get in this tasting note…shall we!?

Thanks again EVERYONE!!!

Rabs

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Way to go…you did it!

__Morgana__

Congrats! I was only 5 days off. Lol.

Jason

Yay!!!! Congrats!

Ewa

Congratulations! What a milestone! Great name for a 2000th tea, too :D

Caitlin

congrats!

TeaEqualsBliss

EWAYOU WON!!!! Woot!
Thanks Jason, Ewa, Caitlin, Morgana, Rachel, and Rabs!

Cofftea

Knew I shouldn’t have changed my date- but I figured I always miss epic things like this so I figured you’d reach it the day I left on vacation. PERFECT choice. I’m definitely gonna make some sort of rose/white wine combo as soon as I get a hold of some dried rose petals. I think Ewa should get this in her package:)

TeaEqualsBliss

DOH!!!!! I only had 1 HEART! It was a sample! I don’t have any left of this…sorry EWA…that would have been awesome tho! DRAT! :P

PourMeACup

This is awesomely insane. 2000 notes… I have a long way to go! I don’t even have a decent picture up yet :-P Congrats.

Adham

Congratulations! An achievement we can all aspire too…

Ewa

Ok, the fact that it was in the shape of a heart is just insanely cute and I am kind of glad you only had one because I might have died from cute overload if I saw it in person :P
Man, I can’t believe I won. I CAN SEE THE FUTURE: There will be trouble in the middle east! You will meet a mysterious stranger! Now is a good time to try new things! Your luck numbers are 5 26 2000 32 3 and 10!

Angela

Woot, go Ewa!

Rabs

Congrats to Ewa, Katie Cooper, and AmazonV as well :D

Caaan you feeeeel the Steepster looove toniiiiight?

Miss Sweet

Woah 2000! Thats so amazing, congratulations!

Cofftea

I’m half tempted to delete my “like” and all my comments… When I get up in the morning I’m gonna have 2,000 notices! …just from this tasting note alone! =D

__Morgana__

Congrats, Ewa!

LissaMarie

Congrats!!

SoccerMom

Congrats Ewa! You little fortune teller you! ;)

Auggy

Holy monkeys and congrats! So much tea! :)

SoccerMom

Congrats Tea=Bliss on 2000th! Way to go girlie!

AmazonV

Congratulations! You’ve set the TeaBar for us all to aspire to :) i wish there were pictures of this pretty, and fabulous, 2,000th tea. And thank you squeek

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Congrats on your 2000th note! Look forward to another 2000!

-Jessica-

Big congrats! Can’t wait to see another 2000 notes! ;-)

Cofftea

Might I mention if you follow one more person you’ll be following 1800=D

Suzi

COngratulations!

Jason

All you Steepster peeps rock! It’s stuff like this that makes us happy to work on Steepster :D

TeaEqualsBliss

Oh! Cofftea…soooooo observant! :) Thanks for noticing!!! :)

Cofftea

Well I have been stalking your profile for the past 75 tasting notes or so lol!

TeaEqualsBliss

WOWZA, girl! :P

Garrett

The tea sounds amazing. And definitely congrats on the 2k notes! Can’t wait to see you hit that 3k milestone as well! haha

malomorgen

weeee congrats to both of you :D would really like to see a photo of this flowering one if u maybe took it…

Jillian

You drink so much tea it practically boggles the mind. I joined the site not too long after you did, I think, and I’m still creeping up on my 1K mark! XD

Congrats to Ewa, Katie, and AmazonV. _

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Happy 2,000th tealog TEB!! Now imagine a singing voicemail of that to the tune of happy bday. =)

Congrats to Ewa, Katie, and Amazon! Can’t wait to read your tealogs and see what TEB send you.

Dan

Congrats to TeaEqualsBliss and the winners. Now we have to get ready for the 4,000th tasting note. I still say the day after tomorrow.

TeaEqualsBliss

LOL @ Dan!
Thanks everyone!

JonTea

Congrats! You deserve it! 2000 tasting notes! That’s crazy, I make it my mission to catch up to you someday haha :D

Meghann M

Congrats on 2000 and what a beautiful tasty tea to celebrate with! Also, congrats to Ewa, Katie and AmazonV! Look forward to reading the many tasting notes to come!

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100

Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea has arrived!

It seems like this tea present (more than purchase) will be arriving today (and the rest of this week) in households across North America and then around the World. ANTICIPATION!

I didn’t hesitate and went to the Verdant website, transferred all the information about the tea to Steepster so that we could review our Dragonwell together as it arrives.

Next, I read ‘How to Brew’ which I highly, HIGHLY recommend!

I chose the tumbler brewing method with 5oz. tea leaves, and luckily I had a gallon of Spring water left in the frig.
The quality of the water is very important with this particular tea.

With the tumbler method there was no straining of leaves, no timing of steepings and no worry. The process was very relaxed.

The leaves were jade green, very flat and had a fine white powder on them.

Following the brewing instructions carefully, I filled my tumbler and began blowing the leaves out of the way… sipping what looked like clear water.
That was fun.
I had to take off my glasses…the steam blinded me!

The sight of swirling green leaves and steam was beautiful.
Like the humid mist in the rain forest, I began to sip and think about green winged dragonflies, pure peridot colored leaves,
leaves swirling around like a school of fish.

I kept my eye on the level of the water in my tumbler and pushed the leaves away from my mouth by blowing on the leaves.
As the water level reached the lower third of the glass, I would fill it up again with water.
Blow on the leaves, sip, blow on the leaves, sip, pour in more water, blow on the leaves and sip.
That was all.

At times my technique of blowing leaves away and sipping had all the finesse of a whale sifting plankton. Some got caught in my mouth.

The flavor of the tea was savory soybean. This was the clearest, purest of pure flavors. No astringency, heat or bite. The sweetness was so subtle you hardly noticed.
The taste was soft but still rich and the mineral quality was like laying under a cool waterfall with the smell of wet granite and calcified rock.

As I continued pouring, the water turned pale green, and there was a bit of peppercorn heat.

My forehead became ‘tight’. Hum, I was aware that the tea was letting me know it’s potency. A well adorned object of beauty with hidden powers.

The last time I went swimming in the deep sea was 5 years ago in Kauai. The spot was off some enormous, jutting mountains (you might remember in ‘Lost’ or ‘Jurassic Park’) that go straight up and then straight down as jagged points back into the sea.
There in Kauai, the light penetrated the crystal water so deep that I watched small, flat, silver fish coming close to me then dart away. There was coral, giant marbled green rock…fern-like plants waving softly as though a gentle breeze was moving past them.

That is what I was thinking when I was drinking my tea. About the rocks, fish, sun and water, and the slow gentle movement of living things. I thought about me in the middle of it all floating.

When I finished my tea, I went to the cupboard, took down my small bottle of toasted sesame oil and put just a few drops on the tea leaves with a few grains of salt. (I could have added these to a salad but wanted to taste them as they were.)

They were delicious! Really, really good!

I can’t wait to hear the tasting adventures everyone else has with this tea. What fun, and what a pleasure to have this rare Dragonwell available to us.

This tea was elegant, refined and pure.

Thank you Mrs. Li for sharing your treasure with us!

DaisyChubb

My eyes are crinkling and my smile stretching with longing! A lovely review Bonnie – so full of vivid imagery!

Bonnie

Thank you, your opinion(’s) matter to me.

Terri HarpLady

Yes, a beautiful review, I love the imagery, especially of the whale!

Nik

Beautiful, Bonnie, thank you.

Kittenna

You ate the tea leaves with sesame oil and salt? That sounds awesome! Cannot wait to get my tea and try it out!

Bonnie

Oh yes, of course! Kittenna this is right up your alley (or field of culinary expertise!) …I’ll never forget your stint with asparagus studies either!

Joshua Smith

I was already excited about this tea, but your review has taken my aniticipation to new heights! Also, loved the little scene you painted of Kauai, especially since I’m pretty sure that I went to the same place, and enjoyed it just as much as you did!

Yogini Undefined

Beautiful review!

Kittenna

I still haven’t tried this tea! Bad me! I’m so craving greens + sesame oil right now though. And, my stint with asparagus studies is not over yet (although I wish it was!)

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93

shmiracles! I will have your little tea babies for this one :) i think there IS magic in this box after all.

So part of the reason i REALLY wanted to try this tea is that there’s an ongoing joke in my family about mousse au chocolat. My grandmere? She was from belgium and back in the day was one of the few woman in her day to train at le cordon bleu. It was there that she learned to make mousse au chocolat. As the story goes, she taught my dad to cook and shared with him the family recipe for mousse au chocolat. My entire life i have heard about my grandmere and her famous mousse au chocolat. Which my dad promised me when i was about 7, he would teach me to make…which he has never made in his life for us…which he still has not taught me how to make. And folks? i LOOOOOVVVEEEEE real mousse au chocolat…not to be confused with “chocolate mousse,” that they often serve in restaurants here in canada…which never seems as delicious as it ought to be…as the mousse au chocolat that i’ve had in france.

So when i found out about this tea via shmiracles, i had to try it AND coicidentally my parents were in Paris at the time. So my dad got an email from me: If you can manage it, i’d love for you to pick up this tea while you’re in Paris. I figure it’s the least you can do since you refuse to share grandmere’s recipe with me. :) All in fun of course. So now they’re back…and i suspect they found it somewhere in Paris, since i clearly challenged my father, but i won’t know until i see them again.

So for now, i’m content with this sample from Shmiracles…which is downright amazing! I lost track of steeping it..but this is delicious. It’s not sweet, it’s more like a rich dark chocolate mousse. i think with a bit of milk and sugar, this would turn into an amazing cup of chocolate goodness, but i love this the way it is. Dark and sinfully delicious.

Edit: resteep of this in the morning is also delicious!

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I want some!

Sil

If shmiracles isn’t sending you some and my parents DID manage to find some, i will for sure share with you.

tattooed_tea

Salivating

ifjuly

Man that sounds good!

Shmiracles

i’m so glad i got to share this tea with you! i’m gonna totally savor the portion i have left xo

Kittenna

Sounds awesome. Except no, I need to focus on drinking what I have. Haha.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

That sounds amazing! :-)

cteresa

Oh this one sounds tempting indeed – and I have been coveting these tins, so an excellent souvenir from France indeed!

Any chance you can get the mousse au chocolat recipe? If it´s the official recipe from the Cordon Bleu school, it must be known! Good luck with it.

Sil

cteresa, i’m hoping to see it someday :)

cteresa

And just noticed, Héritage Gourmand is absolutely perfect to describe your family´s history with the chocolate mousse!

Scheherazade

The MF Héritage Gourmand teas sound pretty amazing. If only the MF site worked on my computer, I’d be in tea ordering heaven. It’s probably a good thing for my bank account that it keeps freezing on me, although I’d love to try some of them one day. Yum! That’s all I have to say.

Sil

i wish shipping/duties etc for france to canada weren’t so ridiculous lol

tattooed_tea

haha Sil I JUST added this tea & the macaron one to my chart & got as far as the payment to see how much it would be. With conversion $99.
UGH I want these.

Sil

i think someone had mentioned there are charges added on when they arrive here too. So the only reason i have any MF teas is because my parents or friends have gone to Paris (or through swaps) I DID find a place online that you can order from but it’s a limited selection and obviously doesn’t have any of these special ones. I can share that when i’m home later if you like.

Terri HarpLady

$99 for 2 teas?

ifjuly

Yeah, the other downside is I’ve heard rumors that the tea MF sends to distributors for North America is sort of their…leftovers, like, the surplus selection. Explains why the choice is so limited at the places that do carry it over here. Alas.

tattooed_tea

Yup Terri, the teas are $25 euros each & $25 euros for shipping.
Sil I did find one site, but this one & the macaron are the only ones I’m interested in.

cteresa

I like Mariage Frères very much, they are so very reliable to me though they price things at precisely the top end of how much I would ever consider paying for something. I have never ordered from their site though, because I can find their teas locally, including (luckily) a few of their teas by the weight which is so much more affordable. I pay from 7 to 11 euros per 100 grams for their teas by the weight. The regular black and gold tins are usually from 16 to 19 euros though I lucked out on a half price promotion once and got a stock.Their shipping costs usually start at 25-30 euros though they seem almost flat rate, whether you order 200 grams or 2 kilos, it makes little difference to price.

Heritage Gourmand or the yearly Sakuras, or the new Lily of the Valley or the colored cannisters for destinations (Maharajs) or the totally droolworthy glass apotechary style cannisters for teas to do iced (40 euros! 40 euros) are a different thing from their regular tea and priced much more than their loose leaf teas- I think they are geared for tin collectors (they know me very well, b**tards) or as gifts, so they are very expensive IMO, 25 euros and more for a tin of 100 grams of tea. I have so far resisted.

And if you are likely to be tempted, never ever ever check their teapots and teaware. I am ignoring it all, and pretending never ever seen it.

But weird as it is, how expensive their collector tins and teaware and fancy stuff like jellies and all; the loose leaf by the weight regular teas are priced OK indeed – or better said they are priced high-endish for the sort of tea they are, but are usually top quality for the kind of tea they are and worth it IMO.

tattooed_tea

Oh don’t even get me started on their teaware. So beautiful

ifjuly

Agreed. My jaw dropped the first time I looked at their teaware. First in awe of the beauty, then the price tags, ha.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve never looked at the tea wares, & now I probably never will!
Tony & I have talked about taking a trip to Spain & France. I’ll just have to wait & buy their teas then…whenever that happens…

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100
drank Laoshan White by Verdant Tea
504 tasting notes

Today was such a dramatic day I… left my job.
Wow.
I was shaking when I got home – it really didn’t sink in. And now? I’m elated! (Don’t worry folks, I have another temp job lined up)

And I reeeeally needed a calm down tea. But also a super special one! And so, out pops my best friend, Laoshan White. Thanks LW, for seeing me through this crazy time!

Hesper June

Wow! Congrats!
It feels so empowering to take charge of your own life doesn’t it!?
Very glad you had this tea to come home to and also glad you have some work lined up already (gotta be able to buy tea, right!)

Mercuryhime

Good for you! Sounds like it wasn’t a good environment to work in from what you’ve been writing. It was brave of you to get out before things got worse. Hurrah!

TeaBrat

I hope you find something better soon…

DaisyChubb

Thank you! My coworker and I honestly feel like we barely dodged a bullet. We got out at the exact right time, by the skin of our teeth! So many analogies – and although the hunt is still on for a permanent job, the temp jobs keep the bills paid and the tea bought b^_^

aisling of tea

Congrats!!! hugs and luff

Bonnie

Amazing! Love your positive attitude! This is the right tea for the occasion! Ain’t nothin gettin you down…!!!!!

TeaEqualsBliss

thinking of you!

Dylan Oxford

Totally their loss. Good luck :)

Invader Zim

Hope you find a better place. Definitely stay positive!

Michelle

Wow! I hope your new job is better than your old one, and I hope you find a permanent one you love! ♥

tigress_al

Good for you! Good luck in your next job

Missy

Good luck! :)

Will Work For Tea

I’ve done that after being on the (temp) job for only 4 days. Sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself. It’s scary, but totally liberating! Just know that something better will come along, with better pay! :)

Spoonvonstup

Good luck!!!!

Ninavampi

Congrats! There are few things worse than having a job you don’t like! So I hope your new one is 1000 times more enjoyable!! :)

Jim Marks

Mabrouk !!!

I am hoping to do the same, soon, and I cannot wait for that feeling.

DaisyChubb

Wow! Thank you for your kind words everyone!!!
I encourage you all to take hold of your life and find happiness and liberation! And of course, share on Steepster so we can all celebrate together :D

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you are the best community evar!

Babble

Good luck! Glad you’ve got something else lined up.

Helena

You’ll get a better job and be much happier hopefully it will also have better pay! :D Drink tea and be happy

CHAroma

Good luck on the job front. I hope the next one is a keeper!

Kittenna

Yikes! I got the impression that it perhaps wasn’t going wonderfully, but I see that may have been an understatement. I hope things improve with the next one!

Indigobloom

How did I miss this?! Sorry to hear things ended badly.
No matter, from what I gather, you like the job you’re in now and that’s awesome!! :)

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92

My 100th tasting note on Steepster! Thanks to everyone for making this community what it is: a friendly and fantastic hangout for tea fanatics. I visit this place at least a couple times a day (usually more) because it’s just a great place to be!

This was a sample I got with my last Verdant order, and I tried it gongfuish style in my tasting cup, with subsequent short steeps. Like the Laoshan black, the little curly dry leaves gradually unfold into full tea leaves. On my first sip I was immediately hit with asparagus! Thankfully I love asparagus. Next there were green beans. On the second steep the beans were still there but also a bit of toast flavor. Third steeps and after it got really creamy and buttery, almost like the bi luo chun I had a few months back but the sesame oil flavor was not quite as strong. Unfortunately I didn’t try the summer harvest while it was available, but this is a really delicious and well-made green. What can I say? The He family just makes fantastic tea.

Warning: this ended up really long!
I’ve been swirling something around inside my brain for awhile now on the nature of snobbery as it relates to tea and literature, and I think I will finally share it. Without going into too many details, awhile back someone came on the Steepster forums and said something about a much loved tea company that was not nice (or true), and it was pretty snobby too. It got me thinking.
At the time I was working on a paper comparing Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” to Thomas Kyd’s “The Spanish Tragedy”. I had a couple of thoughts on how I think of snobbery, and I think Shakespeare serves as a good example for both of them. First, that sometimes people make things highbrow or “fancy” when the original creator did not intend for it to be highbrow or fancy. Second, that being able to appreciate what is “fancy” does not necessarily take away from one’s enjoyment of things that are not. (Can you tell I just put on my academic writing hat?)
To tackle the first issue, let’s think about Shakespeare and “Titus Anddronicus”. Our society absolutely views Shakespeare as highbrow entertainment. In part, this is an issue of language; the English language has evolved quite a bit since the Renaissance. However I think Shakespeare is largely thought of as highbrow because academia has made him so. How many times have we heard Shakespeare referred to as the greatest author that ever lived? And yet, Shakespeare was far from highbrow in his own time. In later years his troupe performed for royalty on occasions, but if you were a Londoner in Shakespeare’s day you could see one of his plays for a penny. You could also see a bear-baiting for a penny, in fact those took place right down the street. Shakespeare wrote from popular demand; playwrights had to keep up with popular opinion if they did not want to lose a sale to bear-baiting. “Titus Andronicus” is a prime example of this; it’s full of revenge, spectacle, and dead bodies. Revenge tragedies were very popular when he wrote it. People wanted to see revenge and dead bodies, so Shakespeare gave it to them. It’s only now that we make it highbrow entertainment. Likewise, I do not imagine that all tea makers think of making tea as a “highbrow” beverage, but how often do people make it so?
Secondly, I understand that as we enjoy better tea, our tastes change. As I have learned more about literature, I’ve gained a better appreciation of certain authors and books. Five years ago I would not have written a six page paper based off of four lines in a Shakespeare play. However, this knowledge has not made me only happy to read Shakespeare or classic authors. In fact, many of the books I read for enjoyment are new and popular books. I may not feel they are as complex as Shakespeare, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. However, there are limits to this; there are some massively popular books out there that without naming titles, I just think are bad. Likewise, there are many teas I might have enjoyed years ago that I now think are bad. What I hope is that I continue to find a balance. I want to be able to appreciate very fine teas as well as the ones that are decent, or middle of the road. I hope that I also always appreciate fine literature, as well as the books that are just decent. I think sometimes we can like things that are not “highbrow”, and things that are fancy don’t have to be fancy.

And if you’re still with me after all that, I award you five gold star stickers.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Claire

Thanks Bonnie! :)

Bonnie

HOORAY FOR YOU 100!!! As the winemaker at Mondavi told me, he sometimes drank Gallo Reserve which was inexpensive but tasted good even though his wines were more expensive and highly desired. To be a tea ‘snob’ is to have a lack of humility. When you lose humility, you prove that you have failed to learn from tea. You have made a good point.

Rachel Sincere

Congrats on #100!

Ninavampi

Congrats no 100!!!

DaisyChubb

Claire! Amazing, first of all – congrats for 100!
Second of all, I would like to redeem my 5 stars ;)

That was wonderfully written – I’m a theatre student so I followed the whole way (while kicking myself as to why I had never thought of it that way before ;) ) Thank you for opening my eyes to a way of thought that I’ve been struggling with ever since the little forum kerfuffle.

Thank you for putting my feelings into words :)

Donna A

Very interesting thoughts. I got my bachelor’s in nursing, but took Shakespeare as an elective and when I found out I would be having to write even just a page or two on a few lines in Shakespeare, I was very anxious to say the least! Anyway, I think you make some great points regarding both tea and books.

Invader Zim

Congrats on 100 Claire! Now where’s my 5 stars?! You write well enough that even I, a wildlife science major, was able to follow and understand. I agree with Bonnie in that the nature of snobbery/highbrow is the lack of humility.

softrevolution

Loved reading this! What an interesting comparison; I found myself nodding along with you as I read – there are so many things in food, literature, and culture in general that have humble beginnings but somehow stumble into the realm of highbrow, which I find pretty amusing. Lobster and foie gras come to mind as dishes that started out as poor man’s food but evolved into delicacies. Really makes you wonder!

Claire

Thanks everyone and 5 gold star stickers to all my readers (and I hope you all have some good tea too)! :)

Bonnie

I wish we could all have afternoon Tea, go to the Theatre for Shakespeare then have a dinner of Lobster and Foie Gras with some good Wine.

Claire

That sounds fantastic, Bonnie. I’m down for all of that!

Angrboda

I agree with your thoughts about the snobbery. When I first started really learning about tea, I turned completely super-snob for a while? Tea bags? No thank you. Cream in tea? Gosh, no! Always milk if anything. That sort of thing. All. The. Way. Now, however, I have learned even more and I’ve come to realise that life is just too short for that sort of thing, and if I occasionally drink the odd teabag when there’s nothing else interesting available, then so be it. I can always go home and make something else afterwards. I can’t be bothered to be a snob. It’s way too energy consuming, really.

bravedave

Totally agree with your thoughts Claire. Well said.

Nik

Congrats on 100, Claire! Loved reading your thoughts on tea, literature and snobbery. I agree with Angrboda: life’s just too short. For me, drinking tea is less about education and health than it is about yum. Every cup of tea is made in search of the almighty yum. Your yum may not be the same as my yum, and that’s okay. If my yum is achieved with the help of milk ‘n’ sugar, condensed milk, honey, maple syrup, ‘nog, whatever, that’s okay too. And if other tea drinkers don’t agree with me and cringe at my list of potential additives, well, that’s okay too. =)

Mark B

Well said.

Claire

Thanks again everyone for the kind words. Recently my friend Lauren wrote a post on being inclusive vs. exclusive and it summed up a lot of my feelings on the subject: http://www.falconesse.com/2012/11/14/theres-room-for-everyone-in-the-nerd-house/

Claire

I forgot to add there is a lot of swearing in that post, so if swearing offends you fyi!

Donna A

I think Lauren has the right idea. Why not be inclusive (as long as no harm is being done?)

Invader Zim

I agree, there’s no need to make fun of someone because of their interests or lack of knowledge of something. Introduce them to it if you are interested in it instead of excluding them!

El Monstro

A lot of my professors didn’t care for Shakespeare that much. If I remember correctly, a lot of his stuff is basically updated Greek plays? There are all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories involving him too. I liked Macbeth and his psycho wife quite a bit.

Claire

Many of his plots were adapted or taken from Greek works, and Shakespeare was particularly influenced by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. While today we see this kind of writing as largely negative, this was the standard for the 16th and early 17th century. If you read a lot of Renaissance literature, you’ll see that authors commonly borrowed from one another or mimicked another person’s work. For some interesting examples of borrowing, read Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy and then Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, or Shakespeare’s Hamlet and then The Revenger’s Tragedy (author unknown). Other fun facts: Shakespeare was not the only writer of his time to write plays called “King Lear” or “Hamlet.” His telling of King Lear has some shocking changes compared to other playwright’s versions. Unfortunately Kyd’s version of Hamlet got lost.

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100
drank Eight Candles by Della Terra Teas
807 tasting notes

Simply the best tea from Della Terra Teas to date.
I pray that this is not a seasonal only tea.
If it is going to be seasonal only then I need to really REALLY stock up as this I am in love with.
This is THE most marshmallowy tea I have ever tasted. Yet not just marshmallow but caramel marshmallow!
Full review will be posted on http://sororiteasisters.com/
but for now – GET SOME before I get it all!

Scatterbrain

This sounds great.

CupofTree

Omg want.

Azzrian

Seriously …. its SO good – Steep two is really nice as well. I doubt I would get a third steep that is very noteworthy BUT steep two is still rockin that marshmallow flavor!

Denise @ Nature's Tea Leaf

Looking forward to the full review!

softrevolution

Eeeee can’t wait to try this one! MARSHMALLOW! Looking forward to your Sororitea Sisters review as well :)

Azzrian

Thank you both!

Ysaurella

the name of the tea itself sounds really magic !

Ysaurella

just tell me Azzrian, is this Della terra teas different from the DT teas with marshmallows ? I mean do we taste the tea base in this tea ?

Azzrian

Ysaurella – I do not like DT base. Nor do I like how sometimes with some of their teas their sweetener or flavorings leave this oily coating on the top of the cup. To me, there is no comparison between the two – Della Terra is the clear winner. Now there are a FEW DT’s that I love but only a few.

Azzrian

Oh and I am sorry I understand your question more now – yes you can still taste the black tea base – the flavors are strong mind you but they don’t cover the taste entirely of the base.

Azzrian

Also just so you know – there was no problem at all with how you stated your question – it was quite clear – I am just feeling a little tired today so did not read it completely before answering :)

Rachel Sincere

I LOVE marshmallowy teas! Yikes!

Ysaurella

no problem Azzrian, however I think I do not like DT tea base (I tasted only 4 but have the same results each time) :)
Did you manage to taste Pleine Lune ?

Azzrian

Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure yet. I will eventually get to though.
I wonder how difficult it would be for us to do a trade? I have never shipping anything to Paris before!

Ysaurella

I send you a PM

Azzrian

:) great thanks.

Kittenna

Damn! I didn’t order this one in my Try Me packs :(

Sare

this sounds good!

zacherywolf7

how do you steep this?

GiggleGoddess

Is this better then Love in a Cup? The only thing different is there aren’t any sprinkles…

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99
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
500 tasting notes

The dry leaf aroma = ecstasty! O-M-G! Seriously, this is what ecstasy smells like. It’s not good, it’s not fantastic, it’s ecstasy! In layman’s terms, it smells like caramel hot off the stove. Mmm, caramel toffee with a bit of sea salt. I can totally get that from the aroma. Oh, I can’t wait to brew this up!!

The package of my sample says to steep this for 4-7 minutes. Seven minutes is a little long for a first steep, so I’m going with 4 minutes. Wow, the aroma of the brewed tea is exactly like the dry leaf! It also brewed up really dark and opaque. Ah, my mouth is watering! I just want to drink this right now!!! The whole room has been flooded by this tea’s aroma. My fiancé even asked if I was making food, haha! Why can’t you just cool off faster?!!

Finally, it’s not too hot to sip and it is LEGEN-wait for it-DARY!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!! It doesn’t even need milk or sugar! I can drink this straight! Wow!!! I can’t believe how extraordinary this is!! Like eating a caramel toffee and then drinking a great black tea! Oh so sweet and delicious! If it were Christmas, I’d call this a Christmas miracle!

I didn’t actually see coconut flakes in the blend nor do I smell or taste it. If coconut’s in there, it must be toasted coconut flakes because everything in the dry leaf mix is brown or golden. Nor is the salt individually identifiable. I think the coconut and salt in this tea just contribute to the overall rich, buttery, awesome flavor.

Even the aftertaste is ecstasy! There’s no astringency and maybe just the tiniest hint of bitterness as it begins to cool. But I’m very sensitive to bitterness, so I don’t think most people would notice this. And honestly, it doesn’t bother me in the least. Second steep for 8 minutes, and this time I added skim milk and Truvia right away. Now it’s a much sweeter caramel tea and much more liquid candy-like. But just like with Love Tea #7, the first cup is my favorite.

This is just the perfect caramel tea! This is what I wanted the caramel tea from ESP Emporium I recently purchased to be. Perfection!! Right here! In my cup! Yesss!!!

I feel like so many new teas I’ve tried have been getting extremely high ratings from me lately. But this tea truly does deserve it. DAVIDsTEA is quickly becoming my new favorite tea company! Everything I’ve tried is a hit! These people know what they’re doing! I’m definitely going to have to order more of this when my sample is gone!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
momo

Oh wow, I can’t wait to try this one!

Azzrian

Damn I want some of this and by the way you cracked me up! “LEGEN-wait for it-DARY!!!!!” I just finished my marathon watching this and now I want to know WHO IS BARNEY MARRYING???? I don’t have access to the last season yet Ugggggggggggggg

CHAroma

Seriously! I have no idea either.

Mercuryhime

I love Barney! And yeah, his future wife is such a mystery!

Hesper June

Well,I saw the last show, and it is certainly strongly suggested of who she is…

Azzrian

I heard about this HOWEVER you know how this show is – she could be marrying someone else. SIGH I can’t wait. I am that person who wants all her gifts before the holiday lol

CHAroma

Spoiler alert, Hesper June! Hahaha, let us be surprised!

Hesper June

I know, thats why I didn’t say it yet;)

Azzrian

It’s the old lady in the window he slept with that night he had to hit 200.

Azzrian

Ugg my daughter corrected me – that was not the same episode…my joke failed!!! LOL

Hesper June

Oh My Gosh! You are so funny:)

Azzrian

Yes because I am AWESOME! Some would even say … LEGEN… wait for it… DARY! Seriously though I can’t wait for the last season to come out on DVD or netflix. SIGH

Hesper June

The Awesome Azziran! That is what I shall call you from now on…

Azzrian

And THAT is AWESOME lol

CHAroma

Barney is funny, but Marshall is definitely my favorite character. I just love him! XD

Azzrian

He really is a sweetie – the kind of guy anyone wants their daughter to marry.

Hesper June

Yes, I like Marshall too.
I have family from Minnesota, so I always crack up at the Midwestern references they make (like the Mayo, Gummy Bear Potato Chip Salad;)
Plus, Lily and Marshall are such a cute couple!

Azzrian

Hesper really? NO! Do Minnesotans really eat stuff like that? LOL

Hesper June

Well, its greatly exaggerated but there are some interesting casseroles I have partook in.
And, just so you understand my family…My Minnesotan Grandmother calls Hamburger Helper a “snack” food!

CHAroma

Hahahahahaaa!! That’s hilarious!

Azzrian

Hahha! Awesome!
Well I make a salad some say is odd but I think it is normal.
Apples, Cheddar cheese and mayo. (there are spices too)
Is that odd?

CHAroma

I don’t know, but I just had Swiss cheese fondue last night and dipped Granny Smith apples in it. OMG!! Sooooo good!

Hesper June

No,Azziran, that sounds yummy!
But, then again look at my heritage;)
Yes, Charoma, if you go to her house, her exact words would be “Oh, well, it is gonna be an hour or two till Supper, But I will whip you up a Hamburger Helper to snack on”

Azzrian

LOL!! That is so cute Hesper! I want to visit your granny! :)
CHAroma and Hesper – glad it does not sound too bizarre. My daughter and I LOVE it.
Good lord I need to find food now.
Steepster break till later.

Kittenna

Damn, I didn’t send you Creamy Nut Oolong, so I can’t force you to compare the two. Grrrr. I need someone to back me up on how similar the flavour is! Also, the coconut appears to be finely chopped.

Haha guys, your convo is amusing! I have seen the last ep of season 7 and while it does seem to indicate who the bride is, I’m skeptical since they like to do a lot of misleading!! I’m sad though; I read that the eighth season may be the last. Either that or they continue to the tenth season (I don’t think this is a spoiler, but it sure looked like Ted had a kid in… 2015??)

CHAroma

I know the show is all about Ted and how he meets his future wife, but I honestly think he’s the least interesting/fun character.

Kittenna

Awww, I kind of have a crush on him! But I agree that the other characters/actors are fantastic and I love the Marshall/Lily storylines, etc.

I read my above message and realized that I clearly forgot my train of though to saying that last bit – I meant to say that at least we’ll soon find out who Ted’s future wife is, because if he has a kid in 2015, which one ep seemed to indicate, he’s gotta meet this woman prior… and there’s only three years left!

Azzrian

I think Ted being the least interesting has a purpose though – I mean the show is about him but really its about his life and experiences with the other more leading characters. Still you can’t help but love his romantic ways SIGH I have a crush on him too Kit – yes Kit that is what I am calling you. LOL

Kittenna

Hahahaha, I can handle Kit ;) I thought that at least if I kept a long-ish name that began with ‘K’, people maybe wouldn’t get quite as confused! I know someone else changed their name on here recently, and I was super thrown!

Azzrian

I probably have no idea who that is. I am not “with it” on those things.
You realize your photo by your posts is still the same right?

CHAroma

Azzrian, you have to clear your browser cache for the photo to change.

Azzrian

Oh okay – wait – what – the photo has changed now. Okay well ummmm I was going to clear chache but it changed anyway but yes that makes sense.

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94

First Tasting…from a sample I received with my last Verdant order. (Prior to my full cake purchase arriving.)

Intro
I didn’t realize at first that the sample I received with my order was the same as the 07 cake I later purchased. The label was marked 06 instead of 07.
I thought I had received one of those extra’s that are never going up on the Verdant site, or a future tea that might be released in a few weeks. You never know with tea, things are always changing.

Tasting at H.L.
So I took my little sample to Happy Lucky’s to taste with my tea friends, Sam and Joe, and my granddaughter Schey.
Joe set up a little Gaiwan and 4 cups, then rotated through 7 short steepings.
From the beginning I didn’t think he used enough leaf and the steep time was instant, but he thought otherwise.
The first steeping was tongue numbing, and tasted ashy. The smell was sweet tobacco. The Pu’er was never bitter or harsh, just ashy tasting and vegital.

That didn’t concern me, I knew how a first steeping was so often unreliable in judging what future steepings would taste like.

It took 3 additional steepings for the ash and tobacco taste to subside, finally allowing a lighter, green tea flavor to emerge with a slight astringency.

I determined then to spend time at home brewing this Pu’er ‘MY WAY’. Something wasn’t right.

Curious about my sample, I sent David Duckler an e-mail. He said the handwritten sample said ’06 but was really the 2007 Fuhai Sheng. Aha!

Now I knew how to brew!

Prep
I decided to do a Western Style brewing to get a larger amount of tea all at once to envelop myself in the aroma and flavor. I also wanted to use lots of leaf.

I used SPRING WATER!!! (I do believe this made a big difference)

Steep time….1 minute! 8 oz water 5 grams or so leaf

The aroma of the leaves was lightly vegital with a background scent of Grammer School paste.

The color remained pale yellow.

The scent of the tea changed in such a peculiar way. I smelled sweet tobacco in the beginning then sweet spiced pickle, cinnamon, savory and sweet green tea.

Second Tasting Western Style
With the very first sip I was stunned at how instantly the tea numbed my tongue. Not just the tip but under the tongue.
The flavor was an ash-vegital taste that wasn’t too salty. The Pu’er was never bitter or harsh and had a natural sweetness.
I had the sensation of cream without a thick mouth-feel.
As the tea cooled just slightly there was a growing presence of cinnamon.
I was pleased that my choice to brew Western Style using more leaf and longer steep time had worked out so well!

The second steep was like the first and the third was less ashy, dryer and a weaker cup.
I needed to make an adjustment!

At Stepping #4, I changed the time to 1 minute 45 seconds. Perfect!

Always the experimenter, and following a hunch…I took a small break, took a bite of chicken and came back to my tea (just seconds away to keep the tea hot).

By taking that break, I discovered the Pu’er’s Savory personality! Sipping the Pu’er was really good with my light chicken dish in a way that an excellent light savory broth would be.
I could still feel a bit of tingle, that numbing feeling in my mouth that was kind of cool and a green plantain starchy flavor that is a little sweet as it begins to ripen with a hint of cinnamon (super light). (The cinnamon was sometimes only on the nose)

Conclusions
For my first encounters with this Pu’er, I didn’t taste apricot or nut.
The environment often changes what you taste from one day to another too. This is why I seldom eat before tasting tea.
Perhaps in the future my experience will deepen and I will taste many things as the Pu’er itself changes.

My recommendation is to use the best water, don’t skimp on leaf and steep long enough to get good flavor. If at first you don’t succeed try again. I bought a cake and a sample size to play with. Sheng is not like Shu Puerh. This is not earthy, fishy or mushroom tasting.

Sheng are a whole different adventure in the world of Pu’er and I for one have a lot to learn.

TeaBrat

nice, I ordered one of these too. ;)

Terri HarpLady

I ordered the sample, which arrived today, but did not order a full cake (although I almost talked myself into it when there was only one left…). I’m looking forward to giving it a try!

Mrnixonpants

Well, today’s the day. I’m going to that tea bar to see what I think. Wish me luck – hopefully I’ll be making friends! =)

Bonnie

Good Luck…have fun…at least we get a story out of you!!!

Mrnixonpants

Okay it was awesome! I’m so glad I went. It was strange because it’s run out of an upstairs apartment so going in you feel like you’re going through someone’s house you don’t know, but once we got inside there was a little bar set up and a friendly guy behind the bar serving gongfu tea. He was very informative and the tea was great! There were 2 other people that were there and they were very friendlly as well. It was so much fun to drink tea with other people who actually enjoy tea and not people I’m forcing to drink tea who have no clue what I’m trying to do when replicating gongfu with stuff in my kitchen lol!! Yeah…I think I’ll make it a regular friday thing. So happy I read your reviews and decided to check my area again because they defintiely were not there before!! =)

Bonnie

Hooray!!! Probably this will be your tea bar or pub! As you get to know people you might even share samples. I take tea to drink with my servers and they give me tea sometimes too or a free pot of tea. You learn so much more that way. Good for you!

Mrnixonpants

I’m so excited I even got to buy some tea from the tea farm he worked on over the summer in Hawaii. I can’t wait to go again next Friday and I feel like he can really teach me a lot about puer because he loves it and I don’t know much about it, so I am hesitant to include it in my online orders. Yay tea friends! Woohoo!

Terri HarpLady

Yay, Mrnixonpants!! Sounds like an awesome experience!

Bonnie

Woo Hoo indeed!

ashmanra

Awesome! I wish there was a place like that around here – I would be all over it.

Bonnie

Sunday I was invited to a Sunday google+ tea chat group that meets at 3pm at a local shop. I was recommended by Eric at Happy Lucky’s…still another benefit of visiting places LIVE and seeking them out!. The group sips tea and blogs about it on google+ just for about an hour.

Terri HarpLady

Well, that’s cool! Fun with tea drinkers!

Bonnie

Still, I’d rather be on a cruise ship riding around with all you guys sippin…

tperez

Hehe, that would be awesome!
Teatanic: The unsinkable tea convention… :D

Thomas Smith

About how much leaf was used in the gaiwan and was there a rinse? When I read you used more leaf at 5g/8oz I kinda choked a little on the bran flakes I was eating, hahaha. I always start around 4g/100mL with both sheng and shu, though I vary the time and temp between ’em.

Bonnie

Thomas S- Well, the first time (using a Gaiwan) was about 2g in 4oz water for about 20-30 seconds and weak (remember I said I told the guy he needed more leaf) so I knew that going to 5g in 8oz water would be fine. I did 1 rinse. It was the time that mattered. I increased the time to about 1 minute right off.
(Verdant suggests 4g for 8oz water starting at 30 seconds for Western Style then increasing to 1 minute)

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100
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
344 tasting notes

i love this tea…. go figure, it was made for me! but it’s not just the blend i love…. it was the whole process.

stacy is brilliant. we all know that, but working with her one on one that is absolutely reinforced. we tried tons of combinations. we were all over the map! she listened to every idea i had and added in her experience, what did we get? a delightfully NOT tropical coconut/baked banana praline invention that makes me feel like i’m eating dessert even though i have very proudly (and honestly!!!) been off sugar for 2 weeks now.

the banana level is deep, very reminiscent of when i make baked bananas with butter, lemon juice and a pinch of brown sugar. the hint of lemon is there, i swear. the coconut is beautifully balanced by the banana and praline. not to mention the taiwanese assam! i love that the blend has a brilliant tea to back it!

if you have dreams of tea i cannot recommend stacy lim highly enough. the person, the process and the result. she even allowed for my particular fondness of cream and sweetener (formerly known as sugar, lol). it’s great with, without. hell, it’s just great.

thank you so much stacy…. i have sent a bunch of it out, though only two know it’s coming, lol!

of course it gets 100%! oh, and in case you need the reference that stacy and i geeked out over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-q3_XoS2T8 …. believe you me, there were many, MANY discussions about dr. who tea names!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Sounds delicious!

JustJames

it was alot of fun. at a certain point stacy said ‘it needs a fruit balance’. i disagreed. i finally conceded with ‘bananas’ to which she disagreed but agreed to make up a batch with prejudice (LMAO) then she wound up loving it and so did i. which is amusing because i usually have a hefty banana bias. it was awesome.

CrowKettle

I might have to request some of that sometime.

JustJames

absolutely! i have an immense amount, lol!

Terri HarpLady

That sounds delicious!

JustJames

truly my friends…. PM me your addresses, i’ll shove a sample in an envelope and shuffle it your way. i have a ton of tea, no swaps, but you are more than welcome to try it. i have zero problem buying some US stamps and sending a sample your way. obviously same for my fellow canadians. =0)

ifjuly

that does sound really good!

Amariel

OMG, a River Song tea. Are the bananas from a grove in Villengard, by chance? Heh. PS I want to try some, and apparently we live in the same city? How’s that happen? :P

JustJames

I JUST NOTICED THAT 30 SECONDS AGO, lol. yay powers of observation. well, we’ll just have to meet up so i can hand you over a sample. not sure about the origins of the bananas, but i can tell you this much….. if stacy has access to a TARDIS or an atypical presentation of time and space in any way whatsoever then i want in!

Amariel

Yep. Anyhow, it won’t be in the next week, since I am traveling stateside to visit friends, family, and go to Long Island Who. :P But after that, for sure.

Butiki Teas

This blend was soooo much fun to make! This was the first time working with someone where we just let the flavors go wherever they wanted to go. The only two requirements were coconut and complex flavors. We even tried a lime, rose, coconut. In my head that one sounded so good but in reality it tasted like musty curtains.

JustJames

HAHAHAHAHA….. that is an awesome taste metaphor!!! i have sent a bunch out. i will be sending more. appropriately my dear you are brilliantly appreciated and not just by me! xoxo

CrowKettle

I’ll PM you too in a bit but we also live in the same city. Maybe I’ll snag some off of Heather :P

JustJames

whichever is easiest for you =0)

Amariel

We can plan something when I get back. :)

Sil

i might just love you a lot for making this tea.

VariaTEA

I don’t even know how I got to this tasting note but this tea sounds amazing

JustJames

i’m not sure if i get to say thank you or not….. my wishlist our con-joined fussing, stacy’s work? lol!

Sil

justjames..i want it all. I’m so excited for our swap heh

JustJames

me too!! am i waiting for nina’s to arrive? or am i sending today/tomorrow?

Sil

Send it whenever lol. I’m in no rush. Like i said, I don’t need Nina’s :) stacy teas on the other hand…

Hello.Kiki

This sounds amazing!

JustJames

it’s quite excellent! stacy is amazing =0)

Amariel

Can’t wait til I can try some.

MissB

Stacy will be selling it soon, it sounds like. :) Then we can all get our fix.

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