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70

This came in the mail today! My first order from 52teas, but not my first experience with them. I’ve been pleased with them so far, so let’s keep the good teas coming!

This smells very strongly of raspberry. I’m not particularly fond of raspberries, but I certainly don’t dislike them. However, I love cheesecake and things with cream cheese, so I had to try this. I can also smell the honeybush base underneath all that raspberry.

It actually tastes like a danish! I can taste raspberries the most, but the aftertaste is sweet like cream cheese and frosting. Wow! I’m drinking this unsweetened and without milk. It doesn’t need sweetener, but I think a splash of milk would benefit this.

The only thing that is disappointing is that I wish there was more of a cream cheese taste. It’s barely there, even in the after taste.

Yum, the aftertaste really makes me happy. Today has been a good tea day!

Cofftea

YES! More cream cheese!

Erin

have you tried any teas that have a really strong cream cheese or cheesecake flavor?

Cofftea

Nope. Not one. :(

52teas

It’s the fat content that really makes the cheesecake and cream cheese as amazing as they are. You might consider adding some sweetened condensed milk to make it really creamy and rich.

Cofftea

I’d just prefer there be more cream cheese:)

Josh

You make this sound soo good! Thanks to you and Cofftea I think I may have to start trying more flavored teas.

SoccerMom

@ Josh I agree Erin’s post had me looking for a sweet afternoon treat.

Erin

@Josh if you’re looking to try some flavored teas, stay away from Adagio’s flavored blacks. their flavored whites are really good (my favorite is their White Blueberry). everything i’ve had from 52teas has been good, plus they have free shipping!

Cofftea

Josh, as much as I respect Erin, her opinions, and her right to have her own tastes- I’d really suggest forming your own opinions of teas. I love trying teas that people say “Don’t try!”- a lot of the time I’m glad I did.

Ricky

Second the whole stay away from Adagio’s flavored. I think it depends how strong you like your flavored teas. 52teas is a bit too light for me (light as in the flavors too weak). It definitely taste / smells like what it’s advertising, but I wish the flavor was a bit stronger. So you like Jasmine, so you can probably stand floral tea. Teavana perhaps? Or give Golden Moon’s sampler of 31 teas for $20 a try. They have a wide variety of flavored teas there.

Ricky

Cofftea is right too. I mean you might end up liking Adagio’s flavored teas. They do have some decent ones.

Cofftea

Ricky, YES to the whole lighter thing (i.e. this one) w/ 52teas. And YES to the GM sampler which I’m still coveting. =D

Erin

Ahh, Cofftea and Ricky have made me see the error of my ways. Of course try everything; form your own opinions!

Erin

@52teas – I’ll try the sweetened milk idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

Cofftea

Josh, Adagio has some amazing jasmine teas.

Ricky

No, no Erin. I’m totally with you. I tell people to stay away from Adaigo’s flavored black as well. The way I see it, there are some decent Adagio flavored teas, but you can get a lot better flavored teas for around the same price with another company.

Cofftea

Better is so flippin relevent though:) I personally don’t like flavored blacks (other than chai) so I haven’t tried a lot of them, but the ones I have tried have been good for me. So you can either take that as “She has no clue what she’s talking about” or “Wow! Even she likes this!”=D

Ricky

Yes, in the end it really depends on the person =]

Erin

I second Ricky’s latest comment! And I agree with Cofftea on their jasmine.

~lauren.

Can I chime in with my two cents so late in the day? Josh, if you get a chance, try Harney’s flavored blacks – I recently re-discovered them and am loving them (Paris, Florence, etc).

oOTeaOo

Wow.. when I first saw this, I did a double-take. Cream Cheese Danish?! This sounds so interesting :)

S

Well, I think Erin is spot on with her description of Adagio’s flavored blacks, and it is completely acceptable and DESIRABLE that people on Steepster make recommendations about which teas to try (and conversely, which to avoid). Not sure why anyone would get in arms about that, especially on what is essentially a tea review site. There’s no reason why someone should have to freaking apologize for their comment about a tea they don’t like and wouldn’t recommend. Just my two cents.

@Erin Your description of this tea made me want raspberry cheesecake! Hmm…I wonder if the nearby grocery store has any…

Josh

@ Erin, Cofftea, Ricky, and Lauren
Thank you so much for the debate on flavored teas. When I think of drinking a flavored tea I really want it to pop, otherwise what would really be the point. I have been looking at 52 Teas website today for the first time and they have a few things that really stuck out to me. I also had a look at the Golden Moons Sampler but it doesn’t list what teas come with the extraordinary 31 flavor sampler. Is there a good variety of their flavored teas in that sampler? Also how many cups do you get from one of those samples?
I will most likely order some from both places just because I have never had tea from either one and just try them out for myself.

Ricky

Josh, it doesn’t list what comes with it, because it’s their whole collection. They give you every single of the their teas they have to offer so browse their website or Steepster.

Isn’t that great though? All the teas from a company? =] Use coupon code Steepster to get free shipping.

Cofftea

Josh- Yeah 52teas’ blends are pretty amazing. EVERY one of their teas that they carry come w/ the sampler. That’s why everyone that has tried it loves it and everyone that hasn’t covets it!=D As for the size of the samples, they very- some as tiny as ~1.8g unfortunately. :(

Ricky

They have plain teas and flavored ones. I think what’s great about the sampler is that it gives you a good variety / understanding of all their teas and the company. Each sampler gives you about one to two cups. Of course you can get multiple infusions from each one.

Honestly, where else can you get 31 teas for $20? That’s .65 cents a cup of tea. Free shipping too =]

~lauren.

Hey Josh! Golden Moons Sampler has all of them (31) – Coconut Pouchong, Vanilla Mint, French Breakfast, Nepalese Afternoon Tea, White Ginger Rose, White Tea, Imperial Formosa Oolong, Madagascar Vanilla, Lapsang Souchong, Sugar Caramel Oolong, White Licorice, Snow Sprout, Jasmine, Temple of Heaven Gunpowder, White Persian Melon, Sencha, Orchid Temple Oolong, Honey Pear, Jasmine Pearls, Kashmiri Chai, Tippy Earl Grey, Pu-erh Chai, Darjeeling, Moroccan Mint, Sinharaja, Organic Green Tea, Pu-erh, English Breakfast, Vanilla Jasmine, Irish Breakfast (Special Reserve), RoseTea. Also – just ONE serving. (just got mine this week!). I ordered from 52 Teas but haven’t received it yet :( good luck!

Cofftea

@Ricky, even cheaper if you resteep!=D

Ricky

As for serving size, since there are mixed results. I just weighted two samplers I have laying around. So HMPH!

Pu-erh => 8.7g
Sugar Caramel Oolong => 9.8g

Anyways, a serving depends on the person. One serving to me is 12oz of water, two teaspoons of tea. I like my tea to be strong and bold. When I was talking about the samplers, I was saying you could make 1-2 6oz servings with them.

Ricky

2.5g is generally a serving and that’s for 6oz of water. You can stretch that to 8oz of water if you want. I think most of us just wing it when it comes to loose leaves.

Josh

Well you guys have sold me on the Golden Moons sampler, that just seems like a deal that no one should pass up. Especially someone who is fairly new to the tea world and wants to know more and more. One to two cups per sample is perfect for me because I usually re-steep at least once and sometimes twice. I will have to take another gander at 52 Teas teas and see if anything there really grabs me.

Cofftea

For me the pu erh would make a ~8oz cup, but that’s a lot of leaf, so I’d get 4 2oz servings out of it. Except for pu erh and Japanese greens, a serving for me is 2.25g/6oz. Unlike Ricky, I don’t wing it. I’m very type A when it comes to my tea… which is strange cuz I’m not excessively type A in ANY other area of my life lol!

Ricky

Haha, that’s why I wrote most because I knew you didn’t wing it, cofftea =]

Woaps, was it 2.25? I keep thinking it’s 2.5 for some reason. I guess it’s a rounder number.

Success! Josh will join the Golden Moon Sampler fun. Can’t wait to read those reviews.

Yeah, that pu-erh would make an 8oz cup. 1oz per g for pu-erh. Oh the complications of tea =P

~lauren.

Another GM sampler convert! YAY!

Cofftea

And that’d give you as many as 12 infusions per cup. That’d be just under 2 cents/infusion for me!=D

Cofftea

Ricky, yep it’s 2.25. An even 3g for an 8oz cup.

Ricky

Yay! Keep the posts coming. This is going to be the most popular tea soon enough also the convert Josh to GM thread. Where’s teaplz now!?!?

Josh

How do you guys go about figuring out your g/oz ratio, or is it all just trial and error to your liking?

~lauren.

Erin is probably laughing at us because this did start out as a 52teas tealog!

Cofftea

I stick w/ the standard for teas that don’t have unique authentic steeping parameters (so far Japanese greens and pu erh are the only ones I know of that do). I’d suggest starting there for a reference point and then going up or down as need be.

Cofftea

Haha! Oh yeah Lauren! I forgot lol:)

Ricky

Oh, that’s a general rule. I just do one heaping teaspoon for 8oz of water.

If you don’t know what to do, the rules are 2.25g (corrected by cofftea) for 6oz and pu-erh is a 1g to 1oz of water ratio.

Josh

@ Lauren
Yeah I thinking this should be a Discussion thread…

@ Cofftea
Cool, thanks.

Ricky

Haha, what? I thought this was a Golden Moon tealog! So sorry Frank! We still love your teas, well some of them, drools pina colada

~lauren.

Shoot – sorry, I killed the buzz ….! mea culpa!

Ricky

Nooooo! It’s so close from being the most popular tealog! Don’t let it die guys! Josh any further questions?

~lauren.

I noted your general-rule-of-thumb for my own edification, too! Thanks!

Josh

Well since this is a 52 Teas log, what would you guys recommend for some good 52 Teas to try? Some that aren’t too wild but just overall great teas.

Ricky

Pina Colada (Flavored Honeybush)
Buttered Cinnamon Toast (Must get me some!) (Flavored Black)
Malted Chocomate (Flavored mate)

=] Well these are the ones I’d consider repurchasing.

Josh

I was thinking the Apple Pie a la Mode, Razzleberry Green, Pomegranate Honeybush (maybe,) Banana Peach Green, and the Banana Split sounds pretty crazy.

Ricky

Josh, send me a PM, I’ll send you some 52teas.

~lauren.

Just ordered (7 days ago!) Cucumber Melon Green Tea, Pomegranate Green Tea, Pomegranate White Tea, Razzleberry Green Tea but have NOT gotten it yet.

Cofftea

Josh, back to the “how do you get your general rule?” statement… I know it doesn’t have anything to do w/ flavored teas (well only in small part), but here are great places to start for the different Japanese teas:
http://www.denstea.com/index.php?main_page=perfect_brewing

Josh

Really! Wow, best day ever.

Ricky

Welcome to Steepster ;) We’re here to help =]

Ricky

Dens is amazing.

~lauren.

Oh I have that website bookmarked from one of your other posts containing it :)

Josh

@ Lauren
Hopefully you get those soon, they sound pretty good. I should be getting my Four Seasons Oolong from Samovar on Saturday, I’m super excited.

@ Cofftea
Thanks for the link.

Cofftea

I forgot to mention that flavored pu erh is exempt from my 1g/1oz rule, I don’t rinse it either- I treat it as a black tea (at least the one I’ve tried so far) Oh I should mention that my “general rule” for measuring teas also does not apply to chais. For that I use one heaping teaspoon per 6oz. For my absolute favorite chia EVER which just happens to be 52teas’ Mayan Chocolate Chai, that’s 4g/6oz water or milk or a combo of both.

~lauren.

I ordered from Samovar, too – I wonder when I will get it? Love that teeny-tiny teapot!

Cofftea

oops chai, not chia:)

~lauren.

Can’t talk about Chai’s – am utter failure at chai’s so far.

Josh

The only chai I’ve made was a Masala Chai and I used 2 heaping teaspoons of the chai in 16oz water then while that was brewing I added 16oz of soy milk. It was mighty tasty. Although maybe next time I will use more chai…

Cofftea

I’d personally at least double it, anywhere from 4-5 1/2 tsp (I prefer 5 1/2 tsp)- especially if you’re adding milk.

52teas

Wow. I thought it was an error that this log had this many replies. Either that or I was in trouble for something and people were upset about it. :)

I shouldn’t say this, because all of our teas are great, but since the question was asked, I’ll tell you some of MY favorites of our blends. I do, however, have to preface the list by saying that while this may sound blasphemous, I am largely an iced tea drinker. I grew up in the deep south, and I drink iced tea year round. I’m now in Wichita, KS and we get our share of cold, but I’m still an iced tea drinker whether it’s 110-degrees out or -20-degrees. So, for some really spectacular ICED teas, I highly recommend:

Pina Colada Honeybush
Banana Peach Green Tea
Black Currant White Tea
Shamrock Blend
ANY of our Pomegranate blends (I know pomegranate is kind of ho hum and not as exciting as some of our other offerings, but I personally think our pomegranate blends are three times better than any of our competitors. We use REAL freeze dried pomegranate arils in each of them (and they are not cheap, but I think it really makes a big difference)).

Anyway, those are some of my favorites.

Josh

Yes, those Pomegranate teas are very tempting indeed. I’ve never had a Pomegranate tea before but I am a fan of the Pomegranate fruit so when I go to get some stuff from your site I will definitely be looking really closely at those blends! :)

Erin

okay WHOA! i went away to put on my PJs, take off my makeup, and brush my teeth and i come back and steepster says i have 42 new notices. and they were all for this tasting note! i nearly died laughing! I’m not even going to try to respond on all the topics that have been covered here, but I’ll respond to the latest topic – 52teas. I have only recently started getting into them with a lot of help from Ricky, but so far my favorite has been Malted ChocoMate.

Erin

Also, this was my 100th tasting note! Way to make it a huge deal!!! Hahahaha!

SoccerMom

Frank, Thanks so much for the recommendations for iced and for me getting my 52Teas order in today! It’s just starting to warm up here in Texas and I was thinking about what teas I could start making Iced so this post came in a timely manner for me.

Cofftea

Josh, also check out www.zoomdweebies.com and www.manteas.com (co companies of 52teas).

Josh

ahaha, congrats on the 100th note. Glad we could assist in the huge deal! You missed out on quite a bit in those couple hours you were gone.

Ricky

Back from packing tea! This is Steepster’s most popular tea log now. Success!

http://steepster.com/popular/all

Cofftea

Erin, you should totally chime back in:)

Cofftea

I wish there was a quick way to find that link like there used to be… :(

52teas

@Cofftea. Thanks for the links. I’m so embarrassed by zoomdweebies.com right now. We are working on a major overhaul of the site. Right now it is buggy and just not the site I would like for it to be, but soon….

And the manteas.com site almost requires a warning. It’s a bit colorful and edgy. It’s all done tongue in cheek and intended to be completely satirical, but I have had a few people tell me they were deeply offended by some of the content there. But yes, 52teas and ManTeas are both brands of Zoomdweebie’s, LLC

Erin

AWESOME! Hooray for the most popular note ever! And to think it all happened while I was getting ready for bed.

Ricky

I’m aiming for 100 comments to honor your 100th post.

Cofftea

52teas, just consider this a multi-authored comment/suggestion form for your teas LOL=D

Erin

Hahaha that’d be really cool. But it’s kind of like cheating if we just keep posting about how this is getting really long [that’s what she said?]. I say we actually talk about tea here, to make it legit.

Cofftea

Absolutely- and since you missed out on 3hrs worth, that’s a lot of catching up to do=D Jason, the 2 manteas I’ve tried were smoky bacon and beer- both are amazing

Josh

One more thing, the [that’s what she said?] joke was absolutely amazing! I actually lol’ed when I read that. :)

SoccerMom

Erin okay I’ll bite. I got in my first 52Teas order in today which consists of Malted chocomate and Buttered Raisin Bread. I can’t wait for morning so I can try them !

Erin

Josh – Thanks. I’ve been told I’m a master. [you know what to say here]

52teas

We’re working on t-shirts with the manteas.com logo. They are going to say, “Real men drink bacon tea” on the front and have our new ManTeas logo on the back. I’ve already got a few people clamoring for them.

52teas

Chelsea actually wants one in a ladies cut tee.

Erin

SoccerMom – I also got my first order today! It had the Raisin Toast (which I haven’t tried yet but I am so excited for) and the now infamous Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish. Although I’ve tried the Malted ChocoMate from Ricky and it’s one of my top favorites!

Cofftea

I’m gonna laugh my butt off if a 52teas/manteas/zoomdweebies tea is the SS item for tomorrow.

Cofftea

@52teas, How about a shirt that says “My man’s man enough to drink tea!”?

Erin

Yeah! If that ever happens I might not be able to resist!

Erin

@Cofftea – This kind of goes along with the thread about how men are now starting to drink more tea, but I never really thought of tea as being a girly drink. I know lots of guys from back home in Princeton that drink tea.

52teas

@Cofftea, no SS tomorrow. Jason is waiting on some pictures from me. We could totally do the “My man” thing too. Have you guys seen our new logo? It’s really ridiculous. I think it’s hysterical, tho again, some have been offended. It’s on the website: http://www.manteas.com

SoccerMom

@cofftea, could you imagine if they made your saying on a pink tee shirt! hee hee

Ricky

When are you restocking those matchas?

Erin

@52teas – HAHAHAHA! I just looked at your new logo! It’s brilliant! I can see how some people would be offended by it, but you can’t please everyone. I literally LOL-ed at that one!

Josh

@ Erin, I never really saw drinking tea as a girly thing either, but I do understand where it comes from. I mean little girls growing up were always having their tea parties with invisible tea…

@ 52teas, I think that manteas logo is brilliant! If you made a shirt with that logo on it I would definitely have to get one.

Cofftea

@52teas, you know how many times I’ve been on your site (daily) and I just now got your logo… facepalm…

SoccerMom, eh wouldn’t be too off the wall since it would be a woman wearing the shirt and not a man- well unless it was a man in a homosexual relationship.

52teas

@Ricky, some way too honest for my own good truth: I only have maybe a couple of pounds of matcha left right now, and I have an open invoice with my supplier I have to take care of before I can get some more. LOL. (I’m sick today guys, so forgive me if I’m stupid). Anyway, I was trying to decide whether to reblend the Mandarin Matcha (which would also require more freeze dried orange sections I don’t have) or create a new matcha blend. I’ve finally settled on the latter, and we got some freeze-dried strawberry powder. (Literally, it is powder). We are going to make a strawberry matcha next. I should have it on the site in the next week or so.

Cofftea

Ditto Ricky’s comment! Or better yet, new ones! Art of tea has a ginger matcha and there’s a Canadian company coming out w/ a bunch of flavored matchas as well.

Ricky

Strawberry matcha? I am sold! Save one for me!

Cofftea

HOLY FRICKIN CRAP! Thank you for picking one I’d like! I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of a banana matcha. How about an orange strawberry blend?

Stephanie

Strawberry Matcha?? Yes! :D

52teas

Maybe after we get the t-shirts in, I can get Jason to run them as a SS item. LOL

Josh

Strawberry matcha! I want some of that. The orange strawberry sounds like it may be a good blend as well.

Ricky

You should help them make some Steepster swag while you are at it =]

Erin

You know what this whole epic tasting note thing has made me realize? Steepster should have a chat feature! PMing is great, but you can’t converse with more than one person easily.

~lauren.

Yay Erin for 100th!!!

52teas

Okay, so I just lost my little online poker tournament (non-cash) I was playing while keeping up with this, and now I am going to take my sick and weary behind to bed. Goodnight all.

Cofftea

Erin, that was suggested a long time ago and I totally ditto that!=D

Ricky

I just finished packing a few tea packages so I’m out as well. Erin weren’t you getting ready for bed an hour ago? Haha =P

Erin

Goodnight Frank!

Cofftea

HOLY FRICKIN CRAP! Steepster Select item is perfect for my type A tea self! One of the few times I will be caving.

~lauren.

Good Night!

Cofftea

Ricky, ready for and ready to go to are 2 different things:)

Erin

@Ricky – Yep! Haha I’m all ready now, but now my mind is full of 52teas thoughts and cheesy TWSS jokes. Oh well.

@Cofftea – I would, but I don’t have an iPod or iPhone!

~lauren.

@ Cofftea – have you checked out the Teavana app? It was free on itunes/app store.

Ricky

Haha, I would aside for the fact that my darn iPhone is too slow! I use this for my mac.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/calculate_convert/minutes.html

Comes in handy at work =]

Cofftea

Ah crap! I didn’t read the iPhone/iPod part… great… now I’m extremely pissed and depressed :-,t have do buy it in the next 24 hrs…

~lauren.

No mac but use google timer app on my laptop and have teavana timer on ipod.

Ricky

I like Teavanas app, it just sits on my phone and it doesn’t do a thing =]

Ricky

So we went from 52teas to Adagio to Golden Moon to 52teas to Teavana?

Cofftea

W/ mentions of pu erh (hello Bana Tea Co sampler!) and Den’s!=D

Erin

Ricky, I use that one too!

~lauren.

Yes, but it has pretty pictures! LOL

Ricky

Ha, I was thinking of bringing Bana Tea’s pu-erh to work tomorrow and have my co-workers help me finish one off. That means I’ll have to jot down some notes so I can write a tea log later in the evening.

I have so much tea, yet also so little! I don’t know how this strange dynamic works.

Ricky

If I stay here any longer I will end up sleeping at 4am, uhoh. Going to get ready for bed as well.

~lauren.

G’Night ALL!

Erin

Yeah, I’m going to leave now. Bye!

Josh

Night everyone, it was nice hearing all of your great recommendations for flavored tea.

Ricky

Ricky’s such a party pooper! ;)

Cofftea

Well you said you were getting ready for, not going to bed… you are a little strange for talking in 3rd person though… hehe;)

Jason

What the crap happened here?!?! 130 comments…that’s awesome! That has to be some sort of record. Congrats, Erin!

Ricky

Well we were trying to set a new Steepster World Record. Personally, I wanted to hit that 150 mark after we made it to the 100 ;)

Haha, I was getting tired Cofftea =P

Cofftea

Haha Jason- I actually laughed out loud when I read your comment.

@52teas, Frank PLEASE make sure you change your steeping suggestions on the packaging for your strawberry matcha (and changing the packaging to get rid of the clear would be great too), everyone knows you do not steep matcha for 3 min. That really bothered me to see that…

Meghann M

Awesome threads here guys, love all the comments about flavors to try of 52teas as I really want to place another order with them, but looks like I may be holding out for the strawberry flavored matcha drool! That sounds so fantastic! Great job Erin for the largest comment section ever and happy 100th tasting note!

Cofftea

And the post lives! I hope Frank makes an extra large batch of that matcha!=D

Erin

wow is this happening again? haha

Ricky

Tonight we are trying to hit 200?

SoccerMom

Erin, Congrats on your 100th tasting note!

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94

Auggy already commented on how to drive Jackee Muntz into Caramel City, so I’m going to take this opportunity to get a little goofy on y’all. [Like I really need an excuse.] I can’t take credit for this idea. While I’m sure it’s been done elsewhere, I’m sapping inspiration from both an episode of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’ and a rather brilliant Yelp review a friend of mine wrote. If any of you have never stumbled across text-based games, you might not get this. So here’s something ridiculous that may or may not help: http://bit.ly/DgJqE [Homestar Runner, Dungeonman 3].

Me: Jackee, what the hell? Why don’t you taste like caramel anymore?

Jackee: I do not understand “caramel.”

Me: Cut it out. What I am doing wrong?

Jackee: What’s a “wrong”?

Me: …What?

Jackee: You are holding a glass MUG. Inside of it sit eight ounces of dark copper liquid. Steam rises from the top, swirling into nothingness. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: …
SIP TEA.

Jackee: You take a sip of the TEA and burn your TONGUE. Cursing like a sailor whose ship has chanced upon a Kraken, you bang your HEAD against the COUNTER in frustration at your stupidity. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: HEY!

Jackee: What’s a “HEY”?

Me: Grumble. LET TEA COOL.

Jackee: You sit aimlessly, watching your TEA while you wait for it to drop an appropriate amount in TEMPERATURE. Occasionally, you blow on it, though you are unsure of its effectiveness on the actual cooling process. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: You take a sip of TEA. The mouthfeel is thin, but not quite watery. The TEA is flavorful – strong, with notes of smoke and pine and a light sweetness. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: POUR TEA OUT.

Jackee: Well, that was wasteful of you. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: It’s not my fault you don’t taste good to me anymore! It’s your fault you don’t taste like caramel!

Jackee: I do not understand that command.

Me: Sigh. READ STEEPSTER.

Jackee: You log into your Steepster account. New reviews have been posted. Please click here: http://steepster.com/aug3zimm/posts/23176. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Just to walk you through my thought process at this point, now I’m really thinking. When I had Jackee the first few times, I was drinking out of a different mug and I didn’t know that my utiliTEA was messing me up temperature wise. Even when it turned, I don’t want to say bad, but “not as good” on me, I didn’t know about my utiliTEA’s little issue for the majority of my experimentation. I’d get a cup of caramel maybe one time out of five, but the parameters wouldn’t match up so I was starting to think it was all in my head.

By the time I figured out the temperature problem, I barely had any Jackee Muntz left, so I tried a few cups on the stovetop and they rendered much of the same. I also tried it in a travel mug, and the smell thing didn’t seem to fix it either. I did discover that steep time didn’t appear to have too much of an effect, though, so long as I kept it somewhere around 3:30 to 4:30, it was pretty consistent.

Part of me must have still thought I could get it back to caramel. I think that I was partially re-invigorated after the discovery of my utiliTEA temperature issue, so I re-ordered Series 2, but the first cup of the first tin was not successful either. After reading Auggy’s review, something clicked though. A lot of it had to do with the fact that she had actually found the caramel and that gave me hope [and also reassurance that I hadn’t completely lost it]. But also I was looking at the temperature [205°] and thinking about maybe it was the shape of her travel mug. But my mug hadn’t been shaped all that differently from the one I like to use now. Except…it had been a bit larger. So maybe the tea to water ratios were a bit different… No, I DON’T KNOW WHY I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THAT BEFORE.

Me: CHANGE MUG.

Jackee: Which mug would you like to change to? To see your current mugs, type INV.

Me: INV.

Jackee: BODUM MUG, CAFÉ MUG, BIG TEAL MUG NOT SUITABLE FOR DRINKING TEA, BORING STARBUCKS MUG.

This is the mug I was originally drinking tea out of, by the way – http://bit.ly/4Am3Xb – the bottom top one. Oops.

Me: CAFÉ MUG.

Jackee: You switched your BODUM MUG for your CAFÉ MUG.

Me: MAKE MORE TEA.

Jackee: You turn on your KETTLE and wait for the water to heat, measuring out a heaping teaspoon of TEA before dropping it into your INFUSER. In a few minutes, the WATER is boiling. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: LET WATER COOL 195°F.

Jackee: You wait impatiently while the water cools to the appropriate temperature. You really should learn to be a little more tolerant.

Me: SCREW YOU.

Jackee: I do not understand “SCREW.”

Me: MEASURE WATER 11 OZ.

Jackee: You measure out 11 ounces of WATER into a MEASURING CUP.

Me: POUR WATER.

Jackee: POUR WATER where?

Me: Into the mug, you idiot.

Jackee: I do not understand “idiot.”

Me: POUR WATER INTO MUG.

Jackee: You pour the WATER into your MUG.

Me: STEEP 3:15.

Jackee: Doesn’t that seem a bit short?

Me: Now you’re helpful?

Jackee: I do not understand the question.

Me: STEEP 3:45.

Jackee: You let the TEA steep for 3 MINUTES and 45 SECONDS, watching a couple of stupid VIDEOS in the the meantime before removing the INFUSER.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: You burn your TONGUE and your IQ drops another few points. You take out a FLYSWATTER and slap yourself across the face. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: LET TEA COOL.

Jackee: You sit aimlessly, watching your TEA while you wait for it to drop an appropriate amount in TEMPERATURE. Occasionally, you blow on it, though you are unsure of its effectiveness on the actual cooling process. Exits are to the NORTH, SOUTH, and WEST.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: The TEA feels heavy in your mouth. A soft note of pine hits your TONGUE, but then gently fades away. You are greeted with the taste of burnt sugar.

Me: SIP TEA.

Jackee: The taste of burnt sugar slowly melts into the background and a salty note enters the flavors sliding around on your TONGUE. Anxious, you hold the TEA a bit longer in your mouth and are greeted with the overwhelming taste of caramel.

Me: OH SWEET POSEIDON, THANK YOU!!!

Jackee: What is a “Poseidon”?

Me: I hate you.

Jackee: I do not understand that command.

Me: …
INV TEA.

Jackee: A FATAL ERROR HAS OCCURRED. NUMBER OF TEAS HAS EXCEEDED CAPACITY. PROGRAM WILL TERMINATE.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I won Thursday.

Just a few more notes on the tea, because really that’s what all that mess up there was about, I did try steeping this at around 185 and didn’t quite get there in terms of the caramel, so I think that your temperature needs to be at least around 190°F, and could probably go up to 200°F but 205°F might be pushing it. [Auggy mentioned to me that her mug was cold and so it probably temperature dropped when it was in there somewhat significantly from the 205°F.] All this being said, all I can say definitively regarding the temperature is that it should be just below boiling if you hope to achieve this. It’s possible that we’re both just mad.

In regards to the tea:water ratio, I use one of these – http://bit.ly/5SpSvE – and when I measured it against a teaspoon last night it was like…1 1/4 tsp. Give or take a bit. I fill that up that spoon with just a teensy bit over, so somewhere thereabouts. The amount of water I put in the cup is somewhere between 11 and 12 oz, closer to 11.

All of this is assuming you a) have some Jackee Muntz on hand and b) want to try to replicate the caramel taste. I usually don’t get this specific in my logs, I know, but this has been bothering me for quite some time and I’m afraid that you’re seeing the aftermath of my GEEK OUT session here.

And thus endeth the really long tea log. I’m giving Jackee the ratings bump back to where he deserves to be, now that he has realized his potential for me again.

Squee!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec
teaplz

OMG LOVE THIS.

Seriously. I’m in love with interactive fiction and text adventures, and this is a totally WIN parody of that sort of stuff.

And yay for CARAMEL!

Angrboda

♥. Just… Srsly. ♥

TeaEqualsBliss

You crack me up! :P

silvermage2000

Nice review that was so funny. And yum caramel.

LENA

niiiice. i can’t say anymore. homestarrunner is a fave of mine anyway.

Jack

What @angrboda said. I’m going to go make some caramel Jackee Muntz right now.

takgoti

@teaplz Hahaha, not gonna lie, they get kinda tedious for me. And usually there are too many players that have been doing it for yeeeeears and they just go FOOM FOOM FOOM everywhere and I’m just sitting there, all, “Nooooow, north is…”

@Everyone Aw thanks, Steepsterites! [Steeps? Denizens of Steepster?] I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun writing it.

@Jack I’m curious to hear how it turns out. I made it again this morning just because I wanted to be SURE it wasn’t going anywhere, and it worked [PHEW!]. I think I’m gonna try to dial it up to 200°F next time; might make it a bit stronger.

teaplz

Oh takgoti, I meant more of interactive fiction/text adventure than a MUD. There aren’t any players except for yourself. You use an interpreter to play them on your desktop, and they’re usually free. Zork’s the most famous one. They’re sort of like interactive stories, and you emulated one exactly in your post. They’re often filled with puzzles and narrative elements. Their hey-day was in the 80s, although people are still making them today. www.ifcomp.org is the website for the annual competition. This is what Strongbad was parodying, not the MUDs (text-based RPGs where everyone runs around killing things).

takgoti

@chrine Thank you!

@teaplz Sorry, that wasn’t clear. I was speaking generally of text-based games. The entire schema tends to bore me after a while. I’m too used to my graphics. My brain is lazy. The FOOM FOOM crazy player thing is just an added get-me-outta-here bonus for some text-based games. Though I guess that’s true for a lot of games. [Oh, WoW…]

Ricky

Haha, amazing =D. It took me a while to catch on. I’m slow :(

My bodum cups have cracks in it! It’s so sad. I have a 12oz and two 8oz ones. Every time I wash them out, I hit them on the faucet.

teaplz

Sorry for the stupidly long, long-winded explanation right there. I just geeked out cause I never get to talk about this stuff with ANYONE.

Kitch3ntools

lol i used to play a MUD with my fiancee but he was a FOOM FOOM player where i was like “ok i go west right?”

takgoti

@Ricky Eep, that blows.

@teaplz No worries.

@Kitch3ntools HAH, I know, right? I finish reading the description and I’ve finally decided which direction I want to go into and the computer’s like, “Uh…you’re dead.” I’m not much better at single player text adventures either – I die far too easily. I think that they are largely responsible for why I was terrified of dying at any given turn when MYST came out [even though I was told on several occasions that you couldn’t die – you COULD get trapped forever at one point though].

teaplz

Myst was just terrifying in general! The eerie music, those talking books… the fact that you were ALONE all the time. And those puzzles were damned hard!

TeaCast

Haha that was somewhat entertaining =]

takgoti

@teaplz Truth: I used to make one of my parents sit in the room with me when I played MYST. My dad was better because he’d actually try to help me when I played it. I also used to do the same thing with Prince of Persia when that first came out. In my defense, I was nine, but I’m still a wimp. I can’t play stuff like Bioshock or Dead Space when I’m alone. Or at night.

@TeaCast Thanks?

sophistre

Someone needs to get this girl a copy of Inform7. (Maybe it’s a higher version than 7 now, actually, that’s just the last I was aware of/obtained, admittedly).

All that was missing in this review was a grue. Grues are compulsory.

The temptation to totally overshare in this comment section is overpowering. In my Other Blog Life, I cover/review video games. Obviously, steepster needs its own fem gaming clan, or something.

teaplz

sophistre, there’s Gargoyle for Windows that’s an all-in-one interpreter. Pretty awesome. And I’d love to know your Other Blog Life! And I’ve been dying to post this somewhere, to someone that would understand, ANYONEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nigRT2KmCE

takgoti, I can’t play ANY of those games, period. I end up screaming and throwing the controller. Everyone makes fun of me. I tried to play Silent Hill once. I had to run away from the TV, and beg someone else to turn it off within 20 minutes of starting. So we are comrades in wimp-ness!

takgoti

@sophistre I had to look up what that was. Wow. [It looks like 7 is the highest version, too.] From what I skimmed it looked like a text adventure constructor program of sorts? I totally see myself becoming fascinated with the idea, losing myself halfway through, and then shoving it in the corner where half of my unfinished craft projects are.

Oh, also, I definitely typed out and deleted, “You are likely to be eaten by a grue,” about three times before deciding I might be exposing just a little too much geek on the internets. Clearly, I was wrong.

@teaplz WORD. I also refuse to watch scary movies. A couple of friends called me once and told me to come over and hang out. So I drove over there and they were watching a movie, and I asked them what it was and it was some creepy Japanese film so I definitely left. Hadn’t even gotten my shoes off. I can’t sleep when I see that stuff, and the fact that I even am thinking about it so much now is probably going to result in the need to put on something like Anchorman so I can actually go to bed. Yes, I’m that bad.

sophistre

That video was a fine way to end a very sleepless late-night-early-AM. ^^

That’s precisely what it is. It’s very intuitive about how it handles object creation (which is really all the code for text-based games is, afaik). Fun, interesting. After I discovered it, I did precisely what you’ve described above. I think I have a copy lying around on a disk somewhere, but I never did anything with it.

And alas, we three diverge on the matter of survival horror games and horror films — I am a sucker for both, despite having hated scary stuff as a kid…I suppose ‘Alien’ was probably responsible for converting me. I play them and watch them now even though playing them alone is sometimes out of the question and sleeping afterwards is usually nearly impossible. I don’t know if this makes me a masochist or what. Maybe I’m addicted to the adrenaline rush!

takgoti

@sophistre Haha, thanks! Also, so far as the horror thing goes, for me it’s mainly the creepy feeling like someone’s watching me feeling that gets me. That and the suspense thing. I totally psych myself out. The act of being scared if I’m not expecting it is something I can usually handle. It’s the expectation of being scared that is when I get freaked out. [I don’t think I actually realized this until I typed this all out.]

Funny, somewhat related story, a friend of mine used to hear the voice of Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries in her head whenever she’d go out to put the trash on the curb or something similar. “It was a normal Wednesday evening on this quiet street in Baltimore, Maryland. Jennifer Johnson was walking her trash out to the curb…”

sophistre

@teaplz – I stopped writing them for ages, but as of recently I’m sort of trying to reassemble anything that wasn’t official onto a tumblr page, which is now listed in my profile, if you’re curious. ;) I’m lazy and update the video-game specific stuff rarely though, alas. I’m pretty behind.

@takgoti – I totally psych myself out. I am able to think of infinitely more frightening things once I’m jumpy than the movie or game can throw at me, for sure. I’m not ashamed to say that there are nights when the bathroom light stays on! Thinking about it, I wonder why I do this to myself…ahh, well. That’s pretty funny about your friend. I guess for me it’d probably be Bill Curtis!

Tyler

Great post. I love the detail. I think you should do more of this. But man, that was long! :)

AJ

This’ making me feel bad that I haven’t logged onto any of my usual MUDs in a while. All of my characters have probably expired. Ahwell.

But I’m interested in the tea now. Hmmm. Very interesting read.

takgoti

@Tyler Hahaha, thanks! [Though I don’t think I’ll be writing another review like that anytime soon.] And yes, I tend to be very long winded. Oops?

@AJ Sounds like me and my relationship with WoW. Though I think/hope that my characters haven’t expired. Anyway, you should check Andrews & Dunham out! I can’t make any guarantees as to how you’ll get along with them, but I like them quite a bit.

AJ

I poked through the website a few times! It just takes me forever to purchase items online. I am a very apprehensive online shopper, despite glowing reviews. Actually, it extends offline as well. It takes me a few days of staring to decide.

sophistre

@tak: Not that I play WoW, or if I did that I would even acknowledge that sort of thing in a public forum, because I totally would not, but if that were true, I’m sure you could find me on Malorne.

__Morgana__

LOL. Reading this, I felt like I had been sucked into the Lost Treasures of Infocom. Oh, and as for where north is: you need a pencil and some graph paper. You haven’t met tedious until you’ve mapped a text adventure. Its even more tedious than mapping a pre-auto map function CRPG. ;)

Tea-Guy

I <3 You! :-D

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88

Mini tuocha, please help a fairy in needs of relief! I ate too much. When I do, puerh always comes to rescue. I don’t know how it can be so soothing, but it just is. I don’t have digestion problems at all. Usually. But…from time to time, things happen.

Oh, I was a bad, bad, fairy tonight, yes I was…

If you’ve been reading my notes for a while, you know I’m some kind of a health freak. Proud Vitamix owner for many years, name any fruit/veggie combination, I have had it. I don’t care much for sugar, eat lots of fish, love quinoa and leafy greens.

Having said that, I do like me some piece of meat every now and then, and I have been known for eating anything dark chocolate in excess…

But I have another flaw…( wine doesn’t count, it’s a fruit portion, Roughage said it, and he’s very smart and knowlegable) It’s a big flaw…to this day, a secret one. I’m willing to share with you Steepster friends, but husssssh, please keep it quiet: I’m a sucker for boxed KD mac & cheese. I know, I know, its no good…but I like it. There. It’s out.

Today being a migraine day (all gone now, thanks to a friend who kept my mind busy in the right way!), I needed something to indulge for dinner. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to open THE cupboard, the one locked under a secret code and pulled out an «in case of emergency» KD box.

I crushed some Herbes de Provence and parmesan cheese to make it «gourmet» (yes, there is such a thing as Gourmet KD in my kitchen!) and put the dish under broil for a few minutes. Needless to say, I ate the whole thing. No veggies. Just 100% pure carbs. I’m full. Burp. (Oops!!!)

Thanks mini Tuocha for supporting me.

Steepster fellows, please don’t judge me…

(See previous note)

Nxtdoor

Oh god. This is too funny. I laughed at the Mac & cheese first. Then at the herbs de Provence on it. Not having grown up in North America I don’t get the Mac & cheese. But My common law spouse is born and raised Canadian. I tried making gourmet Mac n cheese from scratch and don’t you know it, it ain’t as good as the boxed shit. I guess unless it’s glowing orange it just don’t cut it.

Fjellrev

Haha way to be making it super gourmet.

TheTeaFairy

Nxdoor, I think KF is engraved in us North Americans, it’s in our DNA, lol!

Fjellrev, it’s still crap, but I’d rather have gourmet crap than just plain crap, don’t you agree?

Fjellrev

You’re right about that! I never thought about sprucing up KD like that.

TheTeaFairy

OMG, just noticed I wrote KF instead of KD, lol! Corrected, must be my dyslexia, KF as in Kraft probably?
I pimp my food all the time, it’s my creative side :-)

cryptickoi

I love my vitamix,it gets used every morning…everyone has a weakness…haha

TheTeaFairy

Aw, thanks cryptickoi, glad to know I’m not the only one enjoying my green morning juice! Isn’t it a life changer? How long have you been using yours?

Kamyria

LOL Oh no! Not boxed KD! I’m not judging, I swear I’m not judging… lol I’m not much better myself lately.. I’m a fellow health freak currently on a massive comfort food binge… I really want to eat more veggies, I really do, it’s just that my hands are doing what they want and not picking them out of the fridge lately!

TheTeaFairy

Kamyria, don’t be too hard on yourself, we all need some comfort binging. Fruits and veggies will still be there when your hands return,haha!

cryptickoi

I’ve only had mine for about 6mos. but I’ve been doing protein/superfood smoothies every morning for 3 years I guess…

ashmanra

LOL! Same dirty secret here, but with Penzey’s Sunny Paris or Ruth Ann’s Muskegon Avenue spices added! The gooier it is, the better it tastes. Al dente, of course!

cryptickoi

I’m sort of a health nut too…I really wish there were a lot more organic choices when it came to teas…

TheTeaFairy

Ashmanra, listen to us, who are we kidding? gourmet al dente KD really? lol, as if it’s some kind of delicatessen. Oh well, I guess it is to us! Thanks for also sharing your secret! (Now gotta look for those spice blends!)

Dexter3657

Closet KD lover as well. I like garlic sausage, onion, and tomato added. Al dente? sorry nope – over cooked and mushy for me. KD isn’t real pasta. LOL

cryptickoi

now I’m thinking dark chocolate with berries and ripe pu…mmm…

MissLena

Another KD lover here! Only time I got tired of it was when I ate a lot of it as a first year student lol, now I’m back to loving it :) dill, garlic/garlic powder, salt and pepper for me on it, in various combinations of the 4. :)

TheTeaFairy

Cryptickoi, me too for 3 years, but luckily, I started with the Vitamix. Wow, it must have made a huge difference for you, after 2.5 years with a regular blender! It’s a leap of faith financially but it is worth every penny. I don’t always add protein powder (the vegetal kind) cause most of the time I add whole almonds, hemp and chia seeds, and greek yogurt. So delicious!

cryptickoi

yeah,regular blenders suck…haha

TheTeaFairy

OMG, people, I think we all came out at the same time, lol, Dexter, leave the closet open!!!
Had no clue there were so many KD lovers here :-)

Miss Lena, sounds delicious!

TheTeaFairy

Dexter sausages for real??? Not judging, but, you know…

Dexter3657

LOL garlic sausage isn’t the same as breakfast sausage, but yes I KNOW. It’s ok, ham works well too….

__Morgana__

It’s hard not to love mac and cheese. It’s such a pure comfort food. And the Kraft version is sort of the gold standard. I’m so glad my kids have graduated from mac and cheese every other night or so as it keeps me out of trouble! I like the gussied up versions too, though I can do without the breadcrumbs that seem to be de rigueur for the gourmet types. I have to confess that we like Annie’s shells also, though I try to limit myself to just a taste!

TheTeaFairy

Morgana, yes I can imagine how being exposed to it every other night is a bad, bad thing for mom, lol! Not much of a breadcrumbs fan either…

MissLena

Mmm all this KD talk is making me want to make some..too bad we don’t have any in the house at the moment! Popcorn it is :)

TheTeaFairy

You get my seal of approval, MissLena!

OMGsrsly

I love browning some butter in a pan and adding the cheese sauce mixed with a bit of milk to cook and melt it before adding the noodles back. That’s how I ‘gourmet it up’!

TheTeaFairy

OMGsrsly, welcome to our KD outing then, sounds great :-)

K S

We saw an episode of Diners Driveins and Dives where they made a fancy smancy mac & cheese with a ton of different cheeses. We went to the trouble of finding them all and trying it. Ehh. We are back to the good stuff made with Velveeta instead of water is in that pouch and throw in some hot dogs. I can almost hear my arteries snapping shut.

TheTeaFairy

Yes bad for the arteries, but so good for the soul :-) KS, doesn’t it feel good to embrace this decadent habit of ours?

OMGsrsly

I got a case of Annie’s gluten free. So tempting to go home and make it, but I’m off grains until the end of the month! This is the first time I’ve actually been tempted. KD is miracle comfort food for sure. :)

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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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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

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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84
drank Wild Cherry by Fru P Kaffe & The
1192 tasting notes

First cup of tea in MY HOUSE! We moved into OUR HOUSE! yesterday and I had a cup of this with my mother while the menfolk did all the schlepping. Our task was mostly to unpack what could be unpacked (really just the kitchen and the bathroom), heat lunch in the oven (a rooty lasagna), keep the cats calm and generally stay out from underfoot. OUR HOUSE! is all-over chaos with chaos on at the moment. Boxes and stuff everywhere, but we have the internet and our computers up and running, so chaos is not likely to be going down very quickly. Emptied the rest out of our old place today and cleaned it, so we’re both quite tired. Am now having some ice cream, before we’ll be going to bed for our second night in OUR HOUSE!

At least tomorrow we can go to work and relax. ;)

Fjellrev

That is awesome. Congratulations on moving into… YOUR HOUSE!

yyz

Exciting, but exhausting, Congrats on your new house, have fun making it into your new home!

Roughage

Congratulations. Now you can host tea parties in your own home! :)

Nicole

Woop! Congrats!

Courtney

Yay! Congratulations :)

Anna

Too awesome!

gmathis

Welcome home!

__Morgana__

Gratz dearie! Sounds wonderful!

Nxtdoor

Awesome! Enjoy these moments :)

OMGsrsly

Woo! :) Congratulations on your house. :)

TheTeaFairy

Yay, congrats!

ashmanra

Congratulations! Enjoy every bit of the experience!

caile

Congratulations on your house!

MJ

wow, congrats!

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89
drank Nina's Japon by Nina's Paris
4044 tasting notes

Sipdown! So i have to say, I tried this a while back and liked it a lot but then forgot about it because it’s a green tea and i don’t drink those often. VariaTEA sent a sample to me, which i opened up today in an effort to get ahead with my sipdowns since now i might not have the weekend at all for tea drinking!
…We’re driving to Detroit on Friday night, Chicago on Saturday, and then all the way back to Toronto on Sunday. Because we can. lol…

I love this even more than the first time. Something about the vanilla and caramel REALLY makes me happy. it’s deliciously creamy and wonderful and now i want more. So maaaaybe i can convince my friend to trek up to Miami in February heh :) Thanks variatea!

Courtney

I love the road trip, because you can. This tea is AMAZING. I must have more. I emailed them and they mentioned you…

Sil

ME? lol

VariaTEA

Haha yeah, Sil, they told both of us to talk to you about a group order to save on shipping :P. I am glad you liked it by the way. I think I recalled reading your tasting note so I tossed in a bit more so you could have it again.

Courtney

Haha yes. If only Steepster could support pictures. I also was chatting with VariaTEA for this. They mentioned you might place an order and to see if we could get some sort of group order going to help with shipping costs because they think it’ll be quite expensive.

Courtney

Oh man, VariaTEA I would send you anything for more haha!

Sil

So….i’m likely going to be trying to visit their store in Miami at the end of February. If i do, i’m fine to bring things back and send them to you guys or something like that…

Courtney

Ahh yes. That’s not quite what came across in the email haha. I definitely wouldn’t want to take up room in your suitcase, although I appreciate the offer. :)

Sil

….you realise, when i travel to florida i take 2 suitcases right? one for the clothes and one for tea? hahahaha

Sil

(don’t get me wrong, i’m all for a joint order as well, but if i’m going there, we save on the shipping to us and just need to split shipping from here to us when i get back)

Courtney

Hahaha the two suitcases. Okay, I don’t feel so badly anymore. :P

Sil

i guess technically we pay the 25$ for flying BUT the second one i can totally turn into a carry on and not pay for it bwahahaha

VariaTEA

Haha. I was actually saying to Courtney I will be in Florida in March and plan to do the same thing as you Sil. Plus, last time I came back from Florida I also had a second suitcase to bring back my teas. By the way, where do you buy tea when you are there? Aside from Nina’s, I couldn’t really find where to go.

Sil

Soooo funny story…i order from retailers, ship it to my friend’s places and pick up that plus anything else i’ve ordered. I am a fan of ordering my camera bags while i’m down there: www.kellymoorebag.com to save on duty/taxes etc..

VariaTEA

It’s okay. I order from retailers and send it to my Dad in LA to save on shipping. If he knows I will be in Florida he sends the stuff there to avoid customs and then I just bring it home. Yay for tea mules!!

Cavocorax

Pssssst. I would be interested in a group order.

Courtney

Right Cavo? Group order for the win!

VariaTEA

Haha. I feel like the group order would be a whole bunch of samples and a shitton of Nina’s Japon :P

OMGsrsly

Oh man. Sil! I need to get on this group order. :D

VariaTEA

I like how Sil has been appointed the leader of the group order by the people at Nina’s themselves.

Cavocorax

Hahaha. Yea, that’s pretty hilarious. And tey should probably give Sil and VariaTEA some free teas for a) getting us all excited about an order and b) ‘volunteering’ to make it happen!

Sil

I am ALL for that… totally plotting how to get to Miami with ease…

VariaTEA

If you are there around valentine’s day, they are having a tea, wine, and chocolate tasting event.

Sil

sadly it would be the last week in February..if i can convince folks to make the drive. We’re usually only in the orlando area when we o.

VariaTEA

I won’t be there until March so I am missing it too. I tried convincing my mom to go but she is not into teas enough to drive the hour into Miami.

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
585 tasting notes

An incredibly caring Steepster friend is concerned that all I’m drinking are samples from other people, and that I should take some time and enjoy some of my favorite teas. I’m searching for the great teas, but not enjoying the one’s I’ve found. I’ve decided to “sort of” take that advice.
I have sent samples of this out to several people, and assume that it is going to be amazing, but I’ve never actually drank it. So tonight I’m taking a ME tea night to explore the dark side.
I threw about 2.5 tsp of this into my gravity steeper, gave it a quick wash and then let it steep – I’ve read lots of review that say that this is AMAZING if steeped for a long time. I’m watching and waiting, and it’s getting darker, and darker, and I chicken out at about 4 minutes. OK 4 minutes is a LONG steep for pu’erh – at least for me…
Wow this is crazy – unlike any other pu’erh I’ve tried. There really isn’t any of the musty/earthy typical pu’erh taste – it is just deep dark chocolate – maybe a hint of “pu’erh” in the back but it’s just adding depth to the chocolate. OK I’m a believer.
I add another couple of tsp of new leaf to the old leaf (I don’t care it’s my tea night I can do what I like) – gave it another quick rinse and let it steep for NINE minutes.
OMG – this is unsweetened cocoa from a fine chocolatier. I add about a tsp of sweetener and just a splash of milk – just enough to change the color. This is my new favorite chocolate tea. I love this.
Now what do I do? I think I’m going to take the leaves and toss them in the fridge to cold steep. If anyone hasn’t tried it – cold steep pu’erh is crazy good.
As always, thank you Mandala for another amazing tea experience.

Sil

i’m so happy you enjoyed this one. i love this puerh a lot.

keychange

It’s your part-tea and you can steep how you want to, steep how you want to!!

TheTeaFairy

Yay for ME tea nights, so proud of you :-)
Dark and choco, yum, yum!!

MissB

Wow, I tried this the other night and got it wrong. I’ll definitely try it again with longer steep parameters.

Kamyria

Darn right you can do what you want! :D

Cold steeping pu’erh, ah? I have to try that.

Cavocorax

That sounds really amazing.
I will TRY to steep mine that long but I gotta say 4 minutes, and NINE minutes makes me a little nervous. I’m a “followe the vendors instructions, you noob” sorat gal. Especially with this. It’s my FIRST/ONLY Mandala tea!

Dexter3657

It’s my par-tea and I did what I wanted. :)) It turned out great.
Sorry you didn’t enjoy it MissB – it doesn’t get nasty as you steep it longer, it just gets deeper and more chocolate. I highly recommend a long steep. I was VERY nervous too, but after trying the 4 minute steep, I knew you could not hurt it. I will do 8 or 9 minutes first steep next time.

Kamyria I didn’t believe the cold steep pu’erh either, and then I tried it. I quite often western steep leaves a couple of times, then toss them in the fridge for 16ish hours. Can’t explain it, it’s a different experience – very refreshing, you should try it once….

Dexter3657

Cavocorax – if you want to follow vendors instructions, then you go right ahead. It’s your tea, don’t let me talk you out of your comfort zone. First/only Mandala? You are starting with a good one….

Sil

I twisted her rubber arm into ordering SOMETHING, ANYTHING from mandala when I placed my order lol

pyarkaaloo

omg yay!! u just put the seal of approval on this one for me…it’s on my to-try list from Mandala…it sounded delicious to begin with, although i was worried it might have a damp,earthy pu’erh quality. but if this is anything like you say, i simply must give it a go!

Dexter3657

Good job Sil – “something – anything” is pretty much correct when it comes to Mandala – it’s all good.

pyarkaaloo – but I like the “damp,earthy pu’erh quality” This has a little of that – it is a pu’erh, but it’s more in the background adding depth to the chocolate rather than hitting you in the face. I love all Mandala pu’erh. Their Silver Buds are really mild – more of a white tea with a hint of pu’erh. Noble Mark is just fantastic, but more traditional pu’erh. Wild Monk is the best sheng I’ve ever drank – pretty much what Sil said – anything from Mandala is a good choice….

Dexter3657

Does restocking favorites count as breaking hiatus?

pyarkaaloo

thanks for the clarification…this sounds like a nice pu’erh! i think i’ll be happy with this as long as it isn’t a predominantly ‘mossy/earth’ kind of flavor, although one never knows…if i try enough pu’erh cakes i may find one that i love! or i may develop my palate.. the cold steeping sounds delicious!

Cavocorax

Yeah, I’m really happy Sil was able to do talk me into it! It was difficult because it was Black Friday and I’d already allocated most of my budget to Butiki and DTT. But ONE tea from Mandala… OK YES.

There will be more from them in the future. I still have to get past them being fancy in my head and just start drinking!

And I can experiment now! It’s just the first steep that I don’t like to mess with on the assumption that the vender knows what’s best. :P

TheTeaFairy

Does.not.count.

Dexter3657

Cavocorax This is a video of Garret giving you permission to play with your tea. He has a very open, whatever you like is correct for you attitude…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUt6kt00mpo&feature=youtube_gdata

graceatblb

I love steeping Special Dark for extreme amounts of time. Unlike with most teas, this one improves on a longer steep. The last time I had Special Dark I steeped it for 15 minutes and added a touch of cream. Heaven.

Garret does have a very laissez-faire approach to tea. Which I really appreciate. It eliminates the guilt when I, inevitably, break the rules.

Garret

Do as you like :) Whenever I do tea classes, I give people basic parameters for brewing and leave the rest up to them. I let people know that if they dig a green tea with boiling water, that’s cool, that’s how they should have it. I do use a little disclaimer here, though, and tell them that if they are serving tea to guests that it might be a good idea to go to more “traditional” way of brewing it :)

ifjuly

Yay! I love this one. And I love that someone was awesome and reminded you you should not get overwhelmed with sampling and take some time out for whatever you want to drink. Definitely.

ifjuly

And so agree, it’s the most intensely chocolate tea I’ve tasted.

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10

i’m pretty sure dinsoara and i aren’t the only two people on steepster who have this in their cupboard. Come on people fess up! That being said…this will NOT be in my cupboard for long. this one is destined to visit some other sucker…er i mean tea lover. But sil? WHY would you do that to this poor tea? well let me tell you…this tea has nearly everything i hate about life in it. First off….it’s a green tea. Which, on it’s own does not make for hatred, but wait..what have we added here? BLERGAMOT! gahh!! the dreaded evil flavour to kill them all… bah! and then… just for a real kick in the face, to make SURE i would hate this tea, because after all, i can sometimes get past the blergamot in some teas…. what did verdant do?

sigh they added lavender. A flower that has no place in anything but bath products..and even then…only bath products that aren’t going to live anywhere near me. When my mother and i went to france for a month..it was almost impossible to avoid. and now.. it’s here.. in my tea..looking so pretty and innocent…hanging out with blergamot as if to say.. suck it sil… we’re in this together…

….all that and i’ve only opened the bag to measure out a spoonful into my mug.

brewing….waiting….the aroma takes over my house…my other half calls from the other room…WHAT IS THAT? are you putting on lotion at this time of the day? I thought you hated lavender…

no dear…it’s just that this tea and i have a date…i can’t let it win…

BEEEEEP goes the microwave… crap.. GAME ON!!!

alright tea… i’m on to you… i WILL drink at least a sip of your deadly poison.

cautious sip… noseful of blergylavender…GAH!

I’m pretty sure is what it would taste like if i started licking lavender soaps randomly in those tacky gifts shops…maybe add a little spinach and a squirt of orange and hey look…it’s a tasty soap salad.

feck. no thank you.

buries the rest of her half of the sample in terri’s teabox mwahahahahahahaha

(why can’t i rate a tea zero? also…not rating this as low as i want to, because admittedly some of you out there might actually enjoy the taste of lavender and blergamot…together in a taste hot green mess. At least the tea is pretty? cough)

Stephanie

Lavender? Wah wah!

OMGsrsly

BLERGAMOT! I can’t stop laughing, Sil. At least you gave us some entertainment out of it? :)

Sil

for sure… my other half is laughing at me as well… “WHY would you put that in your mouth?” uh…because i need to try ALL THE TEAS! “even if they taste like ass?” uh…..yes? :)

Ceylon Star

Can you and your other half come live with me? Please? 1) you’re adorkable and 2) you crack me up to no end!

Ubacat

I love Earl Grey and green. The lavender sounds a bit weird though…..

Sil

…i think this would have tasted better with more blergamot and less lavender to be honest…

Helena

yucky lavender makes me think of the Thrills gum. Now there is lavender soap taste for you! I don’t think anything can be as bad as that. Then again I haven’t tried the tea yet so….

MissB

I am cringing as I read this note, and hope that I have zero teas today with either ingredient in them. Blergamot though? I love that word!

Sil

helena – is that those purple gum thingies? if so i know what you’re talking about and this is way more lavender and much more gross…and those are gross. lol

Amanda Wilson

Hmm, I like lavender in sencha…I like bergamot and lavender in black tea…the idea of it in green just sound kinda odd.

OMGsrsly

YES, those purple crunchy coated gums! Me and my brother would buy them and dare each other to eat them.. and then my mom found them somewhere and got us each a packet for Christmas. Haha. It’s just sitting there, waiting…

Dinosara

LOL what a note. This seems to actually be a revamp(?) of an old blend they had way back when they first started Alchemy Blends called Lavender Earl Green. I tried it then and thought it had too much lavender, so I am interested to see how this one compares. I doubt I will have your reaction, though…

Helena

Yep Thrills gum is that evil deceptively purple chicklet looking gum that tastes like Lavender Soap not that I’ve ever eaten Lavender Soap but I dare anyone to try that gum and not say that’s what it tastes like :D

Sil

This is way more lavender than that thrills gum IF my memory serves…..

Sil

Dinosara – yeah…you will probably be ok with these…

OMGsrsly

I could always send you some Thrills if you’d like to compare, Sil. :D

JC

LOL!, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I’ve only come across one tea that made good use of lavender, and it was a ratio of one or two of those mini buds per 4-5gms of the rest of the herbal tea. Bergamot… not so much, to me it is too strong and ‘invasive’, it overshadows all other flavors.

Sil

JC – i kinda think that’s part of the fun of new teas…even if they are soooo very gross lol

OMG – i will hurt you lol

JC

Lol, I call those a ‘learning experience’ together with low or no score. I always insist that nothing teaches you about great tea like awful tea.

Helena

all right everyone send 1 pack of Thrills gum to Sil on Christmas morning (insert evil laughter here)

OMGsrsly

Helena, I like how you think. ;)

MissLena

Haha awe so much hate for this tea, I found it pretty tasty haha but I am a rare one who like lavender and ‘Blergamot’ lol :D still, quite an entertaining note! Sorry it didn’t pan out though lol

Sil

haha it’s all good misslena. I’m happy someone out there loved it haha

CelebriTEA

I LOVE this tea and would LOVE to have more of it!!!

CelebriTEA

Sil~ It is hard for me to see anyone rating it so low…
Different strokes for different folks~ I guess ;-)

Helena

I didn’t like it either. This showed up in my monthly verdant tea bundle and I tossed it.

CelebriTEA

Awww, Helena…wish you would have sent it to me…ahahaha…
I love it!

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100

Reading my book and sipping on this for the last two hours.

I made it the way I really like it when I have all the time in the world for it. I fill the gaiwan with leaves, really, I fill it almost to the top. This tea is light in weight, so for me, that’s the best way to extract all the goodness I know is in there. It might seems like a lot of tea to waist, but it’s no waist when you can brew it for several hours. And the steeps remain rich and flavourful. A good night companion…

This is another one from Butiki I’m hoping will never disappear!

(See previous notes)

Fjellrev

Interesting method!

TheTeaFairy

Yes, I find I’m not achieving the results I,m seeking with short steeps if I use less. I know this tea is good no matter what, but this method elevates it to the tenth power for me!

Terri HarpLady

I still haven’t tried that with this tea…yet!

TheTeaFairy

I have no doubt time will come, Terri!

TeaBrat

Reading anything good?

TheTeaFairy

Well Teabrat, I just finished Rebecca from Daphne Du Maurier and I’m now contemplating either Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth’s sequel World Without End or Camilla Läckberg ‘s Ice Princess. Hard to choose sometimes isn’t it?

Butiki Teas

Interesting! I will have to try that. I usually fill the gaiwan about half way full.

TheTeaFairy

Stacy, I know, that’s what I do too with regular teas (meaning other than pu’erh and oolongs, those I weigh instead) but I wanted a bolder flavour and that’s what works best for me, very short steeps, lots of leaves. (Which I’ll be running out of real soon!!)
I would’t recommend it to someone not like a strong brew, but I know you do!

Butiki Teas

Are doing a 10 second steep on that? I’d like to try it how you recommend. :)

TheTeaFairy

OMG i would never dream of recommending ANYTHING to you on this tea, madam!!!

But 10seconds is probably what I do, I never really count, I “estimate” to give people and idea. So yes, I would estimate 10sec for the first 3 steeps and increase by 10 also for the subsequents. And as I often do, I read while brewing, so I forget it and it becomes almost syrupy…But call me crazy, I still like it!!!

I haven’t tried this with your Wild mountain yet, but i will.

Butiki Teas

Well, I would love to try your method. I will give it a try tonight. For this tea and the TWMB, I normally just do a 1/2 gaiwan filled steep for 30ish seconds. I like the first steep to come out a bit strong. It will be interesting to try it this way. :)

Butiki Teas

Whoa, the 10 second steep with a full gaiwan is delicious! Excellent recommendation. Very malty but still sweet.

TheTeaFairy

Phew! thanks for letting me know, lol, i was a little nervous that you might think I’m just a fool!!! So happy you liked it this way. Is it possible to ever mess up this tea i ask you???

Butiki Teas

It was absolutely delicious! Very different than what I normally do but I love how different it is. It reminded me of coffee a little bit in flavor though only what I would imagine coffee would taste like since I’ve only tasted like maybe twice in my life.

TheTeaFairy

Yay! You’re right Stacy, it does bring more of coffee almost mocha feel to it!

Terri HarpLady

Guess I’ll have to give this a try…

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82

Thank you VariaTEA for sending this my way!

i got no chocolate? but i got a lovely creamy, vanilla-esque cinnamon bomb though! very nice. might have to look into this shop- next semester!

on a completely separate note, had to drop a line to my prof asking for more pages for an assignment….. i will cut and paste his reply:
‘… you should strike some balance between your school work and life.’ buwahahahahaha! yeah! if you promise me A+’s no matter what.

did he just obliquely accuse me of having no life? or would you call that direct? hmmm.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I am glad you liked it. And yes, your prof may have accidentally (or perhaps not accidentally) accused you of not having a life.

JustJames

thank you so much for sending it! gotta love a prof that puts up with grading extra work and then calls it like he sees it…. politely! lol!!!
yours should be there soon i hope!

yyz

Maybe he’s a little envious. I remember some of my undergraduate profs (mostly department heads) complaining that 70% of their time was dedicated to finding funding/politics, 20% to their own research and grad students, and 10% to the classroom.

JustJames

well, he might be indulging me a bit because i appear to be the only tech savvy student willing to work with networking software for the NGOs, not just mine. also the fact that i have over 100 hours in and it should be more 36 and i’m trying to make it self-sustaining for after i leave as well. my classmates are just starting now, i’ve been at it full time for a month. (no sleep, lotsa tea…. that’s why no reviews!)

yyz

Goodness, with that amount of work in, it would be nice if you could at least get a tax receipt for your volunteer time. Sounds exciting, but don’t push yourself towards burnout!

JustJames

you say what i think…. and yet there’s no one else with my particular spray of skill sets: art, language, people, programs, photo editing with a strong real world network as well. it’ll be fine…. probably. lol.

yyz

Anyways I feel for you…

JustJames

thank you! xoxo…. are you enjoying your bits and pieces?

yyz

I am.. So far I have revisited Hepburn, and Toffee Dream, I was kind of too busy to give a tea proper attention today. I wm planning to explore something new tomorrow, looking forward to it!

JustJames

i’m crazy busy, if you don’t have time to review i’d be the last one to gripe. just thought i’d ask!! =0)

yyz

No harm in it, James they all look fabulous! I think I’m going to have to close my eyes and reach in, to decide where to begin. I’ve also been wasting time contemplating a Betjeman order.

JustJames

i did NOT just read that. i have enough tea… i have enough tea… i will not look them up online!! lol!

yyz

It’s a little bit more effort. To get decent shipping you have to do a phone order from Fouvrac in Montreal. They carry the full line, but don’t have a webstore. So you have to check out the teas at the Betjeman and Barton site. Shipping they said was cheap, someone had an order sent to California for $10.

yyz

Fouvrac seems to carry a lot of companies. They have Betjeman, and a lot of Kusmi, but I have also seen Fauchon, Compagnie Coloniale, and Marriage Frères tins in the pictures on their Facebook page.

VariaTEA

I saw Montreal and perked up. I suppose I have another store to check out now.

VariaTEA

Also this is a list (granted an incomplete one) of the tea companies they have: http://www.lefouvrac.com/grocery-product/en_tea.html

yyz

https://m.facebook.com/lefouvrac?id=220918191303544&rdr. They have 2 locations. I’m not sure which is better but the Betjeman site lists the Fleury location. blank">http://www.betjemanandbarton.com/en/content/9-world

They have really cute teaware as well!

VariaTEA

The other location is closer but realistically the difference is insignificant unless you are driving there.

JustJames

I AM COVERING MY EYES!!!!!! i am not reading! i have been SO well behaved. CURSES! lol.

yyz

Looks like you’re fine going to the Laurier location anyways. They apparently have an annex to the store dedicated to the Betjeman teas. http://voir.ca/voir-la-vie/art-de-vivre/2012/12/06/home-sweet-home/

VariaTEA

Yeah. Damn. I really shouldn’t be buying more. It is just so tempting though.

yyz

Beware, according to the fleury St description they carry 48 companies teas.

yyz

And it’s smaller than the Laurier one

VariaTEA

Hahaha. This could hurt my wallet. Perhaps I should avoid the store.

yyz

True, it does look dangerous. If you go set a limit, but it looks at least you can buy 50g.

yyz

James, we kind of hijacked this discussion, but you know when I finally get around to placing an order, some samples will be coming to you.

JustJames

ha ha ha ha…. hijack away! i am a man of mettle! i’ll misbehave- i just have to save it up for next semester is all =0)

OMGsrsly

Oh wow, yyz, that is a serious thing to consider! I could get a lot of things I’ve been wanting to try all with just one order. :D

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95

I told Sil yesterday that I would experience the mystic powers of the Tiger this morning as my breakfast tea. This is all thanks to her and the generous sample she sent my way after I told her how curious I was to try this legend of a tea. Now I just found out she ran out herself, sad face…that goes to show her generosity and willingness to share. Thank you so much Sil!

I understand all the hype around this tea now.

A true rough on the edges lumberjack would not shy away from this tea. But it’s also good for us Canadian women, remember, we do like ourselves a strong cup in the morning! In general, I don’t want too finicky and complicated early in the morning, I want a hard worker that takes its job seriously, aiming to please ME!!!

It’s a rich bold and malty cup. But there’s zero bitterness to it, mellow and sweet, yet, strong and powerful.

Even as it cooled down, it remained as smooth as a baby’s derriere ;-)

On the list it goes, it will make a perfect everyday kick me in the petuli Assam!

Sil

So glad you liked it! Well worth the price if you can pick it up when A&D does free shipping to canada. Also the tin is just darling! :)

Terri HarpLady

I’ve been really happy with A & D’s damn fine teas, this one especially!

__Morgana__

I am such a fan of Andrews & Dunham in general, I can’t tell you how much my fingers are itching to hop over to their web site and order some of this. But I fear the slippery slope of tea ordering justification. Sigh.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Sil for letting me know about the free shipping I’ll keep a look for it, as you know, I’m in no rush to order :-)

Terri, this is my first A & D ever… I like the humour behind the brand, will sure place an order eventually!

TheTeaFairy

Morgana, boy do I know about finger itch, I have it on all 10 fingers!!!!

Sil

they have a new tea as well that is pretty good. I also like their smokey tea but the quantitity would take me forever to get through.. I keep meaning to email them to see if i can custom make a 3 pack and include the new tea instead of the EG

__Morgana__

Crap. I DID IT!

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! Morgana, that was funny!
But i must resist, i’m on a «pseudo» hiatus, you should never post comments like that. Ever.

__Morgana__

I’m sorry, TF. I can assure you it won’t happen with anything other than A&D. Although…. I keep hearing the word Samovar in my brain. (Sticking fingers in ears and humming loudly.)

TheTeaFairy

Lalalala, lalalalalaa, lala, lalalalala….

TheTeaFairy

Really lurking at the adventure pack…

Dexter3657

" this is my first A & D ever… " Hmmmm interesting – add that to the proife – will see what I can do about that…

TheTeaFairy

Hooo, Dexter, the profiler…you make me smile, I like that :-)

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95

I super love mountain dew. Almost as much as I love root beer. So I had to jump on this one. In saying that, I did leave it sitting in my cupboard for quite a while because I am trying to finish the teas that are open first before opening everything else.

The smell of this dry tea is dead on mountain dew. Delicious. I almost wanted to crack open a can of the real stuff.

I brewed this 1.5 tsp, 10 oz, and about a 1/4 tsp of rock sugar. I normally don’t add sugar right off the bat, but I figured since it was based on the soda, I would add some sugar. The smell of the brewed tea is what I would guess hot mountain dew smelled like.

The taste is a bit different. My immediate reaction was jelly beans. Like a red fruit flavoured jelly belly. Towards the end of the sip there is a mountain dew flavour. I would like to try this one without the sugar, but also as an iced tea/cold brew. I think the sugar may be giving it more of that jelly bean flavour.

Also a very important note, this is a 52 teas honeybush blend and I am getting NO pepper, this is historic for me!

Edit: Made another cup, same specifications, but this time with no sugar. The smell of the brewed tea is still the same but the taste is quite different and not as good. There is a vegetal astringency. I can definitely tell it is missing something, specifically the sweetener. I feel like there is a lot of mint in this blend, but it is too much, giving it a bit of a spice. Not sure what the ingredients in this blend are, but this is what I am tasting. I definitely prefer with sugar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Roswell Strange

See, I found the same thing as you where the smell was dead on, but I had a hard time drinking my first cup because I found it uncomfortably peppery… Maybe I need to try it with sugar, like you did. Anyway – I’m sending nearly all of it to Kittenna. I’m curious how it’d do as a tea soda, though…

Lala

I think this would make a good tea soda. I think though I would make an iced tea concentrate out of it and then mix it with the soda. I will have to experiment a bit. I definitely think it tastes much better with sweetener.

Sil

does this taste like Canada mountain dew or US mountain dew? heh

Lala

I would say the Canadian mountain dew. But I haven’t had US mountain dew in a super long time, so it is hard to compare.

K S

If there were no tea, I could live on Mtn Dew. That said, what is the difference between Canadian and US Dew?

Lala

There is a different source of sweetener in the Canadian vs US Mountain Dew. I always found the US version to be much sweeter. Also Canadian Mountain Dew is traditionally caffeine free, although you can now get it with caffeine I think. I always found the US Version to have more “kick” or “jolt”, if that makes sense.

Sil

i like to boil it down to. US version tastes gross and the canadian version is nice ;) canadian = more lemon/lime US = caffeine gross tasting blech

haha

Cavocorax

Crazy! I had no idea there was a difference!

Sil

cavo..oh yeah. mountain dew was? is? at one point the most caffienated of all the pops in the us. canada it’s always (until now apparently) been caffeine free

caile

I had no idea about mountain dew differences either – interesting!

K S

Orange Crush is high on the caffeine scale as well. No caffeine in Canadian MD? That’s just wrong. ;) Sil, everyone is entitled to an opinion – even when you are wrong. lol

Lala

It’s funny because orange crush (and the other crush’s), Mountain Dew, root beer, gingerale, and I am sure a few others, are traditionally caffeine free in Canada. Not sure why the difference. We also have ketchup chips. Ha ha.

If you just google Canadian vs US pop (or soda) there is some interesting info.

caile

Orange crush is high in caffeine in the US?! So different! I’ll have to Google it out of curiosity sake.
Smiles, and I just happen to have ketchup chips on the table in front of me right now.. not than I am eating them.. :-)

K S

Here is a link I found for US caffeine content. http://www.cspinet.org/new/cafchart.htm

Sil

oh man..now i want ketchup chips…

caile

Thanks, KS – interesting the amounts of caffeine in some things.
Sil, I know, I keep looking at the bag of chips… ;-)

OMGsrsly

Mountain Dew now has caffeine in Canada! I think it’s only certain kinds though. “The new Mountain Dew will feature a proprietary bottle, fully embossed with the Dew logo and both Mountain Dew and Diet Mountain Dew now contain caffeine while still having the same bold, great taste. The caffeine content is in line with the standards outlined by Health Canada.”

http://www.pepsico.ca/en/PressRelease/Mountain-Dew-brings-the-mountain-to-you-Toronto03022012.html

Roswell Strange

Mmmm, ketchup chips. I have ketchup popcorn flavouring at home, so when I get home from work that’ll have to do…

Lala

Wow, I didn’t know they were starting to make MD with caffeine it, I will have to check the ones I have at home. Hope it still tastes the same.

On another note, I have had the jingle for mellow yellow in my head all day after doing some looking up about Mountain Dew online…“and they call it mellow yellow…”
caile

I should get some popcorn flavouring. I never knew it came in such flavours as ketchup though!

Sil

“…just butter it!….”

OMGsrsly

Dill Pickle chips as well. I think I need to stop for “groceries” on the way home!

Sil

better than dill pickle chips are regular ruffles chips with creamcheese dill pickle dip.

OMGsrsly

Hmmm….

Sil

it’s like the guilty pleasure here in the house…Ian noms it all before i can ever get some most of the time haha

Cavocorax

OH man, I am totally craving some of that right now. I… I don’t even know where my nearest convenience store is. We have an Iranian market down the street, but they don’t have chips.

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84
drank Irish Cream by Red Leaf Tea
4044 tasting notes

I haven’t had a chance to try this on it’s own yet..so i picked this out tonight. HOLY CRAP PPL! this one smells INCREDIBLE…seriously it’s like deliciously amazing crazy ass creamy, yummy OMG i want to eat you all up tea.

…and then you brew it..and it’s not nearly as insane as the smell but it’s still a pretty decently flavoured cup of tea. So i’m enjoying it..but man, i wish it tasted like it smells… many that smell makes me happy! haha

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens

pyarkaaloo

sounds incredible! what would you say it tastes like…if you could compare it to any flavor or tea? is this a flavored black, or a straight black with cream bits thrown in? or does it just have an inherently creamy quality sans additions? any notes you’re picking up on, like caramel or vanilla? from the way you describe this tea, somehow i’m picturing a dark, rich liquor.

Sil

It’s a flavoured black, no bits in there. It’s like Irish cream….so creamier…more like vanilla than caramel but it’s not vanilla….heh

pyarkaaloo

thanks for your clarification! sounds delicious, added this one to my shopping list!

Sil

just poke me sometime mid February and i can send some your way if you like. saves you an order in case you don’t like it :)

Yvonne

I’d love to give this a try as well :)

Ceylon Star

[sheepishly adds to shopping list]

Sil

lol 5$ says you try it and wonder what crack i was smoking when i drank it :)

Ceylon Star

Dangit Sil, you made me snort tea out my nose!

Sil

puhlease..like that’s hard.

Ceylon Star

[looks down into the mug]

shush…

OMGsrsly

AHAHA! Ceylon Star, I love what you’ve put in your bio. :)

Amariel

This has gotta be good, and something I can’t screw up…since I suck at making matcha.

Ceylon Star

Srsly? YOU, of all people, are judging me? Hahahaha!

pyarkaaloo

Thanks Sil, you are too kind.. I’ll be sure to poke u in February ;p let me know if there’s anything in my cupboard you’d like to try, tho it’s hardly exciting!

Sil

pyarkaaloo – you’d be surprised at what i can find to tantalise my taste buds from ppl’s cupboards…i’m trying to taste ALL THE TEAS after all haha

Terri HarpLady

that’s right!

OMGsrsly

Not judging, Ceylon Star! I think it’s awesome! And the icon too. :)

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86
drank Sweet Potato Pie by Lupicia
1363 tasting notes

Thank you Dustin for sharing this with me. I have never actually tried a sweet potato pie but it sounded like a tea that would be different from the typical fruity, caramel, vanilla teas I tend to drink. I was certainly right about that and it is different in the best way possible! It is unique but still with elements familiar enough that I can see myself drinking this often. It is buttery, it is sweet, it maybe even has a caramel-like quality but the sweet potato is also distinct and provides a nice quality to the cup. This is one I would order in a heartbeat. In fact, so is Cookie, the only other Lupicia tea I have tried. Now I want MORE! Bring on the Lupicia!!

In other news, my friend really did NOT like this tea. She felt it tasted like a mediocre plain black where as I am getting a lot of flavor. Gotta love how people can have such polarized reactions to the exact same tea :)

Stephanie

I need to try more from Lupicia :)

VariaTEA

They are 2/2 so far. That definitely has me intrigued.

Anna

I am SO excited to hear that you’re getting into Lupicia. If I had to stick to one single tea company for the rest of my life, Lupicia would be it.

VariaTEA

Dustin was kind enough to send me samples of two different teas and they have both been amazing. Also, Sil stuck a teabag of Cookie into our swap which I was very happy to have more of. Now I have a mission to try more as I really enjoyed the ones I have had so far. I guess I will add Lupicia to my list of places to order from :P. What are your favorites from them btw?

Dustin

I’m glad you liked it! I just placed two orders with Lupicia recently. The first one came with a sample of their Momoko and it was so amazing I lost impulse control and placed another order the other day. I have never had a peach tea that I really enjoyed before and this one was super flavorful and juicy. They were also out of Cookie when I placed my first order, so I had to add that one… and two or three more. So bad.
My order shipped today, but once it gets in I can send you some samples of those and some of the others I have if you like. Then you will know what you like and should order and I’ll feel less guilty for buying more tea when I already have enough to fill a couch with. Man, that would be one great smelling couch!

Anna

Aw, Dustin, I’m so excited to read that! Momoko is a huge favourite of mine.

My faves are Cookie, obviously (the only tea I’ve given a solid 100 rating) and their BEAUTIFUL flavoured oolongs. Ripe mango, Momo (like Momoko in oolong form), Melon, etc.

I also really, really love their flavoured greens – Tsugaru Green is the best apple tea I’ve had, and Bravissimo! is one of my all-around favourite teas.

Oh, and their toasted teas, like that apricot houjicha.

They’re just really good, haha.

Dustin

Oooooo, I haven’t had all those Anna! I haven’t had many oolongs so it isn’t a base I gravitate towards. I like that they have different base options for their flavors, but I wonder how much they differ from each other.
Have you had Nina’s Marie Antoinette? That was the most impressive apple tea I have had. I’d love to know how it compares with Tsugaru.
I have had two or three flavored houjichas before and liked them. I’ll have to try Lupicia’s sometime. I can see another order in the making already. :/

VariaTEA

Dustin, I might actually take you up on that because I want to try ALL their teas. You are welcome to look through my cupboard and we can arrange another swap :)

And Anna, I am not a lover of oolong but Sil made their Melon Oolong sound AMAZING!

Anna

No, Nina’s drive me sort of nuts (rant starts here) because they’ve ignored my questions SIX times – I have seriously e-mailed them six times without receiving a response, which makes me wildly cranky (rant over).

And I hear you – the only thing keeping me from not ordering more tea is the sheer bulk of my cupboard. I need to swap more…

VariaTEA

Also, I just saw the message about Marie Antoinette too and it might be my favorite apple as well.

Anna, I have only had amazing experiences with Nina’s so I don’t understand why they are being super annoying to you.

Anna

I know, everyone is head over heels with Nina’s, so I have no idea how we manage to have zero karma.

And it’s true, the melon oolong is quite something (don’t miss keychange’s review) but if you can’t deal with oolong at all, there’s a white melon tea that works as an excellent substitute.

VariaTEA

White melon…I will have to look into that. Thank you. Also, Anna, if you ever want to swap, I am always happy to share my teas (though I am a bit far from Rome :P).

Anna

It’s very flavourful for a white tea.

And sure, I’m always up for a swap – I do more trans-Atlantic ones than European, it seems, haha.

VariaTEA

Probably because there are A LOT of Canadians on here. Canadians and Americans seem to account for the bulk of members. Or perhaps I only tend to interact with the people from US and Canada since when I started, I only posted on the US/Can. swap board…

Anna

Well, this is highly unscientific, but if you go by internet penetration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_Internet_users) tea culture vitality, and Steepster’s location, language and average target group, it’s not overly surprising.

VariaTEA

Haha I suppose not :P

Dustin

Now I’m looking at their Japanese website to see what exclusive teas they have there! I need to stop this madness. They have Hello Kitty tea. And it looks like they had Halloween tea last year?!?!! Talk about two things I love!

Anna, I don’t know why the words wildly and cranky make me laugh when put together, but they do. Have you tried emailing them from a different address? I wonder if your emails are caught in some sort of filter and aren’t getting to them.

VariaTEA, I just saw your post in the swap thread and responded with the teas that looked interesting to me. I’m a little curious about David’s Pistachio Cream, but I’m worried that I will love it and have to buy 250g of it since that is the only size they are selling it in now.

VariaTEA

Haha Dustin, you are serious about trying ALL the Lupicia, aren’t you? Also, did you want just samples of the teas or the full amounts? Actually, I will just send you a message.

Anna

Yes, three addresses. And Japanese Lupicia is a WONDERLAND!!!

Dustin

You have SEEN it?! I would loose my mind. My husband keeps throwing around ideas of places for us to travel asking me things like “Would you want to visit Paris?” and my response is often based on that country’s reputation for tea. I don’t know how I would control myself while tea shopping in Paris.

Sami Kelsh

For reals. My partner’s visiting family in Japan right now, and when he asks what I’d like him to bring back for me, I’m tempted to change my answer from “just being reunited with you is all my heart could ever ask for,” to “TEA. ALL THE TEA. PLEASE BRING ME TEA. YOU MIGHT NEED TO BUY A NEW SUITCASE JUST TO FILL WITH TEA. I LOVE YOU PLEASE BRING TEA.”

Sami Kelsh

(And I am so taking us tea shopping in Paris when I, Gosh willing, get a full-time job)

OMGsrsly

I wish I had known about Lupicia (or umm maybe that a store existed where I was travelling) when I went to Japan. :)

Sami, the answer is ALWAYS tea. Always. :D

Dustin

Sami, if your partner is hitting up a Lupicia store, can we place orders with him? A tea mule in Japan would be fantastic!

Dustin

I’m mostly kidding about turning your partner into a tea mule btw. Mostly. :)

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Oh my gosh. i read roswell strange’s tasting note on this yesterday and realized it had been ages since I’ve had this. For some crazy reason unbeknownst to me, I somehow thought I was getting over this tea, but this morning’s cup was a resounding reminder that this indeed was not the case. I nearly gasped out loud after I took my first sip, and quickly pushed the cup toward Mr. Keychange to have a sip.
“My gosh!” he exclaimed, “What flavour is this one?”
“Aha!” I exclaimed on Stacey’s behalf, “it isn’t flavoured! this is just the great Taiwanese wild mountain black! doesn’t it taste like waffles?”
“Wow, so the tea just tastes like that?”

Which is exactly my own awe at this tea. I don’t know if there’s any left to order, but I sure hope there is, as I’ll be topping up very soon. Mmm. Creamy, honeyed waffle deliciousness, with the signature taste of black tea aftertaste. I seriously don’t know what was stopping me from having this more often!

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Anna

My utmost sads on your account concerning the Violet tea. <3

keychange

Oh, I know. I’m legitimately grieving that one.

Anna

I hoped you stocked up. Plus it might come back!

Kamyria

Ha ha ha… I had to re read the first sentence because at first I thought there was a strange tasting note I haven’t read yet.

Courtney

Waffles! That’s a great description.

keychange

LOL! and anna, I hope and hope it’ll come back, but who knows. :(. And I’m definitely stocking up.

Sil

Oh is it out of Rostock again?

Sil

It’s in stock silly….

Butiki Teas

We still have plenty of the TWMB in stock. The Rose Violent Calendula is the one that is out of stock.

Butiki Teas

errr, Violet not violent.

Stephanie

Now I want some ‘Violent’ oolong \m/ ;)

keychange

I want violent tea also!!

Anna

I am laughing so hard at this…

Butiki Teas

I don’t know that I would want a tea with the word “violent” in it as in violently ill but I am now picturing some tea bushes robbing people at knife point.

Roswell Strange

Everything about this note and its ensuing comments amuses me.

Courtney

Hahaha! Tea bushes robbing people. These comments are awesome. It works so well with this post I found http://funsubstance.com/fun/49946/violently-inserts-title/

keychange

I would be totally down with grappling with a tea bush, as long as it wasn’t too rough and if I could steel some buds to then turn into more rvc! mmm teabush!

Kamyria

lmao!!! Revenge of the tea bush.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

These comments!! (Dying of laughter!)

Sil

love you guys..

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98
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
1363 tasting notes

After the success of the cold brewed lemon chiffon yesterday, I decided to cold brew lime chiffon. The result is I prefer lime chiffon hot and lemon chiffon cold. I am not sure why but that is my finding. Though this is still very flavorful and delicious, I find the lime shines a bit more when it is hot versus the lemon of lemon chiffon which sticks out in the cold brew.

In other news, I have been spending copious amounts of time on amazon and other sites for a week now looking for a shiny new kettle to replace the ghetto one I am using currently (and I mean ghetto – it doesn’t even have an on/off switch let alone a temperature gauge). I figure for the amount of tea I drink, it is worth it for me to spend some money on a kettle that will help me enjoy it all. Plus, I spend so much money on tea anyways, I might as well brew it properly. So I am wondering what your experience/opinions/thoughts are on different kettles? Which ones are you guys happy to have and which should I avoid?

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
MissLena

I love my Breville variable temp kettle to bits, but I got my mom one by Kitchen Aid that seems to work quite nicely and was much more reasonable in cost. The one we have at work, a Cuisine Art programmable, had such an irritating beep that one fellow disconnected the wire to it lol, also the controls were not as easy to use and kind of annoying. Oh and it leaks water now haha. There’s my humble variable temp kettle assessment :)

VariaTEA

I think I was looking at the breville but it did not have a feature where you could set your own temperatures. I might be mistaken but I thought it was all preset. I will definitely be avoiding the cuisine art one.

TeaBrat

I just got the Adagio kettle utiliTEA. So far I like it.

Dexter3657

I have an Oster that I bought half price at Canadian Tire. It doesn’t have good review, but I’ve had no problems at all. I like that it’s not preset black, green etc. I can choose any temp I want in 5 degree increments. LOL what I don’t like is that it DOESN’T beep – when it reaches temp it just turns off. I forget, don’t notice and have to reheat water quite often. I would like the annoying beep.
It was a good price on sale, and I figured even if it did break or leak in a few months, I would have decided if I want to invest in a really good one. So far so good, I’m happy with it.

VariaTEA

@Teabrat – What do you like about it? Do you have anything you dislike? Also Adagio has the VarieTEA kettle which I had to use a lot of willpower to resist given the name. In other news, I realized I misspelled my name but we will just go with it.

@Dexter – I think I am hoping to get a kettle that has a keep warm setting which I am guessing the Oster doesn’t have? I will definitely look into it though.

MissB

My Breville One Touch (http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BTM800XL-One-Touch-Tea-Maker/dp/B003LNOPSG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390978336&sr=8-2&keywords=breville+tea) lets me set any temperature I want, as well as pre-sets, which makes it easy when there’s zero indication as to how to brew a tea. The only thing I can complain about is that it’s a bit tricky to clean, and I have to make at least 500mL of tea at a time. It is pricey though. I did just just a standard $50 kettle from London Drugs for a while prior until it burned out.

VariaTEA

I have been so close to buying a one touch for months MissB. Alas, even with the amount I drink, I can’t bring myself to justify the price. My mother has offered a few times but it is just too pricey for me to feel comfortable with her buying it.

VariaTEA

Plus I like to make multiple different teas at a time so that has also stopped my from going with a kettle that you brew the tea in.

Dexter3657

My kettle does have keep warm….maintains set temp for up to 30 minutes. I don’t use it, but it has it.
Model Number BVSTKTVT01-033

VariaTEA

Thanks Dexter!! I am definitely bookmarking this for later!

OMGsrsly

Mine is a T-Fal Thermovision, it has 160F, 175, 185, 195 and boil. 30 min keep warm for everything but boil (although you can set to 195, and boil, and it’ll boil then keep it at 195). I got it for $50 at Canadian Tire. It beeps. :) I don’t mind the beeping, it’s not as loud as my microwave.

VariaTEA

I was looking at this one: http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-40996-Programmable-1-7-Liter/dp/B0083I7THI. It is the Hamilton Beach kettle if anyone has experience with that?

Dexter3657

That has a lot of features for that price…I don’t have wake up hot water feature…. I don’t know anything about it, but for the price – it might be worth a try.

VariaTEA

That’s what I thought. The only problem is when I go on Canadian sites the price goes up to about $70. I think I might give in though and just send it to my Dad in LA to send up here.

TeaBrat

Regarding the utiliTEA, I like the fact that it’s stainless steel. It heats water up quickly but the one annoying thing is that there are no numbers on the temperature gauge, you have a setting for green tea and one for black but if you’re any good at math you can figure out what temps go in between that, lol. It has an auo shut off but doesn’t beep or anything when the water is done. Still for the price I think it’s decent.

Kirlika

I don’t have that particular HB kettle but I did get another for Christmas that has been working great for me (http://www.londondrugs.com/Hamilton-Beach-1.7L-Digital-Kettle—-Stainless-Steel—-41000/L7691330,default,pd.html?start=18&q=kettles%20%26%20tea%20makers) It doesn’t have the wakeup feature but other than that they sound pretty similar (and it’s available in Canada :))

The one thing I found when looking for “programmable” kettles is that you have to watch out for the ones that are programmed I had to return the original kettle I received because I could only use the 5 “programmed” temperatures :( The box even said programmable, but it lied…

Cavocorax

Oh! I have the same kettle as Kirlika, and I love it! It heats up nicely, it doesn’t beep or buzz (which might be bad if you want to know w hen the water is ready, but good when you want steatlh tea in the middle of the night like I do), and it has a lot of variety for setting the temperature. I think it’s about 6 different settings for F and C each (it goes up by 10’s, and if you switch between F and C you should be able to find the temperature you want).

It keeps it warm for an hour too, unless you tell it not too.

Cavocorax

I assume mine is the same (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/hamilton-beach-hamilton-beach-pro-1-7l-kettle-41000-stainless-steel-41000/10261214.aspx?path=537c8ee81299072574239dbe620d6b35en02) this says it’s the pro, but it looks similar. I grabbed it for $45 when it was on sale in December.

MissB

The Breville is pricey, and I find I end up using it more to keep water hot (for an hour), to time my steepings (because I also do several cups at a time), and auto-set temperatures. When I do want to brew say two cups of tea though, it really is amazing, and hard for me to mess up a tea that way – a big plus for me! :$

I see some really great alternatives here though, I’d try those first if price is a concern. Just make sure wherever you do get it from, you can return it if need be.

Also, for the US shipping, there are companies just across the border that will accept packages on your behalf; all you’d need is an excursion with a friend one weekend to walk over the border and get them.

VariaTEA

Luckily my dad lives in LA so I can ship to him and he ships it up to me. And though I can afford the Breville, I just keep thinking of how much tea I could buy if I get a cheaper kettle :P. I have seriously considered it many times though.

TeaBrat

I have considered the Breville many times myself!

Cavocorax

Good luck choosing! I think one thing I don’t like about the Breville is that you brew tea right in it – I don’t think I’d use that. What if I make Hot Cinnamon Spice? Will it corrupt the next few teas I make, no matter how hard I try to clean it out? Also, I don’t want to clean my kettle/teamaker. I guess I like things simple.

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drank Juicy Blueberry by Zen Tea
1168 tasting notes

This is SO GOOD as a cold brew. So. Good.

I need more.

JustJames

i just ordered some! they’ve got a bonkers sale on!!!

Fjellrev

w00t! Always good to find a reasonable priced herbal to cold brew it up.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I’m buying 100g. Most of my cold brew standbys have strawberries and oranges, and I’m avoiding those for a few weeks. :)

JustJames

free shipping at expedited too!!! yay!!!!!

JustJames

i’m grabbing some japanese tea: some hojicha among others =0) SO EXCITING!!!

OMGsrsly

I’m getting 100g this and 50g almond marzipan rooibos. Haha. $11, and they ship for free. Yeah!

JustJames

cough….. i might not have been as conservative. lol. but still, budget watching always. and i do need to cut my caffeine down, so i grabbed 3 herbals and this was one of them!

OMGsrsly

I have Too Many Teas, James. Too Many.

Sil

215 ish isn’t thy bad :)

OMGsrsly

Sil, I haven’t tracked how many I have. I think it’s closer to 250/260…

JustJames

i don’t even have 100…. and i try very hard to sipdown or i have a hard time looking at my wife, lol. my tastes change a fair bit too… and if they change then i hand off to fellow students who are more poor than me, lol.

Fjellrev

Damnit, James, now I’ve been surfing their site. Those are some killer deals!

OMGsrsly

I have SO MANY SAMPLES. People are so generous, and it takes 3-4 cups to drink the whole thing down.

JustJames

okay, maybe that’s cheating on my part? i do not count swap samples among my supply. mostly because i wouldn’t share them, lol. nope.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I have about 100 samples. Still going through them, trying them, tossing some in a (new) box for my brother. Oh Sil, he LOVES the Wild Purple Buds Puerh from Butiki.

Dexter3657

Samples don’t count? I don’t have to count samples?
What’s this sale I’ve been hearing about?

OMGsrsly

http://zentealife.com/ , Dexter… End of season sale.

JustJames

MYSELF i do not count samples. i have a huge mug i use (16 oz) so a sample is often only 1 cup. i only list if i’m going to share, otherwise it makes me look like a jerk. OMGsrsly…. such a temptress, lmao, and to dexter who’s been drinking. not nice! =0D

OMGsrsly

I’m learning from the best cough James and MissB cough. I add them because I like the random tea generator. :) It helps me make up my mind!

Dexter3657

I was kidding, I CANNOT buy more tea. I bought a bunch from Zen during the BF extravaganza. Those are still in the box amongst several other boxes in a pile that I haven’t really even looked at yet. (Still I’m wondering why I didn’t buy any of this blueberry in that order…..?)

JustJames

rules are rules dexter, i have 200g coming. i can ship some off np.

MissB

Heh. Dexter, I just sent you a HUGE box of tea – you too JustJames! I also add all of my samples/swaps into my stash, for the same reason as OMGsrlsy. Love the random tea generator!

MissB

Also, fellow Vancouverites, did you see this? http://zentealife.com/tea-quiz

JustJames

no fair!!!

JustJames

oh…. and i do not use the tea generator. i am a stick in the mud. =0P

OMGsrsly

Huh. I hadn’t seen that. Oh well! I’ve tried almost everything now. :)

Dexter3657

MissB – that box is the reason I’m not allowed to buy more tea. I really need to find cupboard space for it and all my other BF orders that are still just lying around. Hmmmm buy new house?

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94

Georgia Tea Company sent me a little bit of this and I’m eager to try it because most weight loss teas I have tried thus far have been very herbally tasting to me. Let’s see what this is like, shall we!?

First I must say – it smells WONDERFUL! :) The Papaya and Mango really MAKE it! Tea-wise I can smell the Oolong a little more than the green as far as the actual tea aromas go.

It’s medium brown in color.

WOW! This is nice! It’s hard to describe because everything meshes together so well. The Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Papaya, and Mango all come together to form it’s own taste, really. It’s just enough fruity and wood to notice both…it’s sweet and refreshing.

I really like this especially because it tastes good AND it’s for weight loss!!!! NICE!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Hype teas annoy me- but at least it tastes good!:)

TeaEqualsBliss

Yup! I rated it higher just because of that fact…lol…

TeaEqualsBliss

usually they taste too herbally…

Cofftea

Er I should say the teas don’t annoy me- it’s the companies that try to get ignorant or gullible people to cave into the hype.

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Hey gals,

I completely understand where you’re coming from on then name. I don’t like ‘hype teas’ either. The reason we came out with the health line with teas like "Cancer Fighting Tea’ and “Weight Loss Tea” is because we get nearly daily emails and phone calls from people who just read an article about tea and want to know which ones are good for weight loss or cancer or digestion or what have you. We decided to blend together a line that would take the guess work out of it for them. There is quite a bit of very reputable research done on green tea and oolong tea to show it’s abilities to aide in weight loss. In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism), plus also had a significant effect on fat oxidation. The article went on to say, "The researchers indicated that their findings have substantial implications for weight control. A 4% overall increase in 24-hour energy expenditure was attributed to the green tea extract, however, the research found that the extra expenditure took place during the daytime. This led them to conclude that, since thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) contributes 8-10% of daily energy expenditure in a typical cubject, that this 4% overall increase in energy expenditure due to the green tea actually translated to a 35-43% increase in daytime thermogenesis. "

As with any ‘weight loss program’ it all has to do with a balanced routine of exercise and proper diet. Replacing high carb/calorie drinks like sodas, with green tea with no sugar, you are not only lowering your carb intake, but according to research, boosting your metabolism. I don’t believe in ‘diets" but only life changes. If someone, over a number of years, replaced their sodas and drank green tea with their meals, that should see a slow and gradual reduction in weight. The tea isn’t meant to be an instant weight loss supplement, but to aide in a life change.

TeaEqualsBliss

VERY well said Daniel! :) Either way…I’m very happy with this tea…it was tasty! I Enjoyed it! LOVED that someone put together a tasty flavored – non-medicine-E-tasting Green and oolong tea tho!!! Thumbs up from me…no complaints here! :) Cheers!

Rabs

@ Daniel Mann: awesome response. Georgie Tea Co. is now on my “to try next” list :)

TeaEqualsBliss

Rabs!!!!! You will NOT be disappointed!!!! Daniel & Crew over at Georgia Tea Company are AWESOME!!!!!

Ewa

hahaha, Rabs I totally had the same reaction! Because, you know, being articulate and well spoken = good tea. (proven by science!) I am also impressed with the concept of a non-herbtastic, tasty weight loss tea. My relatives in Poland used to drink these horrific uber concentrated herbal monstrosities that were supposed to help with weight loss and I’m afraid my perception of weight loss teas has been colored by that precedent ever since.

Cofftea

I feel a Georga Tea Co. Steepster Select coming on.

TeaEqualsBliss

Yea know…I was thinking about Steepster Selection…let’s network folks!!!! Let’s get The Steepster Gurus and Daniel from Georgia Tea Company to chat about a Steepster Select SOON!!! :P

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

How does the Steepster Select work? Is there a particular process that the tea must go through before it’s featured?

Cofftea

No… thank YOU!=D

Suzi

Sounds lovely :)

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

I emailed jason, so let’s see what he says.

TeaEqualsBliss

Keep us posted!!!! We’re pushin’ for ya! :P CHEERS!

Rabs

Can’t wait! ::does the impatient child dance:: ;)

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Thanks for all the encouragement! I better run off to bed….zzzz

Cofftea

Who needs tea- just take a shot of matcha:)

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

I was just telling Tea=Bliss about a guy I know who puts matcha in his fruit smoothies… Yummy! Heh.

Cofftea

The only way I like matcha and dairy together is half OJ and half milk (I use Smart Balance milk). I’m sure I’d like matcha, milk, and chocolate- just haven’t found the right formula yet.

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Half OJ and half milk? I would definitely want to put some vodka in that! Heh. Speaking of which, just to let you guys know, we’ve been working over the last 2 months on making tea alchohol recipes. So far we have found some really good mixes. One of my favorites has been Rooibos Rainbow and Dissarono Amaretto. Yummy! Rooibos Belgian Chocolate, milk and Kahlua, very good. Also Vodka and Cherry Kiwi is yummy, we are trying to finish the recipes and will be posting the list on our web site soon.

Cofftea

Definitely already had the vodka idea- just need to get some- matcha dreamsicle or matcha screw driver (if you forgo the milk) shots.:) I wonder how a dirty matchatini would taste? I’m thinking the olive juice would pair well w/ the green grassy, vegetalness of the matcha.

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Yeah, that sounds good. Now I must go drink! Haha.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Congrats TEB! This was a Featured tealog.

TeaEqualsBliss

Chrine? On the frontpage of steepster? COOL…thanks for letting me know!

Daniel Mann - Georgia Tea Co.

Yeah, I noticed it was on the frontpage, pretty cool.

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98
drank Grapefruit Dragon by Butiki Teas
672 tasting notes

Thank you Stacy (Butiki) for this sample tea!

(I’m Whispering…
…..we all know how good Stacy is at creating tea’s that
are…
not nasty and artificially flavored…the really special tea’s that we love! Shhhhh, listen up!…..
…..This one is my favorite Butiki Tea Flavor of all!)

I want a pound of this tea already. I ONLY HAVE A SAMPLE! STACY!

The wet leaves had the softest aroma of green beans and sweet grapefruit as though the clock had been turned back and Spring was here once again.

I had just enough tea leaves for one precious mug full.

I took a sip of the pale yellow liquor and was amazed at the restrained taste of the grapefruit next to the more robust but smooth savory bean flavor. This was a juicy tea.

I added a little sweetening (as Stacy suggested) which brought more of the grapefruit flavor to the forefront, still perfectly complimenting the savory base flavor of the tea.

I used to make a grapefruit salad years ago with ruby grapefruit, carefully removing segments of ice cold fruit from it’s membrane, then mixing it with chopped avacado, salt, olive oil and lemon. The acid and sweetness of the grapefruit with the smooth creamy avacado were perfect compliments to each other. (It was an 1980’s popular California salad.)

This tea embraced that idea of combining crisp grapefruit and the creamy savory tea in a similar way. It worked really well!

There was that Umami thing happening in my mouth when I added some sugar (but without the bitterness, and the sour was just the normal grapefruit tang).

Yes, this was/is the best flavored tea in my Butiki book! It hits all the marks for me! Bravo Stacy!!!

Sil

oh man this makes me SUPER excited to get my teas already!!! Stupid living in canada taking forever! I’m so ready to place another order with Stacy but since I know i’ll be picking up larger orders, I want to try and get them all in one go…plus i really shouldn’t order anything more until i get back from vacation with the timing of shipments.

I couldn’t even tell you WHY i’m so excited about grapefruit tea….it’s not my favourite fruit but the idea of grapefruit tea just makes me happy…

TeaBrat

oooh, I am getting a sample of this soon!

Terri HarpLady

Nice review, Bonnie. That salad you’re talking about is still very popular here in the Maplewood area of St. Louis, at least in this house! Grapefruit and avocado were made for each other!

Butiki Teas

So glad you are enjoying this one Bonnie! Mmmm, that salad sounds amazing. Avocados are one of my favorite foods.

Bonnie

Lot’s of people taking certain medications can’t have much GRAPEFRUIT, it increases the potency of the med. ME for instance. And I’m allergic to BEANS! This tea allows me to indulge in two! favorites without worries or illness!!! So wonderful! Yeah Tea!

Babble

I’ve never heard of the grapefruit salad but it sounds delicious! I love grapefruit, although it is a pain to eat.

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drank SBT: Orange Creamsicle by 52teas
944 tasting notes

I hate it when a picture is missing from a tea, so I always try to do a screen capture and add one. This time, it seems a bit messy. (Boo). Hopefully when Frank gets a chance he can change it.

Anyway. This is my second attempt at steeping one of Frank’s SBT blends. I really, really wish they came loose so that I could parse out the amount I wanted, as there are few 2-quart containers in my neck of the woods. I will definitely message him to share this, as I think I’d buy more if I could measure it, instead of getting one huge tea bag.

Anyway. Steeped it exactly as shared on the bag: 3 minutes, then added cold water to fill my Teavana glass pitcher. I found it a bit weak, and am going to let it sit in my fridge overnight to really cool. I did notice that as the small amount that I poured for myself cooled, the black base was less apparent, and the orange took over. Initially, all I got was cream and black base.

Also, a question for all you experienced SBT-ers, or at least those experienced to cold steeping: should I leave the tea bag in the water overnight, or use it again for another steep?

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

When I make it, I cold steep the bag for 15-16 hours. However, I only every cold steep them so I am not sure how the flavor would change using a bag that has already been hot brewed and then iced.

VariaTEA

What other SBT did you make btw?

MissB

I’m blanking out as to which one I made, as it was a while ago. We left it in the fridge too long, so it was icky by the time I got around to drinking it. :(

VariaTEA

Oh no. I am trying the last of my SBT teas tomorrow morning and then I will be placing an order for more. I figured I should try what I had so I knew what to restock.

OMGsrsly

LiberTEAS cold steeps overnight, then hot steeps to get the most out of them. Check out their reviews. :)

OMGsrsly

I have to admit, they are tempting. If you’re going to order more, MissB, might I tag along?

VariaTEA

OMGsrsly, I was going to offer to add some to my order for you and then realized that may not be the most effective plan given we don’t live nearly as close as you and MissB. However, if you are only looking to get a couple to try some, they are pretty flat and could probably pass as letter mail and therefore not really cost anything for me to send them to you. I will probably be ordering tomorrow evening so if you want me to add anything, just let me know :)

OMGsrsly

Ooo. Let me go check!

OMGsrsly

UH OH. Eggnog honeybush? Too tempting.

VariaTEA

Haha. I was tempted by that too. But I don’t know if I want 2 oz of it. Mostly because I don’t know if I would like it. Although, no one does honeybush like Frank.

MissB

Heh. I’ve got a LOT of Frank’s stuff on the way from the Kickstarter, plus the new ones. One just showed up now, it was somehow held in transit for weeks. I grabbed eggnog, and will pass along some to both of you if you’d like. :)

OMGsrsly

I’d really appreciate that, MissB!

I have to admit the cart I built (Malted Chocomate!) is only $40. Tempting to just buy. Are all the SBT caffeinated? I don’t see any honeybush ones.

VariaTEA

They are all black teas…I think.

VariaTEA

And I just wish someone had reviewed the eggnog honeybush so at least there is something to guess how the tea tastes. I may just cave and order it anyways. I have a nice balance on my paypal account that can go towards my order.

I am also debating the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. It was so tasty the first time I had it but the second time around I was not that impressed. The fear that I won’t be able to have it again is pushing me towards getting it even though I am not sure that I would want so much of it.

OMGsrsly

Hmm. Umm. I might just order now and ship to MissB. hides head

VariaTEA

haha. I think you should go for it.

OMGsrsly

Ok, ok… Let’s see. Oh no! It worked! Haha. MissB, you should be expecting a parcel for me…

VariaTEA

What did you end up getting??

OMGsrsly

Too much! LOL. Rootbeer Float, Butterbeer, Strawberry Zabaglione, Honey Ginger, Almond Milk (?!), Gingerbread Smoke, Eggnog Honeybush, Malted ChocoMate. Oh boy, oh boy. :D

VariaTEA

Haha. My cart right now is sitting at about $50 and that includes 13 diff SBTs (multiples of a couple) and the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. I made the mistake of looking through the Available Now and I am currently debating the Eggnog Honeybush, the Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, and the Frankenberry (but only because I saw it has Marshmallow root). I think I have a problem…

NayLynn

I have not had any SBT yet but have wondered for a while if you could just cut the tea bag open and get what you needed and repackage the rest. Is there a reason this would not work?

OMGsrsly

I don’t think there’s any reason why that wouldn’t work. They’re just a little more expensive than the loose teas – $12/2oz rather than $8.99. So if there’s a flavour offered loose, I’d probably just get it that way.

OMGsrsly

I wish I could just ‘like’ your comment, VariaTea!

NayLynn

Thanks, that is a good point about the difference in size/value. The main one I would get is sold out in loose & ya’ll are funny

MissB

I have a huge amount of Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, I love it that much!

NayLynn, I could easily cut the bag open, I just think I’d enjoy it more/more often if I was deciding how big my container is to cold steep, and then going from there.

OMGsrsly, sounds good!

keychange

Yeah, I wish I could cold steep smaller amounts also. I don’t even want two quarts. Because hello! I need to cold steep in my mason jar!

OMGsrsly

Both the containers I picked up are “two quarts”. One is actually 2 quarts, but the other is way closer to 3. I’ll probably keep that one for herbals as I prefer cold steeped tea to plain water.

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drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
609 tasting notes

I’ve been boring for what feels like months now, where I just want to dwell a bit on old favorites every day and rediscover why I fell in love with them in the first place. Means a dearth of logging but wonderful tea time as some I feel I almost appreciate more upon revisit. This is a good example. What an excellent tea. This morning was slow going for no good reason at all, and one of those where you wake up having to do approximately a billion little tasks before you can even make your first cuppa. When I finally had a second to do so I wanted it to be failproof satisfying and this fit the bill and how. I’ve had something like 6 cups—I figured I’d waited so long I deserved to do this in the gaiwan and set myself free for 15 minutes, whee—and it’s still going strong, smooth and sweet and clean but rich bordering on hearty. Present but refined. Delicious. Teas that offer so much flavor and depth in a matter of seconds when it comes to steep time still amaze me.

Anna

You could never be boring. Also, you’re totally fancy.

ifjuly

oh you! i love the idea of “fancy” becoming an injoke. :D

i am amazed someone who sees me prattle on on FB about hair buns and cat puke can say such a thing. but grateful too. s been a pleasure running into you on the internets. (:

Anna

Aww. Aww. AWW!

ifjuly

oh, my heart ate my comment. this is what text cache is for!

oh you! i love the idea of “fancy” becoming an injoke. :D

i am amazed someone who sees me prattle on on FB about hair buns and cat puke can say such a thing. but grateful too. (heart) goodness knows it’s quite a shock coming from a lady who jetsets and gets her hair did splendidly and can talk theory and feminism with the best of ‘em. it’s been a pleasure running into you on the internets. (:

…ok. internet group hug with bouncy curls. ha!

Anna

OMG I DIDN’T THINK IT COULD GET MORE BEAUTIFUL BUT IT JUST DID

keychange

teaspoons all round!

Anna

You want to be the big teaspoon, the small teaspoon, or the middle teaspoon, keychange?

__Morgana__

… is wondering whether the hair buns and cat puke were somehow related? Heh.

Anna

Best pet related hair styling product EVER.

Cheri

I cannot stop laughing. Thanks, Anna.

Anna

Yes, this is how I like to introduce myself to new people on Steepster, Cheri – cat puke jokes!

Cheri

In case you can’t see my profile picture, it’s one of my furry kids. In fact, he’s the pukey one. I know all about cat puke and cat puke jokes.

ifjuly

just last night i found out something i kind of wish i could unknow, that all those bouffanty ‘40s hairstyles were accomplished with the use of something known as a “hair rat”—women collected their shed hairs and made them into a little sponge like filler for their up ’dos! i mention this weirdness because now i’m imagining cat puke as a result of one finding one’s hair rat and taking it as a snack. eugh.

cat puke. it’s what brings people together. that or an immature/gross sense of humor.

ifjuly

haahaha, “the pukey one”…oh feline terms of endearment.

__Morgana__

Does every home with more than one cat have “pukey one”? And here I thought we were the only ones.

Cheri

I think so, yes.

Anna

I think every home with no cat also has a “pukey one”, to be honest.

Angrboda

Our two share the pukey duty equally it seems. Luckily they don’t do it very often. Mostly during shedding season.

ifjuly

ours share it too. unluckily all the time during shedding season. and worst of all, their favorite time of day to do it is while we’re asleep at night at like 3am, either right on the bed or right where i put my feet when i get out of bed. :b the first time that happened, husband was in the shower and heard a loud curse word from the bedroom when half awake i stepped in it. now i know to check before getting out of bed. oh cats. “you’re lucky you’re cute!” i only-half-jokingly tease at them.

__Morgana__

Our pukey one is majorly pukey. The others do it much more rarely. We took him to the vet and the vet said there’s really no medical explanation. I suspect bulemia.

Cheri

A friend was just telling me that she read somewhere that if you raise up their food bowl up about 6" or so, so that they don’t have to bend over all the way to eat, and it helps with the puking. She said it worked for her. I’m thinking about trying it. Pukey Penny was puking only occasionally for a while, but he’s back to puking a lot again.

__Morgana__

Interesting. We’ll have to try that.

ifjuly

yeah, thanks for the tip! i will try that…

Angrboda

It could be over-eating, maybe. Luna has done that when she was younger, eating far far too quickly and then the whole thing came up again and you could easily see how some of the pellets had just been swallowed whole. They have a ‘food maze’ now, where I pour both their portions in at the top and then they have to use their paws to get the food out. Slows down the eating pace a lot and entertains the cats. It’s a bit noisy while they eat, but it’s cute to watch.

“Good for you you’re so cute!” Oh I know that statement well. It was directed at Luna when she attempted DIY surgery by removing all her stitches two days after having been spayed so that we had to go and have her re-stitched. By the emergency vet. On a Saturday evening. In the next town over. By taxi. And pick her up again the next morning. By taxi. (We didn’t have a car then and public transport would have taken three times as long) That little adventure cost almost as much as the intial spaying and ear tatooing of two cats!

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93

You know when you place an order, there’s a point when and you realize your cart is really getting full and you need to slow down…but there are so many good ones that you just can’t leave behind, right? Then you think sample size. Yes! Yes! That’s the answer, give yourself the illusion you’ve got your act together, you’re NOT out of control, not at all. You suddenly feel much better about adding 10 more teas, seems like the reasonable thing to do. (Not!!)

That’s how I came to order this tea. I should have been less reasonable and order a larger quantity…That’s the other thing about large orders. Somehow, the full size pouches are the ones I wish I had ordered in sample sizes, and the sample pouches end up being the ones I should have ordered in full sizes. Ugh???

Not a secret, I love pretty much all types of oolong, and the aged ones fascinate me.

Don’t let the Ginseng part keep you away from this if you’re not a fan, (coughDexter) this has nothing to do with regular ginseng oolong. If it wasn’t for its name, I wouldn’t even know it’s supposed to be there.

This is not smoky at all, but roasty and caramel like. If you’d smell the infusion without knowing it’s tea, you would think it’s a dessert, very creme brûlée, custard like. There’s that faint mineral taste in the background I have come to appreciate. The ending has a cooling effect in the mouth, fresh, but not in a minty kind of way, just like when you inhale and it’s cold outside. That might be the ginseng part. But it has non of the eucalyptus notes traditional Ginseng oolongs have.

I had to basket brew cause there wasn’t enough for me to use the gaiwan. It will be interresting to try short infusions when I get more of it.

And yes, I will definitely buy a larger quantity next time.

Dexter3657

Dexter was drinking EG earlier and is trying to be open minded to all the teas that you sent me. :))

Dexter3657

The answer to your “the full size pouches are the ones I wish I had ordered in sample sizes, and the sample pouches end up being the ones I should have ordered in full sizes” issue is to just order small sizes of everything and then place later orders of the ones you really liked. Just saying….

TheTeaFairy

Lol, I so give you A++++++ for effort, I do put you to the test, don’t I!

As for your suggestion, if I was normal, that’s totally what I would do…but I’m “tea-challenged”, my neurones just don’t function adequately and rationally when it comes to ordering tea!

Terri HarpLady

Me ordering tea: “but what if I only get a sample, & I love it so much, & then I found out it’s sold out?”

Sil

terri – incentive to drink up sample sizes faster when you buy them heh

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Terri: EXACTLY!!!!

Sil: I checked your cupboard, me think you do need every incentive you can get ;-)

Sil

hey! I’m doing well! only 6 more teas to finish to have a cupboard that’s only 6 months old! (and that’s within april)

TheTeaFairy

Lol, well… maybe I was tea drunk and had a cupboard hallucination, but I could have sworn I ‘ve seen your stash at 140 not that loog ago…
(psst…there’s a rumour circulating that machiavellian but very nice and generous Steepsterites are trying to sabotage your cupboard…beware!)

Sil

haha it was UNDER 140 like a week ago lol I’ll get there though! I won’t make my March goal BUT, I did stick to NO orders during a month where i didn’t hit my goal. So that’s good :)

Terri HarpLady

(pssst…I’ve already started another box for her…heh)

Sil

terri…i’ve got a box for you that is ALMOST full enough to send :P

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Hilarious Terri…

Lol, Sil, make sure it barely closes!

(I feel like a referee)

Sil

teafairy…totally! :)

Terri HarpLady

Teafairy, every box we send each other barely closes. Actually, the last box I sent to Sil was 2 boxes, hahahahahaha

TheTeaFairy

You two are so amusing :-)

Sil

terri – i just considered that payback for me sending 2 boxes at christmas lol

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I’m still working my way through those offerings :)

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