Featured & Popular Tasting Notes

100

So today being the fourth of july, I though about reviewing only fireworks teas.

Ya know, the ones that blow your mind.

The ones that create that explosion of happy in your mount.

The ones that you would bring with you on a deserted island.

The ones that you can’t live without…

Ailaoshan Black more than qualifies for the job.

Its salty caramel goodness makes me see bright colours every morning :-)

(Oh and look! Note 300th!!)

MzPriss

Happy 300! I love this one too

looseTman

Congrat’s on 300!

MzPriss

This sounded too good. I’m having some right now in my cute new green mug

MzPriss

OH! And I’m having cherries in my smoothie this morning :D

TheTeaFairy

Oh! Me too then…with almond milk and chia seeds. Mmmm, cherries. Me and my Steepster friend Dexter (not talking about my dog here!!!) are legendary cherry lovers. Happy to have found another cherry nut :-)

MzPriss

Mine has chia seeds as well because

MzPriss

Whoa – half my comment disappeared. What I said was: mine has half kefir/half yogurt, cherries, chia and some whey protein.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks loosTman :-)

TheTeaFairy

Yours is a meal!! I don’t “eat” breakfast weekdays but have green smoothies with way too many ingredients to list here, lol. But I’m planning to have oatmeal and apples and berries later so I must keep the smoothie a smoothie!

Sil

WOOHOOO! grats on 300!

MzPriss

Mine IS a meal. It’s what I have for breakfast weekday mornings. Tomorrow morning I’m making cornmeal pancakes with peaches and cottage cheese. And probably a little bacon.

Sarsonator

I love chia and almond milk smoothies! I use soy yogurt, rolled oats and fruit in mine. I also always add a handful of spinach to get some veggies. Can’t even taste it!!!

MzPriss

I do sometimes put a handful of baby spinach in – you’re right, you can’t taste it. I also do like some oats in on occasion.

Sarsonator

I use flax seeds sometimes, too. You guys are making me want cherries. I found some wild cherries when hiking last week, but the trees were too tall for any kind of real harvest. So sad!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Sil :-)

Sarsonator, I add oat too most of the time, isn’t it great? I started making green smoothies about 3 years ago. I remember how everything tasted weird at the beginning. I now use a ratio of about 2/3 veggies 1/3 fruits. Kale, spinach, carrot, celery, beets, cucumber, anything goes, and I LOVE how it tastes. The boost of energy that follows is unbeatable.

MzPriss

I love the green juice with kale and spinach and celery and parsley – I can feel my cells just sucking it up and smiling

Sarsonator

I make green smoothies, too! I normally do fruits, almond milk, soygurt, oats, chia in the AM, and then veggies/fruits for lunch. I love carrots and apples with spinach and kale!

boychik

Congrats on 300!!!

Veronica

Congrats on 300! And this is a fireworks tea for me, too. :)

Ost

Congrats on 300!! :D :D

whatshesaid

Great idea :)
Congrats on 300!!

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84
drank Irish Cream by Red Leaf Tea
6059 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 :)

Bear With Me

[sheepishly adds to shopping list]

Sil

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

Bear With Me

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

Sil

puhlease..like that’s hard.

Bear With Me

[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.

Bear With Me

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

Aaaaah Saturday morning yums!!!

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 200 degrees, 3 minutes, French Press

Dry Leaf Aroma & Brewing Aromas: Chocolate cake. Om nom nom

Flavor: yum! This has lovely cakey and cocoa notes. I wish it was a little sweeter, but that’s easily remedied. I am going to try a second steep and see how that goes!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

MMMM that’s a good morning nom

Sarsonator

I wasn’t feeling as poetic this AM, so I kept it short, but yeah. This is great. I love that I have more to look forward to with these vanilla teas because they do improve with age. I can’t wait to get that vanilla pot seasoned!!!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, great choice!! my session of this was so good yesterday…the rest is cold-steeping.

MzPriss

My vanilla pot will be finished in about 3 hours (I’m going longer than Brenden’s 3 that he goes) and it’s sitting on the warmer. I can’t wait!

Sarsonator

The second steeping is niiiiice. I put in a little maple syrup because, why not?

MzPriss

I just went Terri-style with my GO as well. This is so freaking good

Sarsonator

Mmmmmmm Terri-style.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m so glad that maple in tea is getting such good recognition :)

MzPriss

You don;t very much at all and it just elevates it.

Sarsonator

Oh HoneyBelle! I missed the note where you’re seasoning your vanilla teapot. I think you may have said before, but which one did you pick for vanilla? Sometimes I’m super senile…

MzPriss

I’m using my “bigget” one (220) – it’s my expensive one that I got a while back and haven’t seasoned yet. But since I will be drinking the vanillas out of it, I decided to use the biggest one

Sarsonator

If you have a pic,I’d love to see it. Hooray for vanilla teapots!!!!!

MzPriss

I think there might be on already up on my flikr. Lemme go look

MzPriss

It’s the one on the left:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125488674@N02/14634789342/

I think my bamboo pot from Mandala may have to be my Special Dark baby

MzPriss

The one in the middle is going to be shou other than SD and the one on left looks a little different now as it had a long warm bath in Wild Monk and is now my sheng pot. It’s already darker.

Sarsonator

O.M.Geeee. Those are so adorable!

I think you picked out some lovelies. I especially like the Mandala pot with the cute bamboo pattern. I can’t wait to start seasoning mine when they arrive!!!!

Oh, and we have matching laptops :)

MzPriss

I have a love/hate relationship with this laptop. I’m boiling my bamboo one right now and it will have a Special Dark bath later after we get back from the vet

MzPriss

Oh crap I mean the one on the RIGHT is now my sheng pot and looks different. I have a very adorable purple one coming that will be for oolongs

Sarsonator

Reeeally? I adore mine. It’s the second of its kind. The last one went 5 years before the video card died.

I’m so jealous of your seasonings LOL. But soon I will have my own seasoning adventures. The vanilla houhin is scheduled to arrive Monday…

Vet? I hope everything is ok! I have to get my “kids” in for their annual checkup and shots soon.

Sarsonator

“Oh crap I mean the one on the RIGHT

I knew what ya meant. :)

Eeee!!!! I got one for oolongs toooooo! Uh oh. I’ve gone to multiple vowels…. must be excited. Time to make some tea…

MzPriss

I’m making egg and kimchi braekfast tacos and deciding on the tea to take along with me to the vet. Wee Snailys I think

MzPriss

One of my dogs is having (sorry) anal gland issues.

Sarsonator

Taco Queen!

I have been hoarding the last of my wee snailys, but Brenden just said that he received a huge order, so I can happily drink them again!

It’s ok. My little princess has AGIs too. Gross, but it hasn’t been a serious problem for her. Hopefully it’ll be no biggie for you, too.

MzPriss

I’m hoping that as well, but we’re on the second round of antibiotics which I hate to give her and she doesn’t LOVE yogurt which I want her to have when she does the antibi-s.

Dexter

Trying to get motivated enough to leave the house in search of kimchi – yes this would be MzPriss’s fault. Where do I buy Kimchi? Should I go to China town, which is sort of right here, easy to get to – OR do I need to go half way across the city to my favorite Korean market? I can proabably buy it at the HUGE supermarket too, but will that be as good as the stuff you would find in an Asian market?? I love Kimchi, but never buy it, I just eat out whenever possible….

Sarsonator

The Korean market is probably the best bet, but I suspect you’d do ok in Chinatown also.

Dexter

OK – I’m a little frightened to go to China Town, you never know what cute teaware you might run into. Thinking the Korean Market will be safer on that front. Need motivation to get up and moving…..one more cup of tea…

MzPriss

Either way probably. I buy it at my local hippie co-op grocer – there is a small local company that makes various kinds here in town and they sell it at the co-op. I started putting kimchi on tacos when I was out of salsa one time. Last night I just had kimchi tacos for dinner. Oh I also got this really awesome Madras Curry sauerkraut salad – so good. I like the fermented veg thing a waaaaaay lot.

Dexter

Thanks, I’m going to go and venture out into the world and see what I come up with. I live in a fairly large city I should be able to find real kimchi….
Will report back later…

Dexter

FYI – Mission kimchi was successful… :))

TheTeaFairy

Someone is going to have a nice dinner :-)

Sarsonator

I also had a MzP influenced dinner. Faux chicken, beans, rice, and my world famous Asian peanut sauce on a soft taco shell. I wrapped it up like a burrito b/c I do t have taco shells, but close enough. It was deeeeelish!

Dex: we need a full report on the results of Mission Kimchi!

Dexter

I think you can wrap anything in a soft taco shell and it would be good. :)) Would famous Asian Peanut Sauce? That sounds interesting… like Thai peanut sauce?
While I was out on Mission Kimchi, I also bought concentrated tamarind paste? I usually buy blocks of Tamarind to make chutney – hoping that this will be good and take out a step. (Also hoping that I can just add a little to black iced tea….)
As for the kimchi – not sure yet. Probably some sort of noodle stirfry. Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, veggies, chicken – and then toss in some Kimchi on the plate… that’s the plan, but things change as I cook… never quite sure what I’m going to end up with

Sarsonator

Yeah Dex, kinda like a Thai peanut sauce.

Tamarind paste!!! Yum yum yum

How did your stir fry turn out?

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drank Jin Jun Mei Black Tea by Yezi Tea
858 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this tea at work for a couple of days now. The last time I wrote about it, I thought it was finicky and “white wine up you nose” odd.
It seems to have been behaving since then, and we are friends once again. While this is not my favorite Jin Jun Mei – it has been really pleasant the last couple of days.

TheTeaFairy

It knew it better behave!! i approve that you bring such good teas at your workplace :-)
(Now can I get my maocha?)

Dexter

You cannot bribe me with compliments…..
If you want maocha – then that counts as EITHER your SALE tea for July OR your Aug purchase (it also pushes back sheng pot purchase). ;))

TheTeaFairy

Hmmm….we do sound like a married couple, haha! Then be it, that august purchase can be pushed to September…this way I can have WP AND BUTIKI…in JULY!!!

Sarsonator

Wow, Dex… you’re tough. Are you for hire as a Teahab Purchasing Restriction Agent? You’d know this in hockey terms as “The Enforcer” :p

I’m only half kidding. I need help.

Dexter

Yes you can have WP and BUTIKI in July, but then NOTHINGNADAZERO tea orders in August – then back to ONE order per month starting in Sept….

Dexter

Sars – I’m not sure I’m very good at this – I usually get told about the rule breaking AFTER the fact…. LOL – I usually pretty good at talking out of orders IF informed BEFORE it’s placed. LOL You are almost close enough that if you broke the rules I could come down and “Enforce” in person. ;))

TheTeaFairy

Dexter does a GREAT job with me…many times she has helped me “sleeping on it” instead of clicking the evil “order now” button!!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Sars, needs you too….do you even know Dex what I can only imagine she just spent on a pu’erh starter kit???

Sarsonator

TTF! You snitch!!!!

Sarsonator

Snitches get stitches!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Try to find me in my woods, its full of traps!!

Sarsonator

Dex: For realz. You need to start a business. Teahab Enforcers, Inc. You can hire agents in different parts of the country so you can physically restrain people, if needed.

And listen up, Foxy. I could find you ANYWHERE. All I have to do is follow the smell of the tea. So there. :p

MzPriss

Why didn’t I know about the starter kit?

MzPriss

I like this tea some – but I really like Yezi’s Yi Fu Chun way more. Dexter – I need an enforcer.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Then come on over my dear Sars, the kettle is on :-)

Sarsonator

MzP: You did know! It’s not exactly a kit, per se. I just ordered all the teas you two told me to get! I just posted them all on the Today’s Mail thread. Dex… I need you…

TTF: If we lived closer, I would make you help me drink all this!!! :)

MzPriss

If we all lived closer we would have tea parties all the time

TheTeaFairy

You guys, first, I’d I need a peeing device attached to me at all time. Just sayin. I spend way too much time in my bathroom. (Too much information???)

Sarsonator

Aaaaw. I want a tea party! No one else I know likes tea this much.

MzPriss

They make those LTF – I think they are catheters.

TheTeaFairy

(I want something more girly though)

MzPriss

(a _pink_catheter?)

Dexter

Have yo’all SEEN my cupboard?!!!!?? I can’t take on anymore clients…. you mention Dex talk me out of buying this tea – hey I can do that no problem, but UMMMM I go and look at it and the next thing I know it’s arriving in the mail….

TheTeaFairy

Oh, poor Dex…I do try to help you sometimes…does it count????

Dexter

MzPriss – “but I really like Yezi’s Yi Fu Chun way more”
I’ve moved this into my purse for a work tea tomorrow – it will be my “inspiration tea from my dashboard” tea for tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion.

MzPriss

You’re welcome. I like it a lot. I bought more after I had the sample.

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I’m so glad this tea exists! I have such a horrid allergy/sinus headache. This tea is absolutely perfect for when I need something strong yet flavorful. Loving the burned chocolate, bergamot, and bread notes right now. Now if only this headache would go away. I’m trying to drown it out in caffeine and Excedrin.

In other news, we have been pretty darn busy. In case you missed it we added the following new teas:
Kenya Obsidian-wonderful Kenyan black tea
Baked Ali Shan-Lightly oxidized and lightly roasted
Fu Shou Shan-Lightly oxidized, very high elevation, very flavorful
Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun-very fresh, flavorful
Hong Yun Black-tastes like PTA & Mi Xian Black crossed paths
Lattakajoon Assam-Chocolatey Assam
Organic Sourenee Black Blossom-Like a chocolatey cross between Darjeeling & Assam
1994 Aged Bai Hao-Like a honey drizzled on top of baker’s chocolate. Another lovely leafhopper bitten tea
Blackberry Lime Guayusa-Steph’s idea for our Custom Blend Contest
1989 Suncha Blend-Mostly shou but some sheng. Very flavorful and smooth

Still to go-
Kenyan Silver Needle-Incredibly buttery, creamy, flavorful!
2009 Banchang-heavy Apricoty notes. This puerh has quite a story behind it. Rare.
Blueberry Purple-back soon!

Added back-
Birthday Cake
Crimson Horrizon

Whew! We certainly have been busy in the last 3 week!!!!!

Also, if anyone is interested we are only asking for shipping charges for these lovely wooden display cases: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1470625936506048&set=a.1383480678553908.1073741827.100006759666084&type=1&theater

boychik

I’m so sorry, Excedrin doesn’t help me w/headaches:(. I’m on Zurtec for abt 2 months. If I skip for any reason it’s a nightmare, I feel suffocated. So excited about your new teas. Feel better;)

Stephanie

I’m all over that Banchang as soon as you add it! Sounds way up my alley! And I will have to order more blackberry lime, too :D

Stephanie

And I hope your headache goes away soon :/

Butiki Teas

boychik-Thanks! :) Excedrin Migrane is the only thing that helps but only sometimes. I’ve been going to an allergist since I was 8. Have had to take some kind of allergy pill every day. I’m usually ok except when the seasons change. Then all hell breaks loose.

Steph-Thanks! :) The Banchang is delicious. There is a bit of a story behind it but I just don’t have enough room in the description. I might do a separate blog post for it. In the region of that jungle that it comes from, over 78,555 tea trees are more than 100 years old, and 9,412 are over 800 years old. It is a super interesting tea and pretty rare!

Marzipan

I get awful headaches when bad weather is rolling through.

Butiki Teas

Sorry to hear that Marzipan.

Marzipan

I wondered if that might be the same with you, but just read your post above.

tea-sipper

Wow I would love try all of those teas! They sound great!

Butiki Teas

Thanks, Tea Sipper! :)

Tea Pet

I’m so sorry about the allergies!!! I was super close to an allergy induced asthma attack today in the office. Gods, Spring sucks. Have you tried taking Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen at the same time? That sometimes helps me with my migraines and sinus headaches. Aside from that, I have a prescription medicine that immediately helps! I can PM you the name. Please feel better!

Side note: That Bai Hao…. ::drools::

Helena

If it’s allergies why aren’t you taking a antihistimine? like reactine or benadryl? as for teas that help I would say anything with licorice root, or dandelion root. They open up the airways and make it easier to breathe. Mint works really well on headaches if you rub the leaves on your temples the oil helps. Or just drink a mint tea. Hope your allergies leave you alone soon!

Butiki Teas

Thanks, Tea Pet! Spring is brutal. I’ll have to try that trick. For now, I’m trying to avoid prescription meds. My doctor prescribed some but the side effects are making me hold off on trying them.

Helena-I’m just taking Allegra daily. I might give licorice root a shot. Thamks for the suggestions!

Marzipan

It’s too bad licorice tastes like licorice. :(

Stephanie

I hate licorice and all licorice flavored things, but I can do licorice root as part of herbal blends! Just adds a sublte sweetness, I find.

ifjuly

oooh a kenyan silver needle sounds super intriguing.

Indigobloom

Hope today is better for you!

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98

I know this is a long review. Sorry but I still think you should read all of it. Just saying.

So. Shou. I kind of have a thing for it.

I drink it everyday and have lots of favourites. I have been known to have shou boxes in the house. (See what I did?) That was before I copied MzPriss and make my own “pumidrawer”. Cause you know…who doesn’t want to be like the fabulous MzPriss?

So it is established that I have a huge amount of shou in da house. But. As you probably know, I can’t resist many of the WP teas. I just go where quality is.

And I had yet to try this one. MzPriss recently reviewed it, and I was kind of envious. She got a real shou buzz out of it. I wanted that too!! But hey, you just don’t order a shoubuzz like you order a pizza.

I had already gotten a nice buzz from a sheng earlier. Pinky cheeks and all. Very nice qi. But not over the top.

There was still room for more. So…could I get lucky twice in the same evening?

Well. That is an understatement folks. This stuff should be illegal.

First I will describe the taste, then the qi. (Cause really, I could devote an entire page to it)

The dry leaves look like “chocolat au lait” shavings, so pretty.

I’m using 7g for 5oz shou yixing (shouxing?)

First steep, and wow. I mean this is as soft and smooth as angel wings. Makes me regret wasting the rinse.

No trace of earthiness or even leather in this. It’s all nuts and creamy vanilla. At first, I thought roasted pecans. When I later read the description, it said walnuts and I think it’s more accurate.

It’s sweet, in a dark brown sugar kind of way. It also provides that fresh mouthfeel of camphor that coats your entire mouth and lingers on your lips.

The third steep was probably the best. A little powdery, still very nutty and creamy.

I stopped at around steep seven, and I can tell you that by then, all I could do was lay on my back and enjoy the feeling.

The qi. It made my body twinkle all over. This tea is pure warm energy. I could feel my blood circulate. It made me tea drunk in a way I have never experienced before. Oh, I have felt this way before, but I promise you it wasn’t from tea leaves. (O.O)

And I kept thinking how nice this feeling will be on upcoming lazy rainy days. I’m gonna need
a lot more of this.

If you already like shou, this will only make you like it even more. And to all non shou lovers, please hurry and give this a try.

P.S. There should be a warning on the pouch: don’t shou and drive.

Sil

Uh oh….. Want!

AllanK

I will have to try that one when they get the Rivendell in stock.

TheTeaFairy

Lol, sil, you shall get then :-)

Allan, you can wait for our swap, but I have a feeling you of all people will want a much larger quantitity of this ;-)

MzPriss

I love this shou and I love this note and I love my Fairy

Cheri

This sounds good. I just need to get over this weird thing I have going on and try shou.

mrmopar

I am going to have to get into this one day. Cheri “Good” shou will surprise you.

Parsifal

Sounds fantastic! I adore shou as well :) . . . Actually I like Sheng a lot too. I will look for this tea… This intrigued me: “No trace of earthiness or even leather in this. It’s all nuts and creamy vanilla”. That sounds delightful. Thanks for the review!

mrmopar

Parsifal we have a “puerh of the day” post you may like on the discussions page.

Parsifal

I will check that out, thank you :)

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86

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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100

Day 10 of Steepster’s disaster…

I know not many will read this. But I still have to give some love to my favourite teas.

This is one of them.

Drinking this makes all the wrongs right.

Ok…it won’t fix Steepster. But that’s about the only thing it won’t fix!

Mmmm….salty caramel. I don’t really like you for real, you’re too sweet and sticky. But in my cup of tea? Yes please!

Can’t believe how a straight tea can render such decadent notes.

Aila and I… Foreverrr!

Terri HarpLady

I’m reading… :)

TheTeaFairy

Oh! Hi terri, I miss ya :-)

Cheri

Steepster will be back…eventually…and in the mean time, we’ll get it in little spurts.

boychik

Me too;)

TheTeaFairy

Hello friends :-)

Stephanie

Yay dashboard updated today

KiwiDelight

Has it already been 10 days…?

AllanK

This tea sounds good.

tea-sipper

Get better soon, Steepster!

MzPriss

Magic! It’s Hobbit Magic

TheTeaFairy

It’s totally magi!!

MzPriss

Magi could have brought the Magic I suppose. I also missed you Terri

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drank Paris by Harney & Sons
451 tasting notes

I’m still alive, guys!

Although I don’t think I would have been saying that so enthusiastically even a few days ago. I woke up last Monday morning with a mildly sore throat. You know, the “it would feel nice to have a warm drink this morning” type. Well, not even a few hours later, I was shivering, had a raging fever, and could barely swallow without literally crying in pain. Two days later, a doctor thought I had strep, so gave me antibiotics. Four days later, they still weren’t working at all, and the pain in my throat and ears was so awful that even breathing hurt. Then, I began puking violently. You know the kind where you’re on the floor clutching and lurching, thinking for sure you’re going to rupture something because of the force of your heaving? yeah that kind. Anyway, I went to the ER a few times to get hydrated. We’re thinking the antibiotics on an empty stomach for four days wasn’t such a good idea, either that or it was the wrong antibiotic. I was also blessedly given some really effective pain medication, even though they refused to give me anything for the pain the first time around. They were like “yeah, take Advil.” and I was like “I really think I need something stronger.” and they were like “Well we can’t give you narcotics!” and I was like seriously, wtf? there has got to be something between Advil and morphine you guys can give me. Sure enough there was, but advocating on your behalf when you’re sick is annoying.

Anyway, needless to say I didn’t have much tea at all. I sipped half-heartedly at this cup this morning, because it’s a very soothing and gentle tea, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It’s kind of disappointing, because I also just got my rivertea order in the mail and it all smells amazing. Oh well, I’ll hold off on drinking new tea until I’m feeling up to it.

It’s good to be back though!

Hesper June

Whoa! That sounds like a truly horrific few days!
I am so glad you are on the mend.
Hope you will be feeling in tip top shape soon.

Christina

Yikes! I echo Hesper’s comment. It’s good that you’re (slowly) getting better. I hope you continue to take it easy.

OMGsrsly

Oh I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better! That’s awful. I know what you mean about the “advil or morphine” as pain management options. So ridiculous. There are lots of options!

keychange

Thanks, guys. I can’t wait until I feel fully like myself again. And omgsrsly, that really was very annoying. Give me a break-not everyone in pain is pretending, and not every painkiller is habit-forming.

Rosehips

What an awful sounding few days. I’m glad you’re getting better. Take good care of yourself, Keychange. I recommend libral amounts of tea.

greenteafairy

That sounds horrible! I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better now.

carol who

Ya know, I thought we hadn’t heard/read anything from you for a few days. I was thinking you might be sick. I’m glad you are beginning to be on the mend. Get lost of rest and the always good advice from this group… drink tea :)

Kat_Maria

I am so glad you’re better and I am so sorry you had to go through all that! I am sending lots of hugs your way!

keychange

Thanks guys! let’s hope this never happens to anyone ever! LOL

Marzipan

Poor thing, feel better!

caile

Hope you feel all better soon!

keychange

You guys are all so sweet.

Sami Kelsh

Big hugs to you, sweetie! What a couple of days you’ve had. I hope you continue to mend swiftly!

keychange

Thank you! so far so good :)

whatshesaid

Yikes, hope you’re feeling better!!

keychange

Thanks. I’m getting there, I hope :D

TheTeaFairy

Feel better soon and take care of yourself :-)

keychange

So much love, thank you.

TheTeaFairy

That’s because you’re very loveable missy :-)

NayLynn

Glad to hear you are still alive and feeling better.

Suziqzer

So glad to see you here and hope you’re back to your normal self soon! It’s too bad when so many people abuse the medical system that they won’t give meds to those who actually need them. Hope you’re feeling back to tea time soon!

Cavocorax

Glad to hear you’re feeling better. That sounds so awful. :|

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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.

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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1
drank Sour Sap by Tea Sante
435 tasting notes

Yesterday, I’ve started a “purge”. Meaning, I am throwing tea in the trash. There, I’ve said it.

I know, I know, why trhow it, why not send it to someone who might want to have it?

Well see, there are rules to qualify for the purge…

1) must be a tea that’s been in the cupboard for over two years

2) the tea was given a fair chance. Meaning, it has been steeped at different temperatures, iced, cold brewed, even mixed with some other tea to tone it down. All have failed.

3) the fear of ever drinking it again must still be very present. I gag when I think of it.

4) I’ve asked someone to try it, and was later accused of homicidal intent.

5)I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

6) if I’d send it in a swap, I’d be reported to Steepster for tea malpractice and therefore, would be forced to close my account. Goodbye Fairy :-(

I tried really hard to give Sour Sap some love. Before I gave it a final farewell, I cold steeped it to comply with the list of rules. It failed…miserably.

Sour sap…there are no possible description for it. Sour bile maybe? That’s the closest to a “note” I can get.

Sorry, it just wasn’t meant to be…

R.I.P. Sour Sap. 06/19/2014

Sil

hahaha i’m the same way. There are rules to throwing out a tea..but it DOES have to happen sometimes.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks sil for not judging :-)

inranger

It was good for something, it got me to look at Tea Sante’s website for the first time. :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! I enable even when I don’t want to…
FYI, They are located here in Quebec, Montreal. Good service, super fast shipping, but I was not super impressed with their teas. I haven’t tried many though, maybe you’ll be luckier than I was if you decide to give them a chance. :-)

If you ever want to try Montreal’s finest, here’s a link. Camellia Sinensis is the real deal, and one of the most beautiful and informative website I know (free shipping even in the USA!)

http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/

inranger

I’m familiar with Camellia Sinensis. One of my first tea education purchases was their book. I still refer to it on a regular basis. I do intend to try their teas someday.

TheTeaFairy

That,s great. Yes, the book is really nice. I used to have tea in their shop often when I lived in Montreal. Wish I could take their tea classes, must be so interesting…

Dexter

Does this mean that the icky apple one can’t be purged re not being 2 years old?

TheTeaFairy

Lol, an addendum has been written for “icky apple” : must qualify for at least 5 of the 6 rules…I don’t think it will better itself with age…(IT’S NOT STAYING!!!)

mj

I need to purge too! I’ve got a whole box of bagged teas I picked up at the grocery store and ended up not liking very much. I would feel bad sending them to people…they’re not good!

TheTeaFairy

That’s exactly how I feel..I mean, I don’t want to swap my bad stuff to people, it wouldn’t be very nice. Sometimes, you just know it’s not a question of taste, it’s just BAD, that’s all!
(Nice new pic BTW mj :-))

mj

Thanks, Tea Fairy :-). That’s me drinking butterbeer at Harry Potter World!

MzPriss

I’m pitching some old tea this weekend. I don’t feel bad – I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to drink it.

whatshesaid

Haha, very cute!

whatshesaid

mj1851 wasn’t it delicious?! I’m going back this fall, can’t wait to have some more Butterbeer :)

mj

So dellicious, whatshesaid! I’m so jealous you’re going in the fall and you get to see the expansion and ride on the Hogwarts express!!!

mj

Also, I have a recipe for butterbeer. It’s pretty much spot on, if you’re interested

whatshesaid

I’d love to have that recipe!
And yes I’m super excited for the Hogwart’s Express and Diagon Alley :)

mj

Here you go whatshesaid! It’s a total pain but fun to have every now and then

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByLDTxpzm4N2ZVRza1VJWFRpQ2c/edit?usp=sharing

Terri HarpLady

I think your guidelines for trashing old and/or crappy teas are spot on! It doesn’t happen often, but I have occasionally sent a tea to the compost pile, where I feel it will be more useful than it has been in my cupboard.
So I wonder if sour sap tea is suppose to be soursop flavored?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soursop

whatshesaid

Ooh thanks MJ!

Arshness

I laughed…
really hard.

TheTeaFairy

@Terri: Soursop…never heard of it but never heard of sour sap either so yeah, could be, good job on that one!

Arshness, glad it gave you a good laugh…but it only gave me a sour face!

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100

Like pretty much every Sunday mornings, I’m drinking GO in bed, “giant mug style”.

That’s right….Sunday mornings are not for tiny Vanilla Dreams pot. No. On Sunday, big is better.

Cause I just can’t get enough of this liquid chocolate tea. Yes, gooey fudgy vanilla tea of my dreams. GIMME MORE!!

Miaow cup for a miaow tea :

http://instagram.com/p/rzQ_x-Qh-N/

mj

The way you spell “miaow” is adorable :)

MzPriss

I enjoyed sharing morning GO with you. I’m seasoning another VD pot RIGHT NOW and I’m also adding my big fat vanilla bean.

Marzipan

MJ, in Denmark the cows say “miav”

Marzipan

The cows say “muh”

Tealizzy

Cute mug!

mj

“Miav” and “muh”, that’s hilarious Mazipan!

TheTeaFairy

Mj, that’s the “fairy way” :-)

Haha! Marzi, that WAS funny!!

Tealizzy, thank you :-)

Brenden, I always wondered if french cats wore a beret… now I know!!!

Cheri

Cute mug. I can’t wait to try this tea. It’ll happen one of these days.

MzPriss, I love that you’re adding a vanilla bean for seasoning your pot. Great idea!

TheTeaFairy

Missy…I ALWAYS enjoy sharing with you…and ALWAYS will

mj

French cats are apparently also existential: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M

Cheri

mj, that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing.

MzPriss

I’m going to use my slightly bigger one with an awesome pour. It’s in one of the pics on my flickr or tumbler or one of those things. It’s the same Eternal Beauty shape but it’s the darkest, biggest one.

MzPriss

@Cheri – that was Brenden’s idea (like a lot of the good ideas are). It’s gonna be amazing. Cheri, didn’t I offer to send you something? I’m packing boxes now so remind me what it was?

Ubacat

Love the French cat video. Thanks mj.

MzPriss

OH wait! It’s GO right??? I will PM

Dexter

Aawww poor kitty – no one loves the poor French kitty… I think that’s how Max feels most of the time…

Marzipan

This is what it’s like to be married to someone with a different mother tongue than you. You spend lots of time lazing around going, “What do you call Tigger? What do cows say? What do you call Canada?” (Tigger is “Tiger Animal”)

Cheri

Thanks MzPriss. It might have been GO. I can’t remember for sure anymore. Hahhaha! But you’re right about Brenden and his good ideas. I look forward to hearing how the pot turns out.

shutao

woow gd

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Warning, opinionated post, read at your own risk!

Today I am feeling frustrated and opinionated. Mostly because many of my clients seem like they have lost their minds. It’s the equivalent of asking, “What color is the sky” and them answering, “Giraffe.” It makes me wonder if I am speaking in tongues!

So anyway, I want you all to know that I read each and every review that comes up on my feed. I rarely “like” them, because the damn heart is so tiny and I most often read them on my iPad. I invariably hit something next to the heart and lose my place. Why can’t they make the heart huge?

So this morning I woke up and was lying in bed reading Roswell Strange’s many reviews, and it occurred to me that I enjoy reading them far more than many of the (official) bloggers (not all, don’t get your panties in a wad) whose posts I also see. Roswell’s posts are so funny/quirky/interesting, and I have two daughters about her age so I guess I relate to them in a way, but I really do enjoy reading every one of them, beginning to end. But many of the bloggers write huge long posts that really don’t say anything. /rant off, and good job Roswell Strange.

So I picked this tea (thank you Stephanie for the sample) because I had had it before and knew I would like it, and this morning I didn’t feel like gambling.

In other news, you know I run a company, and that makes us plenty of money and keeps me plenty busy, but because I’m a FREAK I always have to have things going on on the side. You probably don’t know that I own an online bookstore that has a few thousand books. And, I recently bought a bulk lot of 60 handbags to sell on ebay. Just because. They’re inexpensive Chinese made ones, but some of them are cute, and I’m sure someone will like them.

So there you go.

Cameron B.

I’m not a blogger, but I think I may be guilty of the long posts that don’t say anything crime. Sorry Marzipan! QQ

Marzipan

I haven’t noticed it with you! But if I am being totally honest, every time I think “Cameron means crooked nose” because my nephew is named that, and we looked it up. (sorry!)

TeaBrat

Just don’t read the ones that aren’t interesting to you. Problem solved. ;-)

Marzipan

That’s what ends up happening.

Cameron B.

Sometimes I kind of balk when I see ye olde wall of text coming at me, but I usually try to read everything anyway. I need to learn to shorten my own notes as well. :P

Marzipan

Giraffe!

TeaBrat

I skip a lot of stuff. Some people treat Steepster like their own personal diary and I just don’t have the time to read it all.

Marzipan

Like me on this post!

TeaBrat

Lol… well I wasn’t talking about you necessarily. But I am following 400 people so I get a lot of posts.

Mandy

I feel you on those hearts! I always have to pinch and zoom and pinch and zoom until the hearts big enough and even then I accidentally click something else sometimes. And I’m on my iPhone most of the times so it’s real tiny, lol.

And I am so guilty of using the tasting notes like a diary. I do a lot of thinking while drinking (who am I kidding? I do a lot of thinking all the time. Pretty much everyone I know thinks I talk to much but they should hear how much is going on in my head. If I didn’t talk too much I’m pretty sure my head would explode from all the thoughts), and sometimes my thoughts spill out into my tasting notes.

Cheri

I’m guilty of bad tea log posts. Sometimes I have a lot of detail about the tea and nothing about life, and sometimes it’s all about life and “oh this tea was good.” I like knowing about my tea friends and what is going on in their life. I hope that the people that follow me feel the same way about me.

I understand completely about people just not listening and understanding what one is asking them and giving an answer that doesn’t have anything to do with the question. I’m dealing with that sort of thing right now at work. So I’m letting it sit and I’ll get back to it when I feel like asking again.

Marzipan

I actually really like the personal posts. I just hate the ones that use 1000 words to say “the tea was astringent”

Cameron B.

My next note is going to be the word “astringent” 1000 times.

Roswell Strange

Aww, thanks for the super kind words Marzipan! I am definitely one of those people who writes massive walls of text about non tea related things (sorry not sorry), but I do always try to include some tea related stuff as well as keep a balance between long and short notes. Hopefully my essay long posts don’t annoy everyone though. (I also typically only write the long ass notes for teas I’ve already reviewed several times).

Cameron B.

Roswell, your long notes are usually more about personal story which is much easier to read than a wall of text about all tea. I like reading your notes too, they have a lot of personality. :)

Stephanie

You have a book store too? Dang! I sometimes skim notes, or if I’m really busy I might miss out on reading notes for a couple of days completely. I usually find time on my breaks at work to read most of the notes in my feed during the week though :)

Marzipan

Long story, but my brother used to buy big lots of books and sell them for fun. He got really sick (Crohns) so I took them over. You’re welcome to come look through! I would love to sell through them and be done with it.

carol who

I love the personal stories along with the tasting notes. :) People have such varied and interesting lives. I agree that some of the notes can be too long but I usually skim those. I only follow about 90 people and not everyone posts everyday. I find it pretty manageable at my level.

TheTeaFairy

I like giving likes so I still like the notes I like even though I don’t like how small the like button is.

Uh??? Ok, what I’m saying is I think most people like getting likes on their notes, so I try to do it as long as i do like the note. But I so agree that it’s a pain, way too small with the ipad!!

I like both diary notes and tea notes, and I’m guilty for writing both! I do realize i must be boring as hell sometimes, but I don’t analyze what and how I’m gonna write a note, I just feel the moment :-)

I love how different everyone is, we all have our distinctive style, makes things interesting and fun :-)

I just love you guys!!!

mj

Personally, I do like getting likes on my notes. But I’ve tried to like notes on my iPhone and it’s almost impossible, so I understand that. Has anyone asked for a bigger like button in that suggestion thread? It seems like that wouldn’t be crazy hard to accomplish, but what do I know. I agree that I like both personal and tea notes, but my favorites, I think, are a mix of both :-)
Also, I think TheTeaFairy wins nicest person on Steepster. She’s always so positive!

Marzipan

Agree, she is adorable.

Nicole

A lot of times I skim the long ones but I do like everything I skim – because it’s nice to get likes and because it helps me keep track of where I am in the Steepster day. :) It seems like my likes don’t stick very often though – if I don’t click on it just right (and this is even with a laptop, not a phone), it dumps me back up at the top of the screen and none of the hearts are red. So if even if it doesn’t “take”, I do like posts. :)

And I generally like a mix of tea and personal. When I am buying a tea or can’t figure out if I’m nuts for tasting smoke in something, I go directly to the tea and scroll through reviews. So not sticking to just tea reviewing doesn’t bother me. :)

TeaBrat

I’m not hating on the personal notes as sometimes I do those too, I just can’t keep up with all of it/them.

Marzipan

I almost wish there were two kinds of posts. Sometimes I want to post things to my tea friends that have nothing to do with tea.

MzPriss

I love the notes

TheTeaFairy

Awww, that really made my day mj and Marzipan, I am humbled by your kind words :-) :-) :-)

Marzipan, I know what you mean…but did you know you can PM as many people as you want at once? You can have a group chat that way…but you probably know that already…

Marzipan

I could… But I don’t know for sure who is interested. :)

tea-sipper

Oh! Book store! Can you link to it?

Marzipan

I think this will take you there, they are all on Amazon.
http://tinyurl.com/phddoz4

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91

First, I’d like to thank Eco-Cha for giving me the opportunity to be one of the 10 lucky people to get a free yixing clay pot on their recent giveaway. I got my order today with such a lovely little pot! Came in a nice box, all wrapped in a pretty asian style red towel.

I am already brewing one of their tea in it tonight.

I did not know what to expect from this award winning Dong Ding. If anything, award winning won’t necessarily make me like a tea.

I do a quick rinse. This is heavily roasted so I’m expecting some big char notes, and this is pretty much what I get on steep one. Nothing special, just very roasted.

Then…vavavoom! Whoa, fruit! I get a mango mouthful. Yes I know, it’s not really supposed to be there, but that’s what I get! And it’s not subtle, I get that even from the wet leaf.

But that’s not it, this tea is kind sweet and savoury. It’s paired with creamy butternut squash…and roasted root vegetables.

Wow, it is so fragrant, every time I open the pot, I get tropical mango wafts.

As expected, it produced many steeps, but of course, I never count when I get caught up in the moment.

This tea was expensive, but totally worth the bucks.

My first Eco-Cha experience, and I am quite impressed. Quality in every possible way, with an impeccable presentation.

Thank you!

Pics of the order and session:

http://instagram.com/p/ru67ULwh_J/

http://instagram.com/p/rvjrjTQhwr/

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Mango, Roasted

MzPriss

That pot is precious

TheTeaFairy

Isn’t it? I’m very pleased!

Sarsonator

Sounds lovely. And where did you get that gorgeous little blue cup, dearest?

TheTeaFairy

Ebay darling. Inexpensive, but it looks like a $50 cup!

Sarsonator

I love it!

MzPriss

Yeah I love that cup way much

TheTeaFairy

You want the link? It’s still available

Marzipan

Thank you for the morn porn.

TheTeaFairy

My pleasure marzi.

Sarsonator

Teaware porn in the AM!

TheTeaFairy

Yeah, that makes me a teaware porn star…

Ysaurella

I am so jealous for the teapot ! :)

Saradiann

Wow I will look for mango in my next cup :-). I think the tea is soooo worth the money. Enjoy your baby teapot!

Cheri

Lovely!

Sarsonator

Mmmmmm mango

mj

LOL TTF, you are totally a teaware porn star. Sarsonator too ;)

donkeytiara

this makes me wish that I drank oolong…..

Cheri

I used mine this morning. :)

Terri HarpLady

Yay for a free yixing, & it’s adorable, as they always are! I also love the cup :)

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100
drank Dark Beauty by Mandala Tea
150 tasting notes

This is my 100th tasting note! I’ve been drinking plenty of tea, but I haven’t made a formal note on them because I was saving #100 for something meaningful to me. The very first what I call “real” (not grocery store tea bags) teas that I fell passionately in love with were Mandala teas. Garret was my first tea-pusher. I realize “tea-pusher” sounds a bit questionable and unromantic for the ever so charming and graceful Garret. But I mean it in the most affectionate way possible. Good tea is like the very best kind of addictive drug and dealing with Garret is an addicting experience: beautiful tea made possible by a soulful, ethical company. I will be a lifelong Mandala customer.

I’ve mentioned drinking my Dark Beauty cocktail many times and have had a few requests to add it to the database, so violà! (that was for you TeaFairy).

You won’t find “Dark Beauty” when you go visit Garret at the Mandala site because it’s a concoction of two of my very favorite teas – two great tastes that taste great together if you will. Dark Beauty is a blend of Special Dark Loose Ripe Pu’er and the sweet, mildly chocolate Black Beauty.

Both of the teas are spectacular on their own. I have Special Dark either alone or in this mixture pretty much every morning of my life. Special Dark is very different from most ripe pu’er – there is no leather that I detect, just a deep smooth bass note of heavy chocolate goodness. Black Beauty isn’t a bug bitten tea, but it has those very sweet lychee-honey notes that good bug bitten tea has.

Here’s how I make it: I take a 16 ounce cup or teapot, I put a scant tablespoon of Special Dark in whichever infuser basket I’m using. At this point, once you’ve boiled your water, you can give the SD a quick rinse if you wish. I usually don’t bother because it doesn’t seem necessary to me for this tea – sorry tea careful tea-crafters, sorry about that. I steep the SD in 16 ounces of 212 water for 3 minutes. Then I add a big pinch of the Black Beauty, give it a stir and steep for another 3 minutes.

UPDATED to add the new, lazy, awesome method. I’ve been losing patience with what I call The Dark Beauty Two-Step, so it’s time to make it simple. Now, I’m putting both teas in at the same time (and skewing the ratio slightly more to the Black Beauty side), pouring in the water and steeping it all at the same time for 4 minutes. Works a treat and less fuss If you’re a DB fan, try it this way and let me know what you think.

Yes, that is a LONG time to steep. No, it never gets bitter or astringent. It yields the deepest, darkest cup of sweet comforting awesome you can imagine. Earthy and chocolate with an undertone of caramel lurking back there, especially noticeable as it cools a little and a lilt of the floral-lychee bit from the Black Beauty at the top.

When I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I go Terri-style with this and add a little maple syrup and on occasion, a little bit of milk or almond milk. I have insomnia and lots of stress. This is the tea equivalent to me of the heavy, snuggly quilt my great-grandmother made that I cocooned myself in as a child. This is my pure comfort tea. When I drink this, I hear pretty much everything these guys ever sang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nedEEL37Lvw

Christina

I’ve never had anything from Mandala, but this tea sounds like it would be quite the experience. Congrats on your 100th note!

mj

Happy 100 :)

MzPriss

:) thanks y’all. Christina – Mandala is all the awesome. I especially love their pu’ers

Sil

woohoo! grats on 100 notes!

Stephanie

That blend sounds amazing!

Sarsonator

Making this tonight. I specifically bought Black Beauty so I could try this!!!!!

Sarsonator

Stupid steepster… That said You’re super!!!

And it had a heart. Steepster hates hearts!!!

MzPriss

Awwwww thanks for the

boychik

Congrats on 100!!!

Garret

Dark Beauty recipe is going to go on our site soon, if that’s alright with you, Mz Priss! Naturally, I’ll credit you as the contributor. We are changing up the site over the next few months and I think this will go on the blog that I just started there and also in a recipes section. Great stuff, the Dark Beauty!!

Sarsonator

I’m making mine now!!!! Wooo hoo!!!! 30 secs left!

Garret

And the verdict, Ms Sarsonator?

Sarsonator

Reminds me of my Nana. But probably not why someone might think. LOL. I just posted my review. Yay!

MzPriss

@Garret – of course it’s alright with me – I’m glad you like it. It’s my happy place, as Sars would say: Of Happiness.

Sarsonator

Yep. That’s exactly what I would say! I think you really did a great job with this one, HoneyBelle!

MzPriss

Thanks hon. I’m enjoying my Jabber, thinking about what to put on a tortilla for dinner

Sarsonator

Beans and hummus?
Veggies and hummus?
Veggies and SPICY hummus?

MzPriss

I have both of those things. Good idea, and maybe a cup of Black Beauty w/o SD since my Jabber is allll gone

Sarsonator

I need to try the Black Beauty on it’s own. Maybe I will do that for tomorrow’s AM tea. I got excited and went right for your blend. :)

MzPriss

I love BB. It tastes bug bitten like an OB, but it’s not. It’s yummy

TheTeaFairy

Oh, what a lovely review! You make everyone want to try this beauty cocktail…and guess what? I just got my black beauty in the mail, so tonight is the night!

Haha! And thanks for “violà” much appreciated :-)

looseTman

Congrats on your 100th tasting note! Creating your own “Special” Mandala cocktail is an awesome way to celebrate #100! MzPriss, your truly an original!

MzPriss

Thanks looseTman – I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)

TheTeaFairy

I love the new Lazy DB!!! Great idea ;-)

Sarsonator

Lazy DB FTW!!! I am on my 2nd steep at 6 min. Still good!

looseTman

MzPriss, You’ll have to add a just-brewed image to complete the database description of your original chocolaty cocktail!

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Here I am again. I’m sorry I haven’t updated, but I also haven’t been drinking much in the way of tea, although that’s a lie because I have been drinking iced tea. No excuses.

Actually, I’m just hear to say that this tea is terrible iced. It tastes like strawberry yogurt milky water, and I never want to be made to feel I’m drinking watery yogurt. It’s ok though, because this used up my entire sample, so onwards and upwards, I guess. I’m going to be tossing what’s left in the pticher (which is pretty much all of it actually), but ’aint nobody got time for bad tea, I say.

carry on, folks. Let this week end.

Cheri

You can’t know until you try it…or someone else tries it first!

Courtney

I agree about bad tea. My friend drinks everything and says she just can’t throw away bad stuff. Thank goodness we do not have that problem. Life is too short!

keychange

Oh god I know. I keep reading about people who choke down awful sip down after awful sip down and I’m like waaaaahhh why are you doing this to yourself?!?!?!

lolainred

just thinking about what that had to taste like makes me a bit queasy!

Angrboda

I agree about bad tea. Why force yourself to drink something you don’t like? If it was a pizza with something on it that you discovered you didn’t like, you’d pick that off too instead of forcing yourself to eat it, wouldn’t you? I don’t understand what the difference is. Out with it, either to the bin or to someone else.

keychange

Yes I totally agree. And people may think it’s wasteful, but I also think needlessly assaulting my tastebuds is wasting tastebud wattage on bad choices. Bad idea!

Angrboda

The wasteful argument doesn’t really fly with me. It’s also wasteful to force something down you don’t enjoy rather than give it to someone else who might enjoy it. And whether you toss it or struggle through it, the leaf is equally gone.

(deleted for editing and reposted)

DeliriumsFrogs

Euck… watery yogurt drink. I’m glad you tossed that pitcher out.
(and yes… let this week end!)

Cheri

“tastebud wattage” Hahahahah!!! I love it!

keychange

hahaha! yes, let this week be gone gone gone! also, ang, great argument about the leaves being equally gone.

mj

I was considering trying to cold brew the rest of my sample. Thanks to you, I’ll pass! Yogurt water…blech

keychange

mj1851, I honestly don’t know how anyone could enjoy this one, but I suppose you just never know. It absolutely tastes like strawberry yogurt water, though. Maybe it’s better hot? or maybe you’ll cold brew it and fall in love LOL.

Terri HarpLady

I’m down with all of the above, especially the ‘no time for bad tea’ comment! That made me smile! With as much tea as most of us have in our cupboards, why let something undesirable take up residency? I think that’s really one of my favorite things about samples & tea trades, that we get to try something & ask, “Do I really need to buy this?”
Usually for me the answer is no, although occasionally I find something hoardworthy, LOL.

Cheri

I feel the same way, Terri HarpLady. I have found a couple that I’ve gone out to buy, but mostly I just enjoy trying the things in the boxes and whatnot and just go from there. (Then again, I’m about to place a huge Butiki order as soon as I hear back from Stacy, and there have been a couple of others lately that I am enjoying and I want more of.)

OMGsrsly

It works better made hot and iced, IMO. But I’ve only had it in-store.

Dexter

I agree OMG – I just make it hot and let it cool – put it in the fridge. I think you need the hot water to “melt” the yogurt bits.

keychange

I did make it hot and then added ice…ah well, can’t please ’em all, I guess.

OMGsrsly

Now I want to try it again to see if I get the yogurt-water taste! :)

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86

Oh Soba Cha!

So enticing I want to eat chunks of my mug, that how good it smells while I drink it.

Buckwheat pancakes, roasted grains, toasty cereals, it’s such a treat!

Ok, I pretty much NEVER add anything to my tea, not that there’s anything wrong with that, just not my preference.

But, this, THIS, with almond milk is like having a liquid bowl of your favourite cereals. Why don’t I make a giant pot of this instead of a cup?

My 4oz tin won’t last very long, I can tell you that!

I can’t ever thank my friend Dexter enough for introducing me to this wonderful tea from H&S :-)

Cameron B.

This tea sounds fantastic! It’ll probably be a while until I order from Harney (I have a tea buying queue…) but I’ll definitely be grabbing some of this. :D

Dexter

You are very welcome my friend. I totally agree with you – liquid bowl of cereal!!! A touch of sweet and a splash of milk and this just makes me HAPPY!!!

MzPriss

I need to try this one.

Cheri

I feel the same way, MzPriss. Every time I see this reviewed I really want some.

Sami Kelsh

OH MAN this sounds so magical.

TheTeaFairy

That’s exactly what this is: a happy tea :-)

gmathis

OK, any tea that inspires mug-biting has my attention!

TheTeaFairy

It is totally mug-bite worthy gmahis!

madametj

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for roasted buckwheat or “Kasha” at your healthfood store. It’s the same thing as this. I got 11 ounces from the bulk foods section for $2.50. :) They let you buy as little or much as you want :)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks for the tip madametj, will look it up for sure :-)

boychik

its not the same. Groats of kasha are much larger. i have on hand both – kasha and tea. And buckwheat has a tendency to get spoiled without fridge.
http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t—1009/grain-storage-guide.asp

madametj

Tastes the same

madametj

Soba cha is roasted buckwheat as a tea. Kasha is roasted buckwheat as a cereal.

whatshesaid

Interesting idea, I could just pick some up at bulk food store and stick it in the fridge, good suggestion! Probably tastes the same anyhow, maybe just a bit less flavorful if the bits are bigger

Dexter

I’m not sure where you guys are buying this, but I’ve looked and asked at several health food stores and bulk stores – haven’t been able to find anything roasted. I did buy some straight buckwheat, gave it a quick roast in the oven – that didn’t work very well. Will keep looking for it…..

Cameron B.

I am so sad that I forgot to add a sample of this to my H&S order…

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Not enough sleep last night. Must be the cat’s fault.
Running a little late this morning, about to leave, when that inner voice asks…
Do you have tea in your purse for work? Shrug, Dunno
Reach out and grab a random tin of black tea off the shelf and walk out the door.
An hour and a half later, letting a client vent about something that has nothing to do with us, I’m reaching into my purse for that tin of tea.
Some tea gets dumped into my infuser basket. Hang up with client.
Take basket to kitchen, add hot water, return to my desk. Answer 3 questions.
Crap forgot about my tea. Remove leaves. Take a sip….
AND THE WORLD STOPS
It’s like the stars aligned, the atmospheric pressure is perfect, the clouds part, and the sun shines through. I have the perfect cup of tea. Exactly what I’m in the mood for at the exact time that I need it the most.
I actually said out loud – What the hell am I drinking?
Co-workers look at you weird when you say things like that…. don’t care, I spent a few minutes basking in the moment, then went back to work.

This is easily in my top 5 favorite black teas. Amazing.

MissLena

Haha darn cats! Mine ruined my sleep last night too lol..but this sounds like an amazing cup of tea. Love those star-aligning moments with tea haha, especially at work, because no one understands how tea can make you soo happy.

boychik

Priceless!

boychik

Blame it on a cat! I know why you couldn’t sleep. Spreadsheet! That’s why I refuse to make one.

Dexter

I LOVE my new spread sheet!!! I’ll never look up a tea in my Steepster cupboard again. Looking for a fruit tisane to cold steep – it’ll show you just them. Looking for something to sip down – not problem. I can find anything in seconds. Really wish I had done this a year ago, then I would have that much more history (favorites, things to rebuy, what I thought of…) of all the teas I’ve tried. This was the best investment of my time.
The cat gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in my house…. ;))

boychik

I see. You are like my hubby. Whatever happens I’m responsible one. Kids got sick, bad grades, bad groceries, etc.
poor kitty

TheTeaFairy

Lol. Love this review : -) you deserve your best teas all the time. And yay for awesome spreadsheet!

MzPriss

LOVE this note. Now I need to get some

Helene

What a great way to express how you felt while drinking this tea. I see that you are in Canada also. Where do you order your teas? Do you pay high shipping fees. Waiting to hear from you, I’m in Ottawa and used to work in Portage-la-Prairie for 4 yrs.

Dexter

Hi Helene – I order tea from all over the world. Online shopping makes it possible to get almost anything from almost anywhere. There are tons of amazing tea vendors out there. Shipping can be very expensive or it can be free, depends on where you order from and how much you order.
What types of teas are you interested in? China blacks? Japanese green? Taiwan oolongs? Fun flavors? If you let me know what you are interested in, I might be able to recommend a vendor for you or point you to a forum thread on the subject. :))

Helene

I finally updates my cupboard. At the moment I have teas from TeaVivre. I received one box of tea samples from Tea Sparrow. Was expensive and I did not order another one. Then I order a box of tea samples from Amoda and did not renew. I find these monthly boxes get expensive. I like white, green, my family likes flavour teas. I am starting to drink black. Not a big fan because I love coffee. Do you know of any monthly box companies in Canada that are worth buying? Maybe you like the price of Amoda or Tea Sparrow. I think it’s expensive but I might be wrong. I will receive samples from TeaVivre soon. I like the quality of their teas. I want to explore more companies that does not charge us to much for shipping in Canada. Waiting to hear from you. Thanks in advance.

Dexter

I think all subscription boxes are expensive, and then you end up with tea that isn’t your style. I would much prefer to order samples and try tea on my own – but that’s just me.
Teavivre is awesome, glad you found them. I would also check out Tealux:
http://www.tealux.ca/
Really nice straight teas – nice quality, reasonably priced, flat shipping $7.50 under 60.00 or free over 60.00. I find their flavored tea hit or miss, but the straight ones are really good.
Capital Tea Ltd.
http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/home.php?cat=6
Free shipping over 49.00 and they sell all their teas in 20g sample sizes. Great way to try a bunch for a little cost.
Camellia Sinensis:
http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/tea-store
Their tea is more expensive – more high end, but amazing. Free shipping over 50.00
Those three are Canadian Companies, that I really like.
I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – favorite source of pu’erh – but nice oolong and teaware. Mandala:
https://shopmandalatea.com/
Shipping is 9.00 flat to Canada – they are out of Minnesota – my favorite tea store.
That should get you started – if you would like more info, please follow me and shoot me a PM.

Helene

Dexter: I will have a look at the different sites and will probably place an order soon. This whole tea experience is addictive. I prefer to pay a bit more for more high end tea. At the moment I have the budget because I saved. I am following you. If I have more questions I will send you a PM. Thanks for the help and great info. I think my saved money might dissolved soon in a cup of tea :)

Dexter

The best advice I can give you is SMALL Samples – try lots of different teas, by swapping or buying samples. As you explores your tastes will change, you’ll find tea you like better, don’t buy large quantities until you know for sure what you LOVE and what you don’t. :))

OMGsrsly

I’ll echo Dexter here. Small samples! Or you’ll end up with 250+ teas way faster than you think possible, kinda like we have. :)

Helene

When you say buy small samples you mean the smaller pack of a tea. Per example a White Tea on Mandala is $8 for 1 ounce. Is that what you call a sample? If so that it not cheap if I want to try a lot of samples.

Dexter

White tea is expensive and Mandala is high end. Tealux has 1oz/25g white teas from $4.50. The only straight white at Davids is 14.50/50g – smallest amount you can buy online….

yyz

Usually is anywhete from 10-25g as the smallest size. Sometimes you can get < 10. Some companies sell these as intro packets is Mandalas is listed under sale items and right now it is only for shou but it is $9 Canadian including shipping for Canadians https://shopmandalatea.com/sale-items/ripe-puerh-sampler-pack.html, Verdant has a 5 for 5 deal that is 11 for us. Sometimes you have to search for sizes ie at Capital tea Ltd. The default size is 100g but when you click on this a menu comes up with available sizes. Prices from under 2 and up for the sample depending on the company and the tea.

Helene

I guess I have expensive taste because I like White Tea. At least I know now how to order tea online. Now I’ll have to chose a company and start from there.

yyz

Helene Tao Tea leaf had 5g samples some under 2$ for white tea.
http://www.taotealeaf.com/white/

Helene

I might order some, great price on white teas. Hopefully they are good.

yyz

I’ve only had some of his blacks but they so far have been really good!

Helene

5g will not last long :)

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88

I got my free samples this week and why not start sampling tonight!

Using the full sample in a 6oz gaiwan.

Well…hello beautiful.

Talk about a full cup of yum.

This is everything I like about a high mountain oolong…and more.

The elements I’m really digging are usually the floral, spicy and minty aspects, and I get them all here. Nice florals that might be a little more perfumed then what I’m used to, but really, I can’t name the flowers cause it’s none of the ones I’m used to find in greener oolongs, which are orchids and lilacs.

The usual spiciness which translates into nutmeg for me is also there, and so is that fresh mouthfeel I get at the end of the sip.

What’s really different about this oolong is its fruitiness. It so full of fruits, it almost tastes tropical to me. The fact that it’s also creamy makes me think of Pina Colada. I also get grapes and apple notes.

There’s a certain bite to it also, a briskness. I wouldn’t say it’s bitter, but it’s a tad astringent. Nothing offensive though, makes the flavours pop even more.

I have many more steeps to come, and might finish it with a cold brew.

I am very impressed with this first sample.

Thank you so much Green Terrace Teas for this opportunity.

yyz

I know, at one point I really tasted pins colada. I normally get gardenia, in green Oolong’s. A scent I only know well, because we used to have a lovely mature bush at a house we had when I lived further south from here. The scent is spicy and intoxicating. I got lilac on this one ironically as it reminded me of this huge bush around the corner from me. I loved the fruit notes in this one.

TheTeaFairy

It really is interesting, I like it a lot! I don’t even think I know what gardenias smell like, but I envy you for having had some near by :-)
I can’t find the thread, but I remember reading something about getting 20% off for reviewing their teas, do you know how it works, do I just send an email when my three reviews are done?

yyz

The instructions were on the card the sent. I think they want us to post our reviews on their site.

TheTeaFairy

Ahhh! That’s it!!! Thanks, it must still be in the envelope, silly me :-)

TeaTiff

I need to write about this one yet, but this was so nice! I couldn’t believe how smooth and strong the flavors were.

MzPriss

I just ordered my samples – I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier.

TheTeaFairy

Teatiff, I drink loads of green oolong and this one is truly different…can’t wait to read your review.

MzPriss, I will let you know when I see promo stuff from now on :-)

Have you guys requested your $6 gift card from Teavivre?

MzPriss

I did not know about Teavivre – I can always use some more Bailin GF. I will go check their site

MzPriss

Apparently I was not quick enough and the gift cards are all gone – oh well, they are doing other stuff later

TheTeaFairy

Shout, so sorry you missed it :-(

Dexter

HHHHMMMmmmmmmmm……

TheTeaFairy

Did you miss it also DEX? If so, I haven’t been a good tea friend, so sorry :-(

Dexter

No I got one – I got an email about it from them (I seem to be signed up to a gazillion newslwtters). I was just pondering a comment here.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Think I know which one…oops.

Ost

I got this one too! Can’t wait to try it. ^^

Dexter

(I thought we weren’t ordering more tea….)

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I just slipped this into our sample section for those of you that want to try before buying. To buy it by the ounce, though, you’ll have to wait until the 1st! :)

http://whisperingpinestea.com/samples.html

Having a cup now since I love it so much. Always hits the spot with that salted caramel note :D

Enjoy!

Ost

You guys would add that after I already ordered a sample pack xD Well whenever I put in a real order anyway I plan on ordering that…but still xD

Cameron B.

Same here, Ost. I’m now considering a second sample pack… Hm…

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Haha, Ost, well it just now arrived! :) Are you order #139?

Whispering Pines Tea Company

You could just trust me that it’s awesome and wait… ;)

Stephanie

YOU DO SAMPLES? places order right now

TeaTiff

Yay! This was the tea I was waiting for to make a full blown order. I just ordered a sample pack to try a few others before ordering as well.

TeaTiff

Yay! This was the tea I was waiting for to make a full blown order. I just ordered a sample pack to try a few others before ordering as well.

Cameron B.

I was surprised at the number of people who didn’t know that you offer samples when I posted about receiving them in the mail. You need to add them to your front page or something!

Stephanie

Aww booo one of the ones I want to try is sold out. I wait :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That’s a good idea, Cameron! I’ll have to figure something out. Maybe make one of my banner images about samples. :)

Sorry this wasn’t in when you placed your sample order today, TeaTiff! Hope you enjoy your samples though! :D

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Which tea are you looking at, Stephanie? I can get you an ETA for most of my out of stock teas :)

Stephanie

I want to try one with pine needles in it! :D

Ost

Heh, am I order #139? I don’t remember. xD Probably? I ordered two sample packs. The free shipping got me on that one…I love free shipping. xD

Cameron B.

Stephanie, from what I could tell they don’t offer everything as a sample. There were some that I wanted to try that were in-stock but just weren’t on the sample list. I was assuming they were teas that they have limited stock or sell out of fast.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ahhh don’t we all :) Well, let me tell you…I harvest the pine once a month and the stock is very limited. So on July 1st, the moment the newsletter goes out, probably around 10-12 ounces of The Sleeping Bear will be available. Once it’s gone, you’ll have to wait until August harvest to get another chance :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ost, yes, we all love free shipping I think! It’s free after $50 on regular orders in the states, after $75 in Canada.

And yes, Cameron is right, we only offer 10 samples and they are all based on availability. Many of our teas, we just don’t have enough inventory to offer samples.

Stephanie

I’ll remember to look for it the first of the month then…thanks!

Cameron B.

I can definitely understand that. Luckily for me, most of the ones I’m interested in are fairly inexpensive. :D

Whispering Pines Tea Company

No worries, Stephanie! :)

Cameron, I’m glad you like our prices! :)

Marzipan

Brendan is like the Rene Redzepi of the tea world :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

That is a HUGE compliment, Marzipan, and I plan to continue striving for excellence and createavity :D

TheTeaFairy

Yay, let’s get some more Ailaoshan Love :-)

Marzipan

Ack it auto corrected your name wrong :(

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Ahh no worries :) I must spend less time on here or I’ll end up spilling the beans on new secret blends. I’m terrible at keeping secrets as long as I plan to. Lol

mj

AAAAHHHH I didn’t know about the samples! I just ordered some :-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) Yay! I’ll have that sent out tomorrow :)

MzPriss

This just decided me on the first tea of the morning. I love this one!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Mmmm I might have to have this one this morning too!

MzPriss

Just finished mine. Managed to not lick the inside of the cup when it was empty. I had a cup of coffee :O first but I NEEDED tea. This particular tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

:) I just had a weird moment when I thought about this tea, I could smell it. Need to make this right now!

Nicole

NEED more! :)

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98
drank Lime Chiffon by Della Terra Teas
2359 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.

Dexter

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.

Dexter

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?

Dexter

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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90

Oh look! Steepster is behaving :-)

Let’s post a review!!

This was one of very few teas I hadn’t tried yet from WP.

I was curious, cause although Keemun are sometimes not my favourite teas to drink when too heavy on the smoke, the taste profile of Pine Peak seemed very different.

Well I agree: definitely not your usual full bodied keemun.

It’s much lighter, and I had to steep longer (for my tastes) and add a bit more leaves to achieve a satisfying cup. Once I did that, it was super tasty.

No trace of smoke or strong earthy notes here.

This is the fruit and grain keemun type. I get raisins and barley mostly. It is sweet and a little malty.

There is some kind of light pine taste to it, a little woodsy especially as it cools down.

I see myself drinking this on a regular basis, as a very nice everyday cup.

It’s raining this afternoon, took out my happy ladybug teapot, girly tea time!

“Peak” of the session:

http://instagram.com/p/sdQTcIwh7e/

mj

Steepster isn’t behaving anymore :(. I had to fish for this review by going to the “discover” tab

Cameron B.

Wow, I didn’t know that you hadn’t tried this. I love this one, possibly the most of any of their teas! Unsung hero. ;)

TheTeaFairy

Oh! But steepster IS back again!! Thanks for “fishing” me out though mj :-)

Cameron, I agree, it is kind of an unsung hero ;-)

Ubacat

That teapot is adorable!

boychik

Love this tea. I double recommended amount of leaves.
Teapot is adorable !

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This is my comfort tea :-)

Lariel of Lórien

Is sounds so good.

TheTeaFairy

It is Lariel

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100

I’m skipping the queue with this one because THE TIME HAS COME! I have opened the tin. I have sniffled it. Happy birthday to me! (I thought that would be an auspicious day to try it, don’t you?)

I should make some preliminary introductions to this one and tell why it’s so extremely special to me that I had to have it, shipping fees be damned. This tin right here was the very thing that made me order from JW at all. Everything else that I got to taste from the company was purely coincidental and taking advantage of the fact that I would be paying shipping charges anyway. I’ve been looking at the unopened tin of it for weeks now, simply just enjoying that fact that I had it. Petting it now and then and enjoying looking forward to it while waiting for the right time to taste it for the first time.

As you all know (or ought to know at this point!) I’m partial to a Chinese black, and if it comes from Fujian, it simply cannot go wrong. Fujian is my most favouritest tea growing area in the world and has been for a number of years now. My very very favourite tea is Tan Yang. It is the benchmark of fabulousness to which all other black teas must measure up. Another favourite type is Keemun, usually grown in Anhui. Life-giving and delivering a solid cup of tea every single time.

What we now have here in this tin is both a Keemun and a Tan Yang, and it is not a blend. It was grown near the Tan Yang village in Fujian, but the bushes are the Keemun variety transplanted there from Anhui. The very idea of this awesome on an epic scale!

The leaf smells both Keemun-y and Fujian-y. It has the Fujian cocoa note and the Keemun-y grain. Mind you Fujian usually also has a lot of grain in it, but I tend to find it more prominent in Keemuns. There’s something else in here that reminds me vaguely of some kind of tart berry or something. Perhaps one which has been dried. Like dried cranberry, I think, but not nearly as sweet as those are. If I take a little leaf in my hand and breathe on it before sniffing, I get a strong note that reminds me of when Husband makes beer, just at the point where he puts the hops in.

Okay that it, I can’t wait for Husband to start cooking breakfast (full English, yay!). I need to make a pot of this NOW!

After steeping it doesn’t smell so beer-y, but rather more like freshly baked rye bread. Courtney understands this note fully. I suspect Marzipan does as well. It’s grain-y and dark and also somewhat sweet. There is some of the Fujian cocoa notes there as well, but they are under the grain and so I have to really look for them.

I’ve started sipping way too soon. It’s far too hot still and I can barely taste anything. I did, however, pick up the fact that it’s a strong tea we’ve got here. It even seems to have a rather smoky note to it, which ♥♥♥♥♥

I can sip a bit more now. It’s quite cocoa-y with grainy notes underneath and a fairly large amount of smoke and then finally quite sweet on the swallow. I can definitely see the characteristics of both types in this. It’s like the best qualities of one combined with the best qualities of the other. It’s hard for me to even come up with anything to write at this point.

Oh yes.

Mind = blown.

kisses tin

Marzipan

I have a funny rugbrød story! My husband misses it terribly, so I decided to make some for his birthday. I contacted one of his sisters, who is trained as a cook, and she sent her recipe. I started converting it to English and non metric, and found that the ingredients were just CRAZY – ten pounds of rye flour for example. So, I broke down and asked Karsten for help.

I had converted it correctly but it was a recipe that made many many loaves. We cut it down and I started making the bread.

It was still huge. But what I wasn’t used to is that it doesn’t really rise at all. The mass that you have is pretty much the mass that you bake. Most of our bread wishes until it’s double so I was pretty worried about the malty, slightly sour enormous mass of dough I had. It turned out fine and he loved it. Reading this it isn’t as funny as I remembered. Now the story where I tried to find hjortetaksalt and thought I was going to get arrested…..that was funny.

Marzipan

Wishes= rises. I can’t edit my comments?

Angrboda

Then you are intimately familiar with the way it smells just as it comes out. :) My mother would bake some for Christmas but during the rest of the year it’s just store-bought. :)

Marzipan

I miss leverpostej and Anthon Berg the most. :(

teataku

Happy birthday, indeed!

Angrboda

I know how you feel. We can’t get baked beans here for scratch. Heinz is the only proper brand, but it’s hard to find. We’ve tried a number of other ones that are available but they all range from meh to nearly-if-you-squint, so… :/

Angrboda

Thank you, teataku. :)

looseTman

Yes, Happy birthday to you! Excellent review!

Angrboda

Thank you (on both counts)

Marzipan

American/Danish birthday song. Happy fødselsdagen to you, hurra hurra hurra! I dag er Angrboda’s fødselsdag, tillykky med birthday to you! ♥ ♥ ♥

Marzipan

Darn it, tillykkE

Angrboda

Gosh, Danglish! O.o

caile

Happy birthday!! I’ve been looking forward to reading your review on this – I’m glad it skipped the queue for your special day!

Angrboda

Thank you. :) I was looking forward to writing about it. :p

I’ve had three (Western-style) steeps on these leaves so far and am wondering if a fourth is worth the bother. The third steep was a bit on the thin side.

caile

Maybe best not to do a fourth then; it could just be disappointing. Three steeps is great though! :)

caile

Although…for experimentation sake, it wouldn’t hurt to try the fourth steep just to see how it turns out. :)

yyz

Happy birthday! Lovely when a tea becomes an instant favourite!

MzPriss

Happy Birthday! This makes me want to bust out my sample of this. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow.

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

sorry we’re late to wish you a happy birthday, but we’re in China for this year’s harvest. Anyways, better late than never so: Happy Birthday! (and thank you for taking time to write such a nice review.) Cheers!

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drank Juicy Blueberry by Zen Tea
1883 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.

Dexter

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!

Dexter

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. :)

Dexter

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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