Featured & New Tasting Notes
Intriguing alternative to Yerba, which tends to get bitter if you aren’t scientific about your brewing parameters.
The small dry leaves have a firm earthy aroma which reminds one of a pure lush green forest. The plain brew is also not so different from Yerba, perhaps slightly more amber colored. The taste is definitely more delicate than Yerba, sweeter, without the bitterness.
I personally like to blend these leaves with peppermint, producing and Ecuadorian Mint tea that is most enjoyable – in fact over the last 6 weeks it has become my afternoon tea of choice, especially after a midday meal. This is a tisane worth venturing out for – if Yerba doesn’t do it for you give Guayusa a shot.
This is a very interesting tea! I want to have it again later or another day when I can focus more closely on it as today I am a bit under the weather. However with that said – this has a lot of pu-erh qualities to it with earthy deep notes!
I think I am going to like this one!
I have enough left for another steeping session on another day – for now I have done three steeps and its still going strong for this session.
I so would love to share more info on this tea and leave more notes but I have the head spins right now.
Going to doctor tomorrow.
Ever since I’ve been ordering from Red Leaf, I feel like all my matcha purchases had been “desert type matchas”. So, when I saw that the Boysenberry matcha went on sale again (since I missed it the first time), I knew I had to grab it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had boysenberry on its own, but I definitely know I’ve had it in yogurt form. There are several companies that make boysenberry yogurt, and it’s delicious.
I ordered the 30g of Boysenberry Matcha, Starter (Basic Grade), Flavor: Robust. I really really like berries, and thought about upping the flavor even more, but decided to keep it at robust for now and see how it goes.
For all my previous matchas, since they were desert matchas, I had been making them hot the traditional matcha way. Usually, after my first sip, it was a little too intense for me, so I added some milk to help bring out the flavor. But for boysenberry, hot and milk added just didn’t sound appealing to me, so I thought I would try something new. On the Red Leaf site, under all the matchas, they have a “steeping” tab that talks about how to prepare them. There’s the traditional way, and the “traditional with a chill”. I’ve always wanted to try this, but none of the matchas I ordered sounded appealing cold, so I was excited to finally try something new.
I took my water bottle and measured 1/4 teaspoon for matcha, per the instructions. I then filled my bottle with 16oz of water. You can also use a water bottle, but since I want to be environmentally friendly (and I like my filtered water), I decided to just use a regular bottle. I debated whether or not to sift the matcha, but decided I wouldn’t the first time around. I shook my bottle vigorously, and then sipped the results…
WOW!!! I was really impressed. With all the other matchas, I had a hard time tasting the flavor just straight, but here I can definitely taste both the matcha and the boysenberry. The matcha is not overpowering, but there are definitely berry undertones. I didn’t need to add any sweetener, although I bet if I did it would bring out the flavor even more.
I can’t believe how easy this is to make. It sure beats using a whisk (no pun intended) and making water on the kettle. Those are good too, but this is better. I’m thinking I need to order some more fruity matchas in the future, since I liked boysenberry so much. I’m not sure how this would taste hot, but it’s definitely delicious cold.
As a reminder, you can get the matcha here: https://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/boysenberry-matcha.html
Thank you Stacy (Butiki) for this sample tea!
…..we all know how good Stacy is at creating tea’s that
not nasty and artificially flavored…the really special tea’s that we love! Shhhhh, listen up!…..
…..This one is my favorite Butiki Tea Flavor of all!)
I want a pound of this tea already. I ONLY HAVE A SAMPLE! STACY!
The wet leaves had the softest aroma of green beans and sweet grapefruit as though the clock had been turned back and Spring was here once again.
I had just enough tea leaves for one precious mug full.
I took a sip of the pale yellow liquor and was amazed at the restrained taste of the grapefruit next to the more robust but smooth savory bean flavor. This was a juicy tea.
I added a little sweetening (as Stacy suggested) which brought more of the grapefruit flavor to the forefront, still perfectly complimenting the savory base flavor of the tea.
I used to make a grapefruit salad years ago with ruby grapefruit, carefully removing segments of ice cold fruit from it’s membrane, then mixing it with chopped avacado, salt, olive oil and lemon. The acid and sweetness of the grapefruit with the smooth creamy avacado were perfect compliments to each other. (It was an 1980’s popular California salad.)
This tea embraced that idea of combining crisp grapefruit and the creamy savory tea in a similar way. It worked really well!
There was that Umami thing happening in my mouth when I added some sugar (but without the bitterness, and the sour was just the normal grapefruit tang).
Yes, this was/is the best flavored tea in my Butiki book! It hits all the marks for me! Bravo Stacy!!!
I have a confession: I totally dumped out my cup of Rishi pu’erh and made a cup of this instead. Oh oolong, how I love thee.
Shall I compare tea to a summer’s day?
It art more tasty and more delicate
Rough steeps do shake the darling buds of bay
And a cup’s lease hath all too short a fate
(thanks Bill Shakespeare)
I don’t tend to enjoy green teas. I drink them but I don’t “get” them. Hopefully you all are following me. Anyway I think I found a green I can get behind! The toasty and nutty flavor is awesome in this green tea. So flavorful and yes I may have eaten the rice pieces too. I can’t describe the smell for you because I can’t really smell a thing at the moment. But I will tell you this has turned into my afternoon go to cup since i picked it up last weekend in DC. :)
I love the smokiness of a russian tea. I guess that is the main characteristic of a “russian” tea. I usually can’t keep my russian teas with my other teas — they smell that strong. This one is more of a mild scent and flavor. It isn’t too smoky, so it could be for someone who wants to try a smoky tea and then if you like it you could try a stronger one. (The Choice Russian Caravan is pretty strong for a tea bag — one of the couple I’ve tried.) But with this one, the flavor isn’t even that strong for a black tea. It’s still good though, just mild. Maybe I should have steeped it longer and at a higher temperature.
After two pretty disappointing tea experiences in one day, it was time to fall back on something I know I love. I have a whole bunch of new teas sitting there waiting to be tried, but oh well! Sometimes you just need a familiar cup.
This is one of the teas I got with my $100 certificate. I bought a lot of teas with it that I wasn’t familiar with or even sure that I’d like, and this was definitely one of them! I’ve never tried anything osmanthus flavored, and descriptions I looked up seemed pretty vague (peachy? floral? vegetal? malty?)—but hey, it’s free tea, I might as well take a chance! Boy, am I happy I did. Osmanthus is a flower, and it’s certainly quite floral, but in a deeper way than some other floral blends (jasmine, rose, etc). It’s a rich, almost juicy taste, and underneath the floral tones is a bright, tasty citrus. I was not expecting that at all, but it’s fabulous! It’s like the love child of jasmine and mandarin orange. The green base is very nice too—not too vegetal, but with some sweet and lingering woodsy flavors.
This has quickly become a staple in my cupboard, and the fact that you can get 4+ good steeps out of it certainly helps. It seems like it would be fantastic iced, but I can never seem to wait long enough to cool it down—I just want to drink it right away whenever I take the leaves out!
Oh. My. This is magnificent.
Thanks again to Krystaleyn for this sample. I may have forgotten to credit you for the last sample too. So… I’m crediting you twice on this one ;)
I kind of forgot about this tea whilst unwinding and playing video games on a breezy Friday night. So it’s cooled off quite considerably, so my review may be on how this might potentially taste iced!
The mint and the apple are the most predominant flavors, and it definitely tastes like more of a green apple flavor than say a red or golden apple. That gives it just a little bit of sourness to the flavor that really pairs with the mint nicely. The juniper flavor is hiding towards the end of the note, maybe skirting around with something that might remotely taste like raspberries. Not sure if I’m making that last part up or not. There’s definitely a little more fruitiness towards the end of the sip though.
This is an amazing tea, and probably my first from Davids that is a must have. But this is definitely, truly a must have.
What a lovely easy to drink tea! Thank you MERCURYHIME (capitalizing since I don’t know how to bold) for sharing this sample with me! Also thank you for sending enough for a second cup – I really like it! This has been on my shopping list It think since I joined steepster! Don’t know why I have not picked any up yet. Some things just got stuck on the list.
It is indeed chocolaty and I also happened to have a bit of chocolate here to eat while sipping! YAY! Also tasting the nuttiness!
Now I am not saying it is THE most complex tea ever but it is nice, it is exactly what it says it is and we need more of those teas out there in flavored teas!
As for the base, I am not sure what kind of black tea they are using, but it is very light which is fine, I think I would not mind a bit bolder of a black tea though.
All in all – I am pleased with this one!
This tea was an amazing experience.
I have to say thank you David of Verdant Tea, as I received this as a sample! Sadly, it was a sample for the art contest (which ended a few months ago), which must have got held up by customs for no reason. But thank you! The tea is fueling my mug decoration for homemade gifts :) I’ll post pictures!
I had numerous steeps with this tea, but didn’t take notes the first time. I will the second time, as the sample was extremely generous!
The flavour notes I remember are that it was a baritone tea, but not a bass. (I’m with you on the music scale, Dinosara). Notes of caramel, super sweetness but in an earthy, grounded way. So complex! My favorite steeps were the ones with a currant/prune note to them, lately I’ve been loving to find hints of raisin in my tea.
Anyways, let the Christmas rush continue around me, I’m driving home in 45 minutes and I still have a heck of a lot to do!
Happy Holidays lovelies, I will have many notes when I return! O:
A good black blend with potent wake-up appeal. Had a strange taste I have trouble identifying, a natural sweetness, and a nice smooth strength. Tea had a decent energy kick to it as I felt rejuvenated drinking it rather than relaxed, which is a good thing depending on the moment. Although the tea is enjoyable, not sure I’d order it again. Just no sure what that ‘other’ taste was and it’s not my favorite version of the black teas. Was sure to only steep for three minutes and this produced a lovely color and strong taste without any bitterness at all.
Well, it’s official. I’m not entirely sure why I keep buying teas from anywhere but Verdant. I’ve been exploring lots of dancong teas lately. I love how distinctly you can pick up perfume or fruit or whatever else in a humble little tea leaf. Some of them, however, practically take off with florals, to the detriment of other flavors.
This particular tea starts off deep, like a warm roasted nut, but balanced out by the “baked apple” sort of texture noted in the description. Toward the middle, I get raisin like sensations, and the woodsy fragrance just lingers around my head. I get many more fruit, wood, and sugar notes out of this tea than floral, and it’s a richer tea “base” than other dancongs – and for that I think it is (as many of Verdant’s offerings tend to be) very accessible and understandable for those branching out from “western” tea drinking. Although there is a warning about being sensitive to brew time, this tea doesn’t “go green” or “bitter and astringent” at the slightest touch because of the roasted quality it presents. I fear I may start drinking this tea to the exclusion of others, it’s that good.
Thanks to Eisenherz’s comment, I have tried this plain maté. I adore matés so I wonder why I never gave this one a try before… it is so tasty and clean! Sophisticated in such a nice way. The maple water does come to mind, and the natural sweetness makes me want to drink it all day long. Maybe we should keep it a secret, this way the price will remain low, 8$ for 100gr, what a bargain!!!
Butiki Teas, you did it again! :) I am totally impressed. I love how they named their company Butiki, which means lizard in Tagalog! Yep I’m Filipino! And they have a great variety of African teas, of which I am an absolute huge fan.
So onto Malawai White Peony. The leaves are very LARGE and of different colors. Some a deep green, some with brown, and others with yellow. They fit nicely in my kyusu.
The liquor was a very light yellow color. The scent was a little vegetal and floral. I love the taste! It is so light and refreshing! It goes down smoothly and is very clean. There is no astringency or bitterness to it. There is some green-ness to this taste, but not grassy. There is some floral tones with a slight sweetness to it. Overall, this is a good tea!
I really love the idea of lavender Earl Grey because, well, I like bergamot and I like lavender, so why not? But I have found that lavender is a tricky beast in teas, even for someone who loves florals, so finding the right blend is difficult. Here’s another lavender Earl Grey for me to try, this one from a swap with aisling of tea. Thanks!
The dry leaf on this one smells pretty nice, but I find that’s usually the case with these teas. Steeped, I get strong black tea aroma with some lavender and a hint of bright bergamot. The scent of this tea reminded me of something from my childhood, and I finally placed it: the smell of the soap while I was washing my horse. I know, not the best olfactory association for tea. :P So I didn’t expect to like this tea, but I was surprised. The taste actually isn’t soapy, as long as I can get past the aroma. The black tea base is really smooth, and the lavender is herby and fairly strong. The sips I take vary from slightly bitter to rather pleasant, which is a bit weird to me. I wonder if I need to steep it a slightly shorter time to bring the lavender down just a notch. As far as the Earl Grey portion of this goes, I don’t get a lot that says “hey I’m an Earl Grey”, but you know there’s something there that keeps it from being just a lavender black. I don’t think this one is completely successful as a lavender Earl Grey to me, but it’s also not a bad tea all around.
Part 1 of a 5 part sampler I got from Kusmi (discovered at the Bi Rite Market in San Francisco). I was pretty excited to find these locally, however they do not carry the large size of the tins in the store, only teabags.
This tea is not for the faint of heart nor the faint of scent. If you hold the tins to your nose you can smell the scent very strongly! Open them up and get a whiff of perfume! yowza…
We picked this particular one to try this morning based on the recommendation of one of the store’s employees. It is a strong and smooth black tea but predominately all you taste here is the spices. Smells very much like root beer! It is such an interesting tea… I am tasting a lot of clove here in addition to citrus and bergamot. The bergamot is nice and subtle and does not provide the same amount of bergamot as an Earl Grey. I am getting a lot of citrus but perhaps not that much vanilla.
I did try steeping it twice, the second steep was weaker and with a lot less perfume and also the citrus flavors are coming though more here so I am not enjoying steep #2 quite as much.
Overall I quite liked this but I suspect I will like a few of the other ones better since I am not a huge fan of grapefruit in tea usually. I also enjoyed this little piece of history on the Kusmi tea company:
No spectacular cherry flavor here, just a nice white tea. I wasn’t entirely suprised to get no cherry from the flavor since there weren’t any cherry chunks in the dry mix that I brewed, and I don’t have a fantastic record of tasting these out-there flavorings that aren’t tea-flavored. I’m definitely going to have to try more white teas in the future.
Oh I LIKE it!
Robust flavour which really gives me that chai masala feeling alot of other ‘chai teas’ miss! Lots of spices.
I’ve tried it on its own and also mixed it with other ’chai’s’ and it’s ALL good :D
50% fresh water 50% oatmilk, some tea, brew for bout 5min, add honey and BOOM! It’s good to go!
Best looseleaf chai masala I’ve tasted I reckon.
I LOVE this. Wow. wow. wow. wow.
When I heard there was a new Rabbit Hole Tea coming out I was so excited and when I found it what it actually was I went into immediate ‘must have’ mode. Cherries, I love cherries, to me Spring means cherries they might be the most expensive fruit on earth but they are also the most delicious and anything with cherries is an automatic must try for me – cherry crumble being the ultimate winner. So I placed my order and I’ve been checking the post since then and as always The Rabbit Hole delivers (and so quick too! easily the quickest tea delivery by far). I ripped open the beautiful postage to reveal Ruby Zing, I opened it up and …. the smell it’s like sticking your nose straight into a cherry pie it’s got a warmth to the dry scent and the cherries intermingled with the coconut is just amazing it’s literally like having a cherry pie in a packet.
The packet says you can infuse for up to 9 minutes and since I wanted the most from my cherry tea I did just that, but I must say this was a real test of my patience (which is non existent in this case). Finally the time was up and I opened the lid of my mug infuser to reveal the most divine aroma warm cherry pie with little pieces of coconut slivers on top it’s just amazing, it really is magical.
And then the first sip it’s like stuffing a whole lot of fresh ripe cherries into your mouth and gorging down oh it’s heavenly – it tastes so amazingly fresh & real – nothing artificial, no added flavours. If I was told that the cherries were just picked and popped in my cup I’d believe it.
Although this tea is in their ‘zesty’ range the coconut adds a real velvety creaminess to the tea which rounds out the taste nicely. It reminds me of condensed milk – like if you got some beautiful ripe cherries and poured just a little bit of condensed milk on top you’d get something near this taste. It really is lovely and so unique, also since cherries are so expensive and you’d be hard pressed to ever eat a lot at once this is a very nice indulgence.
As always the quality of the tea is beyond comparison – giant coconut slivers, huge cherries, hibiscus flowers (that don’t overwhelm the tea at all) and blueberries and as always with The Rabbit Hole absolutely no dust, no tiny pieces that have been through the wars – it’s the real deal and you can taste the love that’s gone into making it.
My only regret with this tea is that I didn’t bite the bullet and order a larger packet – it’s so good I can see it disappearing very quickly especially since I’m already on my second cup … only three more to go.
Highly recommend this to cherry-lovers everywhere and anyone in the mood for a real Spring-treat.
Second H&S sample. I failed to realize this was green tea until I’d already added boiling water, so it wasn’t properly prepared. Still, it’s tasty! I live in the Willamette Valley, where the peppermint in this tea is grown. It’s some of the cleanest, most aromatic peppermint anywhere and I can tell that’s what is in this blend.
The tea smells overwhelmingly of the very best sort of peppermint. Brewed, the peppermint still dominates, but a nice, light, non-bitter green tea flavor also comes through. It doesn’t taste overpoweringly minty; it’s just right.
I’m enjoying this, but it feels like drinking herbal tea. Not quite what I was after. I think I will adore this tea iced, however. Something is not firing on all cylinders, and I think it’s the temperature.
I hardly know where to start. I don’t like rooibos. I am not hugely fond of mints unless they are black mints.
This sounded intriguing in the swap though (sorry, I have lost track of who sent what, it was all a flurry for a week or so there).
This is a wonderful tea. Refreshing, crisp, light. Very springy and yet would not be out of place at a holiday table either, after a cranberry dessert, possibly. Before bed to calm the tummy after all that bounty of food. :)
I can taste all of the flavors – mint, chamomile, vanilla.. It reminds me a lot of Boston Tea Company’s Lemon Honey Chamomile Rooibos – which I also like a lot. I think, though, that on balance, I like this one better. The mint adds just a bit more deliciousness.
This one is going on the shopping list to make sure I keep it in the cupboard!
Finishing off the last of my sample of this one right now. Super good! No new insights to add to my last note, but I find this tea growing on me. And I think it is excellent for the price. I just checked Asha’s website to order this one yesterday and found that it was sold out! I wrote David at Asha an email inquiring of the ETA on possible restocking of it, and he told me that ETA is unknown for now, but that there was actually one remaining 50g pack left that I could buy. Really appreciate service like that! David said this tea has apparently been a very popular one among his offerings. So glad I could acquire some. Knowing that more is on the way, I decided to brew the last of it now… to my great enjoyment. I hope Asha can get more of it in at some point.
Another offering from Teavivre that I have been excited to try. Tuocha happens to be one of my favorite forms of the glorious tea that is Pu-Erh. I can’t tell you how many times when everything seems to be cramming down on me that I make a cup of Pu-Erh and I don’t know why but Pu-Erh seems to have that Je ne sais quoi that relaxes me and brings me back an even keel. For some it’s a drink of an alcoholic nature however it’s Pu-Erh for me. Now I have tried the rose tuocha from Tao of Tea before and enjoyed it. Again I love the packaging from this company and love how for the shelf life this one says ongoing. First steep the tuocha crumbled almost instantly after a minute. A nice dark liquor was produced. I have noticed with rose teas that the first cup has a bit of bite to it. I don’t know if this is a characteristic of the rose or not. It doesn’t deter from the quality of the tea just a tad bitter. Second Steep lovely and smooth. Third: lighter and tastes more like mushroom water. All said I think this is another fine offering from teavivre. I am enjoying what they have to offer.