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Featured & New Tasting Notes

VariaTEA was awesome, and along with our joint matcha order, she sent a ton of matcha samples my way. :)

This one I did my standard way, mixed with cold milk and allowed to sit in the fridge a few hours. I’m not really getting anything distinctly toffee-like, but it does make a nice creamy milky drink at least. Nothing special for me here, but always grateful to be able to try matcha flavours without buying them myself.

Thanks VariaTEA!

I’ve been searching up wellies for a significant portion of the afternoon (you know, because it’s not as though I have exams to study for), and I think I’ve finally narrowed it down a couple styles. What do you guys have for wellies?

Anna

A few Tretorn’s Skerry, a few from Joules, and a few Hunter, some random ones… plus two steel-toed pairs for working, but I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for. I am a huge lover of wellies.

I LOVE MY WELLIES.

mj1851

Well, I know you don’t know me so you probably don’t care, but I got black wellies with multi-colored polka dots from Target and I get compliments on them all the time!

whatshesaid

I just bought a pair of hunter willies. Haha wellies! Not willies. Stupid autocorrect.
I’ve been wanting them for awhile. Sadly my legs are too short and let’s face it, not quite slender enough for the regular ones, and the adjustable ones were still so tall that they rubbed behind my knees and actually touched the back of my upper leg when I sat down soooooo I went with the short ones. I did a lot of research on these, haha. And just black, because when I’m spending that much on something, it better match everything!

Courtney

Anna haha! The steel-toes, maybe not quite so much. :P What did you think of your Hunters? Were they the more recent, non-European made ones?

mj1851 I am open to all input! Even if I don’t know you haha, I appreciate the comment. :)

whatshesaid I’ve been contemplating Hunters for a long time, but in doing research I’ve come to change my mind haha! I wanted red, but that’s not an option now, so it looks like navy blue. I have the mindset if I’m paying a mint for something, it better be pretty. :P

whatshesaid

Which brand did you think you’ve settled on?

I agree with “it better be pretty” but didn’t want to feel limited with what I could wear my boots with, so my clothes are pretty and my boots are black, haha

whatshesaid

Though I wouldn’t mind a red pair in the future since I have black now!!

Courtney

I have semi-settled on Le Chameau. I haven’t actually hit ‘submit’ yet though, because I want to find everything possible online about them, so I’m making an informed decision. I ultimately want good looking and high quality. Also, Princess Kate has some Le Chameau, which was just an added bonus. :P

Courtney

Sorry, Duchess I suppose is the correct term. :)

Anna

I think the China/Serbia-made ones are fine – it’s definitely not a Sorel situation. But no, after the buyout and manufacturing changes, I wouldn’t consider them for hunting boots, work boots or anything similar – they’re fashion wear.

Also I heartily recommend http://www.countryattire.com/ for all your country attire needs. They do free worldwide delivery on everything and have saved me on numerous occasions. Also big selection of Hunter styles!

Courtney

I have had that site bookmarked for ages Anna! I looked for the chosen ones there and found them, though there’s no indication of duty. I also found them on Amazon.com, where they charge up front for duty so there’s no nasty surprises at the door.

I ultimately veered away from the Hunters because of the manufacturing change. I don’t just want boots for fashion. If I’m spending a pretty penny, I want them to last a loooong time.

whatshesaid

I’m hoping my hunters will last but I guess time will tell! I figure our rain season isn’t super long anyway and I wear something warmer in the winter

Courtney

Yes! I hope they do too. :) I will be inquiring haha. I do love the colour selection of the Hunters. I even tweeted to the company today to see if it’s possible at all to still get a European-made pair. Still waiting on a response there.

Anna

Oh, I love Le Chameau – if you want leather-lined, they’re exceptionally good – but obviously at three times the price of the Hunters, they better be. I think they have simpler ones that are not leather-lined, though?

Can I also just say how much I respect that you’ve done so much research, and that you look for ONE quality item rather than fifteen fashionable ones that last a season? I seriously love that.

Anna

I’m pretty sure they moved production somewhere around 2008, 2009 or so when they were bought up to become the new Mulberry/Burberry quality-turned-trendy fashion phenomenon.

Courtney

Do you have any Le Chameaus of your own? It seems there isn’t a ton of stuff out there, it looks as though I’ve read nearly every review, blog post, and comparison haha. I feel good about my choice, but I haven’t chosen the leather-lined ones, sadly. I am truly hoping they will last a long time, and not the 1-2 years I’m reading about with the newly manufactured Hunters.

Le Chameau moved production? I did read a couple things about boots saying “Made in Morocco”, but in the same reviews comments that quality had not decreased. The ones I have my eye on do say they are imported from France, but so long as the quality is up to snuff, I’ll be a happy camper.

Anna

No, no – I meant Hunter’s moved production, sorry to be unclear. And yes, I do own some LCs, in addition to other sporting boots that I didn’t mention because I didn’t feel they’d be fashionable enough. It’s odd for me to talk about a brand like Le Chameau in a citywear context, but I’m completely impressed by that level of interest in quality.

And yes, Le Chameau do have a production facility in Morocco, but they have for ages as far as I know (and I only know because I read an article on it in some in-flight magazine a while back) and I doubt this would affect current quality.

Le Chameau have never let me down, but, then again, what I know are the hunting/outdoorsy boots, and if they do more fashion-oriented lines now, gah, you just never know.

Either way, fingers crossed for your boot search!

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My first impressions of this tea were of texture, even when thinking about flavour. I found it to be smooth and soft,with fruit and biscuit above malt and smoke, with a dense texture provided by tannins and a sharper aftertaste. It is pleasant and easily drinkable with a slight astringency on the tongue. There is a hint of cocoa but not really chocolate, a hint of apple blossom, leather, malt and biscuit with smoke in the aftertaste. The flavours all blend smoothly into each other. The tea smells of smoke,biscuit, leather, dried currants, apple and malt and the colour was a rich mahogany. I think I was expecting this tea to be a little more robust than it tasted but it is definitely well crafted. Thanks Dexter3657 for the opportunity to Try my first Andrews and Dunham tea!

Preparation
3 min, 45 sec
ifjuly

Great review, love the detail. This is my security blanket tea—when I’m stressed or upset, I turn to it and it always comforts me without asking much in return.

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84
drank Vanilla Citrus Spice by Verdant Tea
4041 tasting notes

probably my last cup of tea for the day with travelling and such unless i get off the plane and MUST HAVE TEA…which is always a possibility. HOping i’ve got the right balance of tea that i’m bringing to be able to get through most of it before we come home. heh esp since i know i’ll be buying tea while there. I actually have one more cup of this that i’m bringing with me for a rainy day when i need some comfort.

Final Count: 140 (1 swap and a few purchases incoming – 10 to go…)

Courtney

I can’t wait to hear what you pick up!

Terri HarpLady

Where are you headed? Vancouver?

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
195 tasting notes

I had a real breakthrough with this tea last night, it was probably the high point in my illustrious tea drinking ‘career’ thus far.

I took some LB to the movies in a Contigo mug, which incidentally had DT Chocolate Rocket in it previously which totally contaminated the lid with its overly perfumey extremely flavourful liquor.

So I took the lid off to drink it that way. And if I can go off on a tangent for a second here (yes I can, because this is my review!), I think I finally understand why all the travel mugs at DT have screw off lids, vs the sealed type like the Contigo…. Because scent is so much a part of the tea drinking experience. Smelling really helps you taste. (And never put stinky hand cream on and then drink a fancy tea…lesson learned) I’d always been concerned about spillage, which the Contigo type of mugs avoid altogether, but it does remove one of the senses you kind of need when trying to taste the fine nuances of something.

Anyway! I was sitting in the theatre drinking my laoshan black tea in a lidless mug, not even spilling a drop, and I was like “OMG, does this taste like roasty and delicious chocolate?!” Another sip, deep inhale… “I think it does!!”

The crowning moment of glory for me.

AND, I had just finished a crappy movie theatre froyo with skor bits in it, so not worth the $5.00 I paid…and even compared to that I could taste some sort of pure and delicious cocoa note in my tea!

Such a difference between that and the chemically flavored variety.

The tea was the best thing I consumed during that movie.

And the fact that the incredibly flavored Chocolate Rocket was ruining it for me says a lot about where I am today.

HOORAY!!

Flavors: Cocoa

Whispering Pines Tea Company

There’s something really beautiful about discovering something that makes tea much more enjoyable. :) Recently, I discovered that drinking tea outside makes it taste a whole lot better :)

Terri HarpLady

Yup! I like to walk around in my garden, tea cup in hand, contemplating what I will do next! Hopefully by the end of this year, I’ll have a little table & chairs set up in my Gazebo Arbor!

Courtney

Yay! I love seeing reviews like this. And LB is so spectacular. The first time I had it I didn’t understand the fuss, but I waited months and months before trying it again, not realizing that the tea knowledge I was gathering would allow me to really love this tea. Now I can’t live without it. :)

whatshesaid

Oh it was such a nice revelation to have :)

I discovered last summer that drinking tea outside is great! I had a mug even in the sweltering heat while I worked on my very first vegetable garden :)
I foresee more of this in the future!

It’s so awesome to finally be in the loop on the LB, it’s frustrating when everyone raves but you just don’t quite “get it”.

Now I GET IT!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I had the same problem when I first tried LB. Sadly, I still don’t really get it. I taste all of the notes everyone else does but it isn’t really much different than a lot of other chocolaty black teas, and it’s definitely not a favorite of mine. Oh well, everyone likes something different I guess :)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

It’s also possible that I got one of the less-yummy harvests. Who knows?

Courtney

I am all about coffee in the hot summer months, which is solely due to good memories of coffee in the heat years ago. But outside in the fog/very slightly chilly weather with a cup of tea is divine!

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92
drank Celebration by THE O DOR
1191 tasting notes

From the queue

This came out of the EU TTB round 2. Cream, vanilla and roasted hazelnuts. What, I ask you, could possibly go wrong? I lurve vanilla, I’ve quite fallen for nutty blends recently, and I can imagine what the cream must add to this. I can’t actually in anyway at all imagine this not being awesome. Therefore I looked shifty and filched it. I can’t remember if I’ve had any of this before. I haven’t really been buying very much of the European blends, tending to look more towards the East and the UK.

This smells awesome! All roasty nutty! Also a lot of sweet sweet vanilla that makes the whole thing remind me of hot white chocolate. (I’ve got some powder for that from Whittards of Chelsea. It’s luxuriously awesome made up with warm milk) I can’t really detect any notes of actual tea, though, which is the only thing about the aroma which I can find fault with. I can’t smell any cream either, but I expect that more in the flavour than the aroma in general. It always surprise me when I can actually smell cream in cream-flavoured teas. In this particular one I’m also expecting it to be more a question of texture than of taste really, so I’m not too bothered about not being able to find it here.

Oh my giddy aunt, this stuff is fab! First a lot of hazelnuts, then the sweetness of the vanilla and a smidge of cream onthe swallow. I think the base tea must have some cocoa notes in it, because while it is definitely primarily a nut-flavoured tea, it all reminds me largely of chocolate. I think I’ll sum it up in one word.

Nutella.

As it cools a bit the flavours meld more, enhancing the nutella-y impression, and if you drink it with a sleepy cat in your lap there really isn’t much left to improve here.

I greatly enjoyed this one.

MissB

Wowza! Sounds lovely.

KittyLovesTea

“Oh my giddy aunt” is not nearly used as much as it should be these days :D

Angrboda

I know, it’s a shame. It’s such a good mental image. :)

cteresa

Cream? I wonder if they changed the formula because I assure you official description of this just a few months ago was chocolate hazelnuts and vanilla (just like the du Loup but without the vanilla)

Off to check

Angrboda

Well, that’s what it says. Rich in flavours of cream, vanilla and roasted hazelnuts. A masterful creation to be enjoyed with or without milk. A true delight! Personally I wouldn’t be without.

cteresa

Whoever writes copy edit for theodor should be shot. Check the short tea descriptions either by searching by tea name or in some systems hovering over link. Chocolate hazelnuts and vanilla – you just tried it, you know it is true.

And no even the long pointless little story they use instead if description never ever mentioned cream of that I am sure. Discussing chocolate teas at their shop we discussed this and the Loup.

II think I was the one who inputed this in the steepster database. Where the heck does cream come from?

Btw if they changed formulas, it was very recently, the one you are tasting was bought when brand and reseller described it as chocolate hazelnut vanilla – Nutella as you rightly called it!

Angrboda

Even so, I still got a cream-y feeling from it.

I did try and look up The O Dor’s website, couldn’t immediately find it, and I was out of there again right quickly. Not exactly user friendly…

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drank Happy Banana by RiverTea
578 tasting notes

GAAH. This tea is amazing. Amazingly banana bread-ish deliciousness. Sil you were right.

I must have more of this. At all times. This will get expensive. But it will be worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Anna

Nooooooo. No. NO. I WANT THIS NOW. See what you did?! Okay fine.

Anna

/Sad Bananna

Courtney

I see what you did there. Bananna. Order some! I order 50g though and there’s really only a few cups at most because the pieces are huge and it calls for 3 tsp./cup.

Anna

It’s already added to the ‘will buy soon’ list. Bad Bananna. Bad Bananna.

KittyLovesTea

Happy Banana sounds like a song, or a new greeting. I’m using that.

Anna

Hey, Kitty – are you a happy banana today?

Sil

i did warn everyone courtney…

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98

I am feeling so incredibly lucky today to be one of the first to taste and review this SUPER FRESH amazing tea! Thanks so much Angel and TeaVivre!

I’ve only had a couple fresh spring teas in the past, but they are always some of my absolute favorites. I’ve tried a shincha and a fresh spring twist green tea. This one is no exception…As soon as I opened the packet I knew I was in for a treat. The dry leaf smell…SO INTOXICATING! Check out the dry leaf http://twitpic.com/e1e8le is that not gorgeous? Stubby baby BRIGHT green dragon well.

Anyway, steeped up this tastes amazingly sweet and crisp and fresh and so very alive. I really need to seek out more fresh spring teas in the future since they excite me so very much. Very glad and honored to have tasted this one!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
KiwiDelight

Darn, it’s sold out :<

Stephanie

Oh no! I’m definitely first in line to buy some next year!

221tea

That is the longest tea name ever. I want it on a t-shirt. Wow.

TeaVivre

So glad you like this tea, and thanks for the photo. I like the words"Stubby baby BRIGHT", it’s so lovely:)

Roswell Strange

Holy Butts that’s pretty…

Terri HarpLady

I love that picture!! It’s SO green!
It’s already sold out? Wow!

Stephanie

It is back for sale today Terri…too bad I can’t afford it! LOL! I am just lucky I got to try it at all :) No filter on that picture I took BTW.

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I received this yesterday from Angel and Teavivre. I quickly pushed it to the top of my must sample today list. This is a very rare and extremely early first flush dragon well, picked before March 26, 2014 . It makes me a little nervous tasting such a rare tea.

The leaf is much smaller than I expected. My guess is this is due to the very young age of the bud and leaf. Very flat. Pretty color. It has a faint aroma that is distinctly dragon well.

I steeped in 185 F water for 4 minutes per the label instructions. I would have only gone two minutes without the label. The liquor is extremely clear and almost colorless with only the slightest green tint. The wet leaf aroma is steamed spinach and cream corn. I really liked the scent.

Sipping I get brisk, almost bitter but in the good green tea way. It is very crisp. The aftertaste fades very quickly but (and this is my first such experience) it leaves behind a warm inner glow. I am not talking about the tea. I mean me. It filled me with a warm glowing feeling. Unique and beautiful.

Also thank you to Angel for including the beautiful silk scarf. My wife saw it in the box and said, “Oh pretty!” She grabbed it, put it around her neck, and it is still there today. Your kindness and generosity do not go unnoticed.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

Any idea as to proper pronunciation of She Quian?

K S

From Teavivre website:
She is 社 (shè) and Qian is 前 (qián).

TeaVivre

In the early Spring, when the tea buds just appeared their face on the trees, the harvest of She Qian Dragon Well is ready to begin. The fresh leaves are all in one bud with one leaf shape, so the leaf is stubby. And so glad your wife like our silk scarf.

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like good tea energy to me!!

K S

I think you are correct!

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92

Been a while since I had this Oolong but I thought I would start using it up by making some iced tea. Admittedly I made it a tad too strong as I found out this morning but after adding some calorie free sweetener it now tastes like strawberry syrup rain. Very hard to detect the Oolong with the sweetener in it, you would think it was just one of those strawberry flavoured syrup drinks that a lot of cafe’s sell as ‘iced tea’.

Story time –
First time I got a peach iced tea from Costa Coffee I saw them use two squirts of syrup over ice and add tap water, then you have sickly sugar water..oops sorry I mean ‘iced tea’. :/ I remember going into one before and asking what selection of teas they carried and they said “Summat foreign named, like a green tea but not one” and that had me intrigued, I asked to see this magical tea and she brought over a glass jar that said ‘Long Jing’ on the side. Then again she said “Yeah it’s green inside the bag but it aint a green tea, though it’s like one”, at that point I said “Well actually it is a green tea, Long Jing stands for Dragon Well and it’s a Chinese green”. Then straight away “Ooohh and how do you know that then hey? Know everything do ya?” and she starts calling the staff to tell them in a mocking sort of way. So I left after saying “I’m an amateur tea taster with my own blog and over 500 teas at home, if you bothered to look it up yourself you would see that I’m correct. Selling people a green tea and saying it’s not is just ridiculous”. Possibly one of the best storm off’s I have ever done. My parents were standing by my side think blank expressions on their face like ‘wtf just happened?’.

Preparation
Iced
Angrboda

Strange reaction from the people in the shop, thinking other people couldn’t possibly know anything about it. You’d think they would be interested in learning about their own product. eye roll

KittyLovesTea

That was my first thought, why would they not know about their own product? They are taught so much about the coffee there but nothing about the tea, or at least in the particular one I visited.

Angrboda

To be honest, no matter if it was proper green or not, I’d have been turned off already at ‘summat foreign’. It’s not even difficult to say it.

Veronica

Good for you! I love an intelligent storm off. :)

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91
drank Lapsang Souchong by Tea Palace
1191 tasting notes

From the queue

Don’t expect a lot from this post. We were out last night for a family occasion (a wedding anniversary. Copper = 12½ years. Yes, this is a thing in this country.) and although we left early-ish, it was still nearly 1 before we got to sleep. So I’m quite tired this morning after that. In Denmark, for these things, we sit at the table for a very long time and there’s a relatively long wait between courses, so that everybody who wishes to do some sort of entertainment, speeches, songs (we sing home-made songs about the center(s) of attention. Very, very traditional) what have you, can do so. So we were at the table for some five hours or so I should think. After that, they had a band for dancing, but since none of us are dancers and such and we were tired, we decided to leave then, having reached the point of too-many-people-too-much-noise.

So a cup of something fortifying is called for and the choice falls to this LS of which I bought a large tin. Without having ever tasted it before. With LS, I trust the type itself enough that this is not necessary.

This one is quite nice but seems a little rougher than my favourite from AC Perchs. It’s got a good amount of smoke and feels a little scratchy and dry on the swallow. It doesn’t mean that it has lost the sweet fruity note, it’s just not as pronounced. As it cools, the smoke really begins to take over. I don’t think this is quite as rough as those really tarry ones, but it’s getting there.

Very nice and just what I need.

Gosh! Seems I’ve actually already done this earlier. It must have snuck back inside the yet-to-try box somehow and I never realised it until now when I wondered why the slider had pre-set itself on 91. How did it know??? O.o Looking at the two posts, I seem to have had rather different experiences with it. I blame the second post having been made the day after a long night. Not the best of times, really. I’ll let the old rating stand.

TheKesser

Sounds like a really fun evening!! I love it!

Angrboda

It was quite good. Their oldest daughter has been in a marching band for many years now (clarinet, and very good at it. Recently also dabbling with the flute) and had arranged a surprise with the band leader who also happens to be a friend of her dad’s. It was only a handful of the band, but they marched in, played a few pieces and then marched out again. It was a great idea for her to do.

KittyLovesTea

That does sound like fun :)

DeliriumsFrogs

I loved reading about your night (and I can sympathize with being exhausted after too much noise/too many people….). The traditions sound so lovely and personal. :)
I’m not familiar with LS, but have a bit of it in my tea drawer (bought on a whim…). After reading your post, I think I’ll try mine today.

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This is just gorgeous. The leaves almost look waxy in the package. Man, it smells awesome and tastes even better!

Malty, caramely, sweet, smooth, bready perfection. I lurve teas like this. I went with the single prolonged steep and it is a deep reddish brown in color, hefty and luscious. I will definitely be resteeping to see how that turns out but I could see myself zooming through this package and wanting, nay, needing, more very soon.

I am tempted to rate this but since my allergies are going crazy I am going to hold off.

Oh, and let me just say – this was freaky fast shipping. I’d be tempted to say they were an offshoot of Jimmy Johns. :)

Update: Second steep is good, but not as good as the first. Probably my choice of lengthy steeping time impacted the taste of the second steep. It’s a tiny bit bitter and not as smooth. Also a little dustier.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Jennkay

Sounds delicious! Adding it to my wishlist :)

Nicole

If you like yunnans, and I think I recall several being on your reviews, this is definitely one to get ahold of. :)

QueenOfTarts

Mmm.. yum! Have to try this one!

Kat_Maria

Ah, this goes on my wishlist! Nicole, you are my Chinese black teas mentor :D

Garret

Yahooo!!! Freaky fast shipping… gots to be our new slogan at Mandala Tea!

Nicole

Awww…ya gonna make me blush! Kat_Maria, you could do so much better for a mentor. I am pretty much in deep smit with most yunnans and fujian blacks. So I’m not too discriminating. I want them all in my cupboard forever! :) That said, I’d be happy to share with you if I have some you want to try.

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Tieguanyin’s remind me more of spring than green teas do. With their golden liquor & light florals, they are like springtime in a cup. This one is no exception, but it also has a sweet buttery quality & a rich corn-like aroma.
5G + 4oz Gaiwan X 3rounds of 3 sec, 3 rounds of 6 sec, 3 rounds of 12 sec

I love how each of us can have our own tea esthetics, & my current setup for tieguantin includes 3 of these cups & the matching Gaiwan.
http://verdanttea.com/teas/jingdezhen-red-lotus-tea-cup/
I steep the tea in rounds of 3 sets, pouring a little of each steep into one of the 3 cups, & the remainder into a pitcher. Then I drink from each cup (they are tiny, like 1 nice sip each), so that I can taste how the tea changes without having to drink an entire cup. Once I’ve enjoyed all three, I go sit somewhere with the pitcher & sip their combined remainders. Then I come back for the next round. I didn’t used to do it this way, but I really enjoy this process.

So this tea is recommended for 18 steeps. I have to admit, I got bored after 6, lol

Courtney

Wow, 18 steeps. I don’t know how I feel about that sort of commitment haha!

TeaExplorer

Terri – I like your approach to steeping this and will give it a try to see how it compares to the more traditional method – Thanks!

BigDaddy

I do the same for TGY, maybe adding a few grams more, piggy me. I steep the 3 rounds but use a hand made cup to drink all 3 steeps at once. The honeysuckle yellow liquor is so inviting and definitely reminds of a spring morning. Thanks for sharing your process.

Terri HarpLady

Courtney, I only made it through 9 steeps, lol.

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Another fantastic surprise gift from boychik. Thank you!

This tea is unbelievable. It makes me wonder aloud “why does anyone make dessert tea with anything but pu erh?!” To be honest, I’ve been drifting away from flavored teas—hoping it’s just a phase as I focus my attention on pu erh mostly, and because this tends to happen when it starts to warm up—but maaaan this is just the thing to snap me right back. As soon as I opened the bag I was hit with the best rich deep caramel aroma I’ve ever smelled in a tea, and then while rinsing, steeping, and putting my nose to the finished cup it just kept delivering. The body is somewhat full but not rough, and the flavor has this ever-so-slight raspiness that keeps that deep, heady caramel aroma from turning too cloying or gummy—it’s a grounded, toasty caramel, not those individually wrapped light colored candies with cream in the center, not that milky. I reckon this is so people who like it nice and toasty can revel in it (deep deep deep!), and those who want that milky sweetness can add cream and/or sugar to taste. I love how it’s so decadent yet it still definitely tastes like TEA, full of that dark, mysterious, murky wonder.

I feel teased because I’m too broke for even something so reasonably priced right now (or anything for that matter), but let me tell you, as soon as I have a chance to I’m ordering this one. It has the potential to ruin me for any other dessert tea, gadzooks. boychik really knows how to find stuff that hits it out of the park! If you love deep dark rich breakfast blends with sweet treat hints (which I loved about Butiki’s Irish Cream Cheesecake, wish there were more morning blends like that that can wake you up but also make you feel a little indulgent) as well as the sweet rich shu pu erhs and maybe even the roasty coffee-chocolatey Wuyi oolongs, I have a feeling you’d be smitten. It is a little like Herbal Infusions’ Moose Tracks meets Butiki’s Irish Cream Cheesecake meets Mandala’s Big Red Robe Fancy Grade. And something about the end of the sip, how it’s thinner and clean, kind of reminds me a little of Lupicia’s dessert flavored Orzo tisanes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
boychik

You are such fabulous reviewer. You are so free with words. Amazing;). Thank you, it simply made my morning.

whatshesaid

Sounds amazing!

DeliriumsFrogs

As boychik said, you are such a fabulous reviewer. This was so much fun to read. :) This sounds beyond fantastic.

Sil

you can get this from a number of vendors…thus far all of them have been tasty that i’ve tried, if this version isn’t easily accessible

whatshesaid

Which vendors?

ifjuly

aw, thanks boychik and DF! love you guys and seeing you when i get up here. (:

yeah Sil, i was poking around angelina’s on the steepster DB and their site (because i like to torture myself) and i noticed there was overlap, the whole metropolitan tea scattered to the winds thing. good to have confirmation.

ifjuly

whatshesaid, i notice a lot of the time if you type just the tea name and no vendor in the steepster search box you will find a lot of different companies with what looks to be the same tea (often sourced by metropolitan if i’m remembering right).

whatshesaid

Ohhhh really, interesting! Never heard of this metropolitan company before…

Sil

majesteas in toronto has it… uh london tea room….uh….a bunch.
lol

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90

my second tea from whispering pines! and i had no idea that breaking into it tonight would come along with another celebration as i sipped…..

i hate waiting for grades; classes are done- I WANT MY MARKS! …..please. but profs get busy, sadly it isn’t a immediate thing. i was just starting into this chocolatey assam-esque tea when the message came that the final grade for the class that had me working my butt off all semester had been posted.

i could see the grades, but the student numbers had been scrambled! i was supposed to write for a code…… was i getting extra marks for this? gimmethecodegimmethecodegimmethecode.

there was a lone 87.3. highest in the class by 6%. mine. Mine. MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there were two others that were close, just a hair under 1% off. my team was 3……. this was us, i was sure. that 87.3 was MINE. i took a real beating this semester….it’s a long story. short story? that number was MINE.

gimmethecode.

-check email…. wasn’t there yet. sip tea.
-rinse
-sip tea
-repeat
-the code was in…..

second time with this prof…. highest mark in the class. he isn’t easy. he poked fun at me this semester about having no life! but he sent me a beautiful letter of congratulations….

this is an excellent celebratory tea. not malty to me, which suits me fine. a dark chocolate assam. lovely and rich…. i used some turbinado sugar and a bit of cream. i don’t miss dessert! very nice.

just waiting for one more grade =0)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
__Morgana__

James, what wonderful news! Many congrats! So well deserved!

JustJames

=0))) thank you… you know when it’s over, but it doesn’t feel over? as the grades come in i’m starting to feel it. whew!

CK

Congratulations! and this sounds likes an awesome tea moment :)

JustJames

it was an excellent tea moment…. had it been coffee i’d have needed someone to peel me off the ceiling, lol.

boychik

Congrats!!! Im sure you are going to remember that guy.

caile

That’s wonderful – congratulations!

greenteafairy

Congratulations!

JustJames

i believe this prof is the one i’ll be mentoring with for my phd. i’ve asked and he’s already agreed. you know when you meet someone that you would genuinely like to be at the end of it all?

thank you for the congratulations! sorry i’ve been so absent lately!

Amariel

This is the one I selected for the contest.

JustJames

which contest?

Amariel

Whispering Pines Butiki combo contest…they were supposed to announce a winner on the 15th, but I have not seen anything about the winner yet.

JustJames

man…. i really need to come up for air when i’m studying.

Amariel

I would have missed this too, only I saw something in my FB feed, I think from Cavo about it…

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84
drank Banane Chocolate by Lupicia
1345 tasting notes

Thank you Dustin for sharing this with me. This has a great banana flavor. In fact, it is actually satisfying my craving for 52 Teas Banana Pudding Black Tea. However, it is even better because it has what tastes like a rich chocolate drizzle, just enough that it is noticeable without overpowering the banana flavor. So good!

ifjuly

i love this one, it’s what convinced me banana in tea can be good not gross, hee.

VariaTEA

I can see why. It really is awesome.

keychange

I’m waiting for my package from nay lynn to get here so I can savagely break into this!! skdjflkdsjflsjf!

VariaTEA

keychange, I actually thought of you the whole time I was drinking this. If you have not tried it yet, you are in for a treat. And if you have tried it, than you are still in for a treat,

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drank Melon Oolong by Lupicia
416 tasting notes

Thanks, Anna, for starting this craze. Thanks also, ifjuly, for supplying me with more. And thanks, nay lynn, for shipping me even moooore!

if you can’t tell, I love this tea.

This time i had it with a bit of sugar and no milk. It was still heavily melon flavoured, although I have to say i think I prefer it with just the slightest dash of milk. There’s something a bit…earthy? lingering in the back-sip and I find a touch of cream smoothes that right out. That being said, I feel as though this will be a tea I drink all summer. I’ve only ever had two melon flavoured teas, but so far this is the most flavourful.

Anna

More.

More.

MORE.

MORE.

MOAR.

keychange

I just came.

Marzipan

Now now.

keychange

bow chica bow wow

ifjuly

scandalized.

Anna

Baby, I always bring it.

keychange

I’m under your spell.

Anna

Oh, we both know you just want my ripe, juicy melons.

And that’s okay with me.

Sil

i want your melons..

__Morgana__

Me too. How many does she have?

Amariel

Oooooh, I want Anna’s melons. :P

keychange

Anna’s melons are all mine. They’re so full and ripe.

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87
drank Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre
4041 tasting notes

I feel like i’ve been drinking this tea forever. I need to learn to open my larger quantity of teas sooner so that i have more time to drink them up. lol Not that i HAD to finish this one, but it’s part of my “drink older teas” goal. Aiming to get through all teas up to and including December by the end of June. Downside? Black friday sales hahahahaha. I quite like this tea, though some times it feels like this one has a personality. Some days it’s not as delicious as i remember it being…and other days it makes me fall in love with it all over again. Still a great staple to have in my cupboard and a fantastic offering from Teavivre! I recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of black teas :)

TheTeaFairy

Haha! You monkey is PMSing!!!

Terri HarpLady

Ha! I was actually thinking of making a pot of this as my 2nd tea of the day :)

Sil

it appears so teafairy lol

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95

I am beginning to think i need to consider getting legal advice regarding a tea power of attorney….TPOA…. why? so that when i buy a ridiculous amount of an incredible tea (such as maybe .5 oz which equals 3 of my big tea cups) stacy can laugh at me, up the amount, charge me the extra and simply scrawl across the bottom of the invoice ‘because i knew better’.

dammit. 2 cups left.

lemon. madeleines. lemon curd, but with virtually no acidity. very smooth, naturally sweet. perfectly balanced.

as previously stated- dammit!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Butiki Teas

Hahaha :)

Amariel

Oh my god. I need to order some soon. It is on my planned order, but I might have to hurry it up. :P

JustJames

i would advise more than .5 of an ounce. also zero no scent of flowers before you wonder.

Amariel

Thanks James. I’m partly waiting to order because my last order with Nutmeg Cream and Champagne Cider has a sample of Hello Sweetie. And while I have no doubt I’ll love it, it means I may need to tweak my order to include some. But also, I may be going in with CrowKettle for a larger order to get free shipping.

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I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for this sample, which I got with my order awhile back.
My instincts were screaming, “Yixing!”, but for some reason I decided to follow the actual brewing instructions written on the sample package, which I usually tend to ignore. The suggested brewing parameters: 10G (the entire packet) + 8oz water X 1 – 2 minutes.
This is way more sheng than I ever use! But what the heck, I have 2 of these, so I can gongfu the other one.

I went with one minute, & although it was pretty intense, it was very drinkable! To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever done a sheng this way, & I’ll definitely drink the other sample with short steeps in my yixing, it was interesting to try, & frankly, I was curious to see how it would be. It was potent! I went through several resteeps, adding a minute to each, & even though that was hours ago, I’m still as high as a kite, if you know what I mean!

TheTeaFairy

Good to know, sounds great :-)

TheTeaFairy

And yes…I know what you mean, lol.

Terri HarpLady

LOL…I’m going to try to go to bed now :)

Spencer

I definitely went for the yixing brew…but I think I need to try this!

Stephanie

Yum, sheng. I love steeping them real intensely like this :D

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Beautiful & fluffy to look at, in pale shades of cream & sage. I went with the test tube steeper, which is my preferred method for greens these days, & short steepings. A delecate tea with essence of cucumber & lavendar. Probably my least favorite green from Verdant, but a good palate cleanser after drinking my beloved black teas all morning, & a nice segue to something else.

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drank Vanilla Black by Harney & Sons
608 tasting notes

Rained all day and cold—frost advisory tonight despite the 80F sunglasses n’ crawfish weekend—had this as a remedy when R got home for afternoon tea with Orange Chocolate Chippers (here: http://atlantishome.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/07/orange-chocolate-chippers.html the fresh crumb is what makes them; it’s a little like a drop biscuit or scone at first, pale and piled somewhat high in jumbles, not like a flat chip cookie, plus the orange oil works well with a nice not-too-sweet chocolate without being tart or fruit juice kid-like…the only thing I’d change in the future is maybe cutting back on the number of chocolate chips—seems extravagant to me though husband thinks not, ha). Not a heady vanilla tea at all, just mellow, lets your baked goods shine as it stands back gracefully in the wings. Not exciting and I doubt I’d want it solo very often, but good when you kind of want something black, mild, sweet, and blandly comforting to go with early dessert. Doesn’t have that alcohol burn some vanilla teas do, which is a bonus.

DeliriumsFrogs

Those cookies look like they’d be perfect with that tea! (and your mention of ‘no alcohol burn’ is great, since I really hate that in vanilla teas…). Lovely.

Stephanie

We’ve got a frost advisory too…so glad I didn’t plant my seedlings! hides them in the house

ifjuly

DF, vanilla burn is THE WORST! yuck. in anything…

phew, Stephanie! sadly my neighbors spent Saturday and Sunday doing the whole front of the house. ahh.

boychik

This looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I’m off to baking;)

ifjuly

i hope you like them, boychik! they are not very sweet, as a heads up. and they make a zillion, at least i thought so (though with a full family maybe that’s not a problem for you :)—next time since it’s just the two of us i’m going to split the recipe. it made 2 and a half trays, 50 small cookies for me.

TheTeaFairy

OMG! You made me look at the forecast and here too…cold with snow possibly, WTF?!??

boychik

We are Cookie Monsters! I have to hide sweets fr hubby and kids;)
We made them. Soo delicious. Everybody liked them. I put some away for tomorrow ;)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe;)

ifjuly

TheTeaFairy, i am so sorry to be the bearer of bad news. :/

boychik, i love to hear you guys liked them! yay cookie party!

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86
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
1397 tasting notes

OMG. This is freaking AMAZING. I don’t think I’d ever had this before but I added it to my wishlist after reading some reviews, and then I snapped it up when Shadowfall sold some of her stash. YES!

It’s very mellow black that’s almost creamy, and tastes like honey and malt, and I feel like I should just keep sipping it instead of typing up my note because it’s cooling as I write!

But no worries folks, this is a re-steeper!
I may, and I’m not sure yet, but I MAY like this more than the PTA! :O

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

:D I love happy tea tasting notes :)

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96
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
693 tasting notes

OMG this is even better than I remember it being. Once again, kudos Stacy and JustJames…major WIN on this blend! So perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it. I absolutely adore it hot, but I am quite excited to try it iced this summer. Coconut banana tropical iced tea? Heck yes!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Butiki Teas

Oooh, haven’t thought about icing it but I bet it would be fantastic!

Skysamurai

That sounds amazing!

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It was such a lovely weekend; such a shame I had to get up and get ready for work this morning. The winds were really howling in the middle of the night, and I woke to a fairly chilled room and only wanted to burrow further under the covers and make the world go away. But alas, that was not to be. Such is the story of my life.

So I chose this tea to have in place of breakfast, because we’re sort of out of inspiring breakfast options. So a strongly flavoured black that happens to also taste like banana medicine fit the bill perfectly. I’m a little worried that this tea doesn’t keep nearly as well, although admittedly it’s still only in its original foil packet, but I found the flavours a touch muted this morning. I maintain that a three minute steep is the way to go to extract all the flavour possible while keeping the sometimes finicky base at bay.

A great first cup, that’s for sure.

VariaTEA

I have been thinking about this tea for the past few days. However, I am trying to get through my swap teas first and then I can return to my stash so no Banana Pudding until then.

keychange

It really is delicious and worth looking forward to!

VariaTEA

It can be my reward tea for getting through my swaps :)

Sami Kelsh

It tastes like banana medicine? Oh man, I love banana medicine!

keychange

It absolutely does! people will either love it or hate it.

CHAroma

What medicine do you take that tastes like bananas??

Roswell Strange

Usually Penicillin is banana flavoured.

keychange

Yeah. I don’t think adults ever get the banana version though, sadly. :(. I’d take that shit to work in a timolino.

Sami Kelsh

It’s probably good that they don’t make banana medicine for adults. I mean, I do still get earaches (so much fun waking up not knowing which side you’re going to be deaf on that day) but if I had access to banana medicine, I’d constantly just be overdosing myself because I couldn’t keep to the recommended dosage!

keychange

Ear infections sound awful. And yes, I’d be in a constant state of overdose as well!

donkeytiara

I keep reading the name of this tea wrong and it kind of freaks me out each time….I’m reading “Banana Black Pudding Tea”….. ew.

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