Featured & New Tasting Notes
There are a couple tea pages for Temple Stairs, but not specifically for this version, so I added it.
Thank you Garret, for adding this sample to my order!!! I’ve found that I need to drink puerh early in the day or I’m up all night! That last sheng I had really kept me up! Today I have a scratchy sore throat, but I don’t feel sick. I need a good tea to help soothe it! I wasn’t sure I should try a new tea with a sore throat, but I did it anyway!
I like the samples from Garret, as they’re already portioned out, and I don’t have to think about how much leaf I should put in the pot…I just dump the whole sample. I might need to invest in a small scale…any other tricks? I’m trying to remember how the perfectly portioned out samples look in my little pot and then I’ll just copy that amount.
Two 15sec rinses.
30sec: nice earthy, cocoa, a bit leather/cedar notes.
45sec: similar, more leather/cedar…maybe a hint of mint or cinnamon? Something that has that effect.
1min: smooth, very dark, it’s smoothing over my sore throat. It also feels like it is clearing my nose out. Interesting. I just love the color of ripe puerh…that red hue is awesome.
1min15sec: ooh, smells sweeter…I just stuck my nose it it like a dork! Haha! Oops! This tea is having a major calming effect on me…I feel so blissful right now!
1min30sec: that sweet smell is like caramel-sweet, not fruity-sweet. Mmmm!
1min45sec: definitely a light caramel sweetness coming through and the earthy flavors are fading now.
2min30sec: light caramel, hint of cinnamon.
3min, 5min, and 7min steeps: caramel sweetness.
Overall, very enjoyable, and I wouldn’t mind some more of it!
I love how I can just drink any puerh now and enjoy the experience. There was a time, not that long ago, when I dumped cups of puerh! I know, the horror!!! I think Garret, and Angel at Teavivre, can take the credit for that renaissance in my tea journey. :)
steepster is making me mad this morning. It won’t let me comment on people’s tasting notes, but it’s hit or miss…so sometimes i can, othertimes i can’t. I WILL NOT BE SILENCED DAMNIT! lol
i am scrambling around like a madwoman today – need to get some work done, pack AGAIN, get ready to leave the house this afternoon and try to at least help my other half with a few things around the house. I feel terrible that he’s on his own all month.
This tea was pulled out because it’s my oldest tea (january) and because i need to finish something things up soon because Terri and Nicole maaay have exploded my cupboard a little…at least it’s largely samples lol
So far today I’ve been just laying around at my house, but I finally made some breakfast & have also been enjoying 3 & 5 min steeps of this tea. For some reason, it’s not as wonderful as I remember it, & seems kind of weak, even though I know I used the same quantity I always use.
It’s probably because my tastebuds & sinuses are allergy-affected.
OR maybe there was a higher ratio of white tea in that TB.
Who knows? Who cares?
It still tastes good, & although I drink hot tea year around, I especially enjoy it when the cool weather arrives, & it is pleasantly cool & wonderful here is St. Louis!
My visit with Sil was awesome, but short. We laughed a lot, & we drank a bunch of tea!
If you’d like to see a video of her playing my small harp, here it is:
Weeeeellll… I guess you can’t love them all. A little fairy told me that.
The color here is amazing, like pale amber. And the dry tea smelled nice, but the wet tea had a heavy earthy smell. I did two rinses and some short steeps.
This sample is from AllanK and he did warn me of the strong bamboo flavor, but it’s a bit overwhelming at first. It seems to taper off in later steeps. And even though the earthy flavor gets quieter, it lingers at the end of the sip. I can handle it a little better when it’s at the front of the sip and more pleasant flavors remain in the aftertaste.
I’m really grateful to try this one and I have enough for a few more sessions. Maybe I’ll learn to like it a bit more.
Its September. I should be taking out my sweaters, and looking at my tights, and generally getting cozy.
Its going to be 102 today. Come on, really? Please? Please? I’d like to wear at least one sweater before October.
Plus, the cold makes drinking teas all that much better. I don’t feel ready for the autumn teas yet!
I’ve liked the Taiwanese black teas I’ve tried so far, and I’ve been getting along quite well with Butiki’s leafhopper teas also. On the strength of these, I requested a sample of this one with my last Butiki order. I’m drinking it at work today, and it is DE-LIC-IOUS. I followed the recommended parameters, and gave this one 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The liquor is a golden brown, and smells sweet and malty.
To taste, it’s wonderfully bready. I’m talking fresh baked bread right out of the oven. It’s also highly malty, with all the sweetness that entails, with a note of caramel in the smoothness of the aftertaste. I can also pick up on the oak and plum notes mentioned in the description — they add a slightly savoury twist to an otherwise sweet cup, and end each sip beautifully, lingering a little on the palate. The star flavour here for me, though, is the initial hit of bread. It’s so clear and intense, it’s actually making me feel hungry! Definitely one I’ll be picking up with my next Butiki order!
Thank you Cameron B. for the sample! This one totally sounded intriguing, even with the inclusion of ginger in it – which seems like an odd pairing with dragon fruit to me, personally.
Steeped up I think I can smell the dragon fruit a bit more than I can taste it, though it is present in the taste. I’d kinda describe the flavour as slightly dragon fruit flavoured Fruit Punch, but a little watered down. It also has an earthy rawness to it. Maybe that’s the damaina leaf? I have no clue what damaina leaf is supposed to taste like (anyone know?) but apparently it “enhances sexuality”.
I can’t really say I’m feeling more sexual as I drink it? But then again I’m not super sexual to begin with…
I’ll be sending you a bag of it VariaTEA though I’ll leave it to your discretion whether you want to disclose whether this one gets you going ;)
Flavors: Fruit Punch
Ugh… I definitely overdid it on the caffeine yesterday because I couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am and then had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I had to start the morning off with a coffee and now I’m drinking this brew, which I haven’t had for a long time.
Mark T. Wendell has some very solid teas, especially black teas. I’m surprised they aren’t more popular on Steepster. I was thinking about ordering some of their assam recently, but there’s so many places for me to buy tea in San Francisco it seems a bit ridiculous to have it shipped all the way from Massachusetts unless I’m ordering a bunch of stuff.
Anyway, this is a blend of black teas with formosa oolong, and that gives it a lighter and more fruity taste. This is a good afternoon tea, or a lighter morning tea. I find it very flavorful. This morning I am getting lovely malty notes. I shouldn’t be neglecting this so much, it’s really a delightful cuppa. I’d get this again if I place another order with MTW.
I drank this tea yesterday while I was at work. I really enjoyed it! It reminded me of a Kenyan Silver Needles I got from Butiki Teas, with some interesting sheng notes mixed in. Very unique! I finished it up, and before I was going to write my tasting note for it I decided to go stretch the canvas print I had just made…AND I TOTALLY STAPLED MY THUMB! :-O
It was pretty painful. If you want to see, check it out here (not for the squeamish!) http://twitpic.com/ebiscg
Anyway, I never got back to my desk to write this note. My manager took me to the MEC and a doctor pulled out the staple and gave me a tetanus shot and some pain killers. Last night was rough, it was pretty painful and I had trouble sleeping. It seems slightly better today and I am back at work! I could use a nap though…and/or some tea!
Good Morning Everybody!!
I’m not usually up this early on a day I don’t have to teach at the school, but it’s going to be an exciting day, so here I am.
“Why exciting?” You ask.
“Because Sil is in St. Louis!!!” little terri blabs! She’s so excited that she was jumping on the bed all night :)
Of course, she is working by day, but tonight we get to hang out for awhile, & tomorrow we get to hang out ALL DAY, or at least most of the day. YAY!!
Here’s a brief survey of the teas I dragged to school with me yesterday, all teas that I’ve already reviewed many times, all teas that are worthy of their own review & tasty:
Malty Irish Breakfast – Butiki – sad sip down…sigh…
Dinjoya estate assam – also Butiki
Premium Grade JIn Jun Mei – YS
Feng Qing Gold Needle Yunnan Dian Hong – YS
and once I got home:
Vanilla Citrus Spice
That’s all of my tea drinking day yesterday rolled into one.
Sad Sipdown (123)!
First off, this is tasting note 1900! Woot! That means the next really big number is going to be 2000 – I think I need to start planning now for what tea I’ll celebrate that landmark with…
Thank you Cameron B. for sharing a cup worth of this awesome limited edition blend. I had no idea I wanted to try it until you wrote about it, and then after I did some looking in to it I felt like I had to try it even though I was hoping so much that I’d hate it. Why was I hoping I’d hate it? ‘Cause the only thing worse than hating a tea blend is falling in love with a limited edition blend. And of course, that’s what happened.
Aesthetically, the tea blend is beautiful! The deep green leaves make the yellow marigold really pop, and the juniper berries are super fun to look at. Smell wise, I don’t get a lot from the dry leaf, but steeping it smells like a high quality traditional Genmaicha; a little greener than roasty.
Taste wise; this is really smooth and silky. It weighs only slightly more on the green side than the roasty, but both are present and really well executed. I’m gonna have to agree with Cameron B. and say that the primary flavour I’m getting from the green base is butternut squash. Yummy! The roasty brown rice has a nice nutty quality to it as well that I’m also noticing. But most importantly, this has the most divine vanilla flavour. It’s gentle, but man is it present and very, very raw/natural. The vanilla really makes the tea, and honestly I haven’t tasted a vanilla flavour as amazing as this since Butiki’s Creamy Eggnog; which is pretty close to the perfect green vanilla tea. The green base here even shares the same buttery aspect alongside the very gentle vegetal taste.
I honestly don’t taste much of the Juniper berries (you’re right Cam, Junipers do have a sorta pine like quality to them) but I think I ever so faintly get a peek at the very, very end of the sip. If there’s one thing I’d want more of in this blend, it’s the Junipers…
But even so, I’m in love. I want more of this, like now. At least 2 oz. of it would make me a very, very happy tea drinker – ‘cause guys, I’m like 99% sure this is my Japon. It’s so smooth and silky and creamy, and rich in the most calming and pacifying way. And very subtly flavoured.
And dammit, ‘cause it’s limited edition! GAH!
This was my big indulgence for the day, I was being spendthrifty, which is not good for someone who’s unemployed but somehow it needed to be done and it was difficult to resist! As I am looking at the website for Market Hall Foods, I see that their price for a tin of this is about 1/3 cheaper than at Chantal Guillon so I don’t think I will be looking at CG for my future tea purchases. Even Dean and Deluca is cheaper. sigh
Generally I have found the MF teas that I’ve tried to be not worth their hefty price tags. I really wanted to try the Plein Lune, which was out of stock. I ended up getting this based on the smell of the dry leaf, and I don’t have a good vanilla tea at the moment.
I don’t know how long this cup steeped for because I forgot to set the timer. I was definitely not disappointed in this one. It has a smooth, almost velvety texture and the flavor is definitely vanilla as well as caramel. This is a really nice tea for the afternoon, or for an after dinner tea. I can drink it plain but it was also nice with a splash of soymilk. Doesn’t need sugar at all in my opinion. It doesn’t seem as “fakey” as a lot of vanilla teas I’ve tried. It’s elegant, even the name is elegant to me. It’s nice that I’ve found something from M.F. that I’m really fond of… but still not sure it was worth the price I paid for it. I will savor this one as an elegant treat. It will go very nicely with cookies, I think. I’m a happy camper! I need another cup of this now…
This sample came from Roswell Strange. She was sending me a bunch of David’s teas that she purchased for me at a store (thanks again!) and I asked her if this one was any good, so she ended up sending me some! Aw, you shouldn’t have… I admit, a lot of the reason I was drawn to this tea is that the name is super adorable and makes me think of a kiwi (the bird, not the fruit) with a little suitcase going on a worldwide road trip. Lol! Visually, it looks like sencha or bancha leaves to me, and they’re combined with lemongrass and pieces of dehydrated kiwi and apple (I love that I can see the black seeds in the kiwi pieces). The dry scent is heavenly – it’s sweet and tart at the same time and very fruity, with just a bit of grassiness from the tea. I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 175 degrees.
Mm, the brewed aroma is also heavenly! That same sweet-tart juicy fruity aroma combined with grassy tea. At first, I was disappointed by the flavor. The beginning of the sip is mostly grassy green tea taste, but partially through that kiwi pokes its fuzzy little head out and then it dominates the rest of the sip. And then it leaves a lovely juicy kiwi aftertaste that lingers! I admit, the kiwi flavor here is somewhat candylike, but not in an artificial overly sweet way, it just has the most impossible level of juiciness and the sweet-tart combination is wonderful!
On a side note, I added a bit of sugar to see if it would make this even better, and I think it actually made it less enjoyable. So maybe I’m not sugar addicted anymore, lol!
Thanks Roswell, I love this one! :)
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Grass, Sweet, Tart, Tropical
So I don’t like coffee but for some reason when I see coffee flavored things, i get really excited. However, when I drink them and they have the coffee earthiness/bitterness, I find myself disappointed. Unfortunately this tea was no exception. I tried it without sugar and really disliked what I was tasting (though it smelled AMAZING!) because the espresso took over. Today, I took Stacy’s advise and added some pieces of rock sugar and though it has helped to bring out some of the other flavors, this is still too espresso for my taste. Luckily many seem to be a fan so I doubt it would be hard to find someone to take this off my hands.
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.
This is a sheng I bought cause i saw Scott posting pics of it on Instagram and it being a yin and yang design, well, I knew I just had to have it!
It’s like when I sometimes buy a bottle of wine just for the label, hoping To get lucky.
Well I just got lucky!
This is quite a deal. Young sheng yes, but it tastes a lot more mature than its age.
And I’m sure it will only get better with time.
I get close to zero astringency.
It’s super mellow, all sweet and honey.
I get hints of apple pie, feels like autumn tea to me.
It’s also a bit grapey. Definitely fruity.
Tonight I’m having it with the TEAplets, but I had it for the first time last night, and it gave me pinky cheeks. And a nice buzz.
Hey, I never wear much makeup, so a nice natural blush sheng glow is always welcome ;-)
The qi is kicking and I almost feel like I stole this cake, having spent a ridiculous amount of $15 on it.
People. Get this, it’s a bargain!!
AllanK is 3 for 3 on shous from our trade! Thanks, A!
This is another winner. This tastes a little like dessert, even on the early steeps. I did one rinse, and then 10-15-25. I will probably dial it back a little to a few at 15 seconds. It even has an interesting mouthfeel, very soft and full. It gives a nice tickle on the back of the throat, too. It has some nice chocolatey notes and is only very slightly earthy. And I mean very slight.
I have a feeling that this must be pricey, which may not be so bad since I am on a strict buying hiatus anyway. I’ll say this – I definitely WOULD buy this. It’s excellent!
Ahhhhh, finally getting to enjoy PTA again. I missed it so much! Sometimes it is really nice to have a long break from one of your favorite teas just so that you appreciate it again when it’s back. Malty, caramely, chocolaty awesomeness!
I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with tea cocktails lately. So far, the reviews from friends have been very good. I’ve also been testing out cocktails against each other to see which ones are favored. The Hello Sweetie teatini is just a huge success. For anyone that is interested in the recipe, here’s a link: http://butikiteas.blogspot.com/2014/08/butiki-after-hours-hello-sweetie-teatini.html.
Last weekend I tested out the Red Queen martini and Lemon French Macaron martini. The Red Queen martini had an espresso vodka and plain vodka and had a mostly espresso flavor with strawberry at the end. This was a huge success with espresso and coffee fans. The Lemon French Martini had Frangelico and plain vodka. The combo of the lemon and fragelico (hazelnut liquor) was similar to a chocolate cake shot but more just like birthday cake. Everyone seemed to love that even people who were not fans of citrus. This one was pretty complex.
Man… Another winner from AllanK.
One rinse only, and this had just a subtle earthiness, definitely not much. It was smooth and lovely. The tea brewed up to a topaz shade. Very lovely.
I had a long and unpleasant Sunday, into today, in a war with an Ikea bed frame. I’d like to say that I won, but it was more of a tie. I’m not feeling super poetic, but this was damn good. I’m just gonna leave it at that!
Miss Marzipan was sweet enough to send me a sample of this once after she ordered a tin during their free shipping sale. Thanks Marz! :) Visually, it’s generic black tea leaves with itty bitty chunks of something, which I assume is fig? A couple of them look like they could be citrus peel, so maybe it’s both. Dry scent is delicious strong and sweet fig with vanilla – I don’t really smell lemon here. I did a 4 minute steep at 200 degrees.
Mm, the brewed aroma is also strong figs (which to me, includes a honey scent) with sweet and woody vanilla and a touch of lemon. To be totally, I’m a little bit disappointed by the level of flavor here, I could have used a little bit more. I can taste all three flavors, which is nice, but I was hoping for more fig. I added a teaspoon of honey to mine, because I feel like honey and fig is a natural combination, and it did help to bring out the flavor a little more. I actually really like the lemon here, it adds a nice top note and really freshens the whole thing up. Something in the base tea tastes a little odd to me, almost mineral? Maybe I should have stopped at a 3 minute steep. Luckily, Marz sent me enough of this to try it a few times! :)
Flavors: Fig, Lemon, Oak wood, Vanilla
I am grumpy this morning as there has been construction going on in the building across the street, Hammering noises for about 12 hours a day, every day. Even on the weekend! Argh. Luckily music seems to blot out some of it, but I might need to go to the library later to get some reading done.
Anyway this is an amazing tea… one of my favorites. I’ve already written a few tasting notes on it. This morning it reminds me of freshly baked dark bread and roasted sweet potatoes. How can it be so incredibly delicious? Yum. I should pay a visit to Red Blossom Tea soon but I can’t really afford them right now, lol!
This one was golden, as per usual. I’m running low; need to restock sooner rather than later. Don’t want to wind up in a position where I’m running out of this one.
PS. Steepster Chat is pretty amusing tonight; topic of conversation is Duck Dynasty. I may have exposed my huge thing for bearded men. Or women. Really; just beards in general. The follicle-y fortunate are my sort of people.