Featured & New Tasting Notes

95
drank Noël en Alsace by Dammann Freres
2122 tasting notes

Another one of my faaaaavorites (#39). Why was this only rated 90? It deserves higher, in my estimation, so I bumped it up. I love the flavor combos here, even if they are a bit hard to pull apart. They work for me. Even though I don’t find any of these flavors (fruits, honey) particularly Christmasy, I do associate this yarn with the holidays since it was at that time that I first had it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Veronica

I love that you called it yarn instead of tea. :)

Dinosara

LOLOL what a hilarious slip! These days it’s all yarn on the brain. :D

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Thank you so much for this sample, Tea Ave!

I have never tried an Osmanthus Oolong before, and honestly, I was a little nervous that this would be a really flowery tea (flowery teas can be hit or miss with me…). However, upon opening the sample packet, I was hit with this sweet honey stone fruit fragrance. Jammy and sweet!
The liquor is a really gorgeous golden yellow. I followed the instructions on the pouch for gaiwan brewing, using 8grams. If I were to do this again, I think I’d use less leaf. This tea is so flavourful that I really think I could personally use less leaf and still get a perfectly lovely session out of it (just a note to myself for next time).
The steeped tea itself is really wonderful… creamy, buttery mouth feel with honey, fruity loveliness. It may only be 16F outside, but I have spring in my cup. :)

The second steep yielded a darker, deeper liquor with a more vegetal base (spinach and kale, like)… this steep was almost roasty.
I truly love the finish of this, too… it’s so sweet and lingers for quite some time.

I love finding out that I like something I would’ve thought I wouldn’t… Osmanthus, you’re pretty great. :)

Dexter

I now know who to pass those onto…. ewwww is all I have to say baout osmanthus.

DeliriumsFrogs

Lol!! I didn’t expect to like it, but I really do!

boychik

i have this sample and afraid to try.

TeaBrat

I will take your osmanthus!

boychik

Hold on, I checked I have Magnolia oolong and Jasmine if you want Teabrat. No osmanthus . Sorry ;)

tea-sipper

You’ve inspired me to try my sample tomorrow… I’ve been a little wary of the osmanthus..

TeaBrat

hmm. magnolia maybe ;)

Teaave

We are so happy to see you you actually do enjoy our Osmanthus, DeliriumsFrogs!! We would like to invite you to share your review and rate the teas on our website when you have a min, cheers.

DeliriumsFrogs

Will do, Teaave!
I’m drinking the leftover leaves that I cold steeped right now… makes a really lovely cold brew. :)

Teaave

DeliriumsFrogs, cold brew are always wonderful, and that applies to all of our oolongs ;)

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80
drank Sunny Citrus by DAVIDsTEA
1073 tasting notes

Wow, I’ve been working on this batch of cold brew for two days now. I added something like four teaspoons of leaf to 2 litres of water and it is actually really strong, to the point that it’s syrupy. It’s extremely tart, as well. I drank like a litre of it yesterday, then filled the jug up again and it barely even changed colour, it’s that concentrated. It’s better this morning. I’m tasting more of the citrus and not just tart hibiscus with a hint of fruitiness. Note to self: maybe only try two teaspoons next time.

OMGsrsly

That’s incredible. O.o

Fjellrev

I might have even put a bit more! I don’t know, but it was still not a whole lot considering the ratio. On the upside, you don’t have to rip through this one as fast. :D

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drank Peach Melba by Lupicia
737 tasting notes

I’ve been meaning to try this tea, as I am generally a fan of Lupicia’s rooibos blends, and Ta Da! It was in this month’s newsletter! Score!

It tastes very mildly of peach and vanilla. Very smooth. Overall, I like piccolo and jardin sauvage better, but I wouldn’t turn it down, if offered. :)

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OK – I’m just having a morning of surprises – this one too is not at all what I was expecting.
I’ve had flowering cones before and none of them were anything like these.
First sip – wow caramel – second sip – fruity. If I didn’t know better I would almost think this was a flavored tea. Not malty at all, zero sweet potato (there is sweet but no starchiness). It’s not at all like any straight black tea I’ve had – it’s missing the “blackness”. Almost a little salty – I really want to say salted caramel with a hint of apricot (stone fruit anyway). These are really good – strange, but I like it.

Thank you so much Sil for another interesting experience. :)

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I liked this tea before, and I am liking it even more today. My daughter and I drank a liter of puerh from just one teaspoon of leaves and even the final steep has nice color and plenty of flavor. I didn’t scimp on early steeps, but made one or two of them extra bold with long steep times, because I enjoy strong puerh when it is smooth and has no bitterness.

I get the most flavor from puerh when I am patient and let it cool a bit before drinking. This is extra creamy today, especially the later steeps.

I don’t usually see puerh graded as first, second, third, etc. it is usually just named. So my first impression when I recieved the samples was that first grade was the good one and seventh would be passable. Instead, first grade is the layered and nuanced one good for quiet times, and seventh grade is the highly enjoyable daily drinker with lots of virtue of its own, my favorite at this moment being the creamy, weighty feel with its lightly cedar oiliness.

I think this would be an excellent choice for my husband’s new tea center that we are putting together for him at work.

gmathis

Any time I think about seventh grade I wince…not a stellar year in junior high :) So it’s good to know there’s something lovely that can come out of it!

WymmTea|惟余莽莽

Glad you enjoyed the seventh grade ashmanra!:) The grades of our Menghai Shou just represents the different type of Shou. Our Seventh grade is actually more popular and we have sold out most of it back in China. Shou works well for after heavy meals and calming the mind after a long day at work, which should suit your husband well:)

WYMMTEA|惟餘莽莽

Thank you gmathis!:)

K S

Wow, the husband’s new tea center… did you ever think you would see this day? Pretty awesome.

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81
drank Jin Jun Mei by The Finest Brew
6037 tasting notes

As some of you might know, jin jun mei’s fall in to 2 categories for me – yes and no. lol They’re very hit and miss for me, but i continue to try various ones to see if there is a perfect one for me. This one, from Anlina falls on the “yes” side. this was a nice cup of tea yesterday – smooth and slightly smoky with a little sweetness on the side, sort of like sweet potatoes. All in all, a nice cup! thanks so much Anlina!

Fjellrev

That’s a solid dichotomy. :)

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90

Dear God. My eleven year old niece is staying with me this weekend while her mother is out of town house hunting. I need caffeine this morning! Being single and childless, I am used to having everything stay the same. I mean, when I clean the kitchen, it stays pretty much clean unless I dirty it. Today there is a winter coat in the middle of the kitchen floor. One child sized boot is under the table, and the other is god knows where. I asked her and she got this blank look on her face and said “I don’t know.” She lost her phone twice in two hours. When she does have her phone, she’s on it texting her friends. She uses a different glass for each can of pop she’s had (she was supposed to have ONE) and leaves the glasses in the living room. As a treat I bought her PEEPS. (shudder. I hate those things) and she ate the entire package last night. She told me she gets up really early, so I showed her where the frozen French toast strips were and told her to help herself to breakfast in the morning. I got up at 7:30. She was dead asleep. I made tea (did I mention how badly I needed caffeine?) and took it and my laptop back to my room to let her sleep. At 8:30 she came to my room to tell me she was starving. I now have a far better understanding of my sister’s weariness. NO wonder she looks so frazzled all the time. I love my niece, but I am clearly not cut out for children.
WHY DON’T THEY COME WITH AN OFF SWITCH????!!!

Tea helps. A little.

donkeytiara

good luck….is there a trampoline nearby? That wears them out quite well… :)

Fjellrev

Oh man, that’s rough. And I seriously can’t imagine having a phone at that age.

Maddy Barone

She has her own laptop too! Heck, this kid has more stuff than I do!

I suspect I’m turning into one of those disagreeable old ladies that yells at kids for cutting through her yard.

Fjellrev

Haha I think I’m becoming the same way. I keep catching myself thinking, “Wow, when I was that age…” and I’m only in my late 20s!

OMGsrsly

LOL. Good luck!

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MMMMmmmmmm shou…….
5g 140ml 95C flash rinsed twice
30 sec – that was a little too long – was a little in your face aggressive, but I don’t mind bold pu’erh so did another 30 sec steep and dumped them together. Yummy. It has a little fermentation taste to it but nice and smooth. It’s rich, it’s a little malty, but it’s all shou.
Backed down the steeps a little did 20 and 25 sec – this is getting a little chocolaty, a little woody, there is some fresh forest mustiness to it.
30 and 45 – this is just getting better and better.
I don’t think it’s as good as the other StreetShop88 shou that I have
http://steepster.com/teas/streetshop88/55915-2014-top-yunnan-yellow-dragon-golden-needle-puerh-ripe-cake
but it’s really tasty. That one is more of a cross between black tea and pu’erh. This one is all shou – and I don’t mind that at all. I would be very happy to have a cake of this in my house for those nights that you just want a big bold shou with no nasty….
Thank you so much Sil for sharing this – really happy you got some and shared it. :)
https://instagram.com/p/0bHILPuE23/?taken-by=dex3657
https://instagram.com/p/0bHTjxuE3U/?taken-by=dex3657

Edit: OMG steeps 9 and 10 – I’m in LOVE…..

DeliriumsFrogs

That second shot… So beautiful!! :)))
And, the first shot of the giant hunk of ‘tea friend’ kindness. :)

Sil

I’m so glad you enjoyed it since you technically picked it out lol

mrmopar

The Yellow Dragon is pretty good.

OMGsrsly

Oh hey I found my sample of this! WHOA! It’s a huge chunk as well!

Sil

Haha told you.

OMGsrsly

Thank you. :D It’s on my list of Things to Try Soon. :)

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90
drank Earl Grey by Ahmad Tea
1502 tasting notes

Desperate need for comfort tea today. I’ve tried for two days to review my last Simple Loose Leaf sample, and I have a stack of What-Cha and Whymm to get to, but at the moment it is just not going to happen.

I haven’t posted much lately. Really haven’t felt well for a couple weeks. The medicine the pulmonologist put me on 6 weeks ago worked fine for a month. Got it refilled and it was like a switch flipped. I’m back to not being able to do much of anything without becoming out of breath and I’ve never smoked a day in my life. Even making tea is work at the moment.

Checked with the pharmacy, his records show the refill is from the same supplier. He exchanged the old ones for some out of a different bottle but it appears the problem is me. Guess I will be making the trip back to the doctor for a different medicine.

On top of that, I got my welcome to Medicare packet in the mail. Kind of a reality jolt. It won’t kick in until July. It takes two and a half years once you admit to yourself you are disabled to get Medicare. My doctor tried to convince me so a year sooner – stupid man pride. The last year I worked, I would sit in my car for 5 minutes after everyone else left while I waited for my blue fingers to turn pink so I could drive home. Here’s your sign.

You have to be unable to work for six months to be considered disabled by the government, then two more years before Medicare kicks in. It’s stupid. The intention is to prevent abuse I guess but really it is much easier on the abuser to go without during the waiting period. The politicians and the press have turned it into a political football. Having been on both sides of the issue, I do understand. Anyway I am feeling a little old and battered today.

Sorry for the over sharing. Just hoping it might encourage someone who is struggling to hold on. Tomorrow is a new day.

While I wait for better days ahead with some new drugs, I am enjoying this my favorite peasant tea.

Maddy Barone

I am really sorry. Sorry that the meds aren’t working any more, and sorry that you have to wait so long to get Medicare coverage. My day job is for Medicare. The Medicare trust fund loses over $64 million dollars a day. A good chunk of that is fraud, so that’s why the delay. But it really gets my goat that honest people in need are the ones to pay for the bad apples.

gmathis

I am somewhat of a bureaucrat by trade (reluctantly; I just want to do crafts and play with kids when I grow up), but oh, how bureaucracy frustrates me! Hope the comfort tea propped up your battered bones :)

Nicole

So sorry to hear. I hope the meds get sorted out soon and things improve for you.

mrmopar

Prayers for you K S.

WymmTea

Please get well soon K S! We are sure everything will turn out fine in the end:)

caile

I understand, and give you my best wishes that things improve with every day.

K S

Thanks all.

Maddy, I have been fortunate enough to have insurance the last year. The coming Medicare thing is just a reminder of my new normal. You are on the inside so I believe you, however everything has been so well documented, tested, and double checked, I can’t even begin to comprehend how fraud occurs on the average person’s end. I know, just shows how naive I am.

Maddy Barone

Some fraud is committed by beneficiaries, but the bulk is by suppliers of medical equipment. At any rate, I hope things get better for you in the near future. Meanwhile, tea is pretty good medicine. Not a cure-all, but good!

ashmanra

Prayers for you, K S!

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Oh. My. Goodness.
This is amazing.
It’s everything I love about ripe puerh….
Mineral notes (which always come out as baked-good…almost baking powder/cream of tartar notes to me)…. raisin like, sweet and so deep…
Yes. This is a definite ‘add to cupboard when you can!’ type tea….
Thank you SO MUCH Dexter for sending this to me to try… It’s even better than I had hoped! :)

Sil

it’s relatively inexpensive too and streetshop ships SUPER quick!

DeliriumsFrogs

…..It’s only $10.98 for 100g!!?? eeeh…..
I know I shouldn’t, but it’s SOOO GOOD!!!

OMGsrsly

TREAT YO SELF! Why not get a cake? :D

Dexter

LOL that is a cake – it comes in 100g cakes for $10.98 USD… I really should be looking at getting another one, but need to try the one Sil sent me first…..

Sil

i thought i bought this one.. but i guess not? lol

Dexter

And the wrapper is pretty…. I thought you bought a cake of it?

Sil

oh i figured it out…. ebay streetshop versus streetshop listing.

OMGsrsly

Ohh! Even better. That’s a good size for a cake. :) I wonder if I’ve tried this one yet.

OMGsrsly

LOL. Thanks, Dex. I think I need to go get some hot chocolate or something, I’m all over the place today.

Dexter

I’m drinking another StreetShop88 pu’erh right now – it’s really good too…. sigh …. it’s not like I don’t have a mountain of pu’er in my house right now

DeliriumsFrogs

You are all the best. :) Just had to say that. lol

Sil

I’m trying to get my cupboard down enough to be able to possibly place a mandala order by the end of the month…but man another streetshop order would be great…

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78
drank Ying De Black Tea by Tao Tea Leaf
2722 tasting notes

Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.

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

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81
drank Rhubarb + Custard by Bluebird Tea Co.
6037 tasting notes

HGTTB I had the last cup of this one from the box as well. I wanted to revisit this one since it’s been a long while since i’ve had teas from bluebird. Turns out, this is still a tasty cup of tea and still one that i rather enjoy as far as herbals go. Just the right amount of tang and sweet :)

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84
drank Fu Shou Shan by Butiki Teas
543 tasting notes

This may be the only oolong, at least with Stacy’s steeping parameters, where I enjoy the first steep the most. Usually it takes somewhere between the 2nd-4th.

I’m getting quite a bit of melon and floral butter in this cup- it’s as good of a send off as I could’ve hoped for!

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Melon

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82

I thought it was almost time to go home like an hour ago, so it’s been decided that I need a cup of this, liquid joy, to distract me while I wait out the rest of my day..

It’s so good and I will miss it.
(I’m not convinced that guayasa really wakes me up but maybe I’m just immune to everything. I mean, lbr, I drank a full cup of coffee and then napped on the couch like 5 minutes after on the weekend…)

Stephanie

I’m having Good Morning Sunshine today :)

Fjellrev

Haha I’m totally immune to caffeine. It’s all about drinking for pleasure.

Cavocorax

Woah! That’s interesting!

CrowKettle

Coffee naps have saved me a few times now, during my undergrad. :)

Indigobloom

I tried it once with coffee, a few times with tea unintetionally. Its a different sort of nap that’s for sure!

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90

Oh this is goooooooood. I will need to taste it again in the future and pay more attention but right now I’m just loving that it tastes and smells like chocolate covered raisins. This is the most raisiny tea I’ve ever had.

Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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42
drank Elderflower Spritz by DAVIDsTEA
1073 tasting notes

Sipdown! And I am so grateful for that. I cold brewed the last of it, and while it was better (not as 90s lotiony as before), it still has these odd twangs here and there which make it hard to believe that this is a tea. To add fuel to the fire, I used the last of the cold brew to help down some castor oil since I’ll never have to drink this again anyway. DO NOT WANT.

Jillian

Ew that sounds nasty esp with the castor oil. >.

teaqueen

Gross :(

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60
drank Crème au Chocolat by Tiesta Tea
6037 tasting notes

HGTTB Pretty sure that tiesta teas just don’t work for me. If there isn’t coconut in this, then something has gone off like coconut sometimes does. This isn’t very chocolatey to me…it comes across largely as a creamy coconut tea…there’s a hint of chocolate but i’ve had other chocolate teas that i vastly prefer. good to try out though!

Fjellrev

Duly noted, I’ll probably stay away from them.

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90

Now here’s a company with some serious style. Their preview samples are quite lavish. I didn’t sign up for one, but KiwiDelight was generous enough to send me her second set. It includes three tea samples, a cup & tray set, and a tote bag. I am completely enamored of this cup & tray set. The aroma cup and sipping cup are clean white porcelain. The tray is sturdy and perfectly sized for the two cups (or just the sipping cup and my little glass gong fu teapot). The letter that came with the set identifies the tray as being made of oak. However, the website offers what looks like the same set for sale and says that the tray is made of bamboo. Strange. Either way, I like it.

I inaugurated this lovely set with the Oriental Beauty. This is the first time I’ve used an aroma cup and it really makes a notable difference. It amplifies the fragrance of the tea, but also seems to reveal scents that don’t come through just from smelling the brew directly. I may have accidentally spilled tea on my laptop while trying to use the aroma cup. My laptop may now be damaged and it may cost $174 minimum to repair… this is suddenly a very expensive hobby, folks. The keyboard was all messed up when I first turned the computer on after drying it, but now it seems to be working fine so I am torn about whether to send it in for repairs if there’s no obvious debilitating damage. TBD.

The tea itself is a solid Oriental Beauty. The flavor is all honey and whole wheat toast. It’s very nice, but doesn’t really change over the course of about ten steeps. I have enough of the sample left for another cup. I think I’ll try it Western-style next time.

Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me this set and Tea Ave for sending it to her!

Flavors: Honey, Toast

Tea for Me Please - Nicole Martin

Sorry about your laptop. Tea can definitely be dangerous sometimes. I thought that this tea was great.

Kaylee

Oh, I liked it. I just don’t know if I $174 liked it.

Teaave

Very excited to see the email from Jason at Steepster this morning saying the technical difficulty has been solved where we couldn’t respond to any post for the past couple of month. Here is our first try. Kaylee thanks for pointing out the Oak and Bamboo, originally the first batch of trays was made of Bamboo, but then we’ve decided to go with a new batch using Oak instead because we found them to be much nicer. We missed to update the product info on the website. Will update now :)

KiwiDelight

Ouch! What a way to cancel out enjoyment. (maybe)

Teaave

Kaylee hope your laptop is okay now.

Kaylee

Glad the technical difficulty is cleared up, Teaave! Thanks for clarifying about the trays (and for the well wishes for my laptop!).

Teaave

Thanks Kaylee, would you mind sharing your review and comments on this tea on our site as well where you can rate and post your thoughts?

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drank Aroma Cup Set by Tea Ave
2610 tasting notes

Just saw Ashmanra’s review of this – and as someone who’s gone out of their way to review teaware in the past I can’t believe I didn’t think to review this! So thank you, for the reminder to do so!

Gonna keep my review simple and to the point; I definitely like this set. It was my first experience with an aroma cup – and I’ve definitely liked it. With the help of some Youtube tutorials I’ve found it very easy to pick up. And, it really adds another layer to experiencing and review teas, and since I’ve definitely been branching out this year away from more Westernized ways of brewing it was a nice way to sort of ease even farther away from that preparation style.

I also think the size of both cups are really nice; with the amount of tea I usually brew up at a time they hold the perfect amount! The tray is nice too; usually I keep coasters or potholders on the table that I prepare/drink my tea at but it’s much more aesthetically pleasing to look at the tray instead. And finally, I appreciate how tasteful the branding on the set is; nothing splashy or in your face!

PS. Happy birthday Marzipan! Couldn’t have picked a better birthday twin! Hope you’re drinking some really good tea today to celebrate.

Kaylee

Happy birthday!

OMGsrsly

Happy birthday! :)

Starfevre

Happy Birthday!

yyz

Roswell, Enjoy your day! Best wishes for the coming year!

ashmanra

My birthday is tomorrow! :) Happy birthday to you today!

Roswell Strange

Ooh, happy (early) birthday to you Ashamnra! Lots of Steepster birthdays coming up; VariaTEA’s is on Sunday!

Teaave

Happy belated to Roswell Strange, ashamnra. So glad we can reply and post comment here at Steepster now that the technical difficulties have been resolved. Roswell Strange would you mind sharing the reviews on our site where visitors to our website can see your thoughts and comments?

Teaave

Also happy belated to Marzipan, so many close birthdays~~

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85

Ah really nice. Lovely, authentic melon smell and flavour that started off more watermelon honeydew but transitioned to cantaloupe, with a slight earthy, warm white tea base. Very enjoyable. Thank you Janelle for the sample. :)

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Earth, Hay, Honeydew, Melon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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84

Thank you for this tea Marzipan and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Roswell Strange

Stephanie

GRR Steepster ate most of this tasting note :(

TheLastDodo

It didn’t eat the good parts though!

Stephanie

I dunno Dodo, there was a funny story about my coworker smelling this tea and thinking it was crackers…

TheLastDodo

Awww, man! Funny coworker anecdotes are the best!

Roswell Strange

Psst; Dodo – first Gaiwan related note is up! :P

Marzipan

Did you like it?

Stephanie

I did like it Marzipan smooth and savory.

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I’m not really sure how to describe this tea. I don’t think it tastes at all like chocolate, not even a little, although it leaves a little bit of a chocolate sensation in the mouth. It’s kind of earthy, with an odd taste that reminds me of Jerusalem artichokes (aka sun chokes). It also reminds me a bit of sunflower greens. It’s not bad, just very different & kind of wild tasting. Nothing wrong with that! Thanks again to my steep-sister Sil for the opportunity to sample!

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87
drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
1073 tasting notes

Today is a Red Queen Cupcake kind of day. I told myself to indulge in a Butiki tea or two today because I’ve been letting them all sit in a pretty box in my cupboard waiting… waiting for what? For them to get old? Nuts to that.

This has lost a bit of its flavour, but at least I can still taste the chocolate and coffee notes. The strawberry note has suffered the most.

I just hope this won’t make me nauseated because I haven’t had anything for breakfast yet and it’s 2pm. Whoops, and now potential tenants have walked in to view the place. Farewell for now!

Stephanie

I love this one

TheKesser

yes, enjoy the teas while they are still fresh!! I have learnt the hard way to not hold onto teas for too long ‘cause honestly, it’s so sad when you go to have them again and they aren’t anything like the amazing-ness you remember ‘cause they’ve gone stale.

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