Featured & New Tasting Notes

95

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!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
AllanK

SArsonator, I am glad you liked it. There is only one seller on EBay that seems to be selling it but he’s disreputable in the extreme.

Sarsonator

Oh that’s a shame. I would have liked to get some when my hiatus was over. :)

TheTeaFairy

Anything with lotus in its name is destined to greatness :-)

And I congratulate you for holding on to the teaplets hiatus!!

AllanK

I need to go on a tea buying hiatus as well.

mrmopar

The trick on these is to buy them when they come out. This way you avoid the “older it is the more valuable” from the sellers. I just buy the new stuff and sit on it a while before I drink them.
Any Dayi product with the yellow on or the largest color on there are usually the top grade ones. The “7632” and the “Big Dayi Classic” and the “Daughter” cake are 3 off the bat like this also.

Sarsonator

Thanks, Fairy! I’m trying really hard!!
Allan – Join us. It only hurts a little!
Mrmo – Thanks for the info! So I should be able to find 2014 versions on the cheap I guess.

Terri HarpLady

I need to get back on the Hiatus bandwagon…but probably won’t, LOL

mrmopar

Maybe by the end of the year. Menghai usually holds the newer shou to air it out and get rid of some of the shou poo as they call it.

Sarsonator

Shhhh Terri. We are staying on the wagon here :p

Thanks, Mrmo! I will keep an eye out!

MzPriss

Wagon. We are on it.

Sarsonator

The “be happy with what you have and pay down your credit card” wagon. It doesn’t SOUND fun, but we are having an ok time. :p

mj

I would also like to be on that wagon. Actually, I wouldn’t like to. But I need to. Is there room?

Sarsonator

All are welcome on the wagon.

Welcome wagon! HA! I slay me!!! :p

boychik

I’m in denial

Terri HarpLady

me too, boychik.
You can never have too much tea! Actually, I probably DO have too much tea, but…oh well!

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90

Sipdown!

I find that I really do like this tea, even though it’s an odd one for me. And the name is totally inappropriate! In my opinion, it should be called “Jinjunmei Smoked Meats Fragrance”. Lovely light smoky, savory tea. Yums! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

LOL I don’t think they’d sell much if it was called “smoked meats fragrance”

Cameron B.

Well the orchid is a lie! :P

boychik

I’d take smoke meat over orchid

Terri HarpLady

Me too, LOL :D

Lariel of Lórien

I’d rather have orchids.

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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.

Stephanie

Oh yeah! I haven’t made that Hello Sweetie tea-tini yet!

mj

Thanks for posting the recipe!

Butiki Teas

Stephanie-You so need to try it. If anyone does try it and doesn’t have brown crystal sugar, sugar in the raw can be substituted but you would want to use less sugar.

mj-You’re welcome! We will also be posting the other 2 recipes at some point as well. :)

Kaylee

Oooh what about Red Queen with Bailey’s or Kahlua? I know what I’m brewing tomorrow…

Butiki Teas

Those sound delicious! If you try them, let us know how it goes. :)

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Another extremely smooth and drinkable young shu! Very creamy finish. I got 3 nice semi-western steeps out of it before the leaves got tired. I like that it is organic, too! This is one I would buy and definitely recommend :)

Ubacat

Added to wish list!

DigniTea

Another one that is good to drink now but hopefully even better as it ages over the next few years.

Stephanie

I need to work out a pu-storage system for aging!

DigniTea

It does not have to be as intimidating as we often make it sound – there is ideal and there is satisfactory. I know people who use a cardboard box or a drawer in a chest for their puerh cakes (opening for air movement once a week or so; storing away from direct sunlight and aromas. Perhaps like wine storage, real collectors purchase wine and store in a wine cellar or special temp. controlled box. Others have a large wine rack in a dining room and hold on to a favorite bottle or two for years. Again, one is ideal and the other satisfactory.

Stephanie

Yeah, it’s the aroma contamination that concerns me. Lots of strong aromas in our house as we frequently cook Indian and Thai food.

mrmopar

Keep the aromas away.

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91

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!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

So glad you got good tea through all this IKEA ordeal!!

And yo, Allan knows how to shou!! Sounds great :-)

KiwiDelight

Is it just me, or does it seem like every time someone has to assemble Ikea furniture they’re in a war?

Sarsonator

Unfortunately, the IKEA war of 2014 isn’t over. It’s on hold til my stepdad can come over on Saturday. But the frame is together and sturdy enough to sleep on, so I’m at least happy about that!!!!

KiwiDelight

You won the battle but not the war!

Sarsonator

Exactly, KiwiD!

AllanK

At least you drank some good Shou after the battle. I’m glad you liked the Lucky Dragon. I’ve had good luck from that seller, not as good as the Song of Chi Tse, but then again they don’t sell many Dayis at Streetshop88. Are you going to buy the Lucky Dragon? It’s a 200g cake.

AllanK

The 2010 Golden Needle White Lotus is even better, only not as aged with a little more fermentation flavor.

Sarsonator

I may wait, A. Not because I don’t like it, but because I need to slow down.

I’ll try the Golden Needle tomorrow then :)

Cwyn

Hey that Streetshop88 is the guy from whom I bought my Overlord Drunk puerh cake, lol. Scratch from the street for us addicts on a jones.

AllanK

I may be waiting several days to try the next one of yours. I want to give these teas multiple steepings and I have to be up at 5am for the next several days. Looks like three nights of rooibos for me. It tried the Port today, it was good.

mrmopar

I am glad Allan came over to us from TeaChat.

Sarsonator

Same here :)

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80
drank Capri by Harney & Sons
972 tasting notes

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

I would definitely like to try this someday!

Veronica

Sounds nice!

Lariel of Lórien

It reminds me of scones. Even though fig is an odd flavour.

Marzipan

I thought it was a little light on flavor too.

mj

Because of this tasting note, I bought figs at the store today. I couldn’t stop thinking about them!

TeaBrat

I had some figs for breakfast today…. :))

Marzipan

I have never had an actual fig. Just Fig Newtons!

Lariel of Lórien

Try the mission figs.

mj

I got Turkish brown figs and caramelized them in honey. Noms

Cameron B.

I’ve never had a fresh fig, but the dried ones are delicious. :)

Ost

This tea has always perked my interest…but we have a fig tree in our front yard…and as often as I’ve tried it over the years, I cannot get myself to be a fig fan. Think it’s mainly the texture that puts me off…Wasn’t a bad taste though, someday I’ll have to get this tea. xD

boychik

I love fresh figs but they are expensive. Brown are the best. Don’t really like green ones. Dried ones are good substitute in winter. If I had a nice backyard I would plant my own.

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96

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!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I’m grumpy, too! High five! :P

TeaBrat

grumpy gals unite! ;-)

Cameron B.

Post Office did nothing to make me less grumpy… Hah.

Blodeuyn

Love the Red Blossom! Sorry about the construction noise though.

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100
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2400 tasting notes

Caramel Custard.

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.

Bear With Me

Not a fan of the show, but I’m jealous of their beards! Mine’s still growing in patchy :(

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84

I’ve been drinking this on and off all day. A very SMOOTH rich solid shu here. Very clean, lightly earthy but no musty dirty notes. I got raisin and a faint hint of cocoa in later steeps. Quite enjoyable! :D

gmathis

Do you order direct or do you have a local source? Loose pu-erh is as good as it gets locally—no cakes to be found.

Stephanie

This one was a gift from a friend, I’ve not made many puer orders yet, just a few things from mandala. I’m feeling things out and decided what I like before I start collecting. Plus I can’t afford a lot with my budget :) no local sources I’ve found either!

DigniTea

gmathis – Most of us are without good local sources for puerh cakes so we order from a few reliable local US sellers (Mandala and Puerhshop.com) are frequently mentioned choices for many on Steepster) or directly from China sellers (Yunnan Sourcing and White2tea are two popular sellers) and, finally, sellers on both Ebay and Aliexpress are used by many of us. The particular Xiaguan tuo mentioned by Stephanie can be found at Yunnan Sourcing or Angelina’s Teas (a smaller US tea seller). Please contact me if you need more specifics or seller info.

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Had this tea last night AND this morning! So delicious.

Mostly I went for it because I have no milk of any kind, and I’m not interested in getting dressed in outside clothes to go buy milk. :)

Still, it was an excellent choice.

(1st steep 4 minutes, 2nd steep 6 minutes)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
CHAroma

I know that not wanting to get dressed feeling very well. :)

OMGsrsly

PJ days are the best, and I really wanted one today! :)

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I think I am in danger as I really enjoyed this introduction to Sheng. I loved the mix of exotic woods, spice, fruit, floral notes, leather, honey, vegetal notes and cream. I also loved the warming sensation it produced in my body. Can see why people can get addicted to this style of tea. It was also really long lasting I ended up getting 27 steeps out of one tuocha steeped in a 140 ml gaiwan. Thanks so much to TeaVivre for the chance to sample this tea. It has definitely left me with a desire to sample more.

I used short steeps and near boiling water for this tea.

10s rinse.

5s: slightly darker broth than my average green tea.

Sweet, straw like nnotes, honey, cocoa, cotton flower in the scent with flavours of cotton flower, straw, honey, cocoa, hint of ffruit, plum, and a touch of artichoke and leather. The tea had a creamy buttery texture and produced a slight tingling on the underside of the tongue.

7s deeper gold colour. With regards to the scent and taste, the leather note is stronger, with hints of aged cedar mixed with sandalwood, honey, floral notes and cocoa.
There are some vegetal green tea notes, with spinach, artichoke and spice, hint of frackensence. Plum. Creamyspicy woody, honeyed floral taste overlying some bitterness

9s frackensence, cedar, plum, floral notes, aged spicy woods, honey.
Cream, artichoke with spinach, exotic wood and spices, some honey, over some bitter tones. It presents a warming sensation in my body.

11s similar to above but a little sweeter and fruitier smelling.
Cream, spinach and artichoke frakinsence, aged cedar, allspice, honey, leather,plum, aftertaste of spice. Warming in the body, cooling in the mouth.

15s. Spice, plum, hint of spicy floral.

Cream, exotic woods and spices, indistinct savoury veg, hint of leather,

20s. Floral mixed with woody notes_ plum and artichoke.
Similar to above still spicy exotic woods, veg,plum, and honey over bitter notes, a little more drying in the mouth.

23s. Spice, cotton flower, plum, brighter than last steeps.

Even blending of above flavours exotic spices devolving into a spicy floral note cream, fruit. Gardenia.

26s similar to above but slightly more bitter and spicy floral notes are slightly biting.

30s tart intro to scent mix.
Cream honey ,veg note, gardenia, plum and a touch of exotic woods.

34s More honey and plum, bitter veg tone and gardenia mixed with exotic woods.

40s bright spice over letter, woods and greens, smell a little of perfume.
Frakinsence, cream, aged cedar, artichoke, plum.

46s. Cream, plum than other notes in succession.

54s. Plum, cream, woody notes, spice. Honey

62s same as above with some floral notes. Honey move forward with cream.

70s Much more intensely sweet with hints of licorice to the honey, plum, spice. A mild woody dryness and lots of warmth and heat produced in the. Front of the mouth yielding to a cooling.

80s similar to above but slightly creamier.

90s slightly stronger cedar, and spice notes, very warming.

110s spicy exhautic woods, salt, cream, some savoury notes.

120s. above mixed with bitter sweet greens

130s honey, spice, greens, cream.

140 s similar but a little weak.

160 s same.

180s. Licorice woody notes, spice, plum

3.30min plum, woody notes, licorice, spice.

4 min softer version of notes above.

5 min creamy soft with licorice appearing with spice and honey.

6 min. Honey, cream, sweet cooked greens, faint hint of spice.

Thanks again I really enjoyed it!

Lala

Wow! That is a large number of steeps.

Cheri

Sounds amazing.

boychik

i cant believe you never tasted sheng before

yyz

I know! Pu-erh in general intimidated me for awhile.

boychik

Welcome! very addictive;)

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100

This tea made me so so so so so so so so so SO happy. Of happiness.

Only one rinse was needed and the color is deeper than ruby, like a garnet. And AllanK was right – zero fermentation flavor, no dirty flavors. This tastes like chocolate mushrooms. That may not sound appetizing, but I assure you, it’s the fucking BOMB, yo.

This is my new fave shou. Thanks for the sample, Allan!!!!

I did one session with three steeps, then another, then another. A total of 9 steeps, which got smoother as they went along.

From the start, I felt buzzy. At one point during the 2nd session, I realized that I dazed out. When I came to, I felt kind of dizzy and happy. Tea drunk, indeed!

I also kept staring into the cup, kind of mesmerized by the color.

To sum up: WOW. So yumz. Much happy. Wow. So garnet. Tea drunkies.

http://instagram.com/p/soFo2-vkcf/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TheTeaFairy

Little sarsy is now shouing!!! Weehee!!

TheTeaFairy

And yo. Chocolate mushies!!

mrmopar

I am going to start calling you Shousique…

Sarsonator

LOL. Y’all are so funny! :)

AllanK

I told you it was good. I don’t get tea drunk from it though.

Cwyn

Nice!

Sarsonator

I had to buy some because the thought of life without it was sad. This is definitely a good one!

KiwiDelight

OOooooo this sounds magical! yay for getting tea drunk from shu!!

TeaBrat

It’s hard to go wrong with the Menghai tea factory.

Skulleigh

It sounds like an experience in a cup! :)

Sarsonator

I’m so excited to be getting more of this. I think it can definitely turn a frown upside down! LOL

mrmopar

Did you get it from Berylleb? If so message me and I can tell you a bit on how to save some $ from them.

Sarsonator

Thanks, mrmo! I did!

Thanks ZTJASFB! LOL Maybe I will call you Zen. I love the whole name, but its not easy to type on an iphone :)

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This sample from k s was welcome; as (wouldn’t you know it) I was awake hours too early on a Saturday morning—gentle rain on the roof is such an unnatural sound of late, it woke me. So I steeped this a little long and strong to get the bleary eyes open while watching a Veggie Tales kids’ show on one of the few analog channels left in our area. (Haven’t Veggied since my son was a little ‘un. They haven’t changed much.)

I’m seeing “peppery” in the reviews for this one; may be I was just too sleepy to notice that. My sleepy brain registered “starchy and crusty,” but in a good way, like rye bread toast crust.

Veronica

Larry and Bob aren’t regulars in our house anymore either, but the other day my daughter, who is fourteen, was singing “oh where is my hairbrush”. I had to smile.

gmathis

This one was “The Land of Ha’s” … the bad movie references made me wince!

gmathis

(We Are The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything is my personal favorite.)

K S

You look like Captain Crunch…

OMGsrsly

OMG, We Are The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything is HILARIOUS.

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89

I can’t really sleep tonight so might as well drink good tea, right?

I had this tea twice today. Such a lovely shou.

I like how sweet and smooth it is. I find myself craving it.

It’s not overly complicated and complex, but sometimes, that’s just what I’m seeking.

I have mentioned that this tea was like a hug on my last review and I stand by it. Definitely a hugger!

At this rate, the little cake won’t last very long.

Sorry Mandala for not being more eloquent tonight…

Pic from earlier:

http://instagram.com/p/slg21QQh7c/

Sarsonator

Yummmy! Maybe I will use this for the Goldie test later!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Oh! Great idea!!

looseTman

Goldie test?

AllanK

I think I will break in my new teapot with this next week when it comes. Bought an incredible pot from purepuer.com.

Sarsonator

looseTman – We are experimenting with my gold-lined cup to see if tea tastes different than with a regular teacup. So far, it does

looseTman

A gold-lined cup, wow! Pic?

Terri HarpLady

Different in a good way?

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83
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
2400 tasting notes

Sipdown (132)!

Many thanks to my Nina’s Paris dealer VariaTEA for the sample! I’m always up for trying another of Nina’s teas – they so, so rarely ever disappoint. This one absolutely holds true to that standard, as well!

So I made this in my timolino for work. Dry and steeping I really didn’t get much of any sort of smell from this so I was going in to this with relatively low expectations but still holding onto to some hope because this is Nina’s and Nina’s Paris knows tea. And it was such a joy to sip on while I was walking home after a long day! So cheers for that!

The black base was very smooth with just the faintest floral hint to it. Bitter and Astringent are totally foreign words in regard to this one. And then marrying beautifully with the base was this very rich and juicy orange flavour with a silky creaminess to it that reminded me of a very natural creamsicle type treat (but hot). Not fake orange flavoured syrup frozen over ice cream but something much higher quality, and richer.

There’s also chocolate in this blend, but I found it to actually be very light handed; just enough to sweeten things up and keep this from feeling monotone (or rather “duotone”?). I might not have even recognized it in the blend if I hadn’t looked this one up prior to making it.

So conclusion: this is simple and pretty straight forward, but really really good! There’s no need for me to stock both Three Friends (another sweet Orange/Black) but if I was out of that one I’d be perfectly content with stocking either of these two blends. Both are masterfully executed.

Also hey – here’s a random link ( http://donottouch.org/ ) for a neat-o crowd sourced music video you should all check out! Aside from just being pretty fun, the music/song itself is kinda cool and catchy too.

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100

Having GO at the end of the day is as satisfying as having GO in the morning.

I wasn’t planning on having it now, but a tea friend invited me to have a cup with her, so I did :-)

And let me tell you that it made a very satisfied fairy out of me.

It’s such a comfort tea, no matter what the season is. I drank it all summer long, and we’re about to spend our first autumn season together.

A pure vanilla dream it is, with plenty of chocolate gooeyness. If someone can’t get the chocolate in this well…sorry but I am totally judging you!!!

My pic:

http://instagram.com/p/slJDrDQh3p/

pyarkaaloo

i recently placed an order for this & a few other WP teas….woohoo!

Lariel of Lórien

This is what I was drinking while watching Lord of the Rings the other day. It was nice.

Terri HarpLady

I took a large mug of this one to work with me today. :)

mj

LOL @ the judging comment

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95

Another puerh from my mystery sample box :D

Oh wow, this sheng is SUPER smooth! I would not have guessed it is so young! I am REALLY digging on this one. It has fruity notes that I always appreciate in a sheng, as well as a brisk energy. I’m really glad I randomly chose this one this morning, it is a winner!

boychik

sold out;(((

Stephanie

oh really? boo!

boychik

it was cheap, only $17

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88
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
972 tasting notes

Lewis & Clarke TTB

Tea of the morning! I’ve been wanting to try this particular tea for a long time, mostly because of the hype it gets around here. The leaves look exactly like Laoshan Green but black. :P They’re thin and brittle and curled into little loops in some cases. Dry scent is pure cocoa, yum! I did a 3 minute steep as per usual for black teas.

Brewed, this tea smells very similar to Fujian black teas that I’ve tried – it has that same savory dill note. This tea also tastes similar to my idea of a Fujian tea. It’s strong and has robust flavors with that dill note along with dark grain and some lovely cocoa. This tea, however, has a nice burnt brown sugar or caramel flavor to it that really adds depth. And it’s a teensy bit sweeter, especially in the end and aftertaste, and there’s a touch of cinnamon.

Overall, quite good, but not mind-blowing. :)

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dill, Grain

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

i get caraway seed in this

Cameron B.

That’s probably the flavor that I interpret as dill. :P

boychik

i think so. i got bulk spices in Turkish store nearby. I dont know why i bought some, i dont know the recipe where to use it and i dont bake bread. but i luv the smell of caraway seeds. Childhood memories of dark bread with those seeds on top

Cameron B.

I don’t think I’m familiar enough with caraway to pick it out as a flavor, I need to buy some and eat it so I’ll know next time. :P

boychik

i can send you some. i just chew a few;)

Cameron B.

Hah! I’ll remember that when we do a swap eventually. :D

Stephanie

I’ve made Irish soda bread with caraway seeds. It is super easy, no bread skills required! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Irish-Soda-Bread-with-Raisins-and-Caraway-107136

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73
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
698 tasting notes

This is a bit of a revelation. I still have half a pound of this from my hasty mega-purchase a few years ago. I constantly give it away, but it reproduces like gremlins.

Knowing its tendency to become a bit bitter and dry, I steeped it quick (about 2.5 minutes) and added a small splash of milk and a bit of honey. This brings it back to sweet, creamy, vanilla. Not my favourite and I definitely regret buying so much but this will make it really easy to drink some more at work. No re-steeping, dear heaven.

Flavors: Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cathy Zheng

I totally get the bitter dryness too! Will also try 2.5 minutes as opposed to the recommended 5

Uniquity

I find it makes a difference. Sometimes you need a bit more leaf to make up for the loss in time. Another option is to use water that has cooled for a minute or so. I think it is the decaf tea that lends the unpleasant bitter/dry aspect and these tricks help defeat it.

Cheri

Thanks for the tips. I have a sachet of this that I need to try still.

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91
drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
518 tasting notes

I’ve progressed to book 11 of 14 WoT!!!!!!!!!!!!!.. and this tea is gone. If you think those exclamation marks are a sign of a diseased mind just you wait until I hit book 14 AND get my refill of With Open Eyes (yes, I’m going to sync these events up somehow).

Goodbye for now, steadfast tea.

Flavors: Butter, Nuts, Strawberry, Toffee

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Ost

:O A WoT fan?? :O You have good choice in books. After that series you should read Brandon Sanderson books if you haven’t already! :P

Stephanie

I really dig Brandon Sanderson books!

Ost

Yes!! Super stoked there’s another fan on here!!!
He’s seriously my favorite author! :D

Cavocorax

Woohoo! :D
That sounds like great planning. Also I really need to refresh on books 11-14. I blitzed them when I was on mat leave and I think I was too exhausted to notice all the details.

Stephanie

Elantris was my fave but I also really enjoyed Warbreaker.

CrowKettle

I’ve read the Mistborn series and Warbreaker, and really enjoyed both of them. The rest of Sanderson’s books are in queue after WoT :)

I wish I had made up my own Aes Sedai and nobility spread sheet when I started WoT; I also need to refresh myself with details and I’m currently reading them! Ah.. >.>

Ost

Ahh yahh!! Another fan! That makes me so ridiculously happy! ^^
Haha well you could do that with The Way of Kings series, that I’m totally blanking on the name of. xD I have trouble remembering everything too in epic series xD

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
451 tasting notes

Wow. It’s been so long since I’ve written a note on steepster that I…don’t really know what to say. I feel as though I first fell off the tasting note bandwagon, and then as the summer sweltered hotter and hotter, I sort of fell off the hot tea bandwagon as well. And as my samples continued to pile up around me, I just turned a blind eye to it all (har har) and chugged water. What a mistake it was to abandon tea for so long. I had this as a latte yesterday while at DT (where I of course picked up the green carry mug, omg omg omg), and made it again for myself first thing this morning. Nothing calms an anxiety-ridden heart like a cup of tea, and that, my friends, is a scientific fact.

What this tea tastes like: my goodness, I don’t even know if I have a tea vocabulary anymore. I get the thick, almost waxy and candle-like (in the best way possible) breadiness that lends this tea so, so well to having milk or cream in it, and the flavours I generally associate with pumpkin. I am no expert on what authentic pumpkin tastes like, but I know I like this tea for it’s pumpkin flavor, chai spices (although those aren’t too strong for me, I don’t think) and the candle-y breadiness that I love so much.

Let’s see how long it is until I write again! I’ve missed you guys!

ashmanra

Har har! I “see” what you did there! We have missed you – welcome back. :)

Roswell Strange

Keeeeyyyccchhhaaannngeee! :)

keychange

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaccccckkkkkkkkk!!!! yaaaaay!!

Stephanie

Welcome back :) :) :)

OMGsrsly

Hi!!!!! :) :)

scribbles

HELLLOOOOOO!!!!! :)

Christina

Holy man, I’ve got some of that spearmint oolong I’ve been saving for you in a swap. I need to send you that!

Sil

how’s the wedding stuff going!?

keychange

Oh my gosh, guys! I feel so loved! Christina, you had that set aside for me? wow, that’s so sweet! and my wedding is next week, guys!

Sil

insane! so jealous! i wanna see FB pics! :)

yyz

Excited for you. I hope everything goes well and you have a blast!

OMGsrsly

Eee! That’s so exciting! I hope you have so much fun at your wedding. :)

TheTeaFairy

We’ve missed you too, so nice to have you back :-)

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95

Wow.

I took a gamble on this one and Garret did not lead me astray. Thanks so much, G-Mac. You picked a real beauty!

Method: 6g, 6oz, 200 degrees, rinse-10-15-20, sheng yixing and Goldie

Aroma: Smells very strongly of grape and smoked apricots, but it has a freshness that was very pleasant.

Flavor: First, this feels like butter. It’s creamy and so very smooth. It’s fruity and sweet, with almost no bitterness and only the lightest astringency on the finish. It made me feel all warm and it did not take long for my tea drunk wooziness to start. I have a sheng glow. A nuttiness starts to emerge, too.

I adore this tea. It’s amazeballs!

http://instagram.com/p/sicksFPkTp/
http://instagram.com/p/sidY09vkVP/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
MzPriss

I love you so much for this and many other reasons.

Stephanie

ooooh I need to try this

TheTeaFairy

Ditto. I can’t add anything but love.

Sarsonator

This is totally a love tea.

Sarsonator

And a group hug tea, y’all!!!!

boychik

I. need. this.

Sarsonator

Well if you can stand to wait, boychik, I will send you some to try when we swap. But that’s up to you. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for someone to just buy without sampling.

Sil

is this the new one?

Sarsonator

It is, Sil! I’m super excited about it!

Zen Tea Jazz and Sci Fi Books

I must try this Pu’erh. I love Pu’erh in pressed cake forms and this one sounds like I need to have it in my home :) Thank you for the awesome review :)

boychik

How can I say no! We need to swap. I just need a little more time to settle down. Today was 1st day of school and they go to all three different schools. I had to drop off and pick up. They are not close, different neighborhoods. I’m a new driver and I suck. Very stressful to drive in Brooklyn:(((

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97

I was very surprised to get a Mandala box that I didn’t remember ordering. When I opened it, I found a note from Garret saying it was a surprise from my Teaplet Sarsonator and that my other Teaplet, the Lovely Tea Fairy was getting one too. At that point, this had not been released on the Mandala site and it made me cry. Sarsy went to a LOT of trouble working with Garret to make this amazing surprise happen and I heart them both a LOT.

Today we finally all three have our supply of this and we are having a Teaplet sheng party. And Holy Crap. This is so incredibly delicious.

I put 5 grams in the wee shengxing and away I went. The rinse was divine. The liquor is pale and golden and a premiere of coming attractions.

This is so fruity and smooth. It tastes like apricot jam with exactly zero astringency or bitterness. No smoke to be found either. There is that catch at the back of my throat that tells me I’m shengin’

I got a lovely and immediate full body creeping warmth and relaxation. I can’t EVEN believe this is a baby sheng. I love baby shengs, but this one tastes like it has a little age on it. It keeps getting better as I go through the steeps.

LTF remarked that it reminds her of my favorite (until now??) Mandala sheng, Wild Mountain Green and I agree in that there is a load of fruit, in this case apricot and a load of smooth and it makes for a gorgeously happy relaxed tea drunk.

THANK YOU MY DARLING SARSY!!!! And also Garret for making it happen!

It makes me feel all reverb-y y’all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4_5593-skQ

Flavors: Apricot

Cameron B.

Yum, I love apricots! I may have to try this one. :)

MzPriss

Oh Cam- YES you do!!! I will send some your way

Sarsonator

Shengxing is the cutest term ever!!!! Totally stealing that :p

I’m really happy that you liked this. On one level, I know that Garret knows what he’s doing. On the other hand, I was still nervous because I hadn’t tasted it myself. Hooray for super secret shengs!!!!

Stephanie

How sweet! This sheng sounds amazing you guys :D

TheTeaFairy

I so love sharing tea sessions with my lovely TEAplets!!! And Shengxing is totally adorable!!

MzPriss

It’s my smallest yixing so I sometimes call it my weexing

Sarsonator

I’m tea drunk and I like it!

Cameron B.

Lol… Weexing is the cutest term ever.

boychik

it sounds delicious:) i need this in my life

MzPriss

You do.

looseTman

Sounds Awesome! Congats Sarsonator!

Christina

Man, I really want to try all of Mandala’s pu’erhs (even though I’m still a little bit afraid of shu). Did Garret announce when that sheng sale was going to happen?

Sil

oh man. i need to try this one

Garret

We are loving this tea here in the shop. I’m so pleased that you are digging it, too. I am gonna try like mad to get more of it. The supply was pretty limited, but I’m on it. This is selling fast and I don’t want to run out. Not to mention, I want some for my own stash!

Garret

The Sarsonator is tea drunk and I like it, like it, yes I do!

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91

Feeling a bit exhausted. Things are a little too hectic at the moment. So I could whine, or curl up in a ball and hide, or I could just have a cup of tea (maybe six). I choose the tea. I finished off the sample. I am not sure if I have more of it somewhere or not. If so I’ll stumble on it later and be surprised. I have always really liked this one. The leaf is beautiful. The wet leaf scent is so vegetal and inviting. The best part though, is just sitting quietly with the cup and enjoying it. Excellent refresher.

Christina

This is one of my faves too. It gets even better on the second steep.

gmathis

If it counteracts the urge to whine, I’d better get my order in now.

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