Featured & New Tasting Notes
Sample comes from VariaTEA.
I was splitting this one up today so that I could send a taste of it to Courtney and I decided to try it myself too so my half got used up tonight as my last tea of the night. I should note, I think, that I’m 90% sure that this is from the revised batch and not the original one that Amoda sent out – and I have not had the Amoda version so I don’t have a point of comparison between the two.
Of the three Amoda box Butiki blends I think this was the generally preferred/favored of the three – but I really struggled to see why through my cup of it. I found it very harsh/astringent with a bitter undertone to the sip and I thought it left a really weird, indescribable taste on my tongue that lingered for a really unnecessarily long time. That said, the mid sip did have both strong Nutmeg and Cream flavours so I guess the title is fitting…
I’m sort of glad I didn’t like it, though – because this is so limited edition I think it would have been harder on myself if I’d fallen in love. But that same reason (the tea being limited edition) is why I’m also so very thankful to VariaTEA for being able to spare a couple cups worth so I got that rare taste of it.
I hope Courtney has a better time with it.
Flavors: Cream, Nutmeg
Thank you Cavocorax for the sample of this tea. I am realizing that my tastes have changed enough that I enjoy straight blacks. However, my palette is yet to have developed enough to distinguish all the subtle nuances of the teas. Consequently, they all taste the same to me: malty, sweet, and delicious but still the same. Perhaps I should try them side by side and that will point out the differences but as it stands now, as embarrassed I am to say it, I can’ really tell them apart from one another.
I just came into say that I hope Frank reblends this one forever. It’s not even a tea that I’d like to drink every day, but it’s definitely one I’d always like to have on hand. I’ve never really understood why there aren’t enough banana-flavoured things in the world. Oh! but remember when I told you guys that I was really sick with strep? when I went to emerg, they let me have the liquid version of my antibiotics because swallowing the pill hurt too much…and it was banana flavoured! omg, that medicine tasted so wonderfully of my childhood. i wanted to just chug the whole bottle, but sadly they gave me a tiny amount in a little minature cup.
Anyway, at least I have this tea. Mmm.
…But only a temporary one: it sounds like I’m getting more of it from Courtney. Definitely looking forward to it!
I finished this baby off by cold brewing the last tbsp. and a half in two shots of Raspberry Vodka which sat in the fridge overnight getting all saturated and stuff. I then strained it this morning and now I’m drinking it in the evening with a splash of pineapple juice squeezed into it.
It’s bright, almost neon, purple! How intriguing!
I have to say – it’s not bad this way but it really isn’t anywhere near as good as it was prepared as a straight up, nothing fancy cold brew. When I have more I’ll probably just still to enjoying it that way.
Prepared like this, it’s a little more like the Raspberry Lemonade I was originally expecting, but with a creamy/burny aftertaste. And now that I’ve had my alcohol for the night I’m feeling sleepy so I think I’ll sleep it off and try to get well rested for the long, undoubtedly miserable, shift I have ahead of me tomorrow…
EDIT: Oh hey, I forgot to mention it in any of my tasting notes! Today is/was my friend Geordan’s 19th Birthday! He recently immigrated to Canada from Jamaica and this is his first year in Canada. It was kind of sad, really, that I couldn’t celebrate with him because of work. He recently asked me to make a tea sampler for him because he’s fascinated by my tea obsession: he has no idea what he’s in for…
I’m going to go all out and make the most massive sampler for him as a birthday present! He’ll be overwhelmed by all the tea. You know what’s really fascinating though? He grew up drinking almost solely herbal teas (Peppermint primarily) – but all the tea he drank was made with things grown in his backyard!
I find that a lot more interesting than my going online and just buying what sounds cool. He grew what sounded interesting!
A few cups of this tonight has definitely helped, as I try to rid my bedroom of bedbugs.
How did I get them? Zero idea. No one else has them in the house, just like when lice makes the rounds… I’m the only one who gets it. Sigh. Of course, the bites took over for a day or two, so I bought out the big guns: spray, some sort of earth I need to learn how to spell and write, new bed bug covers for all beds and pillows, bleach wipes, steam mop. Somewhere along the line, I inhaled and/or ingested some of the spray, called Poison Control, was told what I’d grabbed was the least offensive of the sprays available, and that I was likely allergic to the base of the spray — of all things, chrysanthemum. Cool!
So I drank a crapload of tea (of course, Clari Tea to the rescue!) had a really hot, long shower, and will be sleeping in the living room tonight while the fumes dissipate.
So, lovely Steepsterites — have I missed anything? Any suggestions?
From the queue, written March 29th 2014
Anna sent this one to me, I think. Or possibly it was in the EU TTB round 2. I’m not certain. I found one of Anna’s number stickers loose in the box of things not yet tried, and I’m not certain which bag it fell off. It’s definitely of Anna origin, though, because she’s the only one I know who packs samples this way.
It is also a tea that several people have recommended to me on account of me liking almond flavoured tea recently, and it has been generally well rated on Steepster too, so I’m dealing with one of those popular blends now that everybody seems to drink.
I hope I won’t be disappointed.
It smells wonderfully marcipan-y. More marcipan than almond, really. There’s also something else there that I can’t really put my finger on and I don’t think it’s the base tea.
Turns out that there was something else in here. It’s something fairly tart and berry-y. Not Dreaded Hibiscus tart, but berry tart. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps cherries? Normally I would have enjoyed a spot of berries, but the aroma here really led me to believe I was about to have something almond-y and marcipan-y, and I don’t think I got that. At all. It’s very difficult for me to find a marcipan-y note, but there is an almond-y note which comes out mostly in the aftertaste.
I have to say, I am actually a little disappointed. I want more almond. Less berry.
The description of it just says ‘honey, rare spices and and fruits’. Well I found the fruits in the shape of possibly-cherries. I can’t say I found anything resembling either rare spices and definitely no honey. I got nearly-almond in vast amounts in the aroma and a little in the flavour, but that can’t really be categorised as neiter honey nor rare spice.
This was not what I expected. And definitely not what I had hoped. Boo.
I’ve been so busy drinking samples and exploring, I realize I have neglected my beloved Butiki teas. Stacy please forgive me, I miss reviewing them so here I am!
I have reviewed this one before, but it deserves more love.
Lazy oolong afternoon…Oh, this oolong…I’m so surprised it doesn’t get more ratings, only a few have written notes.
It’s a decadent oolong, yet so elegant. So sweet and rich, creamy and buttery, almost pudding like in the mouth, with a flowery aftertaste of lilac and orchid, followed by a minty fresh coating. Awwww! Just SPECTACULAR.
This tea is from the highest plantations in the world and it shows. When something tastes heavenly, we say in French “ça goûte le ciel!”…It taste like the sky.
I’m using my little glass Gongfu pot. Of all the pots I own (beleve me when I say I own a lot!!) this is becoming one of my favourite. Easier to use than a Gaiwan, and you still get to steep short infusions with the ability to admire the beautiful leaves unfurling.
This tea is heaven. Just buy it and try it for yourself.
Lately, I’ve found that when fresh my Yunnan teas have been one of my most diversely flavoured tea types. They pretty well all have cocoa, honey and grainy/malt note which are the last notes to dissipate as they age, but diversify with fruity, herbaceous floral, leather, licorice, sweet potato, and mineral notes.
This tea may not have as complex a flavour profile or as thick a mouth feel as some of my others but what it does uyave is rich, pleasant, and comforting. It makes a nice, comforting everyday tea, especially for those who love distinct cocoa notes.
The dry leaves are longer thinner and more tightly wound than most of my current Yunnan’s. There is about 75-80% golden tips with short downy trichomes. The dry leaves smell comfortingly of malt, grain, cocoa, and a hint of alfalfa.
I got 5 steeps using a little over one TSP in 200ml at 90°C (1, 1.2, 1.4, 2 & 3 min)
The initial steeps brewed to a dark almost coffee coloured or dark oak tinged with gold colour. The scent was of malt, honey, cocoa and hay with butter and longan notes mixing in with these notes in later steeps.
Flavour notes appearing were top notes of longan, malt, clover, blended with dissolved cocoa powder, honey( sweetest in the middle steeps), sweet potato, cream, butter, berry, grapish note, alfalfa and minerals.
I found the tea to be only slightly sweet but well balanced. It is neither sour, sweet or overly savoury. It has a moderate density with little to no astringency with a nice kick of caffeine. The cocoa notes deepen as it cools.
Although it is not as complex or distinct as some of my Yunnan’s, it does what it does well and makes a nice cocoa rich everyday tea!
Thanks Angel and TeaVivre for this lovely tea.
One of Sil’s contributions to the BBBBox, which is currently headed my way to thwart all of my sipdown efforts. I’m sipping this one while warming up for the first of 2 weddings that I’ll be playing at today. I’ve still got about a half an hour before I need to get dressed (have I ever mentioned that I mostly live in my pajamas?), but this will be my last cup of tea this morning, as I don’t want to be water-logged at a wedding! This is earthy, bold, & actually very bright, with a kind of oaky tannin quality to it.
I’m running late, so this is going to be a quick one. Thanks are owed to charlotte0 who provided me with five million MF teas to sample in our swap, including this one!
This is a sipdown. It wasn’t nearly as impressive as I found it the first time I tried it, although I steeped it slightly differently this time—for about five minutes (as per the website instructions), and the sample had been languishing in my drawer with other samples for some time now. It remains my favourite chocolate tea thus far, specifically because you can really taste the quality of the chocolate flavouring. It isn’t so much that it is intensely strong, although given that it’s a flavoured black it has a decent amount of heft; it’s just that the quality of the chocolate is so rich and decadent. I definitely plan on scooping up this tea when I eventually make it to the UK. I’m finding that in general, you need to be careful with French teas; they are exquisite in their flavouring, and very rich indeed, but also prone to being easily overwhelmed.
Thanks again, charlotte0!
This is your celebration
Celebrate good times, come on!
Celebrate good times, come on!
Yes that was Kool & The Gang and we are celebrating my 1000th Steeping note! Boy this has come around very quickly, 1000 notes of me mumbling about tea and life stories. Thank you to those who have made it possible. Damn the Oscar music has come on so I am being shown off stage.
And now we are back into the land of tea and Earl Grey. This was surprisingly strong when I opened the tin, the bergamot is absolutely gorgeous. Then I realised it was still sealed in the foil packet, this is one of if not the strongest Earl Grey teas I have had the pleasure of sniffing. What do we want? Strong Earl Grey. When do we want it? Now!
Not only was the scent divine but looking at the leaves and seeing the beautiful autumn tones of a Darjeeling pushed this tea over the edge. So far I am astonished I have not tried this before.
Sampling without sugar but with a splash of milk for my first taste. Plus I have some left over wedding cake on the side that my cousin was kind enough to drop off for my aunty to distribute. Earl grey and wedding cake…sounds like bliss already.
Fragrant, perfumed, strong, clean, waxy, sweet. Some of the words that came to mind as I took my first sip. It is a very strong Earl Grey but it’s not heavy, and the bergamot is somewhat perfumed amongst the floral-esque Darjeeling but at the same time it is waxy, sweet and pure. ie non chemical or artificial. The balance is nice, though both elements are strong you can taste them both, though the bergamot lingers longer in the after taste.
I love Earl Grey and have tried many over the years, including especially imported and expensive blends. Compared to my Earl Grey index this particular one has to be my favourite. I’m not sure if I will be disappointed in the next month or two as the tea is now out of it’s foil packet and though tinned may loose it’s strength (as has happened many times over with various teas) but honestly this Earl Grey is so good I would offer it to Captain Picard.
Sad sipdown, although I’m confident I’ll be getting more of this in the future. Melon-flavoured teas seem to be proliferating right about now, so I may foray into their depths this summer and ultimately come back to this one. I really like the base white tea here, and this tea has a remarkable amount of flavour for a white. I used two heaping tsp in my carry mug and just greedily chugged the last few drops. I do love it when a sip down can end on such a wonderful note. Lots of cantaloupe, lots of cream (helped of course by the dash of cream I added), and a perfect tea to have to remind you that spring is around the corner…or, well, in our case across the world and light-years away, but a girl can dream.
And now to find a hotel to stay in in Hollywood that won’t have me selling myself to afford it! my goodness!
Welcome to Day 1 of Little Terri’s Ultimate Sipdown Extravaganza!
My goal is to complete as many sipdowns as possible, while still enjoying the teas to the fullest, so it’s not like I plan to fly through 100 teas in a week, I’m just trying to drink up all of my small quantities that I’ve been tossing into a box. It might last a week, it might last a month, who knows? Feel free to join me as I free myself of various tea remnants from TTBS, TOMCs, & trades (mostly from Sil).
I don’t really have very many plain black teas to sipdown, so I’ve decided one of the parameters of this extravaganza is to enjoy a nice big pot or gongfu session with any black tea I choose, first thing in the morning. After that, let the sipdowns begin!
Today is was a pot of this blend, which I really enjoy. It’s rich & manly, & a great way to start the day!
I’ve been curious about pu-erhs lately, and this is the only one I’ve ever tried. Actually that’s not true, there was a Creme de Menthe one I used to enjoy also. Anyway, this one. It used to be a favorite of mine and I restocked it several times. I didn’t noticed the dirt or slight fishiness of it until I first joined Steepster and read reviews. Then when I smelled my tin of this I had myself convinced it was fishy fish fisherson all over the place.
I had enough left for one more cup, and decided to make it today.
I like the smell of it dry, not noticing the fishiness this time. Definitely a dirty smell though.
When brewed, it’s very dark, which I like in a tea for sure. And still smells like dirt.
But tastes like chocolate orange, with very earthy undertones. Not unpleasant! Actually the more I sip, the more I enjoy. The flavours go very well together, with this base.
I’d consider buying this again someday. In the meantime I will be trying some plain, quality Mandala pu-erh soon courtesy of MzPriss, which I am excited for, if not slightly trepidatious!
My next pu-erh related goal is to somehow get my hands on some of Lupicia’s Strawberry Chocolate pu-erh, which I hear is amazing, and there’s a Scottish Caramel pu-erh floating around by different brands (Tea Desire is supposed to be great), which I’d love to try before I buy.
I figure all of those things will allow me to determine how I feel about pu’erh right now!
If you’re looking for an easy in, this Chocolate Orange one works just fine as an intro, for me anyway!
Wow, my last note reviewed this as 19! It’s definitely not that, must have been at the height of my fishy dirt paranoia.
I have to bump it up. I don’t love it anymore but it’s much better than 19!
Continuing to whittle down the Butiki teas I don’t plan to restock, such as this one. I’ve forbidden myself from placing another Butiki order until I’ve cleared out this one, Irish Cream Cheesecake, and Traditional Plum Pudding (as well as tried my new Butiki samples from VariaTEA and the impending ones from 221Tea) from my cupboard. There are several I know I love that I plan on restocking, such as Pistachio Ice Cream, Cider Guayusa, and White Rhino and plenty more that I’ve yet to try but really want to but I’m not allowed to do that until I have room!
So this came with in the timolino today. I actually drank it in the evening not the morning
Good Evening Sunshine, but shhhh it’s a secret. It feels wrong going against the tea’s name.
There was something off about it and I struggled to place what but suddenly it hit me while sipping at it: it needed honey! Thankfully and coincidentally we received a shipment of honey, jam, and PB to the store today so I just bought one of our bottles of honey, squeezed a little in, shook it around a bit, and continued sipping. With the new addition of honey, all felt right again.
I love this tea! It’s such a great tea for a really busy but awesome day.
Some of you know I work at a special makeup effects shop. Well they need to make a toddler for a tv show and I volunteered my child as a model to make the mold. So we set up a swimming pool, filled it with toys, and then spread warm goop all over her (arms, legs, whatever we could get a hold of) and then distracted the heck out of her so she wouldn’t move while it set. And it worked! Who know a 23 m.o. could be so still! :D I can’t wait to see how the molds turn out and how the finished toddler looks. :D
(So that’s why I haven’t been logging today. It’s been a long busy day)
«This is my #1 favourite black tea» Dexter3657 wrote on this sample she so generously shared with me.
I won’t let this influence my note, but it’s always nice to know you’re drinking someone’s favourite tea :-)
Oh…it’s a nom-nom-nom tea. Sweet and malty, it’s what I call a comfortable tea. I’m sure it’s the type that does’t require much care in the brewing method and always comes out delish, no matter how bad you’ve treated it. I’m having it in the glass Gongfu pot. I forgot how long my first brew was, and it did not affect the taste. No astringency whatsoever.
It’s a Fujian and it wears that beautiful golden robe.
Yes, it’s fruity and nutty, with hints of baked potatoes. But it also has a saltiness and spiciness to it, almost brothy and savoury.
I like it cause it’s different and brings a different dimension to some other similar teas I have tried.
Thank you so much Dexter3657 for sharing one of your favourite with me :-)
Non tea related content:
It’s bird season, and as you know, I’m a fan, I feed them all over the yard. Since this morning, I have identified 17 different spicies. In a few weeks, I’ll have over 40 different species coming and going in the many feeders I fill with love every week…
I thought I’d mention them cause they are beautiful and really gave me joy today.
As I’m writing this, I’m watching a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak, just stunning!
Woot! Finally got my Whispering Pines order (darn borders…) So this of course is the first tea I tried. Dammit though, I oversteeped it while watching Person of Interest. Bah!
Regardless, this smells so strongly of chocolate out of the bag I looked around to see if I’d left some chocolate out accidentally. Nope, it’s from the tea! Amazing. Steeped (for 11 minutes, bah!) it’s still very chocolately with zero astringency, although I can still tell it would be much more delicate, light, yet full and rich had I done this justice. It smells amazing still even as it sits here, and I hope the scent floats out throughout the house.
I’m still alive, guys!
Although I don’t think I would have been saying that so enthusiastically even a few days ago. I woke up last Monday morning with a mildly sore throat. You know, the “it would feel nice to have a warm drink this morning” type. Well, not even a few hours later, I was shivering, had a raging fever, and could barely swallow without literally crying in pain. Two days later, a doctor thought I had strep, so gave me antibiotics. Four days later, they still weren’t working at all, and the pain in my throat and ears was so awful that even breathing hurt. Then, I began puking violently. You know the kind where you’re on the floor clutching and lurching, thinking for sure you’re going to rupture something because of the force of your heaving? yeah that kind. Anyway, I went to the ER a few times to get hydrated. We’re thinking the antibiotics on an empty stomach for four days wasn’t such a good idea, either that or it was the wrong antibiotic. I was also blessedly given some really effective pain medication, even though they refused to give me anything for the pain the first time around. They were like “yeah, take Advil.” and I was like “I really think I need something stronger.” and they were like “Well we can’t give you narcotics!” and I was like seriously, wtf? there has got to be something between Advil and morphine you guys can give me. Sure enough there was, but advocating on your behalf when you’re sick is annoying.
Anyway, needless to say I didn’t have much tea at all. I sipped half-heartedly at this cup this morning, because it’s a very soothing and gentle tea, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It’s kind of disappointing, because I also just got my rivertea order in the mail and it all smells amazing. Oh well, I’ll hold off on drinking new tea until I’m feeling up to it.
It’s good to be back though!
Thanks so much to Marzipan for a sample of this tea!
I actually have one of the Butiki Educational Traveling Tea boxes right now as well, but today is my last day of work for the week, so I’m planning to spend some time with the box when I’m home and can do a proper comparison tasting :D
Anyway, this is a wonderful, assertive, exciting breakfast tea! I would consider purchasing some in the future, if not for me then for my friend who absolutely loves Irish Breakfast teas! YUM!
I met Marzipan in real life today, and she gave me some of her special 52 teas blend! THANKS! :D
I’ve never had one of Franks white tea blends, this is exciting! I am drinking this unsweetened right now but I think I’ll probably add a little sugar to my next cup to up the jammy qualities. It has a nice raspberry flavor! The white tea is somewhat bland, but I think some sugar would really make this one pop. I’ll give it a rating next time when I taste it that way, but so far I do like this one.
Thanks again Marzipan!
Back in December, Roswell Strange sent a package to my Thornhill address so that my sister could get it and bring it to me in Florida. That didn’t pan out and yesterday, as I was unpacking and organizing my room, I found the package hidden on my dresser. So, as per the suggestion if multiple steepsterites, I set this up to cold brew. I have no idea how long it steeped for but I believe it was about 11/12 hours.
This is definitely better as a cold brew than hot but still isn’t what I hoped it would be. The base is strong with a bit of vanilla sweetness. At the end of the sip, the carrot cake flavors come through, albeit subtly, and just sit on the tongue. Good, but not something I am heartbroken I won’t be able to get again. Nonetheless, thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to try this again!
No gongfu session this morning, as I have things to do. So I’m changing it up a bit, starting with a cup of this assam. I’m drinking a 5 minute resteep of the leaves right now, & although it doesn’t carry the full richness of the original cup, it’s still smooth & better than anything I would get in a teabag. Not bitter in the least, nor astringent, just memories of malt, dark chocolate, & a lingering tanginess like plums.
Morning cup. First off I just noticed this is Bolder Breakfast not Boulder Breakfast like I spelled it on my blog a while back. Had to fix it. Second, I didn’t feel like searching to post, so I typed bolder breakfast into the search. There seems to be at least 3 different listings for the same tea. Such is Steepster in the morning. My blurry head tastes chocolate, something mildly spicy, and pu’er. That’s all I got until I wake up. I recall it being awesome from last time.