Featured & New Tasting Notes

100

My oregano bush is in bloom, and like every year, it hosts a bumble bee party. So cute to watch them working their little butts off.

Thank you bees for all your hard work…because of you, my oregano looks like a micro forest!!

I had Sleeping Bear in the middle of the afternoon. I usually have it at night. But it was raining and this tea reminds me how rain tastes in my forest, so it was the perfect companion.

I’m on a “monthly subscription” for this tea…meaning, I buy it once a month cause it’s that good and I get to have the newest harvest every time.

Out of the three different harvests I have tried so far, this one is the best. It’s a little more piney than the others, and the jasmine is just perfect. The scent is therapeutic, it elevates me…I feel like I’m resting on a little cloud made of jasmine blossoms and soft pine needles.

So good that I re-steep it. Yes, cause Whispering Pines has made a re-steeper out of me!

Stephanie

We had two big fat fuzzy bumble bees wrestling inside an okra flower at my house yesterday, too funny!

Cameron B.

I would imagine bumble bee wrestling to be similar to sumo… Lol!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, most of them are actually regular working bees, but I like saying Bumble Bee, makes me happy :-)

Lol, Cameron, that pic is cute!

Stephanie, i think Cameron is right, two big fat bumble bees fighting together = sumo bee wrestling :-)

Stephanie

I usually think of the small “regular” bees as honey bees, and the extra large extra fuzzy variety as bumblebees!

They were totally sumo wrestling, LOL

KiwiDelight

Awwwwwww I love bumblebees! I got stung by one when I was two because I tried to pet it. Surprisingly not traumatized xD

Sami Kelsh

Yeah, re-steepage!!!

Also, sumo wrestling bumbly bees is the cutest image ever.

Sarsonator

I’m totally crashing that bumblebee party!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! KiwiDelight, kudos for petting a bee, so cute!

Sami, except when I do gongfu sessions, I was never much of a re-steeper…now, with those WP teas, it just breaks my heart to throw them out so I can’t help re-steep most of them!

Sars, I was hoping you’d crash ;-)

mj

Bees are so awesome! I went to an insect behavior lecture a couple of months ago (just for fun) and learned some about them. Did you know that all the bees you see outside the hive are female? They are the workers and soldiers. The males stay in the hive and care for the larvae. Fun facts :)

Sarsonator

TTF: You know I can’t resist a party!!!!!

MzPriss

Suddenly The Tea Hobbit has turned us into re-steepers LTF

TheTeaFairy

I’ve learned here on Steepster that resistance is futile Sars…

MzPriss…let’s face it. We are total re-steepers. But only with tea hobbit’s teas… I still dump my other used tea leaves with no guilt after one steep!

MzPriss

The two I actually res-steep are GO and this one. I wih I had some right now. But it’s not long until the 1st. The Tea Hobbit is also lightning shipper

Sarsonator

The firsssst…. it nearsssss…. Need teasssssss :p

hippiechick 42

Where do you get your “subscription” for this tea?

TheTeaFairy

Lol, it’s a joke hippiechick, I said that cause I buy it every month, just can’t live without it, and I easily go through my 2oz within 30 days :-)

hippiechick 42

Oh ok I was going to order some, due to your amazing review, but it is out of stock. :(

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This tea is available in small quantities starting on the first day of each month :-)

Usually sells out pretty quickly, so keep an eye out for it!

hippiechick 42

Thanks I will!

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86
drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
1774 tasting notes

Hey! I’m still here, reading your posts and lurking. I just haven’t posted much lately – been too busy at work, and outside of work, I’ve been busy playing on my 3ds, and then not getting enough sleep because of the toddler deciding bedtime is 3am. WHAT?

Anyway I feel like I’m all over the place. Tired. Zombied. And too tired to drink tea. Also it’s a billion degrees in the office so that doesn’t help! And all my samples are 2+ cups each so I am not getting sipdowns at all and that’s a little discouraging. This one puts me at 194 and that’s still too many.

But things are ok now. Great actually! I had an assam earlier that was bitter and awful so I dumped it and am now enjoying the last of this beautiful tea. It’s so good. Courtney – I can’t believe you didn’t like this, but your loss was my gain! :D

-now I’m gonna go post in the Pokemon thread on Steepster. :P http://steepster.com/discuss/6887-pokemon-and-tea
-anyone a Zelda fan that has a 3DS? What should I play after a Link Between Worlds?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
VariaTEA

HI CAVO!! And I am surprised Courtney didn’t like this either cuz I know she enjoys Three Friends but I guess everyone’s unique preferences are what make this site interesting and swapping possible.

Courtney

Hehe. I’m glad it found a better home. It’s not that I didn’t like it, just not enough to keep it around in my cupboard. My cupboard space is so limited, I can only keep teas I love. :)

Cavocorax

Yeah – I really want to like Three Friends, but idk what’s wrong with me. :P Good thing we all have different tastes!

Sil

130 130 130 130 130 130 130 130 130 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

ahem sorry…

Sil

(i hate 3 friends – 2 friends is where it’s at)

VariaTEA

Sil, we had the same amount of tea like two days ago. Now I have 160 :(

Cavocorax

I am so depressed by you Sil. So sad. I could do it if I made every cup my last cup and threw out what was left if it was ‘just ok’ but I feel bad, so I drink it and don’t drink the rest. Or I don’t drink it all all bc it’s meh and I don’t want to deal with it. Haha. So I’m drinking teas I like. But only 4 cups a day and that’s sad-making! /whiiiiiiine/

Ummm… but seriously, way to go Sil and to a lesser extent, VariaTEA We were all in the 200 club and now I am all by myself! :P

I just bought an Adventure Time game for the 3ds while shopping at Walmart for work things. Life is good too!

Sil

i have another 20 or so samples and then lief gets tough in tersm of getting to 95 this month..

Cavocorax

Yeah, but you’re going to be SO CLOSE to 100. That’s impressive dude. So impressive. Too bad you can’t get real life achievements for that.

VariaTEA

I have a lot of samples right now but many are black teas and after a few cups of black, I just find them too heavy and don’t want more. Honestly, I crave water more and more. Plus, when I work the day shift, I come home and plan to spend my evening drinking tea cuz I have so much time but then I pass out super early and no tea gets drunk.

tea-sipper

Just as long as you don’t go missing from Steepster entirely!

Cavocorax

Awww. Thanks. :)

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93

So, I really really love RLT’s flavoured matcha – and of all the different kinds I own this is probably the most versatile: I’ve successfully used it cold shaken in water, whisked into cold milk, in smoothies and milkshakes, and as a matcha soda. No matter how I use it the flavour remains distinctly juicy pineapple. Tonight, I went with matcha soda.

Here’s my recipe:

1.5 tsp. of matcha disolved into about 2 oz. of hot water
1 tsp. of sugar
1 can of club soda

Interestingly, as a matcha soda I find that the pineapple, while retaining some of the natural taste it has, becomes a little bit more like candied pineapple, and in the case of this particular batch it tasted just a little bit like bubble gum – but I enjoyed how different that was, and the added element/dimension it brought to the flavour. It is also possible the added sweetness was more from the added sugar; typically I do not ad d any sweetner to any of my tea, the matcha soda being the exception because I find the sweetner is needed to combat the taste of the club soda.

Just a friendly reminder if you’re gonna go the match soda route; remember to occasionally stir it a little bit because otherwise any matcha that didn’t properly dissolve will end up sitting on the bottom and your last few sips will be really, really concentrated!

And that, folks, is the last of my epic, long as fuck queue – so I can finally go to sleep now, and start fresh tomorrow without any backlog! Hooray! I feel like I’ve accomplished so much.

Flavors: Pineapple

Cavocorax

That sounds intriguing….

Kaylee

I love this idea and am slightly scared of it at the same time.

Sil

i love this matcha…pineapple lifesaver goodness

Roswell Strange

I’ve had weired matcha sodas, Kaylee! Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie are the first odd ones that come to mind, and I guess Eggnog. I liked all of them – but this is probably the best one (or maybe Bananas & Cream). And yes Sil! In fact, it’s because of you I fell in love with this one ;)

Sil

Not that I’m off my matcha kick a little…this is the one I most miss….

Sil

Er not = now

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95
drank Dark Beauty by Mandala Tea
278 tasting notes

Holy Crap. This tea is BLACK. Like my soul. :p

Method: I followed MzPriss’s instructions. But I did just do 1/2 a batch to start because I wasn’t sure I could handle the dark side. So it was about 1.5 tsp Special dark, a small pinch? of Black Beauty, 8 oz water, 208 degrees.

Aroma: This smells like a cave of mystery

Flavor: Well. It turns out that I am not quite ready for the dark side. This tastes a little burny. Not like the burninator or anything, but a wee bit smoky perhaps?

Luckily, I know I’m kind of a weenie when it comes to the ultra darks, so I brought along the bottle of maple syrup. 1 tsp later and this is like a dark heaven. This has an amazing mouthfeel, heavy and thick. It’s surprisingly not overly bitter.

I know this flavor. My Nana used to make these sugar cookies for Xmas every year, and they were super thin. Ribbon cookies? Anyway, she would always burn them because they were so thin that it was impossible to get the temp and timing just right in an old oven. That’s what this reminds me of! Nana’s cookies!

I never say “No” to anything that reminds me of my Nana. Except wooden paddles!

Edit: I did a 2nd steep of this. At this point, the teas are already mixed together in the strainer. I steeped for 5 minutes and wow, I like the 2nd steep even better. I still did the maple, but the 2nd steep is much milder. What was already just a light burn/smoke is now a whisper. I can taste a little cocoa and more bakery notes. Less like Nana burned cookies, and more cakey?

BTW: Nana’s burny cookies were famous and everyone was actually excited to get them. They were only every lightly burned around the edges, and the contrast of dark and sweet was always kind of pleasant. So it’s not a negative thing AT ALL!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sarsonator

Whenever something has a smoky or burny flavor, I want to sign the Trogdor song. BURNINATING THE COUNTRYSIDE, BURNINATING ALL THE PEOPLE. Even though, this one was very mild in that area, I can’t help myself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gz1DIIxmEE

And the trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiiiiight!!!!

Cameron B.

Lol, “this smells like a cave of mystery.” So win! And don’t forget about the beefy arm! :P

Sarsonator

Coming out of the back of his neck… :p

Garret

Cave of Mystery! Dang… now I gotta come up with another pu’er blend just so I can give it that name :) Puerfect!

Garret

Only with your permission, of course, Sarsonator. If it happens, I’ll credit you with the name!

Sarsonator

Now you really have to name something “Cave of Mystery” because if you don’t, I will be super sad. :)

Garret

Since you being sad is not an option, then it shall me made manifest! I just gotta get the right leaves together. With a name like that, I really think it has to be a ripe style pu’er, don’t you think? Heck, I’ve already got a poem going for it in my head. Oh boy, that tea will have to live up to its name!!

Sarsonator

Yes, ripe for sure.

This is so exciting!

bizbee1

I like black, smoky and caves, can’t wait for the cave of mystery! I’m still waiting for the day I can place an order to try the special dark, looks like I’ll have to add black beauty to the wish list!

Sarsonator

biz: Please do. I had purchased the Special Dark, but when MzP started talking about this, I knew I would want to try it. So I bought the black beauty the next time around. I really think she came up with a heck of a mix here.

MzPriss

I’m glad it reminded you of your Nana. It is pretty strong, but I love the dark side :) and your should is not black – you are one of my rays of sunshine

MzPriss

I’m making a big fat cup of Jabber and pondering dinner…

Sarsonator

Oh, thanks. I like being sun shiney! :)

I had muesli for dinner because sometimes I eat breakfast for dinner.

MzPriss

I had scrambled eggs and toast and bacon last night for dinner

TheTeaFairy

What a lovely review sars…and I too vote for a “cave of mystery” mandala tea!

Sarsonator

Thanks, Pookie pie! I’m glad my unintentional pu’erh name is gaining a following. :p

Cwyn

It is a challenge sometimes to say the flavor, often a story or memory comes instead. Nice read…

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6
drank Raspberry Mint Herbal by Teavana
1328 tasting notes

Queued post, written May 25th 2014

I took this one out of the EU TTB round 2, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it. It’s the raspberry that appeals to me here, even though the combination with mint strikes me as slightly odd. It’s not something I would have ever thought to put together myself. I’ve been waiting for a good time to have it, and I believe now is it.

The colour is borderline disturbing and there’s a smell of spearmint in this that made me actually recoil. I tried smelling the wet leaf inside the pot as well and there was a distinct aroma there of human… Nevermind that. I don’t think that’s a thought I wish to continue with.

It doesn’t smell like raspberry or any other kind of fruit though. Mostly just spearmint. Granted that’s a strong smell, a stronger smell than raspberry, so all is not lost.

It doesn’t taste like raspberry either. It tastes like hibiscus. Not surprising given the red tint to the colour. Or the grimace on my face everytime I try to sip it.

Hibiscus is not a berry. It does not taste even remotely like any berry ever. Stop trying to foist it on people claiming it’s a berry flavour!

Hibiscus tastes like blood to me. Metallic and sour and disgusting. Spearmint tastes like toothpaste, basically.

What I’ve got here is a cup of blood-flavoured toothpaste.

No thank you, says I.

Sil

lol blood flavoured toothpaste…. gross

KiwiDelight

Holy smokes that’s a first I’ve heard, hibiscus tasting like blood.

Angrboda

Sil, isn’t it just?

KiwiDelight, it’s the metallic tang that gives me that association. Probably also to some extent the colour.

KiwiDelight

It actually does remind me of blood as I see the color of the water change. Makes a perfect association in my mind because (warning: tmi) I drink hibiscus when I’m menstruating (since it’s loaded with vitamin C).

teaqueen

So the wet leaf smelled (literally) like crap, and the tea liquor tasted like blood flavored toothpaste? Ewwwwww! I’ve not been impressed with Teavana myself. I have a blackberry mojito green blend that tastes mostly like bitter hibiscus swampwater. I think Starbuck’s should stick to coffee.

Angrboda

Teaqueen, I can’t actually rightly remember now what it was it smelled like, but it was definitely some sort of… discharge. :/

Angrboda

Kiwi, I don’t think I change my habits much during those times, although I’ve attempted it. As a small experiment I have lately tried to remember to avoid caffeine and choose herbal things on the first day, because I’ve been told that caffeine can have a negative effect on cramps. I can’t say that I’ve noticed much of a difference there, though.

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79

I’m pretty sure the sample of this I’m drinking was from boychik Thanks!!!

I’m glad to get to revisit this one. It was one of the teas that made me think oxidized oolongs aren’t really my thing. I LOVE a good Dancong, but this one is darker and less complex. I get woody plummy notes, and a nice sweetness. It is pleasant and everything, but just doesn’t blow me away like some teas do :)

boychik

I have to revisit. I think I have another sample. I tried Da hong Pao recently and it just blew my mind. I thought I was in a happy place with my Yunnan blacks and Puerh… Sigh…

Sil

feel like i should try this one even though i’m not overly fond of oolongs

apt

this isn’t dancong, it’s yancha.I don’t think Verdant is known for having good yancha.

Stephanie

Right, I was just comparing this one to Dancong, which I know I like very much :)

apt

Jing Tea Shop has really good Dancong and Yancha if you want to try some

Stephanie

Sweet, I’m always up for trying new Dancongs!

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Well, this happened :)
-
Rivendell is a majestic Elven outpost in Middle Earth, filled with lush vegetation, towering waterfalls, and clean, pure air.

Our Rivendell blend was inspired by this ethereal place. With a base of sweet Anxi Tieguanyin, roasted cedar leaves, and hand-cut Tahitian vanilla, this tea is the essence of purity.

Rivendell opens with the taste of cedar, cherry, and caramel flowing through a luscious sweet body. The middle of the sip coats your mouth with a nectar-like sweetness and hints at vanilla and chocolate, with a touch of pine nut and mineral, reminiscent of spring water that has flowed over miles of untouched granite. The finish is clean with hints of lilac and pear, leaving an aftertaste of cedar and caramel. It tastes as if the purest water in the world flowed through miles of sugarcane fields, scattered with nectar-filled lilacs and orchids, passed through a forest of cedar and cherry trees, then poured over a pristine granite cliff straight into your cup. It’s pure nectar and caramel with light florals, a hint of berries and chocolate, a touch of pine nut, and heady evergreen sweetness.

If there ever was a fruit fit only for the elves, this would be its juice.

Notes: Cedar, Cherry, Caramel, Vanilla, Mineral, Chocolate, Pine Nut, Lilac, Pear

http://whisperingpinestea.com/rivendell.html

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Sweet…pure…gold…soon to ship to your doorstep ;-)

TheTeaFairy

Aaaaaah…relief!

keychange

I am sorry, but I require this tea immediately. Instantly.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hey Keychange, this can be arranged! :-)

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Follow me so I can send you a message :))

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100
drank Dark Beauty by Mandala Tea
155 tasting notes

This is my 100th tasting note! I’ve been drinking plenty of tea, but I haven’t made a formal note on them because I was saving #100 for something meaningful to me. The very first what I call “real” (not grocery store tea bags) teas that I fell passionately in love with were Mandala teas. Garret was my first tea-pusher. I realize “tea-pusher” sounds a bit questionable and unromantic for the ever so charming and graceful Garret. But I mean it in the most affectionate way possible. Good tea is like the very best kind of addictive drug and dealing with Garret is an addicting experience: beautiful tea made possible by a soulful, ethical company. I will be a lifelong Mandala customer.

I’ve mentioned drinking my Dark Beauty cocktail many times and have had a few requests to add it to the database, so violà! (that was for you TeaFairy).

You won’t find “Dark Beauty” when you go visit Garret at the Mandala site because it’s a concoction of two of my very favorite teas – two great tastes that taste great together if you will. Dark Beauty is a blend of Special Dark Loose Ripe Pu’er and the sweet, mildly chocolate Black Beauty.

Both of the teas are spectacular on their own. I have Special Dark either alone or in this mixture pretty much every morning of my life. Special Dark is very different from most ripe pu’er – there is no leather that I detect, just a deep smooth bass note of heavy chocolate goodness. Black Beauty isn’t a bug bitten tea, but it has those very sweet lychee-honey notes that good bug bitten tea has.

Here’s how I make it: I take a 16 ounce cup or teapot, I put a scant tablespoon of Special Dark in whichever infuser basket I’m using. At this point, once you’ve boiled your water, you can give the SD a quick rinse if you wish. I usually don’t bother because it doesn’t seem necessary to me for this tea – sorry tea careful tea-crafters, sorry about that. I steep the SD in 16 ounces of 212 water for 3 minutes. Then I add a big pinch of the Black Beauty, give it a stir and steep for another 3 minutes.

UPDATED to add the new, lazy, awesome method. I’ve been losing patience with what I call The Dark Beauty Two-Step, so it’s time to make it simple. Now, I’m putting both teas in at the same time (and skewing the ratio slightly more to the Black Beauty side), pouring in the water and steeping it all at the same time for 4 minutes. Works a treat and less fuss If you’re a DB fan, try it this way and let me know what you think.

Yes, that is a LONG time to steep. No, it never gets bitter or astringent. It yields the deepest, darkest cup of sweet comforting awesome you can imagine. Earthy and chocolate with an undertone of caramel lurking back there, especially noticeable as it cools a little and a lilt of the floral-lychee bit from the Black Beauty at the top.

When I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I go Terri-style with this and add a little maple syrup and on occasion, a little bit of milk or almond milk. I have insomnia and lots of stress. This is the tea equivalent to me of the heavy, snuggly quilt my great-grandmother made that I cocooned myself in as a child. This is my pure comfort tea. When I drink this, I hear pretty much everything these guys ever sang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nedEEL37Lvw

Christina / BooksandTea

I’ve never had anything from Mandala, but this tea sounds like it would be quite the experience. Congrats on your 100th note!

mj

Happy 100 :)

MzPriss

:) thanks y’all. Christina – Mandala is all the awesome. I especially love their pu’ers

Sil

woohoo! grats on 100 notes!

Stephanie

That blend sounds amazing!

Sarsonator

Making this tonight. I specifically bought Black Beauty so I could try this!!!!!

Sarsonator

Stupid steepster… That said You’re super!!!

And it had a heart. Steepster hates hearts!!!

MzPriss

Awwwww thanks for the

boychik

Congrats on 100!!!

Garret

Dark Beauty recipe is going to go on our site soon, if that’s alright with you, Mz Priss! Naturally, I’ll credit you as the contributor. We are changing up the site over the next few months and I think this will go on the blog that I just started there and also in a recipes section. Great stuff, the Dark Beauty!!

Sarsonator

I’m making mine now!!!! Wooo hoo!!!! 30 secs left!

Garret

And the verdict, Ms Sarsonator?

Sarsonator

Reminds me of my Nana. But probably not why someone might think. LOL. I just posted my review. Yay!

MzPriss

@Garret – of course it’s alright with me – I’m glad you like it. It’s my happy place, as Sars would say: Of Happiness.

Sarsonator

Yep. That’s exactly what I would say! I think you really did a great job with this one, HoneyBelle!

MzPriss

Thanks hon. I’m enjoying my Jabber, thinking about what to put on a tortilla for dinner

Sarsonator

Beans and hummus?
Veggies and hummus?
Veggies and SPICY hummus?

MzPriss

I have both of those things. Good idea, and maybe a cup of Black Beauty w/o SD since my Jabber is allll gone

Sarsonator

I need to try the Black Beauty on it’s own. Maybe I will do that for tomorrow’s AM tea. I got excited and went right for your blend. :)

MzPriss

I love BB. It tastes bug bitten like an OB, but it’s not. It’s yummy

TheTeaFairy

Oh, what a lovely review! You make everyone want to try this beauty cocktail…and guess what? I just got my black beauty in the mail, so tonight is the night!

Haha! And thanks for “violà” much appreciated :-)

looseTman

Congrats on your 100th tasting note! Creating your own “Special” Mandala cocktail is an awesome way to celebrate #100! MzPriss, your truly an original!

MzPriss

Thanks looseTman – I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)

TheTeaFairy

I love the new Lazy DB!!! Great idea ;-)

Sarsonator

Lazy DB FTW!!! I am on my 2nd steep at 6 min. Still good!

looseTman

MzPriss, You’ll have to add a just-brewed image to complete the database description of your original chocolaty cocktail!

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78
drank Caramel Apple by Butiki Teas
7165 tasting notes

Let’s talk about how awesome Stacy is. I allowed myself ONE small order for my birthday because mostly people forgot and it was from stacy because of the red Queen Cupcake and the limited Edition Boracay Breeze. included in the package that i picked up from my tea mule were a couple samples of some of the teas that stacy’s working on. So of course….i came home and have started in on them :) This is the first one i tried – let me tell you, this smells SOOOOOOOOO delicious. The Caramel is really present while the apple is hanging out in the background. I made my other half stick his nose in the cup and his response was…caramel…fruit? smells like a baked good. soooo he couldn’t place the apple but it was close.

Brewing this up – no steeping paramters really so i opted for “oolong” setting on my kettle and let it steep for about 3mins. Initial sips i get caramel! OOLONG! and then apple. it’s roasty oolong, so that’s ok with me. The apple is mostly present in the after taste and currently, the oolong is the dominant flavour. But there is for sure, both apple and caramel here.

not sure how far along stacy is in the process, but i WILL be buying some of this when it comes out because, while i am not a fan of oolongs, i can see how delicious this one is going to be. Thank you Stacy! soo good!

Cameron B.

Sounds so good! I love caramel apple. :D

Butiki Teas

That sample is close-ish to the final product. That will be one of the new teas we are releasing on Friday! :)

Sil

oh god.. you’re killing me Stacy. Want Moar!

Cameron B.

Hooray! I will definitely be ordering some then! :D Are you going to be releasing the Mimosa one too?

Butiki Teas

Sil-Hahaha :)

Cameron B-Nope, sorry the Mimosa one just isn’t going to make it in time. Not sure if that one will work out. I can’t get it to stop tasting like bubblgum but it still tastes good.

OMGsrsly

And… I’m away this weekend. Leaving Friday morning. Hope you start the sale bright and early, Stacy! :)

Cameron B.

Hah! Well I’m glad you’re not going to release it tasting like bubblegum, ew! So excited for the sale. :)

Indigobloom

nomnom. I have never really found a good apple tea. If anyone can do it, it’d be Stacy!!

Kaylee

Also, happy belated birthday!

Butiki Teas

OMGsrsly-We will be previewing the sale on our blog on Thursday and everything will be available by midnight on Thursday for purchase. :)

Cameron B-I was actually thinking about just calling it orange bubblegum. It’s a really interesting flavor but I also may just scrap the mimosa idea for the puerh at least.

Indigobloom-I think the apple works so well with the Gui Fei. Delicious!

Roswell Strange

So excited for caramel apple! (I still think you should do Caramel/Pear, though; Butiki needs a killer pear tea!)

Butiki Teas

Roswell Strange-I was desperately trying to make poached pear with caramel sauce and the pear and caramel flavoring just clashed horribly. I wish that one turned out. Maybe Pear Bellini?

Roswell Strange

That could be good too; I don’t know if I’ve ever had Peach & Pear together…

Butiki Teas

Rosewell Strange-I wouldn’t add peach to that one. I’ve seen “bellini” used for things other than peaches though that is a traditional bellini. I went to this fantastic bar in NYC that had so many types of bellinis that were amazing. I think I would try doing a pear and champagne flavor but maybe add a little brandy flavor and possibly some dried rosemary.

Sil

I’m still sad about the poached pear one :(

I’m tired of eat each, so I’d much rather see something like apricot heh

Indigobloom

I’m ordering it today Stacy, I can’t wait!! :D

OMGsrsly

I had to get some of this one, even though my BFF hates caramel and the order was (mostly) for her birthday. I’m really hoping I like it, or I’ll end up sneakily sending it to someone. :)

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Free sample from Green Terrace – thank you.
Gongfu method
4g 100ml gaiwan 200F
Rinse/ 10/10/15/15/20/30 sec etc
Taiwanese teas are perfect for gongfu method. Lots of steeps, some flavors show up and disappear in next steep.
This tea is flavorful and malty. Apricots, plums, cherries and nuts detected. Some steeps I combined in one cup. I enjoyed sipping this tea while my kids had swim meet.
Thank you so much Green Terrace for letting me try this tea. It was fun.

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Cheri

I’ve been really impressed with the GTT teas that I’ve had so far. I’ll definitely be ordering from them in the somewhat near future.

Cameron B.

I think I have enough of mine left for a gong fu session. I’ll definitely jot down the parameters you used! :D Love this tea!

boychik

Made it last night, still keeps pumping;)
Go Cameron! Gongfu is the best for Chienese and Taiwanese teas.
Ppl think its time consuming, but you can combine steeps (I always try before combining) and to Timolino it goes

Cameron B.

boychik, I don’t mind as much about it being time-consuming because I’m at home all day. Muahaha! :D

Cheri

I do my “pseudo gongfu” at my desk at work. I just have a small cup that I use with an infusion basket, and do it that way. I’m lazy, plus I don’t have a gaiwan at work, but this works really well for me.

Cameron B.

Cheri, I don’t have a gaiwan, so I use two small cups with lids. Sometimes I’ll use my brewing basket just as a sieve to make sure no tea bits get into my drinking cup. Works well enough! :D

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drank Yi Mei Ren by Yunnan Sourcing
430 tasting notes

Today I tried the spring harvest of this tea using short steeps and boiling water, covering the bottom of my 150ml Gaiwan with leaves. My timings were 15,20,40,65,100,120s.

This is the spring harvest of this tea and I am not sure whether the differences I found in flavour are the result of using different techniques or a different season.

I found that this time the cocoa notes were intensified over my previous tasting. The fruit notes found were longan and blackcurrant. Cashew butter and cream notes were also present. The caramel notes were present but not as distinct and I did not find the grainy notes of the last steeping. I’ll have to try my longer steeps and lower temperatures to do a true comparison with the previous season, but I did really enjoy it this way.

JC

Seasons definitely affect the teas. I like doing side-by-side comparison for some teas and sometimes from different years if I have them. Great note!

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95

As I’m having a sleepless night, might as well drink something spectacular.

Using my newly green oolong seasoned yixing pot.

This tea…oh my, this tea.

It’s beautiful. Long twisted strands of jade tentacles. From the most luxuriant tea plantations, one of the greenest oolong there is.

The ultimate refinement. A gleaming Rolls Royce.

Creamy and buttery mouthfeel, French pastries with lingering lilacs in bloom. The taste creates an imprint in my mouth that stays forever. Angel breath…

Needless to say, this is a staple. Been restocking on this for a good two years now, I don’t plan on stopping.

This gets the Fairy stamp of approval!

Sarsonator

Well good morning, early bird!

This sounds really lovely. TeaLux sent me a sample of something. Now I really hope it’s this!!!!

MzPriss

So now I need to try Tealux too?

Sarsonator

Well apparently. :p

I got their Dragon Pearls along with my houhin. I really hope this is my sample, but I’m not ready to get out of bed to go look….

Sarsonator

Oh guess what… When I do make it out of bed, I’ll be making some cocoa Amore in my new vanilla pot!!!! Eeeeeeee!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Well good morning to you too lovely ladies…this tea is really something. Missy Prissy, we talked about this one a little while ago, it’s in your box…I’ve been sending so many Tealux teas, I ran out of most of them, but some are just stunning. But now with WP and Mandala madness, I don’t think I will restock them all. If ever you girls want to place an order, let me know first, I have tried almost all of them, lol. I can give you good recommendations. Their assam #8 is stunning, and so is Da Yu Ling oolong…

TheTeaFairy

Awww, sars, vaniila pot is going to knock your socks off!!

Sarsonator

This one is not my sample. The sample is Feury Doux Champagne. Tried that one?

MzPriss

Does that translate to “Fairy Dew?”

MzPriss

I’m in bed ignoring my dogs and drinking Fujian Black. Sars you will LOVE CA in the vanilla pot. I’m going to do my purple pot for oolong this evening.

Sarsonator

It’s actually Fleury Doux Chanpagne, but I like your translation better

MzPriss

I think my translation is best! Fairy Dew Champagne!

Sarsonator

I had to get up b/c my kitty overlord wanted breakfast. But now I’m back in bed.

MzPriss

My dogs want to get in the bed which usually I let them, but yesterday morning they made me spill my tea and I had to change my sheets and get them in the wash before it stained and it was a LOT of trouble for a Monday morning. So they are looking at me with the BSEs cause I won’t let them up right now.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! You crack me up you two…Fairy Dew? So cute, I want that!!!

Fleury Doux means soft floral…and it’s not even on their website, so it must be something new…sounds really good though.

TheTeaFairy

Oh no! Not bed change again???

And BSEs??? No human can resist canine BSEs…

Sarsonator

Mine get in bed whether I let them or not. Me, Brian, 3 dogs, and Chairman Meow. It’s only a queen sized bed!!!!

It’s a white tea, TTF. I’ll try and report back!!!!

MzPriss

Yes, wicked doggies. Good thing they are adorable. I know, I feel like I;’m giving into the BSEs

MzPriss

3 dogs???? Awesome!

TheTeaFairy

Happy 4 legged family you have there sars :-)

Sarsonator

Try saying that when they have you sardined into your own bed, and you can’t turn over, AND the little monsters have stolen all the covers!!!!!

And the Chairman sits on my head and meows for breakfast!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Love that you have a chaiman to control the madness…

MzPriss

Oh mine lay on the covers really HARD so you can’t pull the covers out from under them and cover yourself up. They make themselves HEAVIER somehow

Sarsonator

The chairman incites the madness!

And yeah, that’s what I mean! They lay on the covers and weigh them down then you are left with none!!!

MzPriss

But then they snuggles up all around me and I melt into a pile of puppy-love

TheTeaFairy

EXACTLY!! I have only one dog (and cats) but he makes himself so heavy (well he is over 100 pounds) that I can’t move a god damn thing from underneath him. Oh, and he snores…not doggy snore…big fat beer belly lumberjack snore!

MzPriss

One of mine snores hard

Sarsonator

LOL!!!! Abby snores, too. Neither of the other dogs do, though.

MzPriss

nother cup of tea. I think it might be CA time

TheTeaFairy

I.cannot.wait.to.get.CA.over.here. In the mean time, I’m getting some snaily. Have I told you gals that WP and Mandala are making almost all my other teas taste bland? It’s a curse.

Sarsonator

Yes. Brewing mine now… Join me.

MzPriss

I have mine. Holy shit it’s good in the vanilla pot LTF!!!! I want yours to get there!

MzPriss

I’m taking my new wee tray to work today and I’m gonna do some WMG. Work sheng!

TheTeaFairy

Enjoy some CA for me ladies…Snaily Yums isn’t a bad replacement though…and I just smelled my little VD pot and it’s full of Port smell and that made me happy.

MzPriss

MMMMMM nose tea is sometimes almost as good as mouth tea

MzPriss

LTF – when I’m done with this cup of GO – I’m going to RE-STEEP! Vanilla Dreams in a yixing is turning us into re-steepers

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Nose tea :-)

And yes…re-steeping is a must in the little pot. I had Port gongfu yesterday and it rendered so many steeps I was amazed!

MzPriss

Oh I should try gongfuing my Port

MzPriss

Nose tea is totally a thing. It doesn;t even have to be brewed – sticking your nose in the bag of GO or Golden Fleece or CA is nose tea!

TheTeaFairy

So true!!

MzPriss

OK lovlies – I need to get in the shower and get to work. I will check in with y’all later.

TheTeaFairy

Have a great day missy :-)

Sarsonator

And my work day begins… I’d rather drink tea with you two all day!

MzPriss

Me too Sars. I’m out the door. Toodles!

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drank Anji Bai Cha by Butiki Teas
3230 tasting notes

I’m happy to report that I brought a thermometer with me, because when I pulled this one out of the bag, I realized that the recommended temp is 165! I have 2 samples of this, I think one is from Sil & this one is from Stephanie. So although this is a sip down for the tea I brought with me, it’s not a real sip down, because I have more at home.

I’m sad to report that the zyrtec I’ve been taking only really worked for the first couple of days of my visit, & each day I feel worse, so today I totally feel like crap. However, the silver lining is that last year (& every time I come to visit) I started feeling like that almost immediately after leaving the airport, & so the experiment has basically been a success, because I’m going home to my usual allergens tomorrow & I probably won’t even notice them upon re-entry.

Although you might not want to trust my taste buds, what I’m getting from this is lightly steamed green beans, with a creamy mouth-feel, and a lingering thick tongue sensation.

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89
drank Cookie by Lupicia
2809 tasting notes

Good day Steepster…
I had kind of a rough morning, I was over at my boyfriend’s house in Berkeley and woke up with itchy hives again. Decided to go home and take some Benadryl and that seems to have helped the problem, though it made me so sleepy I didn’t wake up again until almost 11:30.

I decided to have some of this as my wake up call. This is actually a fairly decent breakfast tea and goes well with a slice of gluten free toast. This really does taste like someone crushed up a cookie and threw it in the tea. Very caramel, sweet type of flavor.

I know my immune system has been out of whack lately and I’ve been very prone to stress related illnesses. I think I’ll try to focus on green teas and decafs for the rest of the day.

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

Oh, itchy hives, so nasty. Hope it goes away soon…

Jason

Good day to you.

Sami Kelsh

Ugh, I know the feel of itchy. I feel your pain. :(

TeaBrat

Thanks everyone :)

mj

I had a problem with hives for about six months after I got a GIANT bug bite from some indeterminate insect. Seriously, the bite took up about 3/4 of my inner thigh. Anyway, the doctor prescribed me a topical steroid which helped a ton! Maybe look into that?

TeaBrat

mj – if I continue to have these problems I will def. go see a doctor. It’s only been a week and I’m just hoping they go away! Thanks for the tip…

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100

Whoa! Port in a little pot.

Ambrosia, liquid gold for the gods.

So I now have this little yixing clay pot seasoned especially for Whispering Pines’s Vanilla Dreams collection.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/14709714692/

Though it is hard to decide, Port is probably my favourite in that collection.

It’s got such distinctive notes of eucalyptus and camphor that marry so well with the saffron and the vanilla. I love that you can definitely pick up the saffron, it brings the flavour to another level, hard to describe…almost savoury, umami…

Not easy to go back to regular stuff once you’ve experienced that. This tea is like no other, and though it might not be for every palate, it’s a must try.

Every time I have it, I’m loving it a little more.

(I’m at infusion six right now, and it keeps on giving…)

boychik

The pot is gorgeous!!! Enjoy this special tea in a special pot!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks boychik, it’s my smallest one at a130ml!!

Sami Kelsh

Wowzers, lovely!

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88

I’m kind of a grumpface today… Our new roommate (and my boyfriend’s friend and coworker) has only been here a week, and he already bought tickets for some girl to come visit him. For a week. And they’re not even dating, and she’s 19 to boot (no offense meant to the younger people on here, but I generally do not like or get along with teenagers)… Seriously? And since he and my boyfriend generally work from about 8 to 5 during the week, I will most likely have the pleasure of entertaining this person all day long. Seriously? I am at a loss as to why this is going down… But you know, clearly my opinion doesn’t matter as long as he asks my boyfriend about it, who is never going to say no. So yes, grumpface.

So, on to the tea then. The leaves are what I would call “medium-sized” and twisty. They’re mostly dark with little spots of gold. They smell mildly malty with honey sweetness, yum. I did a 3 minute brew just out of habit.

The aroma is quite dark. Very malty, with a syrupy deep raisin note and something somewhere between honey and molasses. Wow, the flavor here is deep. I definitely agree with Terri about this being a manly tea. That dark raisin aroma carries over into taste, but it’s not sweet at all. Needless to say, this is quite malty. There’s tobacco and soft leather, maybe a touch of earthiness. There’s also an interesting almost bitterness that I feel is inherent to the tea (meaning not a result of incorrect brewing). It melds nicely with the leather and tobacco notes.

Nicole mentioned maybe a bit of smoke in here, and although I wouldn’t call it smoke, I can see what she’s talking about. It’s definitely dark and intense, and the earthy quality could definitely be described as almost smoky.

I quite enjoyed this tea. It’s amazing to see (or rather taste) the wide range of flavors and experiences that can come out of one region (Yunnan). The golden, fuzzy Yunnan teas are light with pastry and honey-sweetness, while the darker varieties can be very assertive and rich, with deep and developed savory flavors. Amazing! I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to try all of the different kinds, especially since most of them were from swaps! Thanks everyone, and Nicole in particular, who provided this sample, along with many others! :)

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Tobacco

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

You know the saying, fish and guests stink after three days.

Cameron B.

HAH! I have never heard that, but you made me laugh with it. :P

mj

Totally justified in your grumpface, in my opinion! I had a friend who was in a very similar boyfriend + roommate living situation and it is tricky to say the least!

Sami Kelsh

One of my flatmates currently has her parents visiting, and while I super don’t mind at all (as I’m barely home myself on weekdays) I have to be super noise-conscious as it means my flatmate’s sleeping on the living room couch. And her folks decided to stay on an extra week, poor dear!

TeaBrat

ugh, maybe you should go somewhere while she’s here. :)

Nicole

That would make me a grumpface also. That’s just rude.

Cameron B.

Honestly, I’m sure it’ll be fine, hopefully the time will go by fast. And after talking to my boyfriend about it, I think they might work from home while she’s here so I don’t have to babysit all day. I’m just a bit peeved over the whole thing. :P

sherapop

I would recommend spending the week visiting all of your local tea houses! Carpe Diem! ;-)

Ost

Oy. Yeah, teenagers suck. Good luck you ya!

apt

teenagers are horrible

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94

Sunday morning yums!!!!

I made this in my new banko clay pot that was seasoned for unflavored black teas.

I’m working up some motivation for a hike, and today Brian & I will also be picking wild blueberries and huckleberries along the trail. The plan is to pick enough to make some wild blueberry huckleberry wine. Fingers crossed!!!!! Wheeeeeee!!!!!

MzPriss

That sounds like a much better plan for the day than mine – which is restoring order to the chaos that is my house and mostly my meditation/yoga space which has gotten taken over by all the extraneous crap in my room that I use for that. Organizing some tea would help my sanity level too

Sarsonator

Well I DO need to clean my house. But this is a prime weekend for blueberries, so those win out. :)

MzPriss

As they should!

MzPriss

Sars – I’m thinking about possibly doing that Tea show in Philly in the fall

Sarsonator

OMGeeeeee really? You totally should!!!! We can meet and it would be so fun!!!!!

MzPriss

I’m thinking about it. I have a hotel room reserved, but I’m waiting to see if more vendors ign up. It’s looking a little sparse at the moment

Sarsonator

Well they better sign up!!!!!

Sarsonator

Holy. Shit. That is amazing. Just fantastic!!!!

TheTeaFairy

My day will also resemble yours Missy :-(
Need to clear that tea chaos!!

Also…a tea show? For real? Ghawww.

TheTeaFairy

Sars, have fun, blueberry picking is just awesome, you can even try a batch of NST with freshly picked blueberries, yum!!

Sarsonator

You should come to the show…

Sarsonator

I think I may dry some berries, TTF. If there’s enough after I make wine, anyways.

TheTeaFairy

(Come to the show? Oh, there’s a few things you don’t know about me!)

Sarsonator

So… Many… Berries….

MzPriss

yay! I got some (more) cherries

Sarsonator

Holy shit, MzP. You just reminded me that I have fresh cherries in the fridge!!!! Gotta eat them up!!!

Terri HarpLady

I love that tea pot!
One of these days I’d like to go to a tea show :)
A friend of mine is going to the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival. I told her to find Bonnie & give her a big hug from me :)

Sarsonator

I’d love to check one out! Philly is so close that I’d be nuts not to go. :)

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88

Good morning Steepster!

When I woke up earlier, I had a lychee craving. I happen to have some in the fridge. And I happen to have these delicious lychee pearls, so why not create a lychee feast?

This tea is very unusual. I personally don’t know any other lychee Dragon Pearls.

They are big and fragrant, but not soapy. The taste is so juicy, just like plump lychee. I get this lovely chocolaty smooth and malty Yunnan taste which makes this lychee tea so different than all others out there. I get none of that heavy perfumed lychee after taste you get in most black lychee flavoured teas.

It’s like drinking chocolate lychees. Not that I ever had any, but I’m sure there must exist some chocolate lychees somewhere. After having this tea, I can totally see their sweet floral taste work perfectly well with dark slightly bitter chocolate.

(And I just realized I wrote the word lychee way to many times in this review)

I other news, today I’m seasoning another one of my Yixing clay pots. Fun times!

MzPriss

I LOVE lychees. I wish I had some in my fridge right now. I haven’t had any lychee tea yet, but I did recently acquire some Lychee Oolong from Butiki I need to try. I’m going to season a Special Dark pot and I think maybe do my other pot for shous that are not SD today and when my purple pot comes, have it for my straight blacks. The SD pot will be that new Mandala one with the bamboo design.

CK

Chocolate lychee sounds really good!

TheTeaFairy

MzPriss, Butuki is my favourite lychee tea ever! That oolong she’s using is spectacular on its own…and yay! You seem to have a good plan fir your pots :-)

Ck, I guess having this tea is the closest I can get to chocolate lychees for now!

MzPriss

I don’t think you wrote “lychee” too much – it’s a word I love to SAY leeeeeecheeee

TheTeaFairy

Lol, it’s one of those words that will have me make funny noises too ;-)

Sarsonator

Lycheeeeeeeeeeeee! Yum!

Which pot are you seasoning, TTF?

Also, good morning, my lovelies!!!!! I am making Alia for breakfast in my new black tea pot wheeeeeeee!!!!

MzPriss

I just finished some Snaily. I think I’m going to give the Dragon Balls another chance and try them the Stephanie way to see if I like them better

TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm, will most certainly catch a cup of Aila soon as well! Let me how it turns out in your newly seasoned pot!!

I will season my green oolong pot. It’s much larger than my other pots, that’s why I chose it for oolongs.

TheTeaFairy

Which ones MzPriss?

MzPriss

The Teavivre ones

Marzipan

We call those dragon poop.

Sarsonator

It’s deeeeeeelish in the new pot, but was there a doubt that Alia would be good? :p

MzPriss

I’m trying to learn to love this dragon poop – but I’m not there yet. And of course there was no doubt the Alia would be good :D

MzPriss

OK the dragon poop is tasting a little fruity to me at the moment – I’m getting zero chocolate and zero malt. Maybe zero chocolate because I’m eating toast with chocolate almond butter?

MzPriss

Sars – does it taste different to you in the pot? And if so, how?

Sarsonator

Well HoneyBelle, I’m not sure. I got enough for two cups from Cam, and I tried the first round in the new pot, yesterday. I liked them! I am really starting to think that there’s something to this whole thing about the clay influence. It was very smooth. I definitely found malt and cocoa.

Mmmmmmmmm choco almond butter!

MzPriss

The choco almond butter is new obsession. I was in my little hippie co-op grocery and you know those machines they have that are full of peanuts or almonds and you grind your own nut butter? They had one with chunks of roasted almonds and dark chocolate chunks. OMG – blissful. I’m having it on my Canadian Squirrely Bread – it’s full of nuts and seeds and is so good toasted. It’s in the frozen section at the co-op.

Sarsonator

Squirrelly bread??? OMG. I want a hippie co-op.

Speaking of squirrels and Canada… Have you ever been and seen those huge black squirrels they have? The first time I was there, I saw one near the water out if the corner of my eye and couldn’t tell if it was a squirrel or a beaver. So I decided it must be a hybrid: The elusive Canadian Squeaver.

TTF: do they have these in your area?

MzPriss

I have never been to Canada. Yet.

Sarsonator

Well when you go… Beware the Squeaver!!!!!

MzPriss

LOL I will be on the lookout

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Sorry I was off the computer for a bit…dragon poop. And Squeavers!!!

Lol, yes, we have huge squirrels! And I have a thing for them. I even name them. This is the most special one. Mr. White. Very rare. Been around for the last four years.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11969474573/lightbox/

Sarsonator

WHITE SQUEAVER!!!!!

this is especially awesome, Foxy, b/c the unofficial mascot of my mom’s town (Palmyra, PA) is an albino squirrel. They call him whitey and it’s quite the honor to see him frolicking in your yard. I see you’ve met his cousin. :p

TheTeaFairy

Haha! So awesome :-)

hippiechick 42

What does lychee taste like?

TheTeaFairy

Very hard to describe hippiechick. It’s very sweet and juicy, a bit like grapes can be, but a lot more perfumed.

Terri HarpLady

Dragon Lychee Pearls…this sounds amazing!
I have to agree, Butiki’s lychee oolong is the best lychee tea I’ve had so far.

mj

SQUEAVERS!! ROFL

Marzipan

It makes me think of the Anthony Bourdain episode in the bayou where they ate “sqweazel”.

Dexter

(just for the record – considering some of you think I eat eat weird – or least unheard of things – squeever and sqweazel are not on the menu in my house)

hippiechick 42

Thanks teafairy, for the description. :)

Marzipan

Dex you can cover anything in yumyum sauce and make it good. :)

Sarsonator

Squeavers are no laughing matter! They’re bloodthirsty beasts! They’ll bite your ankles off!!!! :p

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100

Sorry, but skip this note if you’re looking for some insightful adjectives on how good this tea tastes.

I’ve been a sleepy head all day…just can’t shake the blues and the tiredness.

Just wanted something magical, that might chase those feelings away. Think I may have found it.

Wild Monk is one of those tea I keep in case of emergency.

Thank you Garret for making this so special, it nearly brings me to tears…good tears that is.

I just got “shengged” by The Monk, and I liked it…a lot.

Sarsonator

hugs

Sorry you’re being chased by the blues. But I’m glad this helped! I haven’t tried my wild monk yet. Sounds like I need to do that tomorrow. :)

apt

i need to buy this

TheTeaFairy

Thank you sweet girl..I will get by. This tea is just fantastic, and I need some time alone when I have it, it’s just that good. I’ve had that now and feel much better :-)

TheTeaFairy

Apt, this one is a no brainer…and I believe there’s only a few 2012 cakes left…

Sarsonator

Hey! I put way more hearts on that comment! Steepster ate my hearts!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

No worries, one heart from you is already full of special meaning :-)

Dexter

This is one of those teas that makes me feel better too – glad that it’s working for you – enjoy your time with it and feel better. :))

__Morgana__

Feel better dear TF!

boychik

Wild Monk to the rescue! Hope you feel better!

Sarsonator

Sounds like this will end up on my list of Magic Mood Teas, but I won’t know for sure til tomorrow. :)

MzPriss

Seepster has been eating my characters all day. This sheng

TheTeaFairy

Thank you deaf friends

TheTeaFairy

(“deaf” friends??? I OBVIOUSLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE!!)

MzPriss

I don’t hear that well…

MzPriss

But I DO have some badass tea!

TheTeaFairy

Same here…shitloads of badass…

Sarsonator

You win the typo of the day award, Foxy!

Whaaaaat? I can’t hear youse!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW????

mj

Hugs, TTF! I hope tomorrow is a better day :)

TheTeaFairy

Thank you sweet mj, feeling much better this morning :-)

mj

Excellent :)

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85

Hello everyone, I hope you’re all having good weekends! I decided to do gong fu with this tea today because I felt like I wasn’t getting the full potential when I tasted it western-style. I mostly used TeaVivre’s parameters, but adjusted the amount of water to 4 ounces and then used 4 grams of tea, which turned out to be 4 pearls. I also used 200 degree water instead of boiling.

The method: 4g tea per 4oz water, 200 degrees, 10s rinse/30/50/70/90/120s

Rinse (10s): very light, woody, golden raisins (the pearls puffed up but held their shape)

Steep 1 (30s): strong bitter cocoa with some woodiness, burnt sugar (the pearls fell apart completely!)

Steep 2 (50s): very earthy in a mineral sense (licking a rock comes to mind), bitter cocoa

Steep 3 (70s): mellower earthiness, autumn leaves, dark but not bitter cocoa

Steep 4 (90s): very similar to steep 2, earthy and highly mineral

Steep 5 (120s): similar to steep 3, mellow earth with autumn leaves, buttered toast!

So, I was not a big fan of those highly earthy and mineral steeps… In fact, I didn’t finish either of them. Just blegh. My favorites were the first and last steeps, which suggests to me that maybe I should try this again with shorter steeps? Or maybe I’ll just stick to western-style with this one.

Any suggestions for a gong fu method that won’t bring out so much earthy/mineral flavor would be greatly appreciated! I only have enough of this left for one more cup or session… So I want to get it right! :P

I also noticed that there’s a tad bit of water left in the bottom after I drain the leaves. I’m assuming this is okay, since I don’t see how I would get all of it without dumping into a strainer. Would love to be corrected if I’m wrong!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Earth, Mineral, Toast, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Stephanie

This is a great tea! Hope you are having a good weekend too! I’m at work actually, boo.

Cameron B.

Thanks Stephanie! What’s your favorite way to brew this one? And I’m sorry you have to be at work! :(

Stephanie

I like it semi-western! Long and super rich steeps for me :)

I usually only get 2 or 3 steeps that way though. Sorry it’s not tasting like you’d hoped!

Cameron B.

How long do you usually let it go for? The website recommends 5-10 minutes, sheesh. :P

Stephanie

4-5 mins usually

Stephanie

It DOES take a while for those pearls to unfurl!

Sarsonator

I am dying to try this!!!!

MzPriss

Oh Sars – I have a shitload and I don’t love it so I can send you plenty

Cameron B.

MzPriss, I don’t love it either so far. Going to try the Stephanie method last and hopefully that makes it for me!

MzPriss

I can try the Stephanie way – people seem to love it, but I havent so far

Sarsonator

Cam sent me some, MzP. I’ll try it and report back. :o)

MzPriss

It sounded like just the kind of thing I would love so I got one of those Teavivre tins of it. I can’t get it to the point where it tastes the way others describe it tasting.

Cameron B.

Luckily mine was one of the free samples I chose, so I didn’t pay for it. It’s not bad, but it seems fairly nondescript to me, and I don’t seem to get chocolate like others do. :(

Sarsonator

I used 4 pearls in 6 oz. for 5 min. Seemed to work pretty well. I thought it was good! I definitely found a little cocoa.

Stephanie

Interesting that everyone’s experience is so different!

MzPriss

Stephanie it always surprises me how differently people experience tastes and smells in tea

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86

Aaaaah Saturday morning yums!!!

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 200 degrees, 3 minutes, French Press

Dry Leaf Aroma & Brewing Aromas: Chocolate cake. Om nom nom

Flavor: yum! This has lovely cakey and cocoa notes. I wish it was a little sweeter, but that’s easily remedied. I am going to try a second steep and see how that goes!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

MMMM that’s a good morning nom

Sarsonator

I wasn’t feeling as poetic this AM, so I kept it short, but yeah. This is great. I love that I have more to look forward to with these vanilla teas because they do improve with age. I can’t wait to get that vanilla pot seasoned!!!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, great choice!! my session of this was so good yesterday…the rest is cold-steeping.

MzPriss

My vanilla pot will be finished in about 3 hours (I’m going longer than Brenden’s 3 that he goes) and it’s sitting on the warmer. I can’t wait!

Sarsonator

The second steeping is niiiiice. I put in a little maple syrup because, why not?

MzPriss

I just went Terri-style with my GO as well. This is so freaking good

Sarsonator

Mmmmmmm Terri-style.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I’m so glad that maple in tea is getting such good recognition :)

MzPriss

You don;t very much at all and it just elevates it.

Sarsonator

Oh HoneyBelle! I missed the note where you’re seasoning your vanilla teapot. I think you may have said before, but which one did you pick for vanilla? Sometimes I’m super senile…

MzPriss

I’m using my “bigget” one (220) – it’s my expensive one that I got a while back and haven’t seasoned yet. But since I will be drinking the vanillas out of it, I decided to use the biggest one

Sarsonator

If you have a pic,I’d love to see it. Hooray for vanilla teapots!!!!!

MzPriss

I think there might be on already up on my flikr. Lemme go look

MzPriss

It’s the one on the left:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125488674@N02/14634789342/

I think my bamboo pot from Mandala may have to be my Special Dark baby

MzPriss

The one in the middle is going to be shou other than SD and the one on left looks a little different now as it had a long warm bath in Wild Monk and is now my sheng pot. It’s already darker.

Sarsonator

O.M.Geeee. Those are so adorable!

I think you picked out some lovelies. I especially like the Mandala pot with the cute bamboo pattern. I can’t wait to start seasoning mine when they arrive!!!!

Oh, and we have matching laptops :)

MzPriss

I have a love/hate relationship with this laptop. I’m boiling my bamboo one right now and it will have a Special Dark bath later after we get back from the vet

MzPriss

Oh crap I mean the one on the RIGHT is now my sheng pot and looks different. I have a very adorable purple one coming that will be for oolongs

Sarsonator

Reeeally? I adore mine. It’s the second of its kind. The last one went 5 years before the video card died.

I’m so jealous of your seasonings LOL. But soon I will have my own seasoning adventures. The vanilla houhin is scheduled to arrive Monday…

Vet? I hope everything is ok! I have to get my “kids” in for their annual checkup and shots soon.

Sarsonator

“Oh crap I mean the one on the RIGHT

I knew what ya meant. :)

Eeee!!!! I got one for oolongs toooooo! Uh oh. I’ve gone to multiple vowels…. must be excited. Time to make some tea…

MzPriss

I’m making egg and kimchi braekfast tacos and deciding on the tea to take along with me to the vet. Wee Snailys I think

MzPriss

One of my dogs is having (sorry) anal gland issues.

Sarsonator

Taco Queen!

I have been hoarding the last of my wee snailys, but Brenden just said that he received a huge order, so I can happily drink them again!

It’s ok. My little princess has AGIs too. Gross, but it hasn’t been a serious problem for her. Hopefully it’ll be no biggie for you, too.

MzPriss

I’m hoping that as well, but we’re on the second round of antibiotics which I hate to give her and she doesn’t LOVE yogurt which I want her to have when she does the antibi-s.

Dexter

Trying to get motivated enough to leave the house in search of kimchi – yes this would be MzPriss’s fault. Where do I buy Kimchi? Should I go to China town, which is sort of right here, easy to get to – OR do I need to go half way across the city to my favorite Korean market? I can proabably buy it at the HUGE supermarket too, but will that be as good as the stuff you would find in an Asian market?? I love Kimchi, but never buy it, I just eat out whenever possible….

Sarsonator

The Korean market is probably the best bet, but I suspect you’d do ok in Chinatown also.

Dexter

OK – I’m a little frightened to go to China Town, you never know what cute teaware you might run into. Thinking the Korean Market will be safer on that front. Need motivation to get up and moving…..one more cup of tea…

MzPriss

Either way probably. I buy it at my local hippie co-op grocer – there is a small local company that makes various kinds here in town and they sell it at the co-op. I started putting kimchi on tacos when I was out of salsa one time. Last night I just had kimchi tacos for dinner. Oh I also got this really awesome Madras Curry sauerkraut salad – so good. I like the fermented veg thing a waaaaaay lot.

Dexter

Thanks, I’m going to go and venture out into the world and see what I come up with. I live in a fairly large city I should be able to find real kimchi….
Will report back later…

Dexter

FYI – Mission kimchi was successful… :))

TheTeaFairy

Someone is going to have a nice dinner :-)

Sarsonator

I also had a MzP influenced dinner. Faux chicken, beans, rice, and my world famous Asian peanut sauce on a soft taco shell. I wrapped it up like a burrito b/c I do t have taco shells, but close enough. It was deeeeelish!

Dex: we need a full report on the results of Mission Kimchi!

Dexter

I think you can wrap anything in a soft taco shell and it would be good. :)) Would famous Asian Peanut Sauce? That sounds interesting… like Thai peanut sauce?
While I was out on Mission Kimchi, I also bought concentrated tamarind paste? I usually buy blocks of Tamarind to make chutney – hoping that this will be good and take out a step. (Also hoping that I can just add a little to black iced tea….)
As for the kimchi – not sure yet. Probably some sort of noodle stirfry. Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, veggies, chicken – and then toss in some Kimchi on the plate… that’s the plan, but things change as I cook… never quite sure what I’m going to end up with

Sarsonator

Yeah Dex, kinda like a Thai peanut sauce.

Tamarind paste!!! Yum yum yum

How did your stir fry turn out?

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95

I had a nice oolong afternoon with this baby. All gone now, I had just a enough left to make a Gaiwan session.

This baby is a decadent one.

Floral notes of lilacs, creamy and buttery, with a minty fresh finish.

Love that thick texture, a total PUDDING MOUTH!!

It’s from the highest plantations in the world, maybe that’s why it tastes like the sky…

I’ve reviewed it a few times before, this resteeps for a while, and though it looses its floral notes, it remains creamy and buttery all “oolong”…

Just yum.

MzPriss

I don’t think I got that oolong. I got a couple of their others which I need to try. I hear rumors of a sale though.

Sarsonator

Oh lovely! I haven’t tried Butiki’s DYL, but I have Yezi’s and this style is definitely yumz. :)

MzPriss

I got the Da Ye Aged and the Reserve Four Season – LTF made them sound good – I’m gonna break into them and the blue tea tomorrow :D

TheTeaFairy

I love butiki’s oolongs!! Are you planning to try the aged ones this week end Honeybelle?

Sars, I haven’t had Yezi so I can’t compare…but this one is more than lovely!

Sarsonator

LTF makes everything sound good! Luckily she always seems to be right! :p

Yes, blue tea!!! Drink it and report back!!! It’s such a party tea. It’s kinda hard not to smile when you drink it. I recommend white tea ware. :)

TTF… You should let me send you some. Seems like the perfect thing for a tea fairy.

MzPriss

Yes I’m gonna try the aged ones and a little TGY and the blue tea. OH and my taster is back and I’m enjoying the SB

TheTeaFairy

Oh, missed the comment where you said “I’m gonna try them tomorrow” lol.

Loke Sars said, can’t wait to find out what you think of them!

Cameron B.

TeaFairy, which of the oxidized oolongs would you recommend? I’ve been looking at them and trying to decide! Between the two aged ones, the four season, Doke rolling thunder, and the Gui Fei. I know I’m getting Oriental Beauty! But any suggestions would be awesome. :P

TheTeaFairy

(“Like”, damn typos)

MzPriss

Oh, I got the OB too – I got the leafhopper thingie and got a cute bug magnet.
Dang. Now I want OB

Sarsonator

OMG. I got the magnet too, but I swear I’m not tea gear stalking you. It was weeks ago. Isn’t it the cutest thing ever!?!?!

TheTeaFairy

I was not crazy about doke rolling…but Gui Fei is bug bitten, just like OB and they are both fantastic and super honey like!

MzPriss

It is very cute!!! I like bug-bited teas!

MzPriss

I ordered a wee bamboo tea tray for my office today.

TheTeaFairy

With the crazy shipping?

TheTeaFairy

Did you see the cute little cups I got today Missy?

MzPriss

No, with Amamzon even though I’m wanting to quit doing anything with them. I got my assistant to try sheng the other day and it was messy- water and tea on my desk – so I just ordered it. The are a shitload of things I want on that site though

Sarsonator

Pics or it never happened. :p

And OMG I totally forgot to show you two!!! I finally found the tea tray of my dreams after weeks of searching.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350896243321

MzPriss

I did! they were adorable!!! I have that Buddha Hand holding a lotus one coming and the purple one and the crackly one from the other day. I LOVE that earth and stars one you’re getting! All of them are cute

MzPriss

OH that’s PRETTY Sars!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Wow, very nice sars, and it’s darker like you want!

Sarsonator

I’m pretty excited. It was so hard to find a larger tray with the dark finish for a reasonable price. Every time I would find one in my price range, they were sold out. I’m really happy with this one.

TheTeaFairy

That is just the cutest thing ever!!!

mj

Cameron, I just tried a bunch of oolongs in the Education TTB 2; four seasons and oriental beauty were my favorites!

Sarsonator

I love that set! Which tray did you end up with, MzP?

MzPriss

I’m excited to try them.

@LTF – RIGHT????

Cameron B.

Thanks mj, I did read your notes! :) I’m so jealous, I want to do a Butiki educational box! I’m thinking I’ll definitely get Oriental Beauty and Gui Fei, I may choose another depending on how many things I end up getting… ;)

TheTeaFairy

I,m pretty sure you’ll like them cameron!

TheTeaFairy

Ok…wasn’t going to say anything but….i just got the last cherries of the season. 6 pounds. All to myself…and now, I feel like drinking you know what.

MzPriss

I’m glad you found a beautiful one that makes you happy!

MzPriss

Of course you do – I will drink some with you

TheTeaFairy

Love the tiny tray, just perfect for the office :-)

And thanks for drinking with meeeee!

MzPriss

Kettle just beeped

Sarsonator

That little tray is so cute!!!!

MzPriss

I really like that little set with the bamboo cut-out in the top and all the stuff to with it and easily packable though. What is this “Best offer available” thing and how do I do it?

TheTeaFairy

I’m pm-ing you missy!

MzPriss

Because I can return the amazon thing

Sarsonator

Make an offer! Woo! Haggling is kinda fun, IMO. :)

MzPriss

It’s not fun so far

Sarsonator

Oh. Well poo. :(

yyz

MzPrizz that’s a pretty good price for that one. The store where I first saw that type wanted 4-6 dollars more. If you do buy from Shanghai story, I’ve heard that their jinjunmei is pretty good.:)

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95

I’m feeling so restless today. I want to do something, but I don’t know what I want to do, so I do nothing, then get annoyed with myself and even more restless. Rinse. Repeat.

I was going to try the Elderwood this evening, but I grabbed this instead because I thought it might have a calming effect.

Method: 1.5 tsp, 8 oz, 180 degrees, 1.5 min, muggy strainer

Dry Leaf Aroma: wow, gorgeous. Pine/evergreen and a very strong floral, like jasmine

Brewing Aroma: heavier on the floral

Flavor: the floral is first, with some gentle piney notes. Then there’s this fascinating and totally unexpected nutty note. It’s strong, too. It’s also got a creamy feel and a buttery taste. It’s also a little sweet and has a nice lingering aftertaste.

Is it bad that I have a reminder on my calendar to get this in August before the batch is gone?

Edit: Ehrmagerd!!!! 2nd steep. 3.5 min. Sipping this. Yum. Ok yum. What’s that? Holy crap! It’s pine nuts! This tea tastes like little pignolis on the end of the sip. SB- I love you!!!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

I have a Friday miracle Sars! A wee teaspoonful magikally appeared in my little sample bag. I’m having some TOO!!!!

MzPriss

Dear Universe, Thank you v. much for making a weeny bit of SB appear in my house. I really, really, REALLY needed it and I can’t get any for a couple of weeks til it comes back. grateful…Love, MzHBP

Sarsonator

LOL aaaaaw HoneyBelle!!!! I’m so glad you found some! Now we can drink it together!!!!

I’m really looking forward to August!!!!

MzPriss

Me too!!!!~ I’m sipping this very, very slowly. I’m gonna try an additional couple of steeps – cause the Tea Hobbit says you can, although I don’t usually re-steep. This is just so dreamy.

Sarsonator

I just did a 2nd steep, too. I let it go to 3.5 min and used a little less water. Want. More. NOW.

MzPriss

You and I will chill out together Sars. Just smell this tea. Calming. I need chilling out majorly and it sounds like you do too.

Sarsonator

Yeah, it wasn’t even a bad day. I’m just feeling all jumpy but I want to be calm. Was your day stressful? I hope the tea is helping

I have to edit my review because I figured out what the nutty flavor is! So exciting! Pine nuts!!!!!

MzPriss

Most of my work days are stressful. It’s just been a mofo of a week. And the tea is totally helping! I love this tea too much

MzPriss

I need to eat some dinner and I’m thinking of having something really odd for dinner. Kimchi Tacos.

Sarsonator

Oh wow. That sounds interesting. I like kimcheeeeeee!!!!

MzPriss

I love it. I’m making some with Terri’s recipe. But this one I bought. I was gonna have bean and cheese tacos on corn tortillas and came home and realized I had no beans. Then I noticed the kimchi in the fridge and I’m like “hmmmmm” We shall see. I’m gonna make a couple and re-steep this tea and be back to have SB with you and LTF

Terri HarpLady

hmmmm….now that sounds interesting…

Cameron B.

No fair, I want to join in on the fun! :P

MzPriss

OK report….(first of all Cameron – come have some SB or something with us) So I warmed a couple of these really delicious corn tortilla this lady makes here in town that they sell at my co-op. and then just barely warmed some kimchee – enough ti take the chill off and keep it from coolng down the tortilla but not enough to kill the good bugs. Annnnnd – it’s not bad y’all! Pretty good actually.

MzPriss

But in Austin we tun everything into a taco :D

MzPriss

and oh Sars – I DO like the second steep of SB. I like the first better – but this is still really really good!

Sarsonator

If I had more, I’d send ya some, Cam. But I only had a little sample. I’m impressed tho. I highly recommend this one.

Sarsonator

I’m on the 3rd, MzP. Still good!!! Glad the experimental tacos are yum!!!!!

MzPriss

I’m gonna go for a third when this cup is done. I like the tacos and I didn’t want anything heavy. I had some lentil curry in the fridge too (which will also LOL become tacos!) and this was just the perfect thing

MzPriss

The curry would have been too much. This is nice and light and has two of my fave things: corn tortillas and kimchi

Sarsonator

I clearly need to follow in your footsteps and become more creative with my taco fillings!!!!

MzPriss

Dude – you can turn ANYTHING into a taco. We have tacos for breakfast here. A potato, egg and cheese taco with screamingly hot salsa and a Dark Beauty cocktail are the best. hangover cures. ever.

Sarsonator

I’m already planning some faux chicken with bean and rice tacos for this weekend!

MzPriss

I literally put anything in tacos. Salad. Sometimes peanut butter and creamed honey

Sarsonator

I dub thee Lady HoneyBelle, Queen of the Taco Fillings, Ruler of the Corn Tortillas.

MzPriss

Laughs! Tacos make life easy and tasty.

Sarsonator

I agree, LHBQotTFRotCT. :p

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93
drank Anxi Tie Guan Yin by Butiki Teas
2809 tasting notes

This is a sipdown for me…

I have been so stressed out this week trying to negotiate my severance package, I’ve broken out into hives (!!!) twice and I think the two must be related unless I am developing a new food allergy. I feel like I need a vacation.

This oolong is a bit like a vacation in a cup, very soothing. I love the buttery and slightly vegetal flavor that reminds me a bit of sweet peas. And the aroma is so nice and flowery! I went for 3 steeps of this before I decided to finish it off. I do feel more relaxed somehow after drinking this.

I don’t have any unflavored green oolongs at the moment and I feel I should remedy that situation. More tea shopping may be in store for me :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Oh man, hives are the worst. Hope you find some relief soon!

Cheri

I get stress hives. On the left side of my face and neck. It’s awful. But I’m glad that the tea helped.

TeaBrat

Cheri, what do you do with yours? Benadryl cream seems to help me, anyway

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