Featured & New Tasting Notes

85

Made this one up as a latte because I thought it’d be really nice that way. Overall, it was enjoyable enough but I think I actually prefer it straight still.

Remaining in the minority of people who actually like this one.

Flavors: Chocolate, Licorice

Helena

They sent me a sample with my last order. It’s in my sample tin (free DT tin where I store the sample packets)

Stephanie

Yeah, I was not a fan, heh

MissLena

Me too! I quite enjoy this one haha, one of the very few :)

Kamyria

I felt betrayed when I tried it… lol Licorice was not mentioned anywhere on the sample packet I got and then BAM! Full out assault on my mouth. Me and licorice don’t go well together… lol

Helena

If it tastes anything like black licorice or licorice all sorts I’m out. I will toss it in the nearest trash. Dang now I’m scared to try it… oh well it must be done!

Kamyria

You have to try it Helena :D

Helena

okay ick and yum. cocoa nibs yum, black licorice ick! So glad I only have 1 cup.

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95
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1571 tasting notes

It always makes me nervous when I first try one of the Steepster legends. This one has reached near mythic proportions. What if I hate it? What if the hoopla is all hype and marching bands?… But what if its not?

Verdant mentions baked brownies. Yeah, that is what the aroma is like. The taste is chocolate and roasted caramel drizzled in honey. The aftertaste is wonderfully malty. Seriously good.

Maybe memory fails me and this is nothing like Bailin Gongfu but it is just like it in that it is a game changer if your experience with black tea has been limited to Assam and Ceylon type black teas. Not harsh at all. Just smooth and delicious.

Thank you Terri for sharing!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Yay, glad you like it! This is, of course, one of my (many) favorites, & a tea I can count on in the morning before breakfast. Generally chinese teas are much more gentle on my stomach when its empty, which might be one of the reasons I love them so much to begin with.

Helena

Super yummy! Glad you like it!

SFTGFOP

hahah I know completely what you mean! I find myself adjusting reviews of teas as time passes. So sometimes I get influenced by what other people on Steepster have written/ranked, but time corrects it to how it ranks in my memory and experiences.

TheTeaFairy

Hey K S, don’t feel nervous as you are yourself a Steepster legend with your 1000+ reviews!! that’s a lot of tea tastings, and we value your opinion, whether it’s good or
bad:-)
And I totally understand why you would compare it to Bailin Gongfu as a game changer…

K S

Ha ha TheTeaFairy. I’m thinking, as a legend, I’m going to need a theme song. :)

TheTeaFairy

Terri, you must come up with a melody for “ode to K S the Tea Legend”. You’ll play the harp, and i’ll sing with the most un-fairy voice ever, lol!

Angrboda

I quite agree about your Bai Lin comment there. I found it very Fujian-esque myself, but with a twist. :)

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earl grey creme with cinnamon! very nice.
no, really. i drank this hours ago and i’m still remembering it fondly.
it was a great way to start this monday.
me and cinnamon, we are getting to be better & better friends. happy ending :)

i have several of you to email and put swap boxes together for.
don’t worry i haven’t forgotten you!
i just, get, like, distracted and stuff. and i know full well that i’m not really great at prioritizing. and i tend to get 90% done with a task and then kinda stall out a bit? but i spend time telling non-tea people all about how steepster is fun in so many different ways and how we can be a sea of all different types and walks of people and still have so many things in common and how it always impresses me and how i have a fondness for my internet buddies even if i chat with you lots or barely at all.
(okay brace for blab city now)
i lurk some of you, sure i do, i see your tea reviews and read a little about your day or your morning tea or whatever, and i may not have much to add, but i see you and i get it. i see you! hi! i understand you a little! hi!
this site is kinda all about the love, and the complete acceptance and freedom to love/hate any crappy/pristine tea you darn well want to.
and you can tell because instead of clicking a little thumbs-up at the bottom of a post, you can click a little heart! proof!
party on heart clickers!

Sil

hug we see you too!!!

Courtney

I thought that first line was “earl grey creme with coconut” and I got excited despite the bergamot.

Courtney

And I love the lurking comment! I enjoy reading about everyone’s day along with their tea notes too.

Sil

ditto on that courtney…even without commenting on most of the tea logs, i love hearing about ppl’s days…enjoying them experiencing teas that i like..that i don’t like.. it’s just a great place to be.

Shmiracles

Courtney! you! you
were the VERY FIRST person i ever mailed tea too!
it was 10 months ago in early May (waaaay back when) and i bet if i was to see what i sent and how i packaged the tea now, i would have a good chuckle :D

also, all your fault… i immediately went on adagio and started making an EGC w/coconut blend. and THEN i noticed that now i can add 2 accents to my blends instead of just 1? i guess cuz i made and bought 4 for myself? so of course i proceeded to spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME altering my DIY blend accents. endless fun. for reals.

ashleyelizabeth

Do you have any of this???? It sounds so good! I don’t see it in your cupboard though :(

OMGsrsly

ZOMG, Shmiracles! Are you making personal blends, or fandom blends? :D I might have to bump an Adagio order up in the queue and try some of your stuff.

Shmiracles

>>>> runs to the cupboard >>>> yes i can give you 1 perfect scoop worth? not ideal, but enough to get a taste :)
we have 2 earl greys in our cupboard at the moment, but after they’re gone, i’ll probably get either this blend or one kinda like it to replace it. mix things up a bit.

Courtney

Yay! Actually I remember how you packaged that swap because the box it arrived in became the box that all my swap samples now hang out in. That blend sounds amazing! Perhaps we can do another swap if you end up creating it. :)

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81
drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
1349 tasting notes

I LOVE spicy chai’s, or spicy teas in general. Kapha (TeaGschwendner) immediately comes to mind – when brewed right, it can burn your throat into submission. This tea? Yes, it definitely does the same, while still allowing for a chocolatey chai to peek through. Now, the chocolate is a bit watery I’ll admit, and the chai is difficult to detect specific spices (likely from the heat in my mouth) it’s still delicious, and right up my alley. FINALLY – a spicy chai that lives up to it’s name!

1.5 tsp in 12 oz.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

Sounds like a keeper… Spice & Chocolate :)

MissB

Agreed! Problem is, this company only sells blends until they’re gone, and then they make new ones. I can only hope for a reblend, as I’ll drink this one down fast.

tea-sipper

I think I mentioned this one in my review of the Mayan Chai :D

Suziqzer

Yeah, I know.. probably a part of his marketing ideas :)

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10

i’m pretty sure dinsoara and i aren’t the only two people on steepster who have this in their cupboard. Come on people fess up! That being said…this will NOT be in my cupboard for long. this one is destined to visit some other sucker…er i mean tea lover. But sil? WHY would you do that to this poor tea? well let me tell you…this tea has nearly everything i hate about life in it. First off….it’s a green tea. Which, on it’s own does not make for hatred, but wait..what have we added here? BLERGAMOT! gahh!! the dreaded evil flavour to kill them all… bah! and then… just for a real kick in the face, to make SURE i would hate this tea, because after all, i can sometimes get past the blergamot in some teas…. what did verdant do?

sigh they added lavender. A flower that has no place in anything but bath products..and even then…only bath products that aren’t going to live anywhere near me. When my mother and i went to france for a month..it was almost impossible to avoid. and now.. it’s here.. in my tea..looking so pretty and innocent…hanging out with blergamot as if to say.. suck it sil… we’re in this together…

….all that and i’ve only opened the bag to measure out a spoonful into my mug.

brewing….waiting….the aroma takes over my house…my other half calls from the other room…WHAT IS THAT? are you putting on lotion at this time of the day? I thought you hated lavender…

no dear…it’s just that this tea and i have a date…i can’t let it win…

BEEEEEP goes the microwave… crap.. GAME ON!!!

alright tea… i’m on to you… i WILL drink at least a sip of your deadly poison.

cautious sip… noseful of blergylavender…GAH!

I’m pretty sure is what it would taste like if i started licking lavender soaps randomly in those tacky gifts shops…maybe add a little spinach and a squirt of orange and hey look…it’s a tasty soap salad.

feck. no thank you.

buries the rest of her half of the sample in terri’s teabox mwahahahahahahaha

(why can’t i rate a tea zero? also…not rating this as low as i want to, because admittedly some of you out there might actually enjoy the taste of lavender and blergamot…together in a taste hot green mess. At least the tea is pretty? cough)

Stephanie

Lavender? Wah wah!

OMGsrsly

BLERGAMOT! I can’t stop laughing, Sil. At least you gave us some entertainment out of it? :)

Sil

for sure… my other half is laughing at me as well… “WHY would you put that in your mouth?” uh…because i need to try ALL THE TEAS! “even if they taste like ass?” uh…..yes? :)

Bear With Me

Can you and your other half come live with me? Please? 1) you’re adorkable and 2) you crack me up to no end!

Ubacat

I love Earl Grey and green. The lavender sounds a bit weird though…..

Sil

…i think this would have tasted better with more blergamot and less lavender to be honest…

Helena

yucky lavender makes me think of the Thrills gum. Now there is lavender soap taste for you! I don’t think anything can be as bad as that. Then again I haven’t tried the tea yet so….

MissB

I am cringing as I read this note, and hope that I have zero teas today with either ingredient in them. Blergamot though? I love that word!

Sil

helena – is that those purple gum thingies? if so i know what you’re talking about and this is way more lavender and much more gross…and those are gross. lol

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hmm, I like lavender in sencha…I like bergamot and lavender in black tea…the idea of it in green just sound kinda odd.

OMGsrsly

YES, those purple crunchy coated gums! Me and my brother would buy them and dare each other to eat them.. and then my mom found them somewhere and got us each a packet for Christmas. Haha. It’s just sitting there, waiting…

Dinosara

LOL what a note. This seems to actually be a revamp(?) of an old blend they had way back when they first started Alchemy Blends called Lavender Earl Green. I tried it then and thought it had too much lavender, so I am interested to see how this one compares. I doubt I will have your reaction, though…

Helena

Yep Thrills gum is that evil deceptively purple chicklet looking gum that tastes like Lavender Soap not that I’ve ever eaten Lavender Soap but I dare anyone to try that gum and not say that’s what it tastes like :D

Sil

This is way more lavender than that thrills gum IF my memory serves…..

Sil

Dinosara – yeah…you will probably be ok with these…

OMGsrsly

I could always send you some Thrills if you’d like to compare, Sil. :D

JC

LOL!, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I’ve only come across one tea that made good use of lavender, and it was a ratio of one or two of those mini buds per 4-5gms of the rest of the herbal tea. Bergamot… not so much, to me it is too strong and ‘invasive’, it overshadows all other flavors.

Sil

JC – i kinda think that’s part of the fun of new teas…even if they are soooo very gross lol

OMG – i will hurt you lol

JC

Lol, I call those a ‘learning experience’ together with low or no score. I always insist that nothing teaches you about great tea like awful tea.

Helena

all right everyone send 1 pack of Thrills gum to Sil on Christmas morning (insert evil laughter here)

OMGsrsly

Helena, I like how you think. ;)

MissLena

Haha awe so much hate for this tea, I found it pretty tasty haha but I am a rare one who like lavender and ‘Blergamot’ lol :D still, quite an entertaining note! Sorry it didn’t pan out though lol

Sil

haha it’s all good misslena. I’m happy someone out there loved it haha

CelebriTEA

I LOVE this tea and would LOVE to have more of it!!!

CelebriTEA

Sil~ It is hard for me to see anyone rating it so low…
Different strokes for different folks~ I guess ;-)

Helena

I didn’t like it either. This showed up in my monthly verdant tea bundle and I tossed it.

CelebriTEA

Awww, Helena…wish you would have sent it to me…ahahaha…
I love it!

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And here it is, Sipdown No. 100!
I’ve enjoyed Licorice teas for about 30 years, & I still do. Licorice root has blood sugar balancing qualities, & I love the sweet aftertaste.
And with that, little terri’s Sipdown Extravaganza! draws to a close, ending with 330 teas.

Cavocorax

Woohoo! Congrats!
Too bad the dashboard is still frozen so barely anyone will see this. :(

boychik

Great job:-)

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I noticed that the board was frozen. Thus is life…
Thanks! It’s been fun, but I’m glad to get back to drinking the teas I love the MOST! :)

TeaExplorer

(faint sound of a large cheering crowd in the background)

Howard Cosell: “Courage takes many forms. There is physical courage, there is moral courage. Then there is a still higher type of courage—the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead. Terri HarpLady demonstrated that very courage and I, for one, am in awe. This is Howard Cosell telling it like it is.”

Terri HarpLady

(blushing), why thank you, Howard.LOL

tea-sipper

Nice job!

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60

Good morning all. I’ve been in shock for the past 24 hours and saddened, yesterday morning a pregnant woman was run over and died right in front of my house. Literally ten feet away from my front door. Though I did not know the young lady (but had seen her around before) it’s just devastating that something like this could happen, and so close to where I live. I am lucky in that I am away at the moment looking after my parents dogs and on Friday my husband stayed with me for the night so we were both here at the time of the incident. If we were home we would have seen either the crash or the aftermath, seen things that no one should have to. My heart goes out to the poor girls family.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

This tea was from the first round of the EU travelling tea box. I like the idea of a fruity, chilli, Rooibos based tea but it would have to be blended well.

In raw form it has a sweet generic fruit scent with some Rooibos thickness, I took a large sniff and ended up pulling away to sneeze so that must be the chilli coming through. My nose feels ticklish now.

My first sip reveals a sweet yet light fruity tea with some Rooibos thickness in the after taste and just a pinch of chilli. Not so much a hot chilli tea as it is flavour, though it does give a very light tingle at times.

It’s pleasant but half way down the cup the spice becomes thicker and the sweet fruit less so. Also it gets rather dry and bitty.

I think it’s a nice try at a chilli blend but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
Lala

My prayers are with you and for the girls family.

TeaBrat

my gosh, how sad!

Indigobloom

I’m so so sorry to hear about your neighbour. I hope the driver steps forward, giving the family some(eventual) closure :(

KittyLovesTea

It’s just such a shock, it’s not something that I ever imagined would happen on my door step. The driver was caught because he crashed into park railings and completely wrecked his car. He survived but is in critical condition. I’m the last house on street so right on the corner, over the road is a park and the car must have gone straight over. Not heard why yet ie drink/drugs etc. But it could have been me or my husband or anyone of my family…it just rings home how fragile we really are.

__Morgana__

How terrible! :-(

TheTeaFairy

This is just terrible…what a tragedy, so sorry.

Terri HarpLady

What an aweful thing! :(

caile

Such a tragedy!

Rosehips

So horrible.

tea-sipper

Oh my gosh, that is terrible!

Indigobloom

I have a few UK based people on my facebook… I just saw someone post an article about this same tragedy. So incredibly sad :(
(Won’t post it here though, as it contains the street on which you live)

KittyLovesTea

If you saw the article then you may have seen my house, the photographs of the car have my house in them in the background. Very sad and unfortunately not the first accident on that road. Her funeral is almost paid for thanks to generous donations.

Indigobloom

Hmmm nope, it’s got pictures of all the flowers people left, with a red bin in the background, and maybe a park behind it.

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94

As I was about to go to bed after closing all the lights, I noticed a halo illuminating the entire kitchen. I stood in front of the bay window and realized it was a full moon tonight…Blue shadows everywhere, the moonlight caressing the surface of the snow, creating the illusion of a vast carpet made of a thousand sparkling diamonds. Breathtaking.

No way I was going to bed…took my gongfu set and boiled some water. Decided I was gonna have a meditative tea session in silence with Miss Moon.

This tie guan yin was an excellent choice. It is everything I love about high mountain oolong. Very floral, buttery and sweet, but also juicy and refreshing. There’s a pure crystalline quality about this tea, a breath of fresh air.

Stayed there for a full hour. I kept staring at the night, the imagery was picturesque, I tell you, the only thing missing was the wolf howling at the moon!

My head is full of beauty from the scenery but also, from this magnificent tea, I think I can sleep now…

(See previous note)

cryptickoi

I too love moonlight on the snow…

Ysaurella

seems magic

pyarkaaloo

loved this review! ;)

Kamyria

Beautiful review… Last night was indeed magickal… I love full moon nights.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks…moonlight on the snow makes me feel I’m in my own little fairy world, it is magical indeed! it’s been a while since we’ve had such a clear sky at night around here, had to take advantage.

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82

Holy smokes this is incredible. Thanks SIL for the sample!!!
I can really taste the pancake in here. Just like an apple sauce pancake. I am highly impressed. Will def order some for myself at one point.

Shalom!

JustJames

oh, can’t wait to try mine!!! working my way through samples first =0)

Indigobloom

Go for it! I put it off for so long cuz I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now I regret waiting

TheTeaFairy

This one is truly festive for me. I drink it as a nice comforting broth, it truly is a mix of sweet and savoury, isn,t it? And I was so sure to hate it, but it turned out to be one if my favourites from Butiki.

Indigobloom

I know right? I thought I’d hate it too but I ended up in love :P

tigress_al

I have been very hesitant to try this one, but maybe I should just say what the heck and try it already!

boychik

Depending on what you add to this tea a little sugar or pinch of salt you could have 2 versions of latkes. I like it salted

Indigobloom

Tigress, go for it! It’s worth it :)

Indigobloom

Boychick, ha! I hadn’t thought about that! Will have to try it salted when I finally order some

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I don’t drink much rooibos as I mostly taste Robitussin when I drink it. This was a Christmas gift from my daughter and I am trying to drink less caffeine late at night so it was high time to try it.

The smell is really wonderful. I thought of orange creamsicle, but oddly enough the description says nothing about orange being in here. The dry mix looks like it has orange peel, though. There were flat, light colored pieces of something in there! Also there were pretty red flower petals…poppy? Hibiscus?

I was disappointed that when the water hit the leaves the powerful rooibos aroma rose immediately. As I drink this, the cinnamon and clove are becoming stronger with each sip, building more and more as I get to the bottom of the cup.

It is reminding of African Autumn by Harney and Sons, which does have orange and a touch of cranberry, as well as hibiscus, though I don’t taste hibiscus in either of these. COULD they be the same tea? It has been a very long time since I have had African Autumn so I really don’t know. African Autumn also mentions no spices, so maybe not.

If you like rooibos you would probably enjoy this. I will drink it as a caffeine free nighttime cuppa.

__Morgana__

Rooibitussin? Heh.

TheTeaFairy

I 100% agreed on “ROOIBITUSSIN”, lol. There should be a red rooibos blend of this name, it’s so appropriate and accurate!!

ashmanra

I agree!

gmathis

Aw, why all the roo hate? ;) Though I don’t know that I’d care for it with spice…it seems better suited to ice cream flavors like vanilla and chocolate. And strawberry? Have I ever had a strawberry rooiboos? Have you?

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79
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
6485 tasting notes

Had this as my final cup tonight, mostly because i wanted to have it shortly after the yunnan from terri… I still don’t get the fuss of this tea, though i do enjoy having a sample size of this in my cupboard from time to time :)

Final Count: 147 (7 more to go before i can say i’m at 150 for the end of February, even with the incoming teas, that will likely show up here before the end of the month…so it’s only swaps that will be able to ruin my count! but i DO have a week still..and two whole glorious weekend days left…)

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82
drank After Dark by Steam Tea House
1349 tasting notes

Ooh, I’ve wanted to try this for a bit now. It’s been in my sipdown container for a few weeks, and I’ve just been making my way through things as I can. It’s got quite the lineage, this particular cuppa – there are three names on the bag: OMGsrsly, Sil and then myself. I love it when great tea gets swapped all over the country and back! So much fun.

To the tea. It’s almost a chai, more chocolately than chai however, plus a nice thickness from the huge piece of cardamom in this particular teaspoon. It’s creamy and savory, sweet and dessert-like.. I may need to (finally) go find Steam and get some more.

EDIT: What?! This is rooibos? Jeepers. Had I put that together, I would have enjoyed this long ago. Most definitely on my to-order list now.

1 tsp in 12oz., because the sample package sent to me shared I should steep 1.5 tsp in 250mL.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cream

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

You should probably go find Steam! :)

OMGsrsly

Oh, this one is also awesome steeped in milky stuff. I’ve left it ~30-40 minutes before, then heated it again and strained it to drink.

Sil

i love this one.

Suziqzer

Sounds like an exceptionally traveled tea, and a good one at that :)

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First sipdown of the day, no. 90 overall, I think, sent to me from Sil.
This is lovely, simply lovely. I’m not really sure how to describe it, so I won’t even try.

Sil

it was a nice green…as nice as greens tend to be for me lol

TheTeaFairy

Wenshan Baozhong are among my favourite Oolongs ever, my staple being Tealux. Can’t wait to try my sample of this one though, might be my late night tea this evening :-)

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Thank you VariaTEA for sending me this sample.

I don’t get it. Have tried this a couple of times with different steep parameters and I can’t find anything even vaguely resembling peanut butter cup cheesecake. No peanut butter, no chocolate, no cheesecake.
Call me crazy but I’m getting sweet, fruity, peppery, chemical and honeybush.
Sorry but that’s my impression both tonight and the other night that I tried it.

MissB

Some nights this is bang on for me. Others…? I missing it too.

MissB

.. erp. I’m missing it too.

tigress_al

Crap that sucks

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67
drank Kapha Balance by Shanti Tea
953 tasting notes

This is a sample I got with my Shanti order a while back, and I believe it may be the first Shanti product I’ve tasted. It being evening, I was looking for something without caffeine, though this may have been a mistake as it is supposedly energizing despite the lack of caffeine.

In the sample packet there’s a sweet cocoa-like aroma which is odd since there’s nothing that should smell like cocoa among the ingredients. The steeped tisane has a savory smell to it which I attribute to the holy basil, sage and pepper. It’s a light brownish orange color.

I expected the flavor to also be savory but it doesn’t strike me that way. There’s still a cocoa-like note but I think it’s the ginger that’s responsible. I’m glad I don’t get a strong licorice taste despite the licorice and fennel in the ingredients. Having had the Upton Holy Basil last night, this is sort of a jazzed up holy basil, with a little more interest going on. I don’t get a strong cardamom flavor, but the ingredient list is similar enough to chai that there’s a sort of faint chai echo to this. I don’t taste the rooibos except in the aftertaste and it’s smooth and lacking enough in the woody department that it isn’t problematic for me.

It’s okay, but it’s not bowling me over. I don’t think I’d buy it, but I’m glad for the chance to taste it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML
pyarkaaloo

jazzed up holy basil…lol!

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98

So, nothing against it, but I’m not much of a Valentine’s day type of gal. I much prefer unexpected love days throughout the year :-)

But since today is supposed to be about love (and not about picking up some cheap flowers last minute at a grocery store cause you feel you have too), I chose to do things I really love.

Drinking this tea was one of them. Top 3 favourite tea of all time for me. Discovered Da Yu Ling last year, I keep two from different companies, equally good. Learned that it is grown at the highest plantation in the world, 8500 feet altitude!

This green oolong is similar to some of my favourites Tie Guan Yin, but brings it to the next level.

I’m using the yixing pot I dedicate to fragrant green oolongs. The brew is a beautiful bright yellow colour.

The aroma is breathtaking. I picture a vast garden with luxuriant vegetation all around as I sip on it. Think orchids and lilac scent, mixed up in a twirl of honey and fruity notes. Not sure what’s the specific fruit I get, but it feels like apricot to me.

It’s very sweet, and yet, the finish is minty fresh. Not in your face mint, more of a sweet faint spearmint. The most fabulous phenomena about this tea is how long the taste lingers in the mouth. Long after I’m done drinking it, I can still feel its imprint.

This type of thick buttery mouthfeel always reminds me a silk ribbon dancing in my mouth!

It’s pure liquid gold, but I rarely see people reviewing any Da yu ling at all.

Is there other Steepsterites out there that are as taken by it as I am??

I’ll end this note with a little love story…

It might have been the side effects of the snowstorm, but my cat Happy today was such a little bugger. Dexter (my dog) and I were trying to chill, me having tea and reading a book, him all curled up next to me. Happy likes Dexter’s ears. He’s obsessed with them . He keeps toying with them while Dexter tries to nap. Eventually, Dexter wakes up and gives me the helpless puppy look while Happy takes over his whole head. So what does a 100 pound dog do to an anoying kitty you ask? Well, have a look here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/12529529795/lightbox/

No worries, although it looks like it, Dexter is not having a “Happy meal”, lol!

Here’s how it usually ends:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/12530016644/

As the song goes «…so “happy” to-ge-therrr…»

cryptickoi

aww…cute critters…

TheTeaFairy

Yours is pretty cute too, Cryptickoi :-)

cryptickoi

thanks..that’s Sprout,he’s a quite the character…

gmathis

Your animal buddies are adorable!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Love Sprout as a name!

Thanks Gmathis, I think so too :-)

Dexter

AAAAWWWWwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeee – how cute is that….

yyz

So cute!

caile That is so cute!!
TheTeaFairy

OMG!!! cryptickoi, what’s up with that??? Awwww, don’t I love poeple and their fury friends:-) A French Bulldog? They look so in love!!

cryptickoi

Gus is a Boston Terrier…

cryptickoi

here’s Sprout and Mr.Krinkle(named after the Primus song)…http://www.flickr.com/photos/117587293@N05/12531782284/

cryptickoi

they’re comedy…

TheTeaFairy

Your family bunch is so awesome cryptickoi! (Lol, Mr.Krinkle )

cryptickoi

yours are very cute…how many do you have?

TheTeaFairy

Four cats, one dog…all rescues, except for the doberman. They all seem to knock at my door winter time, how can I say no??

cryptickoi

very nice…food gets scarce in winter I guess..saying no is difficult for me as well…

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74
drank Seed Harvest by Handmade Tea
616 tasting notes

I steeped this at a lower temperature and time to keep the smoke notes down and found I like it a lot more this way. The fennel is the strongest note, and adds a nice anise flavor and is a bit sweet. This is so much better. Wow.

Also, I just sent Fiance this note because he hates puns. I hope he loves it. But I’m pretty sure I’m just going to get ‘the look’ (you know, the exasperated why the hell would you do that look)

Dear Valentine,

At first, I couldn’t say with certaintea you were the one for me; the realitea was you were a bit arrogant and needed to learn some humilitea. But over time, I’ve gotten claritea to the situation. You’re my favorite person and you suit me to a tea. In actualitea, I think you’re teariffic and Wuyi totealy belong together.

The vitalitea you have put into my life with your generositea and kindness is outstanding. You’re a Jasmine Pearl in the rough, and my love for you is bounteaful. You have dealt with my eccentriciteas and peculiariteas like no other. Your emotional strength has made me realize that you’re my Iron God(dess) of Mercy. (Not just that, but you’re pretea cute).

Like most relationships, ours didn’t come without a degree of difficulitea. But we have overcome that together and you have helped me with my frailtea and insecuriteas and made me realize that I am beauteaful and worthy.

I love you to eternitea, Valentine, and I promise my undying loyaltea to you forever.

Come home soon, I oolong to have you in my arms.

I know this got a little long, but I hope you appreciated my sensitivitea and creativitea

Love,

Me.

PS: Is that pu-erh tuo in your pocket, or did you just love my pun thread?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
CelebriTEA

Love your Valentine note ♡

__Morgana__

Adorable!

Nicole

That is completely cute!

moraiwe

Thanks guys! So did he, (though he pointed out that ‘worthy’ could have totally been ‘wortea’) so yay! :D

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78

I just can’t seem to get a break today—I put this on to steep before a conference call and by the time I poured it it was no longer hot. Accordingly, I’m not rating this one just yet either.

There’s a nice black tea scent with a hint of caramel in the packet. Stronger tea than caramel. The caramel smells like syrup. This carries through in the aroma of the steeped tea. It’s a medium brown orange tea.

The flavor is fairly light on the caramel, similar to my impression of the vanilla from yesterday. It’s more of a surface flavor than one with richness to it, but it’s definitely caramel and pleasant enough.

Will revisit soon, without interruption (I hope).

pyarkaaloo

ah, surface flavor…don’t you hate that? i always hope for a rich, full-bodied experience where the flavor components are perfectly integrated with the tea. (well, who doesn’t?)
another thing i can’t stand is when the aroma and the flavor are two disparate entities. makes me so. sad.

__Morgana__

Agreed. I tend to prefer the flavors that are well-integrated, but I can enjoy a more surface balance as well if the flavors are rich enough and play off against each other well.

pyarkaaloo

good point!

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92
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1111 tasting notes

Dear Laoshan Black,

Will you be my Valentine?

Love,
Stephanie

Courtney

What an excellent note haha.

caile

Love it!

Kamyria

Ha ha ha… awesome note!!

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Oh man, time (well, the month or so I’ve had this tea) has been very kind to these leaves. Somehow, the hot mug of blueberry justice (haha blueberry justice! I mean juice) I had this morning was perfect in its balance between cream and intense blueberry flavour, with not a hint of throat-scratching tartness. It was weird, because often when I go to bed, I think about what tea I’ll have with breakfast in the morning, and somehow I didn’t turn my mind to it last night, but it seemed like a perfect pairing with my croissant.

Besides, it’s Friday. Things just never feel bad on a Friday.

Also, Mr. Keychange and I are going up to a winter cottage resort for the long weekend, and we can’t wait. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to hole up in a winter cabin, lying by a fireplace and sipping tea while reading a book and enjoying the thick, snowy silence outside. How wonderful it will be to step outside the cabin and not hear any traffic, and to breathe in that crisp winter air. I’m no winter person—there won’t be any hardcore winter activities, but it’s more the concept and the indoor response to winter that I’m going to love this weekend.

That, and it’s a half day at work today!
Happy Friday, all!

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Courtney

That sounds awesome, have fun. :)

keychange

Thank you! I’m really looking forward to it.

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This one is not a sipdown, but is a welcome pot of tea to enjoy with my lunch of soup. I’m still not sure if I prefer the Malty Irish Breakfast, or the other Irish Breakfast from Butiki, but I it doesn’t matter, since I have them both. Right now I love this one the most because I’m drinking it, but perhaps tomorrow I’ll change my mind. I have to load up for a gig in a few moments, so I’ll quietly list my sipdowns of the day thus far here:

82 – Silver Jasmine Green Tea – Teavivre – a lovely jasmine, plucked from the Here’s Hoping TTB, although I realized after making it that I just wasn’t really in the mood for florals today.
83 – Eight Treasures Yabao (Summer)- Verdant – This tea initially mesmerized me with it’s fairy-like appearance, light florals, & Yabao, something I’d never heard of at the time. Now it’s gone, & to be honest, I probably won’t ever re-visit it, as the novelty has worn off.
84 – Taiwan Monkey Picked Oolong – Teavivre – As always, thanks to Angel for the lovely sample, which was shared with one of my students this morning.
85 – Da Hong Pao – Teavivre – I really enjoy the roasty oolongs so much more than the green ones, & will happily linger over them for hours.

I believe that puts me at 344 teas!

keychange

Look at you go!

Terri HarpLady

:)
I just realized the the sipdown numbers aren’t showing up, LOL
I guess when you put a number sign in front of something, it renders it invisible?

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68

Second to last SpecialTeas sample. Since I started today with an Earl Grey crème, I thought I’d continue with the vanilla theme.

There’s not a strong vanilla scent in the packet. In fact, it’s almost chocolaty (there’s that vanilla-chocolate continuum thing again). I can see the little pieces of vanilla bean in the tea. The liquor is a pretty russet color. I get mostly tea in the steeped aroma, and it’s a hearty smell, deep, a little woody, a little fruity.

I used a lot of leaf as directed on the packet. It said 2 level tsps. for 6 oz of water, and I used a little less than that but still more than I’d use ordinarily. The result is a very strong tea with a beany (as opposed to creamy) vanilla flavor around the edges. I think it would be better without so much leaf, and I intend to try it with a normal amount next time.

There’s a definite beany vanilla in the aftertaste, but it doesn’t envelope the tea the way I wish it would. It’s a fine line between overpowering the tea and underpowering it. This one seems underpowered in the vanilla department. It’s still tasty, but it’s not a top vanilla pick.

Maybe that will change with a different amount of leaf. We’ll see. As with all of these SpecialTeas samples, I’m mildly relieved that I didn’t fall in love, given that the company no longer exists.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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1
drank Choconut Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
361 tasting notes

I went 0/3 on new David’s Teas I ordered. And not even kind of okay. I threw out the whole cup of each one. This one was the most egregious.

The initial flavor as the tea hits the mouth is super tasty. Dark and roasty and nutty and then suddenly you’re hit like a truck with this AWFUL fake sweet black LICORICE bomb that goes off in your mouth. I seriously almost vomitted. The initial flavor lulled me into a false state of calm and then BOOM the worst flavor in the whole world took over my whole mouth.

I was stupid enough to see if it was an aberration so I tried again and nearly gagged again.

Worst.Tea.Ever.

David’s – Our relationship is officially over. (Except when I need some movie night, that’s the only one I truly enjoy, but no new teas. Nope. Not worth the risk)

Flavors: Licorice

Courtney

Eek. I knew there was a reason I didn’t even bother trying this one.

Courtney

I also agree with your last bit there. I have guayusa and genmaicha from David’s but I haven’t tried any new ones in a while.

Ze_Teamaker

EW. Why would they even put licorice in there. That is already a hit-or-miss flavor for a lot of people.

Doug F

Very funny. Well, maybe not for your taste buds.

OMGsrsly

When I originally ordered this one, licorice wasn’t an ingredient. Imagine my surprise! So terrible. :(

Kamyria

LMAO! I got this as a sample once, tried it and had a very bad experience… Just like yours. Imagine my delight when I got it as a sample again (!) with my latest order. I was going to give it another try… but after reading your review and remembering my own… I’m kind of scared… lol

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drank Grand Amour by Nina's Paris
451 tasting notes

Well I definitely have an obsession. Last night, I dreamed that I drank this tea and didn’t like it, and I was so disappointed for not liking it because I’d wanted to like it so badly. Then I woke up and realized it was a dream LOL.

I poured the entire sample the ever so wonderful and generous JustJames sent me into my basket, and steeped for four minutes. I took some time to smell the tea after it had brewed. I could definitely pick up on the fruit, and although I don’t know that I would have immediately identified it as red current and raspberry, it definitely didn’t smell like the typical cacophony of fruit you might find in French tea (stone fruit etc). The raspberry is very clear in the sip though, and so is the base. I can’t say I’m terribly familiar with the taste of red current, although the fruit didn’t taste entirely of raspberry to me, so I imagine it was there. I got a bit of a generically sweet and vanilla end-sip before the relatively strong flavour of the base, which sort of suggests to me that I should have shortened the steeping time by a touch. I’m not sure that I necessarily got caramel though, but that might have been my own rock sugar obliterating that a bit.

I can really imagine myself enjoying the sweet raspberry deliciousness during the summer months. I still think I’m slightly more wowed by Pour Maman, but this would probably make it into an order. That order will probably be placed soon though, but I need to get through some of my h and s teas first. But yeah, definitely a winner here.

Thanks again, JustJames, for not only very generously sending me these samples, but for putting differently shaped/different variations/patterns of raised stickers on them so I could tell which tea was which without any sighted assistance at all! The world is a better place because you’re in it.

Courtney

The stickers are so sweet!

keychange

Isn’t that amazing? It was awesome!

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