Featured & New Tasting Notes

So excited to try a new (old) cult favourite!

I e-mailed liberteas to get steeping instructions for this, and she suggested that I steep it just under boiling for about ten minutes for maximum flavor. I said I liked my teas sweet, but she suggested that this would probably be sweet enough on its own.
So I steeped two heaping tsp in about 12 oz for ten minutes and started sipping. it is a very natural-tasting strawberry, although I don’t know that I got too much in the way of vanilla, but in fairness I was very distracted by this problem I’m having. I think the problem is this. I find pretty much every tea to taste too thin to me unless I add milk. Like, I do not actually understand how people find plain tea very fulfilling when at best it can taste like flavoured hot water. This is absolutely not the fault of the tea, and I feel bad that I’m venting about this particular problem on this tea’s page, because the tea itself was mouth-watering, and I am just dying to try it as a latte because I think that would blow my mind. No—the problem isn’t the tea, it’s just the concept. Like, maybe i’ll just need to add milk to everything. I don’t know—I’m kind of annoyed because I want to enjoy more tea without additions for the simple reason that it’s easier and less complicated to prepare, but if I’m after a thicker mouth taste, then I need to add things.

Ok but seriously, I would re-order this tea. It is a deliciously full strawberry flavor, and I’ve been needing more caffeine-free options. I really hope she makes this part of her permanent collection!

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Sil

i adored this tea when it first came out via frank. Until the reblends were a miss.

52Teas

This would probably make a really good latte – just brew it a little stronger (add extra leaf). I haven’t tried it as a latte but I think this would be ideal for a latte and it would enhance the milkshake-y type of thing I tried to accomplish. I think I only have one more taster pouch of this tea left, just a PSA! :)

Sil

no…it’s gone. i was building a cart and it’s poofed lol

keychange

omg! I would have so gotten more! uggh please make more! I will absolutely try this as a latte.

52Teas

yep, it’s gone. Sorry!

Sil

@52 teas I keep meaning to ask, will you be doing any sort of permanent collection? Or, similar to how frank had it, letting people signup for when past teas are reblended again?

52Teas

We will eventually have a separate ‘brand’ called “D’s Teas” which will be our permanent collection. With that brand, we’ll probably include some of our more popular teas, but we will need to see how things develop because we will also need to keep inventory under control – we won’t have enough room to be able to keep a huge number of teas in stock regularly.

Right now, we are pretty busy trying to fulfill all the Kickstarter incentives and that needs to be our priority because those people have already paid money for product. And since Monday comes really quickly (every seven days, it seems like!) we need to also keep on the ball with our teas of the week and not fall behind on that.

Eventually, when we get ourselves caught up with these things, we hope to have things like that added to our website, we’d like to have some kind of purchasing incentive program (like the points program that Frank had) and stuff like notifications when certain teas are back in stock. We are still working out all the kinks with the system we have in place and aren’t sure that it’s something that we’ll keep just yet, because even though it’s working for us, there are certain shortcomings to the program (for example, it doesn’t have anything built in for subscriptions and that’s an important aspect of what we do) . . . so yeah, to offer a very long, wordy response to your straightforward question, yes, eventually we do plan on having those things. :)

Sil

no that’s a great response haha. I totally understand and i can wait..just happy to hear you’ll be doing something like that in future.

OMGsrsly

Sil, I have a taster for you. I bought an extra. :P Also, I totally get what you mean about thickness, Keychange. I will drink my tea plain, but adding milk and having that extra oomph to the feel of it is super comforting for me. Also, lattes for the win. ;)

keychange

Oh yeah, milk can really save the day for sure. Esp with teas that can taste thinner, like honeybush.

Indigobloom

Totally agreed on the milk front! yay for saved tea! but then there are also times where I wish the flavour was fuller, but not milky. In those cases, sometimes I add sugar and once in awhile lemon or lime. Still, it never seems to be enough

Evol Ving Ness

I used to be a big espresso with tons of milk or cream drinker. And then, I switched to tea, black. For me, the way to switch to black tea is to just not keep milk or cream in the house. Drastic measure, I know.

I still have tea or coffee with tons of cream or milk or lattes even from time to time, but only when I am out, never at home. That way, the creaminess of milk or cream in drinks is a luxury, not an expectation.

Evol Ving Ness

And 52teas, I really appreciate your thorough explanations. I think a lot of people do. Thank you.

keychange

oh wow, that’s drastic but I’m glad it worked for you. I don’t think I’d ever want to cut it out entirely at home. If my tea-drinking experience isn’t enjoyable, there’s no point in it for me. I just wish I enjoyed a thinner mouth feel than I do!

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, it’s all about the joy.

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This is the new one, as of Oct 2015.

I really like the steeping instructions on the bags (thank you!) but I think it’s interesting how they all recommend 1 tsp per 12 oz, instead of the more typical 1 tsp per 6-8 oz. I usually use 2 scant tsp per 12 oz, and 2 full tsp per 16 oz. Silk Road in Victoria takes everything even further and recommends 1 tsp per 16 oz. Which is honestly not enough. I mean, I suppose it’s more hydrating, but there’s not enough caffeine!

Anyways. This tea. I think I had it before, and it was just OK. The base tea was never my favourite, but I have to say that the new base is really quite nice. A little lighter than my go-to CTC or Assam, but quite nice.

Opening the bag, it smells sweet and cakey. Steeped, it smells… I’m not really sure. Definitely tea. Sweetness which must be the caramel. A little spice I think? I just ate a peanut butter cookie so my sense of taste is feeling really weird. Sorry.

Anyways, I’m glad I got this one. If it was a favourite, it’s definitely worth checking out again. If you were kinda meh about it the first time, the base is better. I’m not sure it’s my favourite flavour, but I’m glad I grabbed a sample pack. :)

(1.5-2 tsp in 12 oz for 3 min at 195F.)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML
Christina / BooksandTea

I made a 52Teas order yesterday and can’t wait. This one wasn’t part of it, though.

Sil

aaaaaah damnit lol i adored this one when it was out..

OMGsrsly

I’ll send it to you, Sil. :) It’s just a sampler, but it’ll give you an idea. I’m hoping to get through some sampling this week so I can send stuff out. You and Christina both need parcels! ;)

Indigobloom

I want more of this one so badly!! I feel like a puppy whining for a treat, when there aren’t any left! (curse you Cdn $)

OMGsrsly

Ugh I know. Our dollar is SO bad right now it makes me sad.

Sil

better than it was there for a bit..up to 77 cents. it was down at 75

Indigobloom

My parents have investment property in Florida. I’m so very tempted to ask if I can use their card to buy some tea :/

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83

I figured i should make a point of having at least one of my green/oolong teas on weekends since during the week, i rarely drink them. I pulled this one out as i always try to drink verdant’s green teas as close to getting them as possible. This tea has some seriously neat twisty leaves. Admittedly, i had hoped the “pine” in the tea name was because they somehow added pine needles to the tea but that was silly of course. :)

Brewed this is a beany, sweet, green tea. I should do a comparison next week maybe of the several greens i received in the tea of the month club…this one is refreshing. I am a fan of this one so far. Will have to see if additional steeps change it up any.

MissLena

Haha I read this and hoped for pine needles too! I’m missing Sleeping Bear blend too much I think lol.

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85
drank Apple by Lupicia
1549 tasting notes

Well I found my “one” apple tea. I’m kinda sad that it turned out to be from a non Canadian vendor. Darn you Cdn dollar. and shipping!
I’ve seen other notes that say it tastes artificial, and I suppose it does a little but to be honest this is the best apple tea I’ve ever had. Any of those which have no fake notes either don’t taste like apple at all or they do, just not in the way I was looking for.
I added no sugar and it was quite sweet, though not overly so like the David’s Tea version. The base is a bit astringent, which suits the “apple”-ness quite well. Definitely getting some mouth puckering!
You know, I’m a little worried about my rating. It’s the highest of the bunch. Perhaps I’m just easily swayed by unrealistic fruit flavours? Bah.
Sadly though, I only had the one bag as this was from the Lupicia sampler box I bought. Oh well. Hello goodbye wonderful!

keychange

let’s order from lupicia, yo!

Sil

stop all the ordering… go drink some tea keychange! lol

Indigobloom

Ah boo I just looked on their website and apple black tea isn’t there, unless they didn’t load it into the search tool though I also checked their flavoured black section.
LOL Sil, yes I should do that as well. But I waaaant…

keychange

Ok fine. grrr.

keychange

That sucks! why are all our faves evading us for stupid reasons?

Sil

it’s probably a seasonal – out of stock on the australia version of the site

Indigobloom

@Keychange I know right?! uncool tea vendors, that is uncool!
@Sil that makes sense. Atleast it means I have a chance at snagging some one day!

Kristal

Ugh I was killed on the exchange rate and shipping for an anniversary gift for my husband. It upped the cost of his gift by $100 :|

Indigobloom

Kristal, Oh wow that is crazy! a lot of money spent for no good reason

Indigobloom

(the extra hundred I mean, I’m sure the gift was awesome!)

Kristal

He loved his Shirts and undies, lol (He’s a tall and big guy and has a hard time finding shirts with the correct length). I just told him he needs to get his passport so we can go to the border next time and pick it up! (The US border is less than an hour drive, and I only have my beginner’s license so I can’t go without him).

Indigobloom

Yeah I have a few friends with that problem. A few ended up going with custom made shirts. Sounds like a fun day trip though

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40

I had this from awhile ago and some cinnamon sounded pretty good. I opened it up and took in a pleasant warm and spicy wood aroma. I had good hopes for this session. I placed a good amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. The spiced wood aroma deepened to roasted spices. This scent was close to a chai aroma. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The flavor was heavily tannic and unpleasantly bitter. I’m unsure if I did something wrong. I tried to do flash steeping and the result was the same. The taste was like sucking on a cinnamon stick. I was reminded of when I was younger, and I did the “cinnamon challenge”. However, the session improved in later steeping. The tones softened to a burnt sugar taste and light roast aroma. This took quite a bit of steeping. This rock oolong carried no sweet aftertaste and was very rough. This might not be the tea for me.

https://instagram.com/p/8od6BHzGUQ/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Roasted, Spices, Tannic

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
KiwiDelight

You did the cinnamon challenge and lived to tell.

Haveteawilltravel

hahahah I have. I do not recommend it…

KiwiDelight

I only watched one video of someone doing it. It looked terrible xP

Haveteawilltravel

a lot of gagging, shivering, and shaking. All in all, unpleasant. but I beat the challenge ;)

KiwiDelight

Holy shit :O You truly did live and tell.

Haveteawilltravel

hahaha I should have a badge or something…

TheTeaFairy

Interesting… Quite frankly, Rou Gui is pretty much the only rock oolong I’ve never been a fan of. I haven’t tried this one and don’t think I will anytime soon after reading this, lol. But have you had other TTL Wuyi? They are quite good, especially their Bei Dou.

Haveteawilltravel

I’ve had their DHP which was decent. I’ve never had any others. I have two in my cupboard that I need to get to. I’m unsure on what they are though…

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Literally almost crying. Among the saddest sipdowns I will ever have. Butiki was the first small tea company I ever fell in love with, and stacey’s teas will never be replaced in my cupboard. I remember feeling such a mix of feelings when I found out Butiki was closing: panicked sadness for sure, but also an incredibly selfish irritation: how could this happen? How on earth could stacey, you know, have other things to deal with? other plans? other priorities? why wasn’t she sharing her blending secrets so the rest of the world could discover and fall in love with her teas? and even as I thought those things, i realized how much I could understand. Those discoveries, that magic belongs to her. It’s her legacy, and her right to keep it. I mean, i won’t even share my mom’s chicken and rice recipe with friends who’ve been begging me for it for years, and it hasn’t reached nearly the audience stacey has. And so here’s to you, Stacey: to an artist who’s legacy will be remembered, missed, admired, and yearned for for decades to come. There won’t be another like you, and there won’t be another tea like yours. I hope you are happy and doing well, because heaven knows you deserve it! Your blending abilities and artistry helped me find more beauty, made me fall in love again, helped me dream, grounded me, made me remember such wistfully achingly wonderful memories, and also just tasted friggin amazing.

I got it all today: creamy caramel and vanilla, the mault of the assam, and this was seriously the last dregs, the bottom of the can. No whole tea leaves even left, and it still blew me away.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Such a lovely tribute. So very sad that I missed Butiki teas while it existed.

Terri HarpLady

I loved this tea.
I miss Butiki.

Kaylee

+1 to all of that.

greenteafairy

Yes, all of this. I too had a sad Butiki sipdown today…

keychange

It is so sad. evolving, I’m sorry you missed it, too. I do hope you get to try some of her teas though.

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, keychange. The ideal situation would be for her to get tired of whatever she is doing now and to resume blending and selling tea. One can always hope.

Indigobloom

sniffs
I’ll be so sad when my last Butiki tea is done :(
Live well Stacey!

teaqueen

Stacey’s teas were like cups of heaven on earth! I miss her teas too. All I have left is some of her Ceylon. :(

TeaNTees

You have so eloquently spoken what is in so many of our hearts! Truly moving and very true. Kudos on your lovely sentiments. I shall be inconsolable when I have sipped all my Butiki down also! I had to say farewell to coconut cream pie this past weekend. :(

Rosehips

I sipped my last of this earlier this year, and it was indeed quite a sad moment. Beautifully said.

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80

Good morning Steepster.
I found this lurking in my tea collection this morning and evidently I haven’t reviewed it (until now). This came as one of my dark tea of the month selections from Yunnan Sourcing a while back.

I decided to steep it for 2.5 minutes and with boiling water, which may have been overkill for this tea. It is an assamica variety and definitely has a lot of malt and chocolate. I am getting a slight bitterness in the finish which could be cut down with decreased steeping time, or a lower water temp. This is good on its own or with a splash of soymilk. I will certainly enjoy the rest of the package but I don’t think I will need to purchase this.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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85
drank American Breakfast by Mariage Frères
7729 tasting notes

soo good. I’m going to be sad when this one is all gone, though maybe holts will have this or french breakfast in stores @ christmas. Over priced of course but i will splurge knowing i won’t be back to paris for a while haha

Terri HarpLady

I want to go to Paris…sigh…

Sil

save! I’ll go with you!

Nicole

Ah, a trip with tea people. Someday that might be nice. Traveling with someone who isn’t just long suffering about my obsession but will actively enable me. :P

OMGsrsly

I’m really hoping my Holts has some loose MF this winter. Last year they mostly focused on the TWG stand, which is silly because there’s a store 2 blocks away.

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100

I’m trying to make more of an effort to drink ALL OF THE TEAS in my collection. The other day Sil made a comment about me having teas from 2012. Which I initially denied.
Guess what, tea sister, you’re right! LOL!
So, I’ve had this wonderful tea for 3 years. It’s awesomeness led me to hoard a ridiculous quantity of it. This is the very Oolong that inspired me to purchase my first yixing, and although other Wuyi oolongs get to have their turn in that tiny teapot, it was seasoned with this one, and will forever be dedicated to this one, until I run out…some sad day…
And it is just as wonderful as ever!
The dry aroma is of roasted barley & fruitiness…drop it into a preheated yixing and let it sit in there a few minutes to warm the leaf and it’s dark chocolate & raspberries, so heady and thick that I could just sit there huffing it forever…sigh…
Drinking it is pure delight…sweet, thick, with lingering tastes of berries, chocolate, and roastiness. And that incense like after-aroma in the sinuses. And a good tea buzz.
and in the later steeps, the waters of a Sacred Spring, lightly flavored, almost effervescent…

I have accomplished nothing today except breakfast & tea…I need to do SOMETHING!

TheKesser

This sounds lovely!

TheKesser

I am also trying to drink all the teas from my collection but it’s so hard when there are clear favourites.

Terri HarpLady

Exactly! Also, in the case of teas like this, sometimes I seem to avoid drinking them because I don’t ever want them to be gone. Which is stupid, really…

TeaBrat

I’m sure I have some that are more than 3 years old ;)

TeaExplorer

“I have accomplished nothing today except breakfast & tea…”
There are days when I have no specific agenda where I consider having breakfast and tea a win, because it means I got out of bed :)

Sil

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA i win!!

Terri HarpLady

@ Sil ;ppppp
@ TeaX It’s the risk of being self-employed/working from home :)

Sil

oh terri. I miss you hugs maybe Ian and I can come for a visit when we get our car…

Terri HarpLady

Love & hugs back at you!
That would be awesome, just give me plenty of notice!! You know how crazy my life can get!

Terri HarpLady

So excited you’re getting a car!!!

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100

This is the reblended version of Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha, from the “new” 52 Teas. I knew, instantly, upon opening the pouch that I was going to love this one. The scent coming off the dry leaf is just amazing – pure, creamy, marshmallowy wonderfulness. This looks to be about a 50/50 split between toasted rice and green tea leaves, but there’s also a fine coating of matcha on everything that makes it look rather different from its forerunner. There are a few shreds of marshmallow root also. The green tea leaves are fairly fine and spindly – some are long (around 2cm) but the majority are fairly finely shredded. I’m interested to see how this one works out! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow green, the scent toasty with an underlying sweetness.

To taste, this is pretty spot-on marshmallow treat. There’s a toastiness in the initial sip that’s perfectly reminiscent of the crispy rice base, followed quickly by the sweet, creamy, almost thick-tasting flavour of marshmallow. The green tea base is mild and fairly unobtrusive. I get a flash of it every now and then while I’m sipping away, but it really doesn’t interfere with what is, essentially, a sweet, dessert-like flavour. I wasn’t sure what the matcha would contribute, but I think it adds a mellow sweetness that works well here. It’s certainly not as grassy as I feared – indeed, grass really isn’t a feature here at all!

I was starting to become a little disillusioned with flavoured teas, but this one has encouraged me to keep trying. When they’re good, they’re brilliant, and this one is a prime example. It’s also inspired me to look up 52 Teas again – I’ll be buying more of their creations on the strength of this one alone. If you were a fan of the original Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha, you’d be a fool to overlook this reblend – it’s just as good (possibly even better!) I’d also recommend it to fans of sweet, dessert-style teas – this one’s a real (marshmallow) treat!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

That does sound good. I didn’t pick any up because I tend not to like green tea, but maybe I will if it’s ever reblended.

Sil

jealous… this was one that i totally wanted to buy

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78
drank Honeycrisp Apple by DAVIDsTEA
1549 tasting notes

Apple flavoured candy is one of me faves. I’d say in the top three, after orange and cherry. Ok so top four, I think I do adore grape a little more. (sorry for the impromptu rhyming)
I know that sounds farish down the list but it really isn’t!
Anyhow this definitely tastes like sour apple candy with just a hint of apple peel thrown in. Heyyyyyy I bet it’d make an amazing cocktail!!! Yummm.
All of that said, there is an element of fakeness, which in this case I don’t mind so much.
Oh and minus points for barely being able to taste the tea! (83 down to 78)

Kristal

" minus points for barely being able to taste the tea!" Agreed. They should have done this as a herbal in my opinion. If you cannot taste the green tea why make it a green tea :/

Indigobloom

Exactly!! I was so disappointed to see that 40% of the fall blends are herbals. And with this one being so light on the tea part, well it might as well be 60%?! (80% since mate is technically a caffeinated herbal but I’m not concerned about that haha)

keychange

I have a shit-ton of this that I won’t drink. Want it?

Indigobloom

Keychange – Sure, that’d be amazing!!!

Indigobloom

Thank you! totally just made my day :D

Kristal

Totally agree, Indigobloom. I really only drink Greens and Herbals (and I’m pickier with greens) so I totally would have been okay with more herbals. Although, the tea of the month for October (Ginger Beer) I loved so that makes up for my lack of interest in the fall collection :)

Indigobloom

Ah see I drink a lot of types but mostly black. So I was really disappointed to see only one this season, and their pumpkin flavour is really off for me so I was uber sad!

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For some reason, I thought this and the Qianjiazhai 2015 brick were the same tea, so I had my tastebuds all set for all those flavors…especially the fruity ones!

Turns out, this isn’t it after all. I’m kind of disappointed, but thus is life, right?
There is a mild sweetness, like meadow grasses, and underlying bitterness like a peppery olive oil, a little savory roasted plantain chip, and an herbaceous sage-like flavor.

I’m about 15 steeps in or so, and it has that refreshing high energy that I love so much from Sheng, good tea buzz happening, and the brew is getting a little sweeter. There is a little evergreen taste, maybe pine (not camphor), pumpkin seed, catnip, even a hint of lime, and that “sparkling fresh water from a lovely spring” kind of feeling.

Nothing wrong with it, I’m enjoying it now that I’m into it. It is both energizing to the body, and soothing to the tastes, kind of like the old herbal teas I used to drink back in the day.
This is, of course, a very young Sheng, and Master Han has never let me down, so I’m sure it will be interesting to sample from time to time and see if anything changes.

And I’ll probably have to order a cake of the other one…

Sil

would love a sample of this one tossed in to my box :)

Terri HarpLady

Which reminds me, I need to start a new box for you ;)

TeaExplorer

I was surprised as well at how different the brick and cake were, but the notes on the Verdant site do seem to hint at this.

Sil

new…box…NEW?!

Terri HarpLady

TeaEx, I actually thought that the Zenghuan Dongsa Brick and the Qianjiashai brick were suppose to be the same tea… I knew the qianjiashai cake and brick were different though.

Terri HarpLady

Sil, don’t worry, LOL. I haven’t started any boxes for awhile. I can barely find time to drink tea! You’re safe…for now…!

TeaExplorer

Terri — Sorry … got confused with my earlier note.

On-topic: I also thought the Zhenyuan Dongsa and Qianjiazhai bricks were the same. Looks like I need to split my database entry for these into two different teas.

Sil

uh terri you need to drink…your box is overflowing lol

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80
drank Figue Fraîche by Dammann Freres
1494 tasting notes

What did I do? This tastes extra awesome today! I can really taste the fig in this, plus there’s a sweet honey-like note accompanying the figs. It’s all in the parameters.

I don’t have a variable temp kettle, neither do I keep a close eye on the steep time, but I did measure 4g of tea for my Nordic mug, and poured the water in a couple minutes after the kettle turned off. Then I let it steep for a couple minutes? Maybe 2.5 minutes? I’ll try this again with the last of it, and with more DF teas to see if I can pinpoint my optimal steeping parameters for these teas.

It’s like fig jam. Really, it is.

OMGsrsly

I like the DF teas steeped a little shorter I think. As in, I time 3 min before pouring instead of after. Since my timer doesn’t do seconds. :)

Marzipan

I do them all at 4. Funny!

Sil

yeah… i tend to brew my fancy french ones at 3.5-4 mins. but lower the temp a little (so no omg..i don’t do EVERYTHING at boiling)

Marzipan

Oh yah I do 195.

OMGsrsly

Hehehe. I steep most things at 195 or cooler though. I find most others use hotter water than I do.

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My giant Camellia Sinensis order arrived today!

There were so many goodies in the box, that it was incredibly hard to decide what to start with but I ultimately ended up using my new tea tray for the first time as well as the glass Gaiwan I purchased. The choice of what tea to Christen it with was very hard to make: I felt like it should have been one of the Camellia Sinensis teas I ordered or one of the samples they included but I couldn’t make up my mind so I instead went a very different route.

A little while back a tea friend here on Steepster, who wishes to remain unnamed for the purposes of this tea, sent me a sample of a greener oolong which I sort of then forgot I had until today when I was searching through samples to try. My bad.

I decided to drink that today; and since I don’t work until 4:30 I had plenty of time to have a nice informal Gong Fu session whilst watching some Gotham on Netflix. I’m not really a huge DC fan but I’ve always loved the very well written villains in the Batman comic universe so that aspect of the TV show really intrigues me. Harley Quinn has always been my favourite, but I have to say I REALLY enjoy the portrayal of The Penguin and The Riddler.

This is a gorgeous tea though! The stems are monstrous; the largest I pulled out of the infused leaf is longer in length than my hand. Damn! However, the leaves are a wonderful bright shade of green and have this really eloquent floral aroma that makes me think of fresh linen and the end of Spring/beginning of summer. Mmm! The steeped liquor is a lively yellow green just slightly heavier on the green side of things.

This is definitely a super floral tea; but in a natural, fresh and sweet way. And as much as I tasted wonderful floral notes (some sort of amalgamation of peony, magnolia, and gardenia perhaps?) and a super light almost bamboo-like vegetal sweetness I also tasted a lot of fruit notes. Something like fresh, sweet grapes, and almost a peachyness too. It was very enjoyable; and the most infusions the more I seemed to notice the fruit flavours as well.

I’d love to see this particular tea paired up with a “darker” kind of berry flavour. Something like blueberry, Saskatoon berry, or maybe blackberry? And perhaps white peaches. I can only imagine that would be divinely tasty.

Also here’s a link to some pictures!

https://www.facebook.com/EyeLikeCookies/media_set?set=a.10205892864334695.1073741829.1051291635&type=3&pnref=story

Pictures are of the things from the Camellia Sinensis order as well as the steeping of this oolong from earlier in the day. I’ve also got pictures thrown in there of the rabbit tattoo I had done a few months ago and some other assorted tea related things…

Photo quality is kind of crappy; I used my cell phone.

Christina / BooksandTea

That fishy gaiwan is really pretty

keychange

Can’t wait to hear about everything you ordered!

Terri HarpLady

Yay for new tea! That tea tray is cute!

OMGsrsly

That’s great! I love the yixing, and the fish gaiwan!

TheKesser

I love the teaware!

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85

This is another of my older teas, so I have the original blend with the sweet potato. I consider myself lucky. I’m a little wary of black/green blends, probably because I’ve messed them up royally before, but I think I’ve worked out how to treat them now. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I figured that would be okay, since there’s not a great deal of green tea in this blend as far as I can see. The scent of the brewed tea is sweet with a hint of spiciness lurking behind.

To taste, I’m picking up strong initial notes of sweet potato. It’s wonderfully creamy, sweet, and almost a little starchy in flavour. Underlying, there’s the thicker maltiness of the irish breakfast, with just a hint of something cinnamon-like. There’s also a very slight edge of sweetness from the vanilla, with just a touch of dankness from the green tea. It sounds odd, but it’s actually a combination that works pretty well in practice. It’s a really great autumn tea, with its delicious sweet potato notes and creamy sweetness. I’m not entirely sure where the spiciness is coming from, but it seems to build with successive sips and leaves a pleasant warmth at the back of the throat. I really enjoyed my cup, and I’ll savour the rest of my sample tin over the coming months. This might become my cold day go-to for a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Mmm, sounds perfect for fall.

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I drank this all morning. I think I’ve already probably written enough about it, so I’ll just say that I enjoy it, and now I’m moving on to Qianzaishai (probably misspelled) sheng, 2015 version. I think I’m going to make this Qianzaishai sheng week.

Terri HarpLady

BTW, I’m not sure if this is from 2012 or 2013…heh…

Christina / BooksandTea

Ooh, I’m planning to have that very same sheng tonight so I can write a blog review.

TeaExplorer

I have not broken into my 2015 Qianjiazhai yet (had to look up the spelling!)
Perhaps it’s time :)

Sil

sounds like you guys can have a poo party today :)

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86

noms. work is ridiculously stupid at the moment so i needed a cup of delicious. i have a headache from the ineptitude of a number of people. this is fantastic. a calm away from the stupidity.

Terri HarpLady

I already drank my cup of Black Sunshine for this month. I think I drank it on the first day of Oct. Pretty tasty, I agree.

Sil

heh this was from nicole so now i’m out until i get around to purchasing a tin

Terri HarpLady

I think I’m about half way through my tin.

Sil

holy! haha

Fjellrev

People need to quit with the stupid already.

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Yeah, so the first thing I want to say is unless you intentionally want the heat and cinnamon blast of Harney’s Cinnamon Spice, remove the bag after steeping. This will hold the cinnamon to a responsible level. This also has ginger in it, and although I can’t taste it, I am pretty sure it is helping build that awesome spicy blast.

Now if this stopped with the spice it could get boring in a hurry. That is where the orange fits in nicely. It adds a citrus zing. It also makes this very sweet. Do not add sugar until you taste. Even my Splenda monkey said, “Nope, not needed”, after tasting. I see no sugar or stevia in the ingredients. I don’t know how, except the orange, it is just sweet.

Basically, this is a teabag full of Redhots with an orange twist.

Terri HarpLady

;p I’ve never cared much for this one. Once year a friend gave me 3 boxes for my birthday. I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

Maddy Barone

I actually enjoy this one occasionally. Yes, it tastes exactly like liquid red hots candy.

Alreot

I’ve had this Sweet & Spicy but only the herbal tea one (didn’t know they made it w/black tea). It’s a tea I enjoy~

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You know when you feel sick but don’t look sick? that’s how I am right now. My ear hurts, my head feels “full”, and my face and hands feel flushed. I’m also getting the chills, but am sometimes just fine. I do wish my body would make up its mind about being sick or not.

Anyway, this tea is two years old, and has lost pretty much all of it’s white chocolate flavouring, so is basically a slightly creamier peppermint tea. No peppercorn taste, either. It’s ok, though. It felt hot on my throat and that was heavenly. I think I’ll toss out the rest of the leaf though. This was my favourite dt blend two winters ago, and I’m excited that they’re bringing something similar back this winter. Although “similar” doesn’t necessarily mean better, as it could be like “as if white chocolate and peppermint weren’t enough (they so, so are), david thought he’d add in a touch of peach/apple/pineapple/whatever else that wouldn’t make sense” LOL.

I don’t have anything more to say. Oh no wait! Reading about mislena organizing her cupboard, I felt inspired to organize mine, and got rid of so many teas that were either too old or ones that I said i’d get around to but realistically never did. It feels so much more manageable now! It also helps that I’m not doing any more swapping, because those tiny little bags just end up piling up and getting neglected and that’s sad on so many levels.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Kristal

Ah yes, I loved this tea. I look forward to what they have coming our way this winter!

Roswell Strange

So what you’re saying is you’ve got chills, they’re multiplying and you might be losing control? ;)

Fjellrev

I hope you’ll be able to fight this thing off quickly!

keychange

hahahahahahahaha! love it. And yup, home sick today. Uggh.

Evol Ving Ness

Although “similar” doesn’t necessarily mean better, as it could be like “as if white chocolate and peppermint weren’t enough (they so, so are), david thought he’d add in a touch of peach/apple/pineapple/whatever else that wouldn’t make sense” LOL.

:) :)

Hope you feel better soon.

keychange

Thanks, I hope so too! and I’m just waiting for dt to screw up the next incarnation of this, by like adding peanuts or something equally unfitting.

Evol Ving Ness

:)

Because occasionally, it happens. Yeah, I know. I’ve come across several instances with DT of that perfect but addition.

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74
drank Ginger Beer by DAVIDsTEA
3889 tasting notes

So last week I stopped at DAVIDTEA after work around when I was starting to get sick/just realizing I was sick and I picked up some tea to drink later and grabbed a hot, “To Go” cup of this as well. I picked it out because it’s the new Tea of The Month but I realized much later it was actually probably a good choice because of the ginger as well since that’s a good thing to drink when you are sick.

I had a really neat experience at the store, though! I know two people who work at the DT in Regina – Zoey and Kandyce who are both former highschool classmates of mine. So, running into one of them wouldn’t have been startling. What was startling was running into someone else whom I also recognized but never would have imagined to see there. Who’s that? The manager of the SASKATOON DAVIDsTEA at which I frequently shopped (and even knew some of the employees outside of work as well because my ex Tyrell was friends with them). We both kind of just took a look at each other and were all “Uhh, what are you doing here?”. Turns out she’s in town the next few weeks training the new manager of the Regina store, and of course I just moved back here. I swear, I see her around all the time though: not just at DT but when I was working at Sobeys I saw her all the time there too. We chatted for a while and it was nice. Maybe I’ll stop in again next week and see if I can run into her again…

As for the tea I ordered, I was a little taken aback! I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Ginger Beer. Every time I’ve tried it it’s just been a little too concentrated and spicy for my liking. And actually, I’m also just not a huge fan of ginger in general. However, that said, I actually found this pretty enjoyable. It’s not like it didn’t taste like Ginger Beer either; the ‘zippyness’ and almost ‘bubbly’ ginger flavour was accurate to my memory of Ginger Beer and very well captured the spirit of the drink. This was just much lighter overall and didn’t have that ginger burn that comes with too concentrated ginger. I dislike that sensation so much.

Of course, ginger isn’t the only flavour going on in this blend. I also tasted notes of honey and apple, both of which were quite nice and provided a sweet juxtaposition from the ginger. However, the most interesting flavour I tasted was lime!? I’m not sure where that’s coming from at all because there are no ingredients that should be contributing that flavour however it’s definitely something I tasted, and I quite liked it. Maybe it’s because I was slightly sick and my sense of taste may have been a little off. I’m not sure.

Overall? I wouldn’t buy this again but I liked it and for me that’s more of a ‘win’ than I ever expected with this blend. If I did drink it again, it would probably only be to see if I could taste the lime again when I’m not sick.

Flavors: Apple, Ginger, Honey, Lime

OMGsrsly

Ohh. Ginger beer with dark rum and a squeeze of lime juice. I wonder if this tea would take booze well. I kinda want to pick some up now and find out.

Kayla

Thank you for this review, it’s on my list to order. OMGsrsly I think I saw that the company has a blog and posted a recipe for that cocktail, it caught my attention because it’s one of my go-tos on the rare occasion out.

OMGsrsly

Thanks for the link, Kayla!

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I started sipping this one yesterday. I’m still sipping it today.
It is a lovely lovely lovely tea!! The first steeps were immediately sweet & fruity, and a few steeps in it developed a creamy marshmallow/vanilla mouth. I zipped over to crimson lotus thinking, “I need a cake of this one”, but there are no cakes to be had :(
Which is ok, because I probably shouldn’t be spending my money right now…
But it really is a lovely tea, just as lovely today as yesterday, with a lingering apricot aroma (the leaves smell awesome!) and taste, and a beautiful amber-orange color. I could drink this all day, and basically I’ve been sipping it for about 24 hours, so I guess I have!
Thanks so much Glen & Lamu for sharing a sample of this with me!

Final note: Today, in addition to still tasting sweet & lovely, it has that almost effervescent electric current of chaqi running through it, which is giving me a nice tea buzz from head to toe. Now I’d like to go take a nap…yawn…

Sil

You don’t NEED any more tea. :P you can do it..get to 200! lol

Terri HarpLady

Well….you’re right! LOL
I am putting all the sip down contenders into a box again, and I predict that I’ll be polishing off a bunch of samples pretty soon! :)
Will I get to 200? hmmm…maybe by the end of the year!
Unless Black Friday/Cyber Monday….

Sil

haha i’m still hoping to get down to 50 by the end of this year. Last year i made it to 75… so it’s doable. but we are getting close to the year end so maybe not.

Terri HarpLady

You are far less unruly than I :D

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100

I was positive I had written a note on one of my most beloved of shous but I don’t see one here…..

Simply EVERYTHING about this cake is beautiful – no surprise since it’s from Whispering Pines. It is presented in a gorgeous wrapper snuggled inside a handy storage envelope. As lovely as they are – the real beauty comes when you open the wrapper and see the abundance of golden leaves threaded throughout the cake.

After a very quick rinse, the first steep is a little light and carries notes of warm cocoa. This is one of the most accessible shous ever – there is zero funk and no barn or leather (not that barn and leather are bad things in shou – just not present here). This is probably the best shou to ease a new pu drinker into the dark side. It is the shou you give your best friend when you are trying to turn them into your pu drinking partner. It is sweet creamy deliciousness that wouldn’t be challenging for someone who might be a little hesitant – in other words – it’s a perfect “gateway drug” and it WILL get you hooked.

The following steeps are thick and syrupy with a mouth-coating sweetness and the cocoa note becomes stronger. As I steep through, brown sugar, caramel, dates, creamy vanilla and a little mineral background make welcome appearances.

In my distant past, I knew a very charming man I nicknamed Mr. Silk. That guy was smooooooth. I may nickname Huron Mr. Silk as well – it is super creamy-dreamy and almost slinky.

I got 8 or 9 delightful steeps and a nice laid back relaxation – a lovely ride.

This is a special shou and it needs a special song. I really like the Radiohead song “Reckoner”, but it is much better by Gnarls Barkley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUmmsMeHAaE

My session on Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/8yCfFTwx4T/

HIGHLY recommended!

Flavors: Cocoa, Dates, Mineral

tea-junkie

I might have to get me some of this!

TheTeaFairy

Hehe, lovely, Totally Mr. Silk! And yo, that song!!

Myssy

@tea-junkie – it is so good

@TheTeaFairy – I’m calling it that from now on….and yeah that song :)

tea-junkie

How much for a cake? I’m only seeing it sold by the ounce

Myssy

@tea-junkie Right now by the ounce is the only way to get it. You might want to ask The Hobbit when cakes might be available again.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hey tea-junkie! Keep an eye out for a major cake release let’s say…the 22nd? :-)

KiwiDelight

This is the day I’ve been waiting for. /sitting intensifies

tea-junkie

Sweet, I will anxiously await the 22nd!

t-ching

Great review! I have to get some!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Tea-Junkie and KiwiDelight, the day has come early :D

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First of all, a huge thank you to Crimson Lotus Tea for this sheng sample! Sorry it has taken me so long to write a note on it, I recall drinking the first half of my sample a while ago but trying to log it and the page not working on Steepster :( but luckily today it is working!

I didn’t have much left in my second half of the sample, but there was just enough for a gongfu session. After a short rinse of about 4s, I steeped for maybe 6 seconds in the gaiwan and poured into my pitcher then cup. The leaves smell nicely vegetal and slightly smoky. I used freshly boiled water left a few seconds to cool.

The first steeping is oh so mellow and smooth and sweet. It went down like nothing! A sweet aftertaste lingers, fruity, a mild apricot flavor for now. The second steep also smells lovely mmm, can’t even describe it it just smells good. The flavor is also delicious, even a bit sweeter I think, like a light marshmallow note with dewy leaves and a fruity aftertaste. It becomes a bit smoky as it cools, but nothing overwhelming, just tasty sheng-like tobacco notes. This is so good. It’s so easy to drink! I also haven’t had sheng in ages, so it is a very welcome change. I will continue to steep this throughout the evening, funnily enough, I chose a sheng hoping the caffeine would invigorate me to start cleaning. This tea, however, is providing more of the mellow flavors and feeling that cause me to relax, which is also not a bad thing haha. Maybe the caffeine will hit later :D

Overall, a delicious sheng, easy to drink and no strange notes about it, just clean, sweet tea with fruity notes. Creamy and light mouthfeel too, very light and fluffy. I recall enjoying the first half of my sample as well, so this is a winner in my books! Thanks again to Crimson Lotus Tea for the lovely sample!

Terri HarpLady

Would you believe that I’ve also been drinking this one all afternoon, after having it sit in my cupboard for quite some time!

Sil

Yes Terri I would… Lol

MissLena

@Terri – well better late than never! Good thing about puerh is that it gets better with age :P such a good tea though! Now I want to order some of it…haha

nycoma

why am i getting so much astringency?

MissLena

How hot of water are you using? I’d try it a bit cooler to see if that helps :)

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drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
513 tasting notes

Another tea from DT! There are a few blends from them that I really like, and because they’re right down the street and easily available to me, and also don’t have many of the same problems associated with small businesses, I’m always particularly excited when I like a tea from them. Also, I flat-out refuse to become one of “those people” who looks down my nose at an entire company, although i do of course understand how tastes can evolve. I feel similarly about perfume. I am a huge, huge fragrance lover (as in I love them a lot, not as in I am huge, although I guess to some I am haha), and started my journey by falling in love with a lot of department store offerings, and then discovered a whole other world of niche fragrances and it just blew my mind: that there could be smaller perfume houses with a budget dedicated entirely to sourcing high quality ingredients to make such beautiful scent profiles that I could not find anywhere else, but I never gave up on the department stores, because I’m just never one to turn down an opportunity to fall in love with something. I just love the feeling of loving wonderful things. LOL I must sound so annoying, sorry I’ll stop.

This tea is so wonderfully thick and creamy all on its own. That said, a spot of cream just takes this tea to the next level and amplifies the creamy flavours tenfold. I was also perusing facebook earlier and saw omgsrsly talking about vanilla sugar, and realized that I have some of that as well. I am so, so going to throw in some vanilla sugar next time I brew this up. The people who liken the scent of this to bubblegum are probably right, although I imagine that’s the “pear”. You can’t really smell the cranberry in this, although if you inhale deeply enough you might pick up on some tartness. The taste feels similar: the pear up front followed by a hefty dose of cream and a very subtle tang of what could be cranberry but will inevitably keep this tea from ever being cloying or “kid-like”. I really hope dt always keeps this in stock. I also think it’ll do really well in a travel mug, and I intend to do just that when I pick up some more later on. Great, great tea. I also woke up with a scratchy throat this morning and this tea felt heavenly against it.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Sil

i’m with you there…as a whole i generally don’t love david’s tea, but i always try the blends out and there are a few i’ve fallen in love with over the years :)

keychange

yeah exactly. Like we notice trends for sure from various companies, but an open mind can always leave you pleasantly surprised every now and again.

CharlotteZero

I want to know what some of these niche fragrance companies are…

CharlotteZero

…Even though, sadly, I can’t really ever wear perfume because I work at a winery.

keychange

So jealous that you work at a winery! Some of the niche houses I like a lot: serge lutins, Ormond Jane, A lab on fire, il profumo, huitiem art, andy tauer, fredeerick malle, and the list goes on. Some of those can actually be found in some high-end department stores. And speaking of department store offerings, I love lots of them as well. Do you enjoy fragrance in your non-work life? Also, do you love your job?

Rosehips

I love perfume too! I’ll have to look at some of those ones you said. I’m having so much fun exploring the world of perfume.

CharlotteZero

Finally remembered to go back to this tasting note! I wrote down the perfume houses you mentioned in my phone so I could keep an eye out! Working at a winery sounds awesome, and it mostly is. And even though I work for my family, we actually get along rather well. But I don’t really drink often at all, so I probably enjoy “perks” of the job less than many others would. I do also get to live in Napa Valley, which has amazing weather and is right near San Francisco. What do you do for work? Years ago, I got really into fragrance as a motivator to quit smoking, actually, but I never “graduated” to any brands which couldn’t be found in a department store. I find fragrance fascinating in the way it relates to tea, too. I’ve heard that the many of same places that produce ingredients for fragrance produce flavorings for food products such as tea.

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