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!
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.)
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.
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!
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.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Roasted, Spices, Tannic
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.
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.
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!
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!
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)
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
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/
Flavors: Cocoa, Dates, Mineral
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!
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.