Featured & New 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)
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
PS: Is that pu-erh tuo in your pocket, or did you just love my pun thread?
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).
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!
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!
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.
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.
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)
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.
Fiance: This smells like amazing cinnamon buns and then tastes like a carb and sugar free version. It’s always disappointing.
10 minutes later
Me: If you haven’t finished your cup yet I will!
Fiance: pouts I wanna. It grew on me.
Fiance: So. Um. How much more of this do you have have? I want it again.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the most quickly resolved disappointment in Fiance’s life.
Wait, a white that brews like a black? Okay… I’ll bite. The leaves are gorgeous, it smells divine as it brews, however it’s the flavor that got me going, “Wow. WOW!” Honeyed bread and cocoa, that’s what I get from this, although there’s quite a bit going on. It reminds me of Laoshan Black, yet… better. Richer? Fuller? A bit more depth? Hard to compare exactly until I have more Laoshan Black.
One of the best teas I’ve had to date, and one I’ll definitely drink more of often.
Thank you Stacy at Butiki for sharing a generous sample of this in my last order. I have some already, however this was much more fun to crack open. ;)
1.5 tsp in 12 oz.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey
Oooh. This is silky slick as oil (without actually being oily, phew!), easy going down but nice and strong too. I love when you get that strength but without the usual corresponding tannic roughness. And I’m getting that mysterious lurking marine quality Terri describes (and loving it).
I had this first thing with cold leftover cashew chicken (not the most traditional, but still the breakfast of champions). Really nice. Thinking of hanging with the Queen shortly (“rain outside so a book and the Queen, peachy keen” popped in my head and well, who am I to argue?).
OMG it does exist!!! Thank you TheTeaFairy for sending me a sample of this tea.
Yes folks, this is an apple tea WITHOUT cinnamon. I don’t understand why every apple tea has to be drowning in cinnamon. This one isn’t and that makes me happy. Unfortunately I’m not that crazy about the green base. It’s a little sharp, bitter for my tastes. Did I oversteep it? I don’t think so, maybe a hint. I’m torn, love the tart apple don’t like the green base….
Horrifying! This is the only tin of this tea I have ever purchased, and I see here I bought it about four years ago. Well, the tin is almost empty. I guess the reason it has stayed around so long is that I bought it back when hubby only drank black tea with milk and sugar, so I bought lots of Ceylons for him so we could have tea together and I just bought more than we could drink. Plus, he finally developed a taste for other teas and finds that he prefers them plain, so now he usually asks for green, white, puerh, or oolong.
Wednesday Tea Party was moved to Monday this week because we are supposed to stay off the roads tomorrow and I knew this storm was coming! Miss tea party? No! Reschedule!
I served this first so that the flavors of the other teas would not conflict with our cookies. My guest really liked it, and said it tasted like a very high quality tea to her. I agree. This is a nice every day drinker. When I first started loose leaf five years ago I preferred the milder Ceylon Extra Fancy and found this one to be a little strong to me for drinking plain. Now? I like it plain just fine and don’t find it too strong at all. I would reorder it gladly, but first I have to drink the backlog of other Ceylons I bought around the same time.
It went wonderfully with our cookies, and is always great with cheese.
My city had the most snow in the state today. In a couple of hours, ice is supposed to start coming down and continue for a full 24 hours at least. We have brought up wood and have the Buck Stove fired up so if the power goes out, we will at least still have heat, and can even cook a bit!
I’ve refrained from reviewing this because I was working on tweaking the steeping parameters. But I’ve been able to get a consistently good cup from it for the last several times, so I think I’ve got it! Boiling makes it just a tiny bit bitter and can lead to the base overpowering the jammy raspberry.
It’s actually pretty stunning when I nail it. Lovely jammy, sweet raspberry and vanilla flavors with a wonderful creamy mouthfeel. There’s the tiniest bit of coconut in the aftertaste, but only once the cup begins to cool. While piping hot, it only comes across as silky feeling.
Definitely keep in mind that this is sponge cake, not cake cake though. It’s basically a sweet, convenient delivery system for delicious berries and cream and it that this is definitely a winner.
Similar to laoshan black with a dark chocolate, roasty aroma, but there is also a more earthy note and a hint of smokiness to this one.
Flavor is chocolate, malt, sweet potato, honey, some floral and a bit of mushroom earthiness. Second steep becomes stronger in honey aroma and tastes sweeter and creamier.
This is so good!! It is similar to the laoshan black, but in a lighter, less toasty way, and has more of the earthy potato notes with honey that I love. Both are delicious and I’m not sure I could pick a favorite.. but perhaps it would be this one simply because I happen to be drinking it right now. Love it!
“This drink… I like it!”
“I know, it’s great right?”
“It was delicious! I want another!”
“You could have just said so!”
“I just did!”
against my better judgement i just brewed 24oz of this.
i think i will avoid ppl for the next few hours so i can sidestep the possibility of literally tackling someone with enthusiasm.
so much mate. so so very much mate.
Ugh. Just no thanks. Somehow this tea isn’t cutting it for me. it’s weak, I don’t get pancake flavouring, but I know this is a huge steepster fave so I know I can give it to a home where it’ll get more love. This tea isn’t awful or anything, but as I continue to collect teas that I am extremely fond of, I feel less inclined to drink teas that I think are just alright. This one falls slightly below that threshold and so it just isn’t worth it to me to force myself to finish the package. Not when UPS says that my H and S order is on the truck for delivery today!
It could also be that my timolino needs a thorough cleaning, complete with denture tablets.
Alright, tasting note 300!
This was a wonderful tea to come home to. It won’t knock your socks off; instead, it’ll kneel at your feet, remove your socks kindly, and then give you a hug. And it’ll smell of good things: home, innocence, laundry (laundry? shut up, keychange!). Ok ok, so it doesn’t smell like laundry. But how can a creamy cup of coconut tinged with raspberry not be comforting on a day that makes you feel as though winter has taken up residence in your very soul and will be there forever and ever? I hate all these layers of clothes; I hate feeling like a graceless sausage as I try to cram legs into leggings and then dress pants just so I can freeze at the office anyway. I hate having to walk so gingerly so as to not slip and fall, which given that I seem to have terrible balance at the best of times, is bound to happen nonetheless. And I hate the fact that I get cold so quickly—like I’ll be standing outside for ten seconds and then start shaking violently as if I’m having a seizure, and like, no thanks. How needlessly dramatic. But this tea really does make me feel as though a coconut and sun-screen laden summer isn’t terribly far away.
And those are my deep thoughts for the evening. Back to bitching about the cold and being annoyed at having to wake up early tomorrow morning.
Thanks Kittenna for the sample. Sadly, I’m using it all up for this mug – I would have liked to play around a little with the whole ‘sugar and salt bringing out different flavours’ thing. It seems weird to me to add salt to tea; I mean, I don’t add salt to anything, and I never sweeten my tea either so I just made this cup plain.
This is one of those teas that you just have to try because of the concept. It’s pretty weird, at least in my opinion (though nothing like Bacon tea). It definitely solicited an interesting response from my friend who was over the other day when I said “Potato Pancake” tea.
So steeped up (with nothing added) I think this tastes pretty amazing! I’ve actually had apple sauce and potato pancakes before, though only once, made by my Grandma. We don’t celebrate Hanukkah or anything, but she made them for us anyway. It was a while ago – when I was in elementary school, but I remember shredding apples for her with a cheese grater, and loving them because they were sweet enough I didn’t have to add syrup or anything to them. I feel the same way about this blend; it perfectly captures what it claims to, and I think it’s really well balanced and doesn’t really need to be swayed more to one side.
Although it’d still be interesting to try it with salt added because that’s still a weird concept to me.
I’m also happy because, to me, it doesn’t taste green. Yay!
I’m going to add this to my shopping list as well, for when I finally finish off some of the Butiki teas I have that I don’t plan on keeping around (also for when I have money). Maybe I wouldn’t want a full pouch of it, but as a sample or something to drink very occasionally or as a treat – because this was good!
i do not…. understand.
i got not licorice.
i got no orange.
i got caramel? caramel…. is that you? where have you been? have you been hiding out with adagio playing favourites with MissB? if so, i will admit my feelings are moderately hurt… but really i’m just glad you came back for a quick stop by!
i didn’t smell caramel either…. i have to conclude it really was taste. i had a sense of nuts (nonspecific) and caramel.
maybe MissB put some sort of voodoo over it? lol. sadly i was so distracted by amazement that my entire review consists of ‘I COULD TASTE IT!!!! WOW!’. not much else. (sorry….. but it was very good!)
it also had a warmth that was not generated from heat or spice. riddles upon riddles!
Yay! I’m home, and drinking tea, and watching Supernatural! I’m halfway through season 5. OMG. It’s so intense. And I have so many episodes ahead of me. I love those Winchester boys, but I gotta say I feel pretty bad for Cas. (No spoilers there.)
My friend found this on tumblr and was awesome enough to pass it on: http://yelloweyedcrowley.tumblr.com/post/75890779259 (YES. Destial support. :P)
This is a pretty decent cuppa. It makes me want to try Mint to Be as the non-green scum caffeinated version of this!
Also it’s going to be 3:00AM by the time I’m done this episode of SPN, but I still feel it’s worth it. I went out to a party and we brought the toddler, which meant I was on high alert all night from making sure she didn’t get into something she shouldn’t, and then I had to talk to strangers and be nice…. Eeek. So, I feel this is a just reward. She just went to sleep at 2, so she’ll probably let me sleep until noon. #fingerscrossed
Oh and I’m at 126 teas after doing a bunch of sipdowns and packaging swaps and just being awesome! :D I… I do have 48 teas coming in though so I still need 24ish more sipdowns for the month. Could happen! A lot of the incoming ones are small! :D
Reading my book and sipping on this for the last two hours.
I made it the way I really like it when I have all the time in the world for it. I fill the gaiwan with leaves, really, I fill it almost to the top. This tea is light in weight, so for me, that’s the best way to extract all the goodness I know is in there. It might seems like a lot of tea to waist, but it’s no waist when you can brew it for several hours. And the steeps remain rich and flavourful. A good night companion…
This is another one from Butiki I’m hoping will never disappear!
(See previous notes)
Sad, sad sipdown. (157)
My caffeine-free options seem to be dwindling by the minute. This is one I really enjoyed. the marshmallow leaf base makes this fluffy and sweet and helps to keep the mint from being over powering. Furthermore the chocolate in this is a nice milk chocolate flavor that helps make this creamy and smooth.
I may have been checking Butiki’s website daily (okay, hourly) waiting for Nutmeg Cream and Eggnog & Pralines to be posted. Once that happens I can place an order and get more of this tasty treat. Hopefully, I will also be able to add a fair amount of Birthday Cake to that order as well. Then I would be in caffeine-free heaven.