Featured & New Tasting Notes
Tea time! As it’s late I will pick this Rooibos blend. Shooting star, how cute!
I open the packet and am met with a thick, medicinal scent with some sweetness that mimics almond. Not unpleasant but rather …well…odd.
It’s steeped scent is much different. I smell sweet apple sauce with almond, very sweet but also very nice. The apple is rather strong considering, and it’s more apple sauce than apple.
Flavour is thickly Rooibos with a mild, sweet apple after taste before the Rooibos takes control again. Further sips bring out the almond sweetness though it’s still very much in the background of the Rooibos, of which seems almost smoky/smog like.
It’s not as sweet nor pleasing as it’s raw scent though it’s drinkable. It’s a rather medicinal Rooibos which I am not a fan of, well not a fan of Rooibos in general but this is darker than I can usually bare.
Flavors: Almond, Medicinal, Rooibos
I decided to take this one out today and give it a whirl, I guess I still wanted sheng but something a little less aggressive than the Repave and this certainly fits the bill. This morning I am getting some flowery and clover type notes, with only a hint of bitterness in the finish. I haven’t had this in a while and it seems to be aging nicely in my closet. ;)
If anything it reminds me a bit more of a white puerh than it did in the beginning. Very nice and pleasant overall. :)
I was so close to making another order with ATR yesterday to take advantage of their sale, but decided to postpone it until next time so I can catch up with these other samples, plus I’ve been moving around a lot and not even sure where I should send it. And who knows, maybe our Canadian dollar will strengthen a little bit by then. Fingers crossed, eh?
Intentionally saving this as one of the last ones, it smells very desserty, like Brioche-level desserty, but despite having figs and sesame, I actually get cherry almond out of this more than anything else, perhaps due to the slivered almonds in the dry leaf. It’s toasty and sweet at the same time, but not an artificial or overwhelming sweet.
It definitely delivers in the flavour. I get cherry almond notes but not figs nor sesame. I’ll shake the packet next time I have a cup to see if it’ll help. But the base is smooth and the flavour profile goes well with light cream. This tea kind of reminds me of Rainbow rooibos, but in a way, this is even better since I’m personally a fan of black teas more so than rooibos. That said, I can see myself getting more of this. Well done, ATR!
Having a delicious cup of this now, while I’m working on posting a garage sale on our website. This tea is so amazing. It’s tasting very powered sugary today. I’m really wondering how this would taste mixed with our PTA. I bet it would be delicious. I never got around to it but I always wanted to do a Butiki Breakfast Blend with this tea, PTA, and our Mi Xian Black. I think I will make a blend for myself.
I love almost everything about these filters. I have two mediums, and they fit perfectly into all of my cups, mostly 8oz, some 12. There’s lots of room inside for leaves to expand fully, and the superfine mesh is wonderful – only the very finest dust escapes. You will never find stray rooibos needles or fannings in your cup.
There are two things about these baskets that make me unable to rate them 100.
I find them aesthetically pretty blah. They’re very functional but not very beautiful.
And, the plastic frame traps smells more than all metal brew baskets. I find that with flavoured teas, it can be very difficult to get the fragrance out enough for it to not taint my next cup of tea, even with soap, bleach and soaking in hot water. The smell does fade fairly quickly if the basket dries completely, but it’s a pain.
Still, these are awesome brewing baskets and I haven’t found anything better.
This arrived in my last sniff, sniff Butiki order as part of the mystery package and I was over the moon. I LOVE PURPLE TEA! Not fussy about which type as long as it’s purple.
The leaves are rather small and dark, not completely purple coloured but almost, with some brown there too. They smell grassy yet spicy and floral.
Once steeped the resulting liquid is dark honey coloured and matches it’s raw scent nicely.
Flavour is of medium strength with grass, peony, chestnut and plum with some astringency and sweetness. Also is a little dry at times. Despite the touch of astringency it is very easy to drink, it’s even creamy at times and slips down very well.
Green tea is not simple, in my opinion you have the grassy and light greens, you have the dark almost toasty greens, you have the umami Japanese greens and you have the super sweet Cloud Mist style greens. That is the basics of what I go by when it comes to green tea. This Steamed Purple Green is in between being grassy/light and dark/toasty. Think of it as lightly toasted grass that is neither too dark nor light and that is the basis for this green. Plus with the added flavours, makes this one a winner for me. Not perfect but damn fine!
Plus thanks to trying this one last week I also know it re-steeps rather well.
Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Grass, Plums, Toasted
10" of snow fell on us yesterday and the temperature is hovering in the single digits. I’m not complaining as I’ve seen what Boston is dealing with lately. Trivia – I looked up the Fahrenheit scale. You know what it is based on? Neither does anyone else. There are some guesses but the truth has been lost. 32F being the temp water freezes is the only point of agreement. Just glad I don’t have to go outside where the amount of snow is higher than the temperature.
Needed something to warm me up. This is perfect. Well it was, cause now its gone.
So, my mom picked this up for both of us and then read reviews and was worried that it might be awful, but it’s actually pretty good! I followed her recommendations, based on what she read: 2 teabags (I used a 12 oz. mug), add milk and sugar. It tasted like a strawberry milkshake. No real chocolate to be found, but hey, that’s still pretty good for a rooibos. Yes, there was some rooibos flavor, but it wasn’t too strong. Oh, and 5 minutes does the trick. Glad to have another caffeine-free option in my cupboard. Thanks to my mom!
Thank you so much, Beorhthraefn! This is an odd little white tea. The leaves are actually white, green, and black in color, all very long & wiry. The description says this one almost changes to a black tea with age, so I was hoping I could save half the sample for later, but there was enough for one steep session. The flavor is great, similar to a bai mu dan at first, while the flavor is lighter: hints of sweet lemon, very very sweet. Subsequent steeps remind me of BUTIKI’S WHITE RHINO. Possibly my favorite white tea, and I would imagine many people would be looking for a replacement. Try this one! Anyway, the flavor gets a little more difficult to describe, it smooths out, becoming a little darker, losing the citrus. Maybe hints of dried grass. I really like this one… I wish I could describe it better. Happy to have tried this one, but I would have loved to try it later. Hopefully Mandala is still selling this one when my White Rhino runs out.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // rinse // 1 min steep
Steep #2 // 25 min a.b. // 1 1/2 min
Steep #3 // 20 min a.b. // 2 min
To start off my first full day in my new place, I picked out a comforting old favourite. This tea is incredibly reliable and tasty. Rich malt and sweet potato notes. It’s a pretty straightforward and middle of the road Dian hong, but I love it.
So yesterday was moving day, after a lot of angst and stress about getting things sorted, culled and packed. We hired movers, which is one of the best choices I have ever made, ever. They were done in three hours, a task which would have probably taken all day, or even stretched out over multiple days of stress, sore backs and strained interpersonal dynamics. Since the move was done by noon, we were able to get most of the house unpacked, which has been amazing.
We still have to get rid of a few things at the old place, clean it and hopefully sublet it before the end of the month. But, I am extremely pleased with how well the move and unpacking has gone.
My new place is pretty great. We have a massive kitchen with tonnes of cupboard & counter space, a dishwasher (YES!!), and everything is just really beautifully finished and high quality. We have a bit less storage space overall than at our last place, but we’ll figure it out, and the neighbour noise is going to take a bit of getting used to after living in a concrete, pretty sound proof building for a while. Over all though, I’m really happy with this place, and I hope to stay for a good long time. It’s nicer and cheaper than my old place, which is a winning combination.
And then this coming weekend, I’m off to Mexico for a week. I’m really looking forward to a week with my sweetie, away from the cold, with all the churros I can eat. And also looking forward to just having a chance to relax, because all this moving stuff has been hectic.
Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Thanks so much to nannuoshan for all the samples! This is my last one and I can honestly say that all of them were of excellent quality and delicious. I will be picking up some tea in the future.
The dry leaf of this tea looks like a silver needle crossed with a golden needle yunnan black. It is sea foam green color and smells fresh, with some potato and mint notes.
I followed the recommended gong fu parameters, but was able to enjoy a couple more infusions than were listed. The liquor is like a creamy yellow/taupe color, but clear and lightly viscous. The first sip tastes sweet with a juicy texture. There are definite potato notes and a delicious grilled taste with maybe some sweet pipe tobacco. This is amazing! It’s like velvet in my mouth.
Wow, this tea is so different than other white teas. Usually, white tea has hay or cucumber notes, but the grilled taste in this one is just fabulous! The uniqueness of this one makes it stand out to me, and it has definitely earned a place on my “buy” list.
Apricots and cream. So delicious.
I keep forgetting about these teas because the tins don’t really fit in my main cupboard (tins take up a lot of room!). But I was looking for something this morning and found this and decided to try it. So perfect. I’ve already had a coffee from one of those Vietnamese drip-through coffee makers. And now this creamy fruity deliciousness.
Spending some time with this sheng tonight. It’s pretty good. Not too green, not too bitter, not astringent, petty mild, gentle.
I haven’t explored pu’erh as much as I want to, and I haven’t really spent too much time with sheng. I have a couple that I really like, but most I think are too green and too bitter. I’m wanting to explore them more – but in my heart I think I’m a shou girl…
I do like this hot. It tastes… sumptuous and decadent. But I made some before I got distracted today. Went off to my hair appointment and it sat on the counter for an hour or so. Completely cold when I returned. Not luxurious so much now but seriously floral and heavily bergamot. It’s official. I like this one hot and really like it cold. :)
Finishing off the last of this one with my favourite girl. Now my Crio Brüs are down to just Cavalla and Pumpkin Spice. Cavalla will stay, permanently.
This one is tasty, but came out ever so slightly bitter. I just seem to have the problem where I compare them all to the amazingness that is Cavalla. Regardless, I’ve been feeling off tea as of late, and this one is sitting great this afternoon as we sit and sip on tea while researching.
Busting out the ole Guitar Hero/Rock Band equipment means that I’ve been banging away at the drums for hours at a time, trying to beat, or even come close, to my guitar records on expert mode. This further means that I haven’t been drinking as much tea. It gets in the way of battling with Tom Morello, yo!
My mom and I both love this tea. The dry leaf is packed with beautiful flower petals and plump berries. There is supposed to be kiwi and fig in this, which were absent, but perhaps that has to do with the smaller quantity I got. Maybe you’re bound to find them in a 2+ oz. pouch.
It’s nice and refreshing. Lots of berry nuances, tart but not too sour, and the base behaves itself. This would make an excellent cold brew. My mom exclaimed that she likes this one even more than Tangier. And then asked in the cutest tone, “Umm, can we get more of this?”
Yes, yes we can. But I’ll wait until a 20% sale and/or when our Canadian dollar is a little stronger.
This makes a reasonable replacement for Butiki’s With Open Eyes, except there is no ginger. I can see throwing some candied ginger into this creating a damn good replacement.
I don’t know how to tell you guys this, so I’ll just say it: this is one of the best teas on the planet. It tastes EXACTLY like a buttermint, like you’d expect one to taste. Creamy, dreamy vanilla and a hint of refreshing mint at the end. Like, well, a buttermint. Like a hard candy, but in liquid form… I’ve already had six cups today. It’s that good.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Mint, Vanilla
I love the aroma of this tea. Sweet and chocolate-y! Completely enticing!
A tea of chocolate-y bliss. This is lovely. Sweet, malty, and I love how the malt notes add a hint of caramel-esque flavor to the cup … the chocolate plus caramel-like flavors are heaven. I also taste notes of sweet potato and a hint of cream (almost buttery), and a touch of vanilla.
As the tea cools, I notice some citrus notes toward the tail.
A wonderful tea! Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/01/15/yu-lu-yan-cha-black-tea-from-verdant-tea/
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Not that I celebrate it as such since you should celebrate love to your partner every day…but I understand the sentiment. Planned for today is to play Borderlands The Pre Sequal pretty much non stop on split screen, drink lots of tea and cook a diet friendly 3 course meal. Such a thing is possible I found.
This morning I started with English Rose black tea from Whittard of Chelsea, the most romantic tea I could think of this morning, and now I’ve gone for this Gianfranco’s Earl Grey which is still simply amazing. Full of flavour without being overly strong due to the Darjeeling base but keeping fresh and pleasant through storage. Almost out of this one one but I will definitely be re-stocking it.
Hope you all have a nice day!
I really love this tea blend! When I ordered this, I knew I would probably enjoy it; I was absolutely right, and have been drinking it a lot!
This has everything I love in a tea. Not fussy, good anytime of day, resteeps wonderfully for another cup, and most important – so delicious!
Beautiful dry leaf that brews a fulfilling, smooth and and perfectly balanced cup of tea, with notes of honeyed malt, cocoa, pastries and a hint of fruitiness.
This is my perfect anytime tea, and I actually wish I bought more than just one tin!
dexter is awesome and portioned out a little of this one from her stash for me to have again. I have the 2014 version but it’s got nothing on the 2013 version. Sadly i missed my chance to pick up more of the 2013 version :(
Alongside this one, i’m also drinking a tea of the same name from dexter’s tea pusher. Both have that deliciously chocolatey taste…i think i like dexter’s tea pusher just slightly but both are different enough that i could drink both all day….every day lol. so good. i just hope 2015 version from YS will be more like 2013. :(
thank you so much dexter!