2103 Tasting Notes

drank Kamba Berry by Butiki Teas
2103 tasting notes

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drank Kamba Berry by Butiki Teas
2103 tasting notes

Right after I bought this tea I tried a cup of it hot, it was so tart I struggled to finish my cup. I must not have noticed that it has hibiscus in it when I ordered it (I’m not a fan at all.) Not wanting to give up on it, I saved it for warmer weather in hopes it would make a better iced tea. I’m glad I didn’t trade it away, because as an iced tea this is perfect. Instead of being overwhelmingly tart it tastes like fresh berries. Adding a little bit of rock sugar only improved the flavor. I’m sad I won’t be able to order more of this for summer, it’s a great tea.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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This is a pleasant mix of bergamot and vanilla over a pretty standard black base. I feel like the black base could be a bit stronger. I don’t find it unpleasant, but it isn’t nearly as bold as I prefer my Earl Grey. On the plus side, the more subdued flavor doesn’t leave me with a case of dry-mouth like some of the other Earl Grey teas I’ve sampled. This tea strikes a nice balance, with the vanilla being the strongest of the flavors. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable cup of tea and just what I needed after a long trip.

You can read the full review on my blog:

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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knew that somewhere in my tea bin was a sample of Carrot Cake Rooibos from Fusion Teas that would knock the edge off my cravings for something sweet. I love carrot cake, but I have yet to find a tea that tastes like a liquid version of my favorite treat. I know that is a high bar, but I keep hoping something will live up to my expectations. Unfortunately this tea wasn’t quite what I was looking for. It has some of the right flavors, but it uses the same cake flavoring that many other carrot cake blends use. I find that it tastes more like maple than cake and the overwhelming sweetness masks the flavors of the spices. Since carrot cake is generally heavily spiced I would have expected the cinnamon to play a heavier roll in this blend. Overall, I found this a bit of a letdown in the flavor department, but it did fill my need for something sweet.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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The blend I was most excited about in this month’s tea co-op box was the Senna Leaf and Anise Herbal Pu’er. I don’t see pu’er blends often and I think this is the first herbal/pu’er blend I’ve come across. The small amount of pu’er added a slight earthy flavor, although the dominant flavors were orange, anise, and ginger. There where were a few flavors I couldn’t quite pinpoint (probably the senna leaf or slippery elm which were both new to me.) The only negative I have about this blend is the fact that it gave me one heck of a rash. Apparently I’m allergic to one of the herbal ingredients.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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This is the kind of tea I like to serve guests because it has a nice smooth flavor without any of the bitterness or astringency that my non-tea drinking guests dislike. It’s not the type of tea you’ll find me drinking late at night, instead I prefer it as an early morning tea or afternoon pick-me-up. It does pack a bit of a caffeine induced punch. Overall I think this is a great everyday tea that will suit a lot of tastes.

You can read the full review on my blog:

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

This is one of the few Assams I grab on purpose.

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Right now I’m sipping on a cup of darjeeling from Golden Tips that has completely blown my mind. It’s a white darjeeling, something I’ve never tried before, but what is so striking about it is how much more complex it is than the Chinese-grown Silver needle teas that I’m more familiar with. There are fruit and floral undertones that give it a sweet flavor and become more pronounced as the tea cools. With later steepings the flavors shift away from sweet and begin to taste more like freshly cut hay. While the flavors of the tea remind me of summer, I think this is a tea best suited to cooler months since it left me with a slightly dry-mouth feel.

You can read the full review on my blog:

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Considering the high cost of saffron I was impressed with how much was in this tea. The bags are flecked with numerous small pieces, rather than entire threads, and impart a bittersweet flavor that is distinctly saffron. The longer you allow the tea to steep the more flavor you draw out from the saffron, but when steeping the tea for more than five minutes you start to draw out the some bitter notes. I don’t particularly care for bitterness, so I prefer to stop steeping the tea around the five minute mark, once it has turned a brilliant yellow-orange color.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Butiki, Della Terra, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Verdant, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

Ingredients I’m on the fence about:

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea


Oregon, WI



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