Random Steepings

Tea type
Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Honey, Malt, Sweet, Yams, Earth, Rose, Butter, Caramel, Pastries, Salt, Flowers, Ginger, Grass, Hay, Wood, Coffee, Cream, Vanilla, Chocolate, Spicy, Stonefruits, Hazelnut, Smoke, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Plants, Asparagus, Mineral, Potato, Orange Zest, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate
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Caffeine
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Edit tea info Last updated by madametj
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 16 oz / 461 ml

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459 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Yes, I drank tea today. Yes, I am lazy, but I was also busy all day, so in an effort to not post lame reviews about teas I drank hours ago, & have reviewed plenty of times, I am once again going...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2913 tasting notes
  • “pssst....i had a bit of tea today. but it was family time with extended family in town for a day and my parents up for the weekend. more to come tomorrow afternoon once everyone is gone. Miss you...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 4862 tasting notes
  • “So Ceylon Star asked what kind of tea to mix up on facebook, and I immediately went into the kitchen and threw this desserty concoction together: 1/2 tsp Bossa Nova (oolong) from Zen Tea 1/2 tsp...” Read full tasting note
    OMGsrsly 1425 tasting notes
  • “Since I'm in the neighborhood, I stopped by press tea and had the Wild Himalayan Black Tea. Last time I had it with cream and I felt I couldn't properly gauge how the pressed tea compared to a...” Read full tasting note
    fuzzy_peachkin 464 tasting notes

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459 Tasting Notes

1330 tasting notes

I’m very thrilled to have had a try with the Butiki traveling teabox! thank you for starting the box! I will be writing everything for the Butiki samples in this one LONG tasting note, since there aren’t any tea shop/company names. Hopefully this teabox will educate me on the differences between some teas. I’d really like to be able to tell the difference between autumn/spring and first/second flush Darjeelings. I think the only thing missing from the box would be at least one of each sheng/shu pu-erhs for pu-erh newbies to compare. I’m not enough of a fan of raw pu-erh that I have more than one teaspoon in my possession though. I’ll be trying some of the same type side by side, especially if I want to try both.

BLACK TEAS
+*Kenyan Orthodox* – 4 min after boiling // 3 min steep
I’ve tried a couple amazing Kenyan teas before. This one is good. Hints of plum and cherry that I associate with the few I’ve had. Not too much flavor, but I love the flavor that is here. Also, tomato soup, but I wish it would leave the plum and cherry alone.

+*Assam – India #1* The leaves here LOOK like the Hattialli I love from Butiki, with a ton of golden twisty leaves, but though the cup is dark, it is very difficult to even figure out with this tastes like. Definitely not like the Hattialli that I could find so many flavors. I don’t think I’ll ever taste another tea like that one again.

+*Assam – India #3* The leaves here are much darker than #1. The flavor is also darker, but still very sweet and mellow like #1. This one has plenty of that dry grass flavor.

+*China Keemun #2* A decent black tea but it lacks all of those keemun characteristics for me. I’ve had many great keemuns lately though.

+*Kenyan CTC* I accidentally left this to steep for more than the minute I wanted. I expected undrinkablity but it actually wasn’t that astringent for a usual super-strength CTC. Just like rye bread. A nice CTC.

DARJEELING
I’m using one teaspoon of each Darjeeling but not filling the mug to the top as I usually do. I know some Butiki Darjeelings suggest two teaspoons, so maybe not filling the mug will make up the difference. I’ve also recently found out that Darjeelings are usually ruined for me with boiling water. I guess it depends on the Darjeeling.

+*Darjeeling India Autumn 2013 #1* 27 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Very squashy, which is fitting for autumn I guess! I haven’t tried this sort of tea yet. Second steep: half mug // 4 min after boiling // 2 min – completely different cup and not oversteeped so I’m still not sure what temp Darjeeling should be steeped at.

+*Darjeeling First Flush #4* 14 min after boiling // 3 min steep
I think first flushes just aren’t my thing, unless I’m steeping them wrong. The flavor is just not that great for me… what flavor there is anyway. This happened with all the first flushes I’ve ever tried. If anything with this teabox, I guess I learned which type of Darjeeling I like better!

+*Darjeeling Second Flush #6 & 7*
Maybe second flushes aren’t my thing either! These weren’t much different from the first flush, but there was slightly more flavor. But I’m not really inspired to steep a second cup OR even finish the first.

OOLONG
+*Dong Ding #1* 1 tsp // 25 min after boiling // mug 3/4 full // 3 min
No idea what temp to brew certain oolongs. I remember the Mandala milk oolong was a completely different tea brewed at just boiled or waiting around 20 minutes and I know with each oolong it’s different. Ooooo….I could try waiting 20 min for the first steeps of oolongs and then just boiled for the second steeps. I think this one brewed correctly though. The dark leaves of this one were bundled much bigger than the second Dong Ding. The flavor is like roasted chestnuts. Smooth but with a tiny bite to it. Second cup: nice as well.

+*Dong Ding #2* 1 tsp // 25 min after boiling // mug 3/4 full // 3 min
The leaves of this one were smaller bundles than the other Dong Ding. I wonder if that is why the brew was slightly darker. The flavor is stronger as well. More bite. Second steep: even more flavor but it also reminded me of kerosene for some reason.

+*Tie Guan Yin China Oolong* 15 min after boiling // 2 min
I should have went for the parameters of my favorite tie guan yin but I realized that 15 min after boiling (just boiled, 2-3 tsps.). The flavor is lighter and it isn’t a flower garden like I expect from a good tie guan yin, but this is good. Buttery, kind of more like a milk oolong.

+*Tie Guan Yin Traditional #1* 15 min after boiling // 2 min
I’ve already learned that smaller bundles and darker color means more flavor. This happened in both oolong tastings so far. This one also has something that tastes like kerosene again. Hopefully my tastesbuds aren’t like this now, but I honestly never loved roasted oolongs in the first place.

+*Mei Shan Taiwan #1* 25 min after boiling // 3 min
I don’t think I’ve ever had a Mei Shan oolong, at least that I’m aware of, so I had to try this one. The oolong are the biggest bundles I’ve ever seen. This has such an odd flavor that I don’t normally taste in oolong. It’s kind of like tomato soup but also tangy like some other fruit or vegetable. Not floral, milky or peachy like other oolongs. The cup color was light like an oolong usually is though.

+*Mei Shan Taiwan #2* 25 min after boiling // 3 min
The bundles with this one are slightly smaller and darker than the other Mei Shan. This one had a tomato soup flavor too, so it wasn’t just the other one. I guess it’s the characteristic of the Mei Shan. Interesting! The second cup had a really nice floral flavor to it I really liked.

+*Champagne Oolong* 15 min after boiling
This certainly is a flavor I haven’t had before. Very unique. I can’t really describe it but it’s sweet and it does have a creaminess to it. Really good.

+*Oriental Beauty Oolong #1*
I’ve had one kind of tea like this before. It supposedly had bergamot in it, but now that I’m trying this one, the base tastes like it has a sort of bergamot to it already. I wouldn’t guess this is an oolong looking at the leaves.

+*Ali Shan* I tried two of the Ali Shans but I’m not sure if either one was different from the other. It tasted like if a ton of different oolongs were mixed together – not very distinct flavoring.. hints of floral when it cooled. That’s too bad because I think these were the first Ali Shans I have tried.

+*GABA oolong #1* 10-15 min after boiling // 3 min
I’ve never tried a GABA. It’s supposed to lower anxiety, but I don’t think it helped mine. This looks like a roasted/charcoal oolong. With darker bundles with tinges of red. The flavor is so interesting, definitely not what I expected from these types of leaves. To me, it’s like the acorn squash that gets cut and half and baked with brown sugar and butter. Those are the flavor notes: tangy squash, butter, brown sugar. I like it.

+*Wen Shan Bao Zhong #1* 10 min after boiling // 1 min steep
Hmm.. this tastes very similar to the Bao Zhong I tried from Butiki a couple years ago! It’s very nice – light and buttery. The leaves aren’t actually bundled like a typical oolong. The leaves are long and twisty.

+*Milk Oolong #1* I wouldn’t say this is a very distinct milk oolong, and I certainly couldn’t guess it was a milk oolong in a blind taste test. I don’t think anyone should use this one to say if they like milk oolong or not.

GREEN
+*Bolivia Green* 35 min after boiling // 2 min Not sure if I’ve ever tried a Bolivia green, but this one is sure interesting. Some of the green leaves are actually compacted together… I haven’t seen that before. The taste is certainly distinct but I couldn’t even say why, so I’ll leave it at that. Good though.

+*Bi Luo Chun #1* 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
This one is really nice. Super creamy breaded corn, as all the green teas seem to be to me. Good thing I love that flavor.

+*Bi Luo Chun #2* 30 min after boiling // 3 min
Even though the leaves look pretty similar, the taste on this one is much different. Weaker flavor even with a longer steep time. Seems tangier. Not terrible but the first is amazing.

WHITE
+*Chinese white* 32 min after boiling // 2 min
The leaves here are all so different! The scent from the cup is lemony. The flavor is nice but not extremely distinct. Hints of lemon and cream. Must be like a bai mu dan.

+*Bai Mu Dan #1* 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 steep
This one is kind of pickley. Not really my thing. The leaves look really nice though. Reminds me of confetti. Not the best bai mu dan now that I’ve tried some nice ones.

+*Kenya White #2* Little sickles going here – not much flavor and a lot of fuzzies in the mouth. No flavor means the fuzzies aren’t worth it. Not a fan.

+*Kenya White #1* 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
This is surprisingly the winner in the teabox for me! A WHITE TEA. My least favorite type of tea! It also figures, that this seems like the rarest tea of all, only nine results for ‘kenya white’ in the Steepster search and none of them look like this one. The leaves actually look like a black twisty Yunnan with plenty of gold. I certainly haven’t seen a white tea like this before. But the flavor that results from these leaves is definitely a white tea and possibly my favorite white tea. It has hints of lemon but the best thing about it is the syrupy texture. Not at all like those fuzzy white teas. This is the texture I wish all white teas would have. The cup of the color is a darker yellow. Two really nice steeps. I really wish Butiki would have sold this tea, or at least one like it.

OVERALL I’ve learned:
+First flush darjeelings, not my thing.
+I should look out for Kenyan white teas and GABA oolongs. I really liked being able to try a few different oolongs I haven’t knowingly tried before.
+Wow, two year old teas taste way better than I think they would. :D
+This teabox was a fantastic experience – also better than I expected! thank you so much!

Courtney

Great note! The kerosene oolongs sound bizarre. But the GABA one sounds intriguing. White Rhino shocked me, and sounds similar to the Kenyan White you tried here – I wasn’t expecting a white tea to rocket to the top of my favourites list.

Tea Sipper

thanks for reading that book. haha. Thank you for mentioning the White Rhino because that definitely looks like the tea I tried. Shopping list! :D

Courtney

Yes! I love convincing others on White Rhino. I hope you enjoy it as much as you did this one. It sounds really similar.

Kaylee

White Rhino is fabulous. I’ve never had another white tea quite like it.

Butiki Teas

The White Rhino was in the box. Only a few of our current teas made it to that box and they were Kenyan teas.

Tea Sipper

Ah, good to know! I had a feeling something that good would have to be in Butiki’s stock.

Butiki Teas

So glad you enjoyed it! :)

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64 tasting notes

My husband loves sweet tea. Lately I’ve finally gotten around to start making it for him, mostly because I got an awesome tea brewing pitcher at a sale at Teavana. I’m alternating making it with dirt cheap black tea, and more interesting (and expensive) stuff. This time I used 6 teaspoons Vanilla Oolong (Adagio), 5 teaspoons Cream flavored Black tea (Adagio), 1 teaspoon ground Vanilla Beans (Mountain Rose Herbs), 1 teaspoon Xylitol, 7 Tablespoons sugar, and 8 cups water. I cold brewed it, and it turned out quite nice. It was too sweet for my personal preference, but aside from that the flavor was very interesting. My husband said it tasted like a sweet vanilla coffee drink where you can’t really taste the coffee. I think I would really like the combination with less sugar. The cream and vanilla flavors complemented the black tea very well.

Flavors: Coffee, Cream, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 12 tsp 64 OZ / 1892 ML

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391 tasting notes

albertocanfly and gmathis, this is totally your fault ;-)

All this talk about mint has inspired me to brew my favourite. Had to wait for my wild mint to grow first. I tell you, this recipe requires a lot of skills…you need fresh mint, boiling water, and a clear glass mug.

That’s it folks!

This is what you do. You fill the cup with LOTS of fresh mint, leaves and stems. I usually take one large bunch so everything is attached together. My personal favourite is sweet spearmint.

Poor some just boiled water in a glass mug in order to watch the show. Don’t cover, just watch the leaves dance, they will become a vibrant emerald green. Wait a good 5 minutes and start sipping. Don’t remove the leaves, the tea will become even more flavourful as you drink it. Will never become bitter.

I learned to do that about four years ago in a Thai restaurant. When I asked for mint tea, that’s what they brought me. I fell in love with it. Who knew mint tea could be so easy and so much more flavourful this way!

I planted my own mint that summer…it still grows and has become a bush. I can have sweet mint tea all I want, it’s so relaxing and helps me feel at peace, especially at night.

For those who have never experienced mint that way, a must try :-)

MzPriss

I do this in the summer and then put it in the fridge for cold tea. I add some lemon balm to mine and it is luscious!

mj

That sounds delightful! TheTeaFairy, you are now not only my tea-enabler, you are my houseplant enabler. You’ve just given me an excuse to get a mint plant. Chocolate mint, I think! I already bought two new plants this weekend and this will bring my houseplant total to 11…in my 1 bedroom apartment lol.

TheTeaFairy

MzPriss, the lemon balm thing sounds delicious, will have to try!

Mj, chocolate mint is an awesome idea! As for being your houseplant enabler, please don’t let it be me, you will only kill anything you try to grow lol, I’m terrible with plants!

The only reason my mint is doing so well is because it takes care of itself, just like my rhubarb and other herbs I have. No matter how bad I mistreat them, they keep coming back for more the next year…that tells me there are such a thing as masochist plants!

Good luck with it though, let me know when you have your first fresh mint tea :-)

gmathis

Happy to oblige! We have had an unusual late spring/early summer here; lots of lots of rain without much heat. The mint “plantation” is loving it…SW Missouri is typically hotter and drier; I may not be so lucky next year.

MJ, chocolate mint seems to be the hardiest of the types I’ve tried so far.

mj

Haha TheTeaFairy I just need enabling for the purchase of the plants. After that, I can probably handle the care. I’ve had a few of my plants for years now! BTW, I bought three different mint varieties: chocolate mint, lavender mint, and strawberry mint.

gmathis

Hadn’t seen lavender or strawberry yet. Will be interested to hear how those progress!

albertocanfly

tehehe…mint tea is just so incredibly refreshing!!! . And I love drinking it this way, it tastes amazing and the leaves in the cup are always gorgeous (it is mandatory for me to drink tea like this in clear mug :D)

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126 tasting notes

You know those wee little packets of enough black Chinese tea to make a big cup that only have Chinese writing on them so you have NO idea what they are? I’m having one of those now. I really wish I knew what it was. It’s nice and chocolaty with lots of body. I got a shitload of these little bags one day and I’m glad I did as they will be good for my travel bag and the tea stick.

I still have some sheng leaves left from yesterday that I will likely be getting back to today. Right now, I’m being MzMicrobe. Terri has inspired my microbiologist side. I’m working on: Root Kimchi (recipe by Terri), milk kefir and water kefir using my new kefir grains. After lunch I’ll be making some blackberry cobbler with the blackberries from my garden with a batter using almond flour and a recipe thoughtfully provided by Terri. In between I’m trying to organize my tea.

whatshesaid

Yummy day!

Terri HarpLady

So glad to inspire!!
I have milk kefir granules in my frig, if they are still alive. My son Leif was making & drinking a lot of Kefir for awhile. I used them with coconut milk to make Coco-Keifer, which is awesome, but in spite of giving them a good rinse before putting them in the coconut milk, I still seemed to have a dairy allergy reaction. I’ll probably give it a try again, because I’m a scientist at heart. I did have a successful water kefir thing going for awhile, & they work good in coconut milk too, but it’s a completely different drink :) The only thing I don’t like about water Kefir granules is they seem to have a tendency to start making ‘hooch’, if you know what I mean.

MzPriss

I do know. I’m wondering if I can shorten the time it ferments and avoid that. Did you ever do the water grains in coconut water?

MzPriss

Oh and my kimchi is in the jar. I’m about to put together the batter for the cobbler. My berries are all washed and ready. I’m probably not going to cook them first like the recipe does with the peaches

Terri HarpLady

Good plan with the cobbler, I think. I need to make berry cobbler this week.
I have also made water kefir with coconut water, & it’s a lovely fuzzy drink, especially if you include a couple of slices of ginger in the fermentation! The Granules love it it & grow like crazy, but THAT one really has a strong tendency to turn into Hooch! LOL

MzPriss

Oh I want that though – with the ginger and coconut water, I’ll just try to watch the time. This is giving me all kinds of ideas though.

Terri HarpLady

Now I’m thinking I need to get new water kefir grains & give it another try :)

MzPriss

YES! We can be Mad Kefir Scientists!

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51 tasting notes

Hey guys i figured out how to like tasting notes and im on a computer right now for the first time in months

boychik

I need to wait another month…

apt

I feel your pain

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1000 tasting notes

Custom blend: Harney & Sons Chamomile and Harney & Sons Yellow & Blue

I decided to reinfuse the spent sachets of these two teas and together they produced a fine second brew! I actually like this ratio of chamomile to lavender better than the Yellow & Blue alone, which sometimes seems too heavy on the lavender—depending on my mood.

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73 tasting notes

OMG http://www.arborteas.com/pages/vanilla-chaiscream
Arbor Teas accepted my recipe submission guys! I’m stoked! :D
Go check out the recipe for my Vanilla Chaiscream and make yourself some! :D
If you try it, please tell me what you think! :D

TheTeaFairy

Congrats! Looks great :-)

mj

Congrats! It sounds amazing :-)

carol who

That recipe looks amazing! Great picture, too!

Arshness

Thanks! I took it myself. ^^ It was a little melt because I had to take several shots and it was soft serve but it is still representative of the end product. Haha :)

Let me know if you try it!

Veronica

That sounds so good! I’m going to have to try it this weekend.

Arshness

Woot! Let me know if you do! I can’t wait to hear feedback.
They said they’re going to include it in their next e-newsletter too!

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368 tasting notes

I figure I could at least log this one. I had Odd Side Ale’s Afternoon Delight beer tonight at the bar. It’s got berry tea in it. I wasn’t that impressed, though. It does taste like berry and like tea…kind of like iced tea that was made from tea bags that sat in the tea too long. Oh well. It was interesting, and I only tried it because it was the tea beer.

mj

Have you ever tried sweet tea vodka? It’s dangerous!!

TheTeaFairy

I’ll try anything once if it’s got tea in it :-)

Cheri

Sweet tea vodka….interesting. I haven’t tried that. I may have to see if I can find an airplane bottle of it, just to try it.

And yes, this beer really has tea in it. That’s one of the things that Odd Side Ales does. They do some interesting beers, but they use the real thing to make it. We’re going Up North for the weekend, and one of the breweries I really like near where we’ll be does a Summer Sencha beer that I love. (I had it last year and loved it so much I got a growler to take home.) It’s also made with real tea.

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204 tasting notes

I still have some Design A Tea samples in my cabinet untried! So this morning pulled out Chestnut Raspberry Oolong. Not bad! Definitely the chestnut flavour is prominent followed by lighter notes of raspberry. I’m not getting much of the oolong base because the chestnut is pretty strong but overall it’s still a pretty decent cup. It is after all my own weird combo. Definitely nice to try but not a winner for buying more. Of course Design a Tea makes it so easy to try out many different combos.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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177 tasting notes

T&C TTB 21/23

Numi Pettit flower: there was a picture guide to help tell them apart but none of them had the shape I was looking for but two had the color combination I was looking for.
After adding the water it was fun to watch it bloom to find a little reddish flower thing in the middle. After comparing the bloomed flower with the choices, I think I picked Dragon Lily. After reading what Dragon Lily tasted like “sweet apricot” I think I can taste apricot but I mostly smell and taste over cooked vegetables. Not sure what I picked but it was fun to try.

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