639 Tasting Notes

98

Yay!!! My (very large) Butiki order arrived today!!! Thank you so much to Stacy for providing that awesome Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal that made me pull the trigger on this long awaited purchase. Luckily, I got home before the fiancé. So there was time to hide the new arrivals among my stash. Hehehe.

I really do have too much tea. There’s no room for this giant box!! What to do??! I ended up having to get out the step ladder to reach the highest cupboard in the kitchen. LOL! Well, there’s virtually no chance he’ll find it now. I’m going to dispose of the invoice though, just in case he goes snooping. ;) I’m so bad, but I can’t help myself! It’s tea time! EEEEEEEEEHHH!!!!

I don’t know what to start with first! Maple Pecan Oolong, Pumpkin Crème Brulée, Pistachio Ice Cream. Oh MAN!! Well, Cantaloupe and Cream finally won out the honor of first steeped tea, which you’ve obviously already realized since that’s where this review is logged. So much for suspense. :P

I carefully opened the little package and peered in. Y’all weren’t kidding. These leaves are pretty! Giant clusters of yellow Helichrysum blossoms lay amongst huge whole bai mu dan leaves. I kind of felt bad dunking the flowers in the hot water, watching them shrink up. Poor little things. Ooh, I can’t wait to try this tea! The dry leaf is heavily aromatic with cantaloupe. I swear it smells just like cutting into a big juicy melon!

I followed the suggested steeping parameters by Butiki, even though they’re a little longer than I would normally do a first infusion for a white tea. I also didn’t precisely measure the leaf ‘cause I was afraid of crushing it. So, I just eyeballed it. It’s probably a little more than recommended, but I like strong tea. Ooh, I can hear it beeping! That means it’s done steeping, and I finally get to try it!

Wow!!! The aroma coming off this cup is juicy! This is insane, and I haven’t even had a sip yet! OMG! This tastes just as good if not better than it smells! Holy Butiki! No wonder this won an award! My life is forever changed. Super sweet, super mouthwatering, super delicious! Juicy really is the best word to describe this tea. It’s like drinking sweet warm juice dripping from a melon that’s been left out in the sun. Ohhhhh mmmmmyyy gggggoosshhhhh!!!!!!

Cream? Yes, there’s definitely a creamy element to this tea. And as it cools more, the lovely bai mu dan flavor comes out strong, especially in the aftertaste. There is absolutely nothing about this tea I would change, except I’d probably give it first place instead of third in that tea championship. ;)

Second steep for 4 minutes is just as flavorful as the first. Perhaps the bai mu dan comes through a little more. But that’s the only noticeable difference. Sooo yummy!! The third steep was for 5 minutes. The added flavorings were definitely quieter in this infusion, but it was still a delicious cup of tea. Can I drink this forever? ‘Cause I seriously want to.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
CHAroma

For whatever reason, I didn’t post this note the day I actually wrote it. So technically this is a backlog. Just wanted to let y’all know since I referenced Cyber Monday, which was quite a while ago. My package actually arrived very quickly. :D

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99

OMG! Maple Syrup matcha is INCREDIBLE! This tastes EXACTLY like maple syrup! I mean, it’s supposed to so I don’t know why I’m surprised. I bought 30g of the classic matcha with robust flavoring. Let me first just say that 30g isn’t nearly as much as it sounds like. Maybe I just make strong, concentrated matcha, but I really should have bought more. I can tell this is going to go FAST.

The dry leaf aroma is spot on maple syrup. It reminds me of opening a 52teas’ maple blend. The aroma is exactly the same. I’ve been whisking up this matcha all week ever since it arrived. It’s a perfect flavor combination: matcha and maple. If maple syrup was sap from a maple tree, then drinking this tea is like licking the sap off a leaf. Okay, maybe that sounds gross. But it’s delicious! I promise you!

The vegetal flavor of the matcha and the sweetness of the maple create a soft, mellow, light drink. It’s not creamy and heavy like some of the other flavored matcha I’ve tried. This is just fantastic. Buying flavored matcha you haven’t tried before is like rolling the dice. It could be a winner, or it could be an odd pairing. This one is a winner!

I’m so glad I included it in my first Red Leaf Tea purchase. I can’t wait to mix this with Cheesecake matcha to make Maple Cheesecake!!! YUM!! This is delight in a cup. Pure and simple. You can get some here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/maple-syrup-matcha.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Helena

yeah 30g is waaay too small for this matcha! I bought that the first time around and never again. It’s only large or more for this one :D

Babble

I’ve heard good things about this. Maybe I’ll give it a go on my next matcha order.

CHAroma

@Helena, hahaha! So true! Lesson learned. ;)

@Rachel, It is super delicious and definitely worth an order!!! Go for it!

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87

This is a free sample from Nuvola Tea. Thanks!!! The dry leaf has a great green oolong aroma, similar to Tie Guan Yin. I didn’t really time the steep, but I think it was about 1.5 minutes. The flavor is very similar to Tie Guan Yin too: green, buttery, floral, and amazing!

There is something odd about this tea though. Most of the flavor is in the sip. The aftertaste is faint and light and just a little bit salty. I usually find that green oolongs have a heavy, vegetal, floral aftertaste. But this one doesn’t. This tea’s aftertaste is still flavorful, just light and delicate and not what I’m used to. I’m betting the second steep will be even more amazing!

Second steep was for 3 minutes. I timed it this time. ;) The leaves are fully open now, and the flavor is maybe a little more developed. But overall, it’s very similar to the first cup. Yummy! I think I’ll stop the infusions here though. I’m practically sloshing with tea. That’s what I get for brewing oolongs Western style. :P

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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71
drank Graveyard Mist by 52teas
639 tasting notes

I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while, and thanks to Indigobloom now I can!! Woot! This one smells uber-minty! I’m more of a peppermint fan than a spearmint fan though. So, I hope this one isn’t too toothpaste-y.

Hmm, I don’t know what to make of this one. I’m getting green tea and spearmint, but no vanilla or sweetness to speak of. I’m not sure this tea is even supposed to be sweet, but I think it could be improved by the addition of a little sweetness. I added a tiny bit of Truvia and BAM! Now that’s the aspect I was missing!

Marshmallow root? It was definitely in the blend, but I’m not tasting that either. It could definitely use some more vanilla too. I took a chance and added a drop of pure vanilla extract to my cup. I don’t think it made any difference, LOL! Well, it was worth a try!

The spearmint leaves a funky aftertaste on my tongue, which I’m not loving, so I’m lowering the rating a tad. But with a little doctoring, this tea is pretty good. It’s definitely very unique and unlike anything I’ve tried in the past. Thanks to Indigobloom for sharing this exclusive tea! :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

aww well good that you didn’t buy it! lol

CHAroma

Hahaha! I do appreciate having the chance to try it. :) You’re a doll!

Indigobloom

my pleasure!
I wanna get to the rest of your samples sooo badly. #frustrated! (bad water at home)

Babble

I had mixed feelings about this tea, too. I only had a small sample to uh.. sample, though. I’m pretty sure it’ll be in the 12 days of tea, so I’m looking forward to trying it again.

CHAroma

Aww, so sorry to hear about the bad water at home, Indigobloom. Maybe it’s time to invest in a Brita water filter? Or just buy a couple gallons of spring water?

Indigobloom

I usually just grab it from the fridge filter, but we need to buy a new filter. Would be about the same price as a Brita I think. Just waiting for the store to have more of the one we need!

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74
drank Boo-Berry Cotton Candy by 52teas
639 tasting notes

How have I let this one sit in my cupboard for so long without trying it??! Have I lost my mind? I do love 52teas’ Boo-berry black tea, and I LOVE their Cotton Candy black tea. So, here’s hoping the two combined in a green tea will be just as good!

The dry leaf aroma is recognizably blueberry and cotton candy. Yum! The brewed aroma is blueberry green tea with a hint of smoke. Uh oh. I’ve never liked smokey teas, so here’s hoping that gunpowder calms down a bit.

First sip is equally green tea and blueberry flavors. The aftertaste is where the cotton candy and smoke come out to play. Oddly enough, those two polar opposites seem to go well together. Now I’m not saying that it’s a pairing made in heaven, but it’s not horrible.

The more I sip, the more the blueberry floats to the background and the green tea becomes the most prominent flavor. That’s a little disappointing. I then added a teeny tiny bit of sweetener. That helped bring more cotton candy to the forefront, but I wonder what the second steep will be like…Two and a half minutes later, I’m sitting with a nice cup of green tea. Sadly, there’s no blueberry or cotton candy flavor left. But it is a nice high quality green tea!

So, the verdict on this crazy flavor pairing tea? Eh, if I had to take it or leave it, I guess I’d leave it. :( Sorry 52teas. I’m just not a fan of the smokey gunpowder. I’m sure as a black tea this would be drop dead incredible! Alas, this was not meant to be a favorite of mine.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Babble

I have this tea and kinda.. was underwhelmed. But I really feel like maybe I need to give it a proper cold brew.

CHAroma

Hmm, I don’t know how I feel about the cold brew idea. I have a feeling that the smokey element would be really unpleasant in an iced tea. Blech. Makes me ooky just thinking about it.

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49
drank Ice Cream Cake by DAVIDsTEA
639 tasting notes

Sipdown…if you do a concentrated 30 second first steep and throw it out, then the second steep is actually pretty enjoyable. I’m surprised how much I like it this time around. Much improved. Raising the rating from 39 to 49.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50

Whoa. I’m not sure what flavoring level this is, but I’d bet it’s at least robust. This is so peppermint-y that it burns my nostrils and not in a good way. Oh boy.

First sip is pure liquid peppermint with a weird aftertaste. I know it’s the matcha base trying to come through. But it kind of tastes like strong peppermint followed by earwax. Either earwax or maybe a dandelion. Not entirely pleasant either way.

I suspect it could be great if used in baking. But when it comes to drinking straight matcha, I think I’d enjoy this one more with the delicate flavoring. Thanks to Indigobloom for the sample! This isn’t my cup of tea, but other samples have definitely been winners. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Daniel Scott

Lighter flavouring on the peppermint. Good to know. I am extremely wary around peppermint lately, though.

Indigobloom

LOL earwax and dandelion!
Sorry this didn’t work out. C’est la vie :)

CHAroma

Those were the closest taste profiles I could think of (and yes, I really have eaten earwax and dandelions…can’t say I recommend it, LOL!).

Auggy

Mmmm, earwax! Hehe!

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98

This is one matcha that I inhaled long, slow, deep breaths of the dry aroma. It smells very interesting. Definitely good, but hard to describe. Creamy, sugary, buttery? I think that’s the aroma. It’s hard to be sure because it also smells like matcha. LOL!

At first, the brewed aroma was awful! It was potent and chemically and made me say, “Oh dear!” But I think that happened because I made it concentrated and then diluted it. Once diluted, it smells more like the dry aroma with a nice matcha grassy undertone.

First sip…and the verdict is……delicious!! YUM!! This stuff is sooo good!! Just make sure you get the right water to leaf ratio and then you’re golden! Mmmm, this is uber delicious. I can’t even think of any other descriptive words. I just want to drink more of it! Oh, and I forgot to mention that this is the basic grade matcha with robust flavoring.

No clumps in this one. I did a better job. ;) Awww, but my cup is empty. :( I’ll just have to go make more samples to appease my newfound love of flavored matcha. Thanks so much to Indigobloom for rocking my world!! This is definitely one I’ll buy!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
Indigobloom

yeayy! so glad you liked this one :P

CHAroma

I broke and placed an order for this and a few other matchas today, hehehe. Can’t wait to get them!!

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90

This is a sample of the old formula cherry matcha from Indigobloom. Thanks!! The dry aroma is recognizably and undeniably cherry. This one froths up really nicely! Super frothy!! Seriously, it’s significantly frothier than any of the other matcha samples I’ve tried. Of course, I did use my milk frother for ease and speed, but still. It’s been at least 5 minutes and there’s still a substantial layer of froth sitting on top. Yum!

The taste is fantastic too! Just like the aroma, it tastes cleanly of matcha and cherries. Now this cherry taste is not like cherry cough syrup (thank goodness!). It’s kind of like cherry candies because it smells very sugary and sweet. Come to think of it, this is akin to cherry Skittles. But the matcha’s innate bitterness calms down the sugar so that this cup is neither sugary nor bitter. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and smooth and tasty!

I really like this one a lot! I’m surprised that they decided to re-make their cherry flavor. This formula seems fine to me! Better than fine really. It’s great! (Thus the overuse of exclamation points in this tasting note). ;) Oof, there was a big clump at the bottom. Dang. I’ll have to be more careful next time. I’m sure using a sifter would have prevented that.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the flavor. It’s not as overtly scrumptious as say the caramel matcha, but it’s still delicious nonetheless. I’d recommend this one to people who prefer savory over sugary. I’m definitely the latter. So while this was an excellent sample, I’m not sure if I’ll purchase it for myself. Thanks again to Indigobloom!!!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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83
drank Caramel by ESP Emporium
639 tasting notes

Wow, this tea is surprising me this morning! I let it steep for a lot longer than usual and then added skim milk and Truvia. It has a very creamy taste to it, like I poured in some heavy whipping cream instead of plain skim milk.

The result is insanely delicious! This tea tastes nearly identical to caramel ice cream!! Yum! Raising the rating from 81 to 83.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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