294 Tasting Notes


I’m so sad to see that Butiki is closing. They are one of the few companies that actually makes very good flavored teas. This is the perfect balance of creamy chocolatey orangey goodness. One I’ll have to order more of very soon.

So I don’t normally do this, but I’m raising funds for Boys Town for a school project. We are going to be taking the kids to Sea World and throwing an appreciation dinner for the staff members at an upscale restaurant. All donations will be tax deductible, and you will be helping to enrich the lives of unfortunate children. To make a donation go to https://secure.boystown.org/Donate/ and make sure you add UKnighted for the Kids next to the name, and select Boys Town Central Florida. Any donations are greatly appreciated! This is a picture of what the page should look like: http://instagram.com/p/t-k2enQ04O/
Thank you guys


I’m going to miss this one :(

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drank Artisan's Reserve by Mellow Monk
294 tasting notes

Phew, it has been a busy busy week. Work all week, midterms, a home football game/tailgate, and still trying and failing to find time for the gym and sleep. I received this last week, and since it was out I decided to try it cold steeped, something I haven’t been doing much off lately, but I realized it’s easier and quicker for me than regular methods. I’ve been making up a cold steep the night before and then taking it with me for breakfast at 6am on the way to work.

I love this tea. Sweet, fruity, vegetal. This is one of those perfect iced green tea teas. Sweetened or not, I love it. Some mornings I’m craving sugar, so I sweeten it and am rewarded with a refreshing, citrusy, melon-y, fruity, slightly “green” green tea. Some mornings I’m I don’t crave sweet, so I drink this straight and enjoy the vegetal, sweet, mild, brew. It reminds me of a spinach salad made up of spinach, mandarins, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leaves me feeling satisfied despite not having time to actually eat breakfast.

I will try this hot steeped the traditional way, but for know I’m really enjoying this cold steeped. I’m not sure if I like this or Top Leaf more cold brewed, so I’ll have to do a taste off and see. Either way, both are excellent choices for me.

Cameron B.

I’m getting a sample of Kuma Green 1228 next, but I would really like to try one of his shaded greens or Blissful Buds after that. :D


I really like 1228, this is a mix of shaded and unshaded, their only blend. I really love it. I think Blissful Buds is the one they’re sending next. I’m excited


This as in Artisan Reserve

Cameron B.

Gah, I want to try them all, including the black tea and genmaicha. Maybe I’ll just let Paul choose for me. :P


That’s what he did for me, I told him what I liked, and he made a “Tea Flight”. But I too want to try it all ;P


Tis the season for football and tailgates. We’re smoking pork butts for tomorrow, so we’ll be up and down all night making sure things are going well……I’m looking forward to the final product, but not so sure about the whole overnight smoking project.

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The dry leaf scent scared me. It smelled smokey and meaty, like bacon. And I hate bacon. So I double rinsed it, and smelled the wet leaf. Woodsy, earthy, foresty, and maybe a touch smokey. A definite improvement from the bacon dry leaf aroma.

10g, 8oz water, boiling, 2 10 sec rinses, 10,15,20,25,30 second steeps. Sweetened with stevia.

I don’t know if it’s do to the rinsing, but I definitely don’t get any smoked meat taste here, thankfully. Very earthy and forest like in flavor. Almost soupy in texture, coats the throat and lingers nice and long. Sweetening it, takes it from rustic wild forestry, to sweeter and mellower. The earthiness becomes soft and muted, and theres a sort of caramel like note laying on top. Second steep unsweetened, I can sort of taste pine, and maybe some leather added to the previous notes. Sweetening has a similar effect as the last time, but also kinds of makes the cup bland. While I liked the first steep sweetened, this steep seems to have suffered from the addition of stevia. As it cools, the flavors improve, bring it back on par to the first steep. Third steep has an almost smokey note at the end of the sip that lingers in the aftertaste pre-sweetened. Again, sweetening it hurts more than helps this pu-erh. Usually I like the sweet earthy caramelly dark complex raw cocoa types of flavor that emerge when I sweeten a ripe puerh, but this one is so rustic and earthy that sweetening does it an injustice. The problem is that while some people love those earthy, loamy, forest flavors, they don’t do it for me. So while I don’t care for it, if those are your thing, I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot.

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The leaves of this are long and twisted into tight strands. There’s a nice splattering of golden tips, maybe 25-30% golden tips. The dry sent smells like bread honey and a hint of smoke. Like fresh crusty straight from the oven bread that’s got a little bit of charred spots on it, drizzled with a healthy helping of honey. The wet leaf loses most of that smokey note, leaving just perfectly cooked bread and honey.

1.5tsp, 8oz water, 195F, 1,1,2,4, minute steeps. Sweetened with stevia.

Oh wow, definitely a fruity note here. I don’t always get fruity notes in black teas that other people experience fruit notes, but this really tastes like apricots. There’s also the crusty hearty bread, and honey, and some grainy notes. This is a thick slab of fresh baked 9 grain bread, smothered in apricot jam, and drizzled with honey. I should have used a longer steep time with cup two, because it’s a bit more weak, and loses the apricot jam and grain notes.

Third cup I accidentally let go cold, still good, bread and honey, but wish I tried it hot. Forth cup some cocoa comes out to play. And some sweet potato. It’s now light bodied and the texture is a touch thin, though.

Yum. Next time, I think I’ll do 1,2,3 and then maybe 5-6 minute steep. Definitely delicious. More thick slab of bread while the Golden Tip version they have is more sweet potato fries. Both delicious and I don’t think I could choose which I like more!

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drank Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre
294 tasting notes

I’ve been so busy at work this week and it’s taking everything out of me. But if still been finding time for a steep or two of this baby every night. I think I’m on steep 5 or six right now, I don’t remember, but it’s still holding up. This is so fruity and cocoa and delicious. I’ll do a more in dept review when I have a chance to do multiple steeps in a sitting, but for now just know that I think I’m in love.

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drank Carrot Cake by Della Terra Teas
294 tasting notes

Thanks Ost for the sample. I let it steep for 5 minutes, and it was a little thin. Woodsy, some spice, a little hint of cake flavor every once in a while. Not great, maybe a longer steep would have helped.

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This tea is so pretty, lots and lots of golden tips, probably 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. And the smell from the dry leaf, sweet potato, malt, and lots of cocoa. Wet leaf smells like molasses sweet potato and malt.

2 teaspoons, 8oz water, 185F, 2.5,4,4, minute steeps.

The first steep is like someone took some sweet potato fries, drizzled some caramel sauce on, and sprinkled with golden raisins. Like dessert fries or something? Is that a thing? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a thing. The second steep is still the dessert fries, but maybe a dusting if cocoa powder as well. Faint, but tickling at the edge of my senses every once in a while.

This steep is very similar to the last steeps, similar flavor and disappears way faster than it should. After this mug I went to a little party at a friends house. But I’ll cold steep the leaves and see how that fares for a 4th steep.


This is one of my favorites that I keep reaching for…drinking a cup right now!!


Def dessert sweet potatoes!

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I don’t like smoke in tea. So this scared me a bit. The dry leaf smelled like roasted peanut skins, which is much better than smoke.

1.5 teaspoon, 6oz water, boiling, 2 second rinse, and then 30,60 second steeps.

The first two steep are very mellow, a little roasted peanuts, a little floral, no smoke. Very delicate. Wanting to get more oomf out of it, I decided to bump up the steep time. Even after a two minute steep, it still mostly tastes like warm water, with maybe a couple of roasted peanuts sitting in the water. Better than super smokey, but not impressive. A three minute steep yeilds a slight smokey end of sip and aftertaste. I would have preferred more roast, not more smoke.

Overall, just not enough going on for me.

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drank Shaded Leaf by Mellow Monk
294 tasting notes

Drinking this cold brew, and not bad. I prefer it hot, though. Top Leaf is still my go to cold brew green. While this tea is more buttery and savory cold, Top Leaf is a sweeter vegetal type of green when cold brewed.

So Paul from Mellow Monk told be this morning that he is looking for more Steepsters to do reviews of his teas, so if anyone would be interested in receiving any Mellow Monk teas in exchange for reviews, let me know and I’ll give you his email! (:

Cameron B.

Ooh, pick me! :D


PM’d you (:


Please forward his email, that sounds really fun :)

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The dry leaf is a mix of malt, molasses, smoke, sweet potato, and dried fruit. The leaf is a beautiful mix of twisty dark brown and golden tips. Looks like there might even be more gold than dark brown. And there’s golden dust inside the packet, usually a good sign.

1.5 teaspoons, 8oz water, boiling, 2,2,2,3 minute steeps. Sweetened with stevia.

The first two steeps I had while taking my quiz, and didn’t quite pay as much mind to the cup as I should have. I did notice that it was malty, sweet potato, raisin, and sort of caramel. I also noticed that the two cups were gone much too quick.

Third steep, so much caramel and honey. There’s also sweet potato or yam, malty and almost yeasty. Reminds me of sweet potato casserole during the holidays. I always saw it as dessert, but I think it’s supposed to be a side dish. Similarly this tea, when lightly sweetened, is almost dessert like. Perfect cuppa to keep me out of the ice cream in the freezer.

Forth steep is similar to the third, but overall a little darker and more muted. I’m getting some chocolate as this cools. Yum!

This is so good. I’m hoping Teavivre has some good Black Friday sales because if the rest of my samples are as good as this, I’m going to be needing to place a pretty big order!

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