Featured & New Tasting Notes
In the words of Daylon R Thomas, “Liquid Nutella is the best description I can offer.”I didn’t want to stop drinking this lovely sample from @Whiteantlers. I have a little more left over, but I think I’ll make a small amount of Sun tea with it. I might as well experiment with this tea, since it’s so good. Plus, iced chocolate tea—it could be good!?
These samples have so far proven that there are other types of tea out there that I’ve yet to try; which I plan on trying more of, once I drink down more tea. It’s not that I’m not committed to tea, but I’m literally running out of room in my cupboard. I’ve purchased an unnatural amount in the past few months (there’s no such thing as an unnatural amount of tea, though), and I want to create a challenge for myself to see if I can drink away 5-6 teas before buying more.
Anyway, thank you for this lovely sample, Whiteantlers. It has been an adventure thus far, and I can’t wait to try the rest this week. :)
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Nutty, Sweet
I am pushing myself to drink more green and white teas: teas that are usually not the first ones I reach for.
Honestly, I haven’t made up my mind about fruit-flavoured green teas. It seems hard to get the balance of tea and flavour right.
That said, this one, a blend of organic Chun Mee and Gunpowder, is good. The blackberry overlay is mellow. The butter crust is gently there. Nice.
The flavouring disappears by the second steeping and the lovely green remains.
Flavors: Blackberry, Butter
Last year during the Midwest Tea Festival I stumbled across one of the Kansas City area’s best kept secrets: Anna Marie’s Tea Shop. The shop is nestled away in Liberty, Missouri—a small suburb of Kansas City—and carries a wide variety of flavored teas. Flavored teas aren’t always enough to make me sit up and take notice of a new-to-me shop, but I had the opportunity to sample a number of their offerings and was immediately struck by how similar they tasted to the teas that were offered by Della Terra before they went out of business almost two years ago. If you’ve been looking for a company to fill the void that Della Terra left behind then you’ll want to check this shop out immediately, especially if you’re missing old favorites like Lemon Chiffon or Pineapple Upside Down Cake Black Tea. Anna Marie’s even offers sample sizes for those of you who are like me and must try all of the teas.
You can read the full review on my blog:
If this indeed is the right tea that I am reviewing…
What an interesting tea! I steeped it briefly at boiling and am drinking it straight up unsweetened. When it was hottest, my first few sips were vanilla custard. Enchanting. And then, as it cooled, it got all malty frisky. And then, a few astringent notes started rising up. As I continue to warm my cup by topping up from my travel mug, the buttery notes resurface. Yummy and very much enjoyable, but a tad finicky.
Thank you, Sil, for sending me this one to try.
I am very much behind on trying samples and tea swaps in general: ok, ok, behind with the whole tea world really, but making slow gentle progress nevertheless. Aaargh.
This is probably the most delicate green oolong I’ve ever seen. The smell and taste both make this a green tea to me though. It may have some viscosity that I would say oolong has in character that green tea may not, but that’s about it.
Really enjoy cup of tea during the spring and summer for sure, but I think I’ll stick with the normal baozhong BTTC has because I don’t foresee having the time to sit down and just enjoy sipping at this as it has subtle notes that need concentration to notice and I will miss out on them for the moment. However, I was able to rebrew this four times which I wouldn’t do with a green tea so that makes it more valuable to me as I look for a nice tea for spring when I do have the time for a hike; which will always include BTTC dragonwell because it’s hands down the best I’ve ever seen, tasted, or heard of.
It’s been a long time since I last drank this one, but it came to work with me this morning in my Timolino since I’m hosting an event away from the office until lunch time. As ever with these things, it didn’t go to plan. Tea is obviously a requirement in these situations!I added a splash of milk to my cup this morning, but it would be equally palatable without.
Initially, this comes across as quite a chocolatey tea; dark, almost bittersweet, cocoa-like chocolate. There are also some fairly prominent baked bread notes which remind me a lot of Second Breakfast – there’s an underlying saltiness that I also picked up in that one. The mid-sip is mostly malt, sweet and thick tasting, and it works perfectly with the chocolate notes. So far, so comforting. The end of the sip reveals a light fruitiness, which lingers into the aftertaste. It reminds me most of plum – juicy, a little sharp, a little tart. It’s a flavour combination that almost shouldn’t work, but somehow it does! You have to try it to see. Upon reacquaintance, this is still one of my favourite black teas. I’ve left my rating unchanged accordingly.
1.5 tsp, 3.5 mins, boiling water (212), splash of milk.
So now I know what it is like to have buyers remorse for those who buy YQH and do all they can to make it taste better than it is because of the price tag…
Tea Urchin is my go to place for high end stuff that makes e feel good, but this one did not do that. I should have read more about it online to know it wasn’t within my own preferences of a tea, but when there’s a group buy and you get deals… TRY EVERYTHING!
This particular sheng is in the medium to dark range for a sheng. Typically I like my raw tea to have essence of flower or fruit making it seem like it was a cake worth breeding with things that the bees like, not that the flies like; which leads me to this dark, damp wet hay. Some people really enjoy that taste, I do not.
I am in luck though, I can put 25g of this in the pu’erh TTB that is coming around :)
However, I need to find someone to swap the rest with because I won’t drink this… I’m becoming pickier with my sheng; but not my beengholes :P
p.s. for reference, I did steep this 14 times because it last and I love me some TU so it was hard hard hard to go ‘this is the first one I don’t want to hold onto’
I hope all of you are experiencing the same awesomely beautiful weather we are enjoying. Not a cloud in the sky. This morning I decided to completely forget all the stuff that I am supposed to be doing. Instead I got out my gorgeous Tivelasi teapot and filled it with Little Red Cup Lapsang Souchong. Grabbed the accompanying mug and a bowl of grits and parked myself on the front porch. It was so peaceful. No traffic. The sound of faint hammering across the road – the neighbors are building a barn for their horses. The sweet pine smoke from the tea along with the gentle warm breeze simply melted the stress away. The perfect early morning porch tea. Highly recommend you start your day the same way.
Unfortunately back to reality this afternoon.
Oh boy, I didn’t realize I got down to 39 teas (thirty-freaking-nine!) the other day until now. My ATR order arrived the other day so it’s back up but not by too much.
So glad I ordered a sample of this. I love chai but sometimes so many are basically the same as not as complex as I’d like, but I took a chance on this just to justify my order more. It’s pleasantly heavy on the cardamom. Like DAVIDsTEA’s Cardamom French Toast with extra added cinnamon and ginger.
I steeped this with some homo milk and added a bit of brown sugar. Delightful. Cardamom note is the most prominent, followed by the ginger, and then the cinnamon, I’d say. The base is a bold Nilgiri but it doesn’t override any of the spices. Rather than doing a 4-5 minute steep (didn’t time it), I’m sure this would really benefit from a stovetop treatment.
Would I buy more? Not entirely sure yet but it’s been the best loose leaf chai I’ve purchased in a good while. I’m biased when it comes to cardamom, however, as I love that stuff.
Backlog from December 1st:
There isn’t really anything new I can say about this tea. It’s always bitter and tastes like peach candy instead of roses. It’s surprisingly not as bitter today, even with the longer steep.
Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Peach
This week’s matcha sample is – Cheesecake! I feel like I prepared the ground well enough with “normal” flavours like Strawberry and Banana, so I finally broke out one of the left-field flavours that I’ve been looking forward to forever but still slightly scared of. When I opened the pouch, all I could smell was very sweet vanilla. That had me worried for a minute, but I needn’t have doubted.
I prepared this one as a latte, which has pretty much become my go-to. I used 1/4 tsp of matcha, whisked into 1/3 cup of hot water, and then topped off with milk. The scent lost some of its vanilla as soon as I added the water, and started to smell more like baking cheesecake. To taste, it’s super delicious! It’s creamy and sweet, of course, but with a slightly salty-sour-tangy undertone that really characterises cheesecake for me. There’s still the flavour of vanilla sitting over the top, but it’s not overpowering or sickly. It also avoids tasting artificial, which is a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned. There’s nothing chemically about the flavour of this one, it’s just straight-up flavour-accurate vanilla cheesecake. The matcha is completely masked by it, which is the whole point I guess, so there’s not even a conflict of “green” and “sweet”. It’s truly delicious stuff.
I can imagine that this would combine well with other flavours to make various “cheesecake” combinations, but I’m trying not to have too many samples open at once because they’re not resealable. It’s something I’d try in the future if I manage to get hold of a larger quantity in a tin, though.
For now, I’m just really happy with this one. It’s a desserty treat on a dull work day.
1/4 tsp, boiling water. Prepared as a latte.
It is a beautiful day! Perfect weather, intermittent cloud cover with a pleasant breeze, 75 degrees (the perfect temperature for me) and the hint of possible storms in the future. Of course I am spending the day watching Fighting Games on the West Coast Warzone Stream and have been doing that since yesterday. I am using a break in stream (by break I mean it is a game I don’t care about, sorry Guilty Gear) to blog about some yummy tea.
Today I am looking at one of the teas from Eco-Cha’s most awesome club which I am a member of, I joined at the beginning and paid for the whole year because I know Eco-Cha has good tea, so far I have been very pleased. I plan on writing about all of the teas I have gotten at some point, but this one needed blogging about now because Taiwanese Black Teas are a thing of epic beauty. ShanLinXi Black Tea (the link takes you to their blog post, very informative) comes from, you guessed it, Shan Lin Xi Mountain, one of my favorite mountains in Taiwan to procure tea from. The aroma of these curly leaves knocked me out of my chair from first sniff, seriously, I am so easily floored by red teas, it is a bit embarrassing. There are notes of lychee, mango, papaya, cocoa, cream, and nutty almost coconut water undertones, this tea smells tropical and immensely sweet and rich.
Into my beloved ruyao gaiwan the leaves go, the aroma keeps up the tropical fruit notes with papaya, longan, lychee, mango, and a touch of cherries. There is also an undertone of chocolate and cream, it is so sweet, it is almost cloying but manages to sneak right under the cloying radar and fall happily into richness. Wow, somehow the liquid manages to smell even sweeter, but still manages to not be cloying, probably because it smells like fruit juice rather than candy, with notes of papaya, cherry, and lychees, with a woody and cocoa undertone and a delicate hint of cream.
Wow, just wow, this tea is sooo sweet! It is a bit mind boggling! It is very smooth in the mouth with a tiny bit of bright crispness at the finish that let’s you know there might be some tannins somewhere in this tea, but only a hint. It starts with papaya and lychee, then moves on to woody and creamy with cocoa undertones. The finish is a bit of autumn leaves and mineral. Then the real fun, the aftertaste on this tea goes on forever, super sweet tropical fruit creamy goodness that just does not quit.
Second steep, the aroma keeps up the intense sweetness, but it also has a distant floral note that took me forever to pin down, at first I thought maybe the spring flowers outside my window were playing with my sense of smell so I took the tea elsewhere to sniff where I was able to determine it has a subtle peony and plumeria notes. The taste also has a hint of that floral quality, it is almost ghostly dancing in and out of taste. The fruity and creamy cocoa notes stay strong, and woody notes become a little more pronounced, along with a mineral quality to the finish. The aftertaste is not quite as long lasting as the first steep, but it was still long lasting.
The third steep’s aroma has a stronger floral note, definitely picking up on that peony and plumeria, though it is woodier this steep, the cocoa notes are also more prominent. Wow, the mouthfeel on this steep is super smooth, which goes well with its nectar like sweetness. The tropical fruit notes are not as strong this steep, mostly the lychee note sticks around, it is joined by strong creamy cocoa and coconut water and a woody finish. The aftertaste is still strong but not as strong as previous steeps. And perfect timing, as I wrap this post up Mortal Kombat Top 8 is starting, so I shall take my tea and stare at the stream happily. Happy weekend everyone!
Normally I go for green tea baths, but this was just so tempting that I had to do it.
One of the best bath experiences I’ve ever had, honestly. The smell was just absolutely divine, but then the light tingly sensation of the mint all over my skin made me feel like I was on fire but in the most peaceful, relaxing way humanly possible. Oh Lord I want to experience that again…
My boyfriend thinks I’m absolutely insane though. He just needs to experience it himself, honestly…
Thanks for the sale, Greenteafairy! A chance for me to try a couple more Butiki blends! I really appreciate it. This is somehow such a smooottthhh blend. Whoa. I don’t think I ever tried the Butiki Bai Mu Dan on its own but it sure is a good one. The flavoring adds even more butter flavor. It tastes like buttery sugar cookies, even without adding sugar. Creamy, scrumptious, buttery sugar cookies. The second steep let a little more of the Bai Mu Dan peak through. I don’t really know what Irish Cream Butter Crisps are, but this tea is delicious. Oh Butiki, I’ll miss you forever.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15-20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Picked this up recently from King Tea on Aliexpress. It is quite good. It had a fair amount of fermentation flavor left. It was noticeable for the first four steeps or so. It was bittersweet at the start. It slowly evolved into something sweet. I think you could call it creamy and their were some notes of chocolate in there. This is a high quality long lasting shou. I gave this fourteen steeps which is longer than a lot of shou will go. Most shou is made from lower quality leaves than this is. Once I started this I knew I would be resteeping the hell out of it. This was somewhat expensive even though King Tea has it for noticeably less than EBay has it, cheaper by about $35 or so. It is real. I checked for the hologram that Dayis all have starting about this time in 2008 and it glowed green, both the outer seal and inner ticket or neifei glowed green. Taste wise it seems high quality too. The initial fermentation taste was not unpleasant or fishy in nature to my taste buds. This is definitely a ripe worth buying if King Tea is still selling it. He had discontinued it before my purchase but when I asked him about it he brought it back. It is noticeably cheaper than the 2007 version that goes for around $115 on King Tea. You may be able to find this cheaper on Taobao but this is one of the few Dayi ripe teas that you are risking getting a fake at. Most ripe is not valuable enough to fake. This one is. This was the best ripe I have had in quite a while. As to qi I can’t say I noticed much, maybe a little. Ripe rarely has any qi. The processing of the ripe tea tends to remove the qi from it.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 150ml gaiwan with 13g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec,15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I’d say I could get another three or four steeps out of the leaves at least if I wanted to continue but fourteen steeps is enough caffeine for one day.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
I woke up this morning knowing I needed a serious tea to power me for some cleaning that needed to be done. I grabbed this on because EOF is expensive so I made a dumb association with $ to qi.
This was quite nice. Chest warming and a mild head feel with a taste that mellowed out by steep four; became quite nice but I think that it does need a few more years. The mouth pucker is almost, ALMOST, gone. Probably only 2 years of some storage on this and it will be golden. The only negative aspect to this tea is that it is on the darker spectrum of sheng, to which people will continue to hear me say that I like my light sheng.
Last night I had some friends over and we were talking about how one of my friends was kicked out of the church because he took a stance that homosexuality is not a sin… as difficult of a conviction that such a thing can be right now with things happening in the US and the church figuring out how to respond, it’s just beating me up. So, anyways, if only it was that simple!
My parents ended up joining us and it’s only around my friends that I discuss such things because I know that they will throw the: ’ I thought we taught you better’ and make me feel as if they ‘failed’ me…
My stance on not understanding psychological and biologic implications to life choices leads me to believe that this whole issue revolving around gay marriage is stupid. The condemnation has now put me in a position were I may not speak to my parents as much because they think that my thoughts are tainted and I’m not sure if I can channel my love for them to see past these negative comments that they spread to the rest of our family. Stupid ass drama that doesn’t need to occur; my thoughts do not change the way in which I act. Whether I think A or B is right or wrong, I’ll always treat people with respect and treat them as I would want to be treated.
Tears are shed as I lose my family because of my own thoughts which now define me…
p.s. that friend who was kicked out was a pastor and it was done via email; for real?
I got this in a fantastic package from Evol Ving Ness! Thank you so much!
Normally, Ceylon isn’t generally my favourite base but pair it with vanilla and it’s delicious! I detect slight cocoa and cherry notes in here too or maybe I am just crazy. The vanilla is smooth and tastes natural.
Capital Teas is now on my list to order from! Thanks Evol…;)
I’m still working my way through the Sheng Olympics teas.
I was fully prepared to dislike this tea. It didn’t help that I’m drinking it the morning after a session with 2014 Last Thoughts, which is one of the best teas I’ve ever had. However, this tea stands up to the comparison.
I started out a bit disappointed. The dry leaves consist of fairly tightly compressed small chunks. Not the whole leaves I’ve come to expect from premium teas. The first steep was light in color, with a mild aroma reminiscent of butter. The taste was light and viscous, with an incredible feel in the mouth. As I sipped that first cup the tea just grew on me. Every sip seemed a bit better than the last. I’m sure this was in part due to the extremely powerful cha qi, which started in my chest and arms and is now a whole-body experience, on a par with the Last Thoughts.
The flavors are mild, reminding me of some green-style oolongs I’ve had in the past: butter, straw, and hints of flowers. Strong, long finish, which is probably part of the reason why each sip seemed to improve.
Third steep is a bit darker: medium straw. Nose is still modest, but now is spice rather than butter. The taste is completely different: strong spice character, with the older, buttery flavor barely visible underneath. I like this flavor almost as much as the first, and give the tea credit for added complexity. The viscosity is still there but there is a bit of sharp bite riding on top, and a subtle bitterness underneath, which extends into the finish. I’m not a fan of bitter teas, but this is just a hint, adding interest. The fourth steep had the same characteristics as the third, but more integrated.
I don’t recall the exact price this tea sold for, but recall it was reasonable. I suspect that purchasers got fair value despite the marketing hype. If it hadn’t sold out I’d be buying some.
It’s morning and I’m preparing for the weekend with some 6 year old lao cha. Smooth, dark, and somewhat creamy :)
Just wanted to pop on and say that while I’m 25+ teas behind on reviewing: I really feel like Steepster is an escape for me. Nobody from Facebook comes over here to stalk me or anything like that so I am able to treat it like a journal in a way where .
I’ve been using tea to keep busy as well which is making it take on a different role in my life and I don’t like it. I want to continue to like tea and not treat it like an obligation but a privilege to spread about. Sometimes I wonder if I take on too much but then I’m like, ‘na…. you’d regret it if you didn’t do all this.’
Ripe in the morning, sheng for better and the best stuff in the middle like an oreo; oolong all day long.
Thank you Liquid Proust for this sample. This tea was good. I’m not sure when the taste of the jackfruit ended though. It would be nice if the taste of the jackfruit was more prominent. I steeped 4.6g of this tea in a 50ml gaiwan twelve times. The tea itself was quite long lasting. I’d guess I lost the taste of the jackfruit somewhere around steep four or so. I do think there was a bit of a sweet aftertaste from the jackfruit later on. I don’t think it completely went away. Overall this was really good. The tea itself was not bitter and had a nice sweet taste to it. I am guessing this is a young raw puerh. I may have to buy some of this. This might be a tea better steeped western style because then you are getting the jackfruit more than in gongfu where it didn’t last.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 50ml gaiwan with 4.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
I adore this tea. I like the powerful cardamon and black pepper zing of it. I like that cinnamon is way in the background in this combination. I like that the black tea base here beats its chest with enthusiasm amidst the spice medley. I reach for this blend when I need a strong-kick-in-the-pants kind of tea, even with milk and honey.
It seems I was bombarded by every conceivable kind of chai tea in autumn, so I got a bit tired of chai until the tea festival came around with their fantastic samples. It reminded me how much I do enjoy chai, the traditional way with milk and sweetener.
This one for me is a whole-hearted yes.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon
Although I mostly drink black tea, the past while everything started tasting the same, and even worse, not tasting good. So, I pulled out some pu’reh samples I have had stashed away as I had a feeling that is what I needed.. And I was right. This is what I want to drink now.
This tea in particular is so delicious, and although I am not able yet to describe any flavors other than smooth and darkly sweet, this is what I want to drink everyday. Since this is the last of my sample it will not be this particular tea, but this taste is what I want and am craving for now.
Thank you to a very special tea friend who sent these wonderful samples to me last year – I am lucky to have been touched by your kindness.