127 Tasting Notes

Sample sipdown! YAY!

The leaves on this black tea are really neat. Black with gold tips (it is in the name, so I don’t know why I was surprised) and wiry looking. Really cool.

Dry, this one had honey notes, bakey/croissant notes, a malty aspect, and possibly sweet potato? Yam? Something like that.
Once brewed, it picked up a slight spicy note (cinnamon, but not quite…) which is very interesting. The honey notes have calmed down, and the sweet potato/yam aspect has increased. The maltiness has also increased some. The bakey notes are still present (hooray!) and there is a slight earthiness to it.

Taste – Honestly, I think I screwed this up a bit (doesn’t taste bad, but it is a bit bitter). I forgot about the water in the kettle until it was at a boil, and then thinking “Black tea, boiling water”, I started to pour the piping hot water on the leaves…before realizing it called for a lower temp! Oops. I drained the water out and started over, but I think it had already affected the leaves. That being said, I will share with you what I’m getting from the cup.
So, other than the bitterness, I’m picking up some bakey notes, the sweet potato/yam aspect I found in the smell (it also happens to describe the mouthfeel – this one is almost potato-ish feeling), and a slight spicy aspect that is NOT attributed to the bitterness. I’m also picking up some earthiness and maltiness in the sip.

Luckily I have another sample of this one, so I can try again and hope for better results. This brew isn’t undrinkable, but I fear the bitterness is masking the full flavor profile of it. Holding the rating until I get this right.

1 min, 15 sec

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Sample sipdown! I’m slowly getting through all my samples/swaps…there are way more than I thought I had. I’ll get there eventually!

The leaves of this one are so pretty. Long, twisted, and deep green. Once the steep, the green becomes more vibrant and the leaves unfurl a bit – so pretty to watch.

The smells I’m getting from this are delicious. Dry, the scent is slightly vegetal, slightly floral, with a crisp/fresh aspect. There are also slight butter notes present. Once brewed, these scents morph a bit. I’m getting a much stronger buttery vegetal note – smooth vegetal, though, not grass (more like a sweet spinach smell). The floral notes are also still present, though not as prominent. It’s a sweet, fresh smelling cuppa and I can’t wait to sip it!

Taste-time: So, I may let this one cool down a bit more, but as of right now I’m getting a creamy mouthfeel, stronger floral notes, and some light vegetal notes at both the front and back of the sip. The sweetness is still there, but not as evident as it was in the smell – not bad, just a fact. There is also something cooling about this tea, almost like spearmint. It’s very slight, and most of the time unnoticeable… but the cooling effect is present with each sip. It’s interesting, in a good way!

As it cools more, I’m also getting a bit of an earthy, rock-ish (I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone, but its the only way I can describe it) taste – it blends nicely with the other flavors. The sweet taste has emerged a little more at this cooler temp, which is what I was hoping for. The floral taste is still the strongest, which is fine. It isn’t a perfumy floral taste, but a natural one; makes it easier to tolerate, and in fact it may even be enjoyable. =)
It is also less creamy. The thickness of the mouthfeel has diminished some. Interesting, as usually I find it the opposite.

Crisp, fresh, floral, and smooth. That’s how I would describe this one. Very tasty. Can’t wait to compare this to my Butiki Huang Shan Mao Feng… a few more samples down and I might be able to swing opening the package!
Green Tea WIN!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

This one is really great with food, too!

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drank Red Hot Orange White by 52teas
127 tasting notes

Backlogging -

Hmmm.Not sure how much I like this one. I think I’m going to have to try it again before I review it.

It smells very orangey, citrusy, cinnamony (like candy cinnamon, though). The taste is pretty much the same, except I’m getting a strange cleaning product note – it’s like orange dusting spray, or something. Gonna try brewing for less time, and maybe leave this one out for a bit to even out the flavors. Rating and real judgement reserved for later tasting.

UPDATE: I’ve left this one out for about a day, so I’m hoping to try this again and do a proper review.

160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Ok, so I’ve been pretty absent on Steepster of late – had a doozy of a cold and wasn’t drinking much tea because of it. Then after the cold I got super busy. Things seem to have finally calmed down a bit, so I’m going to backlog a couple of teas (or at least I want to try… I have tasting notes written down in several different notebooks. Now to find them all!) and should be back to sipping this wonderful beverage.

ALRIGHT – now on to the tea! This was a sample that Stacy so generously added to my last order. Thanks, Stacy!
The dry leaf smelled super interesting. Blueberry? Yes. But there were also some slight buttery notes, slight floral notes, as well as an earthy scent. Overall, I’m getting a sweet factor. Smells really nice!
Once brewed – YUM! Very blueberry! As it was brewing I could hardly keep the lid to my pot on… it smells so nice. Sweet and tart blueberry notes are present, with that thick creamy/buttery note again (can something smell thick?). The earthy scent is still present and meshes well with the blueberry. It’s like getting the whole plant together in the pot – that’s what it seems to smell like.

Now for the true test – TASTE
Smooth mouthfeel overall, with a slight, slight, astringency and spice. The blueberry is definitely there – nice and natural tasting. I’m also getting those nice, smooth earthy notes in the taste. Sweet and yet earthy at the time… cool. Like I said with the smell, it’s like getting the whole blueberry bush.
The only remains of the buttery/creamy smell would be the smooth, slightly thick aspect of the brew. But that’s ok, it isn’t really missed. I think I may have to add this one to the list of purchases. It’s got a fairly light taste, but it’s enough for me to enjoy. I like how natural the blueberry is. Not candy sweet, but naturally so.

Glad I had this one tonight!

160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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drank Raspberry Cream by 52teas
127 tasting notes

Finishing up this sample from Alphakitty. Yay for sipdowns!

The raspberry is nice and sweet/slightly tart (not artificial tasting – yay!), and the mouthfeel is creamy! The black base shines through in a subtle, smooth way and is slightly earthy. A nice dessert tea after lunch (cinnamon pancakes…my sister was nice and made some for me).

Enjoyed this – thanks again for sending this my way, Alphakitty!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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This sample comes from Alysha. I was in the mood for a Milk Oolong today, as I always seem to when I’m sick, so I figured it was a good time to try this one out. It smells delicious!

Brewed it smells nice and milky, creamy, and buttery with sweet notes and roasted notes. Yum.

Taste-wise, this is one of the more awesome Milk Oolongs I’ve tried. Very creamy mouthfeel and taste – nice and milky, too. There are also slight buttery notes in here, especially at the end of the sip. I’m also getting hints of roasted oolong flavor – not sure why, but it’s tastey and pairs nicely with the creamy flavors. This is one smooth cuppa. Glad I decided to try this one today. Seems it was just what I needed.

Thanks again, Alysha! Very happy to have tried this one – might just find its way into my permanent stash!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

This is one of my faves. So glad you enjoyed it!

Emily M

Its pretty darn good! Thanks for sharing it. =)

Rob Rauschenberg

I need to try this one. I’m loving Milk Oolongs lately.

Emily M

They’re my comfort tea. I can always find a Milk Oolong I like.

Rob Rauschenberg

I ordered 4oz of the Whistling Kettle one! haha.

Emily M

WOW! Haha. I always have that one around. It was the first I tried, and I live near the store/tearoom, so it’s easy to get.

Rob Rauschenberg

Thanks again for introducing me to it :-)

Emily M

Glad to share!

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drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
127 tasting notes

Getting really sick again, but I wanted to have this again. I did a really quick two steep session: 30sec for the first and a minute for the second.

Yummy honey notes mixed with subtle delicious vegetal-ish notes. I also got some slight hay notes, as well. Held up wonderfully for the two steeps I did, and could have easily gone to six or so.

I would’ve liked to be able to do a complete session in my gaiwan for this one, but I’m drugged up to the gills with cold medicine right now and probably would’ve fallen asleep. It’s hard enough trying to concentrate writing this quick note!

See previous tasting notes for a more detailed (and coherent) taste profile.

Rachel J

Sorry you are sick!!!

Emily M

I’ve been sick a lot this year…don’t know what that’s about. Oh well, it’s my excuse to lay in bed all day and drink tea!

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Sample sipdown! I think this one came from teapot1

This one is cinnamony, warming and sweet/sugary. A nice after dinner treat. Very simple, but sometimes that’s what just what I want.
Not much of the black base is present, but that’s ok. It’s a nice, tastey, simple flavored black. =)

Glad I got to try it!

Tasting Note #100! Woot!

Boiling 2 min, 15 sec

Yay congratulations on hitting 100!

Emily M

Why, thank you! =)

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drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
127 tasting notes

Could this tea possibly fill the Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black sized hole in my tea heart?
YES! Well, at least until it’s available again. This one is really good, and shares some similar aspects with the Wild Mountain Black.

Smell: This one has those warm honey notes that I just love, along with some nice sweet peachy notes. This smells like dessert in a cup – for real.

Taste: Absolutely no bitterness – yay! The honey and peach notes stand out the most in this cuppa. So good! There are some light citrus-y notes in the background, along with a lychee sweetness (surprise!). I’m also getting a bit of spice, which is also a nice surprise. Warm, lightly sweet, and smooth. I’m so excited about this one!

Three resteeps in and it’s still retaining flavor!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec
Butiki Teas

This one resteeps pretty nice. When I last did a gongfu session, I quit after 7 steeps but it was still going strong.

Emily M

I’m enjoying this one western style, but can’t wait to try it gongfu next time. Very delicious. Thanks for pointing this one out to me awhile back!


Sounds yummy! Considering I’ve loved both Butiki blacks I’ve tried, I’m gonna have to try this one too!

Butiki Teas

You’re welcome! So glad you are enjoying it! :)

Rachel J

I love it too. It’s arriving TODAY with some Wild Mountain too. Can’t wait!

Emily M

Alysha – This one’s a keeper!

Rachel J – Yum! Enjoy. That’s a good order, right there!

Rachel J

Thanks! Just checked my lobby for the package. Not here yet!

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drank Lychee Oolong by Butiki Teas
127 tasting notes

Lychee! Lychee! Sample sipdown from my last order.

So, I had a mystery tea at my neighbor’s house the other week (just a black tea in a glass jar – no label. Did find the bag it came in using my nose, but there was no English on the bag, so I was still in the dark) that was different from anything I’d ever had. Fruity, sweet, and so delicious! I have a mandarin lychee green tea that had a similar aspect, so I figured the mystery tea was a lychee tea. Just to see if I was right, I decided to get a sample of this oolong and compare (because like a good neighbor, I took some of the mystery tea back home with me).

Just from the smell, it’s obvious I was correct in calling that mystery tea a lychee tea! Yum! So sweet and tropical! It also has some nice floral notes.

Taste-wise this one is really nice. The floral and lychee aspects mesh together in a fantastic way! I’ve never actually had a lychee fruit in real life, but if it’s anything like this tea – YUM! Very refreshing…reminds me of summer.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Started brewing loose leaf tea about seven years ago. Excited to share my experiences and learn more from everyone on here!

I’ve found I Prefer:

Oolong Teas
White Teas
Green Teas
Black Teas
Flavored White Teas
Flavored Black Teas (depending on the base tea)
Flavored Oolong Teas
Certain Herbals/Tisanes

I’ve found I Dislike:

Bitterness/Astringent Teas
Strong Floral Teas
Fruit Tisanes (at least hot)

Matcha and Rooibos teas tend to be hit or miss with me. I guess it depends on the tea and my mood.

That being said, I’ll give anything a shot!

When I’m not brewing/sipping tea, I’m usually reading, listening to music, working, or in the summer, kayaking/camping/hiking! I also enjoy a good movie now and then. I’ve got quite the collection going. It almost rivals my tea collection! ;)

I’ve only just returned after quite some time away – Steepster stopped working for me in 2013 and I FINALLY remembered this password and was able to get back on here in 2017. But I’ve been drinking tea all along the way!

Happy steeping!


Albany, NY

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