127 Tasting Notes

drank Da Yu Ling Oolong by Butiki Teas
127 tasting notes

This was the first tea to grace my new (and first) gaiwan! I was able to do 5 steeps. I think next time I need to adjust my steeping times. I was unsure of what to do with the gaiwan, and I think I may have used times that were a little too long to get the most out of this oolong. Now I know to use shorter steeps in order to get a little more out of this tea!
First I did a quick rinse. I tasted it, of course, because I was curious. Even the rinse was tasty! But let’s get down to the “real” tasting steeps.

1st Steep:
-Smell: Vegetal, almost creamy scent. Also present was a floral scent, which my little sister described excitedly as “lilac”. There may be hope for this kid yet!
-Taste: This first steep was mainly vegetal, almost asparagus-like, though not as pungent. Maybe more like spinach. I’m also detecting a sweetness to the cup. It has a smooth, creamy mouth-feel and a floral aftertaste. Overall, a nice cuppa.
2nd Steep:
-Smell: Floral smell is front and center, with a light vegetal smell. I find this so interesting, as the wet leaves in the gaiwan smell VERY vegetal. Strange how that works. I’m also detecting a bit of a mint scent in the brew, but it’s very faint.
-Taste: Taste wise, this cup brings forth a bit more of the floral aspects of the tea (lilacs!). There are also some spinach-y, asparagus-y aspects, but the floral is definitely the most prominent. The very end of the sip holds a surprising minty kick, which was very refreshing! This cup was both sweet and smooth. Even smoother than the first steep.
3rd Steep:
-Smell: This cup smells very floral, and I’m detecting very little of the vegetal aspects.
-Taste: Suprisingly enough, though very floral in scent, this cup is very vegetal! Interesting. The vegetal aspect of this cup is very spinach-like. That being said, the spinach taste I’m getting is not only vegetal, but sweet! This cup is also smooth/creamy, and the mint aspect is still going strong. The lilac I got in the previous steep isn’t discernible in this cup. May be my favorite steep yet!
4th Steep:
-Smell: The vegetal scent is back, but it’s about a 50/50 mix with the floral scent.
-Taste: This steep is still vegetal, but the spinach-like taste is lighter. Aspects of the floral taste are coming back. The mint aspect is not present. Sweet, light, smooth cup.
5th Steep:
-Smell: Smells like spinach, with only slight floral aspects.
-Taste: Very light. Slightly sweet. Vegetal taste and floral taste are both present, but neither is really standing out more than the other. This steeping is still good, but will be the last, as I 1)have to do some homework and 2) think I may be close to exhausting this one. Next time I’ll use shorter steeps in order to keep this tea going. I had a lot of suggestions from people, so I’ll experiment a little to get the most out of this delicious oolong!

Overall, I love this oolong! It’s on the vegetal side, but isn’t grassy like greens can be. It’s floral, but not in a bitter, overpowering way. It was a perfect choice for my new gaiwan, and I can’t wait to try this one again now that I know a little bit more about brewing with the gaiwan and have a framework of steeping times in mind.

180 °F / 82 °C
Butiki Teas

Glad you got to try this in your new gaiwan! I love seeing how teas change with each steep. :) For shorter steeps, you can also use boiling water on this one.

Emily M

It’s really fun! I love it!
And thanks for the tip! =)

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drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
127 tasting notes

I don’t have time for a big review of this one right now, so I’ll be adding to this later when I have more time. Just wanted to log it for now.
All you need to know right now is YUM! Tastes just like a pecan with a bit of maple on it! =)

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Love this one!

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Ok, so now that the cold is gone, I’ve finally gotten back around to truly tasting this one. Oolongs have been dominating my tea world of late, so this one was just sitting there, waiting for me to notice it.
Firstly, I would like to state that this tea is gorgeous! The little pink flowers, the silver needle – it looks like a delicate bouquet in my pot. If I were on a judge on the Iron Chef (random reference…), I’d give it a perfect score for presentation! ;)
Anyway, this tea smells like a wonderful watermelon upon opening the package, and that makes me so excited. I’ve searched long and hard for a good watermelon tea that actually TASTES like watermelon (who would’ve thought?), and from the smell of this tea, I know I’m in for a treat. I’m also really pleased that it doesn’t smell artificial, which is another problem I’ve encountered with watermelon teas.
Now, onto what really matters – the taste!
This tea, even without the recommended sugar, tastes wonderful to me. The white tea base (gotta love the silver needle) provides a sweetness, and also a nice freshness to the cup (hope that makes sense to people). The watermelon is peeking through nicely, as well. No artificial, candy watermelon here! It tastes as close to the real thing as I’ve gotten in tea form. Fresh, crisp, and delicious. Upon adding the recommended sugar, the watermelon pops a bit more, though it still isn’t artificial tasting. This is one refreshing cuppa, and I’m so happy I found it!

Overall, I don’t really know if I need the sugar for my tastes, but a little bit of sugar doesn’t hurt this tea in the least. Thanks Stacy, for this wonderful creation!

UPDATE: Second steeping of this was just as good! I picked up a light floral taste in this brew, but it works nicely with the watermelon.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Recieved a sample of this from Stacy at Butiki with a recent order. After her review, I knew I had to try it!
Dry this tea doesn’t smell like much. Once brewed, though, the tea has a pleasant and wonderful aroma. I smell honey and a baked good (croissant?) that’s definately buttery. Almost like waffles, as another reviewer had said. There’s also a little of the black tea present in the smell, adding just a hint of earthiness. Oh boy, does this smell good!
The taste is very much the same. Baked-goodness (buttery and delicious) and a hint of honey. I also get a light caramel sweetness. The earthiness from the black tea compliments these flavors well, and is very nice. Absolutely no astringency in here, which is AWESOME for a black tea. This is one black tea that I wound’t mind having around. =)
Yum! Thumbs way up on this. This may actually have created an appreciation for black tea that I’ve not had before.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

I can’t wait to try this someday!

Emily M

I can’t wait until I can afford to buy more! =)


Next time you have this, warm up a cup with water and pour the water out, then put some tea leaves in the dry cup…and place a saucer or whatever you have on top for a minute. Now take off the lid and smell the leaves up close. That’s when you get the intense smell of waffles and sweetness.
You can try this with any quality tea and enjoy an preview of what’s to come. Tea is more than the taste!

Emily M

Thanks for the tip, Bonnie! That sounds like a great way to enjoy the aroma of teas! =)

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Dry, this tea smells just like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Yum! Once brewed, the cinnamon aspect shines through a little more. It smells really good.
Taste wise, this one is pretty good. I’m getting the cinnamon, vanilla, and a bit of raisin in every sip. I’m also picking up a bit of the brown sugar flavoring (makes it taste a little like a cookie) and just a hint of the black tea base. I don’t know if I’d say it tastes like an oatmeal raisin cookie. More like a cinnamon raisin. Overall, though, it’s good.
Might try this one with milk next time and see what I get…

Note: Tastes better once it has cooled off a bit.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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Yum. Sample sipdown from Butiki! This one smells absolutely amazing. Dry, it smells like sweet, rich ice cream with a hint of nuttiness/pistachio. I seriously have never wanted to eat tea so bad before.
Once brewed, it smells more like pistachio (grassy, nutty, sweet), with the ice cream (creamy, buttery, sweet) notes in the background. Didn’t add sugar to this one because I can tell I’m not going to need it for my tastes.
Now onto the taste:
Interesting, and in a very good way! The pistachio is the most noticable, with the ice cream notes and creaminess lingering at the end of the sip. The pistachio lends this cuppa a sweet, nutty, and slightly grassy flavor, while the cream balances this out and adds a bit of smoothness/sweetness to the brew. I’ve never had a tea flavored like pistachio before, but this one has to be at the top of the list. The pistachio flavor is really well done (it’s practically like drinking the nut!). The sweetness of the brew isn’t cloying. A really nice flavored tea!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Orange Brulee by Della Terra Teas
127 tasting notes

Well, I can smell and taste again, so I’m back to trying out some tastey teas! Yay! Here’s hoping the rest of this nasty cold goes away now.

This tea smells amazing. Very orangey, with hints of cream and caramel. Very sweet smelling. Once brewed the caramel pops forward a bit more. The scent is heavenly.
Taste wise, I’m getting the orange first. It’s nice and fresh tasting. This is directly followed by and combined with a sweet caramal note. Yum! The flavors combine together perfectly in this cuppa. The mouthfeel is very smooth, probably due to the cream flavor, and delightfully refreshing with the citrus from the orange. Perfect desert tea! It actually reminds me a bit of Christmas for some reason…

Overall, I’d say this was a score! Glad I added it to my “Try Me” sampler.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

This stuff was amazing. How are flavored oolongs gongfu style? will have to try that.

Emily M

I haven’t tried it gongfu style yet myself. I think this one may hold up.

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Ok. So this tea…has a very strong smoke and spice odor. It isn’t what I’d call unpleasant, but it invaded my kitchen after I steeped this tea last night. Got this one as a sample from The Whistling Kettle’s $2 sample flash deal. I was very hesitant about this one… dried corn? I don’t even like corn with my meal, let alone in my tea. But I figured I’d give it a shot. After all, I’ve had teas I thought I’d despise that I actually loved! I didn’t end up loving this one, but I didn’t exactly hate it either. I’m going to give it another go later on this week so I can try and describe it a bit better. Until then, I am also withholding my rating.

For now, I’ll try and describe what I remember from last night. The taste of this tea is interesting and unlike anything I’ve tried up to this point. It’s smokey, with a bit of sweetness (maybe from the corn flavor? or the pink peppercorns?), followed by a mild spice. The main thing I get though is the smokey flavor.
Like I said, I’ll try it again and add more to this once I have it in front of me. Should be much easier than trying to do this now.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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So, I think I like this one a lot, and I did taste the watermelon (yay!). Unfortunately, my cold has progressed to the point where I am so congested that I can’t taste or smell really well. Therefore I am saving the rating for when I can properly taste/smell this tea. I have some high hopes for this one!

Until I can taste and smell again, I’ll just be drinking some of my lesser liked teas so I can free some tins up. Got quite a few orders on the way!

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

that’s the only good thing about being sick… drink the teas that aren’t as delicious lol

Emily M

It’s so true!


that’s the only good thing about being sick… drink the teas that aren’t as delicious lol

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Stacy from Butiki nicely added this one as a sample in my recent order, and I’m very excited to try it out!
First off, the dry smell. It smells like a buttery cream, with a nice hint of fresh cantaloupe in it. Yum!
Once brewed, the cantaloupe smell increased, with the cream/butter scent now occupying the background. Smells wonderful
Now for the best part!
Oh my STARS! The taste…wow. The cantaloupe is the first taste I’m getting, followed by a buttery/milky taste. Neither of these is overpowering in the least, and they mesh together in a way I never would’ve thought they could. The cantaloupe is probably the closest to the real thing I have ever tasted in tea form, and it’s light and fresh. The “cream” portion of the tea is just as wonderful, and makes the mouthfeel on this one super amazing; nice and smooth. Not cloying in the least, this may be one to keep in mind for future orders.
I didn’t add sugar this time around, and for me I don’t think it really needs it. I like the flavor profile just where it is. Thumbs up, Stacy!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 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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