157 Tasting Notes

Thanks to Stephanie for the sample. (:
This smells nice and pineapple-y. Tastes really weak to me because of the white tea base. (I almost always find it hard to drink white tea, because it tastes weak and very flat to me. Too mild, too gentle.) Still, I can tell this is a lovely blend. Crisp and creamy and refreshing all at the same time. I’m inclined to think it might be better cold brewed? I might try that with the rest of the sample I have! I really do enjoy the taste but I wish it had a little more “oomph.” Sadly my palate isn’t accustomed to white teas. I’ll refrain from rating for that reason. But if you do like white teas, you should definitely get this. Love the flavor but I wish it was much stronger.


Glad you sort-of liked it. I thought it was a fun one to try, but definitely not something I’d drink all the time!


I agree! I would drink it if offered but I certainly can’t see myself wanting it often. I might enjoy it more with a green tea base.

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drank Cloud and Mist by Mandala Tea
157 tasting notes

I used 2.5 heaped teaspoons for (approx.) 14 ounces of water, let it steep for a minute. I had to stay and watch the leaves dance around. BRIGHT bright green leaves. So pretty. It brewed up a very pale shade of greenish gold. Almost colorless. My taste in green tea has become very selective lately, for reasons unknown to me…but at first sip I immediately loved this. Oh MY. It’s very delicately sweet with a taste that makes me think of clear springs and morning dew. Slightly buttery, yes! Very slightly. Not grassy at all, but softly vegetal. I’m getting notes of honeysuckle. Not the taste, but the texture calls to mind the soft insides of flower petals. As it cools I catch that “hint of cinnamon” spiciness, but it’s very quiet and subdued. Demure. A very gentle and well-balanced tea, I think. The name suits it well. I love it more and more with each steep.
Holy crap. I need more of this now.

1 min, 0 sec

Sounds delish

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Light and delicately sweet; a taste that coats your mouth and leaves you wanting more. Very smooth and mild. I seem to be getting a hint of a fruity taste? Melon, maybe…honeydew. That’s what it calls to mind anyway. (: Absolutely delightful. Only two steeps in, but I can’t wait to see what it does in later infusions. Might be writing more notes later!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Notes written while sipping: Wood smoke. Tobacco. Dark, VERY earthy/woodsy. Slightly minty. Very assertive. Resonates. Coats the mouth. Lingers sweetly. Smoooooth.

I’m definitely digging this pu-erh. It was perfect for this wet, rainy day! Must keep in my cupboard at all times! :)


Thank you for writing about your experience with the tea. I really do love this one and am so happy you do, too. This was one that I tasted in Kunming and new i had to buy a bunch of. This is the leaf that was pressed in to the Phatty Cake in 2010, as well as part of what makes up the Phatty Cake II pressed quite recently. I’m glad you picked up on the minty presence that is there. Not everyone does. Again, thank you for sharing!

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drank Coconut Cream Pie by Butiki Teas
157 tasting notes

Oh my goodness, the SMELL. It’s so delightfully creamy and sweet. I could tell I was in for a treat as soon as I opened the package I got in the mail! (Thanks to Stacy for the generous samples!) I had to brew this one up right away. How could I not? After pouring hot water the juicy, robust aroma of the rooibos caught my noise. The coconut notes receded a bit, but are still obviously there. It smells like a tropical paradise. I’m getting impatient waiting for my tea to cool. :)
After sipping…ah. This is nice. Tart, vibrant fruity flavors play across my tongue first, then step back to let the coconut really shine. Creamy coconut goodness. :) And a little buttery-ness in the aftertaste, to. The rooibos seems to become less pronounced as the tea cools. I’m having a hard time putting my mug down! I’m also curious to see how this holds up to adding a touch of soy milk…hmmm.

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It was definitely interesting to watch the flavor develop in this one. I picked a bad time to drink it the first time, as I was rushing to get ready for work and only got one steep out of the leaves before I left. :S Last night I sat down to follow through with my tasting. I started with a 15 second rinse and a 1 minute steep in pre-boil water, increasing the time by 15-30 seconds in subsequent infusions. Wow, wow. I honestly was not expecting to like this tea. It’s the light, creamy floral side of Tieguanyin that I love, so the description given by VT threw me off. First steep was very tangy and citrusy, with a very subtle hint of cream hanging onto the very end. It was mostly tangy. The kind of tangy that makes your mouth water. I was reminded of limes. Second steep, WHAT a change. The citrus notes are paired with equally strong notes of cream, and what’s this? Buttery, graham cracker crust? It tastes JUST like key lime pie. Oh my goodness. It left a pleasant sweetness in my mouth after drinking. Third steep, the cream and graham notes become a bit more prominent. Every flavor becomes more rich and full. I only followed through with three infusions because at this point I was exhausted enough for bed. Well, off to make another cup now! (:

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First Steep (pre-boil, 1 min)
A little floral with that certain mellow undertone that an oolong has…Almost leaning towards bland or bitter but not really sweet to me. I wasn’t very impressed but continued steeping.
Second Steep (pre-boil, 1 min)
Smoother, and somehow more tangy? Towards the tail end it becomes sweeter and curls into a deep caramel taste that caught me completely off guard. After that, I start catching dark woodsy, earthy, vaguely VAGUELY spicy notes that make me think of cedar trees. Whoa.
Third Steep (pre-boil, 1.25 min)
Smells more like wood and spice; it’s more at the forefront. Feels like a mouthful of silk. It has a very rich, heady, full, sweet taste that gets to your head. Settles into a deepening oolong taste. Resonates. Now this reminds me of custard or caramel flan! That lingering aftertaste! It’s DELICIOUS.
Fourth Steep (pre-boil, 1.5 min)
The aroma is more floral and vegetal; somewhat sweet. The darker caramel notes have become something milder, sweeter, and more vegetal. Overall the taste was more “green.” I feel like I’m sucking on tender green tea leaves. The caramel creeps back in and across my tongue as I just sit and savor the soft lingering taste of the tea.
Fifth Steep (pre-boil, 1.5 min)
Now the aroma is much more subdued, earthy and plant-like. Had only a few sips this time. The taste was similar like the last steep, but much lighter. Very pleasant. I suspected it was the last steep I could get out of the leaves…but I might have been wrong. I would say more, but I noticed a bug in the bottom of my cup (How did it get there???) before I even drank half of the tea. Ended up dumping it (along with the leaves). Very, very very eager to make another cup of this. (:

Also first tasting note—whoop!


welcome to the madness!

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I am still relatively new to loose leaf, as I have only been drinking it since 2013. I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, kind individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

Pure black teas are my favorite. I drink black tea daily and I try to keep a variety on hand. I also enjoy white tea, puerh, and the occasional oolong. Matcha is something that I love though I haven’t tried a large variety. The very good matcha that I’ve had is quite expensive. In general I try to stay away from flavored teas—especially those with artificial flavorings—but I will make rare exceptions, and I do enjoy a well crafted blend of straight teas. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, straight green teas.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea

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