25 Tasting Notes
Okay, seriously, you need to cold brew this bad boy. The tartness of the blend is so much more palatable, and it comes off as fruity instead of just plain sour. I find it to be less overtly floral than ATR’s Nirvana, so it’s my preferred blend of the two, even if it tends more toward bitterness when left to its own devices. Having eaten dragonfruit before, I can detect it in here. Dragonfruit is kind of like exotic kiwi, in that it doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but is very distinctly itself all the same. Not quite citrus, not quite sweet: it lends itself to the honeysuckle notes in this cup well enough. I’m not sure I found even a single pomegranate aril in my tea, though, which is sort of odd in retrospect. Then again, pomegranates aren’t cheap, and this blend is fairly inexpensive.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honeysuckle, Tart
Aw yeah, it’s a tea-drinking kind of night. My Friday today, so I can be as hopped up on caffeine as I like. You know, in theory. I’ll regret it when I try and turn in later. Anyway, this tea is kind of a curious beast. Predominantly grapefruit with something almost nutty and grain-like beneath it. Possibly the fault of the green tea itself? I say fault, but it’s an oddly nice pairing. Vaguely comforting and warm as it settles in my stomach. It’s very breakfast-y for whatever reason, and I say this as a person who doesn’t usually indulge in the most important meal of the day. There’s a definite astringency to it as well, which I imagine is due in part to the grapefruit. I don’t know if I would buy this again, but I won’t have any issues finishing what’s left.
Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Grapefruit, Guava, Nutty
I’ve had this tea for a while, and I’ll admit upfront that it did not endear itself to me immediately. I think I was expecting a black tea instead of a green based on the look of the leaves and the color of the liquor, and my taste buds were feeling put out as a result. However, after months spent languishing in an unlabeled little baggie in the cupboard, I discovered it again and tried it anew, cold-brew style. Once I figured out what on earth it was, I realized I quite enjoyed it, and would commit to a tin of it in the future. I really love osmanthus in my oolongs, and it happens to compliment the cinnamon in this cup really well. It isn’t as toasty as one would expect from the leaf color, which is just as well, because I’m not a huge fan of overly roasted greens. Instead a light, breezy sweetness is coupled with cinnamon spice, to the point where I can practically feel it rolling across my tongue. It’s something like an apple pie reduction, minus the apple – if that even makes any sense, ugh. Word failure. There’s something distinctly pastry-like about it, but I’ve never had the titular dessert before, so maybe that’s why I’m grasping at straws here. Anyway, I’m really glad that I gave it a second try, even if it was mostly inadvertent on my part.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet
Got a teeny tin of this from Marzipan ‘s sale. I don’t know why I do these things to myself. It’s like I can’t get past the denial stage of Butiki’s passing. Unsurprisingly, this is a tasty little tea. Woe is me. The addition of chocolate chips is slightly strange, given that the tea base itself seems to have cocoa overtones. The chips themselves are particularly apparent in the aftertaste, followed by citrus and a light trace of something resembling marshmallow cream fluff. I almost want to declare the chocolate in this blend redundant, but I do kind of like the way it pops up, says hello, and then skips off elsewhere to let you enjoy the cup as a whole. I’m going to coil around what little remains of my tin and weep softly into my mug, so please look away now.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Marshmallow, Orange
Reviewing from my tablet, so apologies in advance for any egregious typo-ing. I bought this in the vague hope that it might replace my ever-dwindling supply of Rivertea’s Mulberry White, which is delicious, refreshing fruit in a cup. Given my reaction to pretty much everything I’ve tried from DavidsTea, I have no idea what I was expecting. First of all, there is very little actual “tea” in this blend. No wonder the white needle is listed as the third ingredient. My cup was predominantly mulberries and coconut meat, with a few sad, stray needles. That wouldn’t have been an issue, except the smell of whatever vanilla flavoring the fruits were infused with was overwhelming. Skeptical, but willing to be proven wrong, I brewed it up. I’m not sure who listed alcohol as one of the flavor profiles, but that is exactly what I’m getting. It’s like cheap vodka with subpar vanilla flavoring to try and offset the burn. The oily film it leaves in my mouth is also reminiscent of the regret I experience right before a hangover. I couldn’t even taste the coconut past it. Who in their right mind took something as delightful as mulberries and thought: “You know what this needs? Artificial flavoring.” I am baffled and irrationally angry over what could have been a superior blend, if not for DavidsTea’s penchant for drowning out a tea’s natural elements. I choked down half of a big mug, the rest went down the sink. But my boundless optimism had me wondering if maybe a second steep would have washed most of the flavoring away. To test, I picked a mulberry out of the wet leaf and took a tentative bite, only to spit it out immediately. Credit where credit is due – that awful flavoring is really in there. Disappointing all around.
Flavors: Alcohol, Cream, Sugar, Vanilla
From the amazing Nicole. I hesitated to review this one, even after drinking it a couple of times. All those sips and I’m still finding it hard to describe in a succinct manner. There’s definite notes of pear in here, and it’s floral in a way I didn’t expect. I’m leaning toward dubbing it honeysuckle, but there’s an almost-vanilla finish lingering in the aftertaste. Anything that’s flower-verging-on-perfume is usually a huge turn off for me, and I’ve tossed teas aside for less. Yet I keep coming back to this one, possibly because of the base. There’s also an inherent bitterness beneath it all that mellows out with repeat steepings, but that might just be me oversteeping again. It’s definitely a unique oolong to my mind, and I think I’ll keep playing with it to see if my feelings toward it solidify further.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Pear, Vanilla
Another from the package Nicole sent me. This comes in your standard silver packet with a nice label on the front. I was excited to try it, but knew that I was in trouble when the scent from the dry leaf hit me. It had a serious artificial fruit aroma to it, overlaid with something perfume-floral, which may have been the osmanthus. Full disclosure, I love osmanthus in oolongs, and I love apricot in general. I did not love this. Despite my reservations, I decided to give this a go anyway. When it first hit my tongue, I thought I was going to be okay. Then the aftertaste kicked in – bitter black with an artificial fruit tang that coated my mouth in a weird film. No desirable mouthfeel to this whatsoever. I was disappointed, since there were chunks of what looked like real apricot/mango in the blend, but it was definitely overpowered by whatever flavorings the company used. I tried another sip to be sure before I dumped the whole thing down the sink and frantically grabbed up one of my oolongs instead.
Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Floral, Mango, Osmanthus
A generous sample from Nicole had me singing a very familiar mantra when it comes to Butiki Teas these days. Nooo, no no no. Please no. Why is this so damn good? Why can’t I order it again? This tea is amazing, and the choice few people I allowed to sniff it (and maybe try a sip if they were lucky) totally agreed. This is pure lemon sugar cookie goodness in a tea. A hint of butter, a touch of something vaguely floral, and a smooth lemon flavor that has a champagne-bubbly note when it hits your tongue. This is the cookie you get that is lemon cake with a lemon glaze. It’s delicious and well-rounded and I am in pain, because I can’t acquire it in bulk. Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, I suppose, but this loss is felt quite keenly. I would recommend the hell out of this, but it would feel like a cruel jest in light of the circumstances. Just know that those of you out there with this in their cupboard had best treasure it, as is befitting its ephemeral beauty.
Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Floral, Frosting, Lemon
This tea is confusing the hell out of me. To the point where I had to re-read the ingredients just to make sure I maybe hadn’t overlooked something vital. But no, this tea definitely aims to taste like strawberry. What flavor am I getting? Banana. Yup, that’s right, and it’s strong enough to prompt a little Gwen Stefani-style humming under my breath as I keep sipping. Honestly, the strawberry is detectable beneath that, but it’s the same story you’d get if you had a strawberry-banana smoothie – banana steals the show. It isn’t quite an artificial banana, either, though there is a noticeable sweetness to it that might tip the nostalgia scales for some people. I have no idea if I screwed up steeping it or if the green base warped the flavor somehow. The dry leaf itself presents as very strawberry-oriented to my nose. So what exactly am I tasting? It’s by no means a bad tea, not particularly astringent or harsh on the senses, but it’s not what I expected in the least. I’ve never had a straight Mao Feng before, so it’s possible that the nuances of the flavor are lost on me. I’ll have to give this another shot to see if I can’t coax a little more strawberry out of the mix.
Flavors: banana, Sweet
So after a few disappointments with my more recent tea hauls, I finally brewed this bad boy up. And wow, what a good little milk oolong this is. Creamy, buttery, with a confusing but lovely burnt caramel/fresh gardenia finish that shouldn’t work half so well together. It reminds me a little of creme brule. I’m a little baffled that it isn’t flavored, to be honest, given the sheer depth of flavor and how well it holds up under repeat steepings. It does seem to evolve into a more floral brew over time, but nothing overpowering.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Creamy, Gardenias