469 Tasting Notes

I am always on the hunt for the perfect almond tea, almond cookie, almond cake… you name it. I like almond. So when I was placing an order with Simpson & Vail, I had to try the two most promising almond teas that they had. Dry, this tea smells super cookie like and less almond like. Once brewed I get a really tasty smooth black tea base, but the almond is kind of in the background leaving me wanting more flavor. I steeped it for only three minutes, not wanting to over do it and turn it bitter, but I may have underdone it for this tea. I’ll have to play around with it a few more times before I give up on it. As it stands it is decent, but far from impressive and wowing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Anna

I haven’t had a chance to scroll through your cupboard yet, but Pleine Lune by Mariage Frères, Le Thé d’Amandine by Comptoir des thés et des épices and Tribute by Theodor (which I have yet to try, but who everyone who is an almond fan seems to love) are three really good teas.

Dustin

Oooooooh, thanks for the recommendations! I have not heard of or tried them before, but they will be on my list of things to try!

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drank Earl Grey by Dammann Freres
469 tasting notes

Finally getting back to the advent calendar! I think this is day 9? This is a really enjoyable cup of Earl Grey in what I’m guessing is the really well balanced soft black tea base of theirs that I have tasted before. It is just so smooth! The bergamot is present, but not biting. Nothing is overpowering anything else. I’m not a huge EG fan, but this may be the nicest I have had. I must resteep!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
469 tasting notes

This tea smells delicious both dry and brewed! The red berry scent is dominant and I wasn’t sure at first if it was raspberry or strawberry. This blend is the first green tea I have tried from Butiki and I like it! I’m getting the buttery chestnut flavors, but the ginger is so subtle that I can’t pick it out on the sip. I dislike a lot of cheap fruity teas because they taste really sharp and abrupt and this tea is nothing like those. It is so well rounded and the flavors work together so well that they kind of melt into one flavor experience making them hard to identify on their own. The first cup was very fruity, but that lessens a bit on the second steep, letting some of the background flavors come to the front. Third steep is less fruit, more butter. Wow, this is good! Wish I had ordered a larger amount!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I stuck my nose in this bag of tea and was met with a wonderfully earthy deep scent of spices and pumpkin. What disappoints me about many pumpkin spiced teas (or any product really) is the reliance on the spices to carry the suggestion of pumpkin when it really doesn’t have any pumpkin flavor at all. I swear I smell real pumpkin in here! When brewed, the smell is not as intense, but has all the same aspects as the dry tea. My first few sips were quite bland so I’m adding some sugar. I don’t know if it is my taste buds flickering in and out or the candied smoked salmon I have been nibbling on that is drowning out anything else, but I feel I am dooming this tea! Adding milk weakened it more and pumpkin is such a delicate background flavor as it is. This is going to have to go in my revisit when feeling better pile of tea. I’m sorry little tea, I’ll be nicer next time!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Royal Wedding by Harney & Sons
469 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from Skysamurai, thanks for sharing! :)

I really couldn’t pickup on any scent when this tea was dry or once brewed. When I took a sip, I did get a faint creamy coconut flavor, maaaaaybe a little almond when I think about it. Coconut lingers on the aftertaste. Slight bitterness that goes away with a little sugar, but really nothing too exciting. I love almond/wedding tea flavors, but this one a a bit dull. Glad I got to try it without having to buy a whole tin!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
469 tasting notes

First thing I smell when opening the bag of this tea is tart ripe strawberries! Once brewed the scent mellows a little bit and reminds me of flavored chapstick I had as a kid. Scent memory is such a funny thing! The first few sips seem a little tart, almost bitter, but that mellows out and I’m left with a taste that reminds me a little of hibiscus. Is that the rhubarb? I’m not quite sure. I can taste the strawberries throughout the whole cup and I think I can pick out a buttery crust like flavor. It isn’t as smooth and balanced as other Butiki teas I have had, it has some edginess to it. I’d like to ponder this tea some more, but I have come to the end of my cup and have many new teas to try. Ruby Pie, we shall meet again soon!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

We (Sil & I) did add a little bit of hibiscus to tart up the rhubarb a little. :)

Dustin

Ah ha, I called it! I’m getting better at this tasting thing! :)

I usually hate hibiscus just for the sake of hibiscus, but I’m starting to appreciate it being used sparingly to make fruit flavors more realistic and lively.

Butiki Teas

Good job at figuring that out! Hibiscus is super easy to go over board. We only use a maybe 10 grams per pound (453.59 grams) of tea and that is definitely enough to add just a tiny bit of tartness. It does seem to work for some fruit flavors. We did a custom blend with mango and added a tiny bit of hibiscus so that the mango had that slight tart edge to it that made it more realistic.

Dustin

Wow, that isn’t much at all! The more I learn, the more I realize how much of a complex art blending flavors is!

Butiki Teas

Some ingredients are very forgiving and easy to blend and others are much more difficult. Hibiscus is a very challenging ingredient. I always love a challenge!

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I’m still feeling slightly under the weather, so that may color my experience of this tea, but I wanted to write down my notes anyways.

The first time I brewed this tea I think I over leafed it and had to toss the cup due to bitterness. I was much more conservative this time and it turned out a lot better. The base is nice and smooth, but the flavors are quite subtle. I get the creamy cheesecake flavor at the end, but am having trouble detecting anything other than that. The tea leaves my mouth dry after each sip, much like a rooibos, but with that lingering cheesecakeyness. True to the description, it does get a little bitter as it cools. I added a little milk to it at the end and it amped up the cheesecake factor, but drowned out any other flavors. I’m thinking this may be a little too refined and not enough “kick in the face” level of flavor for my palate, but I will be trying it again as my cold fades away and see if that changes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I have finally come to the end of the sample that I got from Rie and it is a shame because I have been enjoying this tea! I could have sworn I wrote a tasting for it before, but I don’t see it now. Could have slipped my mind. The most prominent flavor I get is the strawberry which is really nice with a bit of sugar. I think I can pick up on the chocolate and the puer base I can only describe as heavy, earthy and grounded, which is a strange translation for a taste. It isn’t hitting me as super caffeinated, which is good or bad depending on the type of day I am having. So far I don’t think I have found a Lupicia tea that has disagreed with me and I’m glad I got to try one of their puers. I’ll be considering this one on my next Lupica purchase.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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After reading some of the underwhelming reviews of this tea I thought I’d start by doubling the amount of dry leaf in my cup. I figured it would amp up the flavor and maybe it did, but it doesn’t make it delicious or really even enjoyable. I can taste a bit of mint on the sip and a tiny bit of chocolate on the aftertaste, but it really isn’t anything interesting at all. Pity.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I placed a black Friday order with Butiki and have been anxiously waiting for at least a week for my cold to pass and my sense of taste to return so I can drink some tea. It has been brutal and cruel in the sense that it takes away my enjoyment of drinking tea and unfortunately seems to be becoming a more regular part of me being sick. :/

The good news is that I can finally taste a little today! It has been too long since I have had this tea, but it is the best chocolate orange combo I have found. The part that struck me the most today was the base in this tea. Other than it being really smooth, well rounded and balanced, I don’t know how to properly describe how lovely it is. It reminds me of some of the French teas I have had where the base had this particular satisfying quality about it. I can’t wait until I can again taste it in all it’s glory!

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Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! I like a little sugar in my tea. I love caffeinated tea, but since I limit myself to one cup a day, I have been exploring more rooibos and honeybush teas. Rooibos now = meh and I have upped my caffeine tolerance. BRING ME CAFFEINE!!!!

Location

Austin, TX

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