476 Tasting Notes

I saw Terri HarpLady’s recent note for this and decided that I wanted to brew some too. I must’ve used less leave than last time, as it is a bit weak (mostly lacking in the malty department). Nevertheless, this is a very good and naturally sweet black tea. I don’t detect any licorice notes as Terri did, but I can see how the sweetness could possibly be taken as such. I might even notice it too if I brew it with enough leaf next time! Of course, we are all individuals and no tea is the same for everyone :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

Shelley, it turns out my licorice experience was due to user error, as the brew basket retained the licorice flavor from “So Long, & thanks for all the licorice”. It is soaking as we speak.

Shelley_Lorraine

Funny, that so easily could have happened to me to as I just brewed that same licorice tea for my husband not long before. Then we’d have everyone confused how two people were tasting the same ‘mistake’ lol.

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75

Backlog:
I had this tea yesterday evening. It smells so divine in the can, but as is so common with flavor blends, much is lost after brewing. The orange comes through strong enough. I like orange in my tea, so no problem there. The chocolate is my only complaint. I’m finding it difficult to get along with chocolate (vegan or not) in any of my teas. I kept getting the feeling that this tea would be so much better with milk of some sort. Maybe the milk might enhance the chocolate and give it more of a hot cocoa vibe. I haven’t tried milk in my tea and I’m not sure that I want to, but I may try it some time.

I love the orange and the tea base; not getting much marshmallow. If the chocolate was either tastier or not there at all, I’d probably really love this tea.

ETA: my mother says that this tea smells and tastes like a Macy’s department store. . . I don’t get that, but thought I’d put it out there :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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75

This tea is much better iced than hot. I had it hot the other day and the berry flavor was too strong. It is also less bitter when cold.

I purchased this tea primarily for my husband. Although it is good, I prefer camellia sinensis or anything that tastes good hot (hot cocoa, good coffee…) Gosh, I haven’t had any hot cocoa in forever! It’s summer now though, my least-liked season and not good with cocoa, which in turn really isn’t good for my health anyway, so it all works out. I do miss being a kid, when I could care less. I should be grateful that I had a health-nut father who wouldn’t let me have any sweet cereals but once a week and even then I was only allowed to sprinkle some on top of something healthy. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had no restraint. Brownies and hot cocoa and fruit loops everyday. Ick, Fruit Loops, I can’t stand the thought anymore. Ok, yeah, I’m seriously rambling now. But I’m done :)

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I was hesitant to try this sample. It’s no secret that I don’t like ginger, but I do love strawberries! The dry leaf smelled more of strawberry than ginger, so I decided it was safe enough.

Im so sad that the ginger comes through much stronger than the strawberry (I’m not picking up the toffee except slightly in the aroma). Strangely though, the ginger isn’t putting me off as much as I would expect. I still don’t like it, but it’s not making me sick (ginger has caused me more gag reflexes than I’d like to remember).

I would have liked to share this sample with my parents as I usually do with the 1-serving Butiki samples (serving in tiny sample cups), but my family is away this week. The are moving a U-haul of stuff up to their storage facility in Bozeman, MT. This is only the beginning. They never sold the house there and have been renting it out (the house that I lived in for 7 years before getting married; the longest I’ve ever lived in one house). My father’s original crazy business plans here never panned out and he’s been telecommuting for the same company he worked for in Bozeman. Needless to say, there’s no reason to stay here and they’ve been wanting to move back for some time. I don’t blame them. I wish I was going back to Bozeman too. I was really hoping they’d stay here another year as my husband and I will be here another year before our plans take us to Seattle. They won’t officially move until late August sometime, but that’s too soon! I hate major changes like this. I know it has to happen sooner or later, but later is always preferred. :(

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65

I’m not getting quite the depth and boldness that some of the reviewers got from this tea. It’s an ok cup, but nothing spectacular. It could use some sweetener. It seems to have a flavor similar to red dragon pearls from thepuriTea, though not as bold. I remember the dragon pearl tea having a harsh un-sweetness about just as this one does.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65

This is not a good Butiki sample day for me. Starting with just OK and ending with my least liked Butiki tea yet.

The tea smelled cake-y in the bag, but it brewed into something quite different. I can sort of see how it’s supposed to resemble cake, but certainly not birthday cake. Birthday cake is all about the frosting and the sugar and as much “i’ll regret this later” sprinkled in as possible. Of course, I don’t expect a tea to come close to such heart-clogging authenticity, but this one didn’t meet even my realistic expectations.

It tastes like a very nutty unsweetened sponge cake. There are very few nutty teas that I really like and sponge cake is not my favorite sweet or not.

DavidsTea Birthday Cake is still my happy cake tea until I find ‘the one’ (^.^)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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Here I go again, being the party pooper to rate down a popular tea. I have had a lot of fantastic teas from Butiki, but I can’t love all of them!

The honey notes that everyone else is raving about are what I don’t like. I had a Wuyi oolong (from RoT) some time ago that had a similar honey taste and the first couple times I had it, it was awesome. Then all of a sudden I just completely lost my desire for it. This tastes so similar to it that I’d almost think I brewed only a few black leaves in with the wuyi oolong.

The good news is, for all of you looking for a sweet black tea that doesn’t bite back, this fits the bill. I like my blacks to be quite a bit more bold.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec
greenteafairy

I’m with you on preferring bold black teas over sweet ones (and especially over ones with strong honey notes). Do you have any you’d particularly recommend?

Shelley_Lorraine

The Premium Taiwanese Assam from Butiki is one of my favorites. I also really liked Butiki’s original Irish breakfast blend, which has since been re-blended. I asked for a sample with my last order, but Stacy must have gotten the sample requests mixed up because I got different samples. Oh well, next time! If you don’t mind a CTC tea the Ajiri Kenyan black tea from Ajiri tea company is pretty good too. I haven’t had a whole lot of black teas yet, so it’s still an exploration for me. Green tea was my first love and greens will still top my list of favorites, but sometimes I really need a good black tea too :)

greenteafairy

Thanks! I’d been eyeing those two from Butiki – definitely on the list for my next order. The Ajiri black looks good too.

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15

I brewed this as my back up tea in case I didn’t like the Cherry Mocha that I just logged (which, I didn’t). Sure, this is a new tea for me so I shouldn’t have been so confident, but I’ve never had a straight black tea that wasn’t at least ok enough. This tea tastes like buttery mushroom “enhanced” Laoshan black. Maybe that is supposed to be sweet potato that I taste, but it’s coming through all wrong. If I had to choose, I’d take Laoshan black over this one.

I think it’s that creamy buttery texture that bothers me most. I was trying to finish my cup, but that texture is making me a bit nauseous.

ETA: how am I really the only one who doesn’t like this? I know I am ‘different’ in many ways from the general populous, but come on… I should be able to find a completely positive reviewed tea and trust that I will like it too. I feel so left out!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
greenteafairy

I haven’t tried this particular tea, but I’ve found myself disliking quite a few popular teas on here. And then I have some favorites that aren’t terribly well-liked (or just don’t get much attention, period). I think I’m a less sensitive taster than a lot of people here, so that may play a role, but it doesn’t explain everything. Anyway, buttery mushroom tea does not sound appealing – I see a lot of reviews describing various teas as having mushroom notes, and it’s often meant as a good thing, but I just can’t see it!

Shelley_Lorraine

I am sensitive to everything, especially textures. I did not like the texture of this one. It technically isn’t supposed to have mushroom notes, but that’s what it seemed to me. I don’t like mushrooms though, so of course it’s a negative for me.

Rie

Maybe you’re a supertaster? :D Apparently, many people who are ‘picky eaters’ are just very sensitive ‘supertasters’ for certain categories of taste. I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard about it often, with very little rebuttal.

Terri HarpLady

Shelley, you are not alone.
My early steepings of this tea actually made me nauseous (feel free to read my earliest reviews of it). I had initially purchased an oz or so, as my experiences with Verdant’s teas have been wonderful. Then I received more in my TOMC package. It is my least favorite of their teas. Something about it just doesn’t resonate for me, tends to irritate my stomach, & yet, I have continued to sample it from time to time, trying it several different ways, in an effort to keep an open mind. As I recall, my best results have been gongfu style.

Shelley_Lorraine

@Rie: A supertaster, that makes me sound impressive! :) I’ll probably regret admitting this later, but my problem isn’t so impressive as it is autistic. I have the form formerly known as ‘Aspergers.’ I drive myself and my family nuts with the extent of my sensitivities. Taste and smell is indeed my biggest “superpower.” Sometimes I think I can smell better than my dogs.
@Terry HarpLady: Yes, I do see your review now. It was the numbered ratings that I was commenting on; all of them being super high. With so many good teas out there, why should I waste valuable teatime with a finicky one? I don’t want to have to go through an elaborate ceremony, bow to the tea three times, walk around with it on my head and ask it about its feelings today before it produces something decent. :p

Rie

Shelley: The basic fact that you can sense degrees that most of us can not, is super! I hope that regret isn’t caused by what we might think here (‘^’)? we can know you as both having autistic sensivities and impressive sense superpowers, they’re not ‘mutually exclusive’ (is the term?), still knowing the same super-capable ‘you’.

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45

I’ve read many tasting notes describing tea as cough syrup. I have tried many of these same teas and did not agree. This tea, however, couldn’t taste more like cough syrup unless it was a bit more syrup-y in texture. I feel like I should have a cough right now and fear that I might just develop one from the psychological effect. Now, I’ve never particularly disliked the flavor of cough syrup. After all, it’s flavored so that it will taste good (as good as a medicine can), but I’d rather reserve the cheap artificial flavors for when I really am sick.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75

So I bought more of this tea even though I wasn’t sure about it before. I primarily wanted to have it so that my parents could sample some because I think they might like it. As for myself, this seems like it will turn into one of those teas that grow more impressive in my memory the longer I’ve been away from it. Even now I’m thinking that I liked it more than I remember thinking that I liked it at the time I had it earlier this evening while watching Merlin. The only reason I brewed it this evening is because I remember liking it more than my previous tasting note would indicate (silly me, this is the whole point if keeping tasting notes!).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Wyoming
Occupation: Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)
Graduate school for Comparative literature (in German, Latin, and Greek) – Update: I’m going to the University of Colorado in Fall 2014!! yay me!

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).

Location

Wyoming

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