391 Tasting Notes

62
drank Birthday Cake by Butiki Teas
391 tasting notes

Finishing off the last of this that Sil sent me. I’m liking it better tonight than I have in the past. The dry leaf has a vanilla frosting scent, the brewed tea smells like cake batter, and the brew itself is much improved with the addition of some agave syrup. The sweetness helps bring out the vanilla frosting flavor (though I’m still not getting any cake). The syrup also gives this a smoother mouthfeel than the sugar did, so the frosting doesn’t taste quite so from-the-can. There’s still a weird frosting-flavored after-texture, like a film on the roof of my mouth. It’s not as coarse as it was before, though. Still not a huge fan, but bumping my rating a bit.

Aaaaand sipdown!

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72

This is better than I expected. Even the color is spot-on for gingerbread. The sip starts off bready, with cinnamon and ginger coming in mid-sip. The ginger really lingers on the tongue in just the right quantity, definitely there but not overwhelming. I can see this being a good winter bedtime tea.

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69
drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
391 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for the swap.

This one is ok. The strawberry flavor is a little on the artificial side. There’s a nice toffee flavor that comes out mid-sip. I’m not getting the ginger at all. I am picking up a grassy/mossy flavor from the base, which I quite like. Overall, though, it’s kind of meh. BUT. It is a sipdown. Whee!

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76

Well this certainly has a kick! I like how the lemon plays nicely with the guayusa. I wasn’t a fan in the first few sips, but as I kept drinking it the lemon and a touch of creaminess came out more. Also, the lemon flavor is distinctly lemon and not just generically citrus, which is nice.

This is definitely the most enjoyable Butiki guayusa I’ve had to date. The lemon really complements the base. And seriously the caffeine kick is fantastic. Still, it doesn’t completely bowl me over and I’m starting to think that I just might not like the base tea all that much.

Thanks to Stacy at Butiki for the sample, and I get to call this a sipdown!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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86
drank Taurus by Nina's Paris
391 tasting notes

I steeped this for a long while without watching the clock… maybe a bit over 10 minutes? Anyway it came out wonderfully juicy with a dead-on natural strawberry flavor. Many thanks to Laurent and Sophie at Nina’s Paris for the sample, and I get to call this a sipdown!

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16
drank Sleigh Ride by DAVIDsTEA
391 tasting notes

This smells so fantastic. All cinnamon and fruit with a touch of nuttiness. Alysha sent this to me a few months ago (thanks!) and it smells so good that I’ve been using it as potpourri in my sweater drawer. With the weather getting chillier, I decided that it was finally time to use it for its intended purpose.

… it’s better as potpourri. Seriously, upon taking the first sip, my instinctive response was to exclaim aloud – to an empty room – that this tea is terrible. It even loses the yummy spicy smell once you brew it. This is just vaguely cinnamon-y hibiscus juice. Blegh. Back in the sweater drawer it goes, and I’m calling this a sipdown because I never want to drink it again.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Teavangelical

it probably would have been better before you left it open in your sweater drawer for two months!!

Kaylee

I didn’t leave it open. The smell is very strong and it came through the bag.

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95
drank Pistachio Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
391 tasting notes

Nom nom nom. I had this in my travel mug this morning. It was wonderfully creamy and nutty and just right for breakfast. I had it with an egg sandwich and it totally held its own. The only down side, and it’s a significant one, is that I can’t smell the tea when it’s in the travel mug. The smell of this tea is so much a part of what makes it wonderful that not being able to smell it did diminish my enjoyment. Oh, well. Lesson learned!

I had the second steep when I got home from work. Nutty pistachio goodness as always.

Kaylee

Seriously? 6 likes in 2 hours? Pretty sure that’s a record for me :) Thanks, folks!

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93

Mmm. Lovely hot watermelon. A sipdown, and I’m sad to see it go. Thanks Stephanie!

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62
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
391 tasting notes

I got a whole tin of this courtesy of Fuzzy_Peachkin. Alas, a third of it ended up on the floor… and my desk… and my pants… The tin got stuck and it took me literally almost an hour to get it open. I ultimately had to dent the side just to get in, and then of course a bunch of it spilled while I was prying the lid off.

Unfortunately, the payoff wasn’t worth the effort. I found this tea pleasantly citrusy (mainly orange) but very one-note. Kind of bland, I guess. Even my dad found it bland and he usually can’t tell one tea from another. I used about 1.5 teaspoons for 8 oz of water. Did I underleaf? Have other people used more/less?

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Try it with slightly cooler water. Kusmi is the brand that taught me to brew flavoured at just under boiling. I generally brew it around 90°C same as I would an oolong.

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Finally get to try this, courtesy of Fuzzy_Peachkin (I think) from our Taste of France swap. I was really excited because everyone raves about this tea.

…so it seems like I’m the only one who doesn’t find this tea sweet. In fact, I could swear it smells and tastes like mushrooms with sort of a caramel background. Which I’m actually quite enjoying but very confused about. I’ll have to play around with it a bit to figure out what the issue is.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

It takes time to detect natural sweetness in tea especially when you have been used to drinking flavored tea’s. If you drink more natural tea and unflavored tea, this tea would have been sweet by comparison. I used to drink all the flavors until I ran into a few great natural tea’s that blew my mind. After that…I changed. Now almost none of my tea is flavored and what tea’s are flavored don’t have artificial flavoring.

Kaylee

Thanks for the advice :) I’m pretty burned on Teavana and David’s Tea, but definitely still addicted to flavored teas from smaller companies (mostly Butiki and Della Terra’s cream anything). Which teas converted you to the natural/unflavored side?

Bonnie

Laoshan Black from Verdant about 2years ago blew me away. I had no idea tea could be so cocoa malty good. The blends from Verdant are great. Then I found Butiki which is naturally flavored. My local shop which is online is naturally flavored happyluckys.com (Harvest Moon, Chocolate Mints, 500 mile Chai) and other companies Steapshoppe (cinnamon swirl bread) and Whispering Pines (Fujian Black) are natural.

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