425 Tasting Notes
It’s my birthday! Yay me!
I’m super big on birthdays. There’s just something lovely about an entire day for celebrating one person. For my birthday, I took the day off work so I could sleep late and relax. The plan was to get brunch when I woke up, but it’s snowing! I have exactly zero desire to spend 20 minutes walking in the snow today, especially since I’m going out tonight. Two outings in the freezing cold on the same day? No, thank you.
Instead, I’m going to stay inside with a nice, hot cup of tea. What better tea theme for my b-day than Butiki? Especially since Stacy is releasing a bunch of new flavors today. I know it’s a coincidence, but I’m calling it a birthday bonus from the universe. Also I can rationalize buying all of them as a present to myself. Whee!
This tea is hands-down one of my all-time favorite Butiki blends. I stocked up when Stacy announced that she’s closing up shop. This is just the perfect blend for a cold, snowy day. It’s sweet maple nutty goodness. The mouthfeel is so thick it’s almost syrupy. The only downside is that this tea oversteeps and gets bitter fairly easily. There’s an easy fix for that though – just pour some out and add more hot water (thanks for that tip Stacy!).
Now to sit back and enjoy the snow from indoors with a nice hot cuppa…
Sugar. The key to this blend is sugar. Without it, there’s a rich mouthfeel but the flavor is pretty meh. With about a teaspoon of brown crystal sugar, it’s raspberry, buttery, waffley goodness. The chocolate is pretty muted, dancing in and out of the sip while the raspberry and waffle flavors take center stage. I’m glad to have a decaf dessert tea that I can enjoy in the evenings. This is one of those rare-ish black teas that doesn’t hurt my stomach either.
Wah, another tasting note that disappeared. I’m going to start keeping track of my notes in a word processor.
This blend is very creamy even without any additions. I used 1 bag in a 16 oz travel mug with hot water from the office water cooler, steeped for about 12 minutes. The cinnamon is definitely present but not overwhelming. Yum!
A whole bunch of my notes from the past few months have disappeared, including this one. I just found this draft in my e-mail.
I had this tea to go from the store. The scent of dry leaf reminds me of the pumpkin chai – lots of cinnamon. The clerk said that it reminds her of the gingerbread tea from last winter, but I don’t recall having it. I think I oversteeped because the flavor was mostly warm cinnamon with a pumpkin undercurrent and no creaminess to speak of. Tasty, but not cheesecakey. I did not feel the need to buy any for home.
I yoinked a bag of this from the office kitchen today out of sheer curiosity. Those cheerful penguins on the packaging are hard to resist!
I did not have an opportunity to remove the bag, so I ended up tasting it at a variety of steeping lengths. I think the optimal steep time is about 4 minutes. At that point, it’s all creamy vanilla goodness with a hint of cinnamon and maybe even nutmeg. The longer it steeps, the eggier and cinnamonier it gets. I really dislike egginess (yes, even in eggnog). I like cinnamon, but it ends up drowning the other flavors here if the bag sits too long.
My rating is based on the 4 minute steep time.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Eggnog, Nutmeg, Vanilla
Thanks for the sample, JustJames!
This is a really lovely tea. The leaf is very pretty. Full of fruity bits and bamboo leaves. The wet leaf smells fantastic – basically like grapefruit juice.
The brew is tart and sweet. The woody bamboo flavor complements the citrusy aspect nicely. It’s equally good cold – light and sweet – and resteeps well as long as you let it sit for a while. Overall, I think this is an excellent option for a spring or summer evening cuppa.
You may have noticed (or not) that my reviews have been quite sparse over the past two months or so. That is because I came back from vacation and was immediately informed that my request for a transfer had been approved and they wanted me ASAP. Well, when you have a full case load and have to write transfer memos for all of those cases, on top of actually doing your job and remaining responsible for the transfers until the day you leave (literally), ASAP is exactly two months if you work late and weekends. I had to pack up my office in such a hurry that I ended up packing all of my office teas. I won’t see them again until my stuff gets delivered to the new office – next week if I am lucky. So when I didn’t want any of my purse teas, I resorted to bumming tea off my new officemate. I was in the mood for something spicy, so this one piqued my interest.
Alas, this tea is blegh! It just smells and tastes like black pepper with a clove backdrop. Awful. Simply… awful. Perhaps it would be better with milk and honey, but I expect a chai to at least be drinkable even without those things. I did manage to down it because I desperately needed caffeine, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience. I sure hope my stuff arrives soon…