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I have been sneezing all day and I can’t seem to stop. I’ve probably sneezed over 100 times today. It’s weird because it’s like allergies, watery itchy eyes and all, but there’s nothing different about my house and I haven’t been anywhere today. I just woke up suddenly apparently allergic to myself…

This tea is holding up pretty well, but not as well as I’d hoped given that it’s the only Butiki tea I bought in a tin. The ones in the regular paper bags seem to be holding up better! It’s still really enjoyable, though. Plain, it’s rich and chocolatey with a zesty orange backnote. The chocolate is definitely dark chocolate, and it pairs really well with the base tea. Butiki seem to have done lovely deep, rich chocolate teas that no other brand seems to be able to get right at the moment, hence my usual aversion to chocolate teas. The orange is zesty and compliments the dark chocolate and base without overpowering them, but if you add a little sugar it becomes fresh and juicy, much more prominent in the blend. The marshmallow root rounds out the tea pretty well and adds a really satisfying thick mouthfeel. I’ve never had this base on its own so I’m not entirely sure of its notes, but it’s really lovely and smooth with no astringency whatsoever. I added a touch of milk, not because it needed it but because I wanted it to be more of a dessert tea, and it definitely was! The chocolate turns into a sweeter milk chocolate note and the orange becomes candied, but never fake. The mouthfeel is super thick and rich too, and it’s almost like drinking a liquefied Terry’s Chocolate Orange, which pretty much sounds like a dream I’d have. The only issue with this is that as I said before about the tea ageing, I didn’t notice it at all until I added milk, but it brought out a slight ‘stale’ sort of flavour, which didn’t bother me too much because it was only slight, but I do think I preferred it before the milk. This seems to be my general opinion of black teas lately! At one time I rarely drank a black tea without milk, and now it seems about 50/50. Maybe my tastebuds are maturing…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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