320 Tasting Notes
Thank you to Janelle for letting me try this! It had been on my wishlist for a while.
None of my remaining Butiki drink-a-thon teas are really ‘breakfast’ type teas, so this morning I dug around in my sample box until I came across this. It didn’t smell of much, and I was worried I might have left it too long, but the flavours are still coming through and the scent when it’s brewing is much more appetising. It actually does smell like pancakes! Flavour-wise, there’s a pancakey ‘baked goods’ note which is strongest in the initial sip, and is followed by syrupy buttery goodness which adds a really lovely background sweetness. The base tea is malty, which I like in breakfast teas, but not as astringent as I’d expected. I don’t think I could have drank the whole cup without milk, but someone else who is less sensitive when it comes to astringency could have definitely drank this plain. I added a little bit of sugar (about half a teaspoon or just under) and the butter and syrup notes came out more. Milk got rid of the astringency but didn’t affect the flavours too much.
This definitely filled that breakfast-tea hole, and I’m happy it lived up to my expectations. Now onwards with the Butiki!
Well, I ended up staying on a double shift at work. I knew that would happen! So my tea-drinking has been pushed back to tomorrow, or possibly later because I’m having to book an emergency appointment with the dentist to have my wisdom tooth removed. I hope they can fit me in, because I’ve been in agony for a week now and it only seems to be getting worse. I was determined to fit at least one tea in tonight, though, and I went with this one because it’s one I’ve been staring at for days now wanting to drink.
This is delicious. I am in total agreement with those saying it’s their favourite Butiki pumpkin tea. It tastes exactly like a pumpkin spice latte!! I can’t even begin to pick apart the notes because my brain is just screaming at me ‘pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte’ over and over again. I didn’t want to risk adding sugar, so I’m not sure how that might have affected the flavour, but I bet it would be sooo good. I want to try this tea so many ways. I want to cold brew it, make it into a latte, make tea syrup, add sugar, add honey, add maple syrup and golden syrup… I wish I had more than 1/2 an oz because I’m already sad that I won’t be able to try most of those things. The butterscotch is the least prominent note and adds a little syrupy sweetness, but the pumpkin and coffee flavours blend together seamlessly, neither outshining the other. Honestly if I closed my eyed and ignored how much thinner the liquid is, I would truly believe I was drinking a pumpkin spice latte. Happy sigh.
Basically, pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte.
I was saving this for a day when I had an afternoon free to enjoy a relaxed gong fu session, but I’m running out of strong enough teas to have when I first wake up from my Butiki
suitcase box, and I’m in work soon and needed the energy jolt, so western style it is. The western steep didn’t destroy it! It’s still a great tea. The smokiness is milder than I remember, but still the dominating top note. The earthiness lasts throughout the sip and gives it body, giving way to pine notes at the end of the sip. There’s a creaminess to it which tempers the heavy, woodsy flavours well, and a tang right at the very back of the sip which stops the creaminess from being too much, too rich. I think that this is to this day the only sheng/shou blend I’ve tried, but they work really well together, each playing off the other and enhancing the best of both. I added skimmed milk just to lighten the cup as it is pretty heavy, and the flavours hold up well. This is a strong puerh that isn’t going to be bothered by a little bit of milk!
This is a very special tea, even as somebody who doesn’t drink puerh on a regular basis I can see that. I will eventually – hopefully not too far in the future – have a gong fu session with it and write up the tasting note it deserves, but I’m very happy in the knowledge that it does just fine brewed western style if I’m in a rush or just feeling impatient! I know that I could easily drink down all 4oz I have of this, but I also know that there are puerh drinkers out there who would be very happy to be able to try this. Sharing is caring, after all; I think an ounce or two of this might end up in some people’s mailboxes in the not-too-distant future.
Well, I was almost finished my tasting note for this when Chrome decided to close all my tabs on me. Thanks, Google. I’m in danger of not making my drink-a-thon target since I’ve had a poor couple of days, so I’m going to post it anyway, even though it’s going to suck even more than the original note did. I’m tired, physically exhausted and in some not inconsiderable pain, and there’s no way I can be bothered to type the whole thing out again, so this is what I’m going with – I like this a whole lot better than I did when I first bought it, though I’m not sure if it’s aged well or just grown on me. I can taste the coconut, I can taste the cream, and I can even taste the pie. The last part might be coming from the rooibos more than the flavouring, but hey, if you can’t mask the rooibos, why not use it to your advantage? This is sweet enough that I didn’t feel the need to add any sugar, which is just as well, because I blew half my daily allowance of smartpoints on a Mcdonald’s chicken wrap on the way home from work and wouldn’t have had enough left to add any anyway. I added a splash of skimmed milk and it enhances the coconut and cream notes without diminishing the pie crust flavour at all. It has a lingering aftertaste of real, authentic coconut milk.
Yeah, I wasn’t keen on this when I first bought it, but I think it might be one of my favourite herbals at the moment.
I didn’t have a single cup of tea yesterday because I was so busy (I was out ll day, and went straight from a shopping trip to work, only stopping at home for 12 minutes in between to get changed) and my wisdom tooth was playing up so much that I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it anyway. I’d like to say I’m going to make up for it today, but I’m going straight from freelance work #1.5 to job #2, so I’m still pretty busy today. Tomorrow I’m back at job #1 for a few hours but then finally I’ll have a few hours when I get back to enjoy some tea. Unless they decide to keep me on a double shift…
I decided to have this one because of the chocolate, which I was craving and can’t have because of my new old diet. Sadly, the chocolate is the least prominent flavour. I’m a little bit gutted because I was really looking forward to Butiki’s chocolate flavour, and it just kind of gets lost in a sea of strawberry. It smells absolutely delicious while it’s steeping, and I can clearly pick out the strawberry, chocolate and espresso notes, but when I tried this plain all I got was a murky coffee/tea combo with a fairly strong strawberry note and not much chocolate. I added a tiny bit of sugar and it did bring out the strawberry more and make the base tea less murky-tasting, but there is still a mild astringency which is too much for me to drink a whole cup, since I’m quite sensitive to astringency. I added a splash of skimmed milk, just a touch, and it did help to balance the cup out a lot. The strawberry is no longer fresh strawberry, but more strawberry cream, like a milkshake sort of flavour, and the espresso note becomes more clear at the end of the sip, getting more prominent as the cup cools. I still don’t get much chocolate, though that’s maybe to do with the base tea. I’ve never tried this base on its own but I can’t help wishing Stacy had used something sweeter, with more natural dark chocolate and honey notes. The Sansia Black, for example, worked really well in the Chocolate Chili Truffle blend. It’s a shame that the chocolate didn’t come through for me, because I think it’s the note which ties the others together so that they make sense as a combination. Chocolate and coffee? Delicious. Chocolate and strawberry? A classic combination. Coffee and strawberry?… Not so much. Without that missing link of the chocolate it’s nice enough, but just seems a little bit odd and disjointed. I will have to play with the steeping parameters to see if I can make it work.
I’ve left this off my spreadsheet, so not entirely sure how it came into my possession, but I’m like 90% sure it was in my Butiki mystery box. It’s one I never would have bought of my own volition, but one which I’m glad to have and that I really enjoy when I’m in the right mood. Maybe I should hold off on the review until I’ve had multiple steeps, but I have to get ready for work in around an hour and I didn’t want to be cutting it too close, so I’ll have to write up a separate tasting note another time for the additional steeps.
I really enjoy oolongs, both green and roasted, and this is among the greener of those which I enjoy. It is a full-bodied, sweet and mellow oolong, but I don’t pick up on any asparagus notes which Stacy has mentioned, not that that’s a negative for me. The predominant note is a sweet, floral grassy one at first, which develops into a lightly spiced note which honestly reminds me of cinnamon. I could smell a cinnamon note as the tea steeped, but assumed it was coming from something else, and was very surprised when it translated into the flavour of the tea. It can’t be from cross-contamination, but it is very clearly a cinnamon note in my mind. This then transitions into a fruity note in the aftertaste which tastes more like apple to me than melon. The whole while the grassy note continues, so that in the aftertaste it reminds me of wood sorrel and makes me think of the apple grass from Doctor Who. As it cools, the butteriness becomes more noticeable. This is about as close to an apple pie filling as a straight tea can ever get. I will definitely be on the lookout for something similar when I run out of this.
ETA: Even my little brother could taste the apple and cinnamon, and said this was really nice! Success!
In an effort to use up some of these teabags, and also because I wanted a chocolatey iced tea, I cold-brewed 3 bags of this in my usual 20 oz water bottle overnight. I think I actually ended up leaving it two days by mistake, but it tastes fine. No astringency. I’m actually going to change my rating from 44 because for once I can taste the chocolate in this!! I wish I’d discovered this sooner because it’s much nicer this way. It’s still not the most natural chocolate flavour out there, but it’s not bad at all. The tea is a soft background and the chocolate dominates, which is what I expected from a cold brew. I drank this plain after my lunch to satisfy my chocolate cravings because I’m back on the diet, and it did help. I think it would have been a perfect chocolatey treat with some honey or maple syrup added, but I didn’t want to use the points and it was fine as it was. I’m actually fairly impressed!
This is probably one of my favourites from Butiki’s final batch of teas, and sadly one of the ones I have the least of. Luckily for me it resteeps very well!
The raspberry flavour comes across the most prominent, followed by the Sparrow’s Tongue, and then ends on a creamy cashew note which lingers. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s ‘jam’ or ‘butter’ reminiscent, but raspberry and cashew for sure. The raspberry note is fresh and juicy, and the creaminess of the cashew goes with it beautifully. I am so glad it uses an oolong base rather than a green, because I’m not the biggest fan of greens in the first place but I think many of them would have been too savoury here. The oolong is a perfect alternative. It’s naturally sweet and buttery, which goes so well with both of the main flavours, and it’s just so darn robust. I got three fantastic Western-style steeps out of this, the third being mostly oolong but still with a hint of cashew and a lingering note of raspberry. The first and second steeps were virtually indistinguishable. I’d love to try brewing this gongfu, but sadly I don’t think I have enough leaf. I bet it would have been wonderful.
Had two delicious cups of this to start my day! It’s going to be an interesting day, I think, because I rejoined Weight Watchers last night and it’s my first day back on the plan, and I’m starting my second job tonight, too! I’m a little nervous since I’ve never worked two jobs at once before and I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I’m looking forward to it. Mostly I’m looking forward to being paid enough to live on.
This is one of my favourite breakfast teas. It works perfectly for that time of day. The Crimson Horizon on its own is something I drink for breakfast regularly, but when I want something flavoured I go for this one instead. Praline is one of my favourite flavours, and in this tea it’s almost like a praline chocolate has been melted into a cup of tea. It’s subtle enough that it’s not sickly sweet, but not so subtle that it could be mistaken for a natural note of the Crimson Horizon. To me, hazelnut and caramel notes are most present, but there’s a medley of nuts in the background that give it depth of flavour and richness which makes it slightly indulgent for a breakfast tea. Plain, the CTC base is too astringent for me, but with a drop of skimmed milk it’s perfect. This rounds out the praline flavour too, and makes it slightly more creamy, but it does lose some of the briskness which makes it perfect for first thing in the morning. Adding a small pinch of sugar brings out some chocolate notes, and sweetens up the nuttiness and caramel notes so that it really is like drinking a melted chocolate in a cup of tea (in a totally non-goopy way). Sure, it’s not overly complex, but who needs complexity when they’re still half asleep? I know I don’t.
For some unknown reason I gravitated towards this today, and I have to say that I really, really like it. It’s not so surprising now that I know the base is Mao Jian, which is still pretty much the only green tea I really enjoy, but it was a nice surprise since I didn’t have such high expectations. The base tea is lovely – it’s mellow, buttery, smooth and has a flavour of fresh spring vegetables. It doesn’t overwhelm the pistachio flavour but doesn’t shrink into the background either. I drank this plain, and got a very strong, very accurate pistachio note from it, but can’t say I picked up on the ice cream. My mam described it as ‘pistachio water’ but liked it, which is a plus since she’s even less of a fan of green tea than I am. I didn’t want to add sugar since it was the first tea of the morning and I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet, but from reading the description it sounds like the vanilla and cream flavours come out more after adding sugar, which makes sense. The pistachio note takes more of a back seat when the tea starts to cool, so I prefer it hot.