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130 Tasting Notes

96

These long charcoal-colored Taiwanese Assam leaves have a sweet raisin and creamy cinnamon flavor, that adds to the fuller malty texture & fruity, honeycrisp apple-like base. I found no astringency or bitterness during the first couple steepings and discovered the quality is high enough to deliver a delicious cup even after infusions 4-6.

When I asked each of my kids what they thought of the smell of the tea, not allowing them to actually see it but lifting the gaiwan slightly to allow the aroma to waft out, they sad – “Is that an oolong??” and “Very sweet smelling” I love to keep them guessing and not always depend on what they see when trying new teas. Poor children, they are already corrupted with the world of tea obsession.

As previously stated by Stacy at Butiki Teas, “In the 1920’s, under Japanese rule, Assamica tea bushes were brought to the Sun Moon Lake area of Taiwan. At the time, the Japanese wanted to compete with the British in the black tea market. Since then this Assam has been refined by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station.” I’d say they found a huge success! This would rank as one of my favorite black teas,and am now worried my recent purchase will not last nearly long enough!

If you have considered in the past whether or not to try this unique tea, let me urge you to move forward. I can think of no reason to delay any further. Splurge. Treat yourself. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec
TheTeaFairy

Pureleaf, I agree with everything you said, this tea deserves a star on the TEA Walk of Fame!

Pureleaf

Good call TheTeaFairy. I second that motion! :)

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93
drank Grapefruit Dragon by Butiki Teas
130 tasting notes

Thank you Stacy and Butiki Teas for this very delightful creation – absolutely wonderful! Also, a huge appreciation for you helping me out with this gaiwan. I’m really loving it and this was the tea of choice to celebrate this new teaware treasure.

These terrific Anhui Organic Dragon Well leaves with poppy-red colored safflower petals are just as pleasing to the eyes, as the tea is to the palate. Let me confess first – I LOVE grapefruit! So the obvious is understood immediately, when you find that this tea duplicates with great intensity the characteristics of grapefruit. This understandable would not be enticing to anyone opposed to this type of fruit, but for those that enjoy a delightful citrusy treat – look no further!

There is almost every single phase that you would expect of the real fruit. You will find mellow tartness, then a refreshing and cleansing sweetness. The flavor stays consistent even after multiple infusions.

This is a great anytime tea and I’m pretty sure that it would be a very nice chilled tea as well. I may have to try this in the near future. Until then, I will see how many infusions this tea can deliver! Very nice!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Butiki Teas

I’m so glad the gaiwan is working out for you and that you are enjoying the Grapefruit Dragon! :)

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86
drank Kenya Kangaita by Butiki Teas
130 tasting notes

These dark leaves have a full body brew, with a smoky citrus taste. Pure smoothness, that is bright with no bitterness – only a good astringency towards the end of the sip, that turns slightly sweet.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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87

Thanks to tunes&tea for sharing this special sample!

This is one crazy complex aged tea. There is certainly noticeable Dong Ding characteristics, however this one brings much more to the cup. The roasty notes are darker, even a touch of char-like quality – not burnt though. There is a mixture of barley and a pleasant hardwood bark flavor – a woodsy roasted tea, with a malty shu-like (puerh) character. There is no detectable astringency, all that is found is a full bodied brew with a silky smooth sip. It slightly sweet, then it not. Very strange – in a very good way. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

The midnight colored leaves remain their darkness, even after several infusions. I found this tea a little tricky to completely unfurl. It’s a very shy tea, that needs great patience and plenty of time to allow it to fully develop and it’s complete personality to unfold. After around 3 or 4 infusions, finally it decides to really come alive!

I personally would not recommend this tea if you are rushed and in a hurry. You simply would only see it as a good tea, and completely miss its greatness. Very nice aged oolong. Another fine job done by Stacy and the Butiki team!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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85

This is a very pleasant and pleasing puerh, with its full and dark brew. The color of the liquid is a deeper reddish coffee and comes off silky smooth from the cup. I found no hint of aquatic or fishiness in the aroma or flavor. There was no discernible bitterness, but rather a good dry astrengency after the sip.

Very nice ripe dark tea with good age and maturity. It can only get better from here!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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91
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
130 tasting notes

A very nice mellow tea with sweet honey-coated notes. The brew is light and malty cocoa-like, with an pleasant smoothness. The leaves are definitely of good quality and you you see clearly the 2 leaves and bud after the second infusion. Speaking of the second infusion, it turns more creamy and there is no bitterness that is noticed.

Definitely a anytime kinda tea, but seems very fitting for a first or last cup of the day. Another wonderful treat from Butiki Teas.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

This is really good, I agree…

TeaBrat

I like it too!

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89

This is a very green oolong, that has plenty of smooth buttery notes.The vegetal tone is mellow, as is the color of the liquid, which is a light greenish yellow. Very clean and a tad creamy.

I figured that I would mix things up a bit this time around, and test a lower water temperature and shorter steep time. There is no hesitation in my mind of preference – this method worked perfectly. I’m very happy to have this one as my last cup of the evening. It leaves a very refreshing, slightly minty tingle to the taste buds. I can’t wait to experiment a littler more later on, when I have more time to have multiple infusions, following the above mentioned method (previously, I steeped longer and used a higher water temp, around 195°F for 3 minutes).

This tea pleases me very well. Oh, how I do love me some greener oolongs. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Insence&Tea

I’m looking for a good tieguanyin that is good but not quite as expensive as verdant’s. Their’s is by far my favorite but it’s a little out of my price range. How does this tea compare to other tieguanyins you’ve tried?

Insence&Tea

I apologize for the repetition and mass of apostrophes, I’m really tired

ashmanra

I like Teavivre’s Monkey Picked Tie Kuan Yin very much, and there regular as well. They also have in soaked in honey. All are DELISH! And affordable. Harney and Sons entry level one is also excellent.

Pureleaf

I’m not sure in comparison to Verdant, as I have yet to try , however this is a very nice Tie Kuan Yin. I really like it being greener, less roasted. I agree with ashmanra, Teavivre is an excellent option!

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92

This tea took me completely by surprise! The sweet creaminess along with the full body makes for a very enjoyable cup. I thought for a moment someone had slipped some sweetener into my cup. It’s shocking how smooth and tasty this tea really is, and the fact that it lingers in the mouth is a very nice bonus!

First of all, I love pecans and there are plenty of large pieces found in the darker colored tea leaves. The first impression I got was something entirely different than I anticipate – deep tones of dried berries or fruit, in the range of dates or raisins. The taste in the mouth is one of a good quality granola bar that has plenty of raisins. This slowly changes to the milkier, almost ice cream-like. In fact, for all of you that dairy doesn’t bother the conscience, it takes almost exactly like Butter Pecan ice cream! Of course it’s only a tea, but you’ll have a tough time convincing your taste buds otherwise!

It’s plain and simple – this is a delicious tea! This is saying a lot coming form someone that typically stays with straight or traditional teas. There is no question, this tea can easily replace a desert. It is very satisfying. Thanks, Stacy from Butiki, for this great quality and palate pleasing tea! Job well done!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Yummy tea!

Azzrian

Now I want some.

MissMylin

So happy :) After reading this review and Sil’s review of Cantaloupe & Cream, and lots of drooling over other Butiki reviews, I’ve finally made my first order. Yay!

Sil

Missmylin – you won’t be disappointed! Stacy has lovely teas :)

Helena

yes (try the good morning sunshine!) really though everything I’ve tried has been good (sometimes not my cup but good)

Pureleaf

Missmylin – good decision! You will not be disappointed. Stacy is such a kind and sweet person with a passion for incredible customer service. Their teas are just as equal and praiseworthy. Thanks to all for commenting!

MissMylin

It was yours and Sil’s words that pushed me to order, so I have to thank you for such a tantalizing review. Stacy emailed me today to let me know my shipment went out. Oh, and Helena? Stacy loves the fact that you encouraged me to get Good Morning Sunshine :)

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95
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
130 tasting notes

Thank you Stacy for including this sample. What a treat!

Great looking long black whole leaves. There is so much flavor coming from this tea. This may be the mellowest bold tea, with its green fruity character. I know, seems contradicting. How can it be this full in the mouth, yet mildly cleansing of the palate?

This tea is refreshing and clean. Reminds me of the mist after an early spring shower. Invigorating and engaging. It’s as if you can smell the beginning of new life from the fresh blades of grass, springing up from its underground death during the winter.

There is plenty of the sweet peachy notes with a touch of creaminess. I like the way this tea smells and taste. It has a lingering good astringency. What a true treat and delight, found in this tea. Completely in a class of its own, amongst the other black teas. Glad I had the opportunity to enjoy this tea as my last cup of the day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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79

I love the compact, perfect little size of these Mini Tuochas! You would have thought the holidays had already come, and a little boy was opening a carefully wrapped gift. You find the same care and attention to detail of the wrapping, as you find in the larger tuochas. The paper used for these tuochas, seems like a perfect idea for a collection of some sort. Surely, there are already ideas out there. This may require a little more research, now that I think about it.

There is plenty of body with this tea – very full, green puerh. You will find quite a bit of astringency that lingers, however you can control its bitterness in the mouth by holding it towards the middle of the tongue – back of the throat. I found the tea to deliver more flavor after it had set for a minute or two.

This is a very young tasting sheng and certainly reflects its green qualities. It is green along the lines of older dandelions, that have been simmered and stewed down – without the mouth puckering bitterness. This bitterness is much drier and feels quite nice around 20-30 minutes after you finish drinking the tea. The liquid is more green melon in color.

Overall, you can’t complain about this tea not matching the total investment. These small broken leaf mini tuochas are great for a small pot of tea and are good enough for multiple infusions.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

I have been saving my mini Tuocha wrappers to cover a tin in the future. Of course, the tin will hold puerh tea!

Bonnie

good idea ashmanra

gmathis

(Apologies if this posts twice, pushed the button and nothing happened..)

Do you use Mod Podge on your tins? I’ve done the cheapie homemade version of white-glue-and-water decoupage and it worked surprisingly well.

Pureleaf

I agree Bonnie – great idea ashmanra! Also, gmathis your input was very much appreciated as well. Oh, the things you learn form the great people on steepster!

ashmanra

I haven’t made any that way yet! I did read that recipe for homemade Mod Podge on Pinterest, so I am glad to know it works. I have covered tins with scrapbook paper, and I use Scotch ATG gun tape for that, then I buff the paper all over with a paraffin compound from Ellenhutson.com to make it water and stain resistant.

gmathis

..and a clarification on my part. The glue/water version was on a wood plaque, but it did work so well I’d at least give it a shot on a tin.

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Profile

Bio

I’m a southern boy that relocated to the Mid-West that has an intense love for high quality loose leaf tea! This is no doubt, a passion I intend to enjoy and pursue for the rest of my life! I love the art of tea, and the expression of it’s culture in each cup.

You can also follow me here:

Blog:

http://southern-sips.blogspot.com/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/southernsips

Typically, I’m a straight tea and loose-leaf type of drinker. Black teas (especially Taiwanese blacks), Greener Oolong and Sheng Pu-erhs are top on my list!

Don’t get me wrong though, I do like me some darker, roasted oolongs, shu puerhs, greens and whites are a must as well!

I guess the only way to get the bigger picture is to start with that I love tea. Almost all traditional teas are welcomed, and I have been know to try a few flavored or blended teas.

Location

Mid-West USA

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