911 Tasting Notes

65

I’d forgotten how nice this one can be between cups, but the fabulously berry-scented dry leaf immediately reminded me! It’s just so delicious — raspberry and blackberry in equal measure. I added 1 tsp of leaf to a cup of cooled water, and gave it about 2.5 minutes.

The genmaicha is very toasty, and adds a slight vegetal note to the overall cup. The berry flavour is fabulously strong and a touch candy-like, and is more than capable of standing up to the genmaicha base. The green tea actually complements the fruit flavours, I feel, helping to emphasise and bring out the fresh fruity notes, rather than the sweet candy notes.

I must try not to go so long between cups next time — this is a tasty summer treat!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65

Another new try from last night. When I tidied ny cupboard last week, I brought the last few untried Bluebirds down to a more reachable level, so that I’d be more inclined to start them. It worked! I brewed this one up for my last cup before bed, and gave 1 tsp of leaf 4 minutes in boiling water.

Brewing, it certainly smells of custard. It’s actually quite surprising, given that this is tea. The leaf is so pretty, too, with the red-brown rooibos, the yellow petals, and the pink/white rhubarb pieces.

Unfortunately, my first couple of sips are almost entirely rooibos. I was disappointed, but then very slowly, the taste of rhubarb and custard sweets developed at the back of my mouth. It’s very sweet and candy like, with the creamy custard developing first, and then a slightly tart, tangy-sharp rhubarb flavour coming through after that. Successive sips develop the flavour further, and bring it more into the foreground. Disappointment turned to delight!

I would like the flavour to be more prominent from the off, so I might try a longer brew, or even a little piece of sugar, for my next cup. Maybe some milk, to enhance the custard flavour? I’m pretty sure my experience of this one can be improved, but I’m pleased that I managed to find both flavours in my first cup. The only slight issue I have with this one is the pre-added stevia. It leaves an artificial sweetness at the back of my mouth that I don’t really care for. On the whole, though, a pleasing first cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

My Butiki order arrived yesterday, so I took that as permission to bring out a couple of untrieds from a previous order. I hoard Butiki teas. They’re just so good.

Anyway, the smell of this one dry is just amazing, like a banana nut muffin, or banana bread. The smell of the walnut reminds me of my favourite restuarant’s maple walnut ice cream sundae! I followed the recommended parameters for my first cup — 2 tsp in boiling water for three minutes. Brewed, the scent is much the same as dry, although with a little more of the base coming through.

To taste, this isn’t quite what I was expecting. I can taste a lot of slightly smoky keemun, and a walnut flavour (like walnut skin) which blends with the base tea to the point that they’re hard to distinguish. The banana is very, very subtle. It comes out mostly in the aftertaste at first, and a little more as the cup cools. It’s a very natural banana flavour, though — like banana chips rather than candy.

I would like to be able to taste a bit more banana, and so I think I’ll try a bit of sugar in my next cup. For a first impression, though; not bad! It’s not my favourite of the Butiki’s I’ve tried so far, but it’s certainly a tasty cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Terri HarpLady

I also got my order yesterday, & gifted myself with some more of this yummy tea!

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90

Second tea of the morning here. Every time I drink this, I’m just completely amazed at how much it tastes like freshly baked crumble. It even smells delicious; rich, buttery, slightly cakey. The blueberry is pretty spot on, too. This one makes up for all of the disappointing flavoured teas I’ve tried — it never fails to impress me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Hello.Kiki

Mmmm, sound yummy!

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75

This was thursday evening’s cup. I’m still missing the pastry element, but the blueberry in this is fabulous. It really does taste like blueberry jam! I also got a little hint of cream cheese — a sort of creamy, slightly savoury tang hanging around in the background. A pretty awesome cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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85

I wanted something comforting last night, and this one sprung immediately to mind. It tastes just as good as I remembered — soft and silky, with the sweet, thick flavours of banana and coconut. Pudding in a cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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100

First cup of the morning. I still love the creamy amazingness of this one, and the light hand with the bergamot. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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55

Brewed this one properly at home, and there’s still some bitterness to be found. It’s not terrible, but it is there. In a lot of ways, it spoils the sweet, light fruitiness of this tea for me. Nice enough, but not one I’d keep in my cupboard long term.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70

The first time I tried a mighty leaf sampler, this was one of my favourite teas. It’s a refreshing, cleansing blend of peppermint and basil, and it really does taste that straightforward. Basil is one of my favourite flavours, anyway, especially in cooking, so it’s no surprise that I get along with this one!

The peppermint is definitely the strongest flavour here, and it has a pleasant coolness and crispness. The basil is subtle but detectable, and adds a tinge of peppery depth, making this a slightly more unusual tea than might be expected. It’s the kind of cup you don’t really have to think about — there isn’t much complexity, after all! Perfect for a busy day when a clean, fresh tasting drink is required. I think this one would also be good iced in the summer, so it’s another one I’ll have to make a note to keep back for the warmer days to come!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55

I’m hosting interviews again today, so it’s bagged tea and a thermos for the majority of the day. I picked this one out last night as I haven’t tried it for a good long while, and my recollection of it is hazy. As my first tea of the day, it wasn’t a bad choice! The tropical flavouring here is juicy and fresh, although quite generic. I’m pretty sure there’s pineapple and mango, although on the whole it tastes tastes like Um Bongo. Not that that’s a bad thing — it was a much loved drink of my childhood, after all. There’s a slight bitterness, although that’s probably at least partly my fault given the less than perfect brewing conditions. I’ll be giving it another go and revising my note later on, anyway.

This makes for a good thirst quenching drink, and is actually very pleasant on a warm day. I’ll have to remember to try it cold brewed in the summer as well. On the whole, recommended! I’ll hold back on a rating until I’ve tried this “properly” at home, though.

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

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norwich, UK

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