988 Tasting Notes

80

Second pumpkin tea of the evening. I wanted to try this one back to back with Pumpkin Milkshake (1.0, if I may call it that), because I knew that’s the only way I’d remember either one clearly enough to be able to compare.

This one, with its Doke Rolling Thunder oolong base, is slightly different from 1.0. It’s less spicy, although there is a tiny hint poking through from the background. It’s also less creamy. What creaminess there is here is an undertone rather than an overtone. The upside of both these things is that the pumpkin flavour is clearer and better defined — it’s the centre of the tea, it’s subject, rather than an afterthought. The downside is that the base pokes out more, and is slightly bitter.

Taken as a whole, it just doesn’t seem to work as well, or as coherently, as the 1.0 with its darjeeling base did. I like this version for different reasons than the original, but on balance I think I prefer the darjeeling version. It’s smoother, creamier, and seems to fit together better. I do like the extra pumpkin flvour here, though, so it’s a very hard call to make. I’ll enjoy drinking more of both — they can hardly be considered the same, really. I think I’ll try this one with sugar next, though.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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95
drank Birthday Cake by Butiki Teas
988 tasting notes

Every time I drink this, I’m surprised how much it actually tastes like birthday cake. The light, airy vanilla sponge type birthday cake. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised, now that I’m more familiar with Butiki , but I am. I mean, this is tea, not cake…but the flavour is spot on! A great bedtime choice, and absolutely delicious. I’ll be so happy when I can get some more of this. Until then, I’ll just have to hold on to my bag for dear life!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85

I’m making an effort to work through some of the Butiki teas that have been in my stash for a while. I think I hang on to them because they sound so delicious, and I know I’ll love them, but it’s definitely time to stop being precious.

This is delicious. It’s surprisingly spicy, predominantly from cinnamon, but there’s a good, strong pumpkin taste as well. It’s wonderfully creamy, and it does make me think of milkshake, much to my surprise. A spicy, creamy, pumpkin flavoured milkshake. Yum!

The base here is almost totally overwhelmed by the flavouring. I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell it was darjeeling if I hadn’t known. That said, it provides a light, unobtrusive background against which the flavouring can really shine. I’ve got the 2.0 to try next, but at the moment I can’t imagine how it could possibly better this liquid deliciousness!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

Added a sizeable chunk of crystal sugar to this one tonight. I’m still not getting quite the flavour I’d like from it, but it’s getting there. The cocoa was certainly detectable, and deliciously creamy. The rose/turkish delight flavour was also slightly enhanced, but I’d still like to bring that out a little more if I can. More experimentation required!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

A bedtime cup. This is a subtle and beautiful tea. I’m getting more “float” than root beer tonight, although I suspect that’s largely due to the sugar and milk I added. Delicious, anyway.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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55

Not sure why, but when I brew this it comes out a very dark green, verging on black? It tastes good, sweet chamomile with a bright edge of citrus (lemon/orange, mainly). I’ve been drinking it at work during stressful moments in an attempt to help calm down, and I think it might help a little :) I’ve one bag left, so I might take that home tonight and drink it over the weekend — that’ll be another sipdown accomplished before my orders start to arrive!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Memily

What a strange colour for that blend of ingredients!

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35

Finished the first of my two packets of this. I’ve been drinking it with a lot of sugar to try and offset some of the weird bitter/floral flavour. It helps a bit, but that’s all I can say for it. I’ve looked at my second packet, and that appears to have more toffee pieces in than this one — hopefully it’ll taste better for it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Memily

Oy vey this does not give me a great deal of hope for the sample I have of this tea.

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65

Sipdown! Took the last two bags to work today, and finished them off this afternoon with a splash of milk. I could taste more vanilla and less rooibos this way, which was a welcome change. I usually hesitate to add milk to fruity teas, but in this case it was a good gamble.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

With a little less milk, this is even more yummy. Much stronger vanilla flavour, very creamy. A very pleasant vanilla tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

I’ve never tried this with milk before, but it’s a bit of a relvelation. I think it’s because I’ve primarily been taking these tea bags with me to events, where I don’t have access to milk, purely for convenience. When I’m in the office, I generally use loose tea. Anyway, I brought a couple with me this morning, as I’m generally pretty rushed when I arrive on a Monday between checking over the emails and preparing for our staff meeting. A tea bag means I can have some caffiene and start feeling a little less grumpy before the day really gets going.

Without milk, I found this a little bitter, a little heavy on the base, and just not very inspiring. With milk, it’s a different story — I wish I’d tried it sooner! The base is toned down, and the creaminess of the vanilla really comes out. It’s fragrant and delicate, and the vanilla flavouring really does make it seem like an actual vanilla bean has been soaked in milk — it’s pretty spot on accurate, if a little subtle. I think that might be my fault for having added a bit too much milk, so I’m about to try again with a lighter hand. I’ve raised my rating a little here, though. I’ve found the way I like to drink this one, and when it sings, it sings. A good Monday morning cup!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Memily

Ooh, perhaps your milky vanilla adventure got into my subconscious today. I’ve had two amazing teas with milk + sugar that I would normally drink/try plain!

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Profile

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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