904 Tasting Notes

100

Sticking with the melon theme, I decided to give this one a try also. I haven’t logged it yet, as I messed the first cup up. The watermelon was there, but it was very weak and tasted mostly of water. I used a smaller cup this time, and extended the brew time to match that suggested. I was a little leery of leaving white tea all that long, but it’s just proof that I don’t always know best when it comes down to this sort of thing.

Anyway, my second cup was much better. In the bag, this smells quite strongly of watermelon, and the slightest amount floral. I waited for the water to cool, added the leaves, and gave it about 3 and a half, four minutes. I was rewarded with a cup of sweet, juicy, watermelon magic. The first sip seemed very sweet and almost candy-like, but it seemed to mellow out a little as it cooled further. The liquor is surprisingly pale, but the flavour is as strong as I could want it to be, with a lovely buttery undertone from the silver needle. I enjoyed the SBT Watermelon iced tea I drank at work a couple of weeks back, and the more recent David’s Tea Luscious Watermelon, but this beats both of them easily. Another one I’ll be taking to work with me tomorrow for when I’m in need of a treat. Super-lovely, amazing stuff. I do love Butiki.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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100

I’ve just placed another order with Butiki (I’m calling it autumn/winter preperation, even though that’s debatable at best…), so it seemed the right time to begin finishing a couple of Butiki teas from previous orders. I did wonder at first how it would be possible to capture the flavour of melon in tea, but it’s achieved perfectly here. Even just opening the packet, I get a waft of sweet, juicy melon. Cantaloupe isn’t even my favourite in terms of the actual fruit, but it could be if it tasted as good as this smells! The dry mix is really pretty, with the greyish green Bai Mu Dan and the beautiful yellow helichrysum flowers. It was a treat to watch it as it brewed, which can’t be said of all that many teas.

To taste, this is absolutely perfect. The white tea base is light and delicate, mellow-tasting and slightly sweet. The melon is the true star, though, the flavour perfectly replicated and juicy besides. There’s a hint of cream, although it’s mostly in the background. Taken together, this is one of the nicest flavoured white teas I’ve had the pleasure of drinking this year. I’ve got a couple of cups worth left, so I’ll probably take this to work with me for when I need a treat to get me through the day. Beautiful stuff!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

Isn’t Butiki wonderful :)

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30
drank Rooibos by Adagio Teas
904 tasting notes

Opened my sample packet of this a couple of nights ago, when I was tired but desparately in need of a last (caffiene free) drink before bed. I’ve not been a huge fan of Adagio’s rooibos blends thus far, but this one actually took me by surprise. Dry, it smells just like I imagined — woodsy, with that metallic tang about it that I so much dislike. I gave it about 3-4 minutes in boiling water, and added milk. I have to say, it wasn’t bad. The milk mellowed out the taste a bit, and I actually ended up liking it more than I suspected I would. It’s not too overpoweringly strong, although it is woodsy in taste. It’s plain and no fuss, but sometimes that’s the best thing. I’m back at work this week, starting my new promotion, so I’ll finish off my sample if I use this as a pre-bedtime drink. Not one I’d repurchase, but worth trying all the same.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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100

I’ve been drinking this at breakfast the last few mornings, as I’m off work and able to relax and enjoy myself a bit. The scent of the dry leaves is just amazing — if I didn’t know better, I’d have mistaken it for cocoa powder. It’s intensely chocolatey, with drier notes of cacao and the sweetly malty typical “black tea” scent running underneath. Brewed, this is just as amazing. The chocolate carries through into the flavour really well, adding a bittersweet touch to what is otherwise a sweet, deeply rich cup. Very satisfying, and very indulgent. If this is what mornings can taste like, I’ll be looking forward to them from now on! Amazing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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70

This isn’t a bad tea at all. The scent on opening the sachet is amazing. Sweet raspberry candy, with a grassy undertone from the green tea. It’s actually almost mouthwatering. I let the water cool to about 180 before adding my infuser, and was rewarded with the best smelling cup I’ve encountered in a long time. Unlike with a lot of flavoured greens, it’s the raspberry that’s most prominent, rather than the green tea base. It smells just as good as it does dry, and that’s quite rare in my experience.

To taste, this is just as good. The green tea base is very light and delicate. I gave this about 2.5 minutes to brew, and the liquor was still a very pale golden-yellow colour. It’s barely detectable to taste, except for the slight grassy sweetness it adds to the aftertaste, which complements the sweet raspberry flavouring wonderfully. The raspberry is a bit artificial tasting — more like dried and sweetened, or candied, raspberry than fresh. I don’t mind that, though, as it’s reminding me of the raspberry cupcake my favourite bakery used to make before it closed last year. This would make a wonderful dessert tea. I may take the rest to work next week, for those afternoon sweet cravings. If it lasts as long as next week, anyway! Lovely stuff.

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

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80

This one I love. Had a cup last night, with a splash of milk. Strawberry, buttery-pastry amazingness. Luckily I have a fair bit of this left, because I’m going to be distraught when it’s gone. Divine yumminess.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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15

Attempted a cup hot this morning, and found it to be a major fail. For some reason, all I’m getting is that odd smell ladybirds seem to make. Moved swiftly on to the pitcher of this I had cold-brewing in the fridge. The scent is better this time — definitely strawberry. I’m not over keen on the taste, though — there’s still something about it that’s making me think of ladybirds. I get strawberry, just about, but it’s then taken over by this odd flavour that I can’t describe. It’s not rum, or lime, it’s just…odd. It’s better cold brewed than hot, so that’s definitely how I’ll be drinking the rest of the pouch. I’ll try again at some point, but at the moment it’s not a winner with me, unfortunately.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Fjellrev

Ladybirds! That’s bizarre.

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55

Opened my sample bag of this last night. I was so tired, all I can really remember is that the dry leaf smelt gorgeous, and reminded me of Adagio’s Chestnut from the Holiday Cheer sampler. I drank it black, since that’s what I seem to do with honeybush generally, and found it on the sweet side for my tastes. Pleasant, though, and with a clearly defined hazlenut flavour. I’ll add a more detailed tasting note when I actually managed to drink it AND think about it!

On a related note, my Adagio fandom samplers arrived this morning. The European site has just started stocking them — only Sherlock and Doctor Who for now (I suppose because they’re inspired by BBC programmes?). I don’t place many orders with Adagio now, but I couldn’t resist these! I’m really looking forward to trying them, but my first complaint is that the tins are leaky. I had some tidying up to do when they arrived, as some of them had managed to find their way out of the hinges, which have gaps in. Not great, but fortunately not too much lost. I was pretty intrigued on the whole, though, and had a quick look on the US site to see what else might be coming this way in the future. Then I saw the Game of Thrones and My Little Pony samplers. Oh my, MAJOR WANT! Hopefully if the first two sell well in the UK, the rest will be stocked eventually…I imagine I’m in for quite a wait, though, given how far the European site seems to lag behind the US one — you guys have got loads of cool things on there that I just can’t access. I almost wish I hadn’t looked now, because I’ve made myself impatient. Perhaps I can persuade someone to buy them for me and ship them over…It’s so unfair sigh

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
904 tasting notes

I lied. Whatever I said my last sample from Courtney was, actually wasn’t. I’d somehow forgotten about this one, but found it on Friday while tidying my stash.

Anyway, two cups worth of this remain. The dry leaf smells sweet, and faintly of caramel. I gave it four minutes in boiling water and added a splash of milk. Reading the description, I wasn’t sure this tea would be for me. In actuality, I find it rather pleasant. The vanilla is the first thing I can taste; sweet and creamy. This gives way to a hint of citrus (maybe orange?) and then the spices develop in the aftertaste. They leave a warming sensation on the tongue and at the back of the mouth — I can see this being a fabulous winter tea. The black base is smooth and slightly malty, with absolutely no astringency. The flavours are well defined without being overpowering, and the whole thing seems really well balanced.

A great black tea, perfect for a chilly evening! Thanks again to Courtney for another excellent sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

Sipdown! Tried another cup of this hot last night, but I still couldn’t get the flavours to develop as I’d have liked them to. It’s sweet and vaguely fruity, but nowhere near as good as it is cold — that’s how this tea really shines! I dumped the rest of my packet in my iced tea jug, and cold brewed it overnight. Might as well say farewell in style. Sweet, creamy, fruity strawberry pineapple awaits!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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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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