1518 Tasting Notes
Thank you Momo for the sale! I thought this was a one serving sample but it looks like it had 2 1/2 or 3 tsps. Into the infuser they all go anyway. I’m not sure why this even has ‘golden’ in the name – the leaves are equal parts gold and black. The mug was surprisingly dark very shortly after the infuser went in.. a deep red cup in the end. Fitting, as there is a wine like quality to the flavor. Hints of honey and malt. Definitely not one of those super honey golden yunnans. This one is dark. A little like molasses too. Very different from other Yunnans I’ve tried, unless it’s just the amount of leaves I used. The second steep tasted exactly the same.
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Woohee… this one is a bitter brew! My sample wasn’t quite the suggested three teaspoons and I tried following the steep instructions exactly. Maybe my sample was too hoppy (my sample definitely looked like a ton more hops than is in the picture). I’m not an ‘ale’ expert but this was strong stuff. I’ve tried this keemun on its own, so I don’t think it was the keemun, as I remember it on the milder side. The leaves and brewed tea have a rhubarb scent but I can’t find rhubarb in the flavor. Not much vanilla either. The hops seemed to drown everything. I had to add some rock sugar and even that seemed to disappear. At least the brew color itself seemed to resemble the color of rhubarb. This one is too bitter for me and only bitter… at least I still have my Ruby Pie!
Steep #1 // 3 tsps. // few min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled //3 min
Edited to add: Scratch that: I just learned after posting this that Butiki will be closing and I will NOT have my constant Ruby Pie! The loss of Butiki will be terrible in the tea world. One of the best.
Additional notes: Old tea check – This one still tastes as it once did…except it now tastes like Paris (Paris, this and another Ovation are all stored in thin baggies in one of those metallic Teavivre pouches). Now I know how easy it is to make other teas taste like other teas. Not too many of my teas are stored like this though. This one was never that great to begin with – not much caramel, even with plenty of caramel bits and no vanilla either. (Another tea in another metallic pouch turned into an Earl Grey because of similar storing but I’ve tried to keep the Earls in one pouch, the black teas in one pouch, etc.) Even if I store the Paris with the Tower of London, I’m sure they taste very similar now. I’ll have to be aware of this in the future, not store them like this and drink them faster. I thought in the metallic pouches they would be preserved from the air, but I guess now the flavors are melding together in the enclosed space. Now I have no idea how to store so many samples!
A sample with my order! I ADORE the White Rhino… it must be my favorite white tea. Honestly, it’s such an amazing tea that it certainly doesn’t need additional flavors. It’s odd this one is recommended to use boiling water as it is a while tea. It’s the one that looks like a longer Yunnan with gold and black leaves. I’m not sure if I’d describe the flavors as butterscotch, hazelnut or mocha but there is definitely a candy like flavor of some kind. Pairs very well with the Rhino. The Rhino is like honey though – the smoothest a white tea can get while still having a little bit more substance than a delicate white tea. The White Rhino itself is a rarity. Searching for other Kenyan white teas, the only types I can find are the sickle shaped leaf. I wonder why no one else has found this one?
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 6 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
A sample from Butiki I have taken way too long to try. I’m going to make a priority list of teas to try and pick from that for a while. To be fair, this was stored around the super strong smelling Ruby Pie and it might have acquired some flavor from that one, but if it did, it is delicious with this one anyway. This Darjeeling is different. I can easily say it is one of my favorites. It doesn’t have too much of a muscatel quality, but it has a syrupy quality but also a bite to it. The flavor is very bright and fruity (again, could be the Ruby Pie). It also has a quality to it like the Taiwanese assam. The leaves do look similar, dark and twisty… if it also had some Darjeeling leaves mixed in. The color of the brew is a lovely autumn orange, as I’m expecting Darjeeling to be now. This one could be called Darkjeeling. I like it whether or not it has flavors from Ruby Pie. This is similar to the other Sourenee that Butiki carries, but that one definitely has more astringency and chocolate notes. This is much fruitier. The second steep was delicious as well but it tasted a bit more like the “bark” flavor mentioned in Butiki’s description. But to me that is usually what I call the cedar tree like flavor that oversteeped leaves have. I need to drink all of my Butiki samples… but then they’ll be gone!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps.// 18 min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #2 // 13 min after boiling // 4 min
Thank you SO MUCH Boychik for sending me a sample of this one! I REALLY wanted to try it! Fig and lemon on Harney’s black tea base just sounded delightful. However, I’m not sure if this is the base they would usually use. Or maybe my taste is changing… it seems to have a bit of that cardboard flavor that I notice in other black teas. I hope I don’t notice them in the other blends now. There is a sweetness and fruitiness to the tea but I’m not sure I’d actually call it fig. The lemon is missing for me too. The magic I expected just isn’t here, as I love Harney’s Paris and Tower of London which I’d rather reach for. Of course I’m happy to have tried this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min
I actually saved a bit of this one from MzPriss’ Unflavored Teabox a while back. It’s very high up there in the Steepster ratings. The dark spooky tree branch leaves have a light sweet chocolate flavor. To me, it’s like the Laoshan Black type, which I guess is what Chinese black teas are like… so I really should stop comparing them all to Laoshan Black. I’ve had a few of their kind now. This one is too light of flavor for me, but maybe it was my method of steeping. Though I’m growing to love these types of teas more, they aren’t my favorite yet, and that is okay. I can’t love them all!
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #32
This might just be the favorite I’ve tried from Simple Loose Leaf. Not sure! I seem to love anything to do with combinations of white tea and plum. There is a lovely floral quality… not sure where that comes from, but it isn’t the jasmine to me. Underlying that is a plum flavor. Maybe a little artificial with the plum but I liked it anyway. It’s tough to taste the white tea under that flavor, but I like shou mei anyway. This is similar to the 52Teas Sugar Plum… but this one is slightly more floral despite not having the lavender that the 52Teas blend has. The second cup wasn’t very good, but to be fair, I did leave the steeped leaves overnight.
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 4 min