1283 Tasting Notes
thanks for this freebie in our swap, Marcel Duchamp! This one looks very odd because it looks like leaves you would find a tree, crumpled up. Not what a green tea actually looks like! I don’t think I’ve had a green tea like this before. I cooled the water for a half hour and went with a three minute steep: The flavor is very vegetal at first, but then as it cools (or you get to the bottom of the cup) it gets nuttier and sweeter. I was thinking of a buttery green today, so I guess I should have had sencha, but this is certainly not disappointing (except for maybe the non-buttery aspect). It looks different than a usual green tea but the taste is the same!
Thank you TeaTiff for selling a bit of this one! I probably like the Sourenee from Butiki more than most people, so I was excited to try this one. I don’t really see how this one would work with cheesecake other than the "sour"ness of it (I have no idea if that influences the name at all). I used 1 1/3 teaspoons of leaves.
Steep #1 // 10 min after cooling // 3 min
This actually has a hint of cheesecake flavor… but I could use some creaminess. The flavor of the Sourenee on its own reminded me of plum before, but this blend doesn’t have that – it is pretty astringent. But it’s like the sourness of a cheesecake.
Steep #2 // 5 min after cooling // 3 min
This one seems to have lost all of the cheesecake flavor that was there, and the leaves are really brisk this time around… especially at the top of the cup for some reason. Too bad. I will enjoy drinking the remainders of my sample, but this isn’t Butiki’s best. But it’s already gone (I think) so they know that!
Additional notes: I’m trying this again with more accurate steep parameters… two teaspoons, waited 10 mins after boiling, rinse, two minutes. This cup is a LOT better than the last time I had it. This Golden Monkey still isn’t as chocolatey as I’m used to, but there is a taste to it that reminds me of wine, or maybe like the muscatel from Darjeeling, but only slightly to make it different than most other Golden Monkey teas. There is slight chocolate flavor, but not like dark or bittersweet chocolate – more like a candybar. MUCH tastier than the last time I had this tea. Teavivre teas are usually the best, but they also seem to be the most changing depending on how you steep them.
thank you Marcel Duchamp for swapping! Another Butiki tea to try!
Steep #1 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 min
The dry blend sure looks interesting! I think I love the scent more than the flavor. This one seems very similar to their pineapple oolong. I think I like the other one better just because I prefer oolong over the white tea (even if it is a bai mu dan). I don’t think there were any pineapple chunks in my infuser though. And the cilantro seemed to be missing. I like the creaminess though.
Steep #2 // 22 minutes after boiling // 4 min
This cup is flavored much the same. Tasty! But I think the deliciousness of Butiki blends might be spoiling me for other Butiki blends! Maybe the sourness of the bai mu dan should offer a contrast to the sweetness of the cream & pineapple, but I also think the butteriness of an oolong supports the cream & pineapple… it’s more cake flavored. I think I’ll make a cake tomorrow…
Additional notes: Sipdown! I woke up thinking “licorice” and I also knew this was a sipdown, so I went with this one! I love the combo of coconut, chocolate and licorice. It’s really balanced well. The coconut still tastes really well, even though this is older now. It looks like the same coconut that is in 52Teas’ Coconut Cream Pie, which also never seems to go bad. I had this with a yogurt that was unintentionally similar – coconut, chocolate, almonds.
Thanks so much DigniTea! I know that some of Harney’s plain black teas are the briskest for some reason… sometimes when they cool they get almost undrinkable (well, I haven’t had those teas in a while, maybe my steeping skills have improved.) A CTC blend from Harney’s might become borderline deadly if not steeped correctly. The dry leaves here look like little bundles…a bit different from most CTC teas I’ve tried.
Steep #1 // 13 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min
As I’m pouring, the cup is immediately dark, so Harney’s suggestion of five minutes at boiling is a little out there. The flavor is surprisingly not as brisk as I thought it would be. It’s bready and malty but not very astringent, even as it cools. It’s as tough as you’d expect any CTC to be. It has a sweetness to it!
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 2 min
Another good cup to go with some reading. Not astringent again! This is definitely a good CTC. I would have never guessed that a CTC from Harney’s would be less astringent than their other black teas. I think I have some resteeping to do!
Another Teavivre sample! I haven’t even caught up on the last samples and Teavivre has already offered to send more samples! Wow! I love Teavivre. I think they want me to try every tea they have… which works because 97% of the time they are so good that I want to buy them. There were four big chunks of pu-erh in one sample pouch… not sure if I should have used them all for one mug. I could have just used two pieces for this steep, but then I realized that pu-erh is rarely astringent anyway… you could probably use an entire pu-erh cake and it wouldn’t make a mug of tea astringent!
I wish Teavivre didn’t get rid of their webpage with the steeping instructions for their teas… I have to guess with this 17 ounce thing. I’m guessing the old page would have suggested something like 212 degrees with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steeps. I sipped four big mugs of this tea all day and I was not close to tiring of it. All of the steeps here had the same delicious flavor… and I could have steeped this many more times. The flavor is surprisingly sweet yet dark, earthy. Pu-erh is kind of difficult to describe as pu-erh is just pu-erh… it has its own flavor. But it is interesting that it tastes so different from black tea. This is the kind of pu-erh I love. I could easily buy an entire cake of this. The value is great anyway… I could probably use the same leaves for many more than four cups. The flavor was consistent to the last drop. Delicious!
Steep #1 // 13 minutes after boiling (accidentally) with a rinse // 1 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 6 mins after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #4 // just boiled // 3 min
Additional notes: Trying this one again, since it seemed like it didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to last time. I went with three teaspoons this time (even though Teavivre says a tablespoon (I’m guessing 3 teaspoons? for 17 ounces and my mug is probably only 9-10 ounces.) I completely forgot the rinse though. The temp was supposed to be at 203 degrees so I tried waiting for five minutes which then turned into 6-7. Two minute steep: This tastes better, has fuller flavor than the last time, but that is to be expected with more leaves/hotter temperature. The second steep was with just boiled water for three minutes and it resulted in a similar cup. It still isn’t my favorite black tea from Teavivre. The flavor just isn’t what I wish it was, no matter how I steep it. I don’t get what the description mentions. Maybe this flavor just isn’t for me (it’s the most like Verdant’s Laoshan Black from Teavivre and that one just isn’t for me either.) It’s definitely a good tea, just not as good as Teavivre’s other teas, in my opinion (I think I’ve tried most of their black teas.)
Steep #1 // 6-7 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Additional notes: Well, today has been a tea day of trying teas I thought needed working with.. their previous sippings needing fine tuning. THIS one was PERFECT the first time I had it six months ago, it would win my ‘best Not-Darjeeling yet tasting like a Darjeeling’ award. I had it a month or so ago and the flavor was completely different. Not bad, just faded, plainer tasting, lost the magic. I’m not sure if I just brewed the perfect cup the first time OR the non-airtight packaging ruined this tea (that Single Origin sends their teas in), or this one just ages very very fast (I’ve had this one only a little over six months). So here goes: I wanted to try slightly above and below parameters from the first tasting notes, since the last time trying to follow those tasting notes didn’t work out:
Steep #1 // 16 min after boiling // 2 min
Flavor is definitely not like the first time. It’s so muted! Disappointing. It pretty much tastes just like a month ago.
Steep #2 // 5 min after boiling // 4 min
This cup isn’t much better than the last. The stone fruits I was noticing when this tea was new are completely gone. It tastes like one of those creamed corn flavored teas now. I’m pretty sure this has aged. I think it wins the “ages too fast” award. I’d LOVE to stock this in my cupboard at all times, but only if the flavor remained like the first magical cup. Maybe putting the tea in an airtight container would have helped? Single Origin sends it in a brown paper fold-over flap pouch with a clear window (at least they did with the samples six months ago). But I don’t think I’d want to stock something if I couldn’t even drink the sample quick enough. I’m very grateful the first cup I had was so nice though. One of my favorite cups of tea. Lesson learned: drink your favorite teas asap.
Additional notes: Waiting ten minutes to steep for 3-4 minutes still results in a hint of bitterness. Maybe it’s just the leaves. Maybe I should be rinsing before steeping. I like the other flavors though… but it doesn’t taste quite the same as it once did. This is really just a note-to-self for future steepings. Lowering the rating for this one (92), since I’ve had about a billion awesome oolongs since this one. Sorry everyone!