1572 Tasting Notes
I got my Butiki order a couple days ago! I went a little overboard.. but this will probably be my last Butiki order.. HAD to get some favorites (and some of the new ones) and it is tough not to order nearly everything. My tea cheat sheet says I tried around 70 Butiki teas (mostly samples) over the years and I had to give some support to what will remain one of my favorite tea companies forever!
First tasting note for this one?! I HAD to try this one! I was eagerly awaiting the new teas. This is a magical blend! The dry leaves have a very maple, sweet smelling scent! Otherwise, the black tea is twisty with little pieces of banana and yellow flowers. The flavor is the PERFECT balance – just enough smoke, hints of banana, and definitely a sweet flavor to it that could only seem like maple syrup. The smoke seems like a wood chip BBQ or something, though I’m not exactly sure what that means as I’ve never had anything like it. The black tea itself (the three different bases) go together perfectly as well and have the perfect level of briskness. The second steep is delicious as well, but seems to lose a TINY bit of the flavoring. I’d steep the first cup the same the next time. But I did forget to add some sugar this time. This is exactly the blend I was hoping for when I thought of smoky maple banana. Perfection, just perfection!! Oh Butiki how I will miss you!!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 min after boiling // 1 min 30 sec steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min
Flavors: banana, Maple Syrup, Smoke
A sample with my order – also a sipdown! I think I’ve been lucky enough to try most of the oolong offerings from Teavivre, and though I wouldn’t usually choose a roasted oolong, as they aren’t my favorite, I wanted to try the roasted oolong Teavivre had in stock, as it was bound to be a delicious one. And it is!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // rinse // few min after boiling // 1 min steep
Two teaspoons in the sample for an eleven ounce mug. The leaves are darker bundles than most of the other Teavivre oolongs, but that is to be expected. The fragrance of the leaf is very vegetal. The flavor is the best roasted oolong I’ve tried: a nice balance of a typical green oolong but also with a roasted flavor, just enough charcoal to make it unique. I think the first roasted oolong I tried actually tasted like I steeped a piece of charcoal, so I think that one was too much for me. But this is the perfect flavor. Underneath is a lovely smooth buttery base.
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
Another tasty cup – almost exactly like the first. The flavor has slightly deepened but to the perfect level of flavor. Not any more or less charcoal flavor to the oolong flavor than I’d prefer. Delicious!
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min
Another consistent cup – the flavor of this is addictive… very shocking to me for a roasted oolong. They are usually my least favorite types of tea. I could keep steeping this one – the leaves seem like they will be this flavorful for many steeps. I think I’ve steeped it perfectly so far too. If I wanted a roasted oolong to stock in my cupboard, I would certainly pick this one! This one is tempting to buy!
6/10 sipdowns until 1,500 tasting notes
Thank you Momo for the sale! This one was a freebie and I don’t love it too much, but it’s almost gone anyhow. I’m not sure if there is actual stevia in this or if the fruity flavor mimics the stevia flavor… kind of tastes like that orange flavored fluoride from elementary school. The fruitiness isn’t the best anyway… not fruity enough for me, and the amount of white tea kind of reminds me of a Teavana blend… not really there. I wish I liked this one better as it’s an interesting list of ingredients. I’m surprised it didn’t taste better as it was the only cup of tea I had yesterday! Uncanny! That hasn’t happened in a WHILE with this tea addict. :D
Additional notes: A sad sample sipdown. This one is lovely and I’d certainly consider ordering it. One of the best from Teavivre, but there aren’t many bad teas. I remember this being lighter for some reason… the cup is very dark red with two teaspoons 20 minutes after boiling. I guess the Tan Yang is a lot more sweet potato.
2/10 sipdowns to go until 1,500 tasting notes!
Another to try from the Lewis & Clark tea box! Just a little left of this one. I really wanted to try this one as it sounds like a very unique pu-erh. And it is!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // few min after boiling // 2 min
The pu-erh leaves are very fine, bordering on CTC size. But it certainly doesn’t get to the bitterness levels of a CTC and the cup doesn’t look as dark as even a larger leafed pu-erh would… the brew is light mahogany. The flavor is very fruity on the first cup, though I can’t tell which: sometimes it seems like blueberries, plums, strawberries. There is hints of cedar as well, but this is the fruitiest pu-erh I’ve ever tried. Surprisingly, it reminds me most of Butiki’s Taiwanese assam.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
This cup isn’t as special… the fruitiness seems to be mostly gone. I don’t think I should have steeped it this long. It’s still mahogany in color. As it cools, it does taste more like the previous cup but otherwise it is tough to describe. The first cup was lovely though.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
I tried to tame this one on the third steep to try to get back to the lovely flavors of the first cup, but this time this ended up a bit mild. That is too bad. I know the first cup wasn’t contamination from another tea, since I had a string of plain teas in that infuser. First steep: one of the most unique teas I’ve tried. Other steeps: nothing special.
Additional notes: I wanted to try this one the way I steep another favorite green tea to see if it had a similar flavor result. Both teas have the same twisty green leaves and they are both Chinese green tea, but one has shiny leaves and the other is fuzzier. They certainly have the same flavors: creamed corn, nutty, super sweet. This one just has lighter flavors in those areas. I was supposed to use more than one teaspoon anyhow. Using two teaspoons would give the tea much more flavor on the same level as the other. I just wanted to see what it was like with one teaspoon, but two is certainly better. The second steep has more flavor with the longer steep time, but it still isn’t quite the same as the other tea. This is still very delicious though!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 32 minutes after boiling // 55 seconds
Steep #2 // 28 min after boiling // 3 minute steep
I’m 15 tasting notes away from 1,500 tasting notes! Whoa. My goal is to have 10 sipdowns from my tea cupboard before I get to the 1,500 tasting note.
Another sample to try – Thank you Teavivre! This one is very similar to another oolong I’ve tried from Teavivre, though I’m not sure which one it is now… I’ve tried many of them! It’s one of the savory types of oolong. The bundles are very green and have the scent of fresh vegetables. I used two heaping teaspoons for my 12 ounce mug.
Steep #1 // 7 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
I really think I’ve figured out steeping green oolongs now. They seem to have perfect results this way. I can’t remember how many oolongs I was waiting around a half hour after boiling to steep in the past — that means I wasn’t tasting those oolongs at their best. I can tell this is a savory oolong even from the scent from the mug – brothy/soupy, hints of salt, buttery… not really floral or fruity at all. It’s very delicious when it’s the type of oolong I’m looking for.
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
This is another cup that tasted deliciously similar to the first steep, but with very potent, strong flavors. Super soupy! It seems like this oolong could be resteeped forever, but it also doesn’t get astringent. But I’m amazed at how flavorful this one is… I could have probably steeped a teaspoon and a half leaves rather than two.
Steep #3 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
Another solid cup. The steeped leaves are gigantic, a very dark green – as usual, amazing that the leaves can be bundled so small. This is a very nice example of a savory oolong (the flavor never tastes floral or fruity) and the flavor stays very consistent. I love that there are different oolong flavor types… keeps it interesting! Though I would imagine I could drink one really nice oolong all the time anyway.
Flavors: Broth, Butter, Salt
I thought it was time to get to some of my Teavivre samples before my Bluebird and Butiki orders arrived (can’t wait)! I think I went a little overboard but I’ve been planning a Bluebird order for years and with Butiki closing, I definitely needed to order!
I NEEDED to try this one – I love a good jasmine tea. I don’t think I’ve ever tried jasmine on a Silver Needle base before. The dry leaves are definitely a fragrant jasmine! I used two teaspoons that weren’t quite full… I didn’t want to drop any of these precious leaves!
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
There is no doubt this is delicious jasmine overtaking the senses. I can’t really taste the white tea because there is so much jasmine… a shame because I know the white tea would be divine on its own. It’s SO GOOD though. The jasmine is the type that somehow reminds me of bubblegum. There seems to be an underlying milkiness to the tea, not quite cream or butter.
Steep #2 // 23 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
This cup is magic! Almost as much jasmine as the first steep but now more of the flavor of the white tea is combining with the sweet jasmine. There is still too much jasmine to make out what the white tea itself tastes like, but this is such a perfect combination.
Steep #3 // 23 min after boiling // 3 min
Another delicious cup – one of the best teas I’ve had in a while! The jasmine is now fading but it’s the level of jasmine that I usually find in jasmine teas. This is one of Teavivre’s best teas (aren’t they all?) I will certainly consider this one with my next order!
Thank you Teavivre for the samples! I initially didn’t want to try the raw pu-erh for sampling, since I’m not sure my palatte understands the flavors in raw pu-erh. I’m also not quite sure the correct way to steep them, especially when Teavivre’s website and the sample pouch seem to be giving different parameters. I always want to be tasting a tea properly! I used the majority of my sample pouch, though I’m supposed to be using 10 grams of tea for a gaiwan 100ml/3.4 oz. I’m using my big mug but only filling it halfway, so it’s still steeping in about 6 ounces of water. The leaves in this cake are very long and wiry! I haven’t had a raw pu-erh in a while, so here goes…
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // rinse // 40 second steep
As I suspected, it’s very tough for me to puzzle these flavors out! Raw pu-erh is always very mild to me, but at the same time, seems very full with flavor, if that makes sense. There is a buzzy characteristic to the mouth feel, though I’m not sure what that means.. like it has the tiny fuzzies of a white tea, but I don’t see many in the mug. The flavor is a little of many things: creamy, lemony, licorice (maybe the mouth feel), maple, autumn leaf, apple, butter.
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 40 seconds
I think I’ll try steeping this tea decreasing the steep time each steep by five minutes.This pale gold brew seems like tiny hints of many flavors. Now it’s pineapple, more apple, apricot, many hints of fruit while not being entirely fruity. Also hints of cedar trees happening. There is still a buzziness happening (I’ve never had this with any other tea before, so it’s a little odd), and it also seems like it could become a touch too bitter, so I’m glad I didn’t steep this one with more leaves, hotter temp or a longer steep time.
Steep #3 // 17 min after boiling // 50 second steep
Steep #4 // 15 min after boiling // 50 second steep
The other two steeps were fairly the same but a little astringent. The first two steeps were much tastier. If I only knew the correct way to steep this tea! Though it’s very good, raw pu-erh isn’t my choice in what I’d be drinking… the astringency likes to take over in later steeps with raw pu-erh. I love the smooth, coffee-like ripened pu-erhs any time! Somehow the ripened pu-erh always stays smooth no matter how long its steeped. I think I like a couple more of the raw pu-erhs from Teavivre slightly better than this anyway.
Thank you so much TeaTiff for the sample swap! This doesn’t seem to be on Harney’s site anymore. Too bad because it is the perfect assam! This is what I think of when I think of an assam. I also thought this would taste like tomato soup like my new tastebuds seem to do to assams… it has hints of tomato soup but doesn’t quite get there. There is a lots of gold in these leaves which seems surprising to me for an assam. The flavor has the perfect amount of punch while still being very sweet and malty. Very dried grassy and chewy bread. The second steep didn’t have the perfect flavor that the first steep had.. a little weak. Such a great assam, a pity it’s not available any more.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // couple min after boiling // 4 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min