84
drank Grape Oolong by Butiki Teas
697 tasting notes

I received this and my other samples from Butiki Teas a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had the time until now to properly sit down, steep and review them so I forced myself to put them to the side until they could be paid attention to. I’d like to thank Stacy right away for sending these teas to me – They are all exciting smelling! When I first unpacked the teas, they all smelled strongly of mint, so I separated them to avoid any contamination in smell or flavour. Since I’ve taken so long to get to them, they are all cleared up, and now the only smells I get from this dry leaf are sweet grape and oolong. Its reminiscent of David’s Tea’s Through The Grapevine in grape smell – Surprisingly strong, but you still know you are smelling a tea. The grape flavour is more of a ripe purple grape, if you can picture that.

For steeping, I used all of my two cup sample, since the beau wanted to try it alongside me. I ended up using my new glasses, so it was approximately 1 tsp tea to an 11 oz glass, but I figure that is close enough. I am terrible at water temps, so we boiled it and then let it cool for about 5 minutes. The instructions suggested a steep time of 4 minutes, so that’s what we went with for the first steep.

The leaves expanded very rapidly…they’ve taken up the better part of the pot in only a few minutes. It looks like someone threw a bunch of spinach in my tea! The liquor is a warm yellow with a hint of green, and the smell is lightly grape with a strong oolong/vegetal tea smell. I smell a sweetness as well, but definitely a vegetal odor. Goes well with the spinach association! : )

First sips provide a hint of a spicy sweet taste, reminiscent almost of a mild cinnamon sugar, with grape in there somewhere. I might be saying grape because I know it’s there.. The vegetal smell is there in taste, but it’s sort of hiding. I notice it, but it seems to move around on the tongue, so it’s never strongly vegetal. It is balanced nicely with the sweet grape flavour. The initial taste is unusual, not something I’ve encountered before. I definitely enjoy it, but it’s a little confusing.

I’ve saved the leaves for further steeps, I will try to update this post with my thoughts on further steeps as I have them later on. As the cup cools, the strange cinnamon sugar grape smell becomes stronger at the beginning of the sip. It is almost floral…but I am terrible with identifying floral flavours. We have a flowering tea that was a semi sweet/spicy flavour that is similar to this. Maybe jasmine-esque? Don’t get me wrong, the grape is still the dominant taste in this, it just isn’t like eating a bunch of grapes straight up, it’s as if they’ve been sweetened or are maybe a bit over-ripe. Really yummy, if you’re interested in sweeter teas. I’m sad that my sample is gone, but looking forward to future steeps!

EDIT: Second steep retained the depth of flavour…Really enjoyable, thoguh the grape has muted slightly, it is still there in all of it’s sweet glory. I gave this steep about 4 minutes as well.

The third steep sat for about 7 or 8 minutes and still had some of that sweet grape flavour, but had lost most of the distinctive flavours. I could probably keep going on with smaller cups, but I think I’ve pushed this to it’s lovely end. Thanks again, Butiki Teas!

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

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Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

Location

Canada

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