107 Tasting Notes
Okay, this is another Butiki green that’s leaving me scratching my head. I’m getting some grassy, sencha-like, and nutty notes, but nothing resembling smooth, sweet, tart, or fruity. Now that the cup has cooled, it’s mostly charred green vegetables but rather bitter and astringent and not especially pleasant. What is it with my water here? I generally like green tea, but for some reason the unflavored Butiki greens are really hit-or-miss for me.
This is a tasty combination of flavors – it is impressive how much this tastes like a pumpkin latte. But I think the coffee flavoring does something weird to my head, based on my experience with this cup and the Red Queen Cupcake. I probably won’t order any more of this tea (or any of the other coffee-flavored ones Stacy has left), but I encourage anyone currently on the fence to try some of this before it runs out!
Flavors: Coffee, Pumpkin
I was really happy Stacy introduced this flavor after the Peach Hoppitea ran out – I’m not a beer drinker, but I found the sample that came with one of my long-ago Butiki orders to be really interesting. I guess that sample had been sitting around for a while when I got around to trying it, because what I’m drinking now tastes WAY more heavy on the hops. It’s maybe a little intense for me, even after sweetening, but I’m still intrigued. I’m almost done with my cup now, and I still can’t quite put my finger on this tea – some sips seem mostly peachy and somewhat mild, and others pack a hoppy wallop, as though the two main flavors are competing for dominance. But that’s far from a complaint. I’d like to see what someone with more beer-tasting experience has to say about this one.
I’m not sure this will become one of my favorites, but it does leave me in awe of Stacy’s blending skills. She is a treasure, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to taste so many of her creations.
Flavors: Bitter, Hops, Peach
So I tried being an adult and drinking this without any additions. It was okay when I was sipping it in between bites of my breakfast, but on its own it was a tiny bit overwhelming. I didn’t taste any of the interesting flavors I normally pick up from Stacy’s straight teas; what I got was basically generic Black Tea and made my head feel funny. I think CTC black tea (aside from maybe Ceylon) without milk or sugar is probably not for me, but I probably will give this another try to see if I can get anything more from it.
This might be the first bao zhong I’ve tried, or at least the first one I’ve made for myself. This one is very much like a green tea – it reminds me of a dragonwell, but more floral. Very smooth and fragrant, with a buttery quality in the first steep and assertively vegetal without being overpowering, and it gave my tongue a nice tingle. The butter subsides and the orchid-like florals become stronger in the second steep.
Not a very interesting write-up, but a very nice tea. I think this would be a good gateway for people who haven’t developed a taste for green tea – it’s very similar, but on a different level than most greens.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
D’oh, I dumped boiling water over this tea before I thought to look at the suggested steeping parameters. I think it made the tea a little too strong (I forgot about the Darjeeling in there. oops), but it’s still pretty nice. I’m definitely getting bitter chocolate and flowers, but there’s a lot more complexity to the flavors that I’m having trouble teasing out. Hopefully next time I’ll remember to brew it right so I can do a proper note.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Flowers
Resteep of the previous note’s leaves. I tried it straight immediately after taking out the leaves – had the coffee bitterness again, but it went away with a reasonably small amount of agave. Coffee is once again by far the dominant note, but I noticed the chocolate more this time. About halfway through the cup I unexpectedly got some cakey flavor, and then clear out of leftfield: strawberry! It continued to build as an aftertaste, but I wish it had been more present in each sip. I don’t think I got any strawberry pieces in the leaf I’d measured out, so I’ll have to make sure there’s at least one in there next time.
Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Coffee, Espresso, Strawberry
This tea is so lush and dreamy. I didn’t get much champagne flavor, but the lovely sweet rose fragrance wafting from my cup made me feel like I was being lulled to sleep on a fluffy pink cloud next to a tray of Turkish delight. The thick texture complements the flavoring, giving a fuller experience of creaminess. It’s sweet enough to drink plain, and I sort of regretted sweetening this, but it’s very good either way. If you haven’t already, see if you can snap some of this up before it’s all gone!
Woo, 100th tasting note! and it only took about 3 years :P
Flavors: Creamy, Rose, Sweet
It looks like this month is going to be devoted to Butiki teas that are still in stock so that I can determine what to
hoard stock up on while the gettin’s good. Apologies to all the other wonderful tea companies I’ve ordered from in the last few months – it’s nothing personal! I’ll get around to your wares after the closing-up-shop frenzy is over.
This is probably my favorite of the flavored teas Stacy’s released after she made her closing announcement. The dry leaf has lovely little jasmine flowers scattered throughout and smells exactly like its name. I haven’t had the best luck with Butiki greens, including the Taiwanese bi luo chun, so I was slightly apprehensive about how the base would work out for me. Turns out I had nothing to worry about – the infusion was delicate but well-flavored with a dominant pear-candy note and a pleasant lingering aftertaste of star anise. It was perfectly drinkable without sweetener, but adding my usual squeeze of agave drew the flavors out a bit more. A very nice tea if you like pear drops and licorice like I do!
Flavors: Anise, Candy, Pear
Scent of the dry leaf is quite intriguing: mostly strawberry, with chocolaty espresso and maybe even a hint of butteriness. After brewing, I recall the strawberry was still present, but it was accompanied by an unexpected floral note and a rather strong bitterness. So I added a squeeze of agave, like I normally do with flavored blends. Still bitter. I may have wound up using twice as much as I normally do. The bitterness is minimized, but unfortunately so too is the strawberry flavor – it ended up tasting pretty much like a sweetened Assam with strong coffee flavoring that made me feel a bit woozy. I’m not entirely sure what happened, as I followed the steeping parameters on the bag pretty closely. Maybe next time I’ll drop the steep time to 2:30.
Flavors: Coffee, Espresso, Floral, Strawberry