110 Tasting Notes


Okay, I have no idea what I did differently this time (aside from maybe cooler water and taking care to introduce the water more slowly) but it’s so much better than in my last note. Creamy, beany, and sweet, with no harshness. I’m not paying really close attention to all the flavor nuances, but it’s very pleasant and comforting. Bravo, He family!

ETA: Might have gone a bit too long/hot on the second steep (2 min, 180F or so), because I got a taste of ash again. Currently on the third steep (2 min, 175F, 5-6 oz water) and it tastes predominantly of toasted rice – if I hadn’t made the tea myself, I would have thought I was drinking genmaicha. Very interesting, and tasty!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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Thank you Stacy for the sample!

Dry leaf smells lightly of toffee & strawberry, with strawberry aroma becoming more prominent while steeping. Flavor is similar but gentler, with a noticeable hint of ginger. It’s nice enough, but not among my Butiki favorites. Part of that could be my fault, for letting the sample languish in the plastic baggie for months, or using a brew basket that still had the lingering smell of another flavored tea (though I did soak it in 185F-ish water prior to adding the tea to minimize cross-contamination). I’ll give this one another try in the future.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Today’s green. I was all ready to give it a mediocre review until I noticed that the suggested steeping parameters here & on the Butiki site (2 tsp in 6oz water) are different from what was on my label (1 1/2 tsp in 8oz water). So that would be why it tasted so weak. Will revisit this one later.

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Project Drink Your Greens continues. Although this one looks a lot more like silver needle than any other green I’ve come across – the dry leaf is super fluffy, and it was kind of hard to measure out a level teaspoon.

Boiling water? Well all right, if Stacy says so. The tea didn’t seem to suffer at all – very soft with subtle flavors, like a more vegetal silver needle. The first flavor I picked up was artichoke, and now that I read the tasting notes I notice a few wisps of pea and marine. Most green teas taste to me like some sort of leafy vegetable, but this doesn’t seem to have any element of that, which is a nice change of pace.

I’m amazed how gentle this tea is after 3 minutes in boiling water, with no bitterness or astringency other than some dryness in the throat. It’s one that you have to focus on as it’s pretty easy to overlook the mild flavors, but doing so is a rewarding experience.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m trying my little sample packet of this in a bit of a rush to see if I want to add an ounce of it to my Verdant order. I didn’t use nearly as much leaf or water as Verdant’s directions state and winged it with the steep time, so my brew probably isn’t ideal. I don’t really care for it by itself, but it’s pretty good sweetened with agave.

There’s only one ounce left! Should I buy it? I don’t know! Help! Aaaaahhh!

ETA: I bought the very last one. It was either this or the Yu Lu Yan Chai, which I haven’t tried yet & don’t think would appeal to me as much. I would’ve gotten them both, but ugh, customs. My cup tastes nice now cooled to room temperature, which leads me to believe it would be good iced, so I’m happy.

Boiling 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Got my latest Butiki order today! I’m really glad I jumped on the limited-release flavors from the Amoda box, because they smell uh-MAY-zing. In a move that was out-of-character for me (though in keeping with my current project Drink Your Greens), I decided to try this one right away.

The scents were unexpected – the aroma in the bag was rather fruity with hints of lime, and while brewing it smelled like vegetal chicken broth. The taste of the liquor is similar to its aroma and quite savory, but halfway through the cup I’m experiencing the thing where the flavors kind of fade. Is that what palate fatigue is? I’ll try more leaf and/or bottled mineral water in the future.

I don’t think I’ve had any African green teas before, but this one seems like a very interesting and unusual specimen!

Flavors: Chicken Soup

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tea Sipper

I should probably have a DYG project too!

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I made tostones (chunks of deep-fried unripe plantain squashed & then fried again) tonight for the first time. They came out well, but the part that I should have seen coming was the stomach upset that followed about an hour after I stopped eating. Oily starch has a tendency to hit my tummy like a ton of bricks.

After only a few sips of this my stomach felt noticeably calmer. Granted it could have been the placebo effect at work, but I think it warrants a bumping-up of my rating anyway.
Flavor-wise, it’s not something I’d reach for regularly, but it does taste nicer than I remembered, and the stevia really does mesh beautifully with the other herbs.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Oh, I do like this one. Cleanly spinachy and buttery, and very moreish. There’s a subtle note of mild seaweed that makes it taste somewhat oceanic. My first sips brought back some kind of smell/taste memory of sitting in a Japanese restaurant eating udon and vegetable maki. Which is kind of what it tastes like – delicately cooked greens in dashi broth.

I can’t believe how good this tastes almost 10 months after I bought it. Now I’m curious what it’s like when it’s really fresh.

Thanks to the guy at the Bleecker St NYC location for giving me such a generous sample!

Flavors: Butter, Ocean Breeze

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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While it’s usually kind of fun to try to pick out all the various flavor notes in straight teas, sometimes it’s nice to just have the name of the product tell you what to expect. It tastes like – that’s right – potatoes with apple & cinnamon, and makes for a surprisingly refreshing beverage. I found the liquor a bit thin, but I suspect that can be remedied by using more leaf and/or less water. A solid offering that I look forward to playing with more!

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is probably the most expensive tea I’ve purchased from Stacy, hence my usual putting-off of the good stuff that I’ve recently learned you’re not supposed to do with greens. I bought this nearly a year ago and I’m only trying it for the first time today. Sigh.

I used 1.5 tsp dry leaf (I wish the “amount” box would recognize decimals or fractions) and probably a little less water at a little lower temperature and for maybe 4 seconds longer than the recommended parameters. The resulting liquor was pretty intense – I almost never add more hot water after steeping, but I did twice for this one. Even then it was somewhat bitter and astringent, but there were some buttery and spinach-y elements I liked. (Why do I always think green teas taste like buttered spinach?) I’ll try it with only a teaspoon of leaf next time.

ETA: Went for a second steep, 1m15s. It’s much gentler than the first steep, but still has a bitter bite along the sides of my tongue & plenty of umami (at least that’s what I think it is). The buttery & vegetal qualities are much less present, but I think I can make out some nuttiness, and perhaps a wisp of fruit.

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.


Bristol, UK

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