70
drank Tamarind Pop by Butiki Teas
300 tasting notes

This one I ordered completely on a whim – I don’t have more than a fairly indifferent relationship with the fruit itself. The dry tea smells like candied tamarinds, and I get a vague taste/scent recollection that doesn’t really place me in a specific time or place; nonetheless, it’s familiar.

As was the case with strawberry oolong, also from Butiki, the flavour perfectly follows the scent. However, and as I have come to expect from these teas, the flavour is very subtle. It doesn’t lack in personality, but it’s so unassertive it would disappear in a lineup. In the, ‘A Chorus Line’ of teas, then, it would be a case of a very early, ‘Hey, you over there! Yes, you, you with the perfect technique and breathtaking beauty. Get off the stage, willya!’.

I was frustrated by this at first, considering various manners in which to tease more flavour out of these teas, but after my small break from writing tasting notes, I’ve come to appreciate their understated quality far more.

The base tea itself has a leafy, earthy roundness to it that intermingles very pleasantly with the tamarind notes, and I was happy to find there’s just a slight hint of sourness, which is perfectly balanced out by the other flavours.

[From my Butiki order to Santa Clara, October 2013.]

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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