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55
drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
258 tasting notes

I’ve spent the past few days contemplating how Dammann Frères’ violet, ginger, rose and citrus are good, but just not the ones for me. And here I am again, but with Butiki.

This is a great, natural strawberry. In the bag, it smells so ripe, like those near-moldy strawberries you’ve kept around lust a little too long. Strawberry rot; dirty strawberry.

So definitely natural, but maybe too natural for me – I like a smooth, round and very inoffensive strawberry flavour, preferably mixed with something that sweetens it further, like vanilla. The ginger here, albeit mild, only kicks up that eerie little is this berry rot note for me.

I know this must be a dream come true strawberry tea for a lot of people, so any berryfan should definitely try it.

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 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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