80
drank Watermelon Xylophone by Butiki Teas
300 tasting notes

This is the fourth and final melon tea I have to try – it’s been great fun to compare. In this case, the dry tea smells perfectly melony – I often find that melon scents are a little hard to keep apart; I know it’s melon, but which melon? With this one, I get a lot of cantaloupe from the start, but then there’s this little coolness rounding it off that makes it more watermelony. I’m at a loss to describe it better, but it’s definitely melon, and definitely watermelon.

In the cup, the scent lingers nicely. Flavour wise, this is a subtle yet present melon, very smooth and tasty. I opted out of the recommended additives, and I have no regrets – this tea works just fine on its own.

This silver needle is definitely one of my favourite Butiki base teas – it’s wonderful to drink, and ever so pretty in the bag.

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

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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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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