Butiki TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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This is so good. There’s that signature Darjeeling herby/grassy thing going on, there’s apricot and citrus, plus a lot more that I’m struggling to pinpoint. It’s very smooth for a Darj, with virtually no astringency. I so wish I could restock this one, along with some of Butiki’s other fabulous teas. I know there are plenty of other places sourcing fine Darjeelings, but I so miss having Butiki as my one-stop shop!
Shana tova! In the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I opted for an apple tea. Two, actually. Time for a caramel apple blend showdown! I’m pitting A Quarter to Tea’s Caramel Baked Apple Oolong against Butiki’s Caramel Apple (also an oolong). Who shall emerge victorious?! I am posting this note under both teas, so apologies for clogging your dashboards.
QTT Caramel Baked Apple
The scent of this leaf is sweet cinnamon, but there’s no cinnamon flavor in the sip. Instead, it’s all soft, sweet baked apple. No caramel flavor either, even after adding brown rock sugar. There is a sort of rocky note here which reminded me of Butiki’s Caramel Apple. That’s what inspired this taste test in the first place.
Butiki Caramel Apple
The scent of rich caramel wafts out of the mug as soon as the hot water hits the leaf. The caramel apple flavor here is spot on. It’s sweet, crisp, perfectly candy apple. The flavoring also melds nicely with the rockiness of the base tea. I actually find that rockiness off-putting on its own but the sweetness rounds it out and makes it pleasant. No need for sweetener here!
Both of these teas are quite tasty. The Butiki has a stronger caramel flavor and tastes more crisp. By contrast, the QTT tastes more like a baked apple pastry (which, to be fair, is implied in the title). Each tea hits the spot in a different way. I’m glad to have both!
After discovering that I actually don’t dislike all white teas (thanks to a profound experience with a midnight white), I am now getting into silver needle tea. Which, admittedly, I like less than midnight whites. But they are now becoming enjoyable to me whereas before I drank white tea and assumed it was all a big trick and the joke was on me for buying a tea that tasted like the water I brewed it in.
So this tea… When I first poured the water over the dry leaf to steep it, it gave off a very weird dry/old grassy type scent? That is not completely accurate but my brain was not able to place exactly what it was but “dry/old grassy type scent” is in the arena. It wasn’t pleasant. But a funny thing happened. As I was down there sniffing over and over again, trying to place the scent, the scent changed on me. It opened up into a little more of a sweet, semi floral fragrance.
The first steep (1 min) yielded another oddity. The only two things I can think of while sipping is that it tastes like sweet corn and apple jacks. As gross as that combo sounds, this actually works to make a semi-sweet and silky liquor. Very interesting.
Subsequent steeps stay in this same vein, at least for the next 3. This is a tea that, with a limited experience with silver needles, has me intrigued for more.
Flavors: Apple, Corn Husk, Sweet
Having actually had a lemon macaron before in France, I had high expectations for this.
Butiki hits the mark. So lovely and light and refreshing; clearly a good white tea base too. I also appreciate that this is very, very old and has been sitting in my cupboard for a few years. Added flavouring diminishes with time so I imagine a fresh blend of this would send me to heaven.
And I don’t even usually drink white teas.
Gadzooks! Despite its age and having moved with me at least twice before I finally tried it, this is an astonishingly good tea. I picked it out of my cabinet because I was in the mood for a good green but sencha felt like too much work. I thought it was a green based on the name and some vague memory, but the leaves are rolled into tight little balls like an oolong, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. After brewing this in my glass gong fu teapot (2 tsps, 4 oz, boiling water per instructions, 90 seconds), I let it cool for a bit while I read the new Black Panther. Has anyone else been following this? It’s quite interesting, though I have some qualms about the way it seems to be using the trope of man-hating lesbians (hint: there’s really no good way to use this trope, especially when those are the only LGBTQ+ people in the storyline). Anyway, I was engrossed in the book and absentmindedly reached for the tea. And this tea is so good that it knocked me out of the book. I barely even have tasting notes because I gulped it down so fast. It’s green and vegetal and glorious. Green beans with a hint of sweetness that lingers on the palate. Ever so slightly dry, but in a way that fits with and accentuates the vegetal notes. Just… wonderful. I’m reminded that Stacy had a knack for finding great straight teas in addition to her serious blending talent. We miss you, Stacy!
This is a spectacular cup. So very smooth with several levels of something approaching chocolate made with oodles of clotted cream.
Thank you, Tigress_al, for sharing this stellar thing. Delicious.
Edit—The first two steepings were truly truly lovely, but the third one just didn’t make it. I wonder whether it is the age or the tea. It doesn’t matter really because the first two were over the top memorable and for that, I am profoundly grateful.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cream
This review might be a little unfair because this tea is old by the first time I am drinking it. While that may be good for the puerh, it certainly can’t be good for the flavoring.
The aroma of the dry leaf is cinnamon and earth. The smell of the wet leaf adds vanilla, nuts, and light clove. The tea actually does smell like a creamy pumpkin pie.
The brew is creamy and sweet. I don’t really taste the Irish part of the cream. I enjoy the way the spices mix with the nutty earthiness of the puerh. There is something that comes across as borderline fake in the flavor, but it doesn’t linger, so it’s tolerable.
The brew gets a lot nuttier and a little sour in subsequent steeps. Oversteeping causes it to become chalky, astringent, and undrinkable..
As the tea dies, it becomes a light kind of cream soda root beer flavor.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Earth, Nutty, Vanilla
My dumdum jerkface cat basically knocked an entire mug of this tea into my lap. He managed to spill almost the whole mug, give me two minor burns, AND get my new copy of March wet. All is not lost, however. I got two more steeps out of the leaves (priorities!). This blend is nice and creamy, but I’m too distracted to give it a full assessment. Happy Friday!
This tea is tasty. Double-tasty with a little vanilla cashew milk.
I’m so sad that I never got to experience Butiki teas. I miss this tea company like I miss the Library of Alexandra: I never got to experience it firsthand. But I wish I had. (Can you imagine a library like that? OMG. Also, the Maesters’ library in Game of Thrones. Why isn’t it real? Sign a sister up).
I would pour a little of this tea out for my homies, but it shouldn’t be wasted. Sorry, homies.