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Recent Tasting Notes
This was the big surprise of the final Butiki batch for me – I love it! So much of it, particularly for me, shouldn’t work… but it just does! First off, the base is a green, which is typically my least favourite, and on top of that it has anise, which, as a licorice-hater, I’m also not a big fan of. But somehow when combined with the pear and jasmine flavours this tea just really works for me! It’s even more surprising given that it doesn’t seem to be too popular with other Steepsterites. But that’s okay, more for me! Or there would be if this were still available…
The dry leaf of this tea is absolutely gorgeous. Butiki blends tend to be visually stunning, but this one more than most. There are whole jasmine flowers dispersed throughout the leaf, and whole pieces of star anise which, though I’m not usually a fan of flavour-wise, are pretty gorgeous to look at. Many reviewers have commented that they found the anise to be overpowering, but this wasn’t the case for me. The bi luo chun, pear, jasmine and anise notes are all pretty harmonious in my cup and none are overwhelming or jarring. This is a very relaxing cup of tea! It’s subtle in the right way; I think if the notes were stronger they would become overpowering and become more of a punch in the face, but it’s not lacking in flavour like I found the Irish Cream Butter Crisps to be. Perhaps the trick with this one was leaving it to mature for a couple of years until the flavours mellowed out! As usual I added a little under half a teaspoon of sugar, which, as Stacy said it would, really created a pear drop sweets kind of feel. Only this one is mature and better for you. The Jasmine notes are soft and natural – I suspect they come from the added flowers rather than additional flavourings – and add a sophisticated twist to something which otherwise could have been too sweet and fruity. The anise is mellow, too, and doesn’t remind me of licorice as much as peking duck (that sounds totally negative but it wasn’t meant to). Perhaps what I should have said is that it reminds me of five spice, in that the anise is more natural and ever so slightly on the savoury side, so that it pairs well with the green tea base. The pear note does not come across as artificial to me, or at least not in a bad way. It’s definitely reminiscent of sweets more than the fruit itself, but it comes across to me as deliberate, and the word ‘artificial’ to me conjures up (gustatory) images of plastic, chemical-tasting sting-your-mouth disgustingness, which this doesn’t have.
Of all the Butiki teas I bought in their closing down tea-blending frenzy, I knew there would be some gems I would struggle to part with, I’m just a little surprised to find that this is one of them! I’m relieved I picked some of it up, because I was umming and ahhing over whether to get any at all, but now I wish I has more than my measly half an ounce. Oh well, hindsight is a wonderful thing! I shall enjoy this while I have it, and savour as much as I can.
This, though a nice enough tea, is probably one of my least favourites from the last Butiki release. I guess it’s unsurprising since I’m a lover of strong teas and this is very delicate. I love Irish cream, but I dislike butter, and unfortunately for me the butter is stronger than the Irish cream here, particularly in the scent. I suppose for people who like/don’t mind the flavour of butter it would likely be a good thing, but the scent of the tea once brewed is strongly buttery and makes me feel a little queasy. It’s milder in the actual tea, thankfully, and I do think the Irish cream is very mild, too. The main note is of cream, but I can’t pick up on much – if any – whisky, so I’m tempted to say that the creaminess might come mainly from the bai mu dan, which is a naturally creamy tea. I don’t really know what sugar crisps are, but it is a sweet tea… I added a bit of actual sugar and it intensified the creaminess. All in all it’s a nice tea, but that’s all it is: nice. I can happily sip it while spending the afternoon reading as I did today, but it’s not one which bowls me over with its flavour.
Well, I ended up staying on a double shift at work. I knew that would happen! So my tea-drinking has been pushed back to tomorrow, or possibly later because I’m having to book an emergency appointment with the dentist to have my wisdom tooth removed. I hope they can fit me in, because I’ve been in agony for a week now and it only seems to be getting worse. I was determined to fit at least one tea in tonight, though, and I went with this one because it’s one I’ve been staring at for days now wanting to drink.
This is delicious. I am in total agreement with those saying it’s their favourite Butiki pumpkin tea. It tastes exactly like a pumpkin spice latte!! I can’t even begin to pick apart the notes because my brain is just screaming at me ‘pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte’ over and over again. I didn’t want to risk adding sugar, so I’m not sure how that might have affected the flavour, but I bet it would be sooo good. I want to try this tea so many ways. I want to cold brew it, make it into a latte, make tea syrup, add sugar, add honey, add maple syrup and golden syrup… I wish I had more than 1/2 an oz because I’m already sad that I won’t be able to try most of those things. The butterscotch is the least prominent note and adds a little syrupy sweetness, but the pumpkin and coffee flavours blend together seamlessly, neither outshining the other. Honestly if I closed my eyed and ignored how much thinner the liquid is, I would truly believe I was drinking a pumpkin spice latte. Happy sigh.
Basically, pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte.
I was saving this for a day when I had an afternoon free to enjoy a relaxed gong fu session, but I’m running out of strong enough teas to have when I first wake up from my Butiki
suitcase box, and I’m in work soon and needed the energy jolt, so western style it is. The western steep didn’t destroy it! It’s still a great tea. The smokiness is milder than I remember, but still the dominating top note. The earthiness lasts throughout the sip and gives it body, giving way to pine notes at the end of the sip. There’s a creaminess to it which tempers the heavy, woodsy flavours well, and a tang right at the very back of the sip which stops the creaminess from being too much, too rich. I think that this is to this day the only sheng/shou blend I’ve tried, but they work really well together, each playing off the other and enhancing the best of both. I added skimmed milk just to lighten the cup as it is pretty heavy, and the flavours hold up well. This is a strong puerh that isn’t going to be bothered by a little bit of milk!
This is a very special tea, even as somebody who doesn’t drink puerh on a regular basis I can see that. I will eventually – hopefully not too far in the future – have a gong fu session with it and write up the tasting note it deserves, but I’m very happy in the knowledge that it does just fine brewed western style if I’m in a rush or just feeling impatient! I know that I could easily drink down all 4oz I have of this, but I also know that there are puerh drinkers out there who would be very happy to be able to try this. Sharing is caring, after all; I think an ounce or two of this might end up in some people’s mailboxes in the not-too-distant future.
Well, I was almost finished my tasting note for this when Chrome decided to close all my tabs on me. Thanks, Google. I’m in danger of not making my drink-a-thon target since I’ve had a poor couple of days, so I’m going to post it anyway, even though it’s going to suck even more than the original note did. I’m tired, physically exhausted and in some not inconsiderable pain, and there’s no way I can be bothered to type the whole thing out again, so this is what I’m going with – I like this a whole lot better than I did when I first bought it, though I’m not sure if it’s aged well or just grown on me. I can taste the coconut, I can taste the cream, and I can even taste the pie. The last part might be coming from the rooibos more than the flavouring, but hey, if you can’t mask the rooibos, why not use it to your advantage? This is sweet enough that I didn’t feel the need to add any sugar, which is just as well, because I blew half my daily allowance of smartpoints on a Mcdonald’s chicken wrap on the way home from work and wouldn’t have had enough left to add any anyway. I added a splash of skimmed milk and it enhances the coconut and cream notes without diminishing the pie crust flavour at all. It has a lingering aftertaste of real, authentic coconut milk.
Yeah, I wasn’t keen on this when I first bought it, but I think it might be one of my favourite herbals at the moment.
I didn’t have a single cup of tea yesterday because I was so busy (I was out ll day, and went straight from a shopping trip to work, only stopping at home for 12 minutes in between to get changed) and my wisdom tooth was playing up so much that I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it anyway. I’d like to say I’m going to make up for it today, but I’m going straight from freelance work #1.5 to job #2, so I’m still pretty busy today. Tomorrow I’m back at job #1 for a few hours but then finally I’ll have a few hours when I get back to enjoy some tea. Unless they decide to keep me on a double shift…
I decided to have this one because of the chocolate, which I was craving and can’t have because of my new old diet. Sadly, the chocolate is the least prominent flavour. I’m a little bit gutted because I was really looking forward to Butiki’s chocolate flavour, and it just kind of gets lost in a sea of strawberry. It smells absolutely delicious while it’s steeping, and I can clearly pick out the strawberry, chocolate and espresso notes, but when I tried this plain all I got was a murky coffee/tea combo with a fairly strong strawberry note and not much chocolate. I added a tiny bit of sugar and it did bring out the strawberry more and make the base tea less murky-tasting, but there is still a mild astringency which is too much for me to drink a whole cup, since I’m quite sensitive to astringency. I added a splash of skimmed milk, just a touch, and it did help to balance the cup out a lot. The strawberry is no longer fresh strawberry, but more strawberry cream, like a milkshake sort of flavour, and the espresso note becomes more clear at the end of the sip, getting more prominent as the cup cools. I still don’t get much chocolate, though that’s maybe to do with the base tea. I’ve never tried this base on its own but I can’t help wishing Stacy had used something sweeter, with more natural dark chocolate and honey notes. The Sansia Black, for example, worked really well in the Chocolate Chili Truffle blend. It’s a shame that the chocolate didn’t come through for me, because I think it’s the note which ties the others together so that they make sense as a combination. Chocolate and coffee? Delicious. Chocolate and strawberry? A classic combination. Coffee and strawberry?… Not so much. Without that missing link of the chocolate it’s nice enough, but just seems a little bit odd and disjointed. I will have to play with the steeping parameters to see if I can make it work.
I’ve left this off my spreadsheet, so not entirely sure how it came into my possession, but I’m like 90% sure it was in my Butiki mystery box. It’s one I never would have bought of my own volition, but one which I’m glad to have and that I really enjoy when I’m in the right mood. Maybe I should hold off on the review until I’ve had multiple steeps, but I have to get ready for work in around an hour and I didn’t want to be cutting it too close, so I’ll have to write up a separate tasting note another time for the additional steeps.
I really enjoy oolongs, both green and roasted, and this is among the greener of those which I enjoy. It is a full-bodied, sweet and mellow oolong, but I don’t pick up on any asparagus notes which Stacy has mentioned, not that that’s a negative for me. The predominant note is a sweet, floral grassy one at first, which develops into a lightly spiced note which honestly reminds me of cinnamon. I could smell a cinnamon note as the tea steeped, but assumed it was coming from something else, and was very surprised when it translated into the flavour of the tea. It can’t be from cross-contamination, but it is very clearly a cinnamon note in my mind. This then transitions into a fruity note in the aftertaste which tastes more like apple to me than melon. The whole while the grassy note continues, so that in the aftertaste it reminds me of wood sorrel and makes me think of the apple grass from Doctor Who. As it cools, the butteriness becomes more noticeable. This is about as close to an apple pie filling as a straight tea can ever get. I will definitely be on the lookout for something similar when I run out of this.
ETA: Even my little brother could taste the apple and cinnamon, and said this was really nice! Success!
This is probably one of my favourites from Butiki’s final batch of teas, and sadly one of the ones I have the least of. Luckily for me it resteeps very well!
The raspberry flavour comes across the most prominent, followed by the Sparrow’s Tongue, and then ends on a creamy cashew note which lingers. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s ‘jam’ or ‘butter’ reminiscent, but raspberry and cashew for sure. The raspberry note is fresh and juicy, and the creaminess of the cashew goes with it beautifully. I am so glad it uses an oolong base rather than a green, because I’m not the biggest fan of greens in the first place but I think many of them would have been too savoury here. The oolong is a perfect alternative. It’s naturally sweet and buttery, which goes so well with both of the main flavours, and it’s just so darn robust. I got three fantastic Western-style steeps out of this, the third being mostly oolong but still with a hint of cashew and a lingering note of raspberry. The first and second steeps were virtually indistinguishable. I’d love to try brewing this gongfu, but sadly I don’t think I have enough leaf. I bet it would have been wonderful.
Had two delicious cups of this to start my day! It’s going to be an interesting day, I think, because I rejoined Weight Watchers last night and it’s my first day back on the plan, and I’m starting my second job tonight, too! I’m a little nervous since I’ve never worked two jobs at once before and I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I’m looking forward to it. Mostly I’m looking forward to being paid enough to live on.
This is one of my favourite breakfast teas. It works perfectly for that time of day. The Crimson Horizon on its own is something I drink for breakfast regularly, but when I want something flavoured I go for this one instead. Praline is one of my favourite flavours, and in this tea it’s almost like a praline chocolate has been melted into a cup of tea. It’s subtle enough that it’s not sickly sweet, but not so subtle that it could be mistaken for a natural note of the Crimson Horizon. To me, hazelnut and caramel notes are most present, but there’s a medley of nuts in the background that give it depth of flavour and richness which makes it slightly indulgent for a breakfast tea. Plain, the CTC base is too astringent for me, but with a drop of skimmed milk it’s perfect. This rounds out the praline flavour too, and makes it slightly more creamy, but it does lose some of the briskness which makes it perfect for first thing in the morning. Adding a small pinch of sugar brings out some chocolate notes, and sweetens up the nuttiness and caramel notes so that it really is like drinking a melted chocolate in a cup of tea (in a totally non-goopy way). Sure, it’s not overly complex, but who needs complexity when they’re still half asleep? I know I don’t.
For some unknown reason I gravitated towards this today, and I have to say that I really, really like it. It’s not so surprising now that I know the base is Mao Jian, which is still pretty much the only green tea I really enjoy, but it was a nice surprise since I didn’t have such high expectations. The base tea is lovely – it’s mellow, buttery, smooth and has a flavour of fresh spring vegetables. It doesn’t overwhelm the pistachio flavour but doesn’t shrink into the background either. I drank this plain, and got a very strong, very accurate pistachio note from it, but can’t say I picked up on the ice cream. My mam described it as ‘pistachio water’ but liked it, which is a plus since she’s even less of a fan of green tea than I am. I didn’t want to add sugar since it was the first tea of the morning and I wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet, but from reading the description it sounds like the vanilla and cream flavours come out more after adding sugar, which makes sense. The pistachio note takes more of a back seat when the tea starts to cool, so I prefer it hot.
The other tea I drank yesterday – I only had time for two. This one I remember less clearly. Black, I definitely got a tangy plum compote note, with little astringency, which I was pleased about because I generally really like Butiki’s plum flavouring and I was hoping it would be the strongest note. The cashew cake was a little present, but only towards the back of the sip if I really concentrated. I added half a sugar, which brought out the plum flavouring more, and it probably the way I’d like to drink it best. In the name of trying everything, though, I added milk (admittedly too much), which muted the tea and plum notes and brought the cashew to the fore. I really like cashews for eating, they’re probably my favourite nut, but in tea it just doesn’t come across as a strong enough flavour to lead a blend. The cakiness is noticeable with milk, which I didn’t get before, but there’s just not enough of the plum flavour to cut through it and make it interesting. I might try it next time with less milk, because I did mess up the amount I added, but I really enjoyed it black and with just a little sugar, so I’m probably more likely to drink it that way instead. It was a very tasty tea, though.
I drank this yesterday, but had a super busy day and didn’t have time to write up any tasting notes. It was a weird sort of day, all in all.
I love this tea. After getting mostly a lime aroma from the dry leaf, I was really surprised by how much the tea itself smells like marshmallow. For something which just has a few ingredients, and none of them really things you can replicate with tea, the scent is dead on. I often get my brother to try teas and guess the flavour, and can sometimes persuade my mam to play along, though she’s generally less willing and way off base. This time, she took one sip and immediately said ‘marshmallow’ very confidently. I hadn’t tried it yet, and didn’t believe it would actually taste like marshmallow, so I accused her of looking at the packet, which she denied. I think I believe her too, because for one thing it really does somehow taste like marshmallow, and for another, when I did show her the label she was gleefully triumphant, and also confused about the lime, which she didn’t taste. My brother was less certain, but drank half my mug trying to figure out what the "familiar " flavour was so I’m going to say it was met with general approval from my family (he said he could taste the lime and eventually got marshmallow after sniffing it). My dad is very fussy with food and I’ve never even attempted to get him to try any of my teas.
After my disbelief at my mam’s reaction, I’m not sure why I was still surprised when I tried this and found it to taste like marshmallow, but I was. It’s incredible how such a generally mild flavour, which I wouldn’t be able to describe at the best of times, can be translated so perfectly into tea. It’s sweet and pillowy just as a marshmallow should be, and it’s followed by a sweet candy lime note which helps to prevent it from being too sweet or blah. Out of all my Butiki teas, I think this is one of the most accurately named. The tea was sweet enough on its own that I didn’t want to add sugar in case it wrecked the flavour balance, but I will eventually (reluctantly) try it with some added.
I like this. It’s not one of my all-time favourites but when I’m in the mood for creamy mint it’s nice. The first steep (Western, because I’m doing everything like that for my drink-a-thon) was great – deep rich puerh, creamy vanilla, sweet mint and an actual discernible cheesecake flavour. The cheesecake is very rich and mixes with the vanilla well, but I do think that the mint is a little bit too fresh and strong for the rest of the flavours, and it’s even stronger than the puerh, which doesn’t surprise me based on how much mint leaf was in my bag. Nice all the same, but I’m wishing that the mint was just a little bit weaker and more candy-like. I’m currently on my second steep and the puerh is surprisingly not holding up as well as the flavours. Granted it’s more vanilla mint now without the creamy cheesecake, but the puerh is definitely ‘watery’ this time round. I might stick to one steep next time for this, or more likely brew it gongfu. The first steep was definitely the best.
I dumped the rest of this into a small jar with water and left it in the fridge for a few days. Poured a little into a cup, added a shot of Treaty Oak rum and some agave and I have myself an almost perfect drink. There is a little bite in there that I don’t care for which is likely due to overleafing, but there is a ton of tasty watermelon flavor in there! Vodka would have had a cleaner taste that went better with the watermelon, but the white rum isn’t bad either. Could probably use an ice cube to dilute it a little. Eh.
I found a sample of this that someone had sent me long ago. Not sure if I reviewed it. It has been hiding in my tea stash for a couple of years by now, so flavors are likely to have diminished. It still smells wonderful dried. Once steeped I get a light watermelon flavor coming through. It is very smooth and has a slight sweetness. I’m still tasting a little cinnamon from my breakfast which is a little distracting and amusing. I don’t get any green tea bite and I bet the watermelon taste would be amplified with a little sugar. Tried adding stevia at the end of my cup, but I’m not used to it enough for it to not be distracting as well. I’m a little puzzled with my experience of this cup! LOL!
Stacy included this for free with one of my last orders, and I’m actually not sure if I’ve ever had this before because it looked pretty scary so I’ve spent a while avoiding it. Still, it has to be drank at some point and after my lunch (which – tmi – I can still taste) none of the flavoured options were calling out to me and I actually quite fancied a straight green, so I thought I might as well bite the bullet and go for it.
The reason I’ve been so hesitant is because of the size of the leaf which, even though I have lots of teas from other companies this size, is a lot smaller than most Butiki teas I own. I always associate smaller leaf with bitterness, and I’m wary of green teas for this reason too, so this was never high on my list of priority teas. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but there is some astringency though it’s on the milder side of what I’ve experienced with green teas in the past. I can taste most of the notes Stacy points out, apart from the lemon, though I can really only notice them when I think about it. Green tea is my fuzzy area. Without suggestion I can taste a floral note almost reminiscent of jasmine, and some steamed green vegetable notes which are probably what I was identifying as spinach when I was looking at the specific notes.
Basically, it’s not for me. It’s not bad, and probably one of the better straight greens out there, but I have uncouth tastes and this deserves a better home than mine. There’s a good chance this might end up with Red Fennekin.
wow! It’s amazing. Thanks to steepster for introducing such a delicious tea.
Today is my early start busy day at work, and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to go in. I was doing full, busy weeks not so long ago, but lately they’ve cut my hours right back with no explanation and this week they only have me in today. It’s the least work I’ve been doing since I started 6 months ago and I’m finding it hard having no money when I’ve been used to being able to buy things and pay what I owe for a while now. How do adults do life??
Anyway, I needed a caffeine kick to get me going this morning, so this is what I went for. I don’t particularly enjoy it for the flavour but the energy boost is a big help. Flavour-wise this is mostly guayusa, and it’s not because it’s old, it’s been like this since I bought it. Even with a little added sugar the flavours aren’t willing to come through stronger. Weirdly, I got one really nice, clear sip at the beginning of my drink which was all juicy blackberry lime goodness. I’ve been drinking this like a madwoman, sipping different amounts at different speeds, trying to get different amounts of air into each mouthful, but I can’t seem to find those flavours anywhere any more! Ah well… there is a hint of blackberry in with the almost savoury leafy, earthy guayusa, hidden somewhere in the background, and every now and then I get a little hint of lime at the end of the sip. I should try this one cold-brewed, because the flavour combination sounds so delicious I wish I could appreciate it more.
Resteeped my leaves not expecting much after the delicate first cup, and was bowled over when I tried it and found that it was even more tasty than the first cup! I can taste the Doke more this time, and it has a really lovely nutty, honeyed tone I like a lot. The maple is very prominent, helped along by the sugar I added, and only gets stronger as the cup cools (though a little bit of astringency comes into it too). It’s very waffly and bready, but the almond is still not really there for me. Having said that though, I did just have some almonds as a snack before I drank this so there’s a chance that that’s why I couldn’t taste them in the tea. I’m really pleased I bought this. Not upping my rating because I think I overrated it last time, and 89 is about right for how I feel about it now.
I ordered this in case it was anything like Maple Pecan Oolong, and it isn’t exactly magic like that one to me but it’s pretty good and does have an echo of it about it at the end of some sips. The scent of the dry leaf is exactly like Maple Pecan Oolong – all maple syrup, toasty oolong and nutty nuttiness. The scent almost disappears completely when it starts to steep, which is both confusing and disappointing, but it still has a decent amount of flavour to it so I’m not going to complain too much about the lack of scent, no matter how long I stuck my nose in the bag for. The maple and waffle are the strongest flavours. I’ve never had the Doke Rolling Thunder on its own but in here at least I find it to be quite mild, and I do wish I could taste it more than I do because all I get from it is a general sweetness.It does admittedly go well with the flavours but I don’t necessarily feel like I’m drinking tea. The almond is a whisper in the background, not really identifiable specifically, just generally ‘nutty’ in a way that doesn’t come from the tea. With a tiny bit of sugar the flavours really do pop, and with sugar as it cools is when I get a nudge in the aftertaste that reminds me of Maple Pecan Oolong, because it becomes more nutty and maple-y with the waffle being less noticeable now.
I’m glad I bought it. It’s sweet and decadent, and I think it’ll be perfect for the times that I’m craving Maple Pecan Oolong but don’t want to break into my precious stash (for a little while anyway – I have 1/3 the amount of this that I do MPO). I would like to point out though that for all I’m comparing them, they’re not all that similar. It’s just that tasting Butiki’s maple syrup flavouring paired with a roasted oolong got me excited.
Nope. Nope nope nope. This tea was already at a disadvantage trying to please me today because I’ve been out all afternoon in the freezing cold, dreaming of coming home and making a lovely cup of Heaven’s Trash from resteeping my last ever leaves, only to find when I got home that my mam had thrown them out. If I’m honest, I took it a little to heart, partially because I was cold and grumpy and partially because I’d specifically explained to her why I wanted to keep the leaves (she has a tendency to throw things out and rearrange everything completely unnecessarily – I also came home to find that she’d inexplicably changed the bookmark in my book). So, I settled for this instead, and was already unimpressed just because it isn’t Heaven’s Trash. I’m not much of a green tea person, and first flush Darjeelings are often too reminiscent of green tea for my liking, but I tried to remain optimistic because it’s described as smooth with no astringency. Granted, I am more sensitive to astringency than a lot of people, but this is not astringency-free. The packaging says to steep it in boiling water, but I hope I remember to ignore that next time because I feel like a lot of the astringency could be avoided with a lower temperature. I would usually add milk to a black tea to get rid of astringency but this just seems so green to me that it would feel wrong. It has the usual citrus and floral notes that you’d expect from a Darjeeling, but also some fresh, light leafy vegetable notes which I’d associate with Japanese greens. For me, the redeeming feature of this tea is that after adding a small amount of sugar the tea becomes very juicy and has such a pronounced, unmistakable peach note that I’d almost think it had peach flavouring added to it. This calms down a bit when it cools, so I prefer this when it’s on the hotter side. Despite me not being able to get past the astringency and ‘greenness’, I can still tell that this is a high quality first flush, and even though I haven’t given it the best review it’s still probably one of the best first flushes I’ve tried, they’re just not really to my taste. I’m looking forward to trying it again at a lower temperature.