Butiki TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Imagine Wonka’s everlasting gobstoppers, now shrink them down and baked them 12 years in the past.
You now have 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong and you don’t need Butiki to exist anymore because you went 12 years in the past… in fact, this review might not be here after you do so considering the concept of all the time travel complexities and such.
This was a sample from Kaylee, and I’m so glad I was able to try some from her stash. I’d long been curious about this blend—it sounded so delightful, but I’m wary of rose teas after too many letdowns. Happily, the rose in this one wasn’t too strong—indeed, everything about the tea was quite light. It even had a fizzy, champagne-like sensation, which I’d never encountered in a tea before. It was all very pleasant, but not very memorable, and on the whole I’m not too sorry this one never made its way into any of my Butiki orders.
This one never really appealed to me, despite its high ratings, since I tend not to be a big fan of licorice in tea. But in Butiki’s closing frenzy, I thought I might as well snap up a packet before it disappeared forever, just to see what all the fuss was about. And I’m glad I did. Both dry and steeped, it smelled weirdly—though not unpleasantly—like root beer, though the flavor was more clove-y (though there’s definitely some root beer in the background). It’s a tiny bit astringent, though a splash of almond milk mellowed it out (and subdued the spices some). This is a really nice, unusual chai, and one I’m really glad to have been able to try.
This one is so good! While steeping, it smells weirdly—though by no means unpleasantly—like buttered popcorn. The flavor is light, and while it tastes creamy I don’t necessarily get cheesecake. It’s fruity, and while it doesn’t quite capture plum it comes closer than any other tea I’ve tried, aside from Butiki’s Plum Compote & Cashew Cake. There’s that slightly sour plum-skin aftertaste, too. The flavoring in this one is stronger than the oolong base, though I think the base does contribute some stone fruit notes. I don’t know that I’ve ever had brandy and am not sure what it actually tastes like but I don’t get anything particularly evocative of alcohol from this blend—not that it needs it.
This has a nice raspberry flavor—much stronger than in Chocolate Raspberry Waffle, happily. It’s creamy and nutty, though nothing about it really says cashew specifically. I don’t like green oolongs, generally, so the sparrow tongue base doesn’t quite do it for me, and I think I would’ve preferred a green base—maybe a bi luo chun?—with these flavorings. Still, this is a really nice blend, and one I wouldn’t have minded more of were Butiki still around.
This one had a very strong aroma of lime candy, or maybe lime soda, and it did taste kind of artificial—not in an awful way, but I could’ve done with a more natural lime The white tea—or maybe the mallow—added sweetness but otherwise didn’t come through strongly. This one was alright, but not a blend I’ll miss.
This one I didn’t care for. The pear tasted artificial to me, and it didn’t go particularly well with the green base, which I found quite vegetal. I didn’t get much star anise, unless I’m very much mistaken about what star anise tastes like, but I did get a weird taste that reminded me of play-dough more than anything else. I still have a little bit of this one left; if anyone wants I’m happy to hand it off.
This smelled alarmingly like strawberry candy, and that’s pretty much how it tasted too. I did get some praline in the aftertaste, and fortunately without the off note I got from praline Horizon. This one was very sweet, and while it was fun to try I ultimately found it a little too artificial for my liking.
This reminded me a lot of Butiki’s Purple Sunset, but less sour. It also has some similarities to certain Chinese black teas, with cocoa notes and hints of dried apricot. It’ was very slightly astringent and medium dark. There were even some spice notes that made me think, oddly enough, of Constant Comment. It didn’t have so much of that distinct oolong taste—if I hadn’t known it was an oolong, I’d probably have guessed it was black. Since oolongs aren’t generally my favorites, this was no bad thing in my book.
I could have sworn I’d reviewed this tea before. I recall not being too fond of it when I first bought it. It seems to have benefited from age, though. The sweet-tart raspberry and nutty cashew flavors are just right. Evenly balanced and natural tasting. This makes me think of raspberry thumbprint cookies in the best way. Nom nom nom.
Hmmm… I have had two different sessions with this tea in the last week and I have yet to get anything past a mild fruitiness. Nothing really striking me as pineapple in this tea… is it possibly older than I am thinking it may be?
I like the green oolong strands as I know they brew a fine liquid :)
The flower plays well off the oolong in the low ratio that it is presented in.
This is another dear departed favorite from Butiki. It’s strong, and very malty—heavy on the Assam—with just a hint of sweetness. This is my kind of black blend, and I’ll be sad when I finish up my stash (though unlike some of my other Butiki favorites, I have a feeling I’ll be able to find a suitable replacement eventually).
This is one of my favorites from Butiki’s close-out extravaganza. The first taste is tart plum, followed by a sweet, cakey flavor—I rarely pick up on baked-good notes in tea, but I do with this one. There’s a nice brisk base to round things out, and, weirdly, the whole effect kind of reminds me of bread. I’m glad I picked up two packs of this one, and glad I still have one left to savor.
I didn’t care for the Sansia black base on its own, and it didn’t work for me in this blend either—it was just too strong on the honey. With this one, I mostly got the base, with occasional hints of syrupy berry peaking through. It was very sweet, likely due to the Sansia, and probably would’ve been a nice blend for those not weirdly averse to honey-tasting black teas.
This one went heavy on the grapefruit and the brulee—I’ve never had grapefruit brulee the dessert, but I imagine this came pretty close to it. The creme part was missing for me, but there was enough going on without it to keep me satisfied. The assertive base and bright pop of citrus made this one a nice, brisk morning cup.
Dry, this smelled just like strawberry yogurt. Steeped—after a quick rinse—it smelled mostly like smoke. The flavor tended toward a happy middle ground, with an initial burst of smoke followed by a fruity aftertaste. I didn’t get anything resembling cheesecake out of this tea, but I liked it well enough even without that elusive flavor note—I’ve had a couple of blends meant to evoke cheesecake of one kind or another, and none have delivered. Anyway, I did enjoy this one quite a bit—it reminded me of Russian tea, with cherry jam.
This was an odd blend—mainly fresh, juicy cantaloupe with an aftertaste of espresso. The flavoring was quite strong, and I couldn’t really appreciate the nuances of the Giddapahar base underneath. I did get that faintly astringent note I enjoy in Darjeelings, though. Cantaloupe’s not honestly one of my favorite fruit flavors, though I like it well enough, but Butiki’s cantaloupe was so true-to-life. I think it stood better on its own, without the espresso, but I’m glad I got a chance to try this unusual tea.
This tasted very woody to me, not like coffee—let alone ice cream—at all. It was faintly creamy and a bit sweet, but that was about it. This one was a real disappointment to me, as I’d been blown away by Butiki’s Rootbeer Float and was expecting more of the same honeybush magic with this one. I can’t quite describe what rubbed me the wrong way about the coffee, but it unfortunately kept me from enjoying this blend.