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Recent Tasting Notes
Hello tea frens! So I recently made myself a tea cupboard spreadsheet (hooray!). Now that I can easily sort my teas by age and see which ones I have and haven’t tried, I decided to try every tea that I haven’t yet, oldest first. And this would be the oldest untried tea that I have! I’m not sure why this one never got tried, I think I missed it somehow. No matter, I will try it now! The leaves are huge and puffy, and they look more similar to a black tea than a white one. The color is half dark grey/brown and half golden. They smell of hay and malt with a touch of honey.
The steeped tea smells remarkably similar to a pure bud Yunnan tea. There are notes of bread and honey, and also that subtle savoriness that I associate with Yunnan teas. Wow, this tea… Another reason to be sad that Butiki is going out of business. It actually reminds me of a Darjeeling, but much lighter. It has that muscatel quality about it, plus a surprisingly milk chocolate note along with bread and honey. There’s a super sweet aftertaste, almost as if there was licorice root in here. What a unique and lovely tea! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Creamy, Floral, Hay, Honey, Muscatel
This tea is soo yummy! Even then, I’m sure that I’m not getting the full flavor of it.
I just got my very first yixing vessel, a clay mug (also from Butiki). It’s nothing like I was expecting it to be, but very interesting nonetheless.
Anyways, I’ve done multiple (at least 4) steepings according to directions (1tsp, 4min) and it’s still going strong. The taste hasn’t really developed much, but that might be because of the cup. What I’m getting though is a smooth and sweet oolong. Not green or particularly roasted, but a good medium type brew.
As a grasshopper tea I was expecting much stronger honey notes. Maybe they’ll be stronger when brewing in a normal vessel.
Question though- I’ve decided to dedicate my little cup to oolongs, I drink oolongs the most- would it mess very much with the taste to brew flavored oolongs in it?
I really shouldn’t be drinking black tea, my insomnia has been out of control lately…but since I am going to be awake all night anyway, I might as well be alert and get something accomplished! So the aroma of the dry leaves didn’t really strike me, there was some, but it was distant, woody, and a bit chocolaty. The brewed leaves are much the same, they smell really good, not overly strong, but good!
Oh man, the liquid is really rich, sweet and cocoa filled with muscatel and a touch of forest loam. That taste is mellow, and I even accidentally let it over steep a bit (forgot to put on the timer and got distracted painting a monster…oops) but it is not bitter.
Sweet, muscatel, loamy, chocolaty…so many notes, and all of them really tasty. I even detect a bit of fruitiness at the finish.
Sadly Butiki is going away, I was torn as to whether I want to add the reviews of the various teas I have tried from them to my blog in a massive ‘farewell to you’ week or two, but alas, I do not have the time. Maybe I will do a single blog entry talking about my favorite Butiki teas from the ones I have tried.
Anyway, this tea! The leaves are humongous! I took one of the big ones and made it make silly monster noises because it looked like a little creature. They smell super sweet and a bit fruity, kinda like fruit drizzled with honey and then baked. Yum! So, enough sniffing, it is gaiwan time!
Yum, the leaves smell like a mix of fig, plum, and dates, it is sooo super sweet! It also has a little bit of a red wine (I am not enough of a wine sipper to pin down exactly which one) the liquid smells warm, sweet, and a touch spicy.
So funny story, after just re-piercing my lip I seem to have forgotten how to drink with a lip ring and I keep dripping tea! It makes me giggle. This tea is fantastic, very sweet and fruity, but it is heavy stone fruit, dates, and yeah there is even a dried fig note which makes me super happy. The following steeps keep the sweetness and add a touch of creaminess to it. Delicious!
Finally got around to trying this again. Might have accidentally brewed in a basket that formerly had strong black tea. This one does smell nicely like orange and chocolate at first. The flavour reminds me of citrus dark chocolates. Good tea, but for some reason the first brew turned out better. Thanks to Cheri for this sample.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Orange
Had some of this as my morning tea. Wow! The tea leaves are all long and twisty and fuzzy! Dry, it smells like a homemade lemon bar. Steeped, it’s all sweet, soft lemon. I’m not getting any cookie flavor, which is disappointing, but otherwise this is one of the best lemon teas I’ve had.
And maybe if I add some rock sugar, I can get the missing cookie flavor…
With getting home to my massive Butiki order, I kinda felt obliged to dip into one of the ones I’d been most excited about. When I placed my first Butiki order, I had planned to buy this (along with the plain Bai Mu Dan), but at some point didn’t (not entirely sure why tbh). Anyway, I rectified that this time around and it was deffo worth it!
The dry leaves smell good, I guess, but nothing spectacular – they just smell sweet and welcoming. Nothing bad, for sure, but nothing terribly exciting – they certainly didn’t smell like cantaloupe to me, anyway.
But the steeped tea was a revelation. Even my Dad – the grouchy, Iranian sceptic of any tea that isn’t a lightly fragranced, citrussy black – was impressed, immediately remarking on how much it smelled like melon! :D
After the 3’30", the liquor was a pleasant enough pale brown – darker than I’m accustomed for white tea, but certainly nothing to worry. As for the taste, well…
It’s just delightful. It really does taste just like melon. I couldn’t quite believe it, despite the abundance of excellent reviews telling me that it’s exactly what it would taste like. It’s just a delight. So sweet and refreshing, with just a lovely creamy aftertaste that really help to balance the whole thing out. There wasn’t a hint of bitterness, despite the water I used probably being a little too hot.
I’m super glad I ordered this and I’m definitely going to get through it quickly, even though I won’t be able to order much/any more in future. It’s just delicious and I wouldn’t hate for it to go to waste. Recommend strongly for anyone interested in fruit-flavoured ‘actual’ teas that taste of actual fruit.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Cantaloupe, Peach, Stonefruits
This is really good. I’m definitely tasting a fruity flavor, and notes of waffle or pastry, as well as a hint of chocolate here or there. There’s also a floral note that reminds me of rose. The flavoring is subtle and blends so well with the base tea that it’s hard to decide where one begins and the other ends.
Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Pastries, Raspberry, Rose, Tea
I’m tasting black tea. I can smell a bit of pumpkin and cream, but I don’t taste it at all. I’m really not sure why, since there are so many reviews raving about the wonderful pumpkin flavor. It’s not a bad black tea, just doesn’t taste like pumpkin, so a bit of a dud for me.
I’ve heard good things about this tea, but for whatever reason I just hadn’t tried it yet. Now that I have I’m sorry I waited! The dry tea smells like candied roses, and as it brews it mellows out slightly. The taste is creamy, floral but not perfumey, and I actually do taste something like wine—a very sweet version, but it’s definitely there. The balance of flavors is amazing and even with all that going on it still doesn’t overpower the base.
Flavors: Champagne, Creamy, Rose, Sweet, White Wine
From the EU TTB – Round 3
I guess these days you’ve got to try a Butiki where you can. I’m enjoying green tea more and more these days, so this was a sure try from the box. The leaf is a beautiful thing – hand rolled pellets that do resemble a snail’s shell, with the downy silver tip darkening to green/black on the outside. Unfurled, the leaves are bigger than I expected, and a fairly uniform medium green. This is clearly a tea that’s been prepared with love and care, and it’s a delight to see. As per the recommended parameters, I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees.
It’s gorgeous. The liquor is a medium yellow, and smells very vegetal with a hint of floral. The taste is similar. It’s quite strong initially, and a distinctive mixture of green cabbage and grass. The mid-sip introduces a smooth, silky buttery note, and it rounds off with the flavour of pine nut. It’s such a smooth (almost to the point of creamy), clean tasting green, with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. As it cools, I also pick up a burst of citrus fruitiness in the mid sip. A characterful green, and an absolute pleasure to drink. I will miss Butiki terribly, not least for their commitment to quality which is absolutely self-evident in teas like this.
I received some of this tea for free as part of a promo for spending over a certain amount on a Butiki order. Sorry about the vagueness, I just can’t remember the specific details at the moment. Anyway, I’m not usually a fan of green teas that aren’t Japanese, but of course I am gonna give this one a shot. I steeped it as recommended (180 F, 2 min), which resulted in a lovely pale yellow-green color. It both smelled and tasted very vegetal, though I couldn’t tell you exactly which veggies. The vegetal flavor was a bit mild, though, and it was a bit bitter from some extra leaves that weren’t caught by my strainer.
Overall, it was just a bit ho hum to me. It was a fine tea, but I didn’t think that there was anything particularly special about it. Again, it may also be because I don’t generally enjoy these types of teas.
Used a thicker walled celedon gaiwan. Dried leaf showed pretty good conformity a few broken leaf here and there.
Gorgeous deep yellow color with whiffs of artichoke and gardenia. Flavors of the same with the addition of butter and sesame. Mouth-feel was thick and buttery, 4th steep brought out the sweetness so it was my favorite. During the last 4 steeps there was a precipitant drop in flavor but gladly there was no bitterness to take its place. Good brew all in all.
Flavors: Artichoke, Butter, Gardenias
Hmm….This one is rather interesting. Being a white tea, it’s pretty light in flavor. Was kinda expecting more flavor though, since everyone is saying it tastes like a cookie.
Sadly it doesn’t taste like anything baked to me. On the bright side, it doesn’t taste super buttery either-thank God!
It actually kinda reminds me of an Irish Breakfast tea. It’s creamy with a ever so slight hint of malt at the end of each sip. So it really reminds me of an Irish Breakfast tea. Which is good.
Not a bad tea, but I just wish it were a lot stronger! Disappointed it was so light! Oh well.
Flavors: Creamy, Malt, Sweet