Butiki TeasEdit Company
Popular Teas from Butiki TeasSee All 259 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Yummy! I was talking to Red Fennekin in part about puerh, and I had a hankerin’ so I grabbed this one and it was a goood choice. I’m not sure which base it uses but it is good. The flavouring isn’t what I’d call weak, but it’s delicate enough and the puerh more than holds its own. The lime flavour is more noticeable than the watermelon, but the watermelon note does actually come through, which I think is an achievement with such a delicate flavour. Especially since I didn’t get it in the Watermelon Xylophone! It was actually delicious on its own, with the puerh all mellow and chilling with the bright juicy lime and the sweet delicate watermelon, but since it’s called slushie I wanted it to come across more fake and artificial – I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that about a tea – so I added a generous amount of sugar and it really did turn it into a more grown-up version of a melted lime slushie. The watermelon is more in the background with sugar, mostly because it brought out the lime so much more, but I can still tell it’s there. The puerh base is still really good and can definitely take a lot. Even with the stronger citrus flavour and added sugar it’s a beautiful tea. Silky, earthy, and something umami that’s not sweet and not savoury but somewhere in between. Noms all round.
Another tea I don’t know quite what to make of – I may be a poor judge of this tea since I have absolutely no idea what it’s supposed to taste like, having never heard of tamarind before MissB sent me this. For that reason this will probably be a short tasting note.
From reading others’ tasting notes, it sounds like this still tastes basically as it should. It’s earthy, fruity in a nondescript (or just indescribable to me) way, and a little bit sour. It’s on the more astringent side than I like, but this is easily fixed with a splash of milk. The earthy base is the most prominent, though after reading some of the tasting notes it sounds like the earthiness might actually be a part of the tamarind flavour itself. I added a little sugar, which brought out more of the fruitiness, and then milk, which mellowed out the tea but didn’t change its flavour too much except, weirdly, adding to the sour note. Every now and again I get an echo of a sense memory, like maybe this is a familiar flavour after all, but I’m not sure why. It’s truly odd, but I’m happy to try it.
Alright so usually I’d thank whoever sent the tea my way before I got into my tasting note, but this one was actually sent to me by MissB, Janelle and VariaTEA on three separate occassions, so thank you everyone!
Wow, this is a strong-smelling tea! The particular sample I’m drinking from tonight was from MissB, and even though it was from pretty much the first tea package I ever received almost three years ago it was packaged really well and is still packing a punch – I almost choked when I sniffed the dry leaf! I did stick my nose right in the pouch, though… I never expected to enjoy this tea, because as a concept I find root beer to be really weird. Floats, I can get behind – sticking ice cream on the top of some fizzy pop? count me in! – but root beer itself always seemed weirdly medicinal to me, and therefore not really a flavour I wanted to be drinking in my pop. On my first sip of the tea my mind was not changed. It does taste a lot like root beer, which I was simultaneously impressed and disappointed with, but when it’s hot and flat it doesn’t seem quite as strange to me for some reason. I added half a sugar out of curiosity and it didn’t really do much, except maybe add to the tooth-rotting pop impression. The vanilla note is there too, but doesn’t really convey ice cream to me since that’s pretty impossible to do in a hot liquid form. My brother, who likes root beer, was very impressed with this one and would have drank the whole mug if I hadn’t infected it with my cold germs before he could.
I must be enjoying this one more than I thought, because as I’m writing up this note I’ve guzzled down most of my mug and seem to be contemplating making another right away.
Maybe I’ll take some to work with me tomorrow Sunday lunch service is hectic and I start 4-6 hours earlier than I usually do; I’m going to need matcha smoothie levels of energy.
Good morning, Steepster! I’m starting my day with a cup of this from a swap I did with KittyLovesTea.
…So I wrote that a couple of hours ago, and then apparently got so distracted watching Doctor Who that I never finished the note. Oops. Other notes for this tea will probably follow pretty soon, since I’ve moved it to my focus box because it’s pretty old, so for now I’ll just write as much as my memory allows. The flavour of this was quite mild, but not to the point of the Decaf Raspberry Chocolate Waffle. I remember worrying the whole time I was drinking it that my sense of taste was failing me again. I’ve since eaten and had more tea so I don’t think that was the case, but I do think it’s probably due to the tea’s age. It wasn’t bad mild, just milder than I’d hope for my first cup of tea of the day. Cinnamon and spices dominate, but – particularly after adding sugar – there is also a vanilla cream cheese frosting aspect which is definitely discernible. I swear I could taste the carrot, too, in the aftertaste, and the malty, slightly bready base tea really helps to convey the overall ‘carrot cake’ flavour. I’d really like to try a cold brew of this one, but I don’t think I have enough leaf left to try it out.
Thanks for sharing, Kayleigh!
Last Janelle sample of the night – thanks as always!
I don’t know if this is actually pretty flavourless, or whether my sense of taste is disappearing again. Today I noticed that I’m starting to come down with a headcold, and my sinuses are playing up a lot again, so there’s a good chance that it’s me and not the tea. I hope not, I’m lost without tea all hours of the day. A few other tasting notes have mentioned the flavour being weak too though, and that and the fact that I can taste the flavours, only weak, makes me think that it is the tea. Other than Harney’s Vanilla Comoro I’m yet to find a decent decaf that tastes as good as regular caffeinated tea, so I’m not too surprised. Still, the scent of the tea steeping was lovely raspberry and waffles, so I’m a little disappointed that the flavour doesn’t live up to the scent. I could barely taste anything plain, so added sugar – a little too much in my haste – and even though it’s super sweet now it’s much better because I can taste more of the flavours that are supposed to be there. The raspberry comes through first, a little tart, and is followed by the waffle which I will admit I didn’t expect to be able to taste. It finishes with a lingering raspberry note, but this time it comes across as more of a sweet raspberry. Maybe because of the waffle? I don’t get chocolate at any point, which surprised me because Butiki’s chocolate flavouring in similar blends has came across very well, especially since I’m not usually a fan of chocolate in teas. Still, I’d rather no chocolate than bad chocolate. As the tea starts to cool the flavours are coming across a little more, but it’s still a very delicate cup. I think in my final cup I will use less water and steep for a longer time in hopes of eking out more flavour.
Thank you for parting with enough of your stash that I may try this, ohfancythat!
I’m a big fan. I didn’t necessarily expect to be, since I’m not big on marmalade or green tea, but this is really, really nice! Plus it only has a rating of 77 on Steepster, which is pretty low for a Butiki. I tried this plain and was shocked by the authenticity of the marmalade note immediately. The pistachio is more subtle, but the nuttiness is lovely with the orange, and it goes well with the base too, which is only a tiny bit vegetal and actually really smooth. I didn’t get a ‘toffee’ flavour or feel from it, but I added some sugar and it amps up the jamminess of the marmalade to the point where it feels like a sticky dessert. The pistachio is also more present with sugar. I drank most of it straight away then let the last few mouthfuls cool while I wrote this note, but now it’s cold the orange is zingier and the pistachio note is coming through more. Nommy!
Resteeped my leaves, since it seemed a shame not to when it used so much to begin with. The melon flavour is definitely more subdued this time, but I think the coffee note is even more pronounced. In the first cup the base tea seemed to support the flavours, which were the star of the show, but this time it’s the other way around. The cantaloupe note does come through first, but the main body of the tea is classically darjeeling notes. It’s a fairly floral tea, which pairs well with the supporting melon note, and also has some earthiness which is well matched with the espresso. Everything is much more evenly balanced in this cup than the last. As it starts to cool the tea becomes slightly bitter, so it’s definitely best drank hot. For the second time this week I’m regretting throwing out my leaf after the second steep without tasting the tea; this could easily have gone for a third.
Yet another sample from Janelle, and possibly not even my last one of the night. Yep, this is weird. It’s weird because it’s not as weird as I expected it to be. Even though so many people said it works, I just couldn’t marry the idea of cantaloupe with coffee in my head, and I was convinced until I tried it that it was going to be a car crash of a tea. I don’t mind admitting I was wrong.
The cantaloupe scent was strong as the tea was steeping up until around the second minute, when something darker took over. The same goes in the flavour, for the most part – in the initial sip the cantaloupe is the first note you pick up on, with something a little intriguing in the background. The aftertaste is mostly darjeeling, a little astringent, floral and a touch earthy with the espresso note mingling with it fairly naturally. I can only pick up on it clearly at the very end of the sip, and I’d say it mostly gives depth to the melon flavour. Adding sugar makes the melon note even more clear, and a little more distinct from the other flavours. A drop of cream, because it seemed like the creaminess would round it out well, cuts back on the astringency from the base and makes the melon meld more naturally with the darker flavours. This is a well-named tea! I’m not a cantaloupe fan and yet I find myself really enjoying this tea. I’m relieved, too, since the last couple of Butiki samples I’ve had have fell short of the unfairly high expectations I have from any tea bearing the name. This is more like the Butiki I know, love and miss! Weird, but good. I’m keeping my leaf to attempt a resteep.
Thank you Janelle for sending this my way! I’m getting through my Butiki samples pretty well, I think.
I’m glad I have another cup’s worth to play with, because this was totally not what I was expecting at all. Definitely going to change up the steeping parameters next time. My first sip was plain and I was taken aback by the flavour, not necessarily in a good way. What I got was mostly astringency and a pretty potent sour note, followed by some weird metallic fruitiness, possibly due to the hibiscus, and then something stale (my own fault, probably, since this is around a year and a half old now and it has real biscuits in it – a whole one in my sample). The wet leaf smelled amazingly sweet and of strawberries so I had high hopes, but it didn’t really translate well into the flavour, which was mostly rhubarb in the fruity aspect. I immediately added a whole sugar, which brought out more of the strawberry note but didn’t help the astringency, then added milk which finally did. This way it’s a lot more like what I expected – jammy and tart in a rhubarb intentional way rather than a weird off-putting sour way, with the strawberry note being most prominent in the sip. The aftertaste brings out a crumbly pastry sort of vibe, followed by a much more enjoyable rhubarb note. I took the bunny graham out of my scoop so that I could have it in my second and last cup instead, so I’m hoping the pastry will be more prominent next time around. I think I’ll steep it for longer too, to see if that helps bring out more of the intended flavours, and just resign myself to the knowledge that I’ll have to add milk. Overall I do like the idea, and it’s the first tea I’ve tried that accurately gets across the ‘pie’ idea, but I think it’s probably past its best and I don’t think I’m a big fan of the base it uses. Sorry, Stacy and Sil!
In my Butiki drink-a-thon this month I thought it would be a good idea to get my samples out of the way first, if anything just to give me some place to start. This one came to me thanks to the wonderful MissB, along with a couple others I’ll be drinking down soon.
It’s not my favourite, but it’s not my least favourite either. For a rooibos I actually enjoy it quite a bit, but I seem to be going off rooibos at the moment. It’s definitely a noticeably present rooibos, not one that shrinks away into the background and hides, but it’s not an overpowering chemical tasting rooibos either. It’s one I can live with. The mango note is clearest in the sip, mixing with the woody rooibos in a way I don’t hate. There’s a very slight creaminess to it if I concentrate, but not enough to remind me of lassi. I can’t taste any spices at all, especially when plain. I added a little sugar (I really need to stop) which brought out the mango flavour a little more and maybe a hint of cardamom but that really could just be the power of suggestion. A splash of skimmed milk mellows out the rooibos and turns the fresh mango note into a creamy one which does actually remind me of mango yoghurt. It’s a little bit sweet for me with both additives, and I actually think I would have preferred it with just milk. No matter how hard I try I can’t find the spices at all, which leaves this at ‘mango yoghurt’ rather than lassi for me. I’m not sad to see it go, but I’m not happy either. I have 52oz of Butiki teas (I know) – not including samples – to go through, and there are ones I will miss way more than this.
The people who described this as a powdered sugar covered lime cookie were pretty spot on. It is a lime candy scent, although I don’t find it to be a sweet tea. I think my tastebuds are a little off as I usually get a peculiar bitterness when I drink white teas, and maybe that offsets the sweetness for me in this one. (It isn’t an unpleasant bitterness, but it’s there.) The lime wasn’t overpowering but was definitely present – it wasn’t sour at all, just somehow limey without the tang. I really enjoyed drinking it, but it left a weird aftertaste in my mouth so it wasn’t my favorite.
Flavors: Lime, Powdered sugar
Thanks to Janelle once again for the opportunity to try this.
Sadly this sample was another victim to the ravages of time, I think. I didn’t have quite enough leaf left over, because I’d drank this before (and remember it being nicer then, too) and had maybe overleafed a little. So this time I had a smaller cup to make up for it, rather than underleafing, and I can’t say it helped very much. There wasn’t much left of the watermelon flavour, particularly when hot it was nonexistent, but the white tea base had also significantly faded to the point where it was slightly floral with not much else, and hardly any body. Watermelon is a tricky flavour anyway, since it’s not exactly a strong one to begin with, so I hadn’t hoped for much particularly knowing how old my sample was and how poorly I’d stored it, so again I’m taking onus for that one. At least I wasn’t too disappointed. Stacy does recommend adding sugar, which helped, and letting the cup cool, which also helped to some extent. It was never the flavour explosion that some Butiki teas are, but with the added sugar and the lower temperature it was quite enjoyable. The watermelon flavour is subtle, but sweet and juicy and does work well with the base. It’s as good a watermelon tea as I’ve found.
Thanks for the sample, VariaTEA!
I’m on a roll today! Apologies for all the tasting notes today and yesterday. I tend to work all the hours most people don’t, because I work in a restaurant and so our busiest times are evenings and weekends. That means my ‘weekend’ tends to come in the middle of the week, and since I haven’t had any plans this week I’ve just stayed at home and drank a lot of tea (which has been awesome).
This is one I could take or leave. The base is a blend, which is interesting, because even though I’m not a huge fan of green teas in general, my favourite is Mao Jian, which I can taste a lot of in the smooth, mellow butteriness of this tea. It does also have a Glenburn Estate green mixed in with it though, and I can detect some more savoury vegetal notes in here which I don’t like as much. I can taste some almost pecan-like nuttiness (though nothing like my beloved maple pecan oolong) and some hints of cream, but not enough that I would call this ‘eggnog and pralines’. I added a little brown rock sugar which does amp up the praline flavour and make it much more enjoyable, but still not something I’m sad to see gone. It’s not the kind of thing I crave regularly, and when I do, I have half an ounce of Spiced Nog which I prefer.
Sipdown 65/376 (I got one tea for Christmas that I’ve just added to the Steepster database so my total’s gone up slightly).
Thanks again go to Janelle for sending me a sample of this.
I drank most of my sample a while back, but left enough for one small cup to write a note on another time, and then never did. When I came back to it, I realised I actually had a lot less leaf than I thought, probably around 1/3 of a teaspoon, so I’ve made myself the tiniest cup of tea ever with it. Unfortunately it’s pretty weak, partially because of the underleafing and partially because it’s pretty old now, but I remember the grape flavour being more prominent last time around. I’ve read tasting notes comparing it to grape juice, but to me it’s more like a regular oolong with a natural grape-y note. Still tasty, but it doesn’t immediately scream ‘grape’ to me. I’m willing to take responsibility, and I won’t mark the tea down. I was definitely more impressed last time.
Resteep of my leaves from this morning. It tastes practically the exact same! Honestly the grapefruit note is coming through just as strong as it did this morning, and so is the Crimson Horizon. It’s a little weird having something that tastes so much like breakfast this late on in the day, but I can deal with it. I threw the leaves out before trying the second steep, and I’m wishing I hadn’t because I think I could have gotten another one or two steeps out of it easily. Still, at least we parted on good terms. I rectified this morning’s mistake by adding rock sugar and no milk, and it tastes much better. Just how it should. The custardy cream note I was picking up on this morning isn’t there any more, but I’m not missing it. I’m upping my rating from 69 because honestly, for a resteep it’s pretty amazing.
Thank you so much ohfancythat (whatshesaid) for parting with such a generous amount of this for me to try (and the Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake – I figured it out)!
This is a tricky one to rate. Echoing whatshesaid ‘s sentiment, the flavour is pretty spot on, but it’s not one of my favourites, mainly because I’m not a fan of grapefruit. When I was younger I remember staying in a hotel that offered a continental breakfast in the morning, and, seeing a bowl full of grapefruit slices and thinking that they were orange, I filled up my own bowl with them, headed back to my table and promptly got a shock when I shoved them in my mouth and discovered they were not what I had been expecting. I don’t think I ever really got over that surprising bitterness and wishing they were oranges, because all these years later I remember that moment well and still have an aversion to grapefruit. I did enjoy this tea a whole lot more than I expected, though!
I’ve had several cups, black each time, and each time I was surprised by how flavourful it was after such a short steep. The Crimson Horizon was a good choice. Grapefruit always seems like such a breakfast flavour, and the Crimson Horizon is to me a breakfast tea, or at least that’s how I always drink it. It has some natural citrus notes to it, too, which pair really well with the grapefruit note, which is strongly present and impressively accurate in the initial sip. It is bitter, but it seems natural in a grapefruit tea, and adds to the accuracy so that I’ve never felt the need to add milk as I might otherwise. The brown sugar note also comes across, mainly in the aftertaste and I swear it also adds some sweetness. I can taste some sort of creamy note, too, which adds a lot to the sweetness and cuts through the grapefruit nicely. It could just be the power of suggestion, since it is called ‘Grapefruit Creme Brulee, and after reading the description I don’t think it’s actually intended to taste like a real creme brulee but more just a grapefruit halved with brown sugar. Either way, it’s there and I like it. I added some brown rock sugar which intensified the brown sugar (obviously) and creamy notes. It’s still a breakfast tea but now reminds me more of something I would eat after lunch than breakfast. The grapefruit is still the dominant note, bright and tangy but balanced. Since this is my last cup of this tea I decided to try adding milk, since it is my last chance. Turns out I preferred it without, but I’m glad I tried it both ways. With milk the bitterness is no longer present, but it just doesn’t seem quite right any more. It’s a little too creamy and sweet for my liking to be a breakfast tea now, though it does taste a lot more like creme brulee. The grapefruit note I suppose is still there, but without the bitterness it’s throwing me. Like I said, the bitterness seemed like a natural part of a grapefruit flavoured tea, and now it’s gone I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like. There is still a citrus note but I wouldn’t be able to immediately identify it as grapefruit any more. Who knew removing the bitterness could be a bad thing? I think I’ll do a resteep of this later to see if there’s any grapefruitiness remaining.
Thanks for the sample, Janelle!
I really like this, which is annoying. It’s not one I would keep in stock all the time, but I’d probably grab an ounce of it or so around winter time if I had the option. The dry leaf smelled the same as all of my samples now do, and the resulting liquor when brewed has a really distinct fruity sort of smell, so I was worried that this had been contaminated, but I needn’t have worried. This is really lovely. The chocolate note is present mostly at the front of the sip, and the chilli kick – the perfect heat for me – a lovely warming presence in the background, probably verging on the ‘moderate’ side of things but still mild enough that those not keen on spice could still enjoy this tea. But what really shines is the Sansia Black; it is absolutely beautiful and I’m kicking myself that I never tried it unadorned when I had the chance. Had I tried this tea back when Butiki was open I know I would have bought some of it. The distinct leafhopper-bitten honey note is super intense and prominent, followed up by a fruity note which I could definitely describe as cherry mixing soooo well with the chocolate flavour. There’s a thick, malty breadiness to it which makes me think of a chocolate bread, not one of those really sweet dessert-type ones but an actual loaf of bread with cocoa in it. I think that the Sansia must have a natural chocolate note because the flavours seem to mesh together so naturally that if it weren’t for the chilli (which is clearly not a part of the natural tea) I might be tricked into thinking that I was drinking the most magical elixir of a straight tea ever discovered. The best part of all is that I brewed this for four minutes at boiling and there isn’t even the beginnings of a hint of astringency! I added half a sugar which intensified all of the flavours, and now it feels like something really special. Dammit, Stacy, why you gotta be so good for?
Gah, my spreadsheet for once has let me down! I don’t remember who sent me a generous sample of this, and apparently I never wrote it down. I’m pretty sure it was either Sil or OhFancyThat/WhatSheSaid but I can’t say with certainty which… I’m so sorry! And thank you to whoever it was!!
Honestly I thought from the reviews that I’d be more disappointed in this than I am. Maybe the key is having low expectations. This uses the 1989 Suncha as a base, a tea which I am familiar with having been sent 4oz of it in my mystery box! It’s a very potent tea, and I’ll admit I was confused initially as to why it had been chosen as the base for such a contrasting blend, but I actually think it works pretty well in a really unusual way. Plain, it is a little overpowering, and the rhubarb and strawberry flavours barely make it through the metallic, slightly smoky, wet earthy base. The cheesecake note is lost entirely, but I’m yet to find a ‘cheesecake’ tea which I can honestly say hand on heart truly reminds me of cheesecake straight away. After adding some sugar, the fruity strawberry and rhubarb pop a little more, but the Suncha is still dominant and cheesecake nonexistent. On a whim I added some single cream left over from the holidays, and almost did a double-take when I tried it again. The cheesecake flavour actually comes through now, and the strawberry and rhubarb are much more noticeable, particularly the strawberry. The Suncha isn’t lost at all, but it becomes a lot more mellow and the earthiness actually works very well with the creamy cheesecake and bright, tart fruit. Though the strawberry note dominates the rhubarb through the sip, the rhubarb is much more noticeable in the aftertaste and becomes more prominent as the cup cools.
Considering it was mainly created so that Stacy could use up her remaining supply of tea and flavourings, it’s pretty decent! Maybe not up to vastly superior Butiki standards, but it would certainly be one of the better blends from a number of other companies. I won’t cry when it’s gone, nor would I probably repurchase it if I could, but I am thoroughly enjoying the sample that I do have.
Morning tea of the day! I didn’t realise this was a Darjeeling until I tried it. I’m definitely not the first to mention it, but it really does smell and taste almost like an Assam at times (and better than most of the ones I’ve tried, too!) To me the bitter chocolate note is at the forefront of the sip, and it really took me aback at how clear the note was. For me, still getting used to honing my tastebuds, I sometimes struggle to pick out the exact notes of certain teas, but not this one! The chocolate note is so obvious that I’ve had cocoa less chocolatey. It’s followed by some breadiness which pairs well, and some pleasant wood-like notes. There’s also a little astringency which isn’t a big deal but was enough that I added a small amount of milk. Sometimes this can alter the flavour of teas so I was hesitant to do it, but I needn’t have worried – it’s still as delicious as it was before. The most prominent after the chocolate is the floral note which is the giveaway that this is a darjeeling. I can taste a citrus note along with it that at times (I’m drinking two cups of tea at once and particularly when I switch back to this tea) almost makes me think that I’m drinking a really lovely Earl Grey, just for a second. The sip finishes on the chocolate note once again, bringing it full circle. I often overlooked Butiki’s single origin teas in favour of their blends and flavoured teas, but I’m really glad that an ounce of this was included in my mystery box. Stacy really was a fabulous curator of some of the best teas from around the world.
Thank you VariaTEA for this sample!
I’ve been avoiding trying this because I thought it was mate based. As it turns out, what I thought was yerba mate leaves was actually delicious, delicious mallow leaf. Mallow leaf is my new tea love. I need to find a bulk store that stock it so I can make marshmallow leaf/root tea.
Anyway, as for the actual looseleaf, I really like the orange/red and blue petals, they are colourful like sprinkles. When brewed, there is a strong flavour that starts out vegetal, like dried leaves steeped in hot water.
Then, the magic happens. Hints of vanilla blossom into marshmallow and icing flavours. I wouldn’t describe it as cake, but it definitely reminds me of the marshmallow fluff icing my cousin makes her cakes with. Next time I make a Butiki buy, I’m stocking up on this wonderful herbal blend.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Custard, Grass, Herbaceous, Marshmallow, Rice Pudding, Vanilla, Vegetal
I’ve been putting off drinking this tea from a pretty old swap with KittyLovesTea for a while now, because I still remember how much it burned the first time I drank it. I brewed up a cup this morning, and after sniffing the liquor and getting only sweet cinnamon I thought I had exaggerated the spice level in my memory… until I took a sip. There is no cinnamon! The cinnamon is a trick! Okay there’s maybe a little cinnamon but it’s barely noticeable in with such strong chilli and cayenne pepper. The spice isn’t too present during the sip; that’s actually quite mild and pleasant. It’s the aftertaste that gets you. The burn is almost instantaneous, and hits you right at the back of the throat. It’s powerful enough that it made me cough after one tiny sip and my brother to proclaim “WHAT IS THAT?!” when I shoved it in his face and invited him to try it without further explanation (which I do frequently). Since I’m struggling to shake off the back end of this flu I’m hoping the chilli spice will help shoo it away, so I’m soldiering on with it. As it cools, or maybe just as I become more accustomed to the spice, the guayusa seems to be peeking through more, and the cinnamon is fighting its way through too. I’m glad in a way that it is so spicy, because anything less I think would have been disappointing. It definitely lives up to its name!
Maybe next time I’ll try making this as a hot chocolate… I think the pepper might pair really well with that.
Drinking a small cup of this alongside my Sourenee Black Blossom this morning, which I was worried it would overpower but it didn’t! I actually really enjoy switching back and forth between two teas, it’s interesting to see how they’re affected – sort of like tasting them afresh. This cup was actually a resteep but still holds as much flavour as the first. The coffee and cream notes are more prominent second time around, and the smoke less so but still definitely present. I’m drinking it with just a splash of skimmed milk and the cream note in particular is really coming through this morning. I’m impressed.
Out of all my Butiki teas, this one surprised me the most. I threw it into my order as a bit of a wildcard mainly because Butiki were closing and I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with the knowledge that this was out there without ever being able to try it. And I’d already blown my tea budget
far, far away with a ‘now or never’ sort of attitude to my Butiki ordering, so I thought what the heck. I never expected to love it as much as I do!
I work behind the bar in an Italian restaurant, and part of my job involves a barista sort-of element as I have to use the espresso machine to make the coffees any time a customer orders one. This means that I have free access to good-quality barista-style coffee on a regular basis, and although my heart belongs with tea, sometimes I need the caffeine or the coffee just smells really good and it tempts me to the dark side. The scent of this tea is like that – a dark finger of rich smoky coffee curling from the mug and beckoning you into its warm embrace. I spent the whole time it was steeping with my nose an inch away from the hot water, huffing in the fumes, which seems to be a common thing with me and Butiki teas.
When drank plain, the earthy puerh is most prominent in the initial sip, with the coffee being barely discernible and the smoky note lingering in the aftertaste quite strongly. Despite not getting much of the actual coffee flavouring, the thick mouthfeel and roasted quality of the tea reminded me of coffee strongly enough that I added sugar and a splash of cream, which I’ve only ever done with one other tea, also a coffee puerh. Adding the sugar brought out the cream note from the flavouring more, as well as the coffee, and after adding the cream the coffee note became even more pronounced that I almost felt like I was drinking a cup of coffee. The smokiness of the lapsang is pushed to the background this way, but comes through in the aftertaste and is the longest lasting of the flavours, so it really does feel like I’m drinking a cup of coffee and then having a drag on a cigarette (or how I imagine it would be, anyway). I can’t speak to the accuracy of the ‘cigarette’ having never smoked, but from reading other tasting notes it seems like it’s pretty accurate. I did rinse the tea before steeping, but it still has a slight fuzzy dryness to it which, although I’ve never smoked and don’t intend to, reminds me of how I imagine the mouth would feel after smoking a cigarette. I don’t mind it at all since it adds to the experience for me. The puerh itself is still present through all of this, and adds a really interesting earthy, leathery yet sort of sweet quality which gently reminds me that I am in fact drinking tea. Now some of this description doesn’t sound all that much like something you would want, but it truly is an amazing experience in tea form, and a lot more tasty than it sounds. Trust me!
Starting off my Butiki drink-a-thon with a breakfast tea seemed like a no-brainer. I currently have 75 Butiki teas in my cupboard, some flavoured, some not. Of those, I have rated a measly 12, and so my first new year’s resolution of 2017 is to rate and write up detailed notes of the remaining 63 by the end of January. It works out to just over 2 per day, so it’s doable. I still want to reach 400 by my third steepster birthday (beginning of February) so that might make it less doable…
This is definitely a great wake-up tea! Wow is it strong! I usually steep this for 1 minute but using Stacy’s parameters of 1 minute 30 for the purposes of the drink-a-thon I find it a little more on the astringent side. I used to find my stomach cramped a little after drinking a lot of tea or coffee, and for a while assumed it was lactose-related, but since it happens when drinking a lot of tea plain and not when drinking plain milk, I’m thinking it might be the caffeine. This one does make my stomach a little uncomfortable for a while, but I’m used to it and I can deal. I assume it has a pretty high caffeine content.It’s worth it though, because it really is a great breakfast tea. Once I’ve added a splash of milk to counteract the astringency (and just because I prefer my breakfast teas that way) it’s really enjoyable. The malty, bready note is most prominent and immediately obvious, but the more I sip the more I can taste a nutty back-note and an even lighter citrus note which are rounding it out very nicely. I’m a sucker for nutty teas, whether in natural notes or added flavouring, and this one really hits the mark. I definitely see why Stacy used it as the base for Praline Horizon (and I think maybe a pistachio one? I didn’t pick that up). I really like that this is a CTC too, because it means that when I wake up in need of tea right away I don’t have to wait too long as it brews up really quickly, which is good for my patience! I’m planning on drinking a few more different teas today since I have the day off work, so I’m not resteeping this time, but I know from past experience that this one holds up very well to additional brews. And the Butiki drink-a-thon begins!