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Recent Tasting Notes
Broke into this tonight because I was really craving a silver needle, and I blew through my Mandala ounce in no time flat. I tend to prefer sweeter, honeysuckle notes in my silver needle, and this does have elements of that, but there’s a secondary, complex flavor strung throughout as well. In truth, it kind of reminds me of Easter bread? So essentially a sweet, almond bread with a light sugar glaze over the top. As a kid, Easter bread was a spring staple for me, and I loved my noni’s version of it. She used to make it every year, freeze it, and then wait for me to visit so that she could give me a big hunk of it. She knew it was my favorite. Regardless, I suspect I underleafed this slightly, as is my tendency with any and all of my Butiki hoard, but I’ll remedy that for the next steep. Still, I find myself sighing happily into this cup. Nothing eases away the film of the day like nostalgia and good tea.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Sweet
This was yesterday’s pre-bedtime cup. I nearly reached for a black tea again, and then thought the better of it. That’s probably not a habit I should get into on a week night, for the sake of my sanity. I’ve no complaints about this one though, I mean it smells totally delicious when all you do is open the bag. Last night it put me in mind of apple pie, that wonderful autumn staple. I think it was the apple/cinnamon combination that did it. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions.
Steeped, this tastes less of apple pie and more of cider. Excellent news! I think it’s the sharpness of the apple, contrasted with the mild but warming spices that differentiate it. Apple pie would be mushier, sweeter apple flavour. I didn’t get much in the way of champagne at first, but as I sipped I did start to notice a sort of heady grapey flavour that did remind me of sparkling wine. It’s not effervescent, obviously, but it’s one of those rare teas that manages to seem like it is, even if only lightly.
The overall combination is, I think, a really good one. Cider and champagne are two things I probably wouldn’t have thought to put together, but it’s a flavour combination that works. I like the warming, wintery spices, the sharpness of the apple, and the almost-bubbly sweetness of the champagne. It’s a truly great thing. I’m going to try and save a cup of this for new year – or, failing that, to drink as my last ever cup of Butiki tea. It’s a true celebratory tea.
This was one of the teas Liquid Proust donated to the Herbal and Decaf TTB. Thank you!
The beginning of the sip mostly tasted like grassy Gyayusa, which I’m pretty ambivalent towards. I was almost disappointed, when suddenly the spiciness started to creep up in my mouth it built for a few seconds, then died down again. It was a nice mix of cinnamon and red pepper, not too hot (I’m sensitive to spicy things), but definitely a nice spicy kick. I would probably keep building as you drank the cup until your mouth was burning, but I just took a few sips and gave the rest to my husband, who loves spicy things. If it were still around, I would recommend this to someone who wanted a spicy tea, but I think I would actually prefer a different base for this.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Grass, Pepper, Spicy
Tried this again just to see and yep, same deal. Sadly there isn’t much left in my sample so this is an almost sipdown, with enough left to fill a teeny cup.
I think the major problem here is that I just don’t care for the base. I find it earthy in a strange fashion. Not quite musty, or dirt like… I dunno, can’t put my finger on it!
A little bit of mushroom going on as well.
Ok well I’m glad to see it wasn’t just me!
There was something fake about the flavouring here, almost chemically. That could be age though. or the rhubarb?
It just wasn’t doing anything for me sans additions so I added some sugar and milk. That seemed to bring it to a decent level where I could definitely taste the strawberry. Also, the milk enhanced the cakey note, which was nice.
Really enjoying this tea! Not so much hot, it was much better cooled down.
Funny, it was kinda bland freshly brewed so I added some sugar to bring out flavours. Now I wish I hadn’t so I would know how it is at lukewarm without any additions. Oh well.
I really like the jam aspect, and I’m digging the rather mild cashew influence as well. With that extra dollop of sugar, it is quite jammy! I do miss Stacy. Her teas generally taste like what she intends, unlike so many others I’ve tried where you have to try so much harder and guess at other blends.
I tried this as a cold brew just to see what would happen to the flavour.
It was actually really good this way. Sweet, light, and airy. I don’t think it was really “birthday cake like” but this tea is a year and a half old, so it has probably lost some flavour.
I found this to be an interesting tisane with the marshmallow leaf. It was something that I hadn’t really tried before (that I remember).
I’ll confess to being a little scared of this one, because it has a roasted oolong base and roasted oolong is my nemesis. I can smell it upon opening the packet – just oolong, and no caramel apple. It’s nutty and a little metallic. Hmm. I followed the recommended parameters and used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, for three minutes, in water cooled to around 180 degrees.
In practice, I needn’t have worried. This is a gentle flavoured tea, it’s true. The sweetness and caramelly smoothness seem to come as much from the oolong base as from any added flavouring, and it’s a more natural taste as a result. I’m not getting much in the way of apple, although there’s a hint of red apple sweetness and a tiny bit of fresh, appley sharpness during the initial sips. As this one cools, though, it becomes mostly just oolong. There’s none of the metallic awfulness I was expecting, thankfully, but there is quite a strong roastiness that’s a little bit at odds with the sweeter flavours. I can totally see how it works as toasted nuts after having read the description, though.
This isn’t my favourite of the flavoured Butiki teas I have left, but perhaps it was never going to be. I don’t dislike it, and I’ll easily be able to finish my 1oz bag, I just think on balance the base tea is not for me. I might try a little crystal sugar next time just to see what effect that has.
Sipdown! I wasn’t going to add an additional note, but my last two cups were insanely creamy and very reminiscent of cheesecake so I felt I had to! Maybe I just get the parameters right by the end of the bag, or maybe it just needed a good shake to begin with…who knows? I’m glad I got to experience both the plum brandy and the cheesecake aspects before I finished this one off, though! Delicious.
The dry leaf smells of very little now, so I was half expecting the flavouring here to be past its best. WRONG! It’s delicious. The dry leaf itself looks really pretty, with its blue cornflowers and red safflowers, and the spindly, twisty leaves of the Purple Sunset Oolong. Once brewed, the leaf does smell like plum juice to me. Not strongly, but enough to be identifiable. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. I made no additions for my first cup, but I might experiment with a little crystal sugar next time. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown.
In the initial sip, I’m getting mostly plum juice. It’s a sweet and a little tart tasting, but pretty flavour accurate for actual plums. The brandy is there too, but it’s more an “impression” of brandy, rather than an actual alcoholic flavour. There’s a warming fruitiness that’s maybe a tad grapey, but it’s not as harsh or as strong (or overpowering) as brandy itself would be. Probably what I’m trying to say is it’s like brandy after the alcohol has been burnt off – as it would be if you poured some over your christmas pudding and then set it alight. I’m not getting much in the way of cheesecake, but there is a clear background creaminess. It reminds me of the “cream” in some other Butiki teas – Nutmeg Cream and Traditional Plum Pudding spring to mind. The main impression this one leaves me with is a deep, intense fruitiness. I’m guessing the base tea has a lot to do with that – I remember trying it on its own and enjoying its strong stone fruit flavours.
I would have liked more of a cheesecake flavour, but this one’s still a winner with me. The plum flavour is like no other I’ve tried – so true-to-life and juicy tasting – and the brandy/cream notes add a pleasing depth and uniqueness. I’m sad this tea is no more.
Sipdown! I had a little over 1 tsp of leaf left, so I decided to use it all for one last cup, rather than split it into two much smaller quantities. It concerned me slightly to overleaf a green tea, but in practice it worked okay. The initial sip was pretty much 100% praline, but as it cools I can taste the creaminess of the eggnog creeping in. I think I’m tasting more of both flavours this time than I ever have before, so maybe the slight overleaf was no bad thing. I’ll miss this one.
This was my second cup of the morning (my first was Plum Brandy Cheesecake). I’ve written a note for it before, but I felt compelled to add another today because I experienced this one slightly differently from my first few cups. For starters, I can actually taste eggnog! Such creamy deliciousness. I can also taste praline pretty strongly in the mid-sip, and the combination is a great one. The first couple of times I brewed this, it always felt like the green base was just a little bit overpowering – like I could taste that more than I could either of the flavours. This time? Not so. I’m not quite sure what I did differently (if anything). I certainly didn’t make any changes on purpose! Perhaps I just reached an optimum point on the bag, or something? All I care about at the moment is that this cup is thoroughly delicious, and for that reason alone I HAD to log it. Noms!
I really loved Creamy Eggnog, so I’m glad to have another Eggnog-themed Butiki tea in my cupboard right now. Especially as it’s getting colder, and Christmas is coming…
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees. The dry leaf smells amazing – like a freshly opened box of chocolates. I can still smell the chocolate once brewed, but it’s hidden under the vegetal Mao Jian to a certain extent.
The initial sip made me stop and think “woah”. I really, really got pralines. The intensity has faded somewhat with successive sips, which makes me a little sad. Surely I haven’t got palate fatigue so early on? There’s still a creamy, chocolatey, nutty flavour swirling around, but the impact of the first sip was an oddly fleeting thing. Outside of the rich creaminess, I’m not really getting Eggnog – this is definitely a primarily praline experience. That’s more than okay with me, though. If I really think about what I’m drinking, I can pin the “nutty” flavour down to pecan. They’re beautifully buttery in and of themselves, but somehow they also manage to offset the smooth, creamy richness a little. The nuttiness works beautifully with the hint of sweet, sugary caramel in the aftertaste.
I would have liked this one to have been a little stronger, but I’m guessing that it’s just about past its best now. It’s certainly been sitting around for long enough while I hoarded and mourned. At least I’ve seen sense while there’s still time to enjoy the remainder. As my cup cools, some of the initial intensity is returning. The chocolate, certainly. I can also taste a little more of the green base than I could at first, but somehow that’s okay. It may be vegetal and a little asparagusy, but somehow it doesn’t interfere too much with the sweet, nutty, creamy flavours. Who knew? I’m looking forward to drinking more cups of this as autumn advances.
Great cup of this one today! I used two generous teaspoons of leaf, and gave it a good three minutes in boiling water. It smells totally gorgeous – I think I made a few people in the office a bit jealous, to be honest. It tasted brilliant, too – strong, creamy butterscotch notes with a mind nuttiness in the mid sip, and undertones of coffee. The White Rhino base is the most amazing thing, though. It seems to combine the best things about both black and white teas, and tasted deliciously sweet and honey-like. So smooth, too! There’ll be much sadness when I’m finally finished.
Another Butiki to keep my company while I sort my cupboard out. Electronic and real, that is. I fear my actual cupboard count is going to be over 250 by the time I’ve finished, which puts me far away from being under 200 again. One day I’ll get there (but it won’t be soon, because I’ve got three more orders headed my way. Bad me.)
Anyway, the tea. I used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It still feels odd to do that to a white tea, but I trust Stacy’s judgement in these things. I really enjoyed White Rhino when I tried it plain, so it’s great to have a little bit more albeit flavoured this time. I made no additions for my first cup, but I’ll probably try it with a little crystal sugar next time just to see.
The intial flavour of this one is butterscotch. It’s quite strong and sweet, although not nauseatingly so. It tastes like melted butterscotch chips, of the kind you sometimes find in cookies. A little bit like Werther’s Originals. There’s a darker undertone that really is kind of mocha-like. A little chocolatey, with a hint of coffee bitterness. I think that helps this one to stay just on the right side of sweet for me, and it adds a real depth of flavour and a degree of complexity that most flavoured teas just don’t have. I’m not getting much hazelnut, but I can’t say I’m really missing it. The butterscotch-coffee-chocolate play off is more than enough for me.
The White Rhino base is, of course, amazing. It does a great job of supporting the flavours, while providing a complementary sweet maltiness with just a touch of floral. It’s almost thick-tasting, adding just the right kind of caramelly texture. This one’s a real treat, and it’s another I’ll miss from my cupboard once its gone. Lovely, lovely stuff.
Sipdown! Finished this one off last night, and I’m sad to see it go. It was a particularly good cup to say goodbye on, though. Coffee, cake, and a touch of syrupy strawberry. Lovely! I don’t think there’ll ever be another tea like this one, but at least I have my memories.
I tried this one with a couple of pieces of crystal sugar last night. It certainly increased the vanilla, strawberry and cake flavours, but I completely lost the coffee/espresso. It almost becomes a different tea, and I suppose that’s the point.
On balance, I think I enjoy this one without sugar more. I like the chocolate/coffee/strawberry playoff, and the way it culminates in a kind of strawberry mocha heaven. That’s too good to lose, even for stronger cake flavour!
My second Butiki of the day. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, and probably I should have allowed myself to start it earlier. I’m pleased that the flavour hasn’t deteriorated, though, so no harm done. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, but no sugar for my first cup. I’ll probably try that next time so that I can comprehend the difference.
Initially, the flavours I detected were strawberry, with a hint of dark chocolate lurking in the background. The strawberry is so fresh, ripe, plump, and juicy – spot-on in terms of flavour accuracy. If anything, the chocolate seems to heighten these qualities – it’s a combination that works really well. As my cup cooled, I was gradually able to taste the coffee, which slowly increased in strength. It combines beautifully with the chocolate to create a real mocha effect, with the strawberry providing a high note of clean sweetness over the top. I could also taste cake, and a creamy vanilla that really put me in mind of frosting. This is a fabulous dessert tea; totally decadent with clear flavours. I’m sure I’ll never find another to beat it.