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Recent Tasting Notes
My first aged tea. Wow. First steep was smokey, woody with a sweetness like burnt caramel. After that the smokiness got less and less and became more like roasty/toasty. I steeped up to 5 times western style the last for 8 minutes and the leaves were still not completely unfurled! I could tell I could’ve gotten more but I had to stop and I was not feeling well. A delicious intriguing tea
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Roasted, Smoke, Toasted, Wood
So I forgot to account for the fact that I was using a 16 oz cup instead of 8 oz so this was underleafed and a bit watered down but it’s still delicious. This is sweet and rich and has a lot of depth and definitely captures butterscotch & hazelnut mocha candies. Plus, this smells amazing!
Lewis and Clarke TTB
I haven’t had too many Darjeelings, but I’m always surprised by how complex they are. My first steep of this was while waiting for my dad to come fix my car, and I was too stressed to notice much in this. I think I got honey and hay.
MY second steep I’m having right now, and I’m getting hay and honey, peaches and maybe a touch of molasses. And there’s a background note that almost reminds me of wine.
This is very yummy, and I’m happy Stacy sent it for the box, because it’s something I would have most likely totally overlooked otherwise!
Flavors: Hay, Honey, Muscatel, Peach
I find that I just don’t enjoy this one. Yes, it’s strong, but I don’t mind that about it… It’s the weird mineral/earth taste that I don’t like. I’ve tried it with sugar and milk and even then it’s not great, plus I don’t really want a tea that I can’t drink straight. This time I tried a 2-minute steep and it’s better, but still very… dirt and rock-like. :P
Not rating it since I don’t know jack about Assams. :D
I purchased this one from Ost in her stash sale. The second I saw two of Butiki’s straight blacks on her list, I pounced! They just so happened to be two blacks that I hadn’t purchased but was curious about. Gotta love how that works out sometimes. :P Anyway, I decided to cheat this morning and try this tea instead of drinking one of the black teas I’m supposed to be sipping down. Naughty! The leaves look surprisingly similar to a very tippy Yunnan. There are a ton of fuzzy metallic golden buds mixed with darker leaves. Dry scent is slightly malty and sweet (I confess, I stored this in a tin that used to house a fruity tea and I don’t think I let it air out long enough, so it smells slightly fruity too). I followed the recommended instructions aside from the water temperature.
Brewed, the tea smells very strong and malty/bready with some earth notes and a bit of sweetness. Whoa, I was not ready for the taste. I don’t have any experience with Assam teas, and I’m finding this to be extremely strong and quite earthy. I think I now know what “brisk” means when describing tea. Once I got past the initial taste, I found a fruity sweetness in the second half of the sip. There’s definitely a dark cocoa flavor that almost borders on bitterness, and a little spurt of floral in the aftertaste which was rather unexpected!
Overall, I was really surprised by the strength and intensity of this tea, especially after looking at the dry leaves. But the experience was a pleasant one for me, and I feel like my tongue got more and more used to the strong earthy flavor as I kept drinking. I think in the future, I’ll try this one with sugar or milk and see how that changes it. :)
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Earth, Floral, Malt
800th tasting note!!!
For some reason, this tea reminds me of fond memories from my childhood. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but either way, it is wonderful!
Of course, the base is perfect, and pairs perfectly with coconut. I am not usually the biggest fan of banana in tea, but here it is delicious.
I really enjoyed this tea, the mellow flavours that aren’t “in your face” but meld together well. This has a relaxing effect, but energizing at the same time.
So, it sounds like I might be in the minority with this tea, because I did not like this as much as everyone else seems to. Or maybe I just did something horribly wrong. Or maybe it is just my dislike of coffee!! lol
Anyway, I definitely got the strawberry and light chocolate, but I wasn’t expecting the coffee flavour to be so strong. But it is possible that it just seems so strong to me. Anyway, with some sugar it turned into a delicious strawberry, coffee cupcake with tiny chocolate sprinkles. Or that is what I am picturing.
I am not rating this for now, so I can make sure that it isn’t user error.
I love coconut, and this tea definitely has some notes of coconut. It is very complex, with notes of vanilla, banana, floral, and a tiny hint of citrus. Rose isn’t my favourite flavour in teas though, so I kind of had that taste in the back of my mind the whole time. I think if I could get this tea without the rose, it would be amazing. I do really enjoy this tea though. I will be tying it chilled tomorrow as well.
I got this as one of my Butiki samples (they allow two samples with every order). This tastes great! I was looking for a banana flavored tea and this was perfect. The flavor is bold but not overpowering, and it is a more natural flavor rather than artificial. I added a little sugar to this and it really brought out the flavor. My only complaint is that it loses its flavor quickly; by the 2nd steeping the tea flavor was still there but the banana nut flavor was very significantly reduced… but I suppose that is to be expected with these types of teas. Definitely something I would order again, and I could easily see this becoming one of my favorites eventually.
I could melt away into this cup and never come back! I added a little soy creamer and sugar and it is making this cup quite dreamy. The cream really amplifies the creaminess that the tea already has. I can smell a little nutmeg in the cup and get a hint of it just before the tea reaches my mouth. The cream takes over at the start of the sip, riding on a nice solid base, then the nutmeg comes back out at the end. The aftertaste might be my favorite part where they nutmeg and cream hang out together. I need to slow down because I’m downing this cup way too fast. It’s really hitting the spot!
This sample came from Tommy. This is one of the oolongs that I didn’t order during Butiki’s birthday sale, and I was excited to receive it in a swap so I could try it anyway! The pellets are quite tightly rolled and extremely dark in color. Dry scent is very roasted autumn leaves, and it’s milder than I expected. I followed the instructions on Butiki’s website and did a 4 minute steep.
Once brewed, the tea smells very charred, kind of like burnt toast along with deeply caramelized sugar. It smells quite similar to strong coffee… and it actually tastes that way too! The first thing that comes to mind is dark roast coffee. It’s also quite nutty in a toasty kind of way. There’s a little bit of a seaweed or marine flavor that makes it a touch savory, along with a very mild mineral note.
Overall, this tea is quite unusual but I did enjoy trying it. I’ll definitely need to try it gong fu style as oolongs tend to be best that way in my (limited) experience. Come soon, gaiwan! :)
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Coffee, Mineral, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Seaweed
Lovely and delicate. Another fantastic melon tea. It’s definitely general melon and not specifically watermelon in my opinion, but still I’m a fan. Who know I liked melon tea this much??
It’s a very rainy day and I would like nothing more than to be home on my couch drinking ALL OF THE TEA and reading the book I’m nearly finished with or playing hours of old school Rollercoaster Tycoon like I did basically all weekend. Oh what an exciting life I lead! But nope, I am at work and consoling myself with light flavorful tea.
I, uhh, bought this for my BFF but since I hadn’t tried it before I thought I’d give it a go.
OMG, the blackberry and lime is INCREDIBLE. The smell is great, and the flavour is mostly great.
Too bad it’s not honeybush. I really don’t like the flavour of guayusa.
Flavors: Blackberry, Green, Hay, Lime
To a person with a sweet tooth this smells so heavenly, deliciously yummy! Like the smell the butterscotch and mocha dominate at first sip but the nutty hazelnut comes through at the end. This will be a good tea for Halloween season
Flavors: Butterscotch, Hazelnut, Mocha, Sweet
The more I drink this, the more I really like it. I’m in the process of trying to sip down some of my teas (you know you have a problem when you’re storing tea all over the house because it no longer fits in the one large cupboard you’ve appropriated from the kitchen) and since I didn’t really reach for Rhubarb Vanilla Ale very much I decided this was a good place to start putting my reduction plans into action. Unfortunately the more I drink this the more I want to buy more as soon as the bag is gone. This has some awesome things going on in it, especially when you add a touch of milk, sweet enough on its own to not need sugar this cup bursts with fruity hoppy goodness. Yup, going back on my shopping list once done.
I made teatinis for guests yesterday and this tea with Kettle One Vodka was a huge success! I made 8oz of tea and doubled the amount of tea I would normally use plus I added 2 tablespoons of brown crystal sugar while it was steeping. Then added vodka and ice until the shaker was full and shook it. Made about 3 martinis. It came out amazing. It had the perfect sweetness with burned caramel notes, black tea, and the coconut and banana flavors. The vodka was hardly noticeable. The martinis were a huge hit! Will definitely have to come up with a recipe.
As I sit here, watching Ricky Gervais’ An Idiot Abroad and drinking Hello Sweetie, questions pour into my head.
Hello Sweetie is a blend created by Stacy from Butiki Tea and fellow Steepsterite JustJames! I received Hello Sweetie as a requested sample from Butiki, and let me just say what a fantastic buying experience Stacy provides – from requesting samples to getting a handwritten note in the mail along with your tea – it is a pleasure.
Thus, using the 2 teaspoon sample and 500mL of boiling water, I tried Hello Sweetie for the first time. A sweet, caramely black tea, Hello Sweetie has no astringency at all and instead allows for a smooth, creamy sip. I pick up on the banana and (perceived) candied-apple undertones from the scent of the tea, but my cup lacks a bit of staying power and taste. I did, however, only steep for the lower bound of 3 minutes and my next steep will be longer. In addition, I added a bit of rock sugar which only compounds the sweetie-nees to propagate an even more serene ride down the esophagus.
Now back to those questions. On An Idiot Abroad, Karl and Warwick are traveling through India and stop at a village that houses a pair of conjoined twins colloquially known as the spider girls. They walk parallel to the ground using their feet and two pairs of hands, giving reason for the name. Upon this visit, Karl meets with the girls while Warwick stays outside, refusing to meet with them as the desire to seek them out for being different touches an ethical cord within Warwick. As he stays outside, however, he is pursued by a parade of villagers only to watch and observe his actions (as the venerable actor comes in only at 3’ 6’’). Such irony only reserved to British Travel Documentaries, raises deep questions about moral relativism, the categorical imperative, and sheer cultural differences, but I am ill-equipped to handle such questions.
Instead, I look to another part of the show a little later where Warwick is pressured into appearing on-stage with Karl and the spider twins to be watched. The show flirts with the ethical issues of side-shows, but the pervasive theme at play here is really the story of bullying. Throughout the third season many measures are taken to ensure that the lovable, idiotic Karl does not bully Warwick for his physical stature, but in doing so we gloss over the bullying that Karl has endured since the beginning of the show. Therefore, the “bullying” goes both ways, in part, and plays upon the irony and moral dichotomies within the show and the characters themselves.
Moving away from this again, and returning to the issue of cultural differences, I have a question for the steepster community: Do you ever use sugar in your teas or do you find adding sugar to be sacrilege to the sanctity of tea? Also, for which teas and how much sugar do you typically use (.5 tsps)?
Flavors: Apple Candy, banana, Caramel
A sample from Butiki! I love Kenyan teas, so if Butiki is offering it, it must be a good one. The leaves here are small but not CTC small. Sadly, the only flavor I’m getting yet again is tomato soup. Kenyan teas don’t usually taste like tomato soup! Many of the samples from Butiki did… I’m wondering if it’s a tea within the pouch of samples that could be changing the flavors? Nothing in my experience could do that though. Maybe one of my infusers is doing it? But other teas taste fine in that infuser. It’s like tea torture only being able to taste the tomato soup of these teas, and I’m kind of sick of mentioning it. I also had another assam to see if it tastes the same and it had the same delicious flavor as before, so I don’t know. My taste buds are destroying these teas.
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 or 4 min
I am so glad I got some of this tea in my friends birthday order! She doesn’t like caramel, so that means it’s all mine… MINE! :)
Delicious fresh apple plus baked apple. Really subtle caramel sweetness (that I’m sure would come out even more with a touch of sugar).
This is soooo good! I think I can get a bunch of steeps out of the tea, as well. I was surprised when I saw it was a fairly tightly rolled oolong, but now I’m excited because I get even more tea out of my tea. Or something.
(Also I made some different tea popsicles. I found a recipe that suggested making a custard with some corn starch and milk and sugar and tea, so I did. Look for notes on that later!)
(1.5 tsp, 10 oz cup)
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Roasted