Custom (Butiki)

Recent Tasting Notes

84

Thanks to Indigobloom for sharing some of this little gem with me! I brewed some up during the day out of immense curiosity, and it was seriously delicious! The cilantro was present only as a delicious, refreshing flavour, and the mango as more of a background than a central note, but they combined for a really nice cup of white tea.

I let the second infusion go for closer to 3 minutes, and the flavours definitely emerged more, so since Indigobloom was generous enough to give me a bit to play with, I’ll try this on the first infusion next time.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

That sounds amazing!

Sil

can’t wait until i can taste again!

Indigobloom

hehe I am SO glad you like it Kittenna!!

Kittenna

Haha, yeah Sil, not much point to trying this one sans proper tasting ability. It has too much subtlety that would be lost.

Indigobloom

I agree with Kittenna, this would lose alot of nuance with tastebuds that are dampened

Sil

oh yeah..not touching it for a while even if i’m super excited to try it. I’m just hoping i’ll get to it before China heh for no other reason than i haven’t yet figured out what i’m doing about tea while i’m down there…

Indigobloom

you have a few weeks before China! I hope you internet access while over there!!

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100

This was the most fun I’ve ever had since I got into tea.

I had been wanting a Chili-Chocolate black tea for two years ever since TG discontinued theirs. There are others out there-but many are chais (which I don’t want), and some are not vegan and others I’m just not sure about the ingredients.

Enter Stacy, of Butiki Teas, who offered to do a vegan custom blend for me. Because the teas and other ingredients were things that she normally had on hand, she was able to give me some great prices and smaller amounts-less than $4 an ounce for this blend. In fact, it was even cheaper because the deal was for 2 ounces each but she wound up with 2.5 ounces on one blend and almost 3 ounces on the other blend. I’ve paid the same or more for blends that weren’t custom made with lots of personal attention.

Basically, Stacy and I exchanged several messages-she asked what I was looking for in a custom blend and she offered suggestions on bases and ingredients. She also asked for any suggestions I might have. It really felt like a collaboration. Like maybe Larry David was taking your suggestions and writing a Seinfeld for you. After settling on the bases, ingredients and spice-sweetness levels she went to work.

Every few days I would get an update from Stacy-when she blended, when she tasted, additional blending, settling, etc. She even sent me a pic of one of the teas in progress-so exciting! She did all this on her own-not once did I ever have to ask her how things were going-she was SO conscientious. When the teas were done, I even got to name them-it was so cool to see my tea names on the distinctive Butiki Teas labels!

I probably should have let the teas settle a bit, but, they arrived Saturday and it was raining all day, so I couldn’t wait.

This tea has a Kundaly (Nilgiri) base and is loaded with mini-chocolate chips and chili strips hand-grated by Stacy. I couldn’t smell the chili too well so I went with 1.5 teaspoons of dry leaf for an 8-10 ounce cup (you could just use 1 tsp for less heat). The liquor brews and orangish-reddish color and is closer to translucent than opaque.

You can drink this straight, but I feel that a teaspoon or so of brown crystal sugar (rock sugar) brings out the chocolate flavor better and really completes the chili-chocolate fusion. On the sip, I first taste a little chocolate on the tip of my tongue, followed quickly by spicy tingling in the sides, eventually lingering in the back of my throat after the swallow. With the rock sugar, the chocolate taste is there until the swallow. The tea blends in perfectly with everything. At first, I thought the 1.5 teaspoons was a bit too spicy for me-which is not Stacy’s fault because I told her I’d rather have too spicy than not spicy enough. Now, I am getting used to the 1.5 teaspoons and loving the heat. It’s not so hot that you would need to drink something else or eat something to tone it down. However, you might not want to sip too fast as it cools because of the lingering heat. It might not be a bad idea to reduce the spice here 10% or so, but not too much. It’s still good and spicy with just one teaspoon-but it will more likely need a teaspoon of sweetener. Still, 15 calories of sweetener is better than a 300 calorie chili-chocolate bar!

I’m really happy to have Chili-Chocolate tea again and I hope the weather cools down soon because it seems such a great drink for the fall and winter-maybe with a touch of soymilk and some vegan marshmallows.

Working with Stacy has been a great experience-professional, friendly, and responsive. If you have an idea for a tea that no one has, consider asking Stacy about a custom blend. She’s a mad tea-ologist who loves to experiment! She also will try to work within your budget-she won’t tell you that you need a $15 an ounce tea for a base. It could be a great gift idea for a loved one as well. Thanks, Stacy for all your hard work! Hope to do another custom blend in the future.

I can’t really separate the tea from the experience because of the personal service. The tea is really great and the service is outstanding.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

This blend sounds amazing! I agree with everything you said about making a custom tea with Stacy, it’s such a fun and personal experience.

Butiki Teas

Scott-I’m so glad you are enjoying the tea & process of making the tea! I had a lot of fun and love the Kundaly version of the chocolate chilli tea. I can see myself drinking this all fall and winter long. Its great to work with you and I certainly appreciate all the feedback. I’m hoping to have a permanent chilli chocolate tea for our fall selection. I would love to work with you again anytime. :)

Alphakitty-Thanks, I such a great time working with you and I’m so happy with the results. Tamarind Pop has been a wonderful addition to our tea selection. :)

Scott B

It really is, Alphakitty. Most people here are so serious about their tea that this is a treat they should consider trying at least once.

Stacy- I’m glad you feel my feedback has been helpful. I look forward to a permanent supply of chili chocolate in the near future :) Runs off to think of mad ideas for tea blends

Butiki Teas

Scott-Mad ideas are always welcome. :D

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90

Thank you for the sample.
It does indeed smell like a watermelon.
I have to admit that I’m not a watermelon fan (in terms of taste). What? Shocking I know … Furthermore, I associate watermelon flavor with cheep bubblegum. Having said that, this was really nice. It was light, sparkly and very delightful. It would probably make a nice iced version.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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82

Sipdown! 778.

Drinking down my last cup of this so that I can pass the remaining cup’s worth onto Raritea. Due to age, the watermelon flavour has dissipated a bit, but it’s certainly still there, both in aroma and flavour. I opted to try a 1-minute infusion for the dragon well instead of the recommended 2.5 minutes, and I think that it helped to bring out the flavouring and tame the dragonwell a bit. I see that I noted that I should try it with a bit of sugar this time, but I don’t really feel inclined to. I like it as it is. At some point I’ll try Watermelon Xylophone with sugar instead to see how it brings out the watermelon flavouring.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
KittyLovesTea

Wow this sounds amazing! Combining the two is genius.

Kittenna

It was one of Stacy’s attempts prior to creating the Watermelon Xylophone, and she ended up sending me a sample of it as I was very interested in the dragon well base, though she opted not to use that for the website.

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82

Stacy was kind enough to pass along with my last order a sample of the Watermelon Dragonwell that she concocted prior to the creation of Watermelon Xylophone, as I was quite interested in the idea!

The aroma of this one dry was a bit difficult to discern, as the packet was located next to the packet of Cider Guayasa (which smells absurdly good!), so that’s all I could smell. However, once out of the packet I could smell a bit of sweet fruitiness.

Unfortunately, as is typical of me, I brewed up a bunch of teas and forgot about them for a couple hours, so this one is cold now… however I’m rather enjoying it! The dragonwell is light and a kind of green beany flavour, but I can still taste a melony flavour lurking in the background, and unlike with Watermelon Xylophone, it’s coming off a bit more like watermelon than cantaloupe! It’s been recommended that this tea be tried with some rock sugar to bring out the watermelon, so attempt #2 will involve that, but I wanted to taste it on its on first. I’m intrigued by the idea of blends with green teas that lean more heavily toward vegetal as opposed to seaweedy/brothy notes, and this one seems to indicate that it would be possible and tasty to make such a blend! I think the tea would definitely be better with stronger flavouring, but as that wasn’t really an option, it was probably best to go with a white tea, but I enjoy this regardless.

Thanks so much for the sample, Stacy!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Butiki Teas

You’re quite welcome. I do intend on flavoring dragonwell at some point. With what is really the question. I’m thinking maybe some type of citrus.

Alphakitty

Ooh, citrus dragonwell sounds delicious! Maybe yuzu? (okay, I just want more yuzu teas haha)

Butiki Teas

I don’t think I’ve ever had yuzu. What does it taste like?

Alphakitty

Yuzu is kind of like a cross between lemon and grapefruit, but with a really unique taste that’s hard to describe exactly. It’s my favorite citrus, but there don’t seem to be a lot of teas flavored with it.

Butiki Teas

Huh, that sounds interesting.

Alphakitty

It is! Lots of Japanese candies are yuzu flavored, you can probably find some if you have an Asian market nearby.

Kittenna

Sounds delicious!! As long as the citrus is a fruity flavour and not a peel flavour. I dislike how citrus peel is used to flavour so many things. Ick!

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