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Recent Tasting Notes
Thought I would use this entry as I do not know how to put the Mystery Tea #2 from Butiki in my cupboard. Yes, I am just now getting to this!!! I have been away since it came in the mail :(. It was a difficult time being away from my tea stash. But we are now reunited and it is time to get back in my routine, which includes LOTS of tea :D
I’ve never seen a tea like this! It looks almost bead-like and it’s tiny. My assumption is that it’s black tea. The smell is amazing, raspberry is the only scent I can place. There is another scent that is complementing it beautifully. Brewed, this isn’t as appealing although still berry-ish. My suspicions of this being a black tea were confirmed as I needed to add sugar to it, and then a little more sugar. There is still a little bit of bite in the back of the throat that I don’t really care for. Overall, I think this could be a decent morning tea for me, as it is mostly pleasant.
Today was such a completely awful day. I knew I needed something extra special to comfort me. So, I decided to mix a portion of my Premium Taiwanese Assam with Whispering Pine’s Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong and add some pure ground vanilla. This hit the spot perfectly. It was sweet, creamy, malty, chocolatey, caramely and vanillay goodness. This cup did not make it long since I couldn’t stop drinking it. I’m crossing my fingers that the rest of the day is just a bit better.
More from the Butiki Educational TTB
Gui Fei – This is kinda roasty and sweet.. I know it’s called “honey tea” but I really didn’t taste much of a honey flavor
Long Feng Xia – This is super smooth and buttery/creamy. I loved this!
Here’s the magic part! Since I brewed both teas at the same time (different pots) I poured half of each flavor into the same cup! Wow is that good XD I’d recommend that if anyone else gets the chance to mix these, that they do it!
Bonus: I tried the Puerh #6 as well.. mmm.. barbeque mushroom shou.. :P Not my thing, but it was okay nonetheless.
Tasting note #100!
The following teas were from the Butiki Educational TTB – I haven’t had a chance to write notes, so here’s a brief synopsis..
Wen Shan Bao Zhong #2 – A little sweetness and roasted flavor. Not something that I would go buy more of.
Hong Shui #1 – Again, a nice roasted oolong with a little spice on the back end.
Ali Shan #4 – A nice green oolong base with a sweet vegetal note.
Jin Xuan – Not what I was expecting.. Didn’t really get any creaminess from this tea. It really just tasted like the Ali Shan that I had before it.
From the Butiki Educational TTB
Today’s tea is the Vietnamese Green :)
I brewed this like a normal green with 175 degree water for a minute (it was a little longer than this since I got distracted). I’m not really finding any typical green tea flavors in this! I’m getting the taste of a lightly roasted oolong, which is good, but not what I was expecting. Also, it’s very one-note, so it’s kinda boring and gets hard to drink after the first half of the cup.
Channeling my inner Lou Bega…
Ladies and gentlemen.. this is Puerh #5.
From the Butiki Educational TTB :)
I wish I knew what I was drinking.. So, this is obviously a sheng.. Well, it’s in a bag marked puerh and it looks like a sheng? So, I heat up some water to about 195 degrees and put 5g in my gaiwan. After a short rinse, I taste the first five second brew..
Are we sure this is a sheng? It’s not very sheng-y. Granted, I still know nothing about puerh, but this definitely tastes and smells like most of the Indian teas that I enjoy. I didn’t know such complex flavor could come from a pu! The first steep is a barrage of flavors and I tried to capture them all. I felt that there were hints of raisin and dried fruits, but with a slight (very slight) vegetal finish. This first steep is super smooth and has a very full feeling in the mouth.
The second steep.. Okay! Now we have some pepper kicking through! Still a great finish and smooth feeling. I didn’t think that I would like pepper raisin tea :P
Third.. The flavor of the pepper raisin tea is still there, but I have this overwhelming feeling that I’m drinking water. The flavor kinda dissipated with the first two steeps :/ The aftertaste on the third steep is a strong pepper kick.
Third.. The flavor of the pepper raisin tea is still there, but I have this overwhelming feeling that I’m drinking water. The flavor kinda dissipated with the first two steeps :/ The aftertaste on the third steep is a strong pepper kick.70/100
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Pepper, Raisins, Vegetal
Butiki Educational TTB
I didn’t know where to start, so I opened up the oolong bag, since I enjoy a lot of oolongs. I just kinda looked through them for one that looked interesting and came across the Bihar Oolong from India. It smelled great – kind of a muscatel, sweet/fruity smell – so I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
I brewed this for 2.5 minutes at 195. The resulting brew has an interesting smell, but I thought it tasted completely different than the smell. The taste is nice and sweet with a grape/apricot flavor. Very nice tea and I enjoyed multiple steeps!
Flavors: Apricot, Muscatel, Sweet
Okay, quick note about the Butiki Sponsored Herbal Mixing Box.
As I was parceling out a couple herbs to try, I was curious about the Honeysuckle Flowers. they looked like the herbal version of Dian Hong. Boy, was I ever wrong.
This is the singular most disgusting thing i have ever had the misfortune of putting in my teapot. I might as well have been sucking on a piece of dusty old leather. the lingering taste of dried shiitake mushrooms and mold on my tongue made me gag. I wasn’t sure if the copper penny note was the tea or blood in my mouth.
It’s supposedly meant to help miraculously with the flu, digestive inflictions, and other viral infections. I’m sorry, but constipation sounds like more fun than drinking a cup of this tea.
I went for an early spring hike today! It felt so good to re-charge and to reconnect with the beauty of nature. I’m sorry (not sorry) to sound cheesy, but I was feeling all crusted and stale from the drain of city life. I need to do some earthing to connect myself to the big blue planet around me. Just hearing the absence of sound for a couple of hours made me feel so much better. Nothing but the wind through the trees. No cars, no airplanes, no people. A rare bird song every now and again, but mostly silence and the sound of my feet. It was still a little snowy here and there, but nothing too bad that the trail became too slushy. I was pretty lucky to make it back to my car before it began snowing. ahh, pure bliss.
So the tea that I brought with me was my homemade version of Celestial Seasoning’s Morning Thunder. I used to love that stuff. It was ideal for my hike today. It was smoky, and robust, and really seriously warming.
.5g of Tippy’s Lumberjack + 3g Capital Tea LTD’s Meleng Estate Assam + 2g Roasted Yerba Mate. I threw in a couple of cinnamon chips as well. It turned out to be pretty much perfect.
Empty Stomach + Matcha + Young Sheng = Party time
Forgot to mention I started the day with matcha empty stomach followed my young sheng…. needless to say I felt like puking. When I say felt like puking I don’t mean “oh em gee that girls instagram is gross, puke” I mean you are 6-7 shots deep on cheap plastic handle vodka and your friends say one more ! with results in your mouth uncontrollable mouth watering to lubricate the reverse of traffic out of your esophagus tandem with the involuntary crunches like an impromptu 6 min abs video.
Now Im sure many of you are saying duh empty stomach matcha alone should equal you on your knees praying to the porcelain gods but I was always the Macho man, back to back young raw bulang on empty stomach and low fat diet, routinely start my day off with matcha if I needed to be up and alert for extended hours, etc. But my limit seems to be the masochistic combination of empty+ matcha+ young sheng
Apologizes if any of this is lowbrow but it is more for my reference than anything and if I could make some of these private I would
With no agenda or idea of what I was doing in Tokorozawa, I walked to the top of a tall building. Knowing that I can’t speak Japanese I know I can always walk anywhere and just say sorry and it’ll be okay because I’m a foreigner , however I did not expect the top floor to be a restaurant area. I walked around and was surprised to find a high end tea shop that only carried 6 teas. There were two oolongs, a few green teas, and then randomly a pu’erh. I decided to buy the pu’erh because it’s rarely seen here in Japan. I’m still confused about that tea shop… why it was there and why they only sold 6 teas. Whatever, it was an enjoyable trip
Walked into a rather large tea store and a lady pulled out her phone to translate for her. It was pretty awesome. She ended up pointing at a chair for me to sit in… so I sat and she brought me some tea: https://instagram.com/p/15GFCOxYLK/?taken-by=sinhatin
Ended up being a mid grade sencha that was pleasant. I ended up buying the display box they had for a 2015 harvest sencha… now there is only one pouch left.
I look forward to opening the box in a month when I’m back home :)
Talk about random…
My bike had a problem so I pulled over and this lady randomly comes out to help me out. I couldn’t understand anything she said because she was speaking Japanese, but she fixed my bike for me and I followed her to say thanks and she happens to own a pottery tea-ware store with a few teas. There are only two chairs in her place but she made me some tea and I still couldn’t understand her which sucks because I didn’t have more then 1000 yen on me so I couldn’t pick anything up at the time. She brewed me a cup of green tea that was very strong but it was because it was a lower end green tea. It was a nice experience and I plan to go back .
Just ate at higher end Indian restaurant in Tokyo and decided to order a chai.
This was one of the worst chais I’ve ever had. I know it was hand blended, but that doesn’t equate to good and this is an example of that. The cup was tiny (4 ounces) so I thought it’d be strong and bold, however it was watery and tasted like cinnamon and black pepper that should be eaten and not drank. I like chias, I really do , but dang this was rough.
I only drank an ounce of it because of the taste.
I just bought 100g of hojicha off a dude selling tea on the street!
By the street I mean his tea shop on the corner of a street in northern Tokyo… anyways, this hojicha is very roasty. Steeping this is odd because the leaf is ugly; it looks stale and brown. Drinking this is the best past because you can somewhat experience the roasted green leaf process as the flavor fills your mouth. It is quite odd to drink a green tea that has been roasted after drinking straight green tea for awhile but I really enjoy this. I’m somewhat curious to how the flavored hojichas will taste like because I cannot imagine a roasted tea with fruit just yet… maybe it’ll be like a piece of toast with jam :p
Just went to a tea shop in northern Tokyo and had no clue what I was buying because it was all in Japanese.
I ended up getting a matcha that I really like that isn’t too strong and has a nice floral taste that comes in throughout the taste.
The oolong is mild, yet it is a wonderful taste. There is no astringency in this oolong and yet it keeps its brisk flavor even if it is mild (if that makes sense).
The green tea is decent but not the best. I am going to keep trying to brew it differently. The package says to use 8g of tea to brew it… are you kidding? I am going to try that suggestion soon and see what happens.
My host family in Tokyo took me to pancake house here that is known for its artisan coffee… but I don’t drink coffee so I ordered a Darjeeling. You read that right, a Darjeeling in Japan… I have no understanding of why this location had no green teas of any sort but I rolled with it. It was morning so a black tea was nice. This tea was strong and bitter, woke me right up. I just don’t like black teas in general but this Darjeeling was brewed quite nicely and I was impressed at its smoothness.
So I have over 40 days in Tokyo left and I have a plan to try all the loose leaf teas that are in the dollar store. Yes, loose leaf tea in the dollar store… and they are locally grown teas. At first I expected the tea to be shredded up and be bitter, however my first tea that I am trying is quite good. I would say it is a step below sencha. The color is rather green and the taste alone is semi sweet and not bad at all, it could pass as a medium priced tea which I find rather odd after trying many different types of green teas. I may have got lucky with this one… I plan to experiment though. The only downer about this tea is the dryness to it (which can be altered by adding 2g of sugar per 8 ounces of tea).Still, 50g of loose leaf green tea from Japan at one dollar is a great deal for how it taste. This would be a great tea to cold brew too with its semi sweet taste.
Butiki Educational TTB
Kenya White #2
The day is winding down to an end, and my stress is still through the roof. I picked this to calm me before bed time. I have never had a Kenyan White before and was very interested. I am hoping the magic properties of African tea will mystically relax me, haha. The dry leaf is similar to Bai Hao Yin Zhen except its more twiggy. They resemble small silver pins and sticks. They are a brilliant white and gray color. I brewed these in my tea press. The aroma is of wet hay and summer dew. The aroma from my cup is like a wheat field after a rainstorm. The flavor was very unique. It was a syrupy hay. It tasted like green hay and with a sweet after-tone of sugar cookies. This was nice before bed. I really liked this tea, and it was very interesting.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Powdered sugar
Butiki Educational TTB
Shan Lin #1 – Taiwan
Mmmmmm, this was delicious! The dry oolong consists of small forest green nuggets. I brewed these up in my yixing. I placed these small pebbles inside and washed once. The dry leaf opened up into a vibrant green array of leaves and stems. The aroma was like milk weed and fresh spring. This brew had a deep vegetal tones. The liquor was a brilliant moss agate colour. The taste was incredibly creamy! The initial sip was silky, vegetal, and full of a heady herbal flavor. The aftertaste coated your throat with sweet sugar. The best thing of this brew was the leaf quality. After brewing, I inspected the leaves in my brewing vessel and was amazed! My little pot contained full flawless leaves and each stem had two leaves exactly. I debated on keeping them, haha. I really like it when I get to drink quality Oolong, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.
Flavors: Creamy, Seaweed, Sugar, Vegetal
Butiki Educational TTB
Darjeeling Oolong Autumn Flush – India
Darjeeling Oolongs always catch my eye, so I grabbed this fast. The dry leaf looks alike to Darjeeling black tea except for it carries deeper black and silver colors. I brewed this up in my tea press western style. The small shards steep into a iridescent citrine colour. The scent from my press is a candid vineyard. The taste is incredibly smooth and syrupy. There is a hint of muscatel and hay in each sip. The dominating flavor is light wood and caramel. I brewed this up softly to get lighter flavors, rather than getting the heavy flavors. I really liked this brew and I’m trying not to take it all….. hahah.
Flavors: Caramel, Hay, Muscatel, Smooth