1931 Tasting Notes

80
drank Exotic Pear by Butiki Teas
1931 tasting notes

This is my first pear tea, but I’ve always wanted to try one so it was a perfect candidate to request for a sample from Butiki. The tea is apparently a new blend, and it has tons of whole flower buds in the dry tea. The aroma dry is definitely pear and general juicy-fruity, with some definite florals underlying it. Steeped, the tea liquor is a pale yellow (but not as pale as the Rose Violet Calendula Oolong!), and it smells like primarily like pears, but now a little more vegetal with floral overtones I can’t quite place.

The flavor is really juicy pear! It surprised me a bit, actually. Again in the taste I get the vegetal notes from the aroma (the green tea perhaps), and definitely an array of florals. I’m interested to know what flowers are actually in this one, but I really like it! I hope this one gets added for online ordering, because I would order more.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Paul M Tracy

I think pear is one of the trickiest flavors to use without it coming across as cheap flavoring. I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about Butiki (boutiquey?) Teas. I might have to try someone new.

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50
drank Cream Earl Grey by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

This is the last of the TeaFrog samples I have that I took to work (I left all the rooibos at home, and I don’t drink tea as often there). The aroma on this one is super sweet creamy-vanilla, with just a hint of bergamot and black tea peeking in from underneath. The taste is surprisingly bitter for an Earl Grey cream. Maybe I steeped it longer than I thought, but certainly no more than 30 seconds longer. Guess I’ll make sure to go down to 3 minutes exactly next time. Anyway, the creamy vanilla flavor is also there with a good helping of astringent bergamot. I feel like they’re somehow separate, though, like they don’t meld together well. Usually I feel like cream Earl Greys are tamer than traditional Earl Greys, but in this one the cream doesn’t seem to mellow it as much. I’ll definitely adjust my steeping parameters and try again, but right now this is not my favorite as far as cream Earl Greys go.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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74

I’ve been excited to try this tea, as I love floral teas. The oolong leaves are somewhat rolled up with flower petals incorporated around them. The try leaves have a wonderfully pungent rosy-flowery smell with an underlying fruity aroma. The tea brewed up into a very pale yellow liquor, and the jasmine now takes the forefront in the aroma, with the rose underlying it. The flavor is very floral and perfumed, and if you don’t tend to enjoy floral teas this one probably isn’t for you. The first flavor that hits me is the rose, with the jasmine on the latter part of the taste. I’m not sure I can really pick out the violet and calendula individually, but they are certainly contributing to the overall flavor. There’s an overall very faint sweetness to the tea. I’m definitely enjoying this one, and can see ordering some more!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

That sounds delightful! It’s now on my radar!!

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63
drank Earl Grey Special by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

What’s this, another Earl Grey? I feel like I have so many kinds now, I really am going to sit down and compare them side by side when I decide I need to order more than just samples. Anyway, I got this one with my bunch of samples from TeaFrog, and I was intrigued by all the extras; I love Earl Grey, but I’m not an EG purist by any means, and I enjoy blends that throw other things into the mix. This one brewed up a medium reddish orange, with an aroma primarily of the black tea base with some underlying citrus, and a bright lemony note over all as it cools. For all the additional ingredients, this one tastes like a fairly standard Earl Grey to me. There’s a maltiness to the Ceylon base, and a not-overpowering bergamot flavor with a very slight astringency. I actually don’t get a distinct lemony note, but I think it’s mostly contributing to the overall citrusy flavor. I’m not getting any distinct jasmine flavors. A pretty solid Earl Grey over all.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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73
drank Jasmine Pearls by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

I’ve never actually had jasmine pearls before, but I’ve always wanted to since I love jasmine tea. I finally got around to ordering a sample with my big TeaFrog sample order. I initially brewed this tea for 4 minutes (as indicated on the package), but put the pearls back in for another minute when the resulting tea was only barely tinged yellow. The liquor still doesn’t look hardly different from hot water, but it smells wonderfully of jasmine anyway. On the first steep some of the pearls opened all of the way, but for some the inner core still remains.

I’m very pleased with this tea; the aroma is fantastic, and the taste is light but distinct. The jasmine is prominent, and it takes me back to my time in China when we drank jasmine tea with every meal. I can’t compare it to other jasmine pearls, but it’s considerably better than other jasmine greens I’ve had, and it stands up well to my unnamed Chinese jasmine green (unrolled) that I brought back from China and is fantastically jasminey. This definitely makes me want to go try some more jasmine pearls!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
KeenTeaThyme

Jasmine pearls are wonderful! :) You can mix them with other teas, such as a sweet green rooibos, for a terrific flavor, or with a fruity flavor. These are cupboard essentials. I’ll have to try this version, though – sounds like there is plenty of jasmine (my fave!)

Dinosara

I hadn’t thought of mixing them with other teas, but that’s a great idea!

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68

This is another of my free samples from Butiki! Almond is one of my favorite flavors, so I of course had to try this one. I accidentally steeped it for a touch longer than the steeping time on the package, but it didn’t seem to hurt the tea. The color is a nice medium orangey-red. The first smell that hits me is sugar cookies, followed by cinnamon, the earthy aromas of the black tea base, and a bright hint of citrus. Taken all together, the smell once again really reminds me of the candy-encrusted roasted almonds you find at fairs (same as the almond cookie from Joy’s Teaspoon). I get very similar notes from the taste; this one does a pretty good job of actually tasting like those sugar-cinnamon coated almonds too. However, I’m more getting a feeling of almond than an actual taste; I’m sure the almond pieces and flavoring is contributing to the overall experience, but this tea just doesn’t have what I consider to be strong, pure almond notes. I get a slight bitterness from the tea, but it actually works well because it melds just right with the flavor. I think I lose some of the bakery-cookie notes in the taste, but that’s ok with me. I must have a somewhat different idea of what an almond cookie tastes like, because to an almond cookie basically just tastes like almond—no cinnamon, or spices, just plain, delicious almond. In any case in the “almond cookie” genre of teas, this one is quite good, if a bit less almondy than I’d like.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

I really hope I asked for this one for my Butiki reviews!

Butiki Teas

Interesting that you bring up that the almond isn’t as strong as you would like. I just so happen to be making a new blend of this tea using a flavoring that is much more concentrated almond almost cherry like (or at least that’s how I describe it). Additionally, the tea base will be of higher quality and organic. The tea should be completed in a few weeks after I do a blind taste test with some tea friends.

Dinosara

Cool! I’ll definitely have to try the new blend!

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63
drank Chocolate and Cream by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

I love chocolate tea, but I’ve always been a little skeptical of teas with actual chocolate chips in them. It always seemed like cheating; like the chips would melt and make the tea less chocolate tea, and more weak hot chocolate. But I ordered this sample anyway, because I thought this one might be a good one to try.

Turns out my mistrust of chocolate chips in tea seems to be unfounded. I brewed up this tea with it’s little chocolate chips, and it’s really quite tasty! The liquor is a medium-shade reddish brown, and it smells and tastes mostly like chocolate and that hard to describe toasted or roasted flavor I often taste in chocolate teas. I don’t get a strong cream note, but I think it’s underlying the chocolate and giving it the feeling of sweetness without actually tasting sweet. The black tea base isn’t distinct, but it offers a nice background without being too strong and without any bitterness. Overall, a very nice tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67
drank Classic Earl Grey by Butiki Teas
1931 tasting notes

First, thanks to Butiki Teas for sending me a free sample of this to review! I woke up this morning with zero energy (it might have been the wet, sleety snow outside—blech!), so I decided I’d try this tea for a wake up boost. I followed the brewing instructions exactly, though a two minute brew time is quick! The liquor turned out a medium-tint reddish brown, and the aroma is that of the nice black tea base with an overlayer of bergamot. The flavor is nice and balanced between the bergamot and the black tea. To me this bergamot is a little more floral than fruity, but as it cools more citrus notes come out. There’s a bit of maltiness, and a slight astringency. I can see why the steep time is lower, because it seems like this tea might edge toward bitterness if steeped too long or at boiling. Overall this is a nicely blended Earl Grey with a strong black tea base.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Gingerbread Orange by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

Another evening rooibos for me. I hadn’t actually drank a lot of rooibos before recently, and I think I’m starting to pick out the underlying base flavor in each tea I drink. I think I like it! The scent of this one reminds me of exactly what it’s called: gingerbread and orange. The taste is a little bit more orange than gingerbread, but there’s a spiciness behind it. I can taste the pink peppercorn, which I like deployed in this one more than in the another tea I’ve had before. I also get note of almond, and an overall baked goods flavor. Orange and gingerbread wouldn’t be my first thought to put together, but I think it works. It’s almost less like gingerbread than a tasty spice cake that you might drizzle with a citrus icing.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Caramel Cream by TeaFrog
1931 tasting notes

I haven’t tried many caramel-flavored teas, but I’m not really sure why; I love caramel. When I first opened this sample I got a blast of caramel scent that somehow faded a bit. There were little caramel cubes mixed in with the rooibos. Brewed up, this tea didn’t smell very much like anything. Perhaps a bit of the rooibos, but I didn’t get a strong caramel aroma. Tasting was thus a pleasant surprise; I enjoy the buttery caramel notes along with creamy vanilla in this tea, and I’m getting some almond too. It’s very faintly sweet, and overall very tasty.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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