1615 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 187. This sample comes to me thanks to Ellen!
I decided a wanted a simple green tea for the late afternoon. I totally winged it with the steeping parameters on this one; since I had slightly more leaf than I would typically use I checked it after 1 minute of steeping, then decided I wanted a little more and added 30 seconds. This was a pleasant green tea. It was slightly nutty by overally pretty green and leafy. Somehow not in quite a cooked greens way, though, more like fresh kale. I didn’t get any sweetness, though I admit I did expect some from the name, but I still definitely enjoyed the cup.
Sipdown, 188. I requested this sample because I have been interested in trying this one for a while. I was almost sure enough that I would like it that I just ordered an ounce, but I decided not to this time. For sure, it combines a lot of my favorites: flowery? check. light, green bao zhong? check. pineapple? well, I could take or leave pineapple, but I do enjoy it.
My other half wandered by and said, without knowing what the tea was, that it smelled like flowers. When I told him it was flowery pineapple, he allowed that he did smell flowery pineapples. This is a great improvement, because probably 3 months ago he would have said it smelled like tea (everything smells like tea).
Anyway, it does smell like flowery pineapples, which is to say it has a nice, sweet, authentic pineapple aroma and also a good dose of florals. Lilac, perhaps, or maybe peony. That does translate over to the flavor, although I’d say its heavier on the pineapple and not so much on the florals. The baozhong base is lovely, and there is a creaminess to the whole thing. It gives it a tropical drink feeling; a hint of coconut and you’d have a piña colada. If I was mad for pineapple this would definitely have a place in my cupboard (kind of like if I were mad for cantaloupe then Cantaloupe & Cream would have a place in my cupboard), and maybe some day it will find its way back into it anyway. It is quite delicious.
The first time I had this tea, it was with somewhat contaminated water, though I still enjoyed it. What’s odd is that this time the tea seems less flavorful, although I know my water is fine. As it cools, a bright, citrusy hit of bergamot pops out, which is nice, and the violet grows as the cup progresses. I am also realizing that I am less and less interested in flavored greens these days, although it might be more of a base tea thing. I am only interested in some flavored greens, those with a nutty, buttery base. This is a fairly generic grassy green tea, and it just doesn’t do much for me.
Sipdown, 190. This is my other surprise sample from my last Butiki order. I ordered before this was released, so I didn’t even have a chance to request a sample, though I would have! So it was nice to get it.
This is really quite delicious. Very vanilla-y, like soft vanilla caramels when they are still pale; not too much caramelization, so it’s very creamy. Almost like dulce de leche, actually. Plus I always appreciate it when the base tea is very high quality, and having just tried this one in its pure form, I can definitely say that is the case. I could see picking some up in a future order. Also, I’d love to see this base used in more blends.
An early morning calls for an energizing tea for sure. It always takes me a while to get going and I decided that I should dive into my new stock of this tea!
Well I certainly think this helped. Citrusy and creamy, a bit leafy. And I am getting work done, so that’s awesome.
Sipdown, 191, and sad to see this one go. I sometimes have an issue with vanilla and rose together (although I love them both on their own), but not with this one. It is delightful. Each flavor is strong enough to stand out and yet they all meld together and play off each other so well. Hopefully I’ll be in Paris in July, and if so I will definitely be stopping by Fauchon for some tea.
Sipdown, 192. The last of my samples from Stephanie, thanks!
I will go on the record as saying that I am deeply skeptical of this tea. Although I do love cilantro, I only have it in savory applications and it doesn’t sound like something I want in my tea. But when Stephanie offered to send me a sample of it I said ok, because I am willing to give pretty much anything a shot.
The steeped tea smells lightly of pineapple and cilantro. I definitely get the sensation of sniffing a tropical salsa. Hmm interesting flavor. I think the most predominant flavor I get is the cilantro, followed by white tea and then pineapple. It’s a bit vegetal and a bit fruity, but overall the flavor is fairly light (I am sure I didn’t underleaf it, as Stephanie sent the perfect amount). The texture is certainly creamy. This tea definitely turned out better than I might have thought, but its definitely not the tea for me. Cilantro just doesn’t belong in my tea I think. :)
Sipdown, 193. Thanks to Stephanie for this sample!
The first whiff of this brewing is intensely cantaloupe-y. Super ripe, super delicious cantaloupe. While traveling I had a fruit cup that had horrible, underripe cantaloupe in it, and this just reminds me of how delicious a very ripe melon can be. I definitely also smell the creaminess of it.
This is quite a delicious tea. The cantaloupe flavor is amazing, and the creamy texture is great. It’s simply a great tea that delivers exactly what it promises: cantaloupe and cream. While I do like a good cantaloupe, I’m don’t love it enough to need a stock of this tea in my cupboard, but I do have to give props for a very well done blend.
Sipdown, 194. Cold brewed this one. I know, a winter blend is somewhat odd for a cold brew in the spring, but I remembered this one being appley and I have been enjoying appley cold brews.
Unfortunately this didn’t really pan out. There was some off taste to it, slightly chemically or artificial, and not enough apple. It was drinkable but perhaps I should have saved this for another hot brew. Ah well, it’s gone now!
So, as I have said before, I don’t really like assams. Clearly I can be proven wrong about this, but only if they don’t really taste like assams (see: Hattalli Golden Lion Assam also from Butiki). Which is why I ordered this one. For one, it’s an C. s. assamica bush, but it was imported to Taiwan a long time ago and has been cultivated there, so there is a good chance it will taste completely different. After all, just look at how different C. s. sinensis bushes can taste around different areas of the world. There were also enough rave reviews of this one, including ones comparing it to Laoshan Black, that I was willing to give it a try. And Stacy put it on sale when I asked, even.
This tea is one of those long, squiggly-leafed teas that make it impossible to dish out with a teaspoon. As a result I think I underleafed this cup. Nevertheless, I am already impressed. Honestly I have been dealing with a lot of nonsense this morning so I can’t give you a detailed impression of the aroma because I have already drank the entire cup. Flavor-wise, I’d say this reminds me more of a Fujian black than any assam. It is honeyed and malty, with notes of grains and raisins. I don’t think I would say chocolatey, but that’s fine with me. I think I will have to try some of my Fujian blacks and then this again so that I can really get a handle on it, but it is lovely.