242 Tasting Notes

79

This also came to me via Kaylee, and this is another I’d been wanting to try for ages. It smelled amazing dry—lots of currant, with hints of blackberry. Steeped, though, the green base took over, and the flavor was nowhere near as good as the dry aroma. The cassis was weak and the macaron (which maybe should have been almond? I’m not sure how a tea can really taste like a macaron) essentially absent. It reminded me of a less good version of Republic of Tea’s Black Raspberry. It’s very possible I messed up my steep: I don’t have a variable temperature kettle or a thermometer, so finicky greens are a challenge. Plus, I only had enough for one serving, so didn’t have a chance to experiment. I wouldn’t mind trying this again sometime, but I have so many other teas on my list for if and when I make a Dammann order I’m not sure it will happen

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80

I know I got this in a swap too, though I forget who sent it to me. Whoever it was, thank you! I’d been wanting to try this for ages but was never able to justify an ATR order, so it was great to be able to try a sample. And I’m glad I did do it this way, because in the end I didn’t like this tea as much as I expected to. I know it’s unreasonable to expect any tea to truly taste like briocke, but what I can I say? My expectations were set pretty high based on some of the rave reviews I’ve read. While I did get sweetness and some cinnamon, I didn’t pick up on anything pastry (let alone brioche)—this is a problem I have with most pastry teas. Anyway, this was alright, but it certainly didn’t live up to its name.

Dustin

If you ever do consider an ATR order, get on their mailing list. They send out coupons almost weekly!

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82

I got a sample of this in my swap with Cameron B. I haven’t had the chance to try many Japanese blacks, so this was an exciting sample for me. It did indeed have an unusual flavor profile. There’s sweetness, malt, and notes of honey—so far, so standard. But there’s also hay, verging on grassiness, which I’d associate more with a white or green tea. There’s a bit of astringency, though not too much. I can’t say I fell in love with this tea, or that it’s something I feel the need to stock up on, but it’s always nice to get the chance to try something different.

boychik

I loved it. But it’s expensive. I made it gongfu and using their instructions side by side. Gongfu was so much better.

greenteafairy

Ah, I just steeped it western-style. I love samples, but the downside is there’s often not enough to experiment with different steeping methods.

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72

This was another sample courtesy of Kaylee. This one got rave reviews, but I suspected it might not be for me since I’m one of the few who didn’t care for White Rhino. And I was right. The butterscotch flavor was oppressively strong, with little hazelnut or mocha. being a huge fan of neither the base nor the butterscotch, this one just didn’t have much to offer me. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to try it, if only to confirm that I didn’t miss anything by not ordering it before Butiki closed.

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90

Dry, this smells just like an apple Jolly Rancher. The flavor, though, is a pretty good balance between the flavoring and the grassy sencha base, with both the apple and the elderflower coming through. This is great iced, and cold-steeped—really crisp and refreshing.

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85

This was another sample from Kaylee, and another blend I’d toyed with picking up in my last Butiki order. And in this case, I wish I had. It smelled and tastes quite citrusy, with maybe some pineapple or mango, and though I only tried it hot I bet it would’ve been great iced.

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80

This was a sample from Kaylee, and I’m so glad I was able to try some from her stash. I’d long been curious about this blend—it sounded so delightful, but I’m wary of rose teas after too many letdowns. Happily, the rose in this one wasn’t too strong—indeed, everything about the tea was quite light. It even had a fizzy, champagne-like sensation, which I’d never encountered in a tea before. It was all very pleasant, but not very memorable, and on the whole I’m not too sorry this one never made its way into any of my Butiki orders.

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85

This one never really appealed to me, despite its high ratings, since I tend not to be a big fan of licorice in tea. But in Butiki’s closing frenzy, I thought I might as well snap up a packet before it disappeared forever, just to see what all the fuss was about. And I’m glad I did. Both dry and steeped, it smelled weirdly—though not unpleasantly—like root beer, though the flavor was more clove-y (though there’s definitely some root beer in the background). It’s a tiny bit astringent, though a splash of almond milk mellowed it out (and subdued the spices some). This is a really nice, unusual chai, and one I’m really glad to have been able to try.

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84

This is tart, with just the right degree of hibiscus kick. It’s not overpowering—I do taste some currant, though not as much blueberry. I’ve tried this both hot and iced, and it’s nice both ways. A really pleasant herbal option, especially for a bagged grocery store tea, and one I wouldn’t mind keeping around.

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74

I didn’t care for this one. The green oolong base lost it several points straight off the bat, and the tropical ( or citrus?) notes didn’t do much to redeem it. It had some interesting nutty notes, but I’d hoped for more from this blend

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Bio

Likes: greens, dark oolongs, genmaicha, fruity greens and oolongs, chai, matcha, jasmine, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Dislikes: spearmint, chamomile, stevia, marshmallows, unflavored white teas, green oolongs

I’m always open to swaps; let me know if you’re interested!

Location

New York, NY

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