285 Tasting Notes

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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86

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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83

This tastes a lot like this Persian apple rosewater drink I made once, though brewing a pitcher of this is much less work. I get a lot of apple and rose and not so much elderflower, which is a little disappointing since I’m a massive fan of elderflower everything. It’s still very nice, though—especially for an herbal—with a lot of sweetness from the licorice root and a bit of tartness from the hibiscus (though not very much). Still, it doesn’t compare to Fortnum & Mason’s Elderflower Green, one of my all-time favorites. I’ve only tried this one iced, since the flavor profile just seems like it works better cold to me.

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86

This one is so good! While steeping, it smells weirdly—though by no means unpleasantly—like buttered popcorn. The flavor is light, and while it tastes creamy I don’t necessarily get cheesecake. It’s fruity, and while it doesn’t quite capture plum it comes closer than any other tea I’ve tried, aside from Butiki’s Plum Compote & Cashew Cake. There’s that slightly sour plum-skin aftertaste, too. The flavoring in this one is stronger than the oolong base, though I think the base does contribute some stone fruit notes. I don’t know that I’ve ever had brandy and am not sure what it actually tastes like but I don’t get anything particularly evocative of alcohol from this blend—not that it needs it.

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84

This has a nice raspberry flavor—much stronger than in Chocolate Raspberry Waffle, happily. It’s creamy and nutty, though nothing about it really says cashew specifically. I don’t like green oolongs, generally, so the sparrow tongue base doesn’t quite do it for me, and I think I would’ve preferred a green base—maybe a bi luo chun?—with these flavorings. Still, this is a really nice blend, and one I wouldn’t have minded more of were Butiki still around.

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78

This was mild, and not super oolong-y. It was medium-dark and had a sour note I didn’t really care for, but which I did find somewhat reminiscent of plum skin. It was okay, but not great.

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79

This one had a very strong aroma of lime candy, or maybe lime soda, and it did taste kind of artificial—not in an awful way, but I could’ve done with a more natural lime The white tea—or maybe the mallow—added sweetness but otherwise didn’t come through strongly. This one was alright, but not a blend I’ll miss.

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60

This one I didn’t care for. The pear tasted artificial to me, and it didn’t go particularly well with the green base, which I found quite vegetal. I didn’t get much star anise, unless I’m very much mistaken about what star anise tastes like, but I did get a weird taste that reminded me of play-dough more than anything else. I still have a little bit of this one left; if anyone wants I’m happy to hand it off.

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84

This is a milder green, faintly nutty and not too vegetal. It reminds me more of a Chinese green than Japanese. It’s not the most distinctive tea I’ve tried, but it’s very pleasant.

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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!

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New York, NY

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