275 Tasting Notes
This was an odd blend—mainly fresh, juicy cantaloupe with an aftertaste of espresso. The flavoring was quite strong, and I couldn’t really appreciate the nuances of the Giddapahar base underneath. I did get that faintly astringent note I enjoy in Darjeelings, though. Cantaloupe’s not honestly one of my favorite fruit flavors, though I like it well enough, but Butiki’s cantaloupe was so true-to-life. I think it stood better on its own, without the espresso, but I’m glad I got a chance to try this unusual tea.
This tasted very woody to me, not like coffee—let alone ice cream—at all. It was faintly creamy and a bit sweet, but that was about it. This one was a real disappointment to me, as I’d been blown away by Butiki’s Rootbeer Float and was expecting more of the same honeybush magic with this one. I can’t quite describe what rubbed me the wrong way about the coffee, but it unfortunately kept me from enjoying this blend.
This has that typical green oolong profile, but it’s not as flagrantly orchid or honeysuckle (or whatever that note I can’t stand is) as some. It doesn’t taste super milky or creamy in comparison to other green oolongs I’ve had, but it is very smooth. It almost reminds me of some Chinese greens in its hints of nut—mao feng, maybe? Given my bias against green oolongs, this is much nicer than I thought it would be (though still not something I want to purchase). I think I got this from someone at one of the NYC meet-ups, back in the day.
Dry, this one smells like coconut sunscreen—not the most auspicious of beginnings! Steeped, though, it’s PTA with a delightful hint of toasted coconut. I don’t get much banana, but that’s okay. I still have a bit of this one left, but given coconut’s tendency to go soapy I’m thinking I better drink it up soon. I’ll miss this one!
This tea, more than any other I’ve tried, really did taste like pumpkin. And butterscotch, and spices. There’s something about Butiki’s coffee flavoring, though, that tasted off to me. I can’t describe it, but I noticed it in Coffee Ice Cream too. While I didn’t care for that blend, I still enjoyed this one quite a bit.
Thanks for this sample, Cameron B.! This is another Assam I’d been curious about but hadn’t wanted to commit to, since it’s only sold in one—very large—size. It’s strong and malty—though not quite as strong and malty as I’d expected it might be. There’s a strong raisiny note, with a fair bit of astringency thrown in to keep the sweetness in check. This is a nice Assam, but since there are other good options that can be purchased in smaller quantities it’s not necessarily something I’d purchase—4.4 oz. is a lot!
Thanks so much for sending me this sample, Cameron B.! Chestnut isn’t the kind of flavor I tend to go for in teas—it’s usually all about the fruits and florals for me—but the rave reviews piqued my attention. Plus, I do love roasted chestnuts. This sample comes at the perfect time, both because we’re getting into chestnut season and because I’ve just finalized my plans to go to LA for Thanksgiving! Century City Lupicia, here I come!
So, this tea. It doesn’t really taste like chestnut to me. It’s sweet, with maybe a bit of caramel, but there’s nothing as rich as chestnut here. This blend reminds me a little bit of Nina’s Japon, which I liked well enough but didn’t fall in love with. The sencha base is, predictably, somewhat grassy, and it comes through pretty strongly; as in Japon, it goes better with caramel-ish notes than I might’ve guessed. It’s not bad, by any means, but not what I’d hoped for either.
Lupicia fans: do you follow the official instructions to use boiling water with every tea, or do you steep their greens at a lower temperature? I turned my kettle off just before boiling, and I’m wondering if the high temperature was too much for this one. Fortunately I have enough for a second cup to test my hypothesis.
My first green Assam! I wasn’t really even aware that anyone was producing green Assams until donkeytiara offered to send a sample of one in my swap package. Naturally I had to try it, Assam fan that I am. And it’s pretty good, though not at all what I expected. It’s on the lighter side, yet still quite vegetal. It’s more like one of the grassier kinds of Chinese green than it is a sencha, I think. There’s quite a bit of astringency—even by my astringency-loving standards!—and I think it could easily be too much for those who prefer more delicate greens. What there isn’t is any resemblance whatsoever to a standard black Assam. I don’t know why I expected there would be, or what kind of similarities I was expecting, but it’s not here. Nonetheless, this makes for a pretty good cup, and while I wouldn’t go out of my way to get more of it—there are plenty of other greens that tick the same boxes this one does for me—I certainly wouldn’t object to drinking it again. Thanks for letting me try this, donkeytiara!