drank Eggnog & Pralines by Butiki Teas
612 tasting notes

Oh how I have missed you Steepster. Went up to see my folks in New York for the holidays, the usual traumatic dramatic blow up and stress occurred, and I have never been so happy to return home to my friends and cats and tea and own relaxed way of doing things. I packed some Harney tea bags (Tower of London, I thought I liked you before but man, you REALLY came through for me up there despite the hard-as-rocks tap water…you have my eternal gratitude and appreciation) but it was a bit of a bummer having all these wonderful holiday-themed teas to try 1,000 miles away from me on Christmas eve and day. Ah well! Got another glorious week with the husband and friends; I predict a lot of catch up tea time. The night we arrived back there was a package waiting for us from a beautiful friend in Ohio full of homemade jams and salsas, and we stopped into Trader Joe’s on the way out of Chapel Hill a couple weeks ago, making these afternoons all the sweeter.

Stayed up ‘til after 3am (last night was fun, got to put on a nice dress and shoes and jewelry, roast chestnuts and mix up fancy drinks for a friend and myself, go out to dinner—got Chinese pork and cabbage stew leftovers today yum!—talk about lyric writing and bad music videos from the ’80s, and make plans for a pots de creme party next weekend…friends are the best), slept in and cuddled with the cats all morning. Now R’s over at a friend’s brushing up on code and music making, so I have a much-needed opportunity to decompress alone. Listening to my favorite albums of the year (Grouper’s on right now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnejbIBLGTg ), puttering away at mini projects around the apartment, reading said dear friend’s awesome wry emotionally sharp fan fiction (here: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1103265 ), making tea.

Man do I love the cream aroma of Butiki teas. This was unsurprisingly delicious (and very welcome as our uber favorite local glass bottle eggnog from Rock Springs dairy is AWOL for some reason this year). I love that you can really taste the praline too, not just the eggnog. I’m quite certain I prefer this to the much beloved Creamy Eggnog. I hope there’ll somehow be an affordable chance to restock these Amoda blends eventually. So good. Bonus, it resteeps well!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
JustJames

OMG BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE!!!! i just don’t do it anymore. if everyone has to drink in order not to kill one another, it’s not worth it, lol.

ifjuly

it’s comforting to know i’m not alone, but i’m sorry to hear that James. yeah, it’s happened enough times now, and it takes it toll enough now that i know it isn’t normal/ok/healthy that i’m finally slowly getting better about drawing boundaries. i love my family and going up is my only chance to see the extended fam to boot, so i’m going to still visit occasionally, but i’m never staying at the old house again and finally my mom understands that’s not an insult to her, it’s just how it has to be.

as a plus, things like that make me incredibly grateful for what i have found down here, wonderful friends and a home life i feel at ease and loved in, that lets me focus on my passions and be myself without feeling judged or shamed or just too distracted by drama stress to pursue. feeling surges of love and gratitude for my adult life and social circle is a pretty great way to experience the holidays, so there is that!

JustJames

indeed! my mother does not understand that…. that’s just how it is. i can’t MAKE her understand or accept anything or anyone. nor should i have to. sometimes people do not influence one another well— sometimes those people are blood relations.

i missed you!!! i missed you reviews! yes, i’m a giant dork, but that was already an established fact. =0D

JustJames

btw, never heard of grouper before…. definitely decompressing.

yyz

Been there done that too, though it’s not so bad now for years part of the weekend would divulge into some sort of therapy / grievance session for perceived and real harms occurring in someone’s childhood. Things are much better, because one party has finally realised that they don’t need everyone to say they experienced the same thing to validate their grievances and the others meet much more often so everything doesn’t fall on Christmas anymore. In fact this time the only issue we had was convincing someone to stay over because they had had a little much. I went through a period where going home was stressful as vwell and I tended to meet my mother elsewhere. So my sympathies and yay for Kitty’s who seem to know just what we need at times!

ifjuly

yes, yay cats! :D

i’m sorry to hear that yyz, and hear ya on the “weekly therapy/grievance session” stuff for sure. thank goodness for growing in maturity over time and for hugs both in person and online from people who understand.

James, i only just discovered her because of end-of-year “best of” album lists (ditto for the knife). i really loved early 4AD-type his name is alive back in the day, and she kind of reminds me of that. oh, and “sometimes people do not influence one another well”—yes, exactly, alas.

ifjuly

ohoh, and i meant to say too, aw that’s very touching of you to say you missed my posts James! i’ve definitely missed steepster. it’s nice to talk to you guys again!

Brooklynsheep

Love this post! Glad you survived the holiday trip, and happy new year!

ifjuly

Happy new year to all of you guys right back atcha! And thank you very much for the support everyone. Steepsters are the sweetest. :)

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Comments

JustJames

OMG BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE!!!! i just don’t do it anymore. if everyone has to drink in order not to kill one another, it’s not worth it, lol.

ifjuly

it’s comforting to know i’m not alone, but i’m sorry to hear that James. yeah, it’s happened enough times now, and it takes it toll enough now that i know it isn’t normal/ok/healthy that i’m finally slowly getting better about drawing boundaries. i love my family and going up is my only chance to see the extended fam to boot, so i’m going to still visit occasionally, but i’m never staying at the old house again and finally my mom understands that’s not an insult to her, it’s just how it has to be.

as a plus, things like that make me incredibly grateful for what i have found down here, wonderful friends and a home life i feel at ease and loved in, that lets me focus on my passions and be myself without feeling judged or shamed or just too distracted by drama stress to pursue. feeling surges of love and gratitude for my adult life and social circle is a pretty great way to experience the holidays, so there is that!

JustJames

indeed! my mother does not understand that…. that’s just how it is. i can’t MAKE her understand or accept anything or anyone. nor should i have to. sometimes people do not influence one another well— sometimes those people are blood relations.

i missed you!!! i missed you reviews! yes, i’m a giant dork, but that was already an established fact. =0D

JustJames

btw, never heard of grouper before…. definitely decompressing.

yyz

Been there done that too, though it’s not so bad now for years part of the weekend would divulge into some sort of therapy / grievance session for perceived and real harms occurring in someone’s childhood. Things are much better, because one party has finally realised that they don’t need everyone to say they experienced the same thing to validate their grievances and the others meet much more often so everything doesn’t fall on Christmas anymore. In fact this time the only issue we had was convincing someone to stay over because they had had a little much. I went through a period where going home was stressful as vwell and I tended to meet my mother elsewhere. So my sympathies and yay for Kitty’s who seem to know just what we need at times!

ifjuly

yes, yay cats! :D

i’m sorry to hear that yyz, and hear ya on the “weekly therapy/grievance session” stuff for sure. thank goodness for growing in maturity over time and for hugs both in person and online from people who understand.

James, i only just discovered her because of end-of-year “best of” album lists (ditto for the knife). i really loved early 4AD-type his name is alive back in the day, and she kind of reminds me of that. oh, and “sometimes people do not influence one another well”—yes, exactly, alas.

ifjuly

ohoh, and i meant to say too, aw that’s very touching of you to say you missed my posts James! i’ve definitely missed steepster. it’s nice to talk to you guys again!

Brooklynsheep

Love this post! Glad you survived the holiday trip, and happy new year!

ifjuly

Happy new year to all of you guys right back atcha! And thank you very much for the support everyone. Steepsters are the sweetest. :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

“…you can never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
-Julia Child on food and cooking, and I think it applies to tea as well!

note: i am currently taking a break from swapping/mail of any kind as money is rather tight. i apologize! i do love to swap but i can’t afford to right now. hopefully in a month things will change.

my cupboard includes any tea i’ve ever owned, including things i’ve sipped down, in order to facilitate swaps with people and keep a record—this way i don’t get redundant samples/order duplicates to try. if you are interested in swapping, i have a separate ever-updated list of teas i actually have on hand i can PM.

i like strong, rich blacks (including some choice old skool CTCs); juicy-fruity flavored green blends; buttery chinese greens; light floral oolongs; flavored oolongs (how sacrilegious!); earl greys; smoky blends; second flush muscatel darjeelings; verdant’s straight oolongs steeped in a gaiwan (mind altering!); anything from laoshan village it seems.

favorite notes include lavender, bergamot, violet, fennel, cardamom, melon, honey, sandalwood, smoke, nuts, roasty/toasty stuff, malt, wood, leather, creamy lemon, steamed rice, artichoke, garden-sweet snap veggies, earth/soil, forest and wet bark, and mushroom.

notes i generally can’t stand (at least in tea) include jasmine, rose (ok in small doses but i often find it overpowering and then everything just smells like musty old lady perfume), astringent apple (and general fruitiness really unless it’s with green tea), and chamomile (unless i’m congested or tired).

my current favorite tea vendors are butiki and harney and sons. i’ve also found some delicious teas and/or had good customer service experiences with the following companies: capital tea ltd., the devotea, verdant, mandala, golden moon, teavivre, lupicia, taiwan tea crafts, yezi tea, den’s tea, the tea merchant, norbu, fauchon paris, tao tea leaf, zen tea, fortnum and mason, townshend’s tea, joy’s teaspoon, new mexico tea company, persimmon tree, teajo teas, whispering pines, della terra, upton imports, mariage freres, samovar, justea, teabox, american tea room, steven smith, steap shoppe, utopia tea, and andrews and dunham damn fine tea. when i’m at the grocery store my “you could do worse” brands include stash, bigelow, tazo, taylors of harrogate, whittard of chelsea, and pg tips. and it’s a fact: you can’t make classic southern sweet tea without luzianne.

top picks, fall 2013

black:
verdant zhu rong yunnan black
verdant laoshan black
thepuriTea hong jing luo (no longer available :( )
thepuriTea red dragon pearl (no longer available :( )
mandala morning sun
golden moon honey orchid
verdant golden fleece
taiwan tea crafts red jade
yezi tea zheng shan xiao zhong “scotch” tea
capital tea borsapori estate assam tgfop1 (spl)
butiki khongea golden tippy assam
butiki giddahapar darjeeling extra special
upton imports fikkal estate
golden moon sinharaja
harney and sons new vithanakande
persimmon tree vintage black
teajo teas black manas
justea kenyan black
harney and sons kangaita op

morning blends:
butiki the black lotus
harney and sons queen catherine
harney and sons eight at the fort
harney and sons big red sun
harney and sons scottish morn
golden moon irish breakfast
harney and sons irish breakfast
utopia tea english breakfast
fortnum and mason breakfast blend (needs milk!)
andrews and dunham double knit blend
steven smith no. 25 morning light
butiki irish cream cheesecake

earl greys and scented afternoon blends:
teajo teas silky earl grey
harney and sons viennese earl grey
upton imports lavender earl grey
american tea room victoria
lupicia earl grey grand classic
harney and sons tower of london
tao tea leaf cream earl grey
zen tea earl grey cream
della terra earl grey creme
upton imports season’s pick earl grey creme vanilla
upton imports baker street afternoon blend
harney and sons russian country
della terra professor grey
verdant earl of anxi

flavored black:
herbal infusions moose tracks
american tea room brioche
steap shoppe cinnamon swirl bread
della terra oatmeal raisin cookie
butiki nutmeg cream
kusmi caramel
david’s tea brazillionaire
lupicia banane chocolat
butiki hello sweetie
fauchon paris raspberry macaron
butiki blueberry purple tea
herbal infusions marshmallow snowflake earl grey
herbal infusions creme brulee chai

pu erh:
mandala loose and luscious lincang 2007 shu/ripe pu erh
mandala special dark 2006 shu/ripe pu erh

oolong:
verdant shui jin gui wuyi oolong
verdant hand-picked early spring tieguanyin
butiki 2003 reserve four season oolong
harney and sons formosa oolong
tea merchant silk dragon
golden moon coconut pouchong
zen tea coconut oolong
american tea room coconut oolong
teavivre taiwan jin xuan milk oolong
butiki flowery pineapple oolong
butiki lychee oolong
lupicia momo oolong supergrade
butiki strawberry oolong
butiki pumpkin milkshake darjeeling oolong
52teas tiramisu oolong

green:
verdant laoshan bilochun green
verdant autumn harvest laoshan green
tao tea leaf hou kui
harney and sons tencha
harney and sons gyokuro
new mexico casablanca
butiki with open eyes
american tea room nirvana
joy’s teaspoon mahalo
den’s tea pineapple sencha
harney and sons tokyo
butiki potato pancakes and applesauce
butiki holiday eggnog and pralines
den’s tea organic genmaicha with matcha
golden moon hojicha

white:
butiki cantaloupe and cream
butiki champagne and rose cream

no caf:
harney and sons soba buckwheat
butiki birthday cake
della terra lemon chiffon
52teas strawberry pie honeybush
butiki mango lassi
joy’s teaspoon italian dream
butiki coconut cream pie rooibos
butiki peppermint patty
persimmon tree mint chocolate chip rooibos
art of tea velvet tea
fusion teas chocolate cake honeybush
american tea room choco-late
steven smith no. 40 bon bon
townshend’s tea dark forest chai
utopia tea decaffeinated earl grey cream

sleep aid/medicinal/therapeutic:
new mexico extra sleepy bear
stash white christmas
verdant ginger sage winter spa blend
samovar turmeric spice
butiki the killer’s vanilla guayusa

coldsteeped wonders:
whispering pines manistee moonrise
harney and sons fruits d’alsace
utopia tea berkshire apple and fig
culinary teas peaches and cream
butiki peach hoppiTea
butiki ruby pie
whispering pines gingerade

besides tea

born in seoul, raised in new england and upstate new york, went to college in pittsburgh, currently in memphis with an eye toward philadelphia, portland, or asheville eventually.

i like cats, most beverages really (i also like good freshly roasted coffee, craft beer, wine, whiskey and gin-based cocktails, and soda/soft drinks like agua fresca), art (mainly writing but also visual and music) and critical theory, feminism/genderqueer politics, historiography, statistics, children’s literature and librarianship, travel, and food/cooking. also have recently gotten into weightlifting (mark rippetoe and stumptuous!) and sprint training (HIIT, plyometrics) and i love it.

Location

Memphis, TN

Website

http://facebook.com/ifjuly

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