2606 Tasting Notes

79
drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
2606 tasting notes

Hmm, so I just discovered that I’ve been spelling ‘guayusa’ incorrectly this whole time…. whoops. Mostly noticed because I couldn’t locate this tea with my spelling…

So thanks to Stacy @ Butiki for this sample! Not sure why I’ve gone on a Butiki kick lately, probably because I realized that there were a bunch of teas I had yet to try, and since I’m planning another large order, should get to trying things sooner rather than later! Apparently I still have a few teas from my first order that I haven’t tried (including a sample of Pumpkin Creme Brulee, which is awaiting my 4-way pumpkin spice tea comparison).

So this tea. When I first got my huge package of teas from Butiki, by way of Azzrian, I opened up my little package of samples and this tea was all I could smell. Straight up apple cider… and I love apple cider! Pretty exciting. I’m not exactly sure how I managed to wait until now to try this one… The dry tea smells so delicious, sweet and cinnamony and appley, and I can see big apple chunks in the tea… mmmmm! I can barely smell the earthy guayusa at all, which is great!

I sampled this quickly while it was hot without sweetener, and am pretty sure I could drink it without, but threw in some rock sugar anyways. It’s pretty good! Not as strong as I expected, given the aroma (and given how strong cider usually is), but the flavour is like a weak cider with earthy guayusa undertones. I wish there was more tartness from the apples, but that’s about it. Otherwise it’s quite good!

The only downside of this tea is that I can’t really see myself picking this over a cup of apple cider, even though this is caffeinated. So I’m probably more likely to stick to the Killer’s Vanilla and Good Morning Sunshine as go-to guayusa blends, although this one was definitely worth the cup!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Sil

Hurry up on this already: 4-way pumpkin spice tea comparison

Kittenna

Maybe tonight! It’s darn chilly! Or was yesterday, anyhow.

Sil

I’m cold today… think i’m just stressed so my body has said NO today…hence the working from home. Either than or subconsioucly i wanted to be able to drink tea all day today…so my body obliged.

tigress_al

Ya, I am very curious about this 4-way pumpkin comparison as well!

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87

Goodbye, Forest Berry Silver Needle! You were delicious while you lasted, all light and cotton candy-like. I will miss you, but I am happy to post a sipdown anyways!

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80

In spite of the burned smell of the wet leaves, this oolong is surprisingly mild! The flavour is almost of a toasted nut, with a bit of a woody aftertaste. Not like too many oolongs I’ve tried, yet! I might try infusing this one a bit longer next time, just to see what happens (especially since it’s not at all astringent or bitter, and I had such great success with the Gui Fei Oolong!) Although this one’s pretty good, I think my heart remains with the Gui Fei Oolong for that incomparable sweetness!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Dragon Feelers by Butiki Teas
2606 tasting notes

I’m deliberately not reading the tasting notes on this one so I can draw my own conclusions! This tea is definitely gorgeous, and reminds me of small, newly formed pods on sweet pea plants in the summer.

First off, I was surprised that the brewing recommendations here called for boiling water. Green tea? Boiling water? Crazy! However, I followed the recommendations, and did so. The leaves had no real aroma to speak or, nor does the brewed cup. In fact…. the tea also has very little flavour as well. All I can taste is a very faint honey-sweetness, with a bit of a boiled veggie flavour. Maybe a bit of almost a mintiness? All very, very mild though. I thought that if anything, I had kind of overleafed the cup, but I very much doubt so now. The most noticeable thing about this tea is its mouthfeel: quite full and silky-smooth, contrasting with the other teas I have on the go this evening.

Clearly I should give some other brewing parameters a try, because as it stands, this tea is really not one I’d go for again. There’s just so little flavour! Hopefully I can manage to coax a bit more out of it next time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Yep, this is a lighter tea. I suppose you could try doubling the time to see if that makes it a little stronger.

Kittenna

Yeah, after reading other people’s posts, I do see that it is! It may also just be that I need to drink it on its own and not with so many other teas. I have lots to try again!

Butiki Teas

Good luck experimenting!

Kittenna

WOAH Didn’t realize my rating landed quite so low! Whoopsies. I always forget that the moderate happy face is at 67, not 75…

Butiki Teas

I’ve never tried to rate a tea before, so I had no idea what you were talking about. I just tried it now and its kinda weird that it assigns a numerical value but you can’t tell what it will be.

Kittenna

Yeah, it’s a bit confusing. I often go back through my ‘recently rated’ list and adjust values that didn’t land where I intended…

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67
drank Bananas Foster by 52teas
2606 tasting notes

So strangely, when I pulled this tea out tonight from the box Azzrian sent me, the package was already open. Yet, I had no recollection whatsoever of trying this tea yet! I think I must have opened it one night with the intention of drinking it, but then decided against a black tea. Definitely threw me a bit, though!

Anyhow, to be honest, I have no idea what bananas foster even is! I just liked the idea of the tea and was curious.

The dry tea smells cinnamon-spicy, like Cinnamon Roll Honeybush or Strawberry Pie Honeybush, plus a bit of creamy banana. Steeped, the aroma is quite similar.

The flavour definitely tastes to me like CRH, minus the honeybush base, plus a slightly astringent black base and some banana. Not bad, not great. Perhaps it would be tastier with some sweetener, but it’s cold now, so that would require a great deal of effort.

Definitely not my favourite 52teas blend, but not bad either. Now I’m curious about what bananas foster actually tastes like though…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL well I promise you I didn’t open that one :) I have my own and I KNOW you were not accusing – just letting you know you are in fact losing your mind and must have opened it at some point HAHA!
You know I was not crazy about this one either. It was good enough but just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
It is for sure one I will finish though so its not icky at all just okay.

Kittenna

Hahahaha, no I definitely know you didn’t open it! And once I thought about it, I did have a vague recollection of wanting to drink it at some point, just no memory at all of actually doing so! Very confusing. Clearly losing my mind!

Sil

Your mind is just busy tinkling about other things :p

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95
drank Buttercream by DAVIDsTEA
2606 tasting notes

Blaahhhhh, I wish I had 100g of this one! This is my second-last cup of it, and I’m worried that I’ll miss it quite a bit once it’s gone! :( So, so, so, sooooooo good! And very tolerant to random steeping parameters. I paid no attention to anything today (just that it wasn’t boiling water, and didn’t steep for like 10+ minutes), and it’s just as delicious as before.

Interesting, just read a previous tasting note of mine, and I suggested a comparison to Whisky White. Forgot I had that tea! Maybe I’ll have it tonight as well…

momo

I always see people asking about this one on their Facebook page, they need to bring it back. I’d give you some of what I have but it’s a pretty limited quantity as is :(

Kittenna

Awww, no worries! I’m just hoping there’s someone out there who has like, a 50g bag of it and doesn’t like it…. hahahaha. A lot of people seem to want it to come back (for obvious reasons), I wish they would!

tigress_al

Ya, I was sad that it didn’t come back this fall :(

KittyLovesTea

I managed to get 25g pack of this one and after being a little 50/50 about trying it your comments have swayed me to try it sooner rather than later. We don’t have butter cream here so I will have no idea if it tastes like what it’s called. :(

Kittenna

Yes, you should try it! If by chance you dislike it…. :D :D (I also see you just reviewed Copabanana?! That’s another on my to-try list!)

PatchworkSheep

I have about half my 25g bag from last fall left. I really wasn’t a fan of this one, and there’s probably enough left for a few bags. I don’t mind giving it up if you want it; it’s just going to go to waste at my place!

PatchworkSheep

*a few glasses. not bags, haha.

Kittenna

Oh my goodness, that would be awesome!! I have all sorts of things to offer in return if you are interested :D

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86
drank Good Morning Mate by Fusion Teas
2606 tasting notes

Since I knew Awkward Soul had sent me some mates from Fusion, I took a look through my as-yet-uncatalogued envelope, and yay, found one!

The aroma I’m getting from this definitely reminds me of various roasted mates I’ve had in the past, plus… cinnamon? Is it supposed to have cinnamon? Again, can’t read the tea description, so I’m not sure…

The flavour tastes to me like a non-banana-flavoured, somewhat chocolatey roasted mate, with a definite floral note. Floral??? Interesting… I’m not sure I taste cinnamon at all though. However, this is quite pleasant! I could see myself drinking this one again as a morning pick-me-up, although I have an awful lot of Malted ChocoMate to get through before I think about buying any more roasted mates!

Thanks so much for the sample, Awkward Soul!

ETA: Wow, a second infusion really brought out the cloves and cinnamon! Although it was a flavourful second infusion, I’m not sure it was quite what I wanted.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more
Indigobloom

this sounds delish! complicated to

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86

Another guayasa sample from Stacy!

The primary aroma I’m getting from this cup is minty, which would normally not be something I’d enjoy…. but there’s vanilla too (obviously)! And I like vanilla mint!

As suggested on my little sample bag, I added sweetener (again without tasting the tea first, I’m terrible this morning!)

Wow! This is probably the best flavoured guayasa I’ve tried yet! It’s minty, but the vanilla (and possibly lavender) disguises any of the ick aspects I usually find with peppermint in teas. Granted, it is also sweetened, and that probably helps too, but I’m really enjoying the flavouring here! So this is another tea that at the very least, I’d like to do some more experimenting with. Primarily trying it without sweetener (or with a smaller, controlled amount, if I decide something like that would be allowable).

Thanks for another awesome sample, Stacy!

ETA: Nom nom, this re-steeps pretty well! I don’t think I’ll go for a third, but definitely worth a second! I hate that I’m adding both this one and Good Morning Sunshine to my “must purchase” list (although perhaps I’ll force myself to finish off Apricot Guayasa, which was not my fave, first).

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Helena

It’s spearmint goodness :D and of course vanilla~y goodness! definitely my second favourite guayusa :D

Butiki Teas

Glad you found a guayusa that you don’t hate.

Kittenna

Ohhhhh spearmint! That would also explain why I liked it better than peppermint. I couldn’t read the tea description while writing up my review, and honestly hadn’t bothered to look at what was in the tea.

Kittenna

Stacy – I’m pretty sure I didn’t hate Tangerine Creamsicle either! I should have tried it sweetened. Actually… I think it was a sample from Azzrian, therefore I probably have enough left to try! I just bought some gum that tastes like orange creamsicle, and it’s delicious…

Butiki Teas

Definitely give that one a try sweetened. You might like guayusas in general a little more sweetened since it seems to tone down the earthiness. Mmmm, orange creamsicle sounds yummy.

Kittenna

Yeah, I think it’s the earthiness I don’t particularly care for the flavour of, and while it does come out even with sweetener, it is far more tolerable. Also, your blends are flavoured much better IMO than my first guayasa, which was DavidsTea’s Jungle Ju Ju… which kind of made me gag. I’m looking forward to my sample of the Cider Guayasa, as it smelled amazing, but I don’t think I need a third cup of it this morning! (Especially since I am feeling awake and alert now… which is some sort of miracle!)

Butiki Teas

Yeah, you definitely don’t want to overdo it with guayusas. The cider is pretty tasty.

Tawny Kira

wow this sounds so delicious! I’m going to have to add some to my next Butiki order !!

KittyLovesTea

I am waiting for this to cross the pond and pop itself into my cup. I haven’t tried any guayasa (at least not to my knowledge) but as a vanilla lover the name temped me to try it. I hope it arrives soon.

Kittenna

If you like vanilla mint, this is delicious. The lavender adds a bit of extra character but isn’t overpowering, so doesn’t make it taste soapy. Delicious!

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80

I keep reading about this tea on here, and knew I had a sample from Stacy… so since I need a kick in the butt this morning….!

I’ve learned that I’m not the biggest fan of guayasa. The flavour just isn’t one I particularly enjoy, although I think that the right combination of flavourings could make it quite palatable, if not enjoyable! Therefore, I keep trying!

Although I know this tea is supposed to be all citrusy, I’m really not getting much of that from the aroma. It smells like guayasa. Boo. Hopefully the flavour is better! (Something sure smells good in my room though… but I think it might be the Killers Vanilla, which is next up!)

I was bad and sweetened this one with some rock sugar even before trying it out, which was probably not the best idea, as I don’t know how the tea actually tastes, now! I can taste the vegetal guayasa flavour, and a bit of a hint of lemon… oh, finishing with a creamy citrusy flavour. The citrus is rather difficult to pick out though, until the end of the sip, which I find rather surprising. Although I must say, this creamy lemony lingering taste in my mouth is a little addictive…

I may have to wrangle some more of this one to try without sweetener. I actually am kind of enjoying it sweetened, although for me that sort of thing is not something I’ll allow myself to get used to… although the guayasa is behaving quite well here, and that may be in large part due to the sweetness.

Thanks so much for this sample, Stacy!

ETA: Also re-steeps well enough for a second go-round. I really adore the citrus flavour in this tea, and can definitely see why people love it! Stacy – any chance you could flavour a white tea this same way??

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Helena

This is awesome! I never add anything to it and I brew usually to the full six minutes for the extra lemony goodness :D

Kittenna

I definitely feel like mine wasn’t as lemony as it should have been. That said, this was a one-cup sample from my first Butiki order, so had been sitting for a few months. Definitely wasn’t contaminated or anything, but could have lost some flavour.

Butiki Teas

I could always do a custom blend for you. This flavor should have no problem working with a white tea.

Kittenna

That is incredibly, incredibly tempting. I’m curious as to how much that would cost?

Butiki Teas

Since that type of blend would require ingredients I have, I could do a minimum of 2oz. Really depends on which tea you choose. I think the Malawi White Peony would be awesome for that since has some light sweet lime notes. Though the tea leaves take up a lot of space.

Kittenna

Ooh, that sounds way too doable… I’m dangerously close to managing to make a $75 order on my own even without this (and I keep forgetting my free ounce of tea, too!) Yikes! Would that work out to ~$25-30? I will get back to you…. O.o

Butiki Teas

Probably about $25, maybe less for the Malawi. Depends on which white tea though. Oh wow, that’s a lot of tea.

Kittenna

I know! I don’t need that much tea! It’s an addiction! I was thinking that if you thought the White Peony would be most appropriate, you would know best. I think I want to try Tangerine Creamsicle once more, but I think I’m addicted to the lemony flavour in GMS

Butiki Teas

GMS is my favorite guayusa. It helps me survive mornings. I think the White Peony would be good. The only issue is that I don’t think the leaves will hold the lemon rind but it would be pretty interesting.

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84

Haven’t had any of this one in a while, so opted for this to be lab tea #2 for the evening. I was craving a straight tea, and this fit the bill perfectly. I know, you’re saying “What?! But this is flavoured!” For whatever reason, the flavouring here comes off to me as so natural that for my palate, it is like a no-fuss straight tea, complete with the ability to be infused multiple times and retain its deliciousness. Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream is similar in this regard; clearly a flavoured tea, but works when I’m craving a straight tea. Probably to some degree has to do with a lack of weird/off-flavours which are frequently present in flavoured teas that are pretending to be something they are clearly not.

Anyways! This one was great tonight. The first infusion tasted mostly of toasty/milky coconut, the second was where the pouchong base started to peek through. Deeeeelicious. Hopefully I can get some more infusions in tomorrow. A big thanks to Rachel @ iHeartTeas for making portions of this one available without having to go through Golden Moon and pay exorbitant shipping (to Canada, at least)!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Yogini Undefined

Does Golden Moon charge a lot for shipping to Canada?

Kittenna

IIRC, they did last time I looked. Either that or they didn’t ship to Canada at all. :(

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Bio

I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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