60 Tasting Notes
This is only the second honeybush tea I’ve had and I loved the idea of it. Unfortunately I did not love this tea. And I’m thinking that I’m just not a fan of honeybush.
The smell of this dry smelled of sweet baked goods… Like sugar cookies. The tea as it steeped & the wet leaves smelled of warm cookie dough. So mouthwatering!
But as I drank the tea I found a note to it that I just did not like. I don’t know how to describe it or even where to begin to try. I just know I didn’t enjoy it. I detected this quality in the previous honeybush I’d tried (Honeybush Chocolate from Adagio) but the chocolate masked it so well that I didn’t even really realize it was there. It just flickered across my tongue briefly at the end of the sip & then it was gone from my mind. I wish that had been so with this tea!
I really hate that I didn’t like this tea but what can I say? I just don’t.
Upping the rating of this one, because though the tea does get a little bit lost in this tea, I have found myself growing quite fond of this tea. I love bergamot ever so much & this tea is great for those days when I am craving more bergamot in my earl grey. I’ve even mixed it with a little bit of standard EG and EG lavender with pleasing results. I actually went an ordered an entire tin because with my husband loving this one, my sample bag went rather quickly!
I ordered one of these little cuties a little while back & I’m definitely going to order a few more!
My tasting note for this isn’t going to be a very detailed one, sadly. I stayed up all night with my daughter Kira Monday night (literally all night- no sleeping for this lady :| ) because she was feverish (turns out she has an ear infection) :( Her fever finally broke around 4:30am and as soon as she went to sleep it seemed, Danny (my eldest) woke up for the day. I don’t often make a big pot of tea, usually opting for a mug at a time, because when I make a lot it tends to get forgotten in the shuffle of the morning. But Tuesday morning, I knew I wouldn’t forget it.
So I pulled this little nugget out of my cupboard.
The smell of the dry tuo cha wasn’t all that strong, but smelled of fish. I rinsed it for 30 seconds & as I poured off the liquid it smelled of hot muddy fish. Very earthy.
The finished pot of tea was very smooth. A good puerh for someone new to them I’d think. The aroma was lightly fishy, but reminded me more of horses after steeping than fish as it had after the brief rinse. Unfortunately I was too tired to remember to write down my notes on this tea so the more subtle observations I made have been lost, but I greatly enjoyed this tea. I will definitely be purchasing more to have on hand for those days when I have the time to sit down and enjoy a full pot (my teapot is small :P) of tea.
**backlogging from last night
I am so glad that I purchased this from Butiki. It was really purchased on a whim as I’d never tried it before. But I love lavender & I’ve grown to love chamomile lately. So it seemed like a tea worth trying out!
At first I was concerned that because lavender & chamomile are both very strong flavors that they would compete with one another, but I learned quickly that I was very incorrect in that.
The liquor of this tea was a lovely golden color and the aroma was absolutely mouthwatering. I added just a touch of honey since it pairs so well with chamomile & sunk into my cup. The lavender and chamomile pair perfectly, complimenting one another beautifully. Neither overpowered the other, they just danced in sync across my tastebuds. It was a very soft tea & I think I might like this even more than chamomile on its own!
In the photo for this ‘tea’ the cookies I made are in this order from L to R- Loki, Honeybush Chocolate, Luna Lovegood, Earl Grey Lavender
LUNA LOVEGOOD- earl grey lavender, rooibos jasmine, guanabana
These cookies are delicately floral with a sweet fruitiness that sneaks in towards the back of your mouth as you eat them. Delicious!
LOKI – gunpowder, spearmint, rooibos jasmine
The Loki shortbread is by far my favorite. Delightfully minty with a hint of sweet smoke and lingering floral undertone. Seriously everyone should make cookies with Loki.
Very bright cocoa-y flavor. The natural sweetness of the honeybush is perfect for baking with. However I wish I’d have crushed the tea a little finer (I don’t have a food processor or blender so I put all the teas between coffee filters and used a heavy jar to crush them) because this tea is particularly firm & the pieces can get kind of stuck in your teeth which is kind of offputting. The flavor is great though, so I’ll risk it! :D
EARL GREY LAVENDER –
These cookies didn’t turn out quite right. I actually had to toss out all but a few because they spread out weird and got brown & too crunchy & kind of icky. Not sure if it was a lack of butter or too much butter… No idea. I made the mistake of deciding once I’d already creamed all the suger/butter for a big batch of shortbread that I wanted to do multiple flavors & these cookies clearly didn’t get the same amount of butter as the other flavors…
That being said though, the few cookies that didn’t turn out as weirdly were good. The flavor was really subtle (maybe the errors in the recipe contributed) but you could detect a gentle floral & ever so light bergamot taste. I’ll try making these again another time & correct my mistakes & see if it helps the flavors :)
**backlogging from a couple days ago (I’m terrible about remembering to type things up sometimes!)
I am a huge fan of breakfast teas. I like coffee every once in a blue moon, but it’s really not my thing. I’ve always preferred tea & when I had my first ever breakfast blend I was hooked. Since then I’ve loved trying out different breakfast blends from different companies & seeing what the world has to offer me for my morning cuppa.
And this particular breakfast blend is something that I absolutely adored. The Yunnan brings a malty smoothness & and adds a whole new dimension to the Assam and Ceylon. It’s hearty and had a kind of softness to it that was lovely. I added just a touch of sugar/milk as it seemed fitting and it mellowed the strong tea and made it quite ‘breakfasty’ if that makes sense (I’m sure it probably doesn’t, but it’s the only word I could think of right now lol). I did not feel the need to make something to eat after my cup as I was very satisfied after drinking this :)
The leaves were rather small- something I’ve noticed with all of my Upton teas that I recently purchased. It allowed for a slightly stronger cup of tea, but if you were to over steep it I think that the tea (not just this tea in particular) would quickly become bitter. I haven’t even considered trying for a second infusion with any of my Upton teas for this very reason.
**backlogging from a couple days ago
I like Lapsang on it’s own, but it is a very strong flavor and can be overpowering when blended with other teas if there’s too much of it. The Lapsang in this tea was perfectly balanced & gives just the right touch of smoke to the Keemun and Darjeeling. The Keemun flavors come through nicely & the Darjeeling brings a lightness to this blend.I found it reminded me of smelling my grandfather’s pipe tobacco as a child. It was like drifting back in time as I sipped. Any tea that gives me such a sense of nostalgia along with great flavors automatically gets high marks in my book!
First off thank you to Stacy for this sample :)
I’ve never had tamarind anything before, so I thought a tamarind tea might be pretty interesting. It definitely was! The aroma in my little sample bag was sweet… vanilla… cookies… but with an interesting sharper note beneath it. It smelled intriguing.
After pulling my teaball out of my cup, the resulting cup was surprisingly sour! I know that that is a characteristic of tamarind and I recalled Stacy’s note saying to add some sugar to it. I ended up sweetening it more than I would normally have done in order to remove the sourness, but once I did it was a completely different tea. The caramel, vanilla and cacao notes described came forward & while it was still a very unusual tea, the sugar really made it shine for me. The more I sip on my cup, the more I like this tea. At first I thought “well it’s good, but probably not something I would drink often” but as I’m nearing the end of my cup I think that I could see myself drinking it more often than I imagined :)
This is my first gen-mai cha (how does one spell this tea? I’ve seen it all sorts of ways!) so I’m not really sure what makes a good one, but I’ll give my opinion nonetheless :)
The tea in the bag was kind of cute. I don’t mean that in a condescending way at all- it just seemed so perky and bright. Yes tea leaves can look perky and bright and cute. Just go with me here :P
As the tea steeped the smell reminded me of sugar smacks cereal (it’s honey smacks now I think?). Once I poured myself a cup, the flavor was a very sharp grass flavor with an undertone of toasty rice. I added just a teeny touch of honey because I thought it would compliment this tea & the flavors transformed. It was grassy and vegetal (I can’t decide- okra… no asparagus… I can’t put my finger on it) but with the addition of the honey it brought out the sweet toasty puffed rice.
It’s very different from other green teas I’ve had, so I think it will take a little getting used to, but I like it a lot and I think it makes a nice uplifting cup to enjoy in the afternoon like I did today (or anytime really!)
It’s been a long day thus far (I didn’t even realize it was Saturday until about an hour ago, that’s how distracted I’ve been!) and I was looking for something warm & comforting. This sample bag from my recent Butiki order jumped out at me immediately. I love anything pumpkin related, so I knew off the bat that I would love this tea.
My assumption was definitely not wrong! In the bag it smelled like pumpkin pie (my favorite kind of pie, so I was pretty excited!). As it steeped, the spices took the forefront of the aroma & I found myself staring at my timer trying to will it to go off.
The flavor of this is exactly as I imagined it. It tasted like autumny dreams. Spicy & creamy, pumpkiny and utterly delightful. Maybe an odd choice for a hot summer’s day, but not a bad choice because I loved it. I will definitely be purchasing this in large quantities once autumn draws near because you can’t have fall without pumpkins and what’s better than tea and pumpkins together as one! :)