Feeling mercurial; change is afoot. Or at least it feels that way right now. As Dexter3657 so helpfully pointed out to me, I seem to have gone from hating oolongs to loving them. Right now for me they’re what pu erh seems to be for many here—not an everyday unthinkingly enjoyed while a ravenous zombie-type staple tea, or even the comforting early evening sweet soothing flavored treats (still looooove those, don’t get me wrong), but when enjoyed pure, when I can carve out a chunk of me time to focus on them, completely mind-blowing. I remember looking at spots like Red Blossom and Silk Road and Yunnan Sourcing nearly a year ago and figuring it was all way over my straightforwardly-flavored-black-tea-loving head (and it was). Now I’m contemplating in a few months venturing into that wild world. Nuts. I love how there’s an approach to tea for every mindset and development and craving one can imagine.
Anyway, this vaguely connects to trying this wonderfully generous sample Stacy threw in with one of my recent orders because I found myself wanting to try it tonight for the hope of oolong taste more than the fruit flavor. Sea change! And I was not let down—this delivers that now beloved floral greenish delicately sweet oolong flavor for sure, and the strawberry flavor is light, natural, fresh, and floral; it matches the oolong profile beautifully, syncing up with it instead of competing or masking the tea. It’s not the tart supermarket berry kind at all, but the small wild floral sort of strawberry (which I vastly prefer). I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would (I vaguely recall it being deemed ok but not one of Stacy’s top favorite offerings in some “recommend some Butiki” thread a while back, but I could be remembering wrong…it was one of the fruit oolongs…). Really tasty.
(Also, why do I love flowers all of the sudden?! Or at least floral fragrance naturally occurring in tea…I loathe girly perfumes but I can’t seem to get enough of light green oolongs and have even found a bunch of rose scented/flavored teas and loved them this year. And don’t even get me started on the whole “heavily perfumed French tea” craze Fauchon lit in me. Eek!)
I keep a master file of all my favorite tea vendors with lists under each one’s heading for things I’d happily restock, so when I place an order with one I can check it and be reminded if I want to throw in something else I’ve loved. The list for Butiki is, like the Harney one, getting ridiculously unwieldy. And on this goes anyway.