Final Butiki of the “morning” (even though it is now after 12pm, it’s still before lunch). First thing – this one smells divine while brewing! I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. As soon as the leaves hit the water, I was greeted with a wonderful creamy, caramel-vanilla scent. I stood for a few seconds just inhaling the steam, it was so good – it actually reminds me a little of Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam.
I’ve heard a lot about this tea, so I’m going to go with the recommendation of drinking it hot. The first sip is wonderful – very creamy, tasting strongly of vanilla, with a coffee-like bitterness lurking just underneath the surface. It’s extremely rich, and it does remind me a little of Irish Cream. I’m even getting a bit of biscuitty, cheesecake-esque flavour right at the end of the sip, although it’s rather fleeting.
I can taste the darjeeling base quite prominently – it has that grapey, slightly metallic flavour that I associate with second flush. As my cup cools, I can taste the beginnings of astringency, and the flavour does seem to fade a little. Having said that, I’m not sure I could drink an entire cup at the initial level of rich creaminess. I think it would end up being too cloying. I’m at the stage (about half way through my cup) where the touch of bitterness is actually reasonably welcome, since it’s stopping what’s currently gorgeously tasty become overpowering. I’m also getting more buttery biscuit at this stage as well, and it makes this into a seriously yummy cup.
I’m really happy with this one, although I do appreciate that I drank it with the benefit of other people’s hindsight and advice. I think it captures both the sweet, rich, creamy vanilla, irish cream flavoured aspect AND the buttery biscuit base aspect of cheesecake superbly, IF it’s caught at its peak point. Now that I’m coming to the end of my rapidly cooling cup, I’m mostly just tasting a slightly astringent darjeeling. Although it’s pleasant darjeeling, for all that.