This was a super generous sample Stacy threw in with my order! Thank you!
So, one tea type I wouldn’t have thought to request from Butiki is Darjeeling, not because I haven’t liked the one or two I’ve tried (I definitely have—the Giddahapar Extra Special is one of my all-time favorite Darjs!), but because it’s one of those nostalgic comfort food types I don’t really need luxe versions of to enjoy, if that makes any sense. Plus, I still have approximately 8 billion different kinds from that massive Teabox sampler (I love that thing). I tend to look to Butiki for flavored stuff I can’t find anywhere else, or for some of the, to me anyway as a newbie, innovative or more niche tea types being made around the world (like, who even knew Japan makes pu erh? I didn’t!). Turns out though, this is riiiiiight up my alley. It’s all the things I love in a Darj—it’s got a clean, lightly floral element at the end of the sip, and that woody aspect I adore is so beautiful here, not so much a dry raspy woodiness (although there is that and I’m glad), but also a deeper, almost mossy, damp sort of wood, a little like wet forest bark. And you know how I’m always going on about how some of my favorite black teas straddle the line between the woody astringency of Indian legacy teas and the sweet smooth starchiness of Chinese tea? This does that beautifully; there’s a yeasted bread/grain aroma I associate with Chinese tea and a soft fullness, but it balances with those woody clean Darjeeling notes. A beautiful morning tea that inspires contemplation, ideal given today’s Friday.
ETA: I like Stacy’s description of how it almost feels more like an Assam at the beginning and a Darjeeling at the end. That’s a really good way of putting it! The first whiff is rich and sweet and hints at chocolate like a good Assam, the middle is that woodiness that is both Darj-y but beyond the usual, almost wet, then I get the starchiness, and then the end is when the sparkly clean notes one associates with Darjeeling come in full and linger.