This review is for the caffeinated version normally sold only to restaurants
Experience buying from The Tea Butler: Positive. I had several contacts with the owner, both via e-mail and over the phone, and he was very accommodating with an unusual request I had. Unfortunately, he is out of loose-leaf tea, and my understanding is that he does not plan to get any more to sell.
Age of leaf: unknown.
Packaging: the large box contained a large plastic bag with 50 one ounce iced tea bags.
Dry Leaf: this is one of the best smelling teas I have ever had. The room that the open box (after all the of the tea was removed) sat in had a wonderful tropical fragrance in it for months! The leaf within the large paper teabag is chopped, but seems to be decent quality (much better than the fannings size leaf in a standard teabag).
Brewing guidelines: glass ring Crate and Barrel pitcher capped with a tea saucer to keep the heat in, lots of Stevia.
………..1st: boiling (unwarmed pitcher), 4’
………..2nd: boiling (warmed pitcher), 8’
………..3rd: boiling (warmed pitcher), 15’
Aroma: Unbelievable! When brewed this tea produces a tropical-coconut smell that fills the entire kitchen. I love it!
Color of liquor: Standard black tea color: dark brown-red.
Flavor: It has a wonderful tropical flavor.
Value: I got this for a bargain price, but The Tea Butler doesn’t have any more of it, and H&S doesn’t list it on their website (although they list a caffeinated version). : (
Overall: This is probably my favorite iced tea. It is normally only sold to restaurants, but The Tea Butler was selling them to the public to liquidate his inventory. He no longer sells them, and I don’t know if you can get these anywhere else (I bought two big boxes of it—-yes, lots of it—-and would be happy to share some of it in a tea swap).
I make about a pitcher and a half on the first steeping, a pitcher on the second, and 2/3 a pitcher on the third. The first steeping clearly has the strongest flavor, but the second and third are also tasty! I drink the 1st steeping knowing it is fully caffeinated, and then treat the 2nd and 3rd steepings as basically decaffeinated (neither me nor my wife has had trouble sleeping after drinking the second of third steepings, so I imagine most of the caffeine is removed in the 1st four minute steeping). We also have the decaffeinated version (bought directly from H&S), and it basically tastes the same as this decaffeinated one. I have been drinking this daily since the summer, and plan to drink it daily all year round until it’s gone. I love this iced tea!