788 Tasting Notes

drank Smoked Maple Banana by Butiki Teas
788 tasting notes

I liked this tea from the beginning, but I have grown to love it. It is one of my top four favorite Butiki teas. I’m surprised I haven’t logged this more often with how many times I have enjoyed a cup. It was my love of this tea that doubled my curiosity about AQTT’s Grilled Smoked Banana. I was sniffing the two side by side this morning, thinking it would be fun to compare the two cups side by side since they both feature smoke and banana flavors, but are so very different at the same time.
For some reason I absent mindedly added creamer to this cup that I was enjoying very much and it killed the flavors. I wasn’t able to recall clearly if there were additions I used in previous cups and took a guess…. a wrong guess! LOL!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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I WAY over steeped this! I thought I set a timer and drifted down an internet rabbit hole before coming too and realizing too much time had passed! In the bag, this tea smells like candy. Once steeped I get a smoky spicy scent. Really weird… the smoke flavors on the sip totally remind me of a Sesame Street scratch and sniff book my grandma had at her house when I was a kid! I see another internet search rabbit hole in my future. I pick up on a little banana in the back of the sip and aftertaste. There is also something leathery and floral. Adding sugar brightens this and brings out the banana sooner. This tea is really weird and I like it! I’ll have to pay more attention to the steeping time on my next cup and see how if fares then.

(Looks like the book is called “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil” and I need to buy a copy!)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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drank Baklava by A Quarter to Tea
788 tasting notes

I used to love baklava. I worked around the corner from a middle eastern grocery store that sold all sorts of strange and intriguing things, including small trays of the most delicious fresh flaky honey soaked baklava. By the time the store closed down, I had probably made myself ill several times by way of too much baklava consumption and haven’t been able to truly enjoy it since. It is either that or no other baklava has come close to comparing.

The scent of this tea when dry is both over powering and delicious. It mellows out a lot once steeped. The sips are starting out with tiny bitter edge (rose?) then morphing to a more honey/pastry flavor with pistachio in the aftertaste. I just peeked in my steeping basket and saw that some dried rose buds and stained rose leaves have come to life that I hadn’t notices in the dry tea! I added some sugar and it makes the whole cup awaken! The pistachio is noticeable throughout the whole sip, the rose is present at the beginning of the sip and the honeyed pastry taste comes in towards the end of the sip. My mouth is a little dry after each sip, which I could also see blaming on the rose. It seems to loose some of it’s magic as the cup cools. Adding cream is also working for me in this cup. It is reminding me a little of Teavana’s My Morning Mate and Tiramisu Treviso at the end of the sip! I really liked those teas. Must be the similar nutty aftertaste. I’m liking this cup!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nicole/Tea-Historic

Mmm…. baklava… drool

OMGsrsly

Oh, baklava. That’s one thing I really miss about being gluten free.

Dustin

I thought they made gluten free everything now. But no baklava? :(

Kaylee

Well, there goes my effort to stop buying tea. This sounds amazing!

OMGsrsly

They might elsewhere, but not in Canada. There are so many cool gluten free things available in the States and Europe that we don’t get.

Dustin

I see an opportunity for a gluten free smuggling ring!

Nicole/Tea-Historic

I’m seeing in a few places that you might be able to use rice paper sheets to make it at home. It won’t be quite the same because the gluten is what enables phyllo dough to stretch so thinly.

OMGsrsly

huh. I might have to try that. For science. ;)

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Yeah, apparently it’s pretty much the same as making with pyhllo but you soak the rice paper for 10 minutes before using it.

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I open the bag to a blast of raspberry almond! The tea is so aromatic! The strong scent stays once steeped, but comes through much lighter on the sip. I get a hint of alkaline flatness mid sip. Adding cream and sugar now… I’m getting more raspberry combined with almond. Sometimes there is a hint of cherry in there. No more flatness. I have a really hard time picking out pastry notes in tea. I think I can taste a little shortbread in the aftertaste. Aaaaaaand my cup is gone!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
788 tasting notes

Weird! I don’t recall how I felt about this tea previously, but being an oolong (and oolongs not being my thing) I’m guessing I didn’t like it. I get a very flat cardboard taste from oolongs. OMGsrsly mentioned steeping Lupica oolongs in boiling water for a short amount of time, so I’m trying it. It is making all the difference! I’m getting a very floral like mango taste. It is very light and bright and lacks any of the flatness I have experienced in oolongs. There is a more natural mango taste that lingers after the sip. This isn’t the most delicious cup in the world, but I’ve almost finished it and I’m amazed at how big of a difference the right steeping parameters can make for a tea! Thanks for the tip OMGsrsly!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

:) Not a problem! Anna kept telling me to use boiling water, so I did. I just have Mango Oolong though. Not sure what the differences are!

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Sniffed the bag of this and could smell a little syrup dominated by cinnamon. My cup smells of syrupy cinnamon pancakes for sure. I’m trying to decide if I can pick out any pumpkin or if the tea relies on the pumpkin spices to give the impression of it. It smells very fall potpourri like. The first few sips are all cinnamon which doesn’t seem to want to give way to anything else. A little clove comes in and finally dominates. Adding sweetener makes the syrup pop right up mid sip and into the aftertaste. As I sip on, I can totally pick up on syrupy spiced pancakes, but I’m still not sure if there is actual pumpkin/flavoring in it. Pondering it makes me long for Costco’s pumpkin pie. They do really good gigantic pumpkin pies. I meant to try this with cream, but was enjoying it so much with a little sugar that I absent mindedly made it to the bottom of the cup without cream. I think a resteep may be in order.

Update: Resteep killed by cream. A touch of sweetener alone is enough to bring out the magic in this cup.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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The first sip of this tasted very shortbread like, but as it has cooled the taste faded a bit. I can taste the green tea… a little butter with a green bite. I can smell a little bit of jasmine, but it is faint. I think I’m getting a hint of pecan too. Sweetener makes the flavors a little more pronounced. It is nice and buttery, but I usually prefer stronger flavors. I would like to try this cold steeped.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nicole/Tea-Historic

That sounds like a tasty thing to do with real shortbread…

greenteafairy

This sounds so interesting!

Dustin

I have never made shortbread! I was inspired by Butiki’s Smoked Banana and Maple to make banana pancakes with some liquid smoke and syrup. They are a favorite in my house!

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Sniffing at my cup of this I notice an almond/cherry scent, but no banana! I can also smell something deeper and earthier behind it. I’m surprised at how many AQ2T selections have the suggested steeping temp of 200. Greens and blacks, which I’m used to having very different requirements. Still, I figure if a company bothers to put a temperature suggestion on there, they have probably done some trial and error… unless it’s Lupicia which has horrible steeping suggestions of boiling everything!
When I sip I’m getting the same flavor combo that I was smelling. I got a piece of dried banana in my steeper, but cherries are still coming through strong. It’s only on the aftertaste that I get a quick hint of banana. I added a little sugar and it hasn’t changed. Adding cream is making it yummier, but still no banana. I am a lover of artificial banana flavoring. If I’m expecting this to be a banana tea, I’m disappointed. If I’m not expecting banana, then it’s a nice enough cup with cream and sugar.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

I boil Lupicia’s Mango Oolong! One reason I love it so much is it can take anything… Just be careful you short steep when the water is that hot. :)

Dustin

I have had a hard time getting into oolongs, but I think I have a Lupicia oolong that I can try that with. I was getting horrible cups of green tea following their instructions.

OMGsrsly

I don’t really like green tea, so I guess I didn’t notice when I tried them. :D

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I have a friend who makes a really good honey mead every year and is super protective of her recipe, leaving the magic as a fun mystery. I should have ordered a bottle this year!

When I scooped some of this tea, I got mostly puffed rice and very little tea leaves. Not sure if that is normal for this tea or if I got an odd serving. Once steeped it smells mostly of genmaicha, but there is a little sweetness behind that. It is mostly gen on the sip and a candied honey flavor comes in on the end and lingers into the aftertaste. It has that perfumey hint to the honey that I associate with honey flavoring, not true honey, which is more complex and has a huge sweetness factor to it. This tea is intriguing. Very subtle flavors , but a nice cup and I’d like to try it again with some cream or sugar.
Babble

Oh damn I bet that honey mead your friend makes is goooood.

Dustin

It is! It is more of a cordial than a true mead that you can drink a whole cup of. I have two beehives and look forward to the day that I have a big enough harvest to try my hand at making my own. Or maybe I can trade my friend honey for mead and have her make it!

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I dumped the rest of this into a small jar with water and left it in the fridge for a few days. Poured a little into a cup, added a shot of Treaty Oak rum and some agave and I have myself an almost perfect drink. There is a little bite in there that I don’t care for which is likely due to overleafing, but there is a ton of tasty watermelon flavor in there! Vodka would have had a cleaner taste that went better with the watermelon, but the white rum isn’t bad either. Could probably use an ice cube to dilute it a little. Eh.

Nattie

drools

Babble

Awww I miss Butiki :‘( :’(

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Profile

Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! I like a little sugar in my tea. I love caffeinated tea, but since I limit myself to one cup a day, I have been exploring more rooibos and honeybush teas. Rooibos now = meh and I have upped my caffeine tolerance. BRING ME CAFFEINE!!!!

Location

Austin, TX

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