642 Tasting Notes

90
drank Caramel Apple by Butiki Teas
642 tasting notes

Shana tova! In the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I opted for an apple tea. Two, actually. Time for a caramel apple blend showdown! I’m pitting A Quarter to Tea’s Caramel Baked Apple Oolong against Butiki’s Caramel Apple (also an oolong). Who shall emerge victorious?! I am posting this note under both teas, so apologies for clogging your dashboards.

QTT Caramel Baked Apple
The scent of this leaf is sweet cinnamon, but there’s no cinnamon flavor in the sip. Instead, it’s all soft, sweet baked apple. No caramel flavor either, even after adding brown rock sugar. There is a sort of rocky note here which reminded me of Butiki’s Caramel Apple. That’s what inspired this taste test in the first place.

Butiki Caramel Apple
The scent of rich caramel wafts out of the mug as soon as the hot water hits the leaf. The caramel apple flavor here is spot on. It’s sweet, crisp, perfectly candy apple. The flavoring also melds nicely with the rockiness of the base tea. I actually find that rockiness off-putting on its own but the sweetness rounds it out and makes it pleasant. No need for sweetener here!

Both of these teas are quite tasty. The Butiki has a stronger caramel flavor and tastes more crisp. By contrast, the QTT tastes more like a baked apple pastry (which, to be fair, is implied in the title). Each tea hits the spot in a different way. I’m glad to have both!

Inkling

Great review! I enjoyed both of these blends, but Butiki remains my favorite.

KiwiDelight

Shana tova!

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Shana tova! In the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I opted for an apple tea. Two, actually. Time for a caramel apple blend showdown! I’m pitting A Quarter to Tea’s Caramel Baked Apple Oolong against Butiki’s Caramel Apple (also an oolong). Who shall emerge victorious?! I am posting this note under both teas, so apologies for clogging your dashboards.

QTT Caramel Baked Apple
The scent of this leaf is sweet cinnamon, but there’s no cinnamon flavor in the sip. Instead, it’s all soft, sweet baked apple. No caramel flavor either, even after adding brown rock sugar. There is a sort of rocky note here which reminded me of Butiki’s Caramel Apple. That’s what inspired this taste test in the first place.

Butiki Caramel Apple
The scent of rich caramel wafts out of the mug as soon as the hot water hits the leaf. The caramel apple flavor here is spot on. It’s sweet, crisp, perfectly candy apple. The flavoring also melds nicely with the rockiness of the base tea. I actually find that rockiness off-putting on its own but the sweetness rounds it out and makes it pleasant. No need for sweetener here!

Both of these teas are quite tasty. The Butiki has a stronger caramel flavor and tastes more crisp. By contrast, the QTT tastes more like a baked apple pastry (which, to be fair, is implied in the title). Each tea hits the spot in a different way. I’m glad to have both!

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Sipdown! I can see why 52teas is bringing this blend back for the holidays this year. It has a rich chocolate flavor with a minty undertone and slight creaminess. Adding rice milk really clinches the hot cocoa flavor, though it does drown out the mint. Pretty darn yummy.

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Drinking Butiki while watching Luke Cage and cuddling with both partner and cat. I have reached peak bliss.

Also this tea is yummy but faded. I like adding a couple of cinnamon chips to punch it up.

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95

Gadzooks! Despite its age and having moved with me at least twice before I finally tried it, this is an astonishingly good tea. I picked it out of my cabinet because I was in the mood for a good green but sencha felt like too much work. I thought it was a green based on the name and some vague memory, but the leaves are rolled into tight little balls like an oolong, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. After brewing this in my glass gong fu teapot (2 tsps, 4 oz, boiling water per instructions, 90 seconds), I let it cool for a bit while I read the new Black Panther. Has anyone else been following this? It’s quite interesting, though I have some qualms about the way it seems to be using the trope of man-hating lesbians (hint: there’s really no good way to use this trope, especially when those are the only LGBTQ+ people in the storyline). Anyway, I was engrossed in the book and absentmindedly reached for the tea. And this tea is so good that it knocked me out of the book. I barely even have tasting notes because I gulped it down so fast. It’s green and vegetal and glorious. Green beans with a hint of sweetness that lingers on the palate. Ever so slightly dry, but in a way that fits with and accentuates the vegetal notes. Just… wonderful. I’m reminded that Stacy had a knack for finding great straight teas in addition to her serious blending talent. We miss you, Stacy!

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90

Sipdown! I don’t remember whether I got this as a sample from the company or as part of a swap, so I’m sending out a general thanks and hoping the right person gets it.

Honestly, today’s generally rough for me. I managed to get out of bed and putter around for a few hours but now I’m back. Luckily, my tea tray fits perfectly on my nightstand. I have been drinking good teas but having trouble focusing on them. This one managed to cut through the fog when a delightful floral scent wafted up as I poured from brewing vessel to pitcher. This smells and tastes like jasmine and lavender and rolling fields of heather as far as the eye can see. Later steeps are drier but still quite floral and smooth. Even my tea pet likes it. :-)

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91

Thanks to Phi for giving me some of this! It’s been on my wish list for ages.

I had enough to try this gong fu style and western style. The dry leaf smells awesome: dark chocolate with a hint of malt and maybe some dark cherry. I got four steeps out of this gong fu style. They all tasted similar, except that subsequent steeps were fainter and mellower. Dominant notes were milk chocolate and, weirdly, cotton candy. But chocolatey cotton candy. It sounds terrible but was actually delicious. Still, I liked this better western-style. I added a teaspoon of turbinado cane sugar and it amplified the flavors beautifully. It’s just creamy dark chocolate-covered cherries. I can’t pick out the vanilla flavor per se but I think that’s where the creaminess comes from. Nom nom nom.

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Sipdown! This was a sample size so that’s not much of an achievement, but still. It’s a bit chilly out due to the wind from Hermine so I wanted a fall-themed tea. This fit the bill and I got to claim a sipdown.

I added rice milk to the first steep for a bit of creaminess. There was lots of maple syrup and pumpkin spice flavor but nothing pancake-like per se. I didn’t really miss it. The base tea is nice and malty and that’s plenty to hang the flavor on. For the second steep, I didn’t make any additions. The maltiness of the base tea came out more, with maple and cinnamon notes at the tail end. Overall, this was a great tea for a fall-like day.

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My dumdum jerkface cat basically knocked an entire mug of this tea into my lap. He managed to spill almost the whole mug, give me two minor burns, AND get my new copy of March wet. All is not lost, however. I got two more steeps out of the leaves (priorities!). This blend is nice and creamy, but I’m too distracted to give it a full assessment. Happy Friday!

Fjellrev

That jerk!

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95

Three years ago, I promised a proper tasting note on this tea (http://steepster.com/Kaylee/posts/227110). Well, folks, I’m sure you have been waiting with bated breath for that note, and your wait has at long last come to an end. Over the top? Sure, but I’m feeling loopy.

I steeped according to package instructions. 1 tablespoon, 8 oz, 208f, 30-40 second infusions. Despite the leaf being three years old, it’s still fragrant and tasty. The dry leaf smells sugary sweet and floral with a hint of hay. In the first steep, the brewed tea smells like sweet cream and roses. The flavor is smooth, creamy, and predominantly rose. I’m guessing the creaminess comes from the vanilla. The second steep is still sweet, rosy, and creamy, but the end of the sip brings a cool minty freshness that builds as the cup empties. The third steep is far less creamy. It’s still floral, but also fruity like those fruit-shaped hard candies. I let the fourth steep sit for several minutes because a) I wanted to get lots of flavor out of it and didn’t expect any bitterness and b) I got distracted and forgot to remove the steeper on time. Both of those can be true at the same time, right? Anyway, there’s still a smooth, thick mouthfeel and the flavor is still sweet, with a note of citrus and a lingering minty freshness which I think is the tulsi.

The only other time I have tried an 8 treasures blend was at Ching Ching Cha when I nipped a bit from Phi’s pot. I recall that one being creamy too, but not as floral. Phi, am I retconning that? Anyone know if creaminess is characteristic of 8 treasures blends?

Not adjusting the rating that I gave on my first review because the leaf has gotten old and it’s unfair to judge it at this point. I would only lower it by a couple of points, though, and that is more a result of having tasted more teas now than this tea not being tasty.

Flavors: Cream, Rose, Tulsi

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