654 Tasting Notes

75
drank Jasmine Green by Tea Forte
654 tasting notes

This is a solid mid-range jasmine green. The jasmine flavor overwhelms the base but it isn’t cloying. I had this with dinner at a fancy restaurant. It’s nice enough for that, but not so impressive as to keep stocked at home.

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drank Pumpkin Irish Cream by Butiki Teas
654 tasting notes

Thanks to Tea Pet for this lovely blend. No doubt it has lost some flavor in the years that I have been hoarding it. I made the last bit in my Breville for optimum enjoyment. The first steep was mildly flavorful but pleasantly pumpkin spicy with some heft in the base. The flavor grew stronger as the brew cooled – pumpkin, cinnamon, and cream. For the second steep, I added some pumpkin agave syrup from DavidsTea. The result is sweet, creamy, and gently spicy. The earthy base keeps the agave sweetness from being overly cloying. I now see that the brewing instructions recommend a rinse, which I totally didn’t do, so I probably messed this up. Harrumph. Still a nice cuppa!

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90
drank Caramel Apple by Butiki Teas
654 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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