620 Tasting Notes
Wow, this one went out with a bang!
I remember never being ‘wowed’ by this tea in the past, it never came across as chocolatey to me. But this time, remembering my past grievances, I upped the brewing time and temperature a little and boy did it make a difference! Now the heavenly chocolate scent as it’s brewing actually translates to the drinking! The sip is all pu, a little earthy but smooth and with a hint of richness which may be coming from the chocolate, and then the aftertaste is just like you’ve taken a bite of a fancy dark chocolate bar, but without the sweetness! I can’t believe that this is the same tea I’ve previously rated at 64, the change in steeping parameters has transformed it into a tea I might actually consider purchasing in the future, and it’s making me want to place an order with Camellia! I usually avoid chocolate teas, but this is making me reconsider…
I had planned to start off my morning with a cup of DAVIDsTEA’s Pumpkin Chai, but when I woke up this morning and opened the curtains the weather was just so utterly glorious that I had to pick out a suitably summery tea to match the day. This is a refreshing, relaxing tea I’ve always loved and I thought of it straight away. It definitely hit the spot, and even my mam really enjoyed this one! Spearmint and white tea up front in the sip, with a lingering green tea and jasmine aftertaste, I bet this would make a fantastic cold brew. As we edge more into summer weather here I’m tempted to try it.
I just went and found my original tasting note on this tea to compare how I felt then to how I do now, and it was written at quite a hard time in my life, and I was using Steepster as a sort of free therapy (which tea still is to me!). It’s difficult reading about the difficulties I had then and being transported back to that feeling of helplessness, but at the same time it feels good to realise how far I’ve came, even if I still have a ways to go. My fantastic boyfriend has definitely been the biggest change in my life. He believes in me more than anyone else ever has, and I know it was him who gave me the strength to believe in myself and go back to university to finish my degree, which is what I’m doing now. I have a new outlook on life, new aims and a new career goal and for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m working towards a specific goal in my life rather than wandering through it aimlessly. I’ve stopped comparing myself to others and learned to just focus on me. I wasn’t expecting all that self-reflection this morning, but I guess that’s what this tea brings out in me! And yes, my feelings about the tea are still the same, even though it was a very small proportion of the tasting note! Maybe next time I write about this tea I’ll manage to do it without getting deep…
I received this in a swap with Janelle a long time back, and it’s always lacked the chocolatiness I crave every time I brew it up. Chocolate isn’t usually a flavour I go for in tea, mostly because it never actually tastes as chocolatey as I want it to, but I have to say that this one disappoints me less than most. The scent is so strongly chocolate that each time I inhale I think it’s going to be better than it is, but sadly the taste doesn’t live up to what the scent promises. It is more chocolate than cocoa butter, which I appreciate, and it’s not too artificial-tasting either, and if I had had this in the prime of its life and overleafed more maybe I would have liked it better. It really is one of the better chocolate teas I’ve tried, though I prefer a black tea with natural chocolate notes, like the Laoshan black. Making allowances for the age of the tea and the fact that I had to slightly underleaf this time around – it’s my final cup – I suppose the chocolate is sort of kinda thereish. I just wish it tasted as good as it smelled!
Sadly I think time has been less kind to this than to some of the other Butiki blends I still have kicking about. My palate is contaminated with the garlic butter king prawns I had for dinner, though, so maybe it’s just being overpowered. My mam surprisingly seemed to enjoy this one, she said it was ‘not bad’ and it got an eyebrow-raise of surprise, which is high praise from her! This is all the more surprising because, like me, she is not usually a green tea fan. The jasmine and anise are still noticeable, though soft notes in a delicate cup, but the pear was mostly lost to me this time. Brewed in my IngenuiTEA to Stacy’s instructions, I’m going to try resteeping the leaves at a higher temperature and with less water to try to coax out more of the brilliance that I know was once there.
EDIT: I resteeped the leaves in less water for 5 minutes at 88 degrees C/190 F and the anise note is much stronger this time around, while the jasmine has faded into the background and I can actually taste the pear now. Still no astringency from the base, which I forgot to note the first time around. Overall I would say this is a more robust cup than the first steep, though still a shadow of its former self.
EDIT AGAIN: I steeped the leaves a third and final time, and the balance of jasmine, anise and pear is much more even now. This time I used boiling water for 8 minutes, and was actually somewhat surprised that the more delicate notes are still present in the cup. There aren’t many teas I would steep more than twice Western-style, but for Butiki I keep going as long as the leaf lets me. I get the feeling that I could probably eke out another very delicate cup or two, which is impressive considering the age of the tea and how mild the first cup was. I’m half tempted to try it and keep going, but it’s just not quite enjoyable enough at this stage in its life, and I’m going to have to drink something else if I’m going to hit my target of a sipdown a day! I only have enough leaf left for one more sitting with this tea, so maybe then I’ll see how far I can get with it.
This has definitely grown on me, and I don’t actually think the flavour has faded over time! That’s especially impressive because it’s a coconut tea, and they don’t tend to age very well. I made my mam drink a small cup again, and I think she secretly liked it. She guessed coconut as soon as she tried her first sip, and said it would have been delicious if it wasn’t in tea, so I’ll take that as a win, haha! The coconut is so fresh, creamy and authentic it blows me away every time. The rooibos base isn’t too woodsy, and it really does add to the overall ‘pie’ effect of the tea nicely. I think I might have to up my rating on this from the 81 I had given it last time!
I saw somebody else’s note mentioned adding condensed milk to this one, and now that’s all I can think about. I might have to try that in the next couple of days, watch this space…
Forced my mam to have a cup of this with me. She’s thrown out all of my single-mug steepers so for the time being she is sharing my two-cup teapots with me as punishment! Heh. She didn’t mind the cup of Adagio’s cream flavoured tea earlier, but this one she is not a fan of. Pulled a face and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went down the sink as soon as I left the room! It’s not my favourite, either. I received it in a mystery order a while back, and it’s not one I would have ever chosen on my own. Pear isn’t a flavour I think about actively choosing very often, and honeybush, chamomile and vanilla are all ingredients I tend to actively avoid! Despite the intial trepidation it’s not that bad. I chose it because I’ve had a rotten day and wanted something soothing, and it is doing the trick as far as that goes. The description for this tea says that the vanilla and chamomile are subtle, and I have to agree, but while it also says it is strongly pear-flavoured I would say that the honeybush is the overwhelming note, with the pear dancing around in the background and lingering more as an aftertaste. This is from Frank’s 52teas, though, not Anne’s, and the faded pear could be down to the tea’s age (though I don’t remember ever finding it particularly strong, and browsing other notes it seems like it never has been). Not a ‘wow’ moment, but it is soothing, and that’s what I’m looking for right now.
Aaaaand the final ‘I drank this ages ago’ note to get my cupboard up-to-date. A good deal of my teas have sadly gone awol so unless they magically turn up my cupboard is going to undergo a brutal cull very soon. I’m not holding my breath because they disappeared from my cupboard in the kitchen along with two of my strainers, and my mam (who likes to throw things away and then forget about it) has done a clear-out of basically the whole house since we went into lockdown. So, it looks like it’s goodbye to all my DavidsTeas that I can’t get over here in the UK! ): I may have shed a silent tear.
As far as I remember, this was okay. Acidic like a lot of the instant teas, and muddled fruity flavour.
Another basic note just to say ‘I drank this’. It was too long ago to remember any of the specifics, but this is one I have purchased multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed. Very fruity, good hot and cold, a nice thirst-quencher in the summer. If I were ever to buy another instant tea again (which I probably wouldn’t) it would most likely be this one.