This was sent to me by the lovely Sil, because she wasn’t loving it and I was in try all the Butikis mode. Thank you so very much!

Honestly I wasn’t really expecting to like this, because I tend not to get along with banana very much in any form, but as soon as I started my Butiki drink-a-thon I was drawn to this sample, it just looked so appealing. I kept putting it off and waiting for the perfect moment to drink it; either I’d eaten too recently, or had too similar a tea not that long ago, or I didn’t have time to fully appreciate it. But now… well, now still wasn’t perfect timing, but I got fed up of waiting and too impatient so I’m having it right this second. Ha. As soon as I opened the little package I knew instantly that it was this tea that’s been stinking up all my other samples. So I’m very familiar with the scent, seeing as all of my samples smell like this tea, but it did make me wary of drinking it because I imagined extremely strong chemical banana which just didn’t seem all that appealing to me. Luckily this is not the case at all!

The banana flavour is very mellow, and on a perfect level with the Ali Shan, an oolong I really like on its own and was happy to see as the base for this blend. It’s creamy and nutty and – as per usual – a really good match for the flavours. The main note of the tea, on a par with the smooth, lightly floral oolong, is the banana, and I agree with everyone who has said that it’s a natural banana rather than a candy banana flavour. There are these foam banana sweets you used to get when I was a kid and that’s how I imagined this tea tasting, but I was happily wrong. It tastes like a natural, ripe banana – not green, not yet browning. The walnut note comes through in the aftertaste and is more delicate than I thought walnut could be, but not by any means weak. It’s a very natural flavour, too, like the banana, and it has a very specific mouthfeel I’m finding it difficult to describe but reminds me of the skin of the nut. It reminds me a little of my true love Maple Pecan Oolong in this respect. I don’t really get much in the way of butterscotch, and added a small amount of sugar to try to fix this, but still no luck. I’m assuming it adds to the sweet, rich, creaminess which I’m identifying in this without imparting specific flavour, which I’m okay with. Sugar brings out the banana more and turns it into a slightly overripe note. I’ve just finished my cup before typing this sentence, and the last couple of mouthfuls had gone ice cold. It’s a slightly weird tea to drink cold, in my opinion, but the walnut note was dominating this way.

I like this tea but I’m not blown away by it. I wouldn’t pick it up myself, but I’m super glad to have been able to try it and will enjoy my next and final cup. Only two more samples remaining, and then I’m moving on to my huuuuge stock from my triple-order Butiki is closing, quick, panic-buy everything haul! That sounds like I haven’t drank them before but I have, I promise.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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