drank 1989 Suncha Blend by Butiki Teas
419 tasting notes

I was saving this for a day when I had an afternoon free to enjoy a relaxed gong fu session, but I’m running out of strong enough teas to have when I first wake up from my Butiki suitcase box, and I’m in work soon and needed the energy jolt, so western style it is. The western steep didn’t destroy it! It’s still a great tea. The smokiness is milder than I remember, but still the dominating top note. The earthiness lasts throughout the sip and gives it body, giving way to pine notes at the end of the sip. There’s a creaminess to it which tempers the heavy, woodsy flavours well, and a tang right at the very back of the sip which stops the creaminess from being too much, too rich. I think that this is to this day the only sheng/shou blend I’ve tried, but they work really well together, each playing off the other and enhancing the best of both. I added skimmed milk just to lighten the cup as it is pretty heavy, and the flavours hold up well. This is a strong puerh that isn’t going to be bothered by a little bit of milk!

This is a very special tea, even as somebody who doesn’t drink puerh on a regular basis I can see that. I will eventually – hopefully not too far in the future – have a gong fu session with it and write up the tasting note it deserves, but I’m very happy in the knowledge that it does just fine brewed western style if I’m in a rush or just feeling impatient! I know that I could easily drink down all 4oz I have of this, but I also know that there are puerh drinkers out there who would be very happy to be able to try this. Sharing is caring, after all; I think an ounce or two of this might end up in some people’s mailboxes in the not-too-distant future.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 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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