87
drank Pumpkin Irish Cream by Butiki Teas
525 tasting notes

The flavour of this is holding up really well, I don’t think it’s faded even a little bit. After finishing Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 yesterday, I decided to brew this up today in comparison and shake up the bag like I should have done with that one. They are actually pretty similar in their flavourings, but I much prefer the base of this one.

The last time I drank this, I added milk to almost all of my ‘dark’ teas, and sugar to quite a few. Now, I only add milk (apart from lattes) if I’m in the mood for it with my first – typically bold – cup of the day, or if I overbrew a cup so badly that the astringency is unbearable. This is my first cup of the day, but I wasn’t feeling the need for milk. I still add a pinch of sugar on occasion when I’m curious about what it will do to alter the flavours of the tea, and I did so here out of curiosity more than any need for sweetness. I find that adding sugar, the smallest pinch possible, really brings out the pumpkin. There are strong notes of cinnamon and clove, some cardamom, which contribute to a ‘pumpkin spice’ feel overall, but there are actual pumpkin notes too which I find are often lacking in a pumpkin spice blend, a huge complaint I have with them usually. There’s a distinct cream note which hits the sides of your tongue, and a creamy mouthfeel from the suncha, alongside some sweet earthy and light smoke notes, which really add to the experience. My main complaint with this tea is the name. ‘Pumpkin Spice Milkshake’ would have been a great one for it. Even ‘Pumpkin Spice Cream’, just ‘Pumpkin Cream’ or ‘Pumpkin Milkshake 3.0’! However try as I might, and creamy as it is, there’s just nothing ‘Irish’ about it to me. From reading Stacy’s description, and other notes, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is no whisky flavouring added, but rather Stacy was trying to convey the impression through the use of the lightly smoky suncha base. I suppose that would make sense, but as a whisky drinker it doesn’t come across that way to me. Aside from that, though, this is a really tasty tea and I’m glad it hasn’t lost its sparkle. Upping my rating a lot from 72, because I appreciate it so much more now that I used to, and I think it might be my favourite of Butiki’s pumpkin blends.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’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 (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. 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/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

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.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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