Butiki Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

77

This tea took me by surprise, and I’m not sure how I’m going to write about it accurately. It’s so different to anything I’ve had before, but definitely in a good way. To me, it doesn’t really taste much like coffee, but I can see where the comparison comes from. It has a thick, rich mouthfeel and a robust, roasted nuttiness about it which is similar, though there’s no actual coffee note to my mind at least. I can more easily see the comparison with roasted chestnuts, only this is darker and more savoury. I don’t get any of the notes I typically associate with puerh – sheng or shou – except for some tobacco-like notes at the end of the sip. It’s quite heavily malty and does have a rice note which I find interesting, and I think it’s like a black tea in some respects, only incredibly strong but also very smooth at the same time.

This tasting note is much shorter than it deserves, but quite honestly this tea is just so unique that I don’t really know where to begin. I’m almost surprised I managed to get anything written down at all! Hopefully the words will come with time, and I will eventually, after many more cups, be able to confidently write a tasting note on this without it feeling like a daunting task that I’m not quite up to.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83
drank Coffee Ice Cream by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! I didn’t expect the flavour to translate as well as it did, but I’m not sure why since Butiki has rarely (if ever) disappointed me. The honeybush is not entirely invisible, but it doesn’t disrupt the coffee ice cream flavour so I barely noticed it. The coffee is mild but present, and it’s the good kind of coffee too, like freshly ground Italian espresso, not cheap instant coffee. Working in an Italian restaurant where I make the coffees may have turned me into a slight coffee snob. There’s a hint of vanilla but the ice cream mostly comes from an unexpected creaminess which makes me want to drink this in big gulps. Together it’s delicious, and if it were still available I’d drink it frequently on a night time, ideally while reading in bed, which is how I drank this cup. If anyone cares, I’m currently reading The Joy Luck Club, and I am enjoying it but I wish it jumped around the stories less, because it always switches just as I’m getting invested in a particular tale. Anyway, this was a nice tea to drink while reading it, and I’m a much bigger fan than I expected to be.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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76

Health Benefits of black tea include beneficial impacts for high cholesterol, diarrhea, tooth decay, low-concentration levels, digestive problems

Flavors: Tea

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78
drank Latkes & Applesauce by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Busy, exhausting days! My tasting notes have been slipping. Typical of me, I’m taking it down to the wire and writing up all of my remaining tasting notes for the drink-a-thon tomorrow. It’s the first day off I’ve had in a while, so I’ll be able to spend a decent amount of time on them, and I can’t wait. I’ve spent the last few days in a fog of exhaustion, but happy to be working good hours again, and just haven’t had the time I’d like to for tea.

This one I drank the other morning when I had a couple of hours going spare to drink a few cups of tea. I had it plain first, then with a pinch of (smoked) rock salt, and then finally a third time with a pinch of sugar, for good measure. It’s amazing how much it changes! Plain, the starchy potato and sweet apple and cinnamon notes are both equally present, and make for a tasty – if slightly confusing – cup of tea. Potato with sweet things seems very weird to me, as a non-American, but the potato here doesn’t seem overtly savoury so it doesn’t bother me too much. The base tea was hardly noticeable in any of the cups I had, which didn’t really surprise me after seeing that my dry leaf was over 50% potato and apple pieces. It was probably most noticeable here, but I had almost no tea leaves at all in my second cup so that might be why. Overall I find the balance to be intriguing, and would have liked to have tried it with a little salt and sweetener at the same time as per somebody else’s suggestion, but I didn’t have the time nor the patience to have yet another cup of this tea just then. I will probably try it like this eventually. With the rock salt added, only a little and not enough to make the tea actually taste salty, it was just as Stacy suggested – enhanced potato notes, diminished apple and cinnamon notes. The tea had a very brothy feel this time around, which I quite enjoyed. It almost reminded me of chips or ready salted crisps, but the cinnamon was still a quiet lingering note which stopped this from being completely savoury. On the flip side, I had a separate cup with added sugar and the potato note became much less noticeable, and the cinnamon and apple notes were brought out more. Similarly to the savoury cup, the potato was still present enough that the tea wasn’t completely sweet.

Each way I tried it, this tea was quite different. I could still tell that it was the same tea each time, and yet it tasted drastically different so as that three cups in a row wouldn’t seem like three cups of the same tea in a row. None of them were particular stand-outs, though all decently tasty, and the potato chunks really do make strainers a bitch to clean, but I’m still happy to have this tea in my collection for the sheer novelty factor.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Baked Ali Shan by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

When I first got this it was my favourite oolong, but my tastebuds have shifted a little since then and it’s been ousted by the Fu Shou Shan. It’s creamy more than buttery to me, with light sweet/savoury vegetal notes which remind me of pea shoots and a delicate floral note (this might be what others pick up on as orchid, but I can’t say I’ve ever eaten one). The light roasted quality comes through at the end of the sip in a warming, bready note, which is finally followed by a return of that floral note and some fairly noticeable pear, right down to the texture. I think for my current tastes it’s just a little bit too indecisive – not quite roasted, but slightly too roasted to be called green. I really enjoy both, but I find myself wishing it was one or the other. I think perhaps when I first tried this it was the first ‘roasted’ oolong I’d had, and therefore my mind was blown by the new flavour profile and I became enamoured. Now that I’ve tried more roasted oolongs I find that this just lacks the toastiness I want from it, and I’d prefer it to just be a little more green. Having said all that, don’t get me wrong, I still do really enjoy this. I do! I have just about enough leaf left to have a lovely gongfu afternoon session with this one day for the perfect send-off, but for now I think I’ll get a few more steeps out of these leaves.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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38
drank Organic Honeybush by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Not so much to say about this. Flavour-wise, it’s just fine. Woodsy and has a sort of fake cherry note which I’ve noticed a few times with honeybush. It doesn’t have any honey flavour, and apart from the scent I don’t think I’d be able to differentiate it from any other plain honeybush I’ve tried. Scent-wise, this smelled awful. Like, truly bad. It had a sort of fishy, rotten, inside of a bin smell which really took me aback when I sniffed it. It smelled quite pleasant in the bag, so I’m not quite sure what happened there. Maybe it’d be better with milk and/or honey, but this just didn’t do anything for me and the scent was downright off-putting.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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62
drank Blueberry Champagne by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Yesterday was a day of resteeps! I meant to review a new tea when I got in from work but it was a really busy shift and I was so exhausted I just went straight to bed. The resteep of this was much like the first, but less earthy. The blueberry holds up well and I’d like to brew this gongfu next time.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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62
drank Blueberry Champagne by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I accidentally steeped this in boiling water, and forgot to rinse the tea (I have no idea what I was thinking while I prepared it) so this is admittedly probably not the best this tea has ever tasted. This is another one I’m going to have to keep separate to make again at the end of the month if I have time.

The blueberry flavour is dead on, and really quite enjoyable, though I don’t get ‘champagne’ from it, even after adding sugar. Mostly I think that the Suncha base is too jarring for me with the sweet, jammy blueberry flavour. The earthiness I can dig with the blueberry. Yeah, I can see that making sense. But it’s just a little too much on the smoky savoury side for me to really enjoy this as a ‘blueberry champagne’ kind of tea. I’m also a little sick of drinking so many Butiki 1989 Suncha blends recently though, because of my drink-a-thon, so maybe I’d appreciate it more on a regular day. Still, I can’t help but feel like the blueberry flavour in this, which really is lovely, would be a hundred times better with a white tea base, or a green oolong. I’m going to reserve final judgement until I’ve tried this gongfu brewed, or maybe cold-brewed, or even just brewed according to the actual suggestions… Yeah, my bad.

Thanks for including this with my order, Stacy! I appreciate being able to try it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

You make it sound as if our lovely Butiki is still in existence. If only!

Nattie

Sorry! We can only dream…

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59
drank Farewell, Butiki by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I resteeped my leaves a couple of times yesterday, and the citrus zing was much less abrasive in the subsequent steeps than the first. It is still the dominant note, but it’s mellowed out to a point where the overall tea is much more enjoyable. I noticed in my third steep that the strawberry note is holding up quite well, and becoming more present as the other flavours mellow out. I’m pretty confident with my guess that strawberry is a flavour here, or at least another berry which very much resembles strawberry to me. I’m going to bump up the rating just a little bit from 57 because the later steeps are definitely more enjoyable than the first.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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59
drank Farewell, Butiki by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

As with Happy Trails, I read the ingredients for this when Stacy first posted them a while ago, but have since forgotten and haven’t looked since.

This is a very interesting tea. The dry leaf smells mostly of maple (which I got excited about), which is followed by strawberry, which is followed by orange, in descending order of strength. I had high hopes, because I love maple flavoured teas, especially Butiki’s, but this isn’t really what I expected. The liquor while brewing smells very tangerine-y, and the other notes are mostly swallowed up. The flavour is the same. Strong tangerine note in the initial sip, which develops into a more orange note in the aftertaste (could Stacy have used both flavourings? It is a very strong orange citrus note). There is a syrupy sweet maple note if I block out all of the orangeness, and I think I can taste some vague strawberry in there somewhere, though I don’t think I would have picked up on it if I hadn’t smelled it fairly clearly in the dry leaf. There’s a chance it could be some other berry note, maybe raspberry, but strawberry seems the most likely to me. I’m picking up on cinnamon-like notes which I don’t think are coming from the flavourings, but pretty much confirm my suspicions that the oolong base is the Fu Shou Shan, which I am very fond of and always translates to me as having natural apple and cinnamon notes. Right at the very back end of the sip I taste something sweet, light and pillowy which is making me think this might have some marshmallow flavouring added to it, though if it does probably not much.

It’s fun to guess which ingredients are in these mystery teas, but honestly the citrus in this one is a little bit overwhelming for me and I would rather drink the Fu Shou Shan on its own. I preferred the other mystery tea.

ETA: As this is starting to cool, the maple flavour is becoming more pronounced at the beginning of the sip before the orange kicks in. I’m pretty well convinced it’s one of the flavours.

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

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97

This was one of my favourites when I first ordered it, in fact I loved it so much that I added it to my wishlist immediately after my first cup (which I very rarely do when teas are still in my cupboard) and eagerly parsed others’ notes to see if anyone wasn’t keen and wouldn’t mind to swap. I remember taking my first sip and having an ‘ohmygod’ moment. All of the notes were present, particularly the plum and brandy. The reason I’m describing this experience from almost two years ago is that sadly, out of all my Butiki teas, this seems to be the one which has lost its flavour. I’m going to have another cup in a few days once I’ve got through the rest of my drink-a-thon teas in the hopes that it was a fluke, just a bad cup, or I brewed it wrong, because this tea was once magnificent. O’ cruel fate, why must you take from me one of my favourite teas in such a brutal manner?

But seriously, aside from the melodramatic mourning, I was so disappointed when I took my first expectant sip. The flavour hasn’t completely dissipated, but it’s faded to the point where I have to chase the notes to taste them. The scent is very creamy, and the cheesecake flavour is probably the most prominent note remaining, but I barely get any brandy at all and the plum is seriously fading. The base itself was on the light side, too, and I could taste the water through it, so I’m living in hope that I just underleafed even though I followed Stacy’s suggestions. This might have to be moved into my focus box until it’s sipped down.

My rating for this is based on how amazing it was when I first bought it, since it wouldn’t be fair to it or to Stacy to mark it down because of my negligence/hoarding.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dustin

You have a focus tea box?! That is brilliant.

Nattie

Yeah it’s necessary for me since I’m prone to neglecting certain teas which need to be drank, and have been known to spend well over an hour sifting through a giant pile of 400 teas trying to decide which to drink.

Fjellrev

It’s always sad when a favourite starts to lose its lustre.

Nattie

I’m so upset! All of my other teas have held up very well, it’s just such bad luck that one I loved so much is the one to fade.

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84

Quick tasting note before I take a walk down to my nana’s, I’m going out with her for lunch. I’m also going to Weight Watchers tonight and have an appointment at the dentist’s, so I’m not sure how much tea I’m going to get drank on my only day off this week! Next Monday and Tuesday are the last days of January and the last of my drink-a-thon, so it might end up being a sprint finish if I can’t find the time sooner.

I estimated the temperature while I was distracted, and think I might have brewed this a little too hot, since the liquor is a darker colour than I expected and there’s a tiny hint of astringency right at the back end of the sip. It’s not too noticeable, and doesn’t bother me, but still I feel like I could have done this more justice. The squash comes across to me as a cake, cookie or muffin sort of flavour, and along with the vanilla and cinnamon the overall effect is one of a cinnamon cookie, which is just fine by me! The sweet, earthy, starchy squash is the most prominent note in the body of the sip, mingling with the vanilla note which helps make it more sweet than savoury. The soft cinnamon comes through at the end of the sip like a blanket, covering the mouth with a natural, comforting spice which makes me suspect this tea would be perfect for curling up in front of a fire in the Autumn. I added my usual half a sugar, and now the vanilla and cinnamon notes are more prominent and the squash less so. I do wish this tea had a thicker mouthfeel to match the creamy starchy flavour, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless.

ETA: As it cools the muffin comparison gets stronger. It’s reminding me strongly of a muffin I can picture quite clearly which I used to have often as a treat when I was younger, but I can’t quite remember where I got them or the context around them. What I can picture quite clearly while I’m drinking this is the colour, texture and flavour of the muffin, right down to the gooey, sticky glaze on the golden brown top and the spongy but dense feel of breaking off a piece to pop in my mouth while the coating got stuck to my fingers. I was originally going to rate this a 76 but I’m going to have to raise that because yay for muffin tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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32
drank Organic Korakundah by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

This may be my least favourite of all my Butiki teas. Not that it’s bad, it just isn’t the one for me, or rather I’m not the one for it. It was free with an order, though, so a big thank you to Stacy for allowing me to broaden my horizons and try some teas I never would have gone near on my own. It’s leaning toward the more savoury side of greens, which makes me think it would be interesting paired with some more savoury flavours such as sage or even tomato if we’re getting adventurous, but as a straight tea on its own, for me it’s a miss. There’s an earthiness to it and a natural smoky note which is admittedly interesting, but nothing about this tea really makes me want to drink it again, except for the thick mouthfeel and brothiness which made it easy to gulp and is giving me a warm happy tummy. I’m sure it would be great for people interested in such teas, but I am not such a person and will most likely be passing this along.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

This was the big surprise of the final Butiki batch for me – I love it! So much of it, particularly for me, shouldn’t work… but it just does! First off, the base is a green, which is typically my least favourite, and on top of that it has anise, which, as a licorice-hater, I’m also not a big fan of. But somehow when combined with the pear and jasmine flavours this tea just really works for me! It’s even more surprising given that it doesn’t seem to be too popular with other Steepsterites. But that’s okay, more for me! Or there would be if this were still available…

The dry leaf of this tea is absolutely gorgeous. Butiki blends tend to be visually stunning, but this one more than most. There are whole jasmine flowers dispersed throughout the leaf, and whole pieces of star anise which, though I’m not usually a fan of flavour-wise, are pretty gorgeous to look at. Many reviewers have commented that they found the anise to be overpowering, but this wasn’t the case for me. The bi luo chun, pear, jasmine and anise notes are all pretty harmonious in my cup and none are overwhelming or jarring. This is a very relaxing cup of tea! It’s subtle in the right way; I think if the notes were stronger they would become overpowering and become more of a punch in the face, but it’s not lacking in flavour like I found the Irish Cream Butter Crisps to be. Perhaps the trick with this one was leaving it to mature for a couple of years until the flavours mellowed out! As usual I added a little under half a teaspoon of sugar, which, as Stacy said it would, really created a pear drop sweets kind of feel. Only this one is mature and better for you. The Jasmine notes are soft and natural – I suspect they come from the added flowers rather than additional flavourings – and add a sophisticated twist to something which otherwise could have been too sweet and fruity. The anise is mellow, too, and doesn’t remind me of licorice as much as peking duck (that sounds totally negative but it wasn’t meant to). Perhaps what I should have said is that it reminds me of five spice, in that the anise is more natural and ever so slightly on the savoury side, so that it pairs well with the green tea base. The pear note does not come across as artificial to me, or at least not in a bad way. It’s definitely reminiscent of sweets more than the fruit itself, but it comes across to me as deliberate, and the word ‘artificial’ to me conjures up (gustatory) images of plastic, chemical-tasting sting-your-mouth disgustingness, which this doesn’t have.

Of all the Butiki teas I bought in their closing down tea-blending frenzy, I knew there would be some gems I would struggle to part with, I’m just a little surprised to find that this is one of them! I’m relieved I picked some of it up, because I was umming and ahhing over whether to get any at all, but now I wish I has more than my measly half an ounce. Oh well, hindsight is a wonderful thing! I shall enjoy this while I have it, and savour as much as I can.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

This, though a nice enough tea, is probably one of my least favourites from the last Butiki release. I guess it’s unsurprising since I’m a lover of strong teas and this is very delicate. I love Irish cream, but I dislike butter, and unfortunately for me the butter is stronger than the Irish cream here, particularly in the scent. I suppose for people who like/don’t mind the flavour of butter it would likely be a good thing, but the scent of the tea once brewed is strongly buttery and makes me feel a little queasy. It’s milder in the actual tea, thankfully, and I do think the Irish cream is very mild, too. The main note is of cream, but I can’t pick up on much – if any – whisky, so I’m tempted to say that the creaminess might come mainly from the bai mu dan, which is a naturally creamy tea. I don’t really know what sugar crisps are, but it is a sweet tea… I added a bit of actual sugar and it intensified the creaminess. All in all it’s a nice tea, but that’s all it is: nice. I can happily sip it while spending the afternoon reading as I did today, but it’s not one which bowls me over with its flavour.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Resteeped my leaves and was rewarded with a milder, lighter cup of the same deliciousness I had yesterday. Maybe a bit lighter on the coffee this time, but the pumpkin spice is still present and yummy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Well, I ended up staying on a double shift at work. I knew that would happen! So my tea-drinking has been pushed back to tomorrow, or possibly later because I’m having to book an emergency appointment with the dentist to have my wisdom tooth removed. I hope they can fit me in, because I’ve been in agony for a week now and it only seems to be getting worse. I was determined to fit at least one tea in tonight, though, and I went with this one because it’s one I’ve been staring at for days now wanting to drink.

This is delicious. I am in total agreement with those saying it’s their favourite Butiki pumpkin tea. It tastes exactly like a pumpkin spice latte!! I can’t even begin to pick apart the notes because my brain is just screaming at me ‘pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte’ over and over again. I didn’t want to risk adding sugar, so I’m not sure how that might have affected the flavour, but I bet it would be sooo good. I want to try this tea so many ways. I want to cold brew it, make it into a latte, make tea syrup, add sugar, add honey, add maple syrup and golden syrup… I wish I had more than 1/2 an oz because I’m already sad that I won’t be able to try most of those things. The butterscotch is the least prominent note and adds a little syrupy sweetness, but the pumpkin and coffee flavours blend together seamlessly, neither outshining the other. Honestly if I closed my eyed and ignored how much thinner the liquid is, I would truly believe I was drinking a pumpkin spice latte. Happy sigh.

Basically, pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte pumpkin spice latte.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
greenteafairy

Good luck with the dentist! I hope you can get in tomorrow, and I hope it’s not too rough.

Amie

Hope you get the care you need at the dentist. I had a tooth extraction just before Christmas and it was painful but necessary. My husband was my saviour and made me a bunch of homemade soups and health shakes and got me all my favorite nut icecreams. Good luck to you:) I wish Butiki Teas was still in business – I keep seeing everyone post about how great they are and was sad to look on their website and see they had closed shop.

Nattie

Thanks greenteafairy and Amie! I have an appointment for tomorrow morning, so it’s not too bad. Amie you’re lucky to have such a wonderful husband! I hope I can coerce someone into doing the same for me, haha. Sorry about the Butiki posts! They are a huge miss. As far as I’m concerned no other company comes close to what they did. I’ve heard good things about A Quarter to Tea, but never tried them myself so I can’t speak for them.

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82
drank 1989 Suncha Blend by Butiki Teas
331 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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81
drank Coconut Cream Pie by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Well, I was almost finished my tasting note for this when Chrome decided to close all my tabs on me. Thanks, Google. I’m in danger of not making my drink-a-thon target since I’ve had a poor couple of days, so I’m going to post it anyway, even though it’s going to suck even more than the original note did. I’m tired, physically exhausted and in some not inconsiderable pain, and there’s no way I can be bothered to type the whole thing out again, so this is what I’m going with – I like this a whole lot better than I did when I first bought it, though I’m not sure if it’s aged well or just grown on me. I can taste the coconut, I can taste the cream, and I can even taste the pie. The last part might be coming from the rooibos more than the flavouring, but hey, if you can’t mask the rooibos, why not use it to your advantage? This is sweet enough that I didn’t feel the need to add any sugar, which is just as well, because I blew half my daily allowance of smartpoints on a Mcdonald’s chicken wrap on the way home from work and wouldn’t have had enough left to add any anyway. I added a splash of skimmed milk and it enhances the coconut and cream notes without diminishing the pie crust flavour at all. It has a lingering aftertaste of real, authentic coconut milk.

Yeah, I wasn’t keen on this when I first bought it, but I think it might be one of my favourite herbals at the moment.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
S.G. Sanders

I usually write my notes via Microsoft Word; copy & paste.

Nattie

That’s a good idea, I might have to start doing that

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60
drank Red Queen Cupcake by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I didn’t have a single cup of tea yesterday because I was so busy (I was out ll day, and went straight from a shopping trip to work, only stopping at home for 12 minutes in between to get changed) and my wisdom tooth was playing up so much that I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it anyway. I’d like to say I’m going to make up for it today, but I’m going straight from freelance work #1.5 to job #2, so I’m still pretty busy today. Tomorrow I’m back at job #1 for a few hours but then finally I’ll have a few hours when I get back to enjoy some tea. Unless they decide to keep me on a double shift…

I decided to have this one because of the chocolate, which I was craving and can’t have because of my new old diet. Sadly, the chocolate is the least prominent flavour. I’m a little bit gutted because I was really looking forward to Butiki’s chocolate flavour, and it just kind of gets lost in a sea of strawberry. It smells absolutely delicious while it’s steeping, and I can clearly pick out the strawberry, chocolate and espresso notes, but when I tried this plain all I got was a murky coffee/tea combo with a fairly strong strawberry note and not much chocolate. I added a tiny bit of sugar and it did bring out the strawberry more and make the base tea less murky-tasting, but there is still a mild astringency which is too much for me to drink a whole cup, since I’m quite sensitive to astringency. I added a splash of skimmed milk, just a touch, and it did help to balance the cup out a lot. The strawberry is no longer fresh strawberry, but more strawberry cream, like a milkshake sort of flavour, and the espresso note becomes more clear at the end of the sip, getting more prominent as the cup cools. I still don’t get much chocolate, though that’s maybe to do with the base tea. I’ve never tried this base on its own but I can’t help wishing Stacy had used something sweeter, with more natural dark chocolate and honey notes. The Sansia Black, for example, worked really well in the Chocolate Chili Truffle blend. It’s a shame that the chocolate didn’t come through for me, because I think it’s the note which ties the others together so that they make sense as a combination. Chocolate and coffee? Delicious. Chocolate and strawberry? A classic combination. Coffee and strawberry?… Not so much. Without that missing link of the chocolate it’s nice enough, but just seems a little bit odd and disjointed. I will have to play with the steeping parameters to see if I can make it work.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Fu Shou Shan by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I’ve left this off my spreadsheet, so not entirely sure how it came into my possession, but I’m like 90% sure it was in my Butiki mystery box. It’s one I never would have bought of my own volition, but one which I’m glad to have and that I really enjoy when I’m in the right mood. Maybe I should hold off on the review until I’ve had multiple steeps, but I have to get ready for work in around an hour and I didn’t want to be cutting it too close, so I’ll have to write up a separate tasting note another time for the additional steeps.

I really enjoy oolongs, both green and roasted, and this is among the greener of those which I enjoy. It is a full-bodied, sweet and mellow oolong, but I don’t pick up on any asparagus notes which Stacy has mentioned, not that that’s a negative for me. The predominant note is a sweet, floral grassy one at first, which develops into a lightly spiced note which honestly reminds me of cinnamon. I could smell a cinnamon note as the tea steeped, but assumed it was coming from something else, and was very surprised when it translated into the flavour of the tea. It can’t be from cross-contamination, but it is very clearly a cinnamon note in my mind. This then transitions into a fruity note in the aftertaste which tastes more like apple to me than melon. The whole while the grassy note continues, so that in the aftertaste it reminds me of wood sorrel and makes me think of the apple grass from Doctor Who. As it cools, the butteriness becomes more noticeable. This is about as close to an apple pie filling as a straight tea can ever get. I will definitely be on the lookout for something similar when I run out of this.

ETA: Even my little brother could taste the apple and cinnamon, and said this was really nice! Success!

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

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67

not that bitter – so i liked it

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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93

This is probably one of my favourites from Butiki’s final batch of teas, and sadly one of the ones I have the least of. Luckily for me it resteeps very well!

The raspberry flavour comes across the most prominent, followed by the Sparrow’s Tongue, and then ends on a creamy cashew note which lingers. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s ‘jam’ or ‘butter’ reminiscent, but raspberry and cashew for sure. The raspberry note is fresh and juicy, and the creaminess of the cashew goes with it beautifully. I am so glad it uses an oolong base rather than a green, because I’m not the biggest fan of greens in the first place but I think many of them would have been too savoury here. The oolong is a perfect alternative. It’s naturally sweet and buttery, which goes so well with both of the main flavours, and it’s just so darn robust. I got three fantastic Western-style steeps out of this, the third being mostly oolong but still with a hint of cashew and a lingering note of raspberry. The first and second steeps were virtually indistinguishable. I’d love to try brewing this gongfu, but sadly I don’t think I have enough leaf. I bet it would have been wonderful.

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

This was one of my favorite Butiki final-batch teas too (and I don’t even like green oolongs). That raspberry…

CrowKettle

Also my favourite out of the Butiki’s last blends, but I’m biased towards the oolong base. I’ve yet to find a suitable replacement for Sparrow’s Tongue, although I haven’t tried very hard.

Nattie

@greenteafairy – I do love Butiki’s raspberry. Stacy had some blends with green bases I don’t normally like which I’ve ended up loving too. It’s part of her wizardry, I think.

Nattie

@CrowKettle – I looove the base with this! I never tried it on its own but I wish I had. It’s probably for the best though, parting is hard enough already…

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84
drank Praline Horizon by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Had two delicious cups of this to start my day! It’s going to be an interesting day, I think, because I rejoined Weight Watchers last night and it’s my first day back on the plan, and I’m starting my second job tonight, too! I’m a little nervous since I’ve never worked two jobs at once before and I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I’m looking forward to it. Mostly I’m looking forward to being paid enough to live on.

This is one of my favourite breakfast teas. It works perfectly for that time of day. The Crimson Horizon on its own is something I drink for breakfast regularly, but when I want something flavoured I go for this one instead. Praline is one of my favourite flavours, and in this tea it’s almost like a praline chocolate has been melted into a cup of tea. It’s subtle enough that it’s not sickly sweet, but not so subtle that it could be mistaken for a natural note of the Crimson Horizon. To me, hazelnut and caramel notes are most present, but there’s a medley of nuts in the background that give it depth of flavour and richness which makes it slightly indulgent for a breakfast tea. Plain, the CTC base is too astringent for me, but with a drop of skimmed milk it’s perfect. This rounds out the praline flavour too, and makes it slightly more creamy, but it does lose some of the briskness which makes it perfect for first thing in the morning. Adding a small pinch of sugar brings out some chocolate notes, and sweetens up the nuttiness and caramel notes so that it really is like drinking a melted chocolate in a cup of tea (in a totally non-goopy way). Sure, it’s not overly complex, but who needs complexity when they’re still half asleep? I know I don’t.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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