Butiki Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

76

The other tea I drank yesterday – I only had time for two. This one I remember less clearly. Black, I definitely got a tangy plum compote note, with little astringency, which I was pleased about because I generally really like Butiki’s plum flavouring and I was hoping it would be the strongest note. The cashew cake was a little present, but only towards the back of the sip if I really concentrated. I added half a sugar, which brought out the plum flavouring more, and it probably the way I’d like to drink it best. In the name of trying everything, though, I added milk (admittedly too much), which muted the tea and plum notes and brought the cashew to the fore. I really like cashews for eating, they’re probably my favourite nut, but in tea it just doesn’t come across as a strong enough flavour to lead a blend. The cakiness is noticeable with milk, which I didn’t get before, but there’s just not enough of the plum flavour to cut through it and make it interesting. I might try it next time with less milk, because I did mess up the amount I added, but I really enjoyed it black and with just a little sugar, so I’m probably more likely to drink it that way instead. It was a very tasty tea, though.

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

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93
drank Lime Marshmallow by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I drank this yesterday, but had a super busy day and didn’t have time to write up any tasting notes. It was a weird sort of day, all in all.

I love this tea. After getting mostly a lime aroma from the dry leaf, I was really surprised by how much the tea itself smells like marshmallow. For something which just has a few ingredients, and none of them really things you can replicate with tea, the scent is dead on. I often get my brother to try teas and guess the flavour, and can sometimes persuade my mam to play along, though she’s generally less willing and way off base. This time, she took one sip and immediately said ‘marshmallow’ very confidently. I hadn’t tried it yet, and didn’t believe it would actually taste like marshmallow, so I accused her of looking at the packet, which she denied. I think I believe her too, because for one thing it really does somehow taste like marshmallow, and for another, when I did show her the label she was gleefully triumphant, and also confused about the lime, which she didn’t taste. My brother was less certain, but drank half my mug trying to figure out what the "familiar " flavour was so I’m going to say it was met with general approval from my family (he said he could taste the lime and eventually got marshmallow after sniffing it). My dad is very fussy with food and I’ve never even attempted to get him to try any of my teas.

After my disbelief at my mam’s reaction, I’m not sure why I was still surprised when I tried this and found it to taste like marshmallow, but I was. It’s incredible how such a generally mild flavour, which I wouldn’t be able to describe at the best of times, can be translated so perfectly into tea. It’s sweet and pillowy just as a marshmallow should be, and it’s followed by a sweet candy lime note which helps to prevent it from being too sweet or blah. Out of all my Butiki teas, I think this is one of the most accurately named. The tea was sweet enough on its own that I didn’t want to add sugar in case it wrecked the flavour balance, but I will eventually (reluctantly) try it with some added.

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

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70

I like this. It’s not one of my all-time favourites but when I’m in the mood for creamy mint it’s nice. The first steep (Western, because I’m doing everything like that for my drink-a-thon) was great – deep rich puerh, creamy vanilla, sweet mint and an actual discernible cheesecake flavour. The cheesecake is very rich and mixes with the vanilla well, but I do think that the mint is a little bit too fresh and strong for the rest of the flavours, and it’s even stronger than the puerh, which doesn’t surprise me based on how much mint leaf was in my bag. Nice all the same, but I’m wishing that the mint was just a little bit weaker and more candy-like. I’m currently on my second steep and the puerh is surprisingly not holding up as well as the flavours. Granted it’s more vanilla mint now without the creamy cheesecake, but the puerh is definitely ‘watery’ this time round. I might stick to one steep next time for this, or more likely brew it gongfu. The first steep was definitely the best.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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Cold steeped in the fridge, then put through a sodastream machine!
Cold steeped in the fridge, then put through a sodastream machine!
Cold steeped in the fridge, then put through a sodastream machine!

You got that?! Carbonated tea is awesome!!!! It adds an extra bit of refreshing to an already delightful tea. Adding the CO2 tricks my taste buds into registering things as a little sweeter without the sugar. I think I’m going to carbonate all my cold steeped tea from now on.

VariaTEA

Aren’t you only supposed to put water in the machine and then flavor afterwards? I know that was the case with mine but mine was very old.

Dustin

Yeah, that’s what they say. I got mine second hand from a friend who suggested to disregard those instructions and make sure to clean the spout after use, so that is what I do. She said she tried it the recommended way which was hit or miss when adding the flavoring because you never knew when the flavoring would cause a bubbling over reaction.

Kaylee

Brilliant! I can’t wait to try this!

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I dumped the rest of this into a small jar with water and left it in the fridge for a few days. Poured a little into a cup, added a shot of Treaty Oak rum and some agave and I have myself an almost perfect drink. There is a little bite in there that I don’t care for which is likely due to overleafing, but there is a ton of tasty watermelon flavor in there! Vodka would have had a cleaner taste that went better with the watermelon, but the white rum isn’t bad either. Could probably use an ice cube to dilute it a little. Eh.

Nattie

drools

Babble

Awww I miss Butiki :‘( :’(

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I found a sample of this that someone had sent me long ago. Not sure if I reviewed it. It has been hiding in my tea stash for a couple of years by now, so flavors are likely to have diminished. It still smells wonderful dried. Once steeped I get a light watermelon flavor coming through. It is very smooth and has a slight sweetness. I’m still tasting a little cinnamon from my breakfast which is a little distracting and amusing. I don’t get any green tea bite and I bet the watermelon taste would be amplified with a little sugar. Tried adding stevia at the end of my cup, but I’m not used to it enough for it to not be distracting as well. I’m a little puzzled with my experience of this cup! LOL!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

It’s a white tea, so that might be why you didn’t notice any green tea bite. ;) I do find it better with sugar, even at this late stage in the tea’s life.

Dustin

Oh! That makes sense then! I wonder if the smooth jasmine tea I was drinking the other day was on a white base too because I was noticing the lack of green bite which I usually expect with jasmine.

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46
drank Organic Iyerpadi by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Stacy included this for free with one of my last orders, and I’m actually not sure if I’ve ever had this before because it looked pretty scary so I’ve spent a while avoiding it. Still, it has to be drank at some point and after my lunch (which – tmi – I can still taste) none of the flavoured options were calling out to me and I actually quite fancied a straight green, so I thought I might as well bite the bullet and go for it.

The reason I’ve been so hesitant is because of the size of the leaf which, even though I have lots of teas from other companies this size, is a lot smaller than most Butiki teas I own. I always associate smaller leaf with bitterness, and I’m wary of green teas for this reason too, so this was never high on my list of priority teas. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but there is some astringency though it’s on the milder side of what I’ve experienced with green teas in the past. I can taste most of the notes Stacy points out, apart from the lemon, though I can really only notice them when I think about it. Green tea is my fuzzy area. Without suggestion I can taste a floral note almost reminiscent of jasmine, and some steamed green vegetable notes which are probably what I was identifying as spinach when I was looking at the specific notes.

Basically, it’s not for me. It’s not bad, and probably one of the better straight greens out there, but I have uncouth tastes and this deserves a better home than mine. There’s a good chance this might end up with Red Fennekin.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML
Red Fennekin

Ooooh – I’m intrigued! I never got to try this one, so if it does come my way I look forward to trying it and comparing it with your note! :D

Nattie

Then I shall definitely send you some! I hope you like it (:

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66

wow! It’s amazing. Thanks to steepster for introducing such a delicious tea.
http://www.customthesis.org/

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56

Today is my early start busy day at work, and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to go in. I was doing full, busy weeks not so long ago, but lately they’ve cut my hours right back with no explanation and this week they only have me in today. It’s the least work I’ve been doing since I started 6 months ago and I’m finding it hard having no money when I’ve been used to being able to buy things and pay what I owe for a while now. How do adults do life??

Anyway, I needed a caffeine kick to get me going this morning, so this is what I went for. I don’t particularly enjoy it for the flavour but the energy boost is a big help. Flavour-wise this is mostly guayusa, and it’s not because it’s old, it’s been like this since I bought it. Even with a little added sugar the flavours aren’t willing to come through stronger. Weirdly, I got one really nice, clear sip at the beginning of my drink which was all juicy blackberry lime goodness. I’ve been drinking this like a madwoman, sipping different amounts at different speeds, trying to get different amounts of air into each mouthful, but I can’t seem to find those flavours anywhere any more! Ah well… there is a hint of blackberry in with the almost savoury leafy, earthy guayusa, hidden somewhere in the background, and every now and then I get a little hint of lime at the end of the sip. I should try this one cold-brewed, because the flavour combination sounds so delicious I wish I could appreciate it more.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

I haven’t had blackberry tea for a long time. Sounds luscious. As for “how do adults do life,” we’re still figuring that out. I have a sign in my office—KPO, which I understand was Winston Churchill’s catchphrase: Keep Plodding On.

gmathis

(Truthfully, it works better when the P stands for pray, but I forget sometimes.) May you be surprised by a little joy today!

Nattie

It’s probably my favourite of the berries in tea. Haha I might have to adopt that motto myself!

Thank you!! It got a lot better in the end. (: I hope your day was similarly joyful.

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89

Resteeped my leaves not expecting much after the delicate first cup, and was bowled over when I tried it and found that it was even more tasty than the first cup! I can taste the Doke more this time, and it has a really lovely nutty, honeyed tone I like a lot. The maple is very prominent, helped along by the sugar I added, and only gets stronger as the cup cools (though a little bit of astringency comes into it too). It’s very waffly and bready, but the almond is still not really there for me. Having said that though, I did just have some almonds as a snack before I drank this so there’s a chance that that’s why I couldn’t taste them in the tea. I’m really pleased I bought this. Not upping my rating because I think I overrated it last time, and 89 is about right for how I feel about it now.

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

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89

I ordered this in case it was anything like Maple Pecan Oolong, and it isn’t exactly magic like that one to me but it’s pretty good and does have an echo of it about it at the end of some sips. The scent of the dry leaf is exactly like Maple Pecan Oolong – all maple syrup, toasty oolong and nutty nuttiness. The scent almost disappears completely when it starts to steep, which is both confusing and disappointing, but it still has a decent amount of flavour to it so I’m not going to complain too much about the lack of scent, no matter how long I stuck my nose in the bag for. The maple and waffle are the strongest flavours. I’ve never had the Doke Rolling Thunder on its own but in here at least I find it to be quite mild, and I do wish I could taste it more than I do because all I get from it is a general sweetness.It does admittedly go well with the flavours but I don’t necessarily feel like I’m drinking tea. The almond is a whisper in the background, not really identifiable specifically, just generally ‘nutty’ in a way that doesn’t come from the tea. With a tiny bit of sugar the flavours really do pop, and with sugar as it cools is when I get a nudge in the aftertaste that reminds me of Maple Pecan Oolong, because it becomes more nutty and maple-y with the waffle being less noticeable now.

I’m glad I bought it. It’s sweet and decadent, and I think it’ll be perfect for the times that I’m craving Maple Pecan Oolong but don’t want to break into my precious stash (for a little while anyway – I have 1/3 the amount of this that I do MPO). I would like to point out though that for all I’m comparing them, they’re not all that similar. It’s just that tasting Butiki’s maple syrup flavouring paired with a roasted oolong got me excited.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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62

Nope. Nope nope nope. This tea was already at a disadvantage trying to please me today because I’ve been out all afternoon in the freezing cold, dreaming of coming home and making a lovely cup of Heaven’s Trash from resteeping my last ever leaves, only to find when I got home that my mam had thrown them out. If I’m honest, I took it a little to heart, partially because I was cold and grumpy and partially because I’d specifically explained to her why I wanted to keep the leaves (she has a tendency to throw things out and rearrange everything completely unnecessarily – I also came home to find that she’d inexplicably changed the bookmark in my book). So, I settled for this instead, and was already unimpressed just because it isn’t Heaven’s Trash. I’m not much of a green tea person, and first flush Darjeelings are often too reminiscent of green tea for my liking, but I tried to remain optimistic because it’s described as smooth with no astringency. Granted, I am more sensitive to astringency than a lot of people, but this is not astringency-free. The packaging says to steep it in boiling water, but I hope I remember to ignore that next time because I feel like a lot of the astringency could be avoided with a lower temperature. I would usually add milk to a black tea to get rid of astringency but this just seems so green to me that it would feel wrong. It has the usual citrus and floral notes that you’d expect from a Darjeeling, but also some fresh, light leafy vegetable notes which I’d associate with Japanese greens. For me, the redeeming feature of this tea is that after adding a small amount of sugar the tea becomes very juicy and has such a pronounced, unmistakable peach note that I’d almost think it had peach flavouring added to it. This calms down a bit when it cools, so I prefer this when it’s on the hotter side. Despite me not being able to get past the astringency and ‘greenness’, I can still tell that this is a high quality first flush, and even though I haven’t given it the best review it’s still probably one of the best first flushes I’ve tried, they’re just not really to my taste. I’m looking forward to trying it again at a lower temperature.

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

She changed your bookmark? Wow, sounds like my ex. She would throw away anything she didn’t know what it was, including bits of my computer lol

Nattie

Yep, she’s always been like that, but this was new levels of obsessiveness lol. Oh no! Haha she once cleaned my laptop so ferociously that she broke off two of the keys, but at least she didn’t throw them out!

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91

This could be a favourite green tea of mine! Oh it’s so delicious. The raspberry was dominant in the scent of the dry leaf, so that’s what I expected from the flavour too. Holy cow. As soon as it starts to steep the butterscotch becomes impossibly, ridiculously thick and rich to the point where I could have been convinced I was sniffing an actual butterscotch sauce simmering away in a pan if I hadn’t known better. It’s absolutely mouthwatering. There’s a hint of tangy raspberry in the background but the butterscotch really is the life of the party. This is reflected in the flavour. There’s a light spring vegetable note from the green tea, but 90% of the initial sip is pure, unadulterated butterscotch. The raspberry is a tangy juxtaposition of a backnote, and it comes out more when I add sugar, but like others have mentioned I don’t really pick up on the hazelnut. From Stacy’s description though I’d guess that there’s not much of it in here, which makes sense. Sugar also intensifies the butterscotch and adds mouthfeel so that it’s thick and syrupy. It’s incredibly decadent. The whole way through there’s been a fresh, light vegetal note from the base tea, which usually I would dislike but it’s not overpowering and manages to cut through the syrupy sweetness perfectly, and it’s very smooth with no astringency. As the cup starts to cool it becomes a bit more pronounced, but still not dislikeable. The raspberry note gets stronger when the tea cools too, but it’s still more butterscotch than anything else.

Although I bought it because it sounded delicious (and I was trying to pick up everything Butiki I could), I did wonder what the hell ‘raspberries and hazelnut butterscotch sauce’ meant, because I for sure haven’t come across it before. I had my doubts, not helped by the green tea base, and I did wonder if Stacy was making something completely random just to use up whatever flavourings she had left as she was closing up shop. I should have had more faith in her genius in seeing flavour combinations where others wouldn’t, because this is totally inspired.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Dustin

Sounds awesome!

Nattie

It is! I kinda wish it wasn’t, though ): lol

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92
drank Heaven's Trash by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Unexpected sipdown #73/378!

I’m pretty sad about this one. It seems my tastes are changing and I’m craving unflavoured tea more and more frequently these days, and adding milk to my black teas, flavoured or not, far less frequently. This morning I decided to start my day with a cup of this, mostly because I wanted a straight black and this was the first one I came across. I didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about it before then, but it was so smooth and delicious that as soon as I finished my first cup I went to resteep the leaves, only to find that I’d thrown them out without really thinking. So I got it back out of my cupboard, measured out the leaf and found that my baggie was empty. Sad moment. I’m going to resteep the crap out of the leaves this time.

This was a beautiful blend. Each tea adds its own element and combined this is just the smoothest, most flavourful yet delicate house blend I’ve ever tried. I’m not at all surprised because as I’ve already said – probably multiple times – Stacy had a real gift for sourcing the best single origin teas, and this is basically a showcase of the best of the best. It’s malty, deep and chocolatey rich with bready notes, and some lighter citrus and floral notes, too. There’s a beautiful honey note which threads its way through the whole thing so that it glides across your tongue and dances on your palate. I’m not the best at describing natural notes from teas and I’m definitely not doing this one justice, but it was really a masterpiece and I’m going to miss it a heck tonne. Honestly I have three of the four elements in my collection and I might try to recreate it as best I can.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Awww, I never tried this one but maybe in the end that’s a good thing because it sounds like one I’d miss a lot too.

Nattie

It’s probably for the best. You can’t miss what you never had, right?

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70
drank Happy Trails by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

When Butiki announced what was in the two mystery teas, I read it. That was probably almost two years ago now and I can’t remember squat, so I decided to try it again without looking it up to see how I did. I remember the first time being appalling, and I think only getting one flavour plus the base right for each tea.

The dry leaf smells of raspberry. It’s clearly Crimson Horizon for the base, pretty hard to muck that up since it has a very distinctive look. Brewing, it smells like malty black tea and raspberry. I took it out after the recommended 1 minute, but the CTC base is just too much for me without milk. I love it as a breakfast tea, but I’m English; if you’re a malty black tea I’m gonna feel the need to add milk to you. It’s just the way I was brought up. For this tea I’m torn, though, because when I tried it plain the strongest flavour past the tea was the raspberry, which isn’t a flavour I generally like with milk. I added a little sugar, which brought out the raspberry but my taste buds are proving to be just as poor as last time and I can’t tell what else is in there. It’s pretty obviously not just raspberry – if it even is raspberry – but that’s the only note I can pick out pretty distinctly. I’m not totally sure but I’m feeling pretty confident on the raspberry front. I’ve said ‘raspberry’ too many times now and it’s starting to sound weird. Conflicted Natalie decided that she just couldn’t take the astringency from the Crimson Horizon, and maybe it would bring out some of the other flavours, so added milk. It still tastes like raspberry. Eventually, as the cup starts to cool I can pick up on something else. It’s reminding me of raspberry ice cream cake now, or a waffle with ice cream and raspberry sauce (which as a kid I called “monkeys’ blood” and never found that worrying). I know that Butiki had a waffle flavour in some of their teas, so I’m going to guess at Crimson Horizon base, with raspberry, waffle and vanilla flavours. It works pretty well together and tastes like dessert, but I do have an issue in general with raspberry (or really anything that I wouldn’t eat with cream) being paired with a base that I instinctively want to add milk to. Maybe next time I’ll try with a lower temperature to see if that helps with the astringency so that I can drink it plain.

Edit: apparently the ice-creaminess was from marshmallow flavouring, not vanilla or waffle, and I missed pistachio completely. I drank this straight after a tea which had a really prominent pistachio note though, and I got the raspberry, so I’m okay with it! I basically did exactly the same as last time haha.

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

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67

First tea of the day, and this has grown on me since I first got it. Either I’m getting more used to the earthy guayusa or it’s mellowed out over time. I wouldn’t really call this a ‘vanilla’ tea, because I find the mint more prominent a flavour in the blend, but it is still definitely present in a creamy candy mint sort of way. It actually reminds me a little of Santa’s Secret with the way that flavour is done. The earthiness and almost savoury note of the guayusa makes this much more of a breakfast-time tea than a dessert tea, though. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed much of the lavender except in a general floral note occasionally, but maybe all the little pieces of lavender have fell to the bottom of my bag and I’ll get a really lavender-based last couple of cups. I added a pinch of sugar and it did bring out the vanilla more but not to the point where I’d say it’s the strongest flavour. Then again, mint is a much stronger flavour in general or at least it is to me. As always, I’m not complaining, because I’m not a huge fan of vanilla. I enjoyed this a lot more than I used to, but it’s not one of my Butiki favourites.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Caribbean Rum Punch by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

That’s better! I brewed this properly this time and the rest of the flavours come out way more. The mango is most prominent in the initial sip, and I can actually taste a boozy rum element that I didn’t expect. The aftertaste is mostly lime but it’s much less overwhelming than the last time I tried to brew this and the lime started to sting my tongue by the end of the cup. I added a little sugar and the mango becomes really juicy and delicious. I can’t detect the orange note, but maybe it’s hiding with the lime as a general citrus blur that I’m picking out as lime. As it cools the lime does become more dominant, and even though I really love the flavour, and Butiki’s lime in particular, I’m getting kinda sick of it because I’ve had it in quite a few teas recently. I definitely prefer this hot. Bumping my rating up from 65 because this was so much better than last time, which I knew was just user error on my part.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Caribbean Rum Punch by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Without reading the ingredients I managed to pick out lime, orange and mango from the scent! I’m way too proud of that because I’ve never been great with guessing scents – I can find them just fine when I already know what it is – and my nose has been playing up the last couple of days too so hopefully it’s settling down now. Sadly only the lime comes across in the flavour though, which I kinda expected because the orange and mango scents disappeared while this was brewing. I accidentally steeped this in water that was way too cool (tap was running a lot colder than usual because it’s freezing outside) and then threw away the leaf like the idiot I am, so for now I’m just going to drink my cup of tepid lime water, put the tea back in my drink-a-thon box and have it again another day when I’m feeling more like myself and not being an idiot with the steeping.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Pumpkin Irish Cream by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

I don’t know why but I’ve been off my game today :/ I’ve only drank one tea other than this, but I did do a couple of steeps. I had a craving for the ‘89 Suncha for some reason today, but had this rather than drinking it straight because I knew I didn’t have my brain screwed on right to be able to review that properly. Ugh, I don’t know guys, I’m just off.

The tea was good, but I wish I’d had the Suncha on its own instead because I just wasn’t in the right mood to appreciate this properly. I didn’t get an actual ‘pumpkin’ note exactly, more just a spice mixture slightly dominated by clove. I did get a creamy sort of note and mouthfeel but it didn’t seem very ‘Irish’ if ya know what I mean… maybe someone who doesn’t drink whisky straight would pick up on it but there just wasn’t enough of it for my personal taste. The Suncha base was lovely. Earthy, a little smoky, a little sweet, kinda roasty. I drank it with sugar and cream the first time which was a bit rich but totally made me feel better for a while. It didn’t necessarily change the flavour profile at all, just added sweetness and a thicker mouthfeel. The second steep was a slightly milder version of the same – same combination of flavours, same sort of ratio of said flavours, only a little weaker and with a thinner mouthfeel. The Suncha shone a little more which I enjoyed. I added only a splash of skimmed milk this time and it was a pretty good after-dinner tea.

I know I probably sound totally lacklustre, but it’s not the tea’s fault, I’m just not myself today and I’m finding it hard to find my enthusiasm. Hopefully I can shake it off tomorrow!

ETA: This was my 250th tasting note! Too bad it was such a pile of poop.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Peppermint Patty by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Second to last Butiki tea from MissB. The last is Cider Guayusa which I’m planning to have tomorrow morning, and then I’m done with all the Butiki teas that came to me from swaps/buys from Steepsterites and I can move on to the newest (still almost 2 years old) Butiki teas in my collection!

I’ve had this a few times before, but I don’t remember ever enjoying it as much as I am right now. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood before. I made myself a big mug of this in my giant marauders’ map mug which I need two hands to hold, and the plan is to finish writing this note and tuck myself into bed, finish the book I’m currently reading (The Rosie Effect) while drinking this tea, and then have an early night. I’m trying to get back into a more ‘normal’ sleep pattern since I’ve decided to get serious about looking for a job with more ‘regular’/daytime hours. Ideally one where I can drink tea.

This is just so cosy and dreamy and soft. I added a little under 1 sugar to my big big mug and it brightens it up just enough that the chocolate note comes out to play with the peppermint, which dominates if you drink this plain. Does this have marshmallow root? I feel like it does. It has a sort of marshmallow leafiness to it which gives it a thick, bouncy mouthfeel. I’ve read a few tasting notes which describe this as ‘fluffy’, and didn’t quite get it at the time but now I think I know what they mean. While the flavours and mouthfeel aren’t enough to really blow me away if I were drinking this through the day, it’s the perfect drink for sipping in bed with a good book, and I’m content.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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76

Resteeped my leaves because 1 1/2 minutes western for a Butiki oolong seemed like a waste. I meant to steep it for 3 minutes this time then attempt another steep if that went well, but I ended up getting distracted by household things and left it probably closer to 5 minutes in the end, so it has a little astringency to it and I don’t think I’ll attempt a third steep. The Baked Ali Shan is toasty yet juicy, and definitely the most prominent flavour now, which doesn’t surprise me given that the banana and walnut were never strong and I didn’t pick up on the butterscotch at all. The banana note is still lingering, and the walnut is adding some breadiness so that it’s like drinking a cup of tea after eating a slice of banana walnut loaf, but the most surprising thing to me is that in the second steep I can actually pick up on a light butterscotch note! I think I’m going to up my rating a little from 73 to reflect this. The ability to resteep is always going to score points in my book!

ETA: Apparently I steeped this for 4 minutes last time… I’m drinking so much tea I’m getting confused. Ah well, that’s what I get for not checking my notes first. In that case this still had a surprising amount of flavour considering I hardly upped the steep time at all.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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76

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.

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

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67
drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
331 tasting notes

Final Butiki sample!! Woohooo! Thanks a bunch to MissB, for sending me this and so many other teas I otherwise would never have tried.

I will admit I was very worried about this one, and kept putting it off and putting it off until it was the only tea left in my box. I have an incredibly strong aversion to cider, due to a story I won’t go into involving a flatmate from university drinking 3 litres of the stuff… now I don’t want to go into too much detail and put you lovely people off your tea, but I assure you, whatever you’re thinking? It’s worse. So I’ve been putting it off forever and now there’s nothing left to procrastinate on, so I have to suck it up and drink some tea.

It’s really tasty! I mean of course it is, it’s Butiki we’re talking about, but I’m having trouble connecting ‘cider’ and ‘tasty’ in my head. It probably helps that to me it tastes more like apple pie, with a pretty strong cinnamon note which I wouldn’t associate with cider. The apple note is strongest in the sip, and does remind me of cider if I think about it too much, but it’s followed up by the warming cinnamon at the end of the sip, which lingers and makes me think of dessert. Sugar intensifies the apple flavour some, and now that it’s cooling it feels almost like drinking an interestingly-spiced apple juice. The guayusa is barely noticeable, which I’m good with since it was a lot stronger in Killer’s Vanilla and I wasn’t so keen on it. Much to my surprise I am enjoying this! But it’s not all that unique in flavour and it doesn’t remind me of cider (a relief for me but presumably not for others) so I won’t be sad to see that last of it go, though I am enjoying it for now.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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