331 Tasting Notes
I know I got this in a swap too, though I forget who sent it to me. Whoever it was, thank you! I’d been wanting to try this for ages but was never able to justify an ATR order, so it was great to be able to try a sample. And I’m glad I did do it this way, because in the end I didn’t like this tea as much as I expected to. I know it’s unreasonable to expect any tea to truly taste like briocke, but what I can I say? My expectations were set pretty high based on some of the rave reviews I’ve read. While I did get sweetness and some cinnamon, I didn’t pick up on anything pastry (let alone brioche)—this is a problem I have with most pastry teas. Anyway, this was alright, but it certainly didn’t live up to its name.
I got a sample of this in my swap with Cameron B. I haven’t had the chance to try many Japanese blacks, so this was an exciting sample for me. It did indeed have an unusual flavor profile. There’s sweetness, malt, and notes of honey—so far, so standard. But there’s also hay, verging on grassiness, which I’d associate more with a white or green tea. There’s a bit of astringency, though not too much. I can’t say I fell in love with this tea, or that it’s something I feel the need to stock up on, but it’s always nice to get the chance to try something different.
This was another sample courtesy of Kaylee. This one got rave reviews, but I suspected it might not be for me since I’m one of the few who didn’t care for White Rhino. And I was right. The butterscotch flavor was oppressively strong, with little hazelnut or mocha. being a huge fan of neither the base nor the butterscotch, this one just didn’t have much to offer me. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to try it, if only to confirm that I didn’t miss anything by not ordering it before Butiki closed.
This was a sample from Kaylee, and I’m so glad I was able to try some from her stash. I’d long been curious about this blend—it sounded so delightful, but I’m wary of rose teas after too many letdowns. Happily, the rose in this one wasn’t too strong—indeed, everything about the tea was quite light. It even had a fizzy, champagne-like sensation, which I’d never encountered in a tea before. It was all very pleasant, but not very memorable, and on the whole I’m not too sorry this one never made its way into any of my Butiki orders.
This one never really appealed to me, despite its high ratings, since I tend not to be a big fan of licorice in tea. But in Butiki’s closing frenzy, I thought I might as well snap up a packet before it disappeared forever, just to see what all the fuss was about. And I’m glad I did. Both dry and steeped, it smelled weirdly—though not unpleasantly—like root beer, though the flavor was more clove-y (though there’s definitely some root beer in the background). It’s a tiny bit astringent, though a splash of almond milk mellowed it out (and subdued the spices some). This is a really nice, unusual chai, and one I’m really glad to have been able to try.
This is tart, with just the right degree of hibiscus kick. It’s not overpowering—I do taste some currant, though not as much blueberry. I’ve tried this both hot and iced, and it’s nice both ways. A really pleasant herbal option, especially for a bagged grocery store tea, and one I wouldn’t mind keeping around.
This tastes a lot like this Persian apple rosewater drink I made once, though brewing a pitcher of this is much less work. I get a lot of apple and rose and not so much elderflower, which is a little disappointing since I’m a massive fan of elderflower everything. It’s still very nice, though—especially for an herbal—with a lot of sweetness from the licorice root and a bit of tartness from the hibiscus (though not very much). Still, it doesn’t compare to Fortnum & Mason’s Elderflower Green, one of my all-time favorites. I’ve only tried this one iced, since the flavor profile just seems like it works better cold to me.