Rhubarb Vanilla Ale

Tea type
Black Tea
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Hops, Tart, Vanilla, Champagne, Fruity, Malt, Rhubarb, Spices, Cocoa, Red Fruits
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Edit tea info Last updated by Tea Pet
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 11 oz / 316 ml

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From Butiki Teas

Our Rhubarb Vanilla Ale pairs rhubarb, vanilla, and hops with our earthy and malty Congou Keemun. With each sip, the sweet and slightly tangy rhubarb and the spiciness of the Willamette hops grows and lingers. There is a gentle warm vanilla undertone and an almost sparking quality to this tea. We recommend letting the tea cool to reveal the flavors or adding a little bit of sugar. Adding sugar will enhance both the rhubarb and the vanilla while rounding out the hops; however, if too much sugar is added it will diminish the hops flavor.

Ingredients: Congou Keemun, Willamette Hops, Safflower, Organic Pure Ground Vanilla Beans (no fillers), Organic Natural Flavoring (vegan)

Recommended Brew Time: 4 minutes
Recommended Amount: 1 tablespoon of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 212 F (boiling)

For more information, please visit www.butikiteas.com.

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60 Tasting Notes

1474 tasting notes

A bit too hoppy for me straight, and truly decadent with a touch of Truvia. Amazing!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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612 tasting notes

Soooo excited Stacy threw in a sample of this with my last order! It is a pretty blend, peppered with pink and white. Dry you can really smell the rhubarb (impressive!) and the vanilla. I wondered if it would inevitably conjure up pie to me complete with pastry, if only because that’s the major association I have with those flavors. But no! Dry and steeping it smells a bit more like the baked rhubarb topped with vanilla cream I sometimes make in the winter, a mix of rhubarb’s unique tang and sweet cream. A fizzy quality emerges with the tanginess of the steeping smell. Altogether the aroma reminds me a bit of cream soda with the vanilla and fizz but way less saccharine sweet, with that sweet-sour quality of rhubarb.

Stacy thoughtfully reiterated through email the suggestion to add a wee bit of sugar to bring out the rhubarb and vanilla, but not too much lest the hops get drowned out. Initially the finished steeping smell made me wonder if the black base was going to be a bit bitter or do that thing with the rhubarb like black tea often does with strawberry, where a distinct tartness comes out that (for me) doesn’t mesh well with the base. Added the pinch of sugar, took a sip, and no! Surprised to find it so round and creamy, a perfect dessert cup. But again, it never goes into pastry territory, which is great as again it’s not billed as pie but something else. The hops are there with a tinge of spiciness, but subtly so, not bitter at all. More like a gentle glowing warming quality than anything approaching fire. Holding the sip in one’s throat, letting it bathe the sides of one’s mouth and coat the back of the throat, the beer aspect comes out more in a really yummy way. This is lovely. I suspect it has a versatility to it, where if you want the sweet creaminess you can focus on that with sugar, and if you want more of the hoppiness and tang you could try without. A little to get the best of all worlds was a good suggestion; you can taste all three elements by focusing on each in different parts of the mouth and the sip. Personally, I’m really digging the hops, which are more prominent at the end of the swallow and the cup as it cools—just a hint of earthy bitterness and a tingling warmth left in the mouth. I like that the lingering mouthfeel is similar to the one you get eating rhubarb that’s barely cooked, like in Pesach fish poaching sauces, that lightly grainy astringency (I’ve never before thought of how tea tannins are similar!). Never would’ve guessed keemun would work well with these flavors, but then I’m not the flavor wizard Stacy is. (;


I’m going to log the new Irish Cream Cheesecake here until it gets added to the Steepster DB—I’d add it but I don’t see it yet on the site so I figure Stacy will once it’s there. Just don’t want to forget about it! I’ll move this to the appropriate spot later, with any luck.

1 1/2 tsp, 212F (boil), 4 min (no idea if these are optimal/recommended steeping parameters yet, just guessing)

Yowza, the smell is everything you want it to be both dry and steeping. I’m only guessing and knowing me I’ll be wrong, but I think this has mallow in it maybe (?) as it has the same luscious cake-y smell that’s a huge part of my obsession with the (sadly discontinued for now :( ) Birthday Cake. Drooooling. Once again it’s abruptly cold as a witch’s tit (is that too racy for Steepster? Ack) tonight—says it’s going to feel like 7F, I’m shivering by the window (the best place to get a wireless signal in our apartment) and worried about the feral cat in our foyer (I fed her extra today, she’s in her roughneck home and I put a thick blanket over the top of it…still…). Got horrifying news this morning that R’s grandmother’s home burned down (his sister has been occupying it, long story there) with the dog in it (… seriously, there are no words), R gets evaluated at work this week, and tomorrow begins the insanity that is Thanksgiving week. Teas I’ve been mega excited about seem the thing right now (also, I want to know if I like the teas Stacy sent as samples before the Black Friday sale!). This is exactly what I was expecting from a Butiki tea called Irish Cream Cheesecake—dreamy smell, subtle but uncanny flavor, good mouthfeel (and that hug in a cup any good tea can provide in a time of dark cold weather and stress!). G’ah, the smell. Oh so good. I could be imagining it but you even get the liquor aspect in the finished cup. The cheesecake tang is the subtlest component, coming out mid and late sip alongside the black tea flavor, but it’s great and dead-on too. What’s neat about this one is it feels like it’d work well as a morning tea, not just a dessert one, because there is true yummy strong black tea flavor, not just the cream and cake (though there’s that too, in spades, and nothing that feels artificial or cloying). As someone who just had chocolate pie for breakfast, I approve of a tea you can drink for breakfast that feels like a dessert treat at the same time! I think I will definitely be ordering more of this. It’s perfect when it’s freezing cold first thing in the morning and you need something to comfort you and tastes rich, sends that signal to the body that you’re putting on padding to stay warm.

Man, that smell. You think you’ll get saturated in it and stop being able to appreciate it, but then it wafts up when half the cup’s gone and your heart lights up all over again.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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1184 tasting notes

Thank you Stacy for this sample! This is a very interesting tea. So different than anything I have had before. I am not really a fan of ale, but was looking forward to this sample. I did add a few pieces of rock sugar per the sample package recommendations.
Upon first sip, I am definitely getting notes of rhubarb and very light, but smooth vanilla. The ale taste comes into the picture a little later and in the aftertaste. I did enjoy this cup, but I am not sure yet if I would order it or not


Sounds intriguing!

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224 tasting notes

I got this from Shelley_Lorraine’s stash sale. Boy does this smell good in the package. Very fruity with a nice vanilla support.
I was kinda surprised at the recommended measure to use. 1 tbs seems like a lot, but I always try a new tea at the recommended ‘dosage’ so onward I went.
The fruity smell came through in the brew which was nice, though the taste unsweetened was kinda meh for me. After adding some truvia the flavor turned pretty amazing. I’ve never actually had anything rhubarb so I can’t be like ‘This is Rhubarb!’, but I can’t imagine it isn’t accurate since Butiki has never led me astray with flavoring. The vanilla is nice and subtle, though I can’t exactly tell the hops in this one like I can with the Peach HoppiTea, but it certainly doesn’t add anything unpleasant to the taste, wherever it may be.
And I managed to get a pretty decent resteep from the leaves. I just added 2 minutes to the original time. It turned out tasty (with truvia), albet slightly weaker which I was expecting. But the rhubarb vanilla flavor was still very present. I’m not sure if I could coax another steeping out of the leaves though.
All in all I was pretty impressed with this tea and I’d consider reordering it.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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417 tasting notes

I’m sad that I don’t like this one. I’m beginning to see a pattern: I do not like black teas with vanilla flavoring. I also really wasn’t into Paris, and I think the thing that made me dislike it was the vanilla. Oh well, this will also be swapped soon, so that someone else may enjoy it…

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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343 tasting notes

Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box

I had to double check the instructions for this one since it called for 1 tablespoon, crazy! I followed the instructions and added some sweetener and it is quite nice! Not astringent, not much “ale” but I did add sweetener. I wouldn’t mind having some more of this but it’s quite expensive given the large amount you need to use per cup so I’m not sure I’d purchase it on my own.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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111 tasting notes

Hooray! Got this as a sample from my Butiki order. :D First order from Butiki in about three months. How I missed seeing a Butiki in the mailbox each month.

Anyway, this one is quite interesting. :) I mainly get rhubarb, and then a small bite from the hops. Creamy vanilla sweetens the sips, and then I get an almost toasted coconut flavor? The most interesting part though is the mouthfeel after the swallow. There’s an almost sparkle, or feeling like I’d just had something fizzy but without the burning going down the throat like a soda or something.

This is quite good. :) I do find the Keemun is pretty overshadowed, making this quite a sweet tea, but it is there as a hint in the background. I still get that slightly earthy flavor from it, so it’s definitely there.

Yummy~ I find vanilla (as well as rhubarb and strawberry) flavors are done SO well in Butiki teas~ Whenever I see vanilla in the description, I have to try it, haha. I’ve never had a vanilla-flavored tea that comes even remotely close to the richness that Stacy manages in her teas.

All in all this is really really unique. :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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511 tasting notes

I just revised my rating system and did away with precise points within ranges (see my profile for details). I will be re-rating all teas from older notes as I have time (because I’m too OCD to leave the old ones alone :p )

So this tea, not bad, not bad at all. I’m not much of a beer person, or any alcoholic beverage for that matter. I drink in the rare social setting for appearances and use beer as a functional “supplement” at the goth clubs I used to go to with my husband in Florida (no such fun here in Wyoming :(. . but let me tell you, when Im 40, I’ll still go out when opportunity presents. . no shame! haha!!. .b/c that is what beer is for)

So back to the tea. It definitely has an ale smell about it in the dry leaf and the final brew. The flavor, though, is mostly Vanilla and Rhubarb and this is alright with me! I’ll have to try it with sugar sometime too, b/c I’m not too concerned about where the hops meander off too if I do).

Besides the hops component, I was also afraid of the Keemun base. From what I’ve experienced of straight Keemuns, I don’t like them for being too smoky. But maybe some are moreso than others? Or maybe the flavors here work to tame it. I dunno, but it’s good anyway, so I’m glad that I took a chance.

Finally, semi-ralated to the tea. I got my first glass tea pot! A tiny 12oz one with a metal handle from Teavivre. I had to use my black friday points before they expired, so it was a quick decision. I was worried about the functionality of the swinging detachable handle, but it works if I hold it and the lid taut while pouring. I’d still rather a side handle, but there were no 12oz pots of that design. But enough complaining! I got to set my tea leaves freeeee! and it. was. AWESOME. Like science and art all together in a glass beaker. I’m probably going to brew a lot more tea than usual now until the excitement wears off. . .if it ever does.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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149 tasting notes

Yum! I really like this tea. Rhubarb-y tartness with smooth vanilla and some flavour I don’t know how to describe that seems to be from the hops. The malty keemun base pairs really well with the flavourings; I can taste it but neither the base nor the flavourings cancel each other out and complement each other nicely.

I think I prefer it cooled down as opposed to piping hot, which makes this a nice tea to drink while concentrating on homework, when I sometimes forget that I have tea in my mug until an hour later.

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331 tasting notes

Sipdown! (70/377)

One of the last samples I received from the wonderful Janelle. I’m so proud of myself for the rate I’m managing to get through them all!

This was tasty, but another one that I automatically trusted the brewing instructions on and should have gone with my gut instead. After around three minutes steeping, this was a beautiful mix of rhubarb and vanilla, with some malt and hoppy notes in the background. After the final minute, the base had taken over much more, and I’m not generally a fan of Keemuns, so this wasn’t necessarily a good thing for me. It is, however, much more reminiscent of an ale this way, so I do think it’s an accurate name for it, but I personally preferred it when it was all rhubarb and vanilla. As per the recommendations I added a tiny bit of sugar, careful not to overdo it and lose the hops flavour, and it did bring out the rhubarb note more, but still behind the malty Keemun and hops. The vanilla is more pronounced with sugar, too, but I tend to associate vanilla with general sweetness so maybe that’s just me. I didn’t try this with milk, because even though I would usually prefer it with a Keemun or any strong malty black tea, I thought it would ruin the ‘ale’ aim of the tea. There was only minimal astringency, and it honestly did remind me of beer, even with the mouthfeel, so I didn’t mind it, really. Even though I would have preferred a more dominating rhubarb and vanilla flavour, in a real ale they would of course be more back-notes than anything else, so I do think Stacy did a good job in creating what she was aiming for. As this cools it gets a bit more astringent and the rhubarb and vanilla become less noticeable, with the hops dominating more. I definitely preferred this while it was still hot. Not just-brewed hot, because the flavour did develop some after a little cooling time, but before it got lukewarm.

As a side-note: sorry if my notes are weirdly formal at the moment. I’m applying for a lot of jobs, doing online tests etc. and I’m finding it hard to shake the writing style.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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