Gah, my spreadsheet for once has let me down! I don’t remember who sent me a generous sample of this, and apparently I never wrote it down. I’m pretty sure it was either Sil or OhFancyThat/WhatSheSaid but I can’t say with certainty which… I’m so sorry! And thank you to whoever it was!!
Honestly I thought from the reviews that I’d be more disappointed in this than I am. Maybe the key is having low expectations. This uses the 1989 Suncha as a base, a tea which I am familiar with having been sent 4oz of it in my mystery box! It’s a very potent tea, and I’ll admit I was confused initially as to why it had been chosen as the base for such a contrasting blend, but I actually think it works pretty well in a really unusual way. Plain, it is a little overpowering, and the rhubarb and strawberry flavours barely make it through the metallic, slightly smoky, wet earthy base. The cheesecake note is lost entirely, but I’m yet to find a ‘cheesecake’ tea which I can honestly say hand on heart truly reminds me of cheesecake straight away. After adding some sugar, the fruity strawberry and rhubarb pop a little more, but the Suncha is still dominant and cheesecake nonexistent. On a whim I added some single cream left over from the holidays, and almost did a double-take when I tried it again. The cheesecake flavour actually comes through now, and the strawberry and rhubarb are much more noticeable, particularly the strawberry. The Suncha isn’t lost at all, but it becomes a lot more mellow and the earthiness actually works very well with the creamy cheesecake and bright, tart fruit. Though the strawberry note dominates the rhubarb through the sip, the rhubarb is much more noticeable in the aftertaste and becomes more prominent as the cup cools.
Considering it was mainly created so that Stacy could use up her remaining supply of tea and flavourings, it’s pretty decent! Maybe not up to vastly superior Butiki standards, but it would certainly be one of the better blends from a number of other companies. I won’t cry when it’s gone, nor would I probably repurchase it if I could, but I am thoroughly enjoying the sample that I do have.