85

Ovetime, I’ve become skeptical when tea companies list oolongs as buttery; when I see “buttery” I expect a flavour and texture explosion evoking all the oily, salty-sweet richness of life. Butiki’s ambiguously named “Organic Sparrow Tongue” Oolong always delivered. Some batches of Shan Li Xi deliver (with jam like a delicious, fully loaded scone). This Tie Guan Yin delivers too and its glorious.

I’m internally squeeing right now. I want to yell and to curse all the other Tie Guan Yin oolongs I’ve had, which will now and forever be deemed insufficient. It’s like, after years of being indifferent to Chardonnays, stumbling upon a “butter bomb” Californian Chardonnay and realizing life could be beautiful (I’m sorry Chardonnay purists, I know this preference is wine sacrilege of the highest order). This is a Lilac butter bomb and it’s even better.

Anyways, I’m so grateful for this free sample. I would’ve never ordered this on my own because I thought I was done with Tie Guan Yin varieties. You did right, Mandala!

Now I’m off to play with the rest and see how it holds up to multiple steeps and sessions.

Steep Count: 3 + Rinse. Subsequent steeps taste of lilac cream.

(2017 harvest)

Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Gardenias, Salt, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Garret

I really loved reading this review. Thank you so much for taking the time to type this up. So glad I sent this sample to you. I think it’s a great one. Grateful, Garret

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Garret

I really loved reading this review. Thank you so much for taking the time to type this up. So glad I sent this sample to you. I think it’s a great one. Grateful, Garret

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Favourite Flavours/Ingredients:

-Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan
-All Citrus: Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Yuzu
-Anise, but not licorice
-Ginger or Clove-forward chai
-Rosemary
-Grass/Marine/Vegetal/Nutty Green teas
-Florals: Rose, Lavender, Jasmine…
-Musky and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus
-Berries: Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry
-Bananas, and most fruits actually.

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

-Stevia and most sweetners
-Cinnamon-forward chai/blends
-Apple & Cranberries
-Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
-Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
-Metallic or overly artificial teas
-Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Alright, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Average to mediocre cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, the unholy abomination that is a chimera. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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