97

And finally, with a cup of my favourite Butiki tea (besides Maple Pecan Oolong, which doesn’t count since I already had written up tasting notes on it), my Butiki drink-a-thon comes to a close. It’s been a long, but thoroughly enjoyable month, and I’m glad I did it. Now even if the flavours fade, I will know that I have at least one good tasting note on each of my Butiki teas. It also marks the start of a New Year’s resolution I intend to keep – to make a new, smaller-goal tea resolution each month and stick to it! I’m stubbornly ignoring the fact that it’s almost 2:30am now so technically the last couple of my Butiki teas were reviewed after the end of January, because it doesn’t make too much difference, except to my pride, and I’ve always counted the day as ending whenever I go to bed rather than at midnight, anyway.

Funnily enough, this will likely be my least detailed of my recent tasting notes – I’m totally exhausted and tasting-note’d out for now. If it weren’t the last day of my challenge I would have left this ‘til tomorrow. Still, I can pretty much guarantee there’ll be plenty more tasting notes on this in the future, because I really do adore it. I love how fragrant this tea is, and how flavourful yet delicate at the same time. It makes total sense that it was inspired by a perfume. It’s floral, but creamy and sensual, and truly aromatic. The main flavours that always stand out to me are coconut and lemongrass, and as a result it has a Thai sort of connotation to me. It’s also one of the absolute prettiest teas I’ve ever seen. When brewing this cup I realised I’ve always drank this plain, and never had even the slightest inclination to add any sweetener, even though I’ve drank it often enough. I tried it, just in the name of fairness, and it brings out the creamy side of the coconut much more. It’s more dessert-like this way, but I don’t know if I’d say I prefer one way or another. Mostly it’s just different.

Can tea be art? I think so. I’d go so far as to call this beautiful, both visually and in flavour. It’s one I really savour, each time I drink it taking tiny sips and waiting for the lingering aftertaste to fade before I take the next. I’ve been known to make a single cup stretch out over a whole three-hour-long modernist film, and I almost never reach the bottom of my cup before it goes cold. But that’s okay, because it’s just as delicious freezing as it is just-brewed. This is a wonderful tea to end on. I think it perfectly illustrates Stacy’s artistry as a tea blender/alchemist, and why we all miss her presence so much within the tea-drinking community. There will never be another quite like Butiki.

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

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Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 22 year old English Literature sort-of-graduate and temporary bartender. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching (self-diagnosed geek and Netflix addict), football/soccer (I am a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC) and listening to classic rock.

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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