333 Tasting Notes
I liked this one a lot more than I expected to. The light base, which I think might have been a Ceylon, was very pleasant, and the rose was at just the right level—not too strong, like it is in so many blends. There were undertones of apple, with a hint of sourness, to round things out. This is one I’ll consider stocking up on once my stash is under control (if that day ever comes).
This reminded me a lot of Butiki’s Purple Sunset, but less sour. It also has some similarities to certain Chinese black teas, with cocoa notes and hints of dried apricot. It’ was very slightly astringent and medium dark. There were even some spice notes that made me think, oddly enough, of Constant Comment. It didn’t have so much of that distinct oolong taste—if I hadn’t known it was an oolong, I’d probably have guessed it was black. Since oolongs aren’t generally my favorites, this was no bad thing in my book.
This is another dear departed favorite from Butiki. It’s strong, and very malty—heavy on the Assam—with just a hint of sweetness. This is my kind of black blend, and I’ll be sad when I finish up my stash (though unlike some of my other Butiki favorites, I have a feeling I’ll be able to find a suitable replacement eventually).
This is one of my favorites from Butiki’s close-out extravaganza. The first taste is tart plum, followed by a sweet, cakey flavor—I rarely pick up on baked-good notes in tea, but I do with this one. There’s a nice brisk base to round things out, and, weirdly, the whole effect kind of reminds me of bread. I’m glad I picked up two packs of this one, and glad I still have one left to savor.
I didn’t care for the Sansia black base on its own, and it didn’t work for me in this blend either—it was just too strong on the honey. With this one, I mostly got the base, with occasional hints of syrupy berry peaking through. It was very sweet, likely due to the Sansia, and probably would’ve been a nice blend for those not weirdly averse to honey-tasting black teas.
This one went heavy on the grapefruit and the brulee—I’ve never had grapefruit brulee the dessert, but I imagine this came pretty close to it. The creme part was missing for me, but there was enough going on without it to keep me satisfied. The assertive base and bright pop of citrus made this one a nice, brisk morning cup.
This is a very old sample, from Rii I think, and it may have deteriorated some while it languished in my tea basket. Anyway—at 2.5 minutes, it came out slightly astringent, even bitter. I think the base is a sencha, and it overtook the tart plum flavoring (though there was a great plummy aftertaste, and points for natural-tasting fruit flavor). I decided to try what was left of my sample as a cold brew, and I’m glad I did. The plum was more prominent, and the base smoother and less assertive. While this wasn’t one of my favorites from Lupicia, it was very pleasant iced, and I’m glad I had a chance to try it.
Dry, this smelled just like strawberry yogurt. Steeped—after a quick rinse—it smelled mostly like smoke. The flavor tended toward a happy middle ground, with an initial burst of smoke followed by a fruity aftertaste. I didn’t get anything resembling cheesecake out of this tea, but I liked it well enough even without that elusive flavor note—I’ve had a couple of blends meant to evoke cheesecake of one kind or another, and none have delivered. Anyway, I did enjoy this one quite a bit—it reminded me of Russian tea, with cherry jam.
This was an odd blend—mainly fresh, juicy cantaloupe with an aftertaste of espresso. The flavoring was quite strong, and I couldn’t really appreciate the nuances of the Giddapahar base underneath. I did get that faintly astringent note I enjoy in Darjeelings, though. Cantaloupe’s not honestly one of my favorite fruit flavors, though I like it well enough, but Butiki’s cantaloupe was so true-to-life. I think it stood better on its own, without the espresso, but I’m glad I got a chance to try this unusual tea.
This tasted very woody to me, not like coffee—let alone ice cream—at all. It was faintly creamy and a bit sweet, but that was about it. This one was a real disappointment to me, as I’d been blown away by Butiki’s Rootbeer Float and was expecting more of the same honeybush magic with this one. I can’t quite describe what rubbed me the wrong way about the coffee, but it unfortunately kept me from enjoying this blend.