Sadly I think time has been less kind to this than to some of the other Butiki blends I still have kicking about. My palate is contaminated with the garlic butter king prawns I had for dinner, though, so maybe it’s just being overpowered. My mam surprisingly seemed to enjoy this one, she said it was ‘not bad’ and it got an eyebrow-raise of surprise, which is high praise from her! This is all the more surprising because, like me, she is not usually a green tea fan. The jasmine and anise are still noticeable, though soft notes in a delicate cup, but the pear was mostly lost to me this time. Brewed in my IngenuiTEA to Stacy’s instructions, I’m going to try resteeping the leaves at a higher temperature and with less water to try to coax out more of the brilliance that I know was once there.
EDIT: I resteeped the leaves in less water for 5 minutes at 88 degrees C/190 F and the anise note is much stronger this time around, while the jasmine has faded into the background and I can actually taste the pear now. Still no astringency from the base, which I forgot to note the first time around. Overall I would say this is a more robust cup than the first steep, though still a shadow of its former self.
EDIT AGAIN: I steeped the leaves a third and final time, and the balance of jasmine, anise and pear is much more even now. This time I used boiling water for 8 minutes, and was actually somewhat surprised that the more delicate notes are still present in the cup. There aren’t many teas I would steep more than twice Western-style, but for Butiki I keep going as long as the leaf lets me. I get the feeling that I could probably eke out another very delicate cup or two, which is impressive considering the age of the tea and how mild the first cup was. I’m half tempted to try it and keep going, but it’s just not quite enjoyable enough at this stage in its life, and I’m going to have to drink something else if I’m going to hit my target of a sipdown a day! I only have enough leaf left for one more sitting with this tea, so maybe then I’ll see how far I can get with it.