78
drank Latkes & Applesauce by Butiki Teas
620 tasting notes

Busy, exhausting days! My tasting notes have been slipping. Typical of me, I’m taking it down to the wire and writing up all of my remaining tasting notes for the drink-a-thon tomorrow. It’s the first day off I’ve had in a while, so I’ll be able to spend a decent amount of time on them, and I can’t wait. I’ve spent the last few days in a fog of exhaustion, but happy to be working good hours again, and just haven’t had the time I’d like to for tea.

This one I drank the other morning when I had a couple of hours going spare to drink a few cups of tea. I had it plain first, then with a pinch of (smoked) rock salt, and then finally a third time with a pinch of sugar, for good measure. It’s amazing how much it changes! Plain, the starchy potato and sweet apple and cinnamon notes are both equally present, and make for a tasty – if slightly confusing – cup of tea. Potato with sweet things seems very weird to me, as a non-American, but the potato here doesn’t seem overtly savoury so it doesn’t bother me too much. The base tea was hardly noticeable in any of the cups I had, which didn’t really surprise me after seeing that my dry leaf was over 50% potato and apple pieces. It was probably most noticeable here, but I had almost no tea leaves at all in my second cup so that might be why. Overall I find the balance to be intriguing, and would have liked to have tried it with a little salt and sweetener at the same time as per somebody else’s suggestion, but I didn’t have the time nor the patience to have yet another cup of this tea just then. I will probably try it like this eventually. With the rock salt added, only a little and not enough to make the tea actually taste salty, it was just as Stacy suggested – enhanced potato notes, diminished apple and cinnamon notes. The tea had a very brothy feel this time around, which I quite enjoyed. It almost reminded me of chips or ready salted crisps, but the cinnamon was still a quiet lingering note which stopped this from being completely savoury. On the flip side, I had a separate cup with added sugar and the potato note became much less noticeable, and the cinnamon and apple notes were brought out more. Similarly to the savoury cup, the potato was still present enough that the tea wasn’t completely sweet.

Each way I tried it, this tea was quite different. I could still tell that it was the same tea each time, and yet it tasted drastically different so as that three cups in a row wouldn’t seem like three cups of the same tea in a row. None of them were particular stand-outs, though all decently tasty, and the potato chunks really do make strainers a bitch to clean, but I’m still happy to have this tea in my collection for the sheer novelty factor.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 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 McGee’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 (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. 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/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

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.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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