513 Tasting Notes
Literally almost crying. Among the saddest sipdowns I will ever have. Butiki was the first small tea company I ever fell in love with, and stacey’s teas will never be replaced in my cupboard. I remember feeling such a mix of feelings when I found out Butiki was closing: panicked sadness for sure, but also an incredibly selfish irritation: how could this happen? How on earth could stacey, you know, have other things to deal with? other plans? other priorities? why wasn’t she sharing her blending secrets so the rest of the world could discover and fall in love with her teas? and even as I thought those things, i realized how much I could understand. Those discoveries, that magic belongs to her. It’s her legacy, and her right to keep it. I mean, i won’t even share my mom’s chicken and rice recipe with friends who’ve been begging me for it for years, and it hasn’t reached nearly the audience stacey has. And so here’s to you, Stacey: to an artist who’s legacy will be remembered, missed, admired, and yearned for for decades to come. There won’t be another like you, and there won’t be another tea like yours. I hope you are happy and doing well, because heaven knows you deserve it! Your blending abilities and artistry helped me find more beauty, made me fall in love again, helped me dream, grounded me, made me remember such wistfully achingly wonderful memories, and also just tasted friggin amazing.
I got it all today: creamy caramel and vanilla, the mault of the assam, and this was seriously the last dregs, the bottom of the can. No whole tea leaves even left, and it still blew me away.
It is so sad. evolving, I’m sorry you missed it, too. I do hope you get to try some of her teas though.
Thanks, keychange. The ideal situation would be for her to get tired of whatever she is doing now and to resume blending and selling tea. One can always hope.
Stacey’s teas were like cups of heaven on earth! I miss her teas too. All I have left is some of her Ceylon. :(
You have so eloquently spoken what is in so many of our hearts! Truly moving and very true. Kudos on your lovely sentiments. I shall be inconsolable when I have sipped all my Butiki down also! I had to say farewell to coconut cream pie this past weekend. :(
You know when you feel sick but don’t look sick? that’s how I am right now. My ear hurts, my head feels “full”, and my face and hands feel flushed. I’m also getting the chills, but am sometimes just fine. I do wish my body would make up its mind about being sick or not.
Anyway, this tea is two years old, and has lost pretty much all of it’s white chocolate flavouring, so is basically a slightly creamier peppermint tea. No peppercorn taste, either. It’s ok, though. It felt hot on my throat and that was heavenly. I think I’ll toss out the rest of the leaf though. This was my favourite dt blend two winters ago, and I’m excited that they’re bringing something similar back this winter. Although “similar” doesn’t necessarily mean better, as it could be like “as if white chocolate and peppermint weren’t enough (they so, so are), david thought he’d add in a touch of peach/apple/pineapple/whatever else that wouldn’t make sense” LOL.
I don’t have anything more to say. Oh no wait! Reading about mislena organizing her cupboard, I felt inspired to organize mine, and got rid of so many teas that were either too old or ones that I said i’d get around to but realistically never did. It feels so much more manageable now! It also helps that I’m not doing any more swapping, because those tiny little bags just end up piling up and getting neglected and that’s sad on so many levels.
Although “similar” doesn’t necessarily mean better, as it could be like “as if white chocolate and peppermint weren’t enough (they so, so are), david thought he’d add in a touch of peach/apple/pineapple/whatever else that wouldn’t make sense” LOL.
Hope you feel better soon.
Thanks, I hope so too! and I’m just waiting for dt to screw up the next incarnation of this, by like adding peanuts or something equally unfitting.
This tea is the most interesting strawberry tea I’ve tasted. Not because the strawberry flavouring is particularly unique, but more because the tea tastes as though the taste of strawberry is somehow in the leaf itself, and not added as a flavour. You don’t necessarily get the layers of flavour that you might with most flavoured teas. It kind of tastes as though the tea-leaves themselves grew in strawberry-saturated soil or something. Anyway, it really is a wonderful tea, and has been languishing in my cupboard for two years now, and still tastes very much like a gentle campino candy. I actually hadn’t intended on drinking it this morning, because I thought I’d have one of my butiki teas, but when I realized that my butiki stuff was further back in my cupboard than this, and not wanting to topple over all my other tins and assorted clutter, I opted for this and was really happy. I don’t know if I’ll restock it, but I’d also be happy to if that makes sense. You don’t need to think deeply or be craving anything in particular or be in a particular mood to enjoy this tea.
And now for a blessedly shortened work week. I do love my job, but hate how much of my life it takes up, and the hours aren’t even that bad. It just feels like, I don’t know. Like this is it? Get educated and get a job, and then just work until you die or retire. Bleak-sounding, I know. But I’ve always maintained that the ideal would be to work part-time. But then I might not be able to afford the kind of lifestyle I want, and so you win some you lose some, I guess.
Another tea from DT! There are a few blends from them that I really like, and because they’re right down the street and easily available to me, and also don’t have many of the same problems associated with small businesses, I’m always particularly excited when I like a tea from them. Also, I flat-out refuse to become one of “those people” who looks down my nose at an entire company, although i do of course understand how tastes can evolve. I feel similarly about perfume. I am a huge, huge fragrance lover (as in I love them a lot, not as in I am huge, although I guess to some I am haha), and started my journey by falling in love with a lot of department store offerings, and then discovered a whole other world of niche fragrances and it just blew my mind: that there could be smaller perfume houses with a budget dedicated entirely to sourcing high quality ingredients to make such beautiful scent profiles that I could not find anywhere else, but I never gave up on the department stores, because I’m just never one to turn down an opportunity to fall in love with something. I just love the feeling of loving wonderful things. LOL I must sound so annoying, sorry I’ll stop.
This tea is so wonderfully thick and creamy all on its own. That said, a spot of cream just takes this tea to the next level and amplifies the creamy flavours tenfold. I was also perusing facebook earlier and saw omgsrsly talking about vanilla sugar, and realized that I have some of that as well. I am so, so going to throw in some vanilla sugar next time I brew this up. The people who liken the scent of this to bubblegum are probably right, although I imagine that’s the “pear”. You can’t really smell the cranberry in this, although if you inhale deeply enough you might pick up on some tartness. The taste feels similar: the pear up front followed by a hefty dose of cream and a very subtle tang of what could be cranberry but will inevitably keep this tea from ever being cloying or “kid-like”. I really hope dt always keeps this in stock. I also think it’ll do really well in a travel mug, and I intend to do just that when I pick up some more later on. Great, great tea. I also woke up with a scratchy throat this morning and this tea felt heavenly against it.
i’m with you there…as a whole i generally don’t love david’s tea, but i always try the blends out and there are a few i’ve fallen in love with over the years :)
yeah exactly. Like we notice trends for sure from various companies, but an open mind can always leave you pleasantly surprised every now and again.
So jealous that you work at a winery! Some of the niche houses I like a lot: serge lutins, Ormond Jane, A lab on fire, il profumo, huitiem art, andy tauer, fredeerick malle, and the list goes on. Some of those can actually be found in some high-end department stores. And speaking of department store offerings, I love lots of them as well. Do you enjoy fragrance in your non-work life? Also, do you love your job?
I love perfume too! I’ll have to look at some of those ones you said. I’m having so much fun exploring the world of perfume.
Finally remembered to go back to this tasting note! I wrote down the perfume houses you mentioned in my phone so I could keep an eye out! Working at a winery sounds awesome, and it mostly is. And even though I work for my family, we actually get along rather well. But I don’t really drink often at all, so I probably enjoy “perks” of the job less than many others would. I do also get to live in Napa Valley, which has amazing weather and is right near San Francisco. What do you do for work? Years ago, I got really into fragrance as a motivator to quit smoking, actually, but I never “graduated” to any brands which couldn’t be found in a department store. I find fragrance fascinating in the way it relates to tea, too. I’ve heard that the many of same places that produce ingredients for fragrance produce flavorings for food products such as tea.
Had this tea in latte form when i was at DT today picking up the last mulled wine curve travel mug they had. Yes, I am obsessed.
This tea is a latte is phenominal. it is not complicated, tastes a lot like candied almonds/marzipan, and that’s fine by me. The choice to make this a rooibos actually ended up working remarkably well, because the very slight woodiness of the rooibos actually compliments the almondy marzipan flavour perfectly. That, and I’m always looking for more caffine-free options. I got myself 25 g of it to play with at home, because I still need a fail-safe latte recipe so that I can replicate my in-store experience. Any of you guys care to share your latte-making methods here? I don’t own a frother, although it’s more the milkiness i’m after, and not a pile of foam, so it’s ok that I don’t have a wand or whatever.
I do half a mug of strong tea (I use anywhere from 2-3 of their perfect spoons depending on mug size and how strong I want it, which is usually pretty strong) in water, than fill the rest of the mug with hot milk. I use the microwave for about 1 min, depending on how much milk I’m warming up. I do have a frother that I use even though I’m not one for foam either.
I’ve heard a lot of people do the ‘mason jar’ method, which is shake the milk in a mason jar, then put it in the microwave (without the metal lid obviously) heat it up then put the lid back on and shake again to make it foamy.
I love playing around with the lattes. I know how they are made in store but at home I tweak them to my personal taste.
In stores they use probably 1/4 mug of really strong tea (4 perfect spoons) and the rest is steamed/frothed milk.
Thanks! I think I like the simple idea best: either brew the whole thing in hot milk, or brew a really strong half-cup and then top up with hot milk. And a minute or so sounds about standard, so thanks!
when i brew a 2 cup serving, it’s all milk – about 2.5 mins in the microwave heh. i make it stronger though, usually doubling up the amount of tea.
I think I have to try this only using milk. I could see that being so good! Especially using Chocolate Macaroon.
I know! I’d never thought of using all milk, and would have been terrified to put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. I’m so scared it’ll boil.
This tea is disgusting and undrinkable. It tastes very artificially sweetened and fake, and this is coming from a girl who’s just fine sweetening her tea all on her own. It’s so sad, because it’s such, such a far cry from the delectable smell of the dry leaf, which smells like a fresh apple candle that you’d set out in your living room to make your place not smell like people really live in it. Actually, I do have the candle for this tea as well, but it’s because I spent an obscene amount of money there the other day and got it for free. I’ll enjoy the candle a lot more than the tea, that’s for sure.
Loved the jays game yesterday, although their loss was devastating. and then mr. keychange and I had such a hard time getting home. It was such a long and drawn out adventure that unfolded slowly and terribly, complete with greyhound being predictably unreliable and uber drivers refusing to take our guide dogs. We were supposed to get home around 8:00 but ended up spending over a hundred dollars on an uber ride and got home after 11:00. It is what it is, but man I do not know how any blind person lives in Toronto and doesn’t want to kill themselves/other people on a regular basis.
This tea sucks. I can’t wait until I get my 52 teas order in the mail.
ugh sorry to hear you had a bad experience with getting home :( next time call me…we can rent a zipcar and drive you home! :)
You are far too kind, sil! I’m glad we finally got home and now I can sit here and write about bad tea LOL.
I am so sorry you were having a crappy experience in my city. And then the tea sucking on top of that! Hurray about the candle though!
evil, I didn’t know you were in Toronto! I’m actually from there, but live in Waterloo now. And ashmanra, uber isn’t regulated quite yet, so unlike cabs, they can occasionally march to the beat of their own drum. No one else can refuse service dogs, though. In fact, this uber driver is already going to get in trouble for it, because uber always instructs their drivers to accept service dogs.
Yeah, so this tea is alright. It’s been languishing in my cupboard (though sealed) for about two years now, no maybe even longer than that, so I’m certain it’s lost some of its flavour, but I think it still at least hints of the taste it intended to have. 3 tsp in 12 oz of water in my curve mug today. I am hunting for teas that don’t require any additions, and although this one tastes…fine, I’m not lusting after it and am grateful, as rivertea is no longer around. I don’t really deserve to write a tasting note for this tea, because i don’t even know how to describe it. I can definitely taste the white tea base which has an unusual amount of heft here, and I suppose the rest of what I’m tasting is…hang on, let me sip again and see. yes! yes to the person who said this reminds them a bit of cantaloupe and cream from Butiki. Very much so, actually. I’m just dying to add a touch of sugar to this, and might actually do that next time i brew it up. I also don’t know what mulberries are supposed to taste like, so there’s that. The more it cools, the more delicious I’m finding it. But man oh man how a touch of sugar would transform this.
Ok so I bet you never thought that this tea would go amazingly unbelievably swimmingly well with a tuna sandwich, but it’s one of the best ways to enjoy it. I don’t even know why. Something about washing the sharp tang of tuna with dill and lemon down with a warm blast of cinnamon is just so cozy and perfect. I made this in my curve mug, used 2 tsp of leaf for 12 oz. of water and drank it straight. Cinnamon teas seem to do exceptionally well in travel mugs, or at least they do for me. Definitely a winter staple.
In other news, it’s been a bad week for sleep. I have slept poorly for the last few nights, and that is almost always a recipe for the quick unravelling of my stability in pretty much every imaginable way. Hopefully that rights itself soon, and if not, the upcoming long weekend should at least help me recover somewhat.
I really hope your body will smarten up soon and allow you to catch up on some zzz’s very soon.
And it wasn’t until you mentioned the lemon and dill that I saw where you were going with the cinnamon/tuna flavour combination. Makes sense!
Thanks, ladies. Yeah, I pretty much lose my ability to have any perspective or function when I lose sleep. Makes me worry about ever having kids.
Yup. Bad sleep = an unhappy IB! Which is why I sometimes rely a little too much on my melatonin tablets heh
Oh yeah, I’ve been known to get some tablet help from time to time as well. Good sleep is so so so determinative.
Took this to work in my new curve mug, which I am still worshipping btw.
I made it too sweet, and that made it a bit disappointing to finish. I don’t think sweet teas do well in travel mugs, because something about the flavours being “trapped” does something to the sweetness that in other contexts would be lovely, but kept in a travel mug can be quite cloying. That’s ok though: trial and error, right? It’s so frustrating, being the obsessive perfectionist that i am, to not “get it right” when I’m taking tea to go, because it’s not like i can make up for it. Oh well, I suppose we’ve all got bigger fish to fry. Anyway, I’m wondering if this isn’t the best travel mug tea, but would not ever change my opinion of this tea. I’m somehow nearly finished my 50 g and will track down some more once I’m done.
In other news, I’m going to the bluejay’s second playoff game on Friday! My husband is a huge, huge fan and gets seasons tickets each year, and so got first dibs on playoff tickets. So he’s going to all the games, and I get to go to one with him. Yaaaahhhh!!
Where in Toronto does one track down this tea? Or did you order it online? When I checked the company website, this particular tea was not available. So, do tell.
It’s actually based in Vancouver, and I had omgsrsly pick some up for me and bring it to Toronto when she came to visit. I do believe the company ships, though, which is how I’ll be getting my next batch, I think.
I never thought of a travel mug doing that to sweetness but that makes so much sense. BUT. I will add sugar to my Grapefruit EG from Acquired Taste, which Bonny thinks comes from the same source, to step into your world and see what that would taste like.
I’m so ignorant. So wonder why people are going crazy over the Blue Jays right now. Playoffs! I have friends here in Alberta who are even flying to TO to watch the games, who I swear never talked about them before so I was wondering what the hype was all about.
Thanks, keychange. I did check their website and am still not seeing it under Black Teas. I do see a gazillion other teas on their site that I would not be able to stop myself from putting on my order list though. And as I am way way way behind on getting through even a small bit of what I do have in stock here, I will wait a bit before I place an order.
Fgelrev, adding sugar to this tea tastes heavenly in a mug, and like an absolute tragedy in a travel mug. It is the only thing about travel mugs that I dislike. And evol, I know what you mean about not being able to resist many of their teas but needing to plow through more of your own stash first! As for the bluejays, my husband has been a dedicated fan for two decades now, and so this feels like his dream come true. His words: “The playoffs will be populated by true fans, because by the time the blue jays were doing well, play-off tickets had been offered to season ticket holders and were got by people who loved them even when they sucked.” :)
Evol, their site is AWFUL and has not been updated in years. I think it’s $4.75/50g.
Keychange, if you want more you can also let me know. I know how to ship parcels. ;)
It’s been a long time since I’ve had this tea, but like an old friend, it never fails to feel familiar and comforting. I had a fitful night, and despite having slept some, was in need of calming steadiness in my morning tea. I was going to try something new this morning, but reached for an old favourite instead. I’m still adjusting for the larger cups I’ve started using, but this tea was pretty near perfect, although I might try steeping for three minutes instead of four next time. It’s ok, though; this tea has all the sophistication and soft character of a French tea: light on the bergament, a hefty dose of stone fruit, and the hint of vanilla that rounds out each sip, making you want to search out more with your tongue. It was a nice counterpoint to my salty hashbrown, and the morning was off to a good start. I also woke up fifteen minutes earlier, which seems to have helped a lot. I hate rushing in the morning.