Leaf Type: Guayusa
Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA
Head for the Ju Ju Jungle, made with a guayusa herb and fruit blend that’ll make you feel like swinging from the vines and hanging from the trees. No wonder. Guayusa contains a combo of the natural stimulants also found in green tea and dark chocolate. People claim it protects you against snake bites, gives you courage, and helps you spiritually connect to nature. With its smooth flavour and natural buzz, we’ll just say it makes for a deliciously stimulating cup of tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
So I picked up some of this a couple weeks ago ’cause I had sipped down Main Squeeze (also from DT), which has been a cupboard staple of mine for daily use a little over a year now, and I wanted to switch things up a little bit because drinking too much of the same thing can definitely get boring or begin to feel too routine. Well, I think I may have spent a year missing out because this was really, really good.
Overall I tend to prefer guayusa over mate; I like the wet, mossy, earthy flavour of guayusa a lot because it makes me think of petrichor so this tea already had that edge over Main Squeeze; dry it smells very fresh with a more raw, unrefined peach flavour. It’s not a soft, creamy peach: it’s peach fresh from the orchard with the skin and a bit of dirt. The papaya comes through in the scent as well, but it’s definitely not the focus despite the surplus of very large candied papaya pieces in the leaf.
And the taste was awesome; the guayusa was everything I could have asked it to be and the peach I got to experience in the dry smell translated perfectly into the taste. The papaya is stronger in the taste as well, and adds this lovely roundness to the flavour that highlights the peach, petrichor, and plush earthy notes as well as a tropical and exotic kind of vibe. And it tastes so fresh; it’s weird that it tastes both tropical and like it could’ve come fresh from a local orchard.
It’s sweet enough that I can’t ever see why you’d add anything to it but it’s still got a mellowness to it too. The mouthfeel was very full as well. I’m totally picturing myself drinking this on the walk to work and I think that’s an A+ idea. Really, I have zero complaints about this one other than my own idiocy for drinking it at 6PM and now being way too wide awake.
This could easily, and I predict will easily, make its way into my cupboard staples so long as it proves to provide a consistent brew. It’s not one of the fanciest/highest quality teas I own – but for every day drinking and that extra caffeine boost before going to work I think it’s perfect! Plus, it’s a totally fun summer kind of flavour!
Leaf Type: Aged Oolong
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas (However it is no longer for sale)
Tea Description: Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is a 22 year old spring harvested tea from Nantou, Taiwan. This rare tea is oxidized between 20-30% and charcoal roasted. Da Ye Oolong is uncommon today since this tea has a lower production volume. Our 1991 Da Ye Aged Oolong is sweeter and creamier than our 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong. Notes of roasted chestnut, bark, fresh butter, honey suckle, and cinnamon can be detected. Due to the age of this tea, some mineral notes may also be detected. This tea has a silky mouth feel and is sweet and buttery.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster.
This isn’t a new Butiki blend (really there aren’t any new Butiki blends anymore since the owner’s retirement and the store closed); but it is new to me. I’ve been curious about it for a long time, but I think that without Butiki closing I would have been stuck in a permanent state of “window shopping”, which is a shame because I definitely would have been missing out.
So, this tea is actually older than I am by four years! There’s something inheritantly fascinating about that, and it’s hard to wrap my head around it. Many reviews I’ve seen for this tea feature the reviewer remarking “where they were” or “what they were doing” back in 1991, but I wasn’t doing anything! My parents weren’t even married in 1991.
Lately I’ve been trying to explore straight oolongs a little more thoroughly so it’s appropriate I’m trying this one. I’ve enjoyed the straight oolong I’ve had, especially the darker/roastier ones, but my exposure has been relatively limited and it’s time to change that. The dry leaf for this one already smells quite different than oolong I’m familiar with; it has a really distinct dill smell to it! And then nuttier notes emerge as well. It’s the dill that gets me though; I’ve never heard of dill being a present flavour notes in a straight oolong before – maybe a green tea though that’s probably a bit of a stretch too. I’m already learning things!
Wow; this is surprisingly more complex than I was expecting. Even upon my first few initial sips I was registering such a large variety of flavours it was almost a little overwhelming; they all tie in quite well to one another though. It seems like the general backdrop of flavours is a combination of soaked/damp wood and moss. Very earthy, and very natural. On top of the general taste, which carries throughout the sip, was a lovely arrangement of roasty and nutty flavours, with a very slight and enjoyable dryness. The combination of all of these things is coming together to remind me of petrichor.
For those who don’t know; petrichor is the smell of rain on dry earth. It’s my absolute favourite smell in the world and I’ve been looking for a tea that accurately conveys it for as long as I can remember; this does the job better than anything else I’ve tried. Lastly, this tea finishes with a sweet dill note that tickles at back of my throat. I’m liking how the dill plays into all of this by adding a bit of a different feeling as well as a unique taste!
My second steep was good too; many of the flavours I observed with the first cup were still there but in different levels. I found the wood flavour was less pronounced as well as the dry nuttiness, but the moss was a little more accentuated. The dill was also a lot more strong; instead of just tasting it in the finish I was tasting it in the body of the sip as well. I also registered a very subtle floral note and some richer mineral notes.
Unfortunately because of a prior commitment in the day I didn’t have time to continue with additional steeps; but I’d love to find a day to dedicate solely to this tea because it’s strange, and wonderful and very complex and I’m so smitten with it!
It’ll be hard to get your hands on this tea now; but if you find yourself with the chance to try it I definitely recommend doing so!