Review: Butiki Teas Mi Xian Black

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Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Character-wise, it seemed like a Taiwanese Assam or Ruby 18 on presentation. Taste-wise, it differed considerably."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.4/10
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butikimixianblackI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Stacy Lim of Butiki Teas is on my very odd wavelength when it comes to her tea selections. She places an emphasis on the new, strange and wonderful over all else. Along with a select few others, Butiki was one of the first tea vendors to sell Kenyan “purple tea” stateside. Thanks to her, I was also one of the first to write about it.

This Taiwanese black was sent along with several others, including a Japanese Puerh I liked a lot. I was extremely curious about this black tea because it was processed in a similar way to Oriental Beauty and Gui Fei oolongs. The leaves – from the Chin Xin varietal – were subjected to leafhoppers (or whatever those bugs are called). Said leaves developed a coating of sorts that protected them from pests. The coating also contributed to a change in flavor.

And, boy, did it.

Brewing instructions per the Butiki site recommended 2 tsps. of leaves per 8oz. of boiled water, steeped for three minutes and thirty seconds. I adhered to this exactly. Except on a pint level. That’s how I roll, after all.

The liquor brewed to a light crimson with a fruity/malty aroma on first whiff. Character-wise, it seemed like a Taiwanese Assam or Ruby 18 on presentation. Taste-wise, it differed considerably. While the “taste of Taiwan” was definitely present, there was also a crispness and silkiness to the taste. A sensation more in line with an oolong than a black tea. That and there was no bitterness to speak off. It seemed like a cross between a Yunnan Dian Hong and a Korean black in this regard. A lovely (and strong!) morning cup of leafhopper-effected goodness.

— To purchase Butiki Teas Mi Xian Black, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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