Brenden over at WP teas saw me mention Butiki’s PTA recently and told me Whispering Pines was now selling PTA!! Somehow I didn’t know this very important fact? I was ecstatic. Then Brenden sent over a sample. Even more ecstatic. THANKS VERY MUCH! PTA was one of Butiki’s glowing jewels (heck that was most of their teas, but definitely PTA). Premium Taiwanese Assam is a very unique tea and when Butiki closed, I wasn’t sure any other shop would ever carry it. I thought it would be lost forever.
I’m happy to report, this tea is in fact, even crazily similar to those harvests from a few years back now! That alone is amazing: similar harvests. On appearance, I compared this PTA to the older Butiki leaves, side by side, and they look exactly the same: color, length, width. Amazing again. Long, dusty, twisty, black leaves with the sweetest scent. The flavor simply can’t be compared to any other tea. How is a tea leaf so sweet? It’s like caramelized strawberry, with hints of grape, a maltiness, brown sugar. The brew is a light mahogany color. The first steep has the most distinct flavors, the second and third steep lose a little bit in the flavor strength, but still very delicious (I think this was because I was delicate with the parameters – I think with the Butiki if I steeped too hot or too long, the flavor would be mostly oaky… so it’s all in the delicate parameters.) The third steep seems to take on a cantaloupe note, while all three steeps have a syrupy mouthfeel. The closest tea I could think of to this would be a Ruby, but even that is entirely different from this tea. This is an essential cupboard tea for me. I’m so grateful that there is a source for this tea again! Thanks to whomever grows this lovely tea, and thanks so much for finding it, Brenden!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Also, I can attest from my Butiki leaves of PTA that this tea ages fairly well over the years. It might lose a little flavor from the fresh tea, but certainly not as much as most teas can lose flavor. (Yes, I had to hoard the PTA when Butiki closed, but not so much now with Whispering Pines carrying it!)
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cantaloupe, Caramel, Grapes, Malt, Strawberry