Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Butterscotch

Butterscotch Tin
The Persimmon Tree Description:
Now available as a delectable tea-time treat, our Butterscotch brew takes the buttery goodness of butterscotch and lightens it up into a white tea infusion. Taste the classic favorite of butterscotch in an fresh brew that smoothly and lightly dances down your throat.

Organic White Tea Leaves, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Merigolds, Organic Flavors

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

My Review:
One of my fondest memories of my grandmother, on my dad's side, was her butterscotch pie. It was made from scratch and oh, so good. Mom swears today that I am remembering her (mom's) pies and not my Nana's. Sorry mom, I love you, but your butterscotch pie was a pale comparison to the real thing.

So we go into this review knowing we have a preconceived ideal that I cannot set aside. Yes, I know this is butterscotch and not butterscotch pie. I will try to relate the tea more to the candy my grandfather always had in the dish along side his recliner. I'll try, but come on... pie... you know?

Dry Leaf
Removing the seal and opening the tin I am met with an interesting looking blend. There is white tea leaf running from silver, through green, and into brown. The leaf appears to be various sized leaf, much of it whole. Then I notice the marigold petals. I don't know how much flavor they add but they sure pretty up a blend. There are also pink peppercorns. I never notice them as being obtrusive or particularly spicy in a tea, though I do understand why their presence may scare some people.

The dry leaf scent does not remind me of pie. :( It also doesn't really read grandpa's candy discs either. It has kind of an alcohol or medicinal aroma. At least it is pretty to look at.

I used a healthy scoop and a half of leaf - because it is white tea - in my glass teapot. To it was added 180 F water. I steeped per the middle of the recommended guidelines for white tea on the back of the tin, which was 3 minutes.

You can see most of the leaf stayed at or near the surface. The liquor is clear and actually a little darker than it appears in the picture.

Once poured into the mug it turned a little more golden in color.

While steamy hot this tastes like the dry scent. To me it is more alcohol flavored than butterscotch. I read one of the reviews on The Persimmon Tree's website that said they mixed this tea half and half with a straight white tea as they found this too potent. So I will try that later.

The Steepster reviews are generally highly favorable but I did note some of them said this leaned more towards scotch (the alcohol) than the buttery dime store candy. So I guess it depends on your expectations how you will react.

I cannot separate the peppercorns in the taste. There is cinnamon in the ingredient list and I can catch hints of it swirling around.

Butterscotch Steeped Leaf
During my tasting of this tea my son needed a ride to pick up his car at the mechanics. I had to abandon the half full mug. By the time I returned, the tea was room temperature. I found I liked it much better this way. The initial taste of it cold is a combination of scotch and white tea. The aftertaste is more of what I associate with butterscotch. I also notice there is more of a creamy feel to the cup now.

This is not Nana's world famous (in my mind) butterscotch pie. It does however have potential. I am going to experiment with different times and temperatures, and maybe try cutting it with another white tea to see if I can find a balance point for my tastes. Most reviewers liked it just the way it is, so as usual, it is a personal thing.

You can find Butterscotch here.


Update: The next day after posting this review, I prepared this tea again. This time I used my standard steeping parameters for Bai Mu Dan of 195 F for 1 minute. This is much more to my personal liking. The scotch alcohol taste is greatly reduced and replaced with more of a dime store buttery candy taste. It doesn't hit the mark exactly but it is close. I think the white tea gives it a little twist. A sweet dessert in a mug without the guilt.


About The Persimmon Tree:
(From their website) The Persimmon Tree® offers our customers some of the world's finest organic teas and botanicals. Not only are most of our fresh high quality teas from around the globe hand-blended and organically grown, some of our teas are also fair trade, ensuring fair working conditions, fair wages, and a better life for tea workers from countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

At The Persimmon Tree®, our mission is simple: to enrich people's lives through the pleasure of tea.

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