1333 Tasting Notes

77

This was yesterdays tea ie 4th day of Christmas tea from the box. I decided to have a smelly food day which meant I couldn’t taste much of anything past garlic, onion, chilli and spices hence why I didn’t review this until today.

The raw blend smells amazingly sweet apple like, very potent and strong.

The steeped tea smells sweet apple like though toned down from it’s raw form.

In flavour this is very mild compared to it’s scent. The apple comes through in the after taste while the white tea is the main flavour. It’s dry, floral and slightly astringent before the apple kicks in which adds a crisp sweetness. It doesn’t linger for long in the after taste.

It’s not as appley as it appears I mean the tea has apple twice in it’s name. The astringency of the white tea reduces what the apple could be, though saying that it is still a fairly nice tea. Perhaps if I try it again it will be iced.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML
Nattie

Loving the notion of a ‘smelly food day’

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81

I got up this morning and set my table to entertain a day of Japanese tea, only I had to go out this morning and clean the house when I returned which means it’s coming up to 2pm and I have yet to taste some tea. I’ve decided to forget the other tasks I need to do until dinner time so I have an afternoon and early evening of tea. (Yay!)

Sencha of the Spring Sun sounds beautiful and warm. In appearance the Sencha is dark green with some light green stems and a high gloss. They are a mixture of small pieces and long pieces, all dry and sharp looking. It has a sweet (yet slightly astringent) scent with floral sweet pea, fresh grass and hay tones.

Standard steeping
Tea – 5g
Water – 80 C
Volume – 180ml Futanashi Tokoname
Over three steeps

First Steep – 30 seconds
A warm juniper and fresh cut grass scent shines through. Flavour is mild, sweet and very fresh with grass and floral tones with some lightly toasted hay towards the after taste. Particularly sweetpea and mild but fresh seaweed.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
More vegetal tones are becoming present as it becomes stronger. Seaweed, sweetpea, fresh grass and broccoli being notable. A touch of astringency and dryness though nothing dramatic.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
More astringent and dry though remains sweet and with flavour. The astringency makes it more perfumed rather than being plain astringency.

A nice Sencha overall that has lingering after tastes and an abundance of flavours suitable for many steeps. Not the smoothest or highest quality but perfect for every day drinking.

Plus a side note – the sun came out while I was drinking this which was a nice touch, it shone down strong enough to make it feel like Spring again. I will carry on steeping this while I watch Hellfighters (with John Wayne), my nan used to love John Wayne and watching his films reminds me of her.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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68
drank Peppermint Bark by 52teas
1333 tasting notes

Day 3 of the 52 Teas 12 days of Christmas box.

Is there anything more Christmas-y than peppermint when it comes to festive teas? This was a welcome find this morning. Monday morning is the start of my house wifely duties, and let me mention that I hate cleaning and tidying. I’m a messy person by nature though my clutter is almost always organized. Job list for today: cat litters, scrub toilets, sweep and hoover downstairs, put clothes away, try and find boxes to unpack etc etc etc. So far I’ve washed up, done the cat litters and put bleach down the toilet to go back to later. Tea break while watching Buffy sounds splendid.

So back to the tea, peppermint bark, it does smell very sweet and pure in terms of peppermint. The black tea was a little malty and cocoa like though very subtle in comparison to the dominating peppermint.

In flavour the black tea becomes a lot stronger than it was in scent, which I wouldn’t mind though the peppermint is actually in the background of it now. So it’s a black tea with a mild peppermint after taste. Usually I like my mint teas to be large and in charge, I drink mint tea for the mint aspect above all else.

Through the sip: It starts with a sour malt black base that gradually lightens to reveal a hint of peppermint amongst a now sweet and sour malt base.

It’s nice though not a new favourite, and it’s not peppermint enough to be Christmas like for me :(

Flavors: Malt, Peppermint, Sour

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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76
drank Tiramisu Oolong by 52teas
1333 tasting notes

My second day of Christmas tea from the 52 Teas Christmas Box.

Today’s tea sounds very interesting! I’m not a huge fan of tiramisu since it’s coffee related but I do like it on a rare occasion and I’ve been thinking about it for the last year. So this was a nice surprise, and in Oolong form too, very cheeky.

I open the packet and I am met with a milky/creamy and slightly spiced scent with mild sweetness. It reminded me of eggnog.

Once steeped this tastes as creamy as it smells along with a gentle baked cake/bread taste with a touch of spice. It still reminds me of eggnog though compared to Butiki’s eggnog it’s not as creamy nor sweet. It’s flavour as a whole is rather mild and most flavours come through in the after taste, otherwise it’s very much a simple plain milk Oolong. It contains cocoa nib which at a stretch adds some sourness though sometimes I find milk Oolong to be slightly sour anyway.

Does it taste like tiramisu? No, sorry Frank but it does not. Instead it’s a lightly spicy Oolong which is actually rather tasty. Eggnog like enough to be Christmas themed and a joyous atmospheric tea. I’m happy enough with this blend and shall have no issue finishing this one.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Eggnog, Spices

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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71

My first day of Christmas tea from the 52 Teas Christmas Box.

This should have been logged yesterday but I forgot the in-laws were coming by to see our new house. It’s the first time they have been down to see us as they don’t drive and live in another city. That meant major cleaning and clearing on my part, trying to make a 2 week lived in house perfect. That didn’t happen but I tried my best. So yes this was yesterdays tea but I’m tasting it today to make up for yesterday.

The raw blend has a strong clove and cinnamon scent, very spice mix and perhaps a little like pumpkin though nothing sweet nor toffee like. The dragonwell was rather a dark green with large yellow discolouration, so low quality though I suppose that compromises on it being a unique blend. I only mention the quality as Long Jing is not a favourite of mine unless the quality is crystal, otherwise I find it much too harsh to drink.

After a guess-timated steeping time I pour the tea. The same clove spice mix fills the air, though while nice and Christmas like it’s starting to remind me less and less of pumpkin or toffee.

The flavour is of a good strength though I am getting a lot of dryness in the after taste, I always do with low grade Long Jing. It is highly spice flavoured with clove dominating with a touch of cinnamon in the background, though as mentioned they are rather dry. It tastes of synthetic pumpkin, in other words it meets my expectations as what to expect from a substitute. If you’ve tasted Franks other pumpkin flavoured teas then you know what I’m talking about. All said and done there is no toffee, nothing remotely sweet or candied. Also the green tea aside from it’s dryness is not noticeable in taste, the spice dominates over it rather strongly.

So you get synthetic pumpkin which is hit or miss and no toffee to speak of. Nice try but this is not what it claims, at least to me. However, it is a fairly nice Christmas like blend, clove may not be my personal choice to mix it with Long Jing but this does pair together well. Albeit not perfect for me (as a hater of low grade Long Jing and of clove) but it is pleasant enough to drink and mildly enjoy. So this is more of a Christmas Clove Dragonwell than a Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell.

But oh well, a nice start to the box. Plus I’m in a pleasant mood after my faith in humanity has been restored a little, before I went to make this tea I passed by the front door and found a small business card sized envelope on the floor. I picked it up and saw it had no name, so I went into the living room and opened it to find a small Christmas tree card which is addressed inside to my house number from a neighbouring house. A neighbour that I have never met nor seen but one that is definitely getting a card back tomorrow. All these years since I moved out and in none of my previous three homes did any neighbour give us a card, or even a thought. Considering that we bought this house and intend to be in it for potentially the rest of our lives it’s very comforting to know we have at least one friendly neighbour. :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Drying

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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62

My tea of the night while I watch Russell Brand on The Trews, highly entertaining! Granted I’m a over a month late with sampling this one I am still happy for the de stash.

The tea (once steeped) smells sweet yet dark with malt, mild toffee and a toasted sense that reminds me of popcorn or cereal (like rice crispies or cornflakes).

Sampled without milk or sugar.
Flavour is strong with a dominant smoky tang that is paired with a malt bitter black base. It does have a slight sweet taste though not as strong as the smell and I could certainly not define it as toffee. So really the flavour is yay on bonfire and nay on toffee.

Sampled with milk.
The bitterness has been toned down a little though it is still highly smoky and strong. Still not getting the toffee notes, and honestly the smoke is not balanced greatly by the thick base.

Sampled with milk and sugar.
Even the sugar has failed to restore balance for this blend.

Ok I don’t think this one is for me. I like smoky teas from time to time but this is just too harsh and is not blended well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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63
drank Caramel Sweetheart by Yumchaa
1333 tasting notes

Time I used this sample, albeit chosen whilst I’m watching a Romeo and Juliet style Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode that ends up with a lovers murder, suicide. I feel my mind felt in the romance mood (tragic or otherwise) and that is my reasoning for picking this tea, on a subconscious level. I hope that makes sense, my mind is a little scatty at the moment…it’s been a long day.

Served with a lump of sugar and a drop of milk.
Even with the sugar this just smells like a standard malt, black tea. Nothing sweet nor caramel like about it.
In flavour this is pretty much a rather mild, malt black tea with a touch of chemical sweetness. Not caramel and not the sugar cube (as I’m used to those), but something amongst it that is chemical and almost dry and nutty.

Very disappointing, I wanted caramel :( It has a cute name but that was the best thing about it. As a mild black tea it’s ok but nothing special, the chemical taste is unpleasant though still drinkable. At least it’s good enough to dip my custard creams into.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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82

Happy 12th December everyone!

I certainly smell the apple with light spice, very Christmas-y! Flavour is light and sweet with soft apple and spice (cinnamon or clove like). I can’t taste cardamom specifically though that is a positive thing (for me anyway). Mild dry after taste though the spicy apple remains.

I like this, it tastes like Christmas with minimum Rooibos blurghness and all in a nice caffeine free package.

Flavors: Apple, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 7 g 20 OZ / 600 ML

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84

This was meant to be for a house warming gift but we just didn’t get a real chance to enjoy it, until today when my husband returned home early from work declaring he caught the plague. rolls eyes So he went to bed and I made him my famous vegetable soup. I made enough to feed an army so he should be well fed over the next few days. So now we are watching Kickboxer (yes that flick with Jean Claudee Van Damme, who my cat Cassie fancies by the way…she stares at him when he’s on the screen) and drinking this Pu Erh.

Flavour is very smooth with some sweet, damp earth tones. A hint of smoke in the after taste. Also a slight musty musk taste that lingers in the mouth, though not strongly. Further steeps bring out clay and wood tones though on the whole it remains very smooth and easy to drink.

Even through a few steeps it remains smooth and rather delicate. I’m really liking this one, plus the fact that it comes in a box and bag is really cool!

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Profile

Bio

I’m 28 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Cassie, Mr Sooty Pants,Ivory and Ollie.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.

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Location

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