125 Tasting Notes

72
drank Thé des Poètes by Dammann Freres
125 tasting notes

Sipdown! (31/368) Thank you so much for sharing this tea with me, Miss B!

This tea has been in my sipdown box for a while now, and I’ve just never been in the mood to finish it off. This morning I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and this was the perfect tea to soothe me. I did a bit of a double take when brewing this, because the scent is so strong and fills up the whole kitchen. If I remember rightly it usually smells like a baking apple pie, but this time I smelled… Sour cherries? Definitely. I even double-checked the ingredients because the scent was so dead on! Maybe it was just contaminated in the box, though, because the taste is unchanged. Plain, the caramel is prominent with a hint of apple. Adding sweetener brings out the apple, so it’s a delicious cup of gooey toffee apple. The cinnamon is a lingering note towards the end of the sip, and there’s also a mild citrus note which rounds it out. I added a splash of milk to make it more comforting since I’m not feeling too well, and this brings out the base more so that the fruity flavours aren’t as dominant. The cinnamon and citrus notes actually seem to hold their own a lot more when milk is added, too. I’m not sure it’s settled my stomach, but it’s definitely taken my mind off it! Thanks again, MissB!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

Sipdown! (31/368)

I’m really sad about this one ): I know I can’t buy more tea at the moment but this is one of my favourite summer teas! I have only just finished up with my pouch and I wanna buy more already D:

The last cup was perfect. A lot of the lemon bits were at the bottom, so this cup had a better balance between the strawberry and lemon than there has been in previous cups. The smell is still insane and the sweet fruity strawberry as I remembered. Only this time the lemon provides a more rounded note at the back of the sip, and this is exactly strawberry lemonade, only hot. I wish I had more of this for the warmer weather to have iced – it’s so much better than the Costa iced strawberry lemonade!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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First time I’ve used this random steepings tag! This was a sipdown of an unidentified teabag sample I received from Mina in the Hapatite tea swap. It was labelled ‘black tea with fruits and spice’ and is in a little round, organic-looking (?) teabag. Other than that I have no info. I can’t say that I mind – I definitely wouldn’t be picking any more up! The scent is very cinnamon-y, and the main note is also overwhelming cinnamon. I think this has stevia in, as it’s very sweet with no additives, and there’s a lingering back note of orange. It is so so cloying and sweet, and almost undrinkable. Blech. Sorry Mina!

I would rate this tea around a 16.

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95

I’m having one of those days where you just need a lot a lot of caffeine to get going. I opened a new bag of this this morning, and the SMELL! Mmmm. I forgot how much I love this. I think I’ve only ever drank this hot once before, I just think it’s perfect iced. This morning I whisked a scoop of powder into 6oz cold milk and then topped it up with hot water. Warm, this is very sweet! But still so so delicious. It had definitely given me the energy boost I needed, and curbed my sweet tooth in the process! I love that this is a healthy treat (:

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 15 sec 15 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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39

Sipdown! (30/368)

Hello steepster! So it’s been another month again! I knew I wasn’t going to have much time for steepster of late, but am hopefully going to be able to write up notes more often now. I’ve had to admit defeat and apply for extenuating circumstances with my remaining work, which means that if it’s granted I won’t be graduating this summer, but in November instead. ):

I’m moving out of my student flat at the end of June, and want to have less tea to pack when I do move, so I’m going to be concentrating on sipping down a lot of teas! This was one, because I’d been saving the last bag to review and the box was taking up room. It had been a while since I drank this tea, and was actually only down to the bottom of the box because I’d been palming it off on Frank, so I couldn’t really remember how it tasted. The bright red liquid and slightly sour smell instantly screamed ‘hibiscus’ to me, and I added a sweetener stupidly without trying the tea first. This was a mistake. The tea was so sweet I could barely bring myself to drink it! Had it not been the final cup I think it would have been dumped. Blech. Although having said that, had I not added the sweetener I think this would have been very pleasant. It’s not often I come across a bagged fruit tea which isn’t overwhelmed by hibiscus. The strawberry comes across strongly and is very much at the fore of the sip, with the mango being almost undetectable – merely a whisper in the background. It does add another dimension to the tea than if it were simply a strawberry tea, but I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a dimension that I like, or is needed. The flavours also come across as somewhat artificial, which I’m not too surprised about from a basic Twinings tea. I actually think this would be quite enjoyable if I wasn’t so spoiled by good teas, and Frank seemed to like them.
Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 9 OZ / 266 ML

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76

Hello Steepster! I’m back, albeit very briefly. I’m currently having some issues and dealing with some things, at the same time trying to write my dissertation (and a million other essays) and finish my degree. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for steepster of late. I was starting to worry that if I didn’t make some time for it soon I would never come back, and that cannot happen! So I’m making a brief stop by just to check in.

I chose this tea because I haven’t written a tasting note on it yet, and had put it up on the Butiki trading post as I think it could go to a more appreciative home than my own – so many people seem to love it, but it’s just good to me. Nobody has taken it off my hands yet, so if anyone is interested you’re welcome to it.

This tea reminds me of the Mrs. Hudson Adagio custom blend from Cara McGee’s Sherlock collection, only with a much better black base (I think one of my favourites) and a more subtle almond flavouring. In my head I associate this tea with grandma type people, and it could be to do with this connection. The almond flavour is the first thing I notice, but it doesn’t last long and is replaced by the base tea, which is a lovely well-rounded black that goes very well with milk (I’m drinking it like a traditional English cuppa today). Frank isn’t one for my teas usually – he doesn’t like anything he considers to be ‘abnormal’ – but I think this is one he might enjoy. The note that lingers the most is the cinnamon, which only comes through in the aftertaste. This is definitely an enjoyable cup of tea, and maybe a good choice for brunch or when I want something that’s not too fussy, but it’s definitely a like more than a love for me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Fjellrev

Welcome back! Try to take care of yourself amidst the chaos. :)

KittyLovesTea

You have been missed Nattie! Hope you are managing to keep up with everything.

Nattie

Thank you (: life is definitely hectic right now.

KittyLovesTea

Honestly I can relate at the moment. Being busy just makes the quiet times feel more special :) Hang in there Nattie and good luck with everything!

Nattie

Thanks KittyLovesTea – that’s definitely a good way to look at it! Good luck with your stuff, too. (:

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50
drank Maple Bacon by Man Teas
125 tasting notes

Just sipped down the rest of my sample of this from Janelle ‘s mystery box sale a while back. I thought it was a sipdown, but after consulting my spreadsheet it looks like I have some more of this somewhere courtesy of Miss B! I’m glad, because I’d really like to try this with maple syrup as a sweetener. I was distracted when I drank this, but I don’t remember getting much bacon flavour. It was mainly a plain daytime black tea, with a faint bacon aftertaste like I’d eaten a packet of bacon rashers a while ago and they were lingering. Part of me is disappointed that the bacon wasn’t stronger, but part of me is really glad. Maple syrup and bacon is still such a weird combination to me, I’m not sure I’m ready to add tea to the mix!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML
Anlina

I loved this with a tiny pinch of salt too.

Cwyn

Nattie, are you drinking your breakfast again? ;)

Nattie

I will have to try it with salt next time!

Cwyn hehe, you caught me :’) I had pancake breakfast tea this morning too!

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53

Unexpected third sipdown of the day! (29/330)

I was packing up the rest of a swap package for Janelle today, and was only going to have one serving of this left over, so I thought I might as well have it now. I’m upping my rating a bit from 34 as it wasn’t too bad this time around. Hot, I mainly got a nice enough, plain genmaicha. Still no gingerbread. As the cup cools I’m getting that weird cola flavour again, but not as strongly as last time. I’m also getting some citrus through this time, which I’m translating as lime, though judging by the peel in the dry leaf it’s probably orange. I’m still not sure how this fits in with the ‘gingerbread house’ theme. That’s definitely not what I would have called this tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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56
drank Coconut Cream Pie by 52teas
125 tasting notes

Sipdown number 28 of 330 on this sample from Janelle.

As a lover of coconut teas, this disappointed me. I seem to be bucking the trend, here. I was setting myself up for disappointment from the beginning, as to me coconut and vanilla flavours aren’t a good enough representation of ‘coconut cream pie’, and personally I would have tried harder to replacate the pie flavour – maybe with some kind of butter or pastry type flavouring. The black base wasn’t strong enough for me, though that’s just personal preference. The coconut note was somewhat creamy, but very faint. For some odd reason, I actually get a stronger – and actually pretty authentic – banana flavour from this. If it was a banana tea, I think I’d be pretty impressed! As it is I’m mainly confused. I don’t even remember drinking this the first time around, so I don’t know whether the sample has been contaminated. That probably means it wasn’t too memorable the first time around, either, though. Still, I’m happy to be able to say I’ve tried it, and happy to have another sipdown.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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94

Sipdown (27/330)! I wanna reach 33 – 10% – by the end of the week.
This was a sample from VariaTEA. Thank you so much! I am so glad to have gotten the chance to try this tea and company. I only wish I could pick up more. ):

VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a two cup sample of this, even though it was one of her favourites! I’m glad she did, because I messed the first one up. I didn’t look at the instructions she’d written down, and assumed I should use boiling water since it was a black tea. I ended up with a bitter mess, and tried to cancel it out by adding milk. That just made the whole thing too bland, as I underleafed a bit too, and I was basically drinking warm, thin milk with a hint of roses. This cup, I paid attention and it paid off! I now have one very delicious cup of cherry and rose tea – a combination which I wouldn’t have put together, but it totally works. The dry leaf smells strongly of roses, and the cherry comes in after steeping. The scent of the liquid is sweet acerola cherries with a floral rose back note. I get rose notes primarily in the sip, rounded out wonderfully by the sweet juicy cherry which lingers. I added half a teaspoon of sugar as an experiment, and that really made the flavours pop! The cherry, especially, comes out more and is very juicy now. It’s a shame that this isn’t more readily available to me. It would definitely go on my reorder list if I could actually get my hands on some. It might have even become my go-to rose tea (I love rose tea). Sigh. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to think wistfully on what could have been.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

Oh yay! I’m glad you got it to work :)

Sil

Just do a swap that involves larger amounts – someone orders this for you and sends it to you…while you order something that isn’t readily available outside the uk for them :)

Nattie

I will definitely keep that in mind if I find someone that wants UK teas!

whatshesaid

I’m going to have to try this one again sometime! I’m not really familiar with this company whatsoever though

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Profile

Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a couple of years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years.

Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: a lot of different things, but my absolute favourites are caramel, chestnut, raspberry, coconut, blueberry and pumpkin

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander, cardamom, liquorice and pineapple

I am a 20 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV quiz shows (about the only things I watch regularly, unless Sherlock or Doctor Who is on), basketball (NBA, both the video game and actual sport – Chicago Bulls fan, and playing with my university girls’ team. I also watch my parter play, as he’s on the men’s team) and football/soccer (just watching – a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

Huddersfield, UK

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