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This is going to be a hard tea to review. But first, I’d like to say that my Hapa-tite tea swap from Hapatite arrived today! Well, yesterday, but I only got it today. I am so excited!! All of the teas look very interesting, and I can’t wait to try them all.

I had arranged to go out for coffee with my partner before the swap package arrived, but wanted to stay in and drink tea instead, so as a compromise I picked this bag out and went for coffee with him, and asked for hot water at the shop.

Like Nicole stated in her review, I wish I’d read the recommendations on here before making this tea! A short steep would definitely have been enough, but as it is, I left the bag in the water for a good 4 or 5 minutes. I had a sugar sachet ready which I definitely did not need, as it was overpoweringly sweet, and actually probably the first tea I’ve had which had lived up to its ‘sweet’ promise. The cinnamon taste is also very powerful, and tiny sips reminded me of cinnamon fireball sweets I ate as a child. However, if you drink this is anything larger than little sips, the flavour becomes seriously strong. I could not believe just how strong it was. By the end of the cup (which wasn’t even that big) my lips were tingling and the inside of my mouth was on fire. This is a seriously intense brew.

I have a feeling it would have been nice had I steeped it only for a short time, and I actually put the teabag in a cup of iced water to see what that would do. The result was a pretty tasty, mild, crisp version of the hot cup I’d just drank. I didn’t think there would be much flavour to it but the same flavours were obviously present, which was good. In the second/cold steep, the sweetness was more apparent than the cinnamon, instead of the other way around, which was definitely better for me. I could also taste the orange a bit this time, which was completely lost in the cinnamon first steep. It’s worth noting that there wasn’t even a hint of black tea in either steep.

I really don’t know how to rate this tea, because if I’d just had the iced version, I would have rated it better than average. However I struggled to finish the first cup so much I actually started to think I was having an allergic reaction because my mouth was burning so bad. I usually go with the rating based on my best experience with the tea, but this time I feel like I have to take the first steep into account. I think it’s going to have to be half way between the two.

Thanks for the try, Nicole! Sipdown.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Hi. 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 over a year.

I mainly drink black teas, and they 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 trying to include natural 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, chilli, raspberry, coconut, and really fruity teas

Tea-dislikes: vanilla, ginger, coriander/cilantro and cardamom

I am a 19 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day! I stopped drinking alcohol only a few months after becoming old enough to drink it, and don’t miss it one bit. 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 partner 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 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.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range.

• 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 rare 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.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard (which should be up to date) and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap!

I tend to ramble. Sorry.

Location

South Shields/Huddersfield, UK

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