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This is my first tasting note in such a long time! It says my last tasting note was two months ago, but I don’t think it’s been quite that long as I’ve edited a couple of blank notes since then. Anyway, I am determined to start writing up my notes again since I’ve really missed you guys! Plus I have a tonne of sip downs to power through now and hopefully this will encourage me!

New things – Not a lot has changed, but I am trying to be a lot healthier than I used to care about, and that means I am trying to drink a lot of my tea without any additives, so the majority of my tasting notes won’t have multiple descriptions of how the teas taste with different things added to them any more. I still blabber on a lot, but my workload is going to be pretty ridiculous for the foreseeable future as I’m going into my final year of university in September and I am determined to get everything done with plenty of time to spare, as my timekeeping has been pretty shocking for the past couple of years. It’s time to buckle down! This means a lot of my notes will probably be pretty short, as I plan to write up at least one note a day like I used to (although I’m not sure how long this will last) but will have less time to concentrate on the teas and will maybe only have one or two cups a day as opposed to the five or six I used to have. This means I’ll likely not have a lot of time to spend writing up the review, and if I do I might not have payed enough attention to what I was drinking to talk about it in great detail. Thirdly, and lastly, my tea collection has expanded exponentially recently, and I now have tea spilling out of every nook and cranny in my flat. I have more than I can keep track of, and definitely can’t afford to buy more, and so have set myself a challenge to reduce my stash to less than 100 teas before I even think about buying more. My cupboard is currently on 243 teas, so a lot of my reviews will (hopefully!) have a counter (sipdown x/144) at the bottom tracking my progress. This counter will probably go up a few times, as I have very little willpower and will possibly cave. Also, I take part in the Hapa-tite tea swap every month so that will contribute too, although it’ll help my sipdowns along nicely too. It’s also my 20th birthday on Tuesday (goodbye teenage years!) so there’s a slight chance I might be getting more tea then, too. I will adjust the counter accordingly if this happens. I know a lot of you will probably not care about any of the stuff I just blabbed on about as per usual, but I like to write it down anyway, even if it’s just for myself. It’s kinda like talking to yourself, but less frowned upon if you get caught. I might start adding little anecdotes about my life, too, as I’m finding this pretty therapeutic and I don’t have a diary as such. I apologise in advance to anyone that doesn’t like anecdotes or personal stories! I promise it’ll mostly be about the tea. That was long. Yeesh, I’m sorry guys.

Anyway, on to the tea! I received a couple of sachets of this in a parcel from MissB recently which she sent ages ago but only just arrived – probably held up at customs. The parcel was totally amazing, just like the lovely lady herself, so thanks MissB! Frank has gone to bed early tonight as he’s playing basketball tomorrow, so I pinched his iPad and thought I’d have a nice little nightcap in bed. This was the most appealing-sounding herbal in a handful I grabbed to drink over the next few days, and it’ll do nicely. Upon opening the sachet, I have high hopes for a citrusy treat – the packet and bag mainly smell sweet with an orange undertone. When I poured in the water, the liquid went an orangey colour and the smell of oranges became VERY prominent. Not overpoweringly so, just enough to get me excited about the citrus aspect of the tea. I left the bag in, however, as the instructions stated to leave it to steep for four or five minutes. I kept stopping writing my prior comments to sniff the orangey goodness, and weirdly it all of a sudden stopped – around four minutes into steeping, the zingy orange smell dissipated and was replaced with the overwhelming scent of liquorice. No matter how deeply I inhale or how hard I think about it, I just can’t find that orange scent anywhere! It’s completely vanished! As soon as I realised this I figured it was done steeping and removed the bag (getting a sweet shot at the waste paper basket from deep. I was so made to be a baller). I hope it hasn’t done too much damage, as I really fancy a citrusy tea right now.

As I’ve gone on for so long the tea is pretty much luke warm now, so I can’t tell if the flavours have changed much as it’s cooled. My first sip is – liquorice. Pure liquorice. Darn it, I really wanted that citrus too. It actually does come out a bit in the aftertaste, along with a peppery note which could be from the fennel, perhaps? I’m not convinced, though, ‘cause if my memory serves me correctly fennel tastes pretty much of aniseed. Which probably explains why the liquorice flavour is so strong – it’s a double whammy! The odd back of the throat sweetness from liquorice root is there too, this is definitely one for the sweet toothed. The orange flavour is coming out more the more I drink it, perhaps my tongue just needed to adjust to the anise before it found the more subtle flavours. It’s actually really nice as it is, with the orange as the less dominant flavour. It’s soothing and almost festive in a way which strong citrus flavours just aren’t. Probably a good thing, too, as I’m about to go to bed. I just got a hint of chocolate, and I’m not sure where from because none of the ingredients even hint at chocolate-type flavours, but I got pretty excited because Terry’s chocolate oranges are one of my most favouritest things on this planet and my ultimate weakness. I’ve tried several chocolate orange teas, which have ranged from nothing like a chocolate orange to simply foul, and oddly enough, this tea is actually the closest I’ve found without even trying! How strange. I’m happy to find that it’s not just a one-off, either, as subsequent mouthfuls have had the same hint in them. The tea is completely cold now, and still as good as it was hot. I think I might even like to try this iced, if I had more of it. As it is I have one bag remaining, and will try steeping it for a minute or so less in the hopes of coaxing out less of the liquorice and more of the orange.

It’s just occurred to me that this is the first tasting note for this particular tea on Steepster, so anyone drinking this in the future will likely read my babble nonsense. Oops.

EDIT: After looking at the ingredients properly, I’ve discovered that the peppery note I was picking up on was probably not from the fennel after all – it was more likely from the pepper.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
carol who

I think that a lot of us like to share our lives on here. It is not only therapeutic but fun. It really makes us all such a great community. Have fun on your birthday!

Nattie

I really do like the community feel of Steepster (: it’s like one big happy online family.

Thank you! I shall :D although I’ll be officially a responsible adult then, which I am not looking forward to! I swear you shouldn’t get older until you’re ready for it

Terri HarpLady

Heck, I’m 55, & I’m still not sure if I’d consider. Myself a responsible adult, LOL
I personally enjoy when people share their stories, it makes it more fun, & gives us all a chance to get to know each other a little :) Happy Birthday!

Nattie

Haha Terri at least that’s reassured me I don’t have to grow up! Although maybe I should.
I will keep with the stories, then! Thank you! (:

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carol who

I think that a lot of us like to share our lives on here. It is not only therapeutic but fun. It really makes us all such a great community. Have fun on your birthday!

Nattie

I really do like the community feel of Steepster (: it’s like one big happy online family.

Thank you! I shall :D although I’ll be officially a responsible adult then, which I am not looking forward to! I swear you shouldn’t get older until you’re ready for it

Terri HarpLady

Heck, I’m 55, & I’m still not sure if I’d consider. Myself a responsible adult, LOL
I personally enjoy when people share their stories, it makes it more fun, & gives us all a chance to get to know each other a little :) Happy Birthday!

Nattie

Haha Terri at least that’s reassured me I don’t have to grow up! Although maybe I should.
I will keep with the stories, then! Thank you! (:

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Bio

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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