393 Tasting Notes


This is an East Frisian tea that I bought in KaDeVe in Berlin (one of several, since I wanted to try East Frisian tea, and maybe even recreate the East Frisian tea ceremony). It’s a blend of CTC Assams, which means a lot of dust in the bag, but also a lot of kick in your tea. It is a surprisingly good blend, of surprisingly good quality, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it these past few days. The tea brews a dark red, and takes milk and sugar beautifully. I did not have sugar crystals or cream for the East Frisian tea ceremony, so I didn’t have a chance to taste it in the traditional way that it is consumed, but this tea takes to milk like no other tea that I have tried. No English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast or Assam that I have tasted has its tastes enhanced so much by milk – the maltiness of the tea seems to bloom under its influence, and all bitterness and astringency disappears with it. For the pittance that it cost, this tea is surprisingly one of the tastiest teas that I currently own.

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Was in Berlin for about a week, and was quick to restock on this fantastic Earl Grey (2×100g packets, for those interested). My current supply was at an all time low, and I made a celebratory round of it at work this evening, to general joy and content. Nothing like wrapping your hands around a hot cup of tea on a cold and dark afternoon.
Best Earl Grey that I own – hands down. If you can get your hands on some – do.


wow a week in berlin…sounds incredible!


It was – even though it was freezing cold, and it snowed on our last day there. We had a lot of fun, and a lot of hot drinks :)

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Sipdown of a sample from the wonderful Terri!
I’m just back from a week in Berlin, and it seems that I have brought winter back with me: it is finally cold and rainy in Tel Aviv. When I say cold, I of course mean relatively cold – it’s 14 degrees outside. Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to drink three cups of tea this evening. This is the final cup, a delicate golden yellow Darjeeling, with fine, long, greyish green leaves that become a peaceful olive green when married with hot water.
You nose is greeted with a gentle citrus scent, and you expect great things from this tea.
And then you are disappointed. This tea is not astringent, but when brewed as recommended turns bitter, and bites you back. It can’t take milk, so I resorted to sugar to ease down the taste.
It does not sparkle as a good Darj does, and the lovely, sweet and elusive muscatel of a really good Darjeeling is nowhere to be found. It tastes more like a green tea, than a beautiful Darj, and so it went down sorely disappointing.
Terri – I completely agree with your Haiku – not a favourite, to say the least.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is a good Keemun, but most certainly not a Reserve quality tea, nor the best Keemun that I had. Nevertheless, a good tea.

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drank Earl Grey by Whittard of Chelsea
393 tasting notes

Someone brought us a caddy of this to work, having been to London and knowing that me and my cubicle colleague love tea, he thought that this would be a nice gift. It is, although I wish he’d asked before buying – there are better and more interesting teas to be had in London than this one. Even Whittard has better blends. BTW, this is the second Earl Grey tea caddy that people have brought us as gifts (the first one being a tiny Ahmad Tea earl grey shaped like a red telephone booth).
First thing’s first- this tea came in a dark blue caddy that is both beautiful and practical.
Once you open the caddy you are assaulted by an overpowering scent of BERGAMOT. If there’s a kind of demon that finds bergamot as offensive as vampires supposedly find garlic, then he would run for his life once the caddy was opened. This is an in your face, “I’m an Earl Grey TEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!” kind of tea. I was a little bit scared of brewing it, but the guys really wanted a taste, so I reluctantly brewed a cup.
This tea has a definite Ceylon base, and if there was a Chinese tea in the mix, it didn’t come through. It’s a strong, hearty tea, with a strong but thankfully not overpowering bergamot flavour. It still ranks last among the Earl Greys that I’ve tried, but at least it’s drinkable. If you like strong flavours, this is for you. I’d rather have Twinnings Earl Grey for about half the price than this tea.

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drank Royal Blend by Fortnum & Mason
393 tasting notes

This is OK for a breakfast brew, with some spicy tanginess and a bit of a kick to give it some interest, but otherwise, a not-that-interesting-tea. Great caddy, of course.

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drank Coronation by Fortnum & Mason
393 tasting notes

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Sweet sweet sweet sip down. What can I say that hasn’t been said? This Yunnan black is almost like a rich chocolate cake full of surprises (small clusters of brown sugar crunching in your mouth, a sudden zing of a really good coffee, a hint of citrus, and a recollection of that great baked sweet potato that you had for lunch). I’m very sorry that I’m out :(


Forgot to mention that I got this tea as a sample from Verdant Tea. Another reason to buy tea from Verdant (as if you needed one…)

Terri HarpLady

I love this tea. Btw, I really had a sweet potato for lunch :)

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This is becoming an office favourite (in place of my F&M Keemun, that has run out and I haven’t had time to replace), with a fruity sparkly presence that reminds me of a bubbly, bouncy young woman. This tea can actually stand milk, but it really mutes it down, and that’s a shame. Not a tea for relaxing, but a tea for getting up and hugging people and doing great good things in the world.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Got the guys in the office to try white tea for the first time. Win! This is a rather strong flavoured Bai Mu Dan, with a pronounced cucumber taste that is very refreshing and makes me want to cold brew it. It brews a light golden green, and is a great introduction to white teas. Naturally sweet and requires no sweetener (and milk will absolutely kill it). Yum

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.


Tel Aviv, Israel

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