880 Tasting Notes

85

A sample from ashleyelizabeth! I’ve been roller derbying today, so I knew in advance that I wouldn’t have chance for much tea/drinks today. That being the case, I chose a high caffeine tea this morning. The energy Yerba is supposed to provide also made it a good choice. I didn’t read the ingredients or any tasting notes before I tried this one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than chocolate and yerba.

I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 4 minutes in water left to cool slightly after boiling. The resulting liquor is a medium brown, and it smells divinely chocolatey! I’m always a little apprehensive about yerba — plain it’s really not my thing — but there’s no cause for concern here. The chocolate flavouring is nice — not at all artificial or chemical tasting. There’s a dry, very slightly bitter taste to it that actually reminds me of chocolate with a high cocoa solid content. What makes this amazing in my estimation is the caramel that goes alongside the chocolate — it’s smooth and buttery, adding a touch of almost honeyed sweetness to the slightly bitter chocolate. There’s a tinge of nuttiness, and a tiny earthiness in the aftertaste.

Reading the notes here, I was surprised to see that there’s supposed to be raspberry in this. I got no raspberry, but I don’t feel robbed. Raspberry wasn’t necessary in this chocolate caramel wonder brew. I’ll look out for it next time, though.

In case you hadn’t guessed, this is my new favourite mate!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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65

Weekend Sipdown #9

This is one of the nicer chamomile based blends I’ve had the pleasure of trying in a while. This time, my cup was a pale pinky-red (see previous notes for my musings on this magical, colour changing tea!). I don’t usually like hibiscus too much, but it does a sterling job of cutting through some of the sweetness from the chamomile here. The citrus flavours — lime and orange, primarily, to my taste — also pack a refreshing punch. A pleasant evening cup.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55

Weekend Sipdown #8

This is a pleasant enough darjeeling, considering it’s bagged. There’s nothing too metallic in the flavour, which is what I’ve had the biggest problem with in Mighty Leaf’s darjeelings. Instead, it’s lightly floral, with a very slight muscatel/grapey flavour. Quite brisk. Pleasant enough, but not a repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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70

Weekend Sipdown #7

I am finding the strawberry here a little on the fake side for my liking, although its similarity to ice cream syrup is actually pretty nice in small doses. I like the strong “ice cream” flavour this one has to. On the whole, though, it’s not a tea I’d want to drink a lot of, or a lot of the time. I’m glad to have had the chance to try it, but it won’t be too sadly missed.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Velvet Potion by Silk Road
880 tasting notes

Weekend Sipdown #6

I do wish the chocolate was a smidgen stronger here, but I have no real complaints. It has a hot chocolate vibe going on, although it’s still obvious above all that this is tea. I like the dark, bittersweet cocoa note, and how smooth it is…a satisfying chilly day treat!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank Peach Paradise by Silk Road
880 tasting notes

Weekend Sipdown #5

This one was utterly delightful today. It’s not been a warm day, for summer, but the juicy, fresh scent and flavour of peach contributed some much-needed sunshine all by itself! Peach teas are usually hit and miss for me, particularly when the peach flavouring is artificial tasting and very strong. No worries here — it’s like drinking peach juice! The slightly citrussy base ceylon is perfect here, creating a fruity, satisfying cup! Very enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100

I’m finding that the more I drink this one, the more I can taste the lavender. Familiarity, maybe? Ordinarily, floral teas aren’t my thing at all. I can make an exception for this one, though, because the vanilla and mint are such a wonderful combination, and because together they make lavender into something I find both palatable and delicious. I also like the caffeine boost I get from this one, particularly at work! My current favourite of the Butiki guayusa blends.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Memily

I’m a big fan of this one too. This and Good Morning Sunshine keep vying for the top spot for me!

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65

Weekend Sipdown #4

My current cup. Once again, I’m getting a lot of cream from this one. It even smells creamy! There’s a wisp of EG in the background, but it’s really not more than that. Tasty, but ultimately probably not the tea for me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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90
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
880 tasting notes

Weekend Sipdown #3

While you’re on a roll…

I pair this one most commonly with Taiwanese Wild Mountain black, purely because I enjoy the contrasting (and yet sometimes similar) flavours. The differences are more obvious to me when I taste them together! This is the one I think of as the fruity apricot one, because to me the fruit notes are what makes this cup really shine. It’s so fresh tasting and juicy — a great spring/summer black. Another one I’d repurchase in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp

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95

Weekend Sipdown #2

Second cup of the day. This is the one I think of as the malty, chocolate, honey, bread one. It’s simply delicious. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the brewing of this one right for my own tastes over my last couple of cups, because I wasn’t getting all of these flavours originally. Based on the strength of this cup, though, this is one I’d definitely repurchase in future. Om nom nom.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norwich, UK

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