85

After my initial cup of “normal” tea (i.e. Twinings Everyday), I thought I’d enjoy my last morning off work by starting it with a cup of this. The dry leaves smell amazingly fresh, and very floral. For some reason, the scent reminds me of spring — cool mornings and a bright sky, sun, and the budding beginnings of flowers. There’s something maybe a little fruity in the depths, too. I’m thinking pear at the moment, but there’s something dry and grape-like about the aroma too. The leaves, as I was expecting, are a variety of shades, ranging from dark to pale green, with creamy tips, and the occasional brown.

As per the recommendations, I brewed this tea for three minutes, after having let the boiling water stand for a minute or so. The liquor is a clear medium yellow-brown. The smell, though, is something else. It’s just like the smell of the dry leaves, perhaps slightly milder, with a developing hint of grass. The taste is phenomenal. It’s sweet, slightly grassy, with a wine-like depth to the aftertaste. It’s honestly like drinking spring. There’s also none of the metallic astringency that has put me off darjeelings before. Some of the characteristics are there, but they’re smoother, less harsh, and so a pleasant part of the complex taste.

I could go on drinking and discussing this for hours, and I imagine it’s going to take more than this one note to really extract and document all of the nuances of this tea. This is quite sufficient for first impressions, though. I’m going to sit and enjoy the rest of the cup now!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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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