85

This one intrigued me when I first saw it on the 52teas site. It seemed such a unique combination that I knew I’d have to try it. As it turned out, this was my after lunch tea at work today. I treated it much as I would a plain white tea – about 2 minutes in water left to cool a little, which is as close to “180” as I can get without a thermometer. It’s certainly interesting – I wasn’t sure whether I liked it at first, but after a couple of sips I’m pretty sure I do.

Dry, it just smells odd. I can’t even describe what I’m smelling, I don’t think. Brewed, it’s sort of generically sweet, with a hint of fruitiness about it. To taste, the mango comes out most clearly. It’s juicy and slightly peppery, almost a perfect recreation of the real thing. I can just about taste the cucumber, but it comes out as a sweet and cleansing “fresh” flavour in the aftertaste more than anything. The combination is really striking, and the white base seems perfectly matched to the flavours. The thing I like most about this at the moment is that it smells beautiful as it starts to cool. Definitely one to try cold-brewed before the summer is over.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 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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