25

I’m not sure about this one. Something I drank this morning made me feel a bit pukey, and this is, unfortunately, one of the suspects. The first thing that struck me is how much I dislike the smell of the dry leaf. It’s kind of chemically, very sweet, but with an edge of bitterness. The smell reminds me of some of the adagio flavoured blacks, not all of which I can stand.

Anyway, I’ve had two cups today, the first with milk and the second without. It smells much better brewed, but the base tea is pretty bitter even after only three minutes. Out of the two cups, I think I prefer the one with milk, as it seems to tone down the bitterness a touch. On the other hand, I could definitely taste the strawberry-syrup-like grenadine and the creamy, sweet vanilla a lot more clearly without.

I’ve only got a sample packet, but there are at least a couple of cups worth left. I think I’m going to have to experiment a bit before I finally get this right. The base tea is strong enough to take milk, but it does mute the flavour, so a little bit of fiddling around with the amount of leaf and the brew time might help to clarify things for me. At the moment, I can’t say I really like this, so my rating reflects that. A shame.

Preparation
Boiling 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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