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On the twelfth day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me…Sugar Plum Shou Mei!

I’ve enjoyed the 12 Teas of Christmas sampler again this year — it introduces me to some teas I missed during the year, reminds me of a few favourites, and provides a new and unique treat for Christmas day. As soon as I scratched the label here, I was excited to try it. I actually only got around to this one early last night. It wouldn’t be Christmas without family troubles, and it’s been pretty grim so far. I’m glad I’ve had this box to keep me going, in a way. It’s cheered me up when nothing else has. Anyway. I’m going to promise myself that next year will be different, and say no more about it.

So. The tea. I’ve never tried a sugar plum before…is there even such a thing? I imagine it’s a crystallised dried plum…a prune, then? I let the water cool and gave this about 2.5 minutes, maybe a shade over. There’s very little plum/prune flavour, other than a generic sugary sweetness. There’s a hint of it lurking in there somewhere, but it’s by no means obvious. My first thought would be to try a little sugar, although I’m pretty sure it’s sweet enough already. Hmm. The white base is nice, though. Very smooth, slightly floral. Mostly, though, I can only taste sugary water, which is a bit of a disappointment. It smells so nice dry, too! One to experiment with a little more, perhaps.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 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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