1247 Tasting Notes

60
drank Darjeeling by Teapigs
1247 tasting notes

I’ve not been drinking many Teapigs teas recently – not because I don’t like them, more that there are so many other teas to try! I placed an order recently for some teaware, though, and took the opportunity to pick up a few samples of their newer teas. I’m a bit of a Darjeeling fan, although typically I prefer first flush because it tends to have less of a “metallic” tang. This one is second flush, but I’m still willing to give it a try. I used 1 bag, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a light golden brown, the scent mildly floral.

To taste, this one’s better than I was expecting. The main flavour is a mild floral, although not perfumey. I’m thinking orchid, perhaps? There’s also a very pleasant grapey, muscatel, flavour. There’s a light metallic tang towards the end of the sip, but thankfully it’s not too overpowering. Darjeelings that taste like tarnished metal are what I’m really trying to avoid when I pass over second flushes. This one is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency. It’s easy to drink, and really good with a mid-afternoon biscuit!

I used the rest of my sample (3 bags) for today’s cold brew, just to get the full effect. Again, it’s smooth, with no astringency, and has a mild floral flavour that’s pleasant and refreshing. More so cold than hot, I think. The muscatel flavour isn’t so noticeable brewed this way, but there’s also very little that tastes metallic, so it’s hard to complain. It’s a much milder prospect brewed cold – not tasteless, but certainly subtle.

I don’t mind this one as an occasional cup, although it’s not a tea I’d look to keep around in quantity. It’s a good everyday kind of Darjeeling – nice to drink but not especially remarkable. I’ll be sticking to my first flushes for “special” Darjeeling occasions, though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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90

Second assam of the day, and the last of my Golden Tips samples. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. This one is another second flush single estate variety, this time from Lokwah. It was picked on 26th June 2014. The dry leaf is fairly short and straight, and predominantly a uniform black-brown, escept for the odd golden-tipped leaf.

The first sip of this one reminds me instantly of maltesers. It has a malted chocolate sort of flavour, very smooth and creamy. There are light raisiny notes in the background, but the main flavour is definitely milk chocolate, maybe with a touch of caramel richness. Chocolate isn’t a flavour I typically associate with assams, so I’m quite surprised (and pleased!) to have found it here. This is definitely one of the more unusual, unique assams I’ve tried, and a potential repurchase with my next Golden Tips order. Yummy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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70

First cup of the morning; 1 tsp of leaf, 3 minutes in boiling water, plus a splash of milk. This particular assam is a second flush single estate variety from Borpatra, picked on 25th March 2014. The dry leaf is short, a little twisted, and a pretty uniform black. There’s the odd golden-tinged leaf scattered throughout, but no more than that. To taste, though, this is such a sweet, malty assam. It has strong raisin notes, which I love, and which are reminding me a little of some of my favourite Taiwanese assams. It’s faintly reminiscent of fruit cake, although nowhere near as intense. It’s smooth and not especially tannic, so a good choice for a morning cup. I’m impressed with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

Also at work with me today, the wonderful Ten! Ten is a chocolate blend on a base of irish breakfast, and it’s probably the most chocolatey tea I’ve tried in a good long time. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown. The dry leaf looks fairly ordinary – relatively short black tea leaves, a scattering of chocolate chips and marigold petals, and a few cocoa shells. The scent is out-of-this-world chocolatey, though, and that’s what gave me hope for this one!

Fortunately, it lives up to its promise. The chocolate flavouring is smooth and rich, almost like melted dark and milk chocolate mixed together and poured into a cup, only thinner. The black tea base adds a lovely malty sweetness that really works well with the chocolate, and which helps to stop it becoming too cloying. This is a really wonderful chocolate tea, and it’s not often that I say that. It’s the goldilocks of chocolate teas for me – just right!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Continuing through my sampler of Dr Who fandom teas, the next from the box is Nine! Nine is one of those green/black blends that I’m always a little scared of. I never know whether to use water to suit the green, the black, or somewhere in between. I threw caution to the wind for my first couple of cups, and used boiling water, 1 tsp of leaf, and a 2.5 minute brew time. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown.

As flavoured blends go, this is one of the more intriguing ones I’ve tried. It contains quite a lot of flavours I probably wouldn’t have put together – chestnut, aniseed and cinnamon, on a base of irish breakfast and gunpowder. The resulting flavour is quite complex – I get the aniseed fairly prominently, followed by the rich roastiness of the chestnut, rounded off with the mild spice of the cinnamon. It makes me think of Christmas in some small way! The base is smooth and clean-tasting – irish breakfast was a good choice here, and there’s just the slightest hint of dank, vegetal green.

I’m a bit stumped on the fandom aspect again with this one, but it’s certainly a tasty, unusual tea. The flavours work together a lot better that I ever would have expected, and this is one I’d consider repurchasing if I buy from Adagio in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65
drank Jasmine Pearls by Teapigs
1247 tasting notes

I received this bag as a sample with my recent Teapigs order. It’s been a long time since I tried these – apparently my last order with them before this one was in 2012! How time flies. I’m not the greatest fan of jasmine tea, which is why I don’t really bother with it these days. It’s always good to challenge preconceptions, though, so I’m giving this another go anyway.

I actually don’t mind this one as much as I used to. It’s not too strong or too heavily floral, and there’s a pleasant sweetness from the green tea base. It’s perfumey, and it’s unmistakably jasmine, but it’s not horrible. I can drink it, even though it still wouldn’t be my first choice. This one wouldn’t be a re-purchase for me, but the occasional cup is fine.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75

I started this morning in my favourite way – with a matcha latte! Grace & Green kindly sent me a sample of their Morning Organic Matcha to try, and as a matcha fan, I was very keen to give it a try!

See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/07/13/morning-organic-matcha-grace-green/

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100
drank SBT: Bubblegum by 52teas
1247 tasting notes

This is today’s iced tea. I first tried this one last year, I think, and I enjoyed it so much I picked up another bag pretty much straight off. It’s as good as I remember – I’m still surprised by how accurately this one reflects the flavour of bubblegum! I mean, it’s tea. It’s also sweet, mildly fruity, with that inimitable “bubblegum” flavour that’s difficult to describe accurately in any other way. In short, a delicious treat on a humid work day. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this one in future.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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75
drank Tropical Dream by RiverTea
1247 tasting notes

Sadly, this didn’t work as well as a cold brew as I’d hoped. I used my usual ratio of 2 tbsp leaf to 2 litres of water, into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. It was very woody and slightly medicinal in flavour (100% rooibos, basically), with hardly a hint of the tropical fruit flavours I’d hoped would show up well. Definitely one I’ll be finishing off hot!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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70

Finally pulled out my box of Dr Who teas to try! I was looking for a fairly straightforward black tea last night, and the description on the tin fitted my mood perfectly. The eleventh doctor was probably my favourite – we graduated from the same University, after all, so I’m allowed to be biased.

Anyway, the tea. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and have it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. To taste, I’m picking up mostly a very smooth, sweet, malty assam. The coconut and vanilla emerge after a couple of sips, and add a delicious creaminess to an otherwise plain cup. The apple is a little more shy, but it does appear in flashes right at the end of the sip, and lingers just a little in the aftertaste. It’s not especially apple-y apple. It tastes more baked or caramelised; sweeter than I was expecting, and not as tart. A little like the apple in apple pie filling, perhaps. It’s a tasty cup, although I would have liked the flavouring to be a little stronger and more immediate. It feels like I have to search for them a little bit.

As for the fandom aspect of this blend, I’m not entirely sold. Sweet, fruity? Hmm. I’m struggling a little. It’s a pleasant cup, though, and a sample I’ll have no trouble finishing off!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 27, and I live in Norfolk 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’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s ny latest challenge!

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

In addition to Steepster, I also write for the SororiTea Sisters. My reviews there will typically be posted here also, although typically in a shorter format. Any teas I’m sent specifically for review will only appear in full on the SororiTea Sisters website, with only a short introduction and link to my review here.

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

Norfolk, UK

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