904 Tasting Notes

100
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
904 tasting notes

The name of this one is so apt! Just opening the bag and smelling the sweet aroma of apricot and tropical fruit made me think of holiday sunshine and happier days. I’m going for cheering teas today, since that seems to be what I need. This actually came as a free sample with a Della Terra order I placed a good while ago, so it’s about time it got an airing!

I gave 1 tsp of leaf 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175. It smells delightful while brewing — light, fruity notes of apricot, tinged with the deeper pepperiness of mango. The liquor is a golden sunshine yellow! The taste of this one is very similar to the scent. The initial flavours are apricot and peach, and they’re juicy and fruity. The flavour deepens with notes of mango, which adds a layer of stronger flavour and a slight peppery edge. The sip finishes on a tropical note, with, I think, guava. There might be a hint of pineapple, but I won’t swear to that. It could well be wishful thinking! The green base is pretty unobtrusive — it doesn’t stand a chance against the strong fruit flavours! I could actually be fooled into believing I was drinking a glass of fruit juice if I didn’t know better — it’s that fruity and juicy! A wonderful choice for a hot day — it’s certainly put a smile on my face!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65
drank Hunny by Empress Tea House
904 tasting notes

I forgot about this one while it was steeping last night, and left it for around 7/8 minutes. When I got back to the kitchen, the whole room smelled of mead. Rich honey with a floral edge. The taste was stronger than previous cups have been, so obviously a good long brew is the key if a deeper taste is required. I’ve found this to be the case with various rooibos blends, although sometimes it just makes the rooibos more prominent. Not here; if anything, the rooibos fades into the background underneath the strength of the honey.

I can see myself drinking this either way depending on my mood. Last night I needed comforting as I’d got myself completely stressed about work, and the soothing taste of honey was just the thing to ensure I calmed down a bit and at least got a reasonable night’s sleep. I also like the lightness of flavour that can be found when this is brewed for maybe 4/5 minutes rather than 7/8.

This is a very versatile tea, excellent for those who like honey. Winnie the Pooh would be proud!

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

I used up the last two bags of this for today’s work cold brew. I think I’m getting a cold, probably stress induced, so I wanted to stick with a familiar flavour until I work out whether it’s going to develop into something awful again or not. There are few things as sad as trying to taste a new tea while you have a cold :(

So, anyway. I can still taste things okay today, and this makes a very pleasant drink on a hot day. I was concerned at first that spiced tea would taste too heavy and cloying, but it doesn’t at all. It’s light and refreshing, and particularly good when it’s fresh from the fridge and nice and cold. This one will ensure I survive Thursday at work.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65

I’ve been drinking a lot of light, refreshing teas over the last few days, largely because it’s been so hot. In an office with over 60 people and computers, it’s pretty unbearable at times. That’s one reason why I picked this one out to try — we’ve also been crazy busy, and a teabag is faster and more convenient when I’m desperate for a drink but also in a hurry to get back to my desk.

I allowed the water to cool to around 180 before adding the bag. Dry, there isn’t a great deal of scent. I gave it 2 minutes 30, which is my fallback standard for white teas. Brewed, this is a mild and delicate tea. I can definitely detect notes of ginger, but there’s also the tiniest hint of lemon lurking in the background. The white tea adds a slightly floral edge. It’s an overwhelmingly clean taste, and very, very refreshing. Easy to drink quickly! I imagine it would be good cold, although I don’t have enough left to try that, sadly. This is one of the few mighty leaf blends I would consider repurchasing, particularly for the summer months.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This was my iced tea for work yesterday and today. It got the usual SBT treatment (3 mins in a quarter pint of boiling water, topped up to two litres with cold and into the fridge overnight). The dry bag smelt like a freshly opened bag of campino sweets, which was a real flashback from my childhood. I like strawberry things, so I was looking forward to bringing it out mid-morning.

It’s another awesome SBT, especially fridge cold. It has a wonderfully accurate strawberry flavour, and the custard/creme anglaise is also spot on. It’s somehow thick tasting, and very creamy, with a beautiful vanilla sweetness. The strawberry flavouring is also sweet, but the fruitiness it provides is enough to ensure this doesn’t become overwhelming.

I have a pouch of the normal 52 Teas version of this, which I picked up last time it was reblended. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to on the strength of the SBT version. This is an SBT I’d definitely repurchase. It’s like liquid dessert! Definitely enough to cheer up a dull day at work.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65
drank Hunny by Empress Tea House
904 tasting notes

A sample from ashleyelizabeth! She was kind enough to send me three or so Empress Tea House offerings, and I’ve found them all to be quite light, delicate teas. This one is no exception. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 4.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. The liquor is a warm honey-gold, which obviously softens once the milk is added.

The main flavour is rooibos, and it’s a slightly woody, slightly sweet flavour. It actually provides a pretty good base for the honey flavouring. The honey flavouring itself is rich and almost thick tasting. It comes across very naturally, almost as if a teaspoon of honey had been added to a cup of plain rooibos. This one reminds me strongly of Bluebird’s Honey Bee Beautiful, which had a similarly accurate flavour. The Empress version isn’t as strong, but as I said right at the beginning of this note, light flavours are what I’ve come to expect from these teas.

It doesn’t knock my socks off, but it’s a pleasant caffeine-free cup with light notes of honey. No sweetener required!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
904 tasting notes

I had a much improved cup of this tea today. It was, as I suspected, all about the patience. I let the water cool properly, and was rewarded with a much stronger creamy coconut taste. The vanilla was more in evidence, and the white base less prominent and “thick” tasting. It just goes to show what difference a few degrees can make. I liked this before; now it’s inching up into the “really likes”. A very lovely summer cup.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
904 tasting notes

A sample from ashleyelizabeth! I completely forgot this was a white, so I reckon the water was a little hotter than it should have been when I added the leaves. Having said that, I couldn’t discern any notable effect on the tea, other than the white base being maybe just a little more prominent that it would otherwise have been.

I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and water probably around 190. I gave it three minutes. The white buds are beautifully fuzzy, and there are quite long, thin strands of coconut scattered throughout. There are some darker leaves, too. Once brewed, the liquor is a pale yellow, which deepens slightly as it sits. There’s a slight oily residue on the surface of the cup, but nothing too terrible.

The flavour is pure coconut — it’s almost exactly like drinking coconut water, although with a creaminess from the vanilla. The white base adds quite a thick mouthfeel, and a slightly floral aftertaste, but I think that might be because I had the water too hot. I’ll let it cool more next time! For a first cup, on a hot summer Saturday, I found it very refreshing. It’s quite a light tea, and the coconut flavour is wonderfully tropical. I’ll enjoy experimenting with my next couple of cups! Many thanks to ashleyelizabeth for giving me the opportunity to try this one!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

This is today’s iced tea, for the hottest day of the year so far. I picked up these iced tea sachets from Harvey Nichols, when I placed my order for a tin of Wedding Imperial. Got to make the postage worthwhile! It was also a MF blend I’d not had chance to try (although I now have samples of the ordinary version of this tea), so I decided to give it a go. The box contains 6 individually wrapped linen pouches, each containing about 1 or 1.5 tsp of leaf. The box recommends using two pouches to 1 liter of water, and cold brewing overnight in the fridge for 12 hours, so that’s what I did.

When I removed the jug from the fridge this morning, I couldn’t detect much in the way of scent, so I thought it might be a little weak. I needn’t have worried, though — the taste is just strong enough! It’s not a heavily flavoured tea by any means; it’s quite delicate and subtle. For a spice tea, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The main flavour I can detect is cinnamon. I want to say there’s a little orange, maybe a touch of clove and cardamom. The flavour is so light it’s quite hard to pick out specific spices — suffice to say that it fits its billing of “oriental” very well. I did have my reservations about drinking a spice tea on a hot day, but this works surprisingly well. Partly it’s the lightness of flavour — it has none of the heaviness that might typically be associated with a chai, for example. It’s all light, airy swirls of flavour on a mild black tea base.

On the strength of this experience, I’d definitely purchase MF iced teas again. It’s also made me curious to try the “ordinary” tea this iced version is based on, just to see how similar they actually are! Time to break out the samples, perhaps :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

40

I gave this another go yesterday evening with a longer brew time, and added some milk. The milk really helps this one, and brings out the vanilla much more than when I tried it without additions. I can also taste a little more fruit — I wouldn’t identify it as mango outright, but definitely orange tropical. It’s just a little mild and generic tasting to really shine. The main flavour is still rooibos, so I have to confess that I’m a little disappointed with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

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

Following These People