1714 Tasting Notes

60
drank Bananas Foster by 52teas
1714 tasting notes

I’m drinking the “old” 52 Teas version of this tea, which I unearthed from my stash this weekend. I bought this one because I love bananas, and I really loved 52 Teas Banana Pudding Black back when that was released. I think I was trying to get some of that amazingness back in my life, but I think my cupboard must have snowballed by then and that’s how it is that I’m actually just getting around to trying it now.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. The initial flavour is very heavy on the cinnamon, and actually reminds me a lot of Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, at least to begin with. The banana and vanilla emerge in the mid-sip, although they’re by no means as prominent as the cinnamon. Hot, there’s a degree of astringency, although it’s not so bad that I can’t overlook it. Just a little of the chalky dry-mouth feeling. This one actually seems like a better prospect once it’s cooled. The banana becomes a little stronger, and the cinnamon seems to mellow out. There’s more of a creaminess, too, although I suspect my full-fat milk is helping that along! One thing I will say is that, for once, the banana doesn’t strike me as particularly candy-like. If anything, it’s putting me in mind of underripe green bananas – and the astringency is definitely playing up that effect (you know how underripe bananas can be a little floury and dry-tasting? Exactly.) Candy banana would have been more at home here, and I know for certain that I’ve never said that in a tasting note before.

I enjoyed my cup, even though it’s not quite as banana-centric as I’d have liked. It’s also not particularly sweet, so I might try a little crystal sugar next time and see if that helps to perk things up a bit. I like the cinnamon/vanilla combination, and it works well with what banana flavour there is, but I think a stronger banana flavour would have resulted in a much better balanced cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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70

Still enjoying this one. It’s become my afternoon pick-me-up! I love the cocoa and chocolate flavours, and I’ve discovered that the oolong stays pretty much in the background even with a longer steep time. “Delicious” is all there is to say, really!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank CTRL+ALT+DEL by Pluck
1714 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! This one has had me intrigued for a while, from the name to its rather odd appearance. I finally got around to trying it today, and the first thing I noticed is the incredible scent – sherbet lemons, pretty much as soon as the leaf hit the water. I went for a pretty quick brew time with this one – no more than 2 minutes. The leaf is so fine that I didn’t honestly think it’d need more than that.

To taste, it’s actually pretty good. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s very much in line with the scent – a sharp initial lemon flavour, followed by a sweet sherbet-like hit, with just a touch of warming, spicy ginger at the end of the sip.

Rather unexpectedly, I’m a fan :)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Red Riding Hood by Adagio Teas
1714 tasting notes

Today’s work cold brew. The description of this one basically made me expect strawberry and cinnamon, and I think that’s mostly what I got. It reminded me a tiny bit (but only a tiny bit, because they’re hardly comparable really) of Butiki’s Ruby Pie. It has similar jammy fruit notes, and the cinnamon really puts me in mind of pie crust for some reason. It was fruitier than I expected on the whole, though, and the rooibos is almost conspicuous by its absence. I know it’s in there, but I can’t taste it at all which perversely seems to be making me concentrate on finding it.

On the whole, though, really enjoyable! This is definitely my favourite of the Story Time blends so far – much better than Alice in Wonderland. For reference, I used 4 bags in 2 litres of water, into the fridge for 10 hours overnight.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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70

Opened this one today. On first sip, it actually reminds me quite of lot of French Toast Dianhong, in as much as the creamy vanilla flavour is very similar, and the black tea base is quite light and definitely chocolatey. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I wasn’t sure whether to go with boiling at first because of the oolong, but I figured it was worth a try – I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

I almost get vanilla chocolate brownie from this one, except the flavour isn’t quite as full or rich as that would suggest. All the elements are there, though, and I might try a longer brew time for my next cup to see how that impacts things.

The oolong is a lot less prominent than I thought it might be. Mostly, I can taste the Fujian black and the vanilla, with only a little woodiness/mineral from the oolong. Also, something that’s putting me in mind of coconut. It works, though, somehow! A delicious start to the morning, and the work week.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

Sipdown! Finishing off the last of this as a cold brew at work today. Strawberries andcream in a cup = yum!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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90
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
1714 tasting notes

Sipdown! Finished off the last of this as a cold brew over the weekend. I’ve nothing new to add, but it was sweet, toffee-like, slightly appley amazingness. I think I can call my first oolong cold brew experiment a definite success!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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90
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
1714 tasting notes

Today’s work cold brew. I’ve never cold brewed an oolong before, so I was really hoping that it would work out okay. I’ve got a litre of it at work with me, so it would be pretty dire otherwise. Fortunately, all seems to be well. I was worried that it would have turned bitter, or that the oolong would be very much at the forefront rather than the flavouring, but neither are the case.

I used 2 tbsp of leaf in 2 litres of cold water, and it went into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. The result is a sweet, primarily caramel flavoured brew. There are hints of crisp apple in the mid sip, though, and that slight sharpness is a very welcome counterpoint to the initial sweetness. It is possible to taste the oolong, but it’s not overpowering. It’s a mineral flavour, like licking a wet rock, but it mostly stays in the background.

I’m glad I took a chance and tried this. I’m less scared of oolong than I used to be, but sometimes it’s still very much an unknown quantity. Now I just have to decide whether to finish off the last of my pouch with another cold brew, or to save the remainder for drinking hot come autumn. Decisions!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Rasseru

omg dont be scared of Oolong. Its such a wondrous tea.. I would be happy just drinking Dan Cong & high mountain green for the rest of my life

ColumbiaKate

Oolong! I agree. I’m a recent fan of cold brew and saving already hot brewed leaves for rebrewing cold. Oolong is especially good for this IMO because of the large leaf and so much room for more brew.

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75

I tried this one hot a couple of nights ago, and really wasn’t particularly impressed. I could only taste rooibos, really, and a pretty scratchy, woody rooibos at that. Cold, this is a much improved prospect. There’s still some rooibos lurking around in the background, but there’s also a delicious, sweet strawberries and cream flavour. It reminds me most of the Campino sweets that used to be available when I was a child. The flavour is pretty much identical to those, and just as creamy. That means, of course, that the strawberry is candy-like rather than natural-tasting, but I don’t mind that too much. It’s too good to pick faults with, really, and perfectly summery! I’ll definitely be using the rest of my bags for cold brews – hot has got nothing on this!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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85
drank Tuscan Sun by RiverTea
1714 tasting notes

MJy final RiverTea, gone forever. I used the last of this leaf up for today’s cold brew. I’m glad I tried it this way, because the flavours come out much more clearly than they do hot. Wonderful, sweet, strawberry awesomeness. A very sad sipdown :(

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Sil

awe…

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 28, 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 my latest challenge!

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

Norfolk, UK

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