1162 Tasting Notes

95

From the EU TTB – Round 3

This is another that I’ve tried before, but I have such fond memories that it is was another I couldn’t resist trying again. As ever with 52 Teas honeybush blends, I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a small splash of milk.

It’s another that’s as pleasant as I remembered. Sometimes the danger with revisiting a tea is discovering that memory doesn’t live up to reality. Not so this time, fortunately. The initial flavour is cinnamon, of course. It’s quite strong, a little spicy. I typically have cinnamon with/on sweet baked goods, so I’m already in the right frame of mind. There’s a hint of pastry in the mid-sip, and a touch of sweetness right at the end that could be icing. It’s the kind of flavoured tea that you have to think about a little, but for me the separate elements do add up to cinnamon roll by the end of the sip. That makes me happy.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100

From the EU TTB – Round 3

I’ve tried this one before, but when I saw it in the box I knew I’d have to try another cup. It’s so seasonally appropriate! I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

Fortunately, it’s as good as I remembered. The initial sip is largely vanilla and cream, with a strong, sweet undertone, and a maltiness from the black tea base. The milk helps to bring out the vanilla, and tones down the black tea base (which is quite strong). The mint develops in the aftertaste, and leaves a wonderfully cool, tingly sensation at the back of the mouth. It’s the best representation of candy cane in liquid form that I’ve ever come across, particularly when said liquid is actually hot.

Flavoured tea can be hit and miss, but this one is a definite hit!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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90

From the EU TTB – Round 3

I came across this one at the bottom of the box last night. I’ve had some good experiences with Chinese black tea recently, so I’m delighted to have the chance to try another. Since I’m brewing this one at work, it has to be western style, so I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water.

The scent while brewing is lovely – malty, a hint of stone fruit. To taste, it’s even better. The beginning of the sip is sweetly malty, which then deepens into a delicious, almost yeasty, baked bread flavour. There’s a light fruity note right at the end, maybe apricot, and a smooth, almost caramelly finish.

I really enjoyed this one. It has a lot of the characteristics that I enjoy in a black tea, was flavourful and deliciously smooth to boot. The more Chinese black teas I try, the more I’m encouraged to continue trying. Long may the journey continue!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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90

From the EU TTB – Round 3

This was my second pick from the box. I’ve heard a lot about this one, and I’ve often hoped that some day I’d have the opportunity to try it. It sounds like such an intriguing mixture of flavours! The cat sprinkles are beyond cute, too. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions.

The first thing I noticed about this one is the liquor colour. As with Bats in the Belfry, the black sprinkles give this one a grey-ish hue, so that it looks rather unappealingly like swampwater. It’s supposed to be a Halloween tea, though, so I guess it’s more than appropriate from that perspective! There’s a light oily scrim on the surface which I assume is from the sprinkles, but it doesn’t affect the flavour/texture at all.

To taste, this one is really wonderful. I’d say it was more of a generic tropical flavour than one or two fruits in particular, but I can detect the influence of pineapple (sweetness) and mango (pepperiness) in the overall flavour. It’s sweet, fruity, a little creamy. Drinking this one actually reminds me more than anything of sherbet!

This is another one I’m pleased to have had the chance to try. It’s a lovely, fresh and fruity tasting tea, and the black cats and unique liquor colour make it perfect as a Halloween tribute. A little incongruous, maybe, but a great tasting cup! No overwhelming rooibos flavour makes it doubly a winner in my book.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank 2nd Flush Assam by Tea Horse
1162 tasting notes

From the EU TTB – Round 3

So the EU Travelling Tea Box was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. It certainly cheered up an otherwise gloomy day! I opened it to have a peek straight away, and then found that I couldn’t actually fit all of the teas back in. I’m not sure how they ever fitted to start with, but there you go. A box of wonders!

This was the first one I pulled out to try. I wanted something a little familiar, but also something new. I didn’t get the chance to try Tea Horse before they closed, and I absolutely adore Assam, so this one fit the bill perfectly. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor was quite dark, so I added a splash of milk.

This is exactly the kind of Assam that I enjoy. It’s strong, bold, and sweetly malty, with a wonderfully smooth caramel flavour underlying. It’s not as distinctive as some Assams I’ve tried, but it makes a lovely straightforward tea for drinking after a difficult day. It’s flavoursome without being complex, good for times when what I want is a tea I can relax with and not have to think too much about. I imagine it would also make a good “wake-up” morning cup.

I’m really glad to have had the chance to try this one. It might be a keeper.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Sil

sounds delicious!

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40

A sample from VariaTEA. I was curious to try this one, as I’ve not come across many peanut butter teas before. I used 1 tsp of leaf, in 170 degree water for 2.5 minutes.

To taste, this is initially a pretty standard genmaicha blend. Smooth, relatively sweet/grassy green tea, accompanied by a deep toasty flavour. There’s a touch of creamy marshmallow towards the end of the sip, but it really is only a touch. There might be a slight nuttiness in the aftertaste, but I’m not 100% certain on that. The toasted rice/green tea combination also comes across as slightly nutty-tasting, so I may just be confusing one with the other. There’s certainly nothing that makes me think of peanuts, or peanut butter, per se.

While this is a tasty blend if you like genmaicha, and the marshmallow flavour is pleasing, I’m inevitably a little disappointed by the lack of “peanut butter”. I suppose it’s not possible to like everything, but I think it’s fair to say that my love of 52 Teas is starting to wane. The last few I’ve tried just haven’t remotely lived up to the promise of their names, and that’s disappointing.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
KittyLovesTea

I have the same problem with some of their teas, for example their cheesecake teas have always been lost on me. Though this last year Frank’s blends have not been great in general.

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75
drank Calm Me Teatoxy by Teatoxy
1162 tasting notes

This was last night’s pre-bedtime cup. I figured something calming wouldn’t go amiss given the stress of work at the moment! First things first, and the dry leaf is absolutely lovely — whole hibiscus flowers, whole hops, whole marigold flowers…it’s a difficult one to measure! I did the best I could with the recommendation for 2-3 tsp, and left it for 4 minutes in boiling water. Apparently it can be left for between 3 and 10 minutes, but I erred on the side of caution for my first cup.

I was pleased with the result. The liquor is a pale pink, and smells very herbal. It’s a hard tea to pinpoint in terms of flavour; the initial sip is mostly hibiscus, tart and a little sour. This gives way to a floral flavour…I’m thinking maybe the hops? Again, there’s a touch of sourness in the background. The end note is a sweet, fairly delicate mint. It’s an interesting flavour progression, and one I did find conducive to relaxation. I certainly slept well! It’s not the most tastebud tingling tea, but it’s obviously of quality, and I feel it lived up to its calming promise. I’m happy for it to occupy a place in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp

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70
drank Teatoxy Energize by Teatoxy
1162 tasting notes

Well, it’s certainly blue! I’ve never tried a bluechai blend before, but I guess I was expecting something paler. This is seriously blue, and so pretty to look at! I used 2 tsp of leaf and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water. The scent while brewing is almost malty (like you’d smell in a working maltings, or a brewery), and it immediately made me think that this might make a good bedtime drink. Underneath the malt is a heavy floral – lavender and rose, primarily, which adds to the relaxing vibe of this tea.

In terms of taste, this one comes out very close to its scent. The initial taste is maltiness, followed by the floral – lavender first, then rose. This then fades and gives way to lemongrass, which rounds off the sip on a soothing herbal note. I’m guessing its the bluechai or the pandan that are adding the malty scent and flavour, but I have no experience with either so I don’t know for certain.

This is a pleasant cup to drink. Personally, I find the main ingredients here, and the flavour profile, far more suggestive of a calming, relaxing bedtime blend. I probably wouldn’t think of it as an energy giving tea, but that’s just my personal impression. It’s such an unusual blend, and such an unusual colour, that it’s certainly a unique novelty in my cupboard. Another good introduction to Teatoxy – so far, I like what I’ve seen.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Red Fennekin

I looked up some photos and was really surprised by just how blue this tea goes :O

Veronica

I had a hot pink tea not too long ago. I’m actually debating picking this one up just for the shock and awe factor when serving it to friends. :)

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70
drank Teatoxy Morning by Teatoxy
1162 tasting notes

This was my morning tea today, and a good choice for a relaxed start. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it around 5 minutes in boiling water. Based on the ingredients list (hibiscus and rosehip) I was expecting a deep red brew, and so I was surprised when I removed my infuser to find a pale pinkish liquor. The main flavour is lemongrass, with its distinctive herbal/hay-like scent and its citrussy top note. Afterwards, I can taste a hint of apple (soft, mushy, sweet apple, rather than crisp, sharp or sour). The hibiscus is fairly prominent in the mid sip, and lingers a little into the aftertaste, but on the whole it’s a fruity, very “herbal” blend. I can’t see any rooibos or mate among the dry leaf, and I can’t taste them either, but maybe my bag just needs a good shake! I found this quite a gentle tea, considering it’s called “morning”, so it’s probably one I’d choose for a late weekend start, rather than a busy work morning when I generally need more of a boot to the rear.

A pleasant blend, all the same, and a good introduction to Textoxy.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

This came as a sample with one of my Della Terra orders from a while back. I’m not sure why it languished, but it did. As with many languishing teas, I brought it to work knowing that my limited desk selection would end my procrastination. I’m not having a great time at work at the moment, and yesterday I finally made up my mind to leave. I’m going to use the weekend to take stock and apply for some jobs (I also have a PhD application in the works), so hopefully things will start looking up soon. In the meantime, I have tea to cheer me up.

Dry, this one smells gorgeous. Honey, fruit, and grain. It reminds me of some of the breakfast cereals I used to eat when I was younger. Sugar puffs, maybe? I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it also reminds me of Special K cereal/breakfast bars.

I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 5 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor is a golden brown. The base here is blend of green honeybush and green rooibos – I’ve tried both plain previously, and I definitely prefer them flavoured! They do lack some of the woodiness of the red versions, though, so that’s a definite point in their favour.

The main flavour here is apple. It’s the baked apple flavour that Della Terra do so well, rather than their odder floral-apple. After the initial fruitiness, there’s an almost toasted nuttiness. I can accept it as Hazelnut, as per the ingredients, but it’s a little generic tasting if I’m honest. The final flavour is honey, and it adds a smooth, rich sweetness that rounds out the sip perfectly and brings the apple and nut flavours together. If I’m looking for a cereal bar in a cup, this is the tea I’ll turn to! My only complaint is that it’s quite a strong flavour, and by the end of the cup it’s almost a bit much for me. A smaller cup would no doubt help with that, and that’s how I’ll approach it in the future. A unique blend among the teas I own.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, 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’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

Norfolk, UK

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