1436 Tasting Notes

90

After yesterday’s success with Rose Tyler, I was more than up for another earl grey blend this morning. River Song has a base of Earl Grey Moonlight, which is Adagio’s vanilla/cream earl grey. It also contains Rooibos Lemon Cloud and, looking at the dry leaf, it’s about a 50/50 split between the two. There are a few strands of toasted coconut running throughout as well. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t sure about this one when I first read the description, which is probably why I’ve left it until now to try. I’m really impressed, though! The initial flavour is coconut, and it’s a smooth, coconut cream kind of flavour, with none of the soapiness I sometimes get from Adagio’s coconut blends. The lemon emerges in the mid-sip, and is bright and citrussy, but also a touch creamy in the way of lemon mousse. I can detect a touch of bergamot right at the end of the sip, but it’s barely there and by no means overpowering. It does cut through some of the rich creaminess, ending on a sharper citrus note, which is welcome after a few sips. Mostly, though, this is a lemon and coconut cream blend, and it’s as delicious as that sounds. A real tropical dessert tea! I didn’t expect to enjoy this one so much, but it just goes to show I can still surprise myself. An unexpected hit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Raspberry Earl Grey sounds pretty good to me, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever tried/come across one before. Not that I can remember, anyway. The dry leaf smells pretty good, in a sweet, candy-raspberry sort of way. I can see pieces of dried raspberry, cubes of dried apple, and a scattering of lavender, so it looks pretty good too. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The lavender is a lot more prominent in the scent once brewed.

To taste, raspberry is definitely the main flavour. This is a good thing, to my mind. It’s nicely done, with a pleasant sweet/tart balance, and it’s not too candy-like. It’s not exactly dead-on fresh raspberry, either, but it’s close. I’m also enjoying the earl grey aspect, with it’s mild notes of bitter orange, and lightly floral, lavender edge. Neither the bergamot nor the lavender have become overpowering, which is a relief. They’re not my favourite flavours, but I’ll concede that they work well here.

This one made for a pleasant mid-afternoon cup, and it’s made me wonder whether there are other red-fruit flavoured earl grey blends out there that I’ve not come across. This could be the start of a new obsession.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

Ooh, raspberry earl grey. That sounds like something I’ll have to try eventually.

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80

So I’m finally getting around to writing notes for the remainder of my Adagio Doctor Who teas, which I’ve been drinking my way through for a little while now, but apparently not logging. Hmm. I’ve had two cups of Captain Jack this morning – he’s that good. Adagio’s Ceylon base isn’t my favourite – I find it a little thin and a bit over-citrussy, and it has a tendency to become bitter. It’s not bad here, though – I think the addition of rooibos helps to tone it down a bit. Equally, the ceylon stops the rooibos from being overpoweringly woodsy, so maybe it’s a good pairing after all. It works, anyway. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The kitchen smelled deliciously chocolatey, so I added a splash of milk because that’s the kind of mood I’m in – I want something creamy, decadent, and warming. It’s cold today, and I put my winter boots and coat on for the first time this morning – that must mean it’s comfort tea time!

Anyway, the main flavour I can taste here is chocolate. It’s a dark, slightly bittersweet, cocoa-heavy chocolate, the kind that would taste a little dry if you were to eat it. There’s a touch of almond, too, but it’s not strong. The nuttiness is a nice counterpoint to the chocolate, at any rate, and pairs really well. It takes this one from being an ordinary, fairly unremarkable chocolate tea and makes it into something a bit more special and dessert-like.

I enjoyed this one. It’s smooth and seductive, like the Captain, and it’s one I’d consider repurchasing if I ever get my cupboard back under control. Total yum.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

I started the day with this tea, hoping that it would be clean and refreshing. Thankfully I was right, and it made a great choice in lieu of breakfast.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/09/halpewatte-ceylon-black-tea-mks-tea-company/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Ancient Forest by Art of Tea
1436 tasting notes

The description of the “creamy texture and notes of amber and honey” this tea purports to provide made me particularly eager to try it. It certainly sounds divine, after all. I was even more interested when I learned that the base tea is Yunnan, as it’s one of my favourite black tea varieties.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/10/ancient-forest-black-tea-art-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Dorian Grey by Luhse Tea
1436 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m going to miss this one a lot – it’s definitely one of the best Earl Grey Cream blends I’ve tried in a good long while. As it’s also the only tea I’d consider reordering, it might have to be a while before it’s back in my cupboard. I’m going to savour my last cup!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Their shipping is crazy! I did a mock order and the rate was ridiculous so guess I shouldn’t bother putting this on my wishlist haha.

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90
drank Apple & Ginger by Clipper
1436 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’ve more or less given up on bagged herbal teas like this, because typically they smell a lot nicer than they taste. This one smells divine, too – very appley, like a fresh baked apple pie. I wasn’t expecting much from the flavour, but it’s actually pretty good. I can taste apple, and it’s a nice, fresh, crisp, “green” tasting apple – not too sweet, and not too tart, with just the tiniest hint of sharpness. The ginger is definitely second fiddle, but it provides a pleasantly warming background and just a touch of sweetness, with a mild gingery tang. It’s a really good pairing, and it’s really putting me in mind of apple pie! It’s just perfect for sipping on an autumnal afternoon, and it’s nice to see something other than the usual pairing of lemon and ginger, too – it’s just a little unusual. A definite winner with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

I’ve had this a few times recently – twice in a Timolino, and then once in a normal cup at home last night. I had to try it brewed “properly” again, because the two occasions I’ve drank it from a Timolino it’s tasted of olive oil, and not chocolate and rum. Odd, in other words. Last night’s proper cup did taste of chocolate, thankfully, but there was a richness in the background that did remind me a little of olive oil, so I can see where I was coming from with that. At least it wasn’t overpowering. I didn’t get rum this time, though, and I’m sure the chocolate used to be stronger. The pouch is resealable, and it’s not been open long, but perhaps it’s just past its best now? I don’t know. I only have a couple of cups worth left, so it’s no big deal, but I feel a bit confused about the olive oil. It certainly didn’t used to be a flavour component here! I’ve left my rating as it originally stood.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

From the EU TTB

This tea is actually older than me, so I knew I had to try it when I found it in the EU TTB. It reminds me of a pu’erh in both scent and appearance, having that clumpy leafed look like it’s been broken off a cake, plus a mildly dank scent. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium red brown, and the scent again more reminiscent of a pu’erh than a black tea. It’s kind of woodsy and damp smelling, like a walk through a forest after a rain shower.

To taste, the main flavours are wet wood and damp earth. The initial sip is, again, very reminiscent of a pu’erh, with that almost characteristic note of decay. It’s quite a gentle flavour, though, and very smooth, and ultimately I found myself not noticing its rougher edges as much. A hint of beetroot like sweetness comes out in the mid-sip, which is a pleasant counterpoint to the initially more savoury flavours. It’s a rich tasting tea with a real depth of flavour, very loamy and autumnal, and perfect for this time of year.

I’m not usually a fan of pu’erh or ages teas, but this one’s sitting okay with me. I’ll definitely have to explore Taiwan Tea Crafts a little more once I’ve got my cupboard back under control!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85

From the EU TTB

I’ve tried this one before, but I just had to give it another go when I saw it lurking in the EU TTB. It was one of my all-time favourite winter teas, and it makes me sad to think I can’t ever buy any more. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. It was rich and fruit-cake like, with an almost thick-tasting “pudding” like quality. Christmas in a cup, basically, and the best plum pudding tea there will ever be. I’m going to hang on to the rest of this sample for finishing up nearer Christmas itself, but I just had to sneak a cup today for old time’s sake. It’s as much of a delight as it ever was, and I’m pleased to be unexpectedly reacquainted.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 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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