1026 Tasting Notes

75

A sample from VariaTEA, and another one I’ve been hankering to try for a while. There was no way I’d be able to keep them until next Christmas! I gave this 4 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor is medium brown (almost like a black tea…), with a strong scent of freshly baked gingerbread. I’m not sure how the flavouring is achieved here, but it’s pretty much spot-on gingerbread man, or maybe ginger cake. There’s definitely a hint of sponginess here, as well as a biscuitty nuttiness! It’s mildly spicy, too, particularly at the end of the sip — it’s mostly ginger and cinnamon, but there’s a touch of chocolate, too. I wasn’t sure about this at first, but I’m on my second cup now and I like it quite a lot. I’m drinking it black at the moment, but I think I’ll try my next cup with a piece of crystal sugar and some milk. This tea almost makes it seem like a shame it’s not winter! A wonderful warming treat. Many thanks to VariaTEA for sharing this one with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

This sample has come to work with me, because I seem to drink far less green teas at home in the evening than I do if I have them with me during the day. This one is just as good as the first time I tried it — very smooth, unobtrusive green tea base, wonderful spicing, and a strong baked apple flavour. One of my favourite Bluebirds!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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70

I’ve been drinking a lot of this in the evenings lately, partly in an attempt to move it nearer to sip down, and also because it’s a genuinely lovely treat. It’s like hot chocolate with a splash of strawberry flavoured cream. The little heart candies and the sprinkling of glitter make it a pretty cup, too, which never hurts. Perfect with milk on a chilly summer evening!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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95
drank SBT: Cherry Limeade by 52teas
1026 tasting notes

Today’s iced tea of choice. I know this one got three minutes in boiling water, because I used my timer. I can safely say, this time, that this bag got the standard SBT brewing treatment — 3 minutes in boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold, and into the fridge overnight. I’ve almost picked this one out to brew a couple of times, but I’ve always gone for something more familiar. Today, it finally got it’s turn!

It’s wonderful, as well. The base is in hiding, because I looked after it this time, although it’s still there in the background providing a solid base. The flavouring is primarily cherryade — it even tastes slightly fizzy, somehow — with a twist of lime. It’s a really nice combination, and although I was initially uncertain about the cherry/lime combination, it actually works really well. We’re talking artificial “pop” flavours, rather than actual “fresh fruit” cherry and lime here, but it’s absolutely reminiscent of the cherryade of my childhood, and I think that’s half the point. It’s a tiny bit sweet, a tiny bit sour from the lime, and pretty candy-like. I know I’m going to enjoy sipping on this one all day, and then tomorrow too. Inspired!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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25

Another from the ML Collection sampler. I gave this 3 minutes instead of the recommended 5, as it had already brewed up to a typical mint tea swamp-brown in that time, and it smelled pretty strong to boot. I’m not ordinarily a plain mint tea fan, so the verbena was definitely the attraction for me here. Unfortunately, mint is pretty much all I can taste. It’s the kind of flavour that could overpower anything given half a chance, and it’s definitely given more than half a chance here. There’s a tiny hint of lemon, particularly in the early sips, but it’s hardly there and it’s soon knocked out completely by the mint. Not the tea for me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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10

I want to like this, probably because it looks so pretty, but I just can’t. The liquorice root is far, far too sweet and overpowers all of the other flavours. I can also taste it at the back of my throat for hours afterwards — it’s like artificial sweetner, ick.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Stephanie

more like all things NOT nice, heh

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90
drank Mulberry White Tea by RiverTea
1026 tasting notes

This was the third sample with my first RiverTea order. Based on this experience, it definitely won’t be the last! The packaging was fabulous — it’s probably the most nicely put together package I’d received in a long time. The free samples and the complementary spoon were welcome surprises, too.

Anyway, the tea. This smells wonderful dry, and equally wonderful brewed. It’s sweet, with a strong note of fruit and berries. The dry leaf contains generously sized pieces of papaya, and pretty blue and yellow petals among the white peony leaves. The taste is luscious, rich caramel and mulberry, with sweet, juicy papaya. The white tea base adds a slightly floral, slightly peachy note, and there’s also a hint of apple. It’s very, very creamy. Drinking this is almost on a par with eating some decadent dessert!

I’d heard a lot about this one, so I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try it. It’s definitely one I’d consider adding to a future order. There’s definitely going to be one — I can feel it coming on already!

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

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75

Another new try this morning. I’m trying to work through my smaller quantities of tea in order to reduce my cupboard — it’s fairly crazily out of control at the moment. It also gives me the chance to try some new teas, which is nice, as I’ve become a little jaded with drinking the same teas over and over again. I’m sure I’ll appreciate them more after a refresher!

Anyway, the tea. I followed the parameters for this one, and gave 1tsp of leaf 1.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The leaves are very fine and string-like, and (at least dry) are fairly curly. Wet, they unfurl and become uniformly straight, with some unfolding into complete leaves with stem! The scent is very vegetal, like freshly cooked green beans with maybe a touch of butter.

Brewed, the liquor is a medium yellow-green shade. The flavour is quite intensely nutty, with an almost mossy edge. Wet leaves is what it really reminds me of, I think! It’s relatively sweet, particularly in the initial sip, and there’s a tiny note of citrus. It’s very lightly astringent. It doesn’t taste nearly as vegetal as it smells, although there is an element of buttery green beans, or maybe asparagus. Mostly, it reminds me of walking through a young forest in spring, after a light rain fall. It’s a very fresh, light flavour. I can see this one holding up well, so I may resteep it later. A delicious green!


Second steep was much, much lighter in flavour. It’s still mildly vegetal, but I’ve lost most of the notes I picked up earlier — there’s not very much nuttiness, no forest…it’s pleasant, but I liked the full strength initial steep more. The second steep could be my friend when I’m looking for a milder green, though, so I’ll bear it in mind for the future.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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55

Second cup of the day. I followed KS’s advice and brewed this one for only 15 seconds. It has turned out a sort of dark ruby, and the flavour is much, much lighter. It’s still got the distinctive damp, mossy, earthy notes, but there’s less horse. I consider this a good thing.

I still don’t think I can be persuaded to try many more pu’erhs. I might have to accept that they’re just not for me — or at least, not at the moment. They’re certainly a unique drinking experience, though!

I should probably also say that this is a sipdown. I have been saving my last one-cup servings up for a mega sipdown session while I’m off work next week, but I figured I’d probably lose my nerve with this one if I didn’t just get on with it. I have less tea to choose from at work, so I pretty much have to drink whatever I’ve got with me. It gets me past my tea inhibitions sometimes! Anyway — say yay for one less in the cupboard!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
K S

E for effort. A for attitude. I’m kind of that way with most oolongs. I want to love them but the best I can usually muster is a mild like.

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85

I was a bit worried about this one last night, as I couldn’t smell any orange, or taste any in the tiny sip I took. I also thought I might have overdone the steep a little as I got distracted. I brought it to work anyway, and I actually needn’t have worried because I was REALLY WRONG.

I took a tentative sip and discovered that this is actually insanely creamy. It tastes just like vanilla ice cream! The orange is pretty subtle, which is probably why I couldn’t taste much of it, but it does remind me of a thin orange ice lolly shell around a thick, creamy, vanilla ice cream interior. It’s a creamsicle through and through! The black base is a tiny bit intrusive, but that’s pretty much my fault because I went over the three minutes a little. It doesn’t ruin the overall tea, though, so it’s all good. This one had the standard treatment — 3 minutes in boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold, and into the fridge overnight.

A delicious summery SBT — this one makes me want to go on the zoomdweebies website and place an order for MOAR right away. I am trying to resist, though — there are a good few still sitting in my cupboard waiting to be tried, and I don’t want to neglect them unduly. SBTs make going to work in the summer bearable. I don’t know what I did before I discovered them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
52teas

Comments like this are what keep me going! Thanks for the kind words. I’m so happy you are enjoying the teas.

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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

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