1031 Tasting Notes

60
drank Afternoon Infusion by Graze
1031 tasting notes

This tea bag came with a piece of carrot cake in my Graze box. According to the label, it’s a blend of assam and kenyan tea. Work is such at the moment that I’m seriously considering jumping off the nearest tall building. Hopefully tea and cake will be suitable deterrents.

I gave this one 4 minutes in boiling water, and was rewarded with a dark, malty smelling brew. I added a splash of milk. It’s conventional shredded tea bag leaves, so I wasn’t expecting too much, but it’s actually reasonably tasty. It’s relatively light bodied, but it has a strong flavour. The assam is the dominant leaf, and it contributes the expected sweet, malty overtones. The kenyan tea adds something in the background that’s a little hard to discern. I want to call it smoke, but it’s not really that. A slight bitterness? Maybe a tiny metallic hint? It pairs with the assam pretty well, giving the overall cup an edge of difference that can be a nice thing in a blend. It’s very smooth, and not at all astringent, which makes it easy to drink, and it’s nicely refreshing — a good palate cleanser to pair with the stodgy spiciness of the carrot cake!

I’m struggling to pick out any distinctive notes, but then my tastebuds are still a little wonky after my bout of flu, which I’ve still not fully recovered from. I’m sure the “guilt free high tea” snacks will reappear in my graze box before long, so I’ll have another chance to try this one at some point. For today, I’m going to settle for saying it’s an enjoyable cup, and rate it accordingly.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

A sample from VariaTEA. I couldn’t work out last night whether I liked this one or not. The first sip made me think not, but then the second was really nice. Towards the end of the cup I started to feel a little overwhelmed by it, and began to wonder whether it just wasn’t for me. I suspect it’ll take a few more cups before I can really decide one way or the other. Maybe a smaller cup, too, because it’s quite a rich tasting tea.

The first sip was very, very almondy. Almost like ground almonds when you open a fresh packet. The second sip was more cookie-like, with a buttery, sweet, baked biscuit flavour coming through really well. It really did remind me of an iced sugar cookie, which is another Christmas-related treat I enjoy immensely. When the combination works, it works really well. I felt at times though that all I could really taste was almond, and that’s not such a favourite flavour. It’s also quite rich and cloying, as you might expect liquid biscuit to be, and so (as I’ve said already) by the end of the cup I was struggling a little. I’m pretty sure I like it, but I’ll definitely give this one a couple more chances before I firm up my opinion. Thanks again to VariaTEA for sharing this with me — I’ve been curious about it for some time!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
K S

I love this one. I even add sweetener – cause its sugar cookie. I love the addition of orange, unexpected and delicious.

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75

A sample from VariaTEA. I’m slowly coming out of my flu-fug, and beginning to return to my tea stash. I wanted a herbal last night, and this one just called out to me. I like candy cane — it’s a flavour that cheers me up, for some reason. Maybe because it reminds me of Christmas, and I like Christmas? Something like that.

I gave this one four minutes in water just cooler than boiling. When I returned to the kitchen, the whole room smelt of candy cane. It brought a smile to my face straightaway, and lately they’ve been in short supply. I was very, very slightly concerned about the cinnamon in this, but it’s actually a combination that works really well. Mint was the dominant flavour, but the vanilla and cinnamon swirl around and make this a surprisingly accurate, and Christmassy (!) treat. Totally the wrong time of year, I know, but I’m ILL. I can do what I want when I’m ill, and to hell with seasonal appropriateness.

I’ve tried a few candy cane teas in my time, and this is one of the nicer ones. The flavours you’d expect are there, and it’s a delicious tasting cup. This shall be in my evening rotation for a good few days to come! Thanks again to VariaTEA for sharing this with me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
K S

I stocked up with enough to carry me through the year. One of my favorite late night sips.

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60

I’ve been drinking the ML Collection version of this tea for a couple of evenings this week, trying to work towards a couple of sipdowns. I’m fairly convinced that this is pretty much the same as the Mighty Leaf version, except with a touch more bergamot. For that reason alone, I prefer the “standard” version. Although I like earl grey in general, bergamot is not really my friend. This one’s just a touch on the punchy side for my linking, and a little too bitter in the aftertaste. Okay, but not one I’d keep around.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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65

I’ve had a couple of cups of this one today in my large teapigs eco mug. I used a little more leaf than I usually would, to compensate for using a bigger cup. I left it to brew longer, too, to see if I could coax out any rhubarb and custard flavour. Or at least, more than I have previously. I managed, pretty much. Both my cups tastes like rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. What surprised me was the sweetness. I know my tastebuds are still a bit off, but both my cups today were seriously overpoweringly sweet. Even milk didn’t really help to tone it down. The flavour was nice, though, once I got passed the initial teeth-achingly intense sweetness. Not bad, but probably not a restock. There are many Bluebird teas that I just like better!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

I’m drinking the ML Collection version of this tea today, although, again, to all intents and purposes it’s the same as the Mighty Leaf version. Maybe a touch more bergamot, but that might just be my imagination. It’s quite creamy, and the base is substantial enough that I can add milk if I want to. Given how I feel at the moment, I do want to. The bergamot flavouring is like an overlay on a cup of solid black tea — the flavour swirls through the top notes, but when you really get down to it it’s just a solid tasting, malty black. Apparently golden tip, according to the little pouch these teabags come in, and I can believe that.

After a single day’s respite on Monday, when I started to feel a bit better, my cold is now back for a second go. There are few occasions in my life when I’ve felt this lousy for this long. I’m not really enjoying any of the things I normally do, and tea is one of those. My throat is sore, I can’t breathe very well, my tastebuds are all wonky. Bleugh. Maybe it’s because I’m tired and a bit stressed, but I just can’t seem to shake this one off. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon, but in the meantime bagged tea is pretty much fine with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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40

I’m drinking the ML Collection version of this tea today, but I think it’s pretty much identical to the standard Mighty Leaf version. To my tastes, anyway! There’s a lot of lemongrass here, and I’m getting a touch of tropical fruit. It’s fairly juicy, and a pleasant herbal for a warm summer day. I’m not getting ANY ginger, though. Nor am I getting any ginseng or mint. I find the ginger the most surprising omission — surely it should be pretty prominent in a tea named ginger twist? It’s a pleasant cup, nonetheless, but it really doesn’t live up to its name. For that reason, my initial rating stands.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

This is the other tea I’ve been sipping on at work today. It’s light and fresh tasting, and my stomach didn’t object to it too strenuously! I’m still not getting much oolong from this, which I think is a good thing. I do get lots and lots of lovely elderflower, though — I really like the sweet, distinctive taste, and it’s such a summery flavour for me. Perfect for a hot day like today. I have one more cups worth of this left, so it’s now residing in my sipdown box, waiting for another weekend extravaganza! As it’s potentially a repurchase, I probably shouldn’t be feeling so pleased with myself. But I am, because I haven’t had much to be pleased about these last few days :(

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp
Stephanie

I love elderflower stuff

Memily

Oh no to your final comment :( hope things look up soon.

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55

Well, I am still alive. I’ve been majorly MIA, I know, but my cold has just dragged on and on, and I haven’t actually felt like drinking much tea for a good week now. Largely because I can’t taste anything. I’ve been drinking Twining’s English Breakfast, but not much else, and that’s an average tea at the best of times. I still feel crappy, but I think I started to perk up a little today. I brewed up a cup of this at work this afternoon, and I was rewarded with one of the best tasting cups I’ve ever had from this tea! I actually got raspberry, which has always evaded me previously. It wasn’t strong, but it was there, albeit fairly candy-ish. Although this isn’t a patch on my beloved 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, I have to admit it was pretty good. As my first “proper” tea in quite a while, I think I did pretty well!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
TheTeaFairy

Hope you’ll get better soon :-)

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60

I actually drank this yeaterday, but I didn’t have time to log it. I’m not usually a big fan of jasmine tea, as I find it too heavy and floral on the whole. This one is actually pretty nice, though. Possibly it doesn’t contain as much jasmine as some I’ve tried — it’s not a pearl tea, which is what I’ve usually tried. The green base is actually the main flavour, and it’s light, sweet and buttery. The jasmine is almost an afterthought, and adds an almost creamy, delicately floral edge to the end of the sip. Looking at the leaves in the bag, they’re small and a little twisted looking. That’s probably why I was expecting a dark, maybe slightly bitter green base, but it’s so much better than that. I wouldn’t keep this one around all the time, but if I was going to drink a jasmine tea, this would be firmly on my list of choices. A pretty decent cup!

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

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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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