1646 Tasting Notes

65
drank Kenya Obsidian by Butiki Teas
1646 tasting notes

Wow, this is strong. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my first cup, and then wandered off for a few minutes while it brewed. I came back to it and added a splash of milk, not really sure what to expect. The initial sip nearly knocked me over – this one is SO, SO malty it’s almost thick. It makes my mouth feel kind of furry and icky, if I’m honest. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a tea as malty as this one before. There are other flavours, too – baked bread, prominently, and it’s also kind of earthy and woody. It’s rich, though. Maybe too rich for me. Even though I had lunch recently, I feel like this one’s making me feel a little queasy. Definitely not a tea to drink on an empty stomach, for me at least! On the plus side, it is keeping me awake. Given that it’s Friday, and the end of a horribly busy 6-day week, I really need something to keep me conscious this afternoon. I’m not getting out of bed tomorrow, and that is a FACT.

Not sure about this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Courtney

I know what you mean. This one is intense. I understeep it a bit hah.

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95

Sipdown! I’ve had three small colds over the last two months, all of which I’ve zapped with this tea before they really got hold. I was a little skeptical about the effect a tea could have on a thing like a cold, but I really do believe that drinking this has made a difference. It’s good for soothing a sore throat, and I’m convinced it’s helped me to shake off the ills more easily. It tastes pretty good, too! Super brilliant stuff, and a definite repurchase!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

I know Echinacea makes a noticeable difference in how I feel when I’m sick

Fjellrev

That’s great to hear! Could use some right now haha. And the name is hilariously awesome.

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95

Sipdown! This one has been my go-to tea the last couple of days. I’m feeling a bit under the weather, and it makes a wonderfully hearty, comforting cup. More so with a splash of milk! I’ll miss this one from my cupboard now it’s gone, but I can say that I enjoyed every last tiny scrap. Even though it no longer exists, this is still the best Assam in the world.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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90
drank Chai Wallah by SAHARA TEA
1646 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! I feel like I haven’t been on Steepster for ages, which isn’t entirely true. I’ve had a quick glance most days. I should probably say that my tea consumption hasn’t reduced, just my time to write notes. Work is manically busy at the moment, and the limited free time I did have has been completely swallowed up these last few months.

Anyway, this tea. It’s a new one to me, so I’m stealing 5 minutes to write something about it. I have the beginnings of a cold, so I figured a chai latte would be a good thing to drink. Warming, comforting, all that. I’ve managed to create one pretty successfully given that I’m at work, so that’s pleasing even though nothing else is right now. Tea makes everything better. I used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it about 6 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty strong, which is fine because I compensated by adding lots of hot milk. One thing I noticed about the dry leaf – this tea contains LOTS of cardamon pods. A good thing, because I like cardamon!

To taste, this has to be one of the best chai blends I’ve tried in a while. There’s a lot of milk, but the flavours are still really clear and strong, and not drowned in the slightest. The main flavour is cardamon (which makes sense, given that there’s tons of whole pods in this blend!), followed by warming ginger, the sweetness of cinnamon, and the slight dankness of cloves. It comes across almost medicinal in the aftertaste, but I don’t mind that so much. I think it’s the cardamon/clove combination that’s making me think of herbal throat sweets, but as they’re flavours I quite like it’s no big problem.

I’m glad I had this one on hand today – it was just the thing! I might add a little sugar to my next cup, just to sweeten things up a bit, but I had to give it a chance plain for my first cup. A delicious winter treat.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 2 tsp

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60

A sample from Miss B! It’s definitely chai weather now, so I’m working through my samples at quite a rate. I’ve drank this one twice now, both times in a Timolino at one of our interview day events. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for both cups, and gave it approximately 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk each time, but it strikes me as a tea that doesn’t take milk particularly well. It looks a bit thin and pale, although it doesn’t seem to affect the flavour so it’s not too much of a problem. The other thing that struck me straight away about this blend is that it’s mostly spices (quite chunky ones at that – whole cardamom pods, star anise, peppercorns, etc.) There’s not lot of actual black tea that I can see, which may account for the “thin” appearance.

Still, flavour is all and there are no issues with that here. I like cardamom in chai, and it’s pretty prominent here. There’s also a nice warmth from the ginger/cinnamon combination, and a touch of heat from the pepper. The only thing I dislike is the artificial sweetness that hits me in the back of the throat. It’s very reminiscent of stevia, but it could be liquorice root. It’s that kind of over-sweet, cloying flavour. I’d prefer to add my own sweetener, if I’m honest, but the rest of this one is so good I’m prepared to overlook what is a relatively small fault.

I’ve enjoyed this one, but it’s not my favourite chai. I’d probably not actively seek it out, but I’d not turn down a cup if offered. If you like a “chunky” chai blend that’s big on flavour but with not too much caffeine/actual tea, this might be just the thing!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

This one’s really been calling me the last few days, so much so that it’ll soon be a sipdown. I have about two cups worth left, I think. I suppose now the weather’s getting cooler, the thought of “Ribena” is more appealing. I’ve not drank any actual Ribena in years, but blackberries and pomegranate are a reasonable substitute. Sweet, berry-like, a little tart. I like that it’s not too strong or overpowering – the sweetness of the white tea pokes through, with the gentle berry/fruit flavours mostly in the mid-sip. Pretty delicious!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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80
drank All Citrus by 52teas
1646 tasting notes

Slowly working through my 52 Teas stash…

This one seemed like just the thing this morning. I feel like I might be getting a cold, so anything remotely resembling vitamin c is appealing for the moment. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was surprised by how much I liked this one. It has a delicious sharpness to the initial sip – it reminds me most of white grapefruit, but there are also hints of lemon and lime about it. The “main” flavour, though, is orange and I feel like that occupies most of the mid-sip, lingering just a little into the aftertaste. This one’s pretty natural tasting – like actual fruit juice and zest rather than “flavourings”. The black tea base is pretty solid, too, although not so strong that it overpowers everything else. Just right.

I drank this one hot because that’s what I do in winter, but I feel like it’d make a really good cold brew. I’ll maybe try that if there’s any left by the time next summer rolls around!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

Finished this one off yesterday in my timolino. It was literally my only tea yesterday afternoon because I was out of the office hosting interviews (it’s THAT time of year again, sadly). I had a headache by the end, but at least this one kept me company for the first hour or so. It wasn’t as good as it is in a cup – somehow, the flavours seemed a bit muted. Still okay, though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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95

I’ve just started my last bag of PTA, and I’ll be really sad to see it go. All the more reason to enjoy every single cup, though! Today my cup is very malty, with strong raisin notes and just a touch of honey-like sweetness. Simple, but brilliant, and the best way to start Saturday that I can think of!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp

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100

Another old favourite, and another of the “Frank” reblends as opposed to Anne’s current version. I have to say, this one smells gorgeous. As soon as I opened the pouch, I was pretty much overwhelmed with the scent of blueberry, and once brewed it’s stronger still. Sweet, sugary, blueberry! I’ve always been fairly conservative with my brew time on this one, given that it has a gunpowder green base, so I went for 2 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees.

To taste, it’s totally delicious. I wasn’t expecting it to resemble the original so much, but it does and it’s wonderful. The main flavour is sweet, slightly tart blueberry. It’s pretty natural-tasting, not chemically or artificial. Underlying that is a sugariness that does remind me of cotton candy, and helps to take the blueberry to new heights. What this really puts me in mind of is those blueberry slushies you can get at the cinema! A true sweet treat, without the calories! The green tea is surprisingly absent, and I can’t actually taste it at all. I don’t mind that so much.

Drinking this one today reminded me how much I like this blend, and blueberry in general when it’s done well. I’ll not neglect this one so long next time!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
tea-sipper

I’ve been neglecting my stash, sadly.

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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.

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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