1638 Tasting Notes

95
drank Terrific Toffee by T2
1638 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! This one is my mid-morning cup, and it’s totally delicious. It’s almost worth being awake and at work just so that I can be drinking this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, just because it’s that kind of morning. The brewed tea smells deliciously of cake – sweet, rich, vanilla. To taste, it’s definitely toffee with a touch of creamy, nutty nougat. It has that delicious caramelised, burnt sugar sweetness with a glorious fudgey undertone, and tastes like it should be sticky. It’s pretty sweet – almost a little too much – but it’s so spot-on flavour accurate that I don’t care for the moment. This one really is terrific!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

Mint and Chamomile seems to be an unusual combination – I think I’ve only ever tried one other similar blend. Based on that experience, I’d say that this surprises me. It sounds a little odd to begin with, for sure, but they’re ingredients that do actually work well together.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/11/13/mint-chamomile-rooibus-simple-loose-leaf/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100

I finished off the last of my “Anne” sample yesterday, which made me sad. It’s not a sipdown, though, because I’ve still got a pouch of the “Frank” version in my cupboard somewhere. I love this one for its nutty, creamy, sweet, marshmallowy wonderfulness. It’s a Squares bar in a cup!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

I know it must be a tough question, but which one do you prefer?

Scheherazade

I think the new version. I like the way the matcha worked, and the sweetness is more prevalent. The original old version was good, though.

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85

A sample from Miss B! This was my first cup of the day at work, and I’m enjoying it immensely. Flavoured teas can be a bit hit and miss, but this one delivers what it promises – buttermilk and lemon. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, just because. The scent of the brewed tea is very much buttermilk – it has that salty sour tang that’s so distinctive. This also translates into the taste, but it’s freshened up wonderfully by the bright, zesty lemon. It’s deliciously creamy but not too sweet or cloying – it walks the right line for a mid-morning cup, at least in my estimation. The overall effect, particularly with the added milk, is one of lemon pudding. Totally delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Market Chai by Market Spice
1638 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! It’s pretty much properly winter now, so I’m finding that I’m drawn more and more to warming teas, and particularly chai, once I get to work on a morning. I like how they can vary so much from blend to blend – it’s like there’s always something new to discover, even though there are usually strong similarities too. I used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. I’d love to try this one as a latte, but it’s western style for now because it’s just not really feasible to faff about heating milk at work. Sad as that is.

Anyway, the tea. The initial flavour is very gingery, which I’m enjoying. Sometimes ginger in chai can get a little lost amongst the stronger flavours, but it’s here in all its glory. There’s also a touch of corriander, which is no surprise as there were so many corriander seeds in my scoop. If anything, I thought it might actually be stronger because of that, but it seems like a pretty mild chai as they go. That’s good in one respect, because it allows the orange and vanilla to come through pretty confidently, and they’re nice flavours to have in a chai. This makes for a smooth, creamy, sweet chai with the slight sharpness of orange zest, a good warming kick of ginger, and a swirl of more generic “spiciness” floating around in the background. I enjoyed this one.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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75

This is one of my oldest 52 Teas, so I figured it was time to finally try it. Plus I was in the mood for a mint chocolate tea anyway, so it’s a win-win. The scent upon opening the pouch was pretty strongly alcoholic, and I’m guessing this one will need to air a bit before it’s at its best. I used 1 tsp for my cup, and gave it approximately 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, it’s pretty good. The base is a bit more pre-eminent than I’d have liked it to be. I’d forgotten what 52 Teas old black base used to taste like, but this was a clear reminder. It’s malty, but somehow also a little dusty tasting? Not the greatest, it has to be said. Then there’s the slightly alcoholic tang, which experience tells me will fade in time now the pouch is open. Underneath those flavours lurk the chocolate and peppermint. They’re pretty strong, which is good, and they come over better as the cup cools. The mint is cooling and refreshing, the chocolate sweet and creamy. It’s hard to go wrong with such a classic combination, really. I wish I could taste a bit less of the base, but that’s a relatively minor complaint because the flavourings still come over really well. Once the alcohol tang fades, this’ll be a pretty nice winter cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65

Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today. This was probably my least favourite of the Doctor Who fandom blends. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it didn’t wow me in the same way some of the others did. Mostly, it just seemed to lack a decent punch of flavour – I got a lot of base tea coming through, but not much of the orange I was really hoping to taste. Farewell, Donna!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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70
drank Hot Tropic by DAVIDsTEA
1638 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! Another David’s blend I’ve heard good things about but not tried before – until now! I used 2 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. It smells really good, first off. Like a pina colada, only hot. To taste, it’s also pretty amazing. The initial sip is intensely tropical – I can taste coconut and pineapple primarily, maybe a touch of mango. There’s a slight whisper of spicing at the end of the sip, but it’s not overpowering or even really all that present. If I’m honest, I’m not sure what star anise is doing in this blend at all, but it doesn’t impact too much on the flavour so I’ll put that aside.

What this tea reminds me of most is one of those freshly squeezed fruit juice blends, only with a touch of added cream. The creaminess kind of crept up on me – I didn’t really notice it at first, but it gets stronger and stronger with successive sips. Another thing that builds in intensity is an artificial-tasting sweetness at the back of my throat. I’m guessing this blend is maybe pre-sweetened with stevia? Either that or there’s some liquorice root kicking about. It’s that kind of sticky, overbearingly intense sweetness that becomes difficult to ignore after a while.

Having said that, I am enjoying this one. I like the fruitiness, and the creaminess adds that extra touch of deliciousness. It has a brilliant tropical fruit juice/pina colada vibe going on, and in that respect it’s very easy to like. The intense sweetness is perhaps to be expected, and to be fair it’s not completely spoiling my enjoyment. I’m just very aware that it’s there, and really speaking it’s a little more than I’d like. It’s unseasonably warm today, so I feel like this tea made a fitting afternoon companion. A little hint of summer in a cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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75

Sipdown! I had a little over 1 tsp of leaf left, so I decided to use it all for one last cup, rather than split it into two much smaller quantities. It concerned me slightly to overleaf a green tea, but in practice it worked okay. The initial sip was pretty much 100% praline, but as it cools I can taste the creaminess of the eggnog creeping in. I think I’m tasting more of both flavours this time than I ever have before, so maybe the slight overleaf was no bad thing. I’ll miss this one.

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

You’ve been doing a lot of sipdowns lately! (Kinda jealous, I really need a full day just to devote to my cupboard.)

Scheherazade

To be fair, I needed to. My cupboard is just a tiny bit out of control at the moment! It feels good to be finishing off some older teas, though, however sad it is to say goodbye to some of them.

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75
drank Hard Candy by DAVIDsTEA
1638 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! I remember reading loads of reviews of this tea back in the summer, and based on those it was probably one of the recent David’s Teas that I was most interested to try. The flavour concept seems reasonably unique, too. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 4 minutes in boiling water. I spared myself the painful debating this time, at least. The liquor is really pale – clear and sort of yellowy, except that there’s a slight oily scrim on the surface. The scent is sweet and very reminiscent of melted sugar while it’s still clear (well before it starts to caramelise). I suppose that gives it at a decent hard candy vibe, so I’m encouraged so far.

To taste, this really is as candy-like as I imagined. It has that sweet, clear-boiled sweet flavour that’s basically sugar and glucose syrup. There’s a mild fruitiness underlying – it starts off tasting very much like strawberry, but there’s a definite sour cherry-like tang at the end of the sip. It’s by no means strong fruitiness – the “hard candy” aspect is front and centre at all times. I can see why people are comparing this one to Jolly Rancher, and it does come across a little like that – for some reason I want to say that it reminds me of the watermelon ones most of all, although there’s no melon flavour to make me think that. There’s a slight wateriness in the aftertaste, so maybe that’s what’s doing it.

I quite like this one. It’s like liquid lollipop. It reminds me most of all of those huge red candy rock dummies you can get at the seaside, or at the fairground. I don’t find it too cloying or over-sweet, maybe because it’s not that strong a flavour. It’s the right side of the line for me. I’m glad I got chance to try this one!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Caitlen

I agree, this kind of reminds me of a watermelon jolly rancher. Or a mix between a cherry and watermelon jolly rancher.

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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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