1031 Tasting Notes


This is such a pretty tea. There are loads of rosebuds, and large quantity of lemongrass…I can’t see much in the way of white tea, but maybe I’m just being blind. Either that, or I need to give my bag a shake! It looks beautiful, but the moment I took a sip I knew we weren’t going to be friends. Because, oh my goodness guys, liquorice root! It’s my new nemesis. I’m finding this freshly born hatred a little strange, because I don’t think I’ve ever really minded it until very recently. Now, if it’s in a blend, it’s somehow all I can taste. A little like hibiscus, in that respect.

It’s so artificially sweet, and it sticks around at the back of my throat. Ugh. The second strongest flavour is lemongrass, and the rose is more a scent that floats over the top of the other two flavours. I would like this if it weren’t for the liquorice root. The combination of the lemongrass and rose is quite nice, and I can see a white base suiting this tea well. The problem is, I can’t taste anything except liquorice root. I might investigate the possibility of removing the pieces I can see from my sample bag, and seeing if that improves things. Hopefully it does, or sad to say this isn’t one I’m going to be able to finish. Grumpy face.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
1031 tasting notes

Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown (Long) Weekend #2

This is my current favourite “pie” tea, and I somehow doubt that it’ll ever be surpassed. It’s awesome Butiki amazingness, for starters. The strawberry/rhubarb flavour is tart yet sweet, and there is actually a discernable pastry note. It’s buttery, fruity, sweet, and it tastes like PIE. Love it!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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So, boys and girls, Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown (Long) Weekend is underway! This is the first, and hopefully by Monday evening I’ll be back under 300. Say yay!

I enjoyed every cup of this. It’s deliciously malty, but it has slight elements of smoke that counteract some of the inherent sweetness. There are some cocoa notes, also. I said pretty much everything I had to say about this one in my first note, but it’s a wonderful assam that I’ve really enjoyed having in my cupboard. A sad farewell.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

i hope you make it! good luck!

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I fled from my cold brewed Aniseed Balls to this mild, buttery, creamy wonderfullness. Sorry I doubted you, Quangzhou Milk Oolong. You’re great.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Today’s cold brew. It’s confirmed for me once and for all that I don’t like liquorice root. I know I said I didn’t mind Teapigs Liquorice and Peppermint last time I tried it, but I had a cold, guys. I couldn’t really taste it. I didn’t mind this one hot, interestingly enough — the hibiscus seemed to come out more that way. Cold, this is liquorice and stevia central. It’s all I can taste, and it’s lingering at the back of my throat in all its intensity.

It does taste a bit like Aniseed Balls. A lot, in fact, like the sweet sugar shell. I never thought I’d find myself wishing I could taste more hibiscus, but I do at the moment. It’s fruity tartness would at least go some way towards toning the sugar down here.

So — lesson learned. Aniseed Balls is not a good cold brew choice. I will ALWAYS drink this hot from now on.

Iced 8 min or more

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This is a surprising tea. For some reason, I was expecting it to be quite musty in flavour, probably because that’s one of the things I associate with cloves, and there are a lot of cloves in the dry mix. I was distracted from that for a moment by the prettiness of this blend, though. It contains yellow, red and green leaves and flowers, and looks very fresh and natural! That’s no surprise — a lot of Bluebird teas are very picturesque. I allowed my water to cool to about 180, and then added 1tsp of leaves for around 3 minutes.

The predominant flavor is apple, followed by cinnamon and clove. I’m pleased the apple came through so well, as I had been concerned that it would be disguised by the spices. Instead, it’s sweet and sort of baked in flavour, with the spices adding an element reminiscent of apple pie filling! The green base is right here, I think — it adds a crisp, vegetal freshness that is probably helping the apple along a little. It’s light and fairly subtle, vaguely sweet, and very smooth. The whole combination makes for an easy to drink, tasty cup! I can see this one being pleasant any time of year, but a warm summer evening adds a little holiday ambiance! Another winning blend from Bluebird :)

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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I’ve had a cup of this each morning after arriving at work this week. I had hoped I’d be able to coax a bit more orange flavour out of it, but it’s sadly eluding me. It’s there very slightly, but it’s nowhere near as orange-creamy as the scent of the dry leaf made me hope. Saying that, it’s not too strongly floral either. I’m not a fan of hugely floral teas, and this blend contains both chamomile and jasmine. The chamomile is pretty much the strongest flavour, which is okay with me, but I really was hoping for more orange. Sadly, you can’t win them all!

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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This was my last cup of the evening yesterday. It’s one of the few unopened Bluebird samples I currently have sitting around, so I thought I’d give it a chance to shine. The dry leaf smells so much like a freshly opened pot of runny honey, I actually had a hard time believing it was tea. As scents go, it’s just spot on. I was expecting the rooibos to take over the the flavour, but fortunately it didn’t. The same headily sweet, delicious honey note carries through, with subtle hints of chamomile. Chamomile often tastes a little honey-like to me, so I’m not surprised it seems to enhance the flavour here.

While it’s a genuinely lovely caffiene free cup, it probably lends itself best to drinking in small doses. It’s quite sweet and rich, almost like eating honey straight out of the jar. For that reason, it becomes slightly overpowering and really a bit much by the end of the cup. It’s a very enjoyable treat, though, and one of the best honey teas I’ve had the pleasure of trying.

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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I’ve been having a lot of luck with this kind of tea recently, so I pulled this one out to try yesterday evening. It’s the first Whispering Pines tea I’ve tried, although there are a few more in my cupboard. They’re next in the to-drink pile!

I gave 1.5tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. The smell of the dry leaf is mildly fruity, and this carries through to a certain extent in the flavour. I wouldn’t say I’m getting melon and passionfruit as the description suggests, but there is a sweetness that’s reminiscent of raisin. The main note I’m picking up is cocoa, and it’s delicious! It’s sweet and malty, and the chocolatey flavour with the added milk gives it a wonderfully creamy edge.

I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this one, although it didn’t wow me quite as much at the Teavivre golden tip version. It has made me curious to try more Whispering Pines teas, though.

I’m slowly coming to the realisation that plain blacks might be my absolute favourite, which comes as a surprise given that I discovered tea largely through flavoured varieties. I’m not sure that I would have been able to pick out all of the flavours in teas like this back then, or even that I would have appreciated them as much as I do now. How tastes change! I’m glad to have discovered this one :)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Yay for plain blacks! Woot woot!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Looking at your other reviews, I think you’d really enjoy the Ailaoshan Black and Imperial Gold Bud Dian Hong :)

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My second Assam of the evening last night. This one couldn’t be more different from Assam #8 if it tried, and as I said in my previous note, that’s one of the things I love about Assam the most. Each different variety can be an entirely different experience.

The leaves here are golden brown and tippy, and are long, thin and curly in appearance. The bag also contains a quantity of golden brown “dust”. I gave this one 4 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor was dark brown — much darker than Assam #8. I added a splash of milk.

I want to say that the flavour of this one is stronger — it comes across like that, a little, but I think it’s a case of pungency rather than strength, somehow. The malt and grain notes here are very prominent, and yet it’s not nearly as sweet as I expected. Instead, it has an almost molasses-like note, As it cools, a deep smokiness develops. It’s a very smooth, easily drinkable cup, and one I’d definitely return to again. It reminds me a lot of some of the Dian Hong teas I’ve been drinking lately. Another delicious treat, and another confirmation of my love for Assam in general!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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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.


Norwich, UK

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