1031 Tasting Notes

90
drank Assam #8 by Tealux
1031 tasting notes

I opened samples of two different Tealux Assams last night to compare, and was immediately reminded all over again why I love Assam so much. There’s so much variation between different varieties that it would be almost impossible to get bored of it, and the flavour is always so, so good.

This one reminded me strongly of Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam, both in appearance and scent. That would make sense, I suppose, as they’re both Taiwanese in origin. This one has the same long, thick, twisty black leaves, and it’s insanely fruity to smell.

I gave this about 4 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor was a golden brown with hints of almost ruby. It smells sweet and malty, and these notes carry through into the flavour. To taste, there’s a strong element of dried fruit — raisin particularly. There’s also hints of sweet potato, and the tiniest smidge of grain.

I’d have to compare this side by side with PTA to be more certain of their similarities, and to know which, if any, I prefer overall. This was a delcious cup, though. Black beauty indeed!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank SBT: Pink Lemonade by 52teas
1031 tasting notes

Back to my selection of SBTs for today’s cold brew! This is another I first tried last year, and as far as I can recall I really liked it. I’m pleased to report that I like it just as much the second time around. The pink lemonade flavouring is easily detectable — it’s a sort of generically sweet, slightly fizzy tasting, maybe very slightly strawberry/lemon tinged flavour. It’s just like actual pink lemonade! The base is smooth and unobtrusive — it’s the characteristic 52 Teas SBT base, so if you’ve ever tried one before you know exactly what to expect. Brewed at the recommended parameters — 3 minutes in boiling water, topped up with cold to 2 litres and into the fridge overnight — it’s a delicious treat on a warm day. These teas do make work far more bearable!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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45

First tea of the morning! The scent of the dry leaf made me really want to like this one. It smells so much like an orange creamsicle! I was a little concerned by the amount of floral-ish ingredients, but I thought on balance it would probably be okay.

And it is okay, but I can’t say I really like it. The orange disappears almost completely, and the main flavours are actually chamomile and jasmine. It’s like this one got stuck between being an orange black and a floral herbal, and the taste is just a little bit weird. The initial sip would almost be enough to convince me that it WAS a herbal, if I didn’t know better, but then the black tea and a teeny-tiny hint of orange develop. It’s not an entirely successful contrast.

I have a small tin of this, so I’ll definitely be giving it another go, adjusting steeping parameters, etc. I like orange teas, so I had high hopes for this one. Maybe I can pull it back a bit with some sympathetic brewing?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75

Sipdown! This is the first green tea I have ever cold brewed, and I’m pleased with the result. I figured this one would be a good choice to start with, as it has more lemongrass than green tea. I was worried about the green tea becoming bitter after 10-12 hours in the fridge, but it hasn’t at all. I guess that’s something to do with the cold water?

The flavour of this one is pretty different when cold brewed. I can taste the lime far, far more. It actually overtakes the lemongrass as the primary flavour. Then comes the chilli, which adds a really nice kick of heat and spice. It’s such a summery tea, and so different from the usual run of the mill tropical tea. It definitely shines more when it’s cold brewed, and I’m glad I decided to give it a go. It makes me wish I’d given MojiTEA a try cold brewed — I think I’ll have to buy some more now!

I have monday off next week, so I’m gathering together some one cup remainders and I’m going to try and get my count back under 300 over the three day weekend. A couple of cold-brew sipdowns in the meantime will help, too!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
KittyLovesTea

Most bitterness from green tea comes from the temperature of the water, cold steeping gets rid of that but some blends do start turning bitter if left for too long. Cold steeping is the way to go :)

Memily

I normally leave greens for only 6hrs max because of the bitterness, they definitely can still get bitter. Probably this blend didn’t because there wasn’t much green comparatively?

Scheherazade

I’m still going to be a little cautious when cold brewing greens, I think, until I’m more used to it. Thanks for the advice, though!

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70
drank Dragon Feelers by Butiki Teas
1031 tasting notes

I’ve definitely had more cups of this than I’ve logged, but I guess that’s because it’s not one I have a lot more to say about. It’s an interesting green — I have been following the instructions to steep it in boiling water, and after I got over the initial shock I was pleasantly surprised with how this one worked out. There’s not a hint of bitterness, and it’s so light, delicate and fresh tasting it’s almost unreal. In many ways, it reminds me of a white tea. It’s not floral or sweet in the same way, though — there’s a subtle taste of fresh pea, and it’s actually quite savoury in the way of spring vegetables. My favourite thing about this one is the dry leaf, though. It’s furry and stripy! Butiki do unusual teas like no-one else :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
TheTeaFairy

So true about butiki offering unusual teas! I agree, this one is so pretty to look at.

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80

Another one I often neglect! I wasn’t over struck the first time I tried this, but it was deliciously buttery today. Perhaps I need to re-evaluate!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1031 tasting notes

I’ve neglected this one for a while, so I pulled it out to revisit last night. It’s such a consistent cup — always syrupy strawberry amazingness every time I have it. I’ve never experienced any bitterness from this one, either — of the MF teas I’ve tried so far, it’s probably the one I’ve got along with most easily. This one might well be a restock when I finish the tin, although I’m not really at that stage yet.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75

I can’t believe this is only my second cup of this one, but there you go. For some reason, I tend to drink far less green teas at home, and I’m not really sure why. I brought this one to work with me, knowing I’d be more likely to drink it, and I guess it’s worked anyway!

It’s a hot day today, and this is one of those perfect summer teas. It’s quite a light flavour — primarily lemongrass, with a hint of lime and a chili kick at the end of the sip. It tastes vaguely tropical, somehow…perhaps the citrussy elements combined with the grassy green base? Either way, it’s very palatable on a day like today. I don’t often drink green teas cold brewed, but I can see this being a good candidate. I might take the rest of the sample home and give that a try tomorrow!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
1031 tasting notes

I drank two cups of this yesterday as a weekend treat. I took a little break from it for a couple of weeks, after I tried nibbling a piece of bunny graham and made myself feel so sick I couldn’t actually face drinking it for a while. I don’t think I was expecting the flavour of the tea to have pervaded the crackers so much, but there you go. A case of curiosity almost killing the cat! I feel like I’m back on track with this one now, though, and it’s certainly taught me to be more cautious when nibbling on tea additions! Or just to actually stop, more to the point.

Now I’ve forgotten how awful I felt, I can happily drink this one again. It’s pretty much the perfect pie tea as far as I’m concerned — slightly tart strawberry rhubarb flavour, with a hint of buttery, almost biscuitty, crust. Gorgeous! I’m pretty sure this will be a restock once I run out — I’ve not tasted anything than can match it, that’s for sure :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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80

Last cup of the evening yesterday. I enjoy this one quite a lot — it’s just so chocolatey (unsurprising, given how many chocolate chips are actually in the dry mix!), and beautifully minty. I chose it partly because yesterday was such a humid evening, and although I wanted a hot drink pre-bedtime, the cooling effect of the mint in this one was also very refreshing. I’m in two minds about the marshmallow leaf — it adds a background note that I’m not hugely keen on, although it’s such a minor thing that I’m not really going to call it a problem. I can drink this one happily, and that’s what matters! Saying that, I’m pretty sure my favourite chocolate mint tea is always going to be a black. This is a wonderful caffiene free option, though, and another fabulous Butiki! Yum, basically.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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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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