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665 Tasting Notes

65
drank Spiced Winter by Teapigs
665 tasting notes

Another remnant found lurking at the bottom of my stash. I really thought I’d finished all of these — it must have been almost a year ago, too. Still, shows what I know! It’s probably a bit early to be drinking Christmas tea (although that hasn’t stopped me guzzling Yumchaa Red Christmas), and this is a seriously Christmassy one. It’s heavy on the cinnamon, but there’s also a blend of other spices that are almost reminiscent of mulled wine.

I gave this about 3 minutes, and added a splash of milk. The spices come through clearly, and the rooibos adds a woody undertone to the whole thing. I don’t mind this one, although it’s fairly season specific. I might buy it again in the future, although it’s not quite the thing for right now. Maybe on Christmas Eve :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Winter Infusion by Twinings
665 tasting notes

Another remnant! I honestly don’t know where this one came from. I finished the caddy, but this portion was in a little envelope all on its own. Obviously I’d intended it for something!

Anyway, I still like how clearly the orange comes across in this blend. The rooibos is very mild — it’s there as a woodiness in the background, but that’s all. Orange is the main player here, along with a dusting of cinnamon that comes out mostly in the aftertaste. When I first added this to my stash, I thought it was an odd choice for a Christmas tea. It does make me feel Christmassy, though, so there you go. Possibly it’s the orange, although I have limited Christmas memories involving orange, so I really don’t know.I’m gabbling now.

This is a pleasant tea to drink, although I think I need some caffeine to see me through the afternoon. A nice surprise from the depths of my stash!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
alaudacorax

I don’t know why, but the taste of cinnamon always seems Xmasy to me.

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90
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
665 tasting notes

Another one I thought was gone! This really is the last cup now, though. I’m in a sweet mood today, so I’m drinking this with milk and sugar. I brewed it while I was faffing with the photocopier, so it got about 4 minutes in the end.

I still like this as much as I did the first time I tried it. The caramel flavour actually isn’t as strong as the Yumchaa Caramel Sweetheart I drank previously, but it’s definitely there. It’s a sort of toffee popcorn taste, more than anything. The black tea base, as ever, is pretty perfect. Smooth and unobtrusive, it just lets the flavouring shine through.

I was pining for this one a couple of weeks back, so I’m glad to have had the (albeit unexpected!) opportunity to reacquaint myself with it. I’m feeling pretty dreadful at the moment, covering reception with a headache and the beginnings of a cold. Maybe I’ll step up my tea consumption a little — that’s bound to make me feel better!

Oh well, back to work…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
665 tasting notes

Sipdown! Finally worked my way through two bags of this stuff, and I’m ready for a break now. I do like having a mate to drink on a morning — I really think it helps to wake me up. I’ve got one more 52 Teas mate blend in my cupboard at the moment (Inscape, I believe) so I’ll have a little break from mate and then start that one. It’s strange, because at one point I didn’t think I’d be able to drink mate at all. The smell was just too weird. Flavoured, though, we get along fine. I’ve enjoyed this one, on the whole. I wouldn’t say I get “malt” from this so much, although maybe I’m just over familiar with it now. Definitely chocolate, though. Deep, dark chocolate. Not a sad sipdown, as I’ve had so much of it, but a fond farewell all the same!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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70

Sorting through my stash last night, I came across a few bits and pieces that I thought were long finished, so today I’m going to have a remnants day, re-visit some old friends, and finally say goodbye to them. This is one of them. I was drinking it about this time last year, I think, so I’ve had a good long break from it.

I gave this four minutes in boiling water, added a small piece of crystal sugar and a splash of milk, and remembered to STIR WELL! If you don’t, the chocolate and fudge pieces don’t melt, and the full flavour just won’t be there.

This is better than I remember, actually. That kind of surprise is always nice! I think maybe I’d just got a bit fed up of it, so it’s nice to revisit with a fresh palate. The fudge pieces add a lovely, buttery richness, and the white chocolate a smooth, delicate sweetness. I can taste both over the black tea, which is malty with absolutely no astringency. Possibly the sugar I added helped to amplify the chocolate and fudge flavours a little, but I am getting “caramel” as an overarching flavour.

Trying this again has actually made me want to place another Yumchaa order. I’m going to see if I can hold out until the weekend, though. I’m sad there’s no more of this in my cupboard. It’s a definite winner!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Cameronian Gold Blend by BOH
665 tasting notes

Almost forgot this one! It’s a backlog from Saturday morning.

Anyway, I picked up a few of these in tea bag form as a freebie from work. Our Malaysian International Officer brought them back from a trip, and invited us all to share. Never one to turn down tea, I did just that!

I didn’t have the highest hopes for this one. It’s a plain, bagged black, after all. It’s pretty nice, though. I drank it with milk, because that’s generally how I roll with this type of tea, although I can actually imagine it being okay without — I have another bag in my cupboard, so maybe I’ll give that a try. For some reason, I expected this to be a little rough and astringent. It’s not at all, though. I wouldn’t say it has a great deal in the way of flavour, but it’s silky smooth and very, very easy to drink. This would be an excellent everyday tea for those times when I don’t want anything heavily flavoured. It’s relatively sweet, with a something slightly citrussy about it. Not remarkable, but pleasant all the same. An excellent freebie!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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60
drank The Witching Hour by 52teas
665 tasting notes

First cup of this in a while. I’ve been keeping it in my desk drawer, but I’ve been avoiding it because it smells so weird. I think it’s just the tulsi, but I get enough comments about my tea anyway without parading the really odd ones. I’m on reception this afternoon, though, so there’s no-one to care but me. It’s also fairly seasonally appropriate, so I’m happy to be giving it another go.

I gave this four minutes in boiling water, and got the usual dark red-brown rooibos liquor. The tulsi is pretty noticable in the scent, but I’m also getting peppermint, so it’s not completely overwhelming. This is one of the few rooibos blends I’ve never tried adding milk to. Again, I think because it contains tulsi and mint, and my concept of milk and its uses just doesn’t fit with those ingredients. Maybe I’ll have to try it one day, though, just to assuage my curiosity on that point. Not to mention challenge my pre-conceptions.

The taste actually isn’t as strong as I remember it being. The peppermint is actually pretty prominent, and the rooibos/tulsi remain mostly in the background. I’m not really getting any chocolate, though. I’m not sure that I ever have with this one. It’s a shame, as I think that would add another dimension here, and it’s probably what I’m looking for after the peppermint wears off. I don’t think I’m going to have a problem finishing off my pouch this winter, as there’s only about half of it left now anyway. It’s never going to be my favourite rooibos, though — it’s just a bit too odd for that! It is more pleasant than I remember, though, so there’s something to be said for coming back to a tea after a bit of a hiatus, anyway!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
JennyFur

See, I’m intrigued by this because of the name, but between the fact that its a Roobios (which in general smells like mulch to me) and its mint(definitly not my favorite flavor in life) I’m leary of it. Hmmm. Thats not to say I don’t like Roobios, I just have to smell it first and see if the mulch smell overwhelms me before I brew.

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60

Another sample from Angrboda I needed all the help I could get to relax last night, as I had a lot of things on my mind. This tea seemed ridiculously appropriately named, so into a cup it went!

I have this about 4 minutes, and it brewed up to a beautiful yellow-gold colour. The leaf in the bag is fairly shredded, as is typical with bagged tea, but it still tasted pretty good. Not as smooth and buttery as the whole flower chamomile teas I’ve tried recently, but not too bad either. The chamomile and mint were the ingredients that came over best in the flavour, as you might expect. I also detected a floralness that I thought was perhaps lavender, but it could equally be the rose specified in the ingredients. The rest of the ingerdients were pretty lost, at least to my palate, but chamomile, mint and rose is a reasonable combination on its own. This probably isn’t the best chamomile/mint blend I’ve tried — I’m still in love with the memory of Adagio Foxtrot, strangely enough — but it’s a decent enough evening tea. It’s bagged, so it’s hard to overlook the convenience when I’m tired, and the flavours were helpful, at least psychologically, for a tired, stressed soul like mine. I did sleep well, so it may even have halped. Either way, it’s good to have another herbal option to add to my night-time rotation, at least for a few days. I’ve another three bags left, and, again, there’ll be no problem finishing them up. I think I’m not convinced enough to seek out more Celestial Seasonings when I’m next shopping for bagged tea — I’ve been really impressed with the two I’ve tried. Thanks again to Angrboda for this sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I just bought another box of this the other day. I often have a cup of this before just before sleeping. Husband and I have developed a habit of going to bed about an hour earlier with a cup of herbal (he has something else) and some reading before sleeping. It’s turning into one of my favourite times of the day. :)

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75

A sample from Angrboda. Tried one of these as my pre-bedtime drink yesterday evening. For bagged tea, this isn’t half bad. Or rather, it’s actually pretty wonderful. The honey and vanilla flavouring comes out really clearly, and is sweet and comforting. The spice mix is fairly subtle, but nicely balanced, with the cinnamon and cloves coming out most clearly, and the other flavours hovering just out of reach in the background. What I mean here is that the flavour wouldn’t be the same without them, but they’re hard to pick out individually in the overall taste, unlike the cinnamon and cloves, which are readily identifiable. I didn’t read the ingredients list before trying this one, so I’m a bit surprised to learn that there’s white tea in here. I can’t say it was noticable, although I’ll pay more attention next time.

I brewed this for about 6 minutes in just over half a cup of boiling water, and then topped up with warmed milk. This works really well as a chai latte — it’s sweet, comforting, spicy amazingness. I have three more bags remaining, and I’m looking forward to drinking them as the nights get colder. I needed comforting yesterday, with the storm supposedly arriving, and the fact that HR have messed up my new contract weighing on my mind. Anyway, this is s really lovely blend — probably the most pleasant vanilla chai I’ve tried to date! I’ll definitely look out for this when I’m next shopping for tea — it’s one bagged tea I wouldn’t mind having more of in my cupboard. Thanks again to Angrboda for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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75

Had this a couple of times now, usually in the early evening, and it’s just great. I like that there are actual pieces of candy corn in the dry mix, because they really do seem to enhance the flavour. I was a bit sceptical about how well they’d “melt” at first, as some of them are pretty big, but they do seem to disintergrate fairly readily in freshly boiling water.

Otherwise, there isn’t much to say about the flavour — it’s candy corn! Perfect, liquid candy corn. I tried a small piece from the bag beforehand so I’d be able to judge accurately (candy corn is pretty hard to come by in the UK, and it’s been a while since I tasted it), and it really is spot on. I think this might have something to do with the fact that there’s actual candy corn melted into the water, but I tried my second cup without, and the taste is still there, so there must be some pretty awesome flavouring added anyway. As ever, the black base is lovely — neither too strong, nor too weak, and not a hint of astringency. No complaints here — this is just a great halloween/fall tea, and I’ll happily finish off my pouch (probably long before I really want it to be gone). Great stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
JennyFur

I’m curious about this, but candy corn is something I eat once a year just because I feel like I should, so I doubt the tea would be any better. Its such a Halloween-y flavor though and thats my favorite holiday, but I don’t know if thats enough to make me purchase anything.

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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 not 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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