1652 Tasting Notes

85

There aren’t many days in the year when I wake up and crave shu, but today is definitely one. My choice of tea this morning was completely obvious, but I decided to go for a new-to-me Pu-erh rather than an old familiar favourite.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/29/canton-mini-tuo-cha-cooked-pu-erh-canton-tea-co/

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Rohini Emerald Green is a First Flush Darjeeling tea, a variety I’m particularly fond of. I’m intrigued by this one, though (more so than usual!) because the leaf is different from any I’ve seen before.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/11/01/rohini-emerald-green-first-flush-darjeeling-udyan-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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90
drank Nutmeg Cream by Butiki Teas
1652 tasting notes

This one was really calling to me last night, so I made myself a pre-bedtime cup. It was totally delicious, as expected. I got a little more nutmeg than in my previous couple of cups, but with equally strong creamy notes. Just great for this time of year.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp
tea-sipper

I think I sipped this one the same day you did. :D

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70
drank Caramel Apple by Butiki Teas
1652 tasting notes

This is good today. Lots of smooth, sweet caramel notes, with just a touch of burnt sugar. No apple this time, but I can live with that.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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90
drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
1652 tasting notes

Also finished this one off yesterday. It was another good cup – I think by the end of the bag I get pretty good at brewing each Butiki just how I like it. There were strong notes of both chocolate and orange here, with the underlying maltiness of the assam. This is a truly great tea, and it’ll be sadly missed from my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
ashmanra

I keep meaning to tell you that I stop short every time I see your name and smile. My daughter and I have been reading One Thousand and One Nights (or Arabian Nights as it is called in the UK) for school. We are nearly finished! I think we have forty pages to go.

Scheherazade

I adored the Arabian Nights when I was younger. I must make time to read them again someday :)

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90

Sipdown! Finished this one off last night, and I’m sad to see it go. It was a particularly good cup to say goodbye on, though. Coffee, cake, and a touch of syrupy strawberry. Lovely! I don’t think there’ll ever be another tea like this one, but at least I have my memories.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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75

From the EU TTB

It’s not often that I really crave shu, but it’s happening more now that the weather is getting colder. I’m probably also starting to understand it a little better than I did previously – I’m more familiar with how to prepare it to suit my tastes, and with the kind of flavours I’m likely to be confronted with. This Pu-erh is in the form of a tuocha, and comes wrapped in the most adorable pink and white paper, decorated with a tiny picture of a rose. There’s an actual dried rose bud pressed into the top of the actual tuocha, which is a nice touch. I rinsed it for 30 seconds in boiling water prior to the first infusion.

First Steep
My first steep was for 1.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium red brown, the scent earthy with mild manure-ish notes. The tuocha itself has just about held together. I was expecting a reasonably pungent flavour, but it’s actually fairly gentle. There’s an immediate earthiness, like soil or compost, which is one of the things I’m coming to love most about shu pu-erh. Underneath that is a delicate sweetness, almost floral and very slightly reminiscent of sugared rose water. Intriguing!

Second Steep
Second steep for 1 minute in boiling water. The liquor is much darker this time, a deep red-brown verging on black. The scent is much earthier, with strong earthy notes reminiscent of compost and leaf mulch. Thankfully, the manure has all but disappeared from this steep! The tuocha has disintegrated pretty much completely this time. The flavour is still gentle and mellow – a distinctive earthiness, very reminiscent of freshly turned compost this time – but not too pungent. I’m not getting as much floral sweetness this time, possibly because the earthiness is now a little more prominent. I’m starting to wonder about the goji berry, though. Am I supposed to be able to taste it?

Third Steep
Third steep for 40 seconds in boiling water. The liquor is, again, fairly dark – a deep red brown. The scent is strongly earthy, and these notes translate into the flavour. It’s still a very smooth, mellow cup. The main flavour here is compost, with perhaps a hint of “damp” edging in. I’m thinking forest floor after a heavy rain shower! Still no goji berry.

Fourth Steep
Fourth steep also for 40 seconds in boiling water. The liquor is starting to become lighter again, still a red brown but closer to mahogany than flat black. The scent is still earthy, although less strongly now. It wasn’t particularly strong to begin with, so there’s a marked deterioration here. To taste, I think I’m finally beginning to get the goji berry! The earthiness is no longer the dominant flavour – instead it’s a mildly spicy, almost peppery flavour with just a touch of sweetness. I find goji berry hard to describe, but if you’ve eaten one before you’ll know what I mean. There is still some earthiness, but it’s far less pronounced. It’s not really compost anymore – just leaf mulch and a touch of “damp”. It’s still a smooth, mellow cup.

Fifth Steep
Fifth steep also for 40 seconds in boiling water. The liquor is lighter again this time- a red-orange now. The scent is still earthy, although noticeably milder. There is noticeably less flavour this time around, although it’s still pleasantly earthy. The goji berry has disappeared again, but I’m a fan of compost-y shu so I don’t mind all that much. I’m probably going to stop here simply because I’m running out of time, and because the majority of flavour is all but gone anyway.

I enjoyed my day with this one, particularly the third and fourth steeps. This is an easy pu-erh to drink – not too pungent in terms of both scent and flavour, and very smooth and mellow. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this one!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Sipdown! I wasn’t going to add an additional note, but my last two cups were insanely creamy and very reminiscent of cheesecake so I felt I had to! Maybe I just get the parameters right by the end of the bag, or maybe it just needed a good shake to begin with…who knows? I’m glad I got to experience both the plum brandy and the cheesecake aspects before I finished this one off, though! Delicious.

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

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65
drank Super Fruit by Teapigs
1652 tasting notes

Found three bags of this lurking at the back of my cupboard, so I figured I’d bring them to work and finish them off. I had two yesterday afternoon. I have a really sore mouth at the moment – so bad that eating is starting to become a problem. Drinks don’t make me suffer too much, so I’m still having plenty of tea, and this one didn’t seem to bother me as much as some others have.

This one will never be my favourite fruit tea, I don’t think. It smells great, but it’s just a little too sour and tart from the hibiscus for my tastes. I like that I can sometimes taste blueberry in this one, but it’s pretty fleeting and not enough of a reason for me to keep it around. Pleasant enough, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

First Flush Darjeelings are among my favourite black teas, as I’m sure I’ve intimated several times before. This one – from the Goomtee Estate – is apparently perfect for “strong hearted first flush lovers”. Well, we shall see.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/25/goomtee-china-classic-first-flush-darjeeling-udyan-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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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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