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680 Tasting Notes

70

First tea of the morning. I was neglecting this at home, so brought it to work so that it at least gets some attention as one of only a couple of black teas in my drawer. I added a small piece of crystal sugar (which I finally remembered to bring with me…), and some soya milk. It’s good this way — creamy and sweet. The banana is pretty faint — it’s not a strong flavour by any means — but it’s there, and pleasant. I’m enjoying this one. It’s a nice morning drink!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Red Christmas by Yumchaa
680 tasting notes

I actually bought this last year, as I knew I’d be looking for a tea like this by now, and as it’s limited edition, it’s not usually available to buy quite yet. It’s a great christmas tea, though. The ginger and cinnamon are the most prominent flavours for me. I like Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte, so it’s probably not much of a surprise that I like the flavouring here too. I can detect a hint of aniseed, which I don’t mind as a flavour, and the pepper comes out mostly as a warmth at the back of the mouth. There’s a slight nuttiness from the almond, but no chocolate to speak of. That’s fine, because there’s enough going on as it is.

I did think twice about this before buying, as so many “christmas” teas just taste completely overwhelming. I like this one, though. The ingredients combine well, and make for a well-rounded taste that really is reminiscent of christmas. Wonderful work, Yumchaa!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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80

Really liked this one — probably my favourite of the Simpson and Vail teas I’ve tried so far! The dry leaf smells gorgeous, and actually looks really pretty. It tastes wonderful, too. The apple and cinnamon come out really clearly, almost like apple pie. I can taste a slightly artificial sweetness, but it seems to help create the “cake” flavour, so I can forgive it that.

Yum, yum! A perfect tea for autumn!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

Ah. I didn’t realise this was green rooibos. I tried it last night and was expecting normal red rooibos, which is probably why I thought it tasted a bit odd. Now that I realise it was green rooibos, it’s risen a bit in my estimation. This is another one I’m going to have to try again before I’m really sure of it, but I definitely got carrot cake spices and cake from my first cup. I’m not really getting any cream cheese frosting or creaminess, but you can’t have everything. The base tasted a little too strong and prominent for my liking, but I’m looking forward to giving this another go. Definitely a better experience than Strawberry Cupcake!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

First cup of this the night before last. I don’t remember a great deal about it, so I’ll have to write another note next time I try a cup. I liked it, though. I could definitely taste grenadine — lovely, strong and syrupy. The black base is a little harsh, I think. The bitterness almost seemed to be competing with the otherwise sweet flavouring. A little strange, but by no means unpleasant. It might even have been me that messed it up! I’ll need to try it again to be sure.

I think, on balance, I’m probably going to prefer the red. Not that I won’t enjoy this, though. The red just seems a little better balanced.

I’m looking forward to improving my experience with future cups!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

Try 2.5 mins at slightly less than boiling water

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90

Very sad sipdown. Tried the last of this with a little crystal sugar, as I’d promised myself I would. It enhanced the caramel and vanilla a little, I think. I could certainly taste them more clearly than I could without. It’s great either way, though. Definitely one to repurchase in the near future!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

Sipdown! Finished off this sample packet this afternoon. It’s a little unusual, and an awful lot nicer than I was expecting it to be. Probably my favourite of the Jenier teas I ordered.

Back to work, I suppose. I feel like I’m surrounded by idiots today :(

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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30
drank English Breakfast by Lipton
680 tasting notes

This was the tea offered at my training session this morning. It was a choice between Green Tea Orient, Chamomile, and English Breakfast. All of them Lipton. I went for this one purely because, of the three, it’s what I prefer. I feel most comfortable with black tea in the morning, too.

This is okay, as black bagged teas go. It’s nothing fabulous, but it’s not awful either. I’d drink it when there’s nothing else, and happily — some tea is better than absolutely no tea, after all. That’s all I can really say for it, though. In the end, I half wished I’d gone for the green. The water in the urns wasn’t really boiling anymore, and would probably have been better suited to a green. Not that my experiences of bagged greens have been good, so maybe I made the right choice after all. Another one to chalk up to experience!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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80

Really love the smell of this dry, and while brewing. It reminds me a little of cider, and the cardamom is wonderfully spicy. There’s a surprising amount of cardamom in here. I think my first spoonful brought out about four, so I popped a couple back in the pouch in case they’ve all risen to the surface. I can really smell the apple, though. It’s lovely.

To taste, this is equally nice. It tastes almost like it smells — of baked apple, with the sweet-spicy undertone of cardamom. I like the rooibos here. It’s woody and mellow, and fits perfectly with the sweetness of the apple.

I added a splash of soya milk here (I know, new obsession), and I think it works. I’m going to try it with conventional milk, too, and maybe without, but I feel I’ve made a reasonable start here. It’s tasty stuff!

I’m surprised there aren’t more (or, indeed, any!) tasting notes for this. It’s not that recent a release, after all. It’s a pretty perfect autumn tea, though. I can see myself enjoying this a lot in the coming months.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

More of this today. I’ve been offered a new job, so I’m feeling optimistic, and bouncy and happy. It’s only for two years, and I have to give up a permanent job to take it, but hopefully it’ll all work out for the best. It’s a chance I’m willing to take to get off reception, anyway :)

So, yes. Two cups of this today. The first when I arrived at work, cold and irritable after a difficult journey. The second after my appraisal training, and after telling my current manager I’m leaving after 4 months in the job they originally employed me to do (+ two on a temporary promotion). I drank the second with soya milk, which I found in the shop on my way in. I think I like it with this addition. It seems somehow creamier, and the vanilla becomes more prominet. Whatever, really. I just really like this tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Congrats! :)

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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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