1694 Tasting Notes

30

Okay, I totally chose this one for the name! It was a free sample with my last Teavivre order, and because I liked the name and am still looking for a decent fruit tea, I thought I’d give it a try. The dry leaf is reasonably encouraging, except that it contains a huge hibiscus leaf. I like to look at hibiscus – it’s a pretty thing, for sure – I just don’t want it in my tea. There are decent sized chunks of pineapple, papaya and apple, though, and a few dried black grapes. The scent to me is very much of blueberry, but there’s no blueberry here as far as I can see…it’s suppose to be a pineapple/papaya “tropical” blend. I guess we’ll see…

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium orangey-red, and the initial flavour is sadly mostly hibiscus/rosehip tartness. There is a pretty good tropical flavour underlying, but it’s a bit overpowered to really make much of an impression. It’s more papaya than pineapple, a little peppery and less sweet than I was expecting.

On the whole, I’m not really struck. Fruit teas without hibiscus are definitely more my thing, but there are so few that are readily available in the UK. I would really like a David’s Tea here sometimes! I wondered for a moment whether this might have been better cold brewed, but still – hibiscus.

Hmm.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

I would choose it just for the name too!

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75

This one is better now it’s been open a few days. The odd alcoholic tang has dissipated, and it’s possible to taste the chocolate/mint combination to full effect. I’d say the mint is stronger than the chocolate here (and the chocolate is definitely milk), but it’s still a deliciously creamy, flavourful cup. I’m going to enjoy my pouch of this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Dustin

I’ve had that weird alcohol flavor happen with a few 52 blends. It must have something to do with how they apply the flavoring.

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60
drank Root Beer by Sweet Cherubim
1694 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! Looking at the ingredients in this one, I wasn’t really expecting it to taste of root beer, per se. It kind of does, though! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 4 minutes in boiling water. The scent is almost right – sweet and creamy, with an underlying almost medicinal tang, but the initial sip is heavily “herbal”. It seems to take a moment for the different flavours to pull together, and initially the predominant notes are aniseed, star anise and liquorice root. Somehow, they all eventually coalesce to create a pretty convincing “root beer” effect, although it has to be said mostly in the aftertaste. I’m particularly enjoying the deep, dark molasses-like flavour in combination with black liquorice, and the tiny hit of vanilla that this one presents. Not my favourite herbal, but well worth a try!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank Chocolate by T2
1694 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! I’ve enjoyed my T2 samples so far, and I’m hoping this one is going to be another hit. They seem to do dessert teas really well, and chocolate is a classic in that respect. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. Brewed, this one certainly smells good – rich, chocolatey, and reminiscent of a cup of hot chocolate!

To taste, it’s almost as good. There’s a reasonably strong chocolatey flavour coming through, although it reminds me more of cocoa than actual chocolate. It’s definitely on the sweeter side, too – milk chocolate rather than dark. It’s a little thin tasting, which is to be expected given that it’s not actually chocolate, but I can’t help but think that a different base tea might have helped with that a little. I can see why Keemun, because it can have chocolate notes of its own, but I’m not really picking those up much here. In addition to the cocoa/milk chocolate flavour, there’s also a nuttiness that’s really rather pleasant. The more I drink, the more I’m reminded of nutella – and that’s no bad thing!

I’m enjoying this one. It’s not the most chocolatey tea I’ve ever tasted, but it’s one of the more flavour accurate in terms of having no weird chemical/artificial weirdness kicking around. This makes for a very pleasant dessert tea, with its creamy chocolate nuttiness and intrinsic sweetness. Great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Creme Brulee by T2
1694 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! Continuing the sweet theme this morning, I decided Creme Brulee was the only way to go after Terrific Toffee. What else could compete? I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, mostly for fairness of comparison. It’s not so dark that I couldn’t drink it without.

To taste, this one is (if that’s possible) even sweeter than Terrific Toffee. It has strong vanilla custard vibes, with just a hint of caramel, and a rounded nuttiness that helps to bring the whole thing together. It is rather like a creme brulee in terms of taste, but it’s walking a fine line for me in terms of sweetness and sickly sweetness. It’s a truly excellent dessert tea, though, and a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. So many flavoured teas promise things they don’t deliver, but this one is a rare exception. Delicious, sweet, creamy creme brulee in a cup!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

I drank this one a couple of times over the weekend. Now that I’ve finished off my flavoured Butiki blends, I’ve pulled out the straights and started working on those. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I defied the recommendation and added a splash of milk, simply because that’s how I prefer my tea first thing. It’s plenty strong enough to stand up to a dash of milk, anyway, so no harm done.

I found this one to be a pretty unique breakfast blend. I usually expect blends containing assam to be predominantly sweet and malty – it’s a characteristic that just seems to dominate. Not so here, which is really no bad thing – it’s refreshing to taste something a little different! Shiva’s Breakfast starts out a little sweet and chocolatey, but it has a strong citrus flavour in the mid-sip which is also a little bitter in the way of grapefruit or bergamot. The end of the sip reveals the flavour of what I can only describe as green wood – a little sappy and chlorophyll like, with slight floral hints.

I think this tea really makes the most of its component blends. They work together very well, with the strongest characteristic of each contributing something to the whole. No one tea or flavour dominates, so it’s actually a pretty complex taste experience – certainly different from an “ordinary” breakfast blend! I’ll probably save this one a little simply because it’s so unique – I’m not sure where I’ll find another tea like this one I’m finished with my bag.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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95
drank Terrific Toffee by T2
1694 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! This one is my mid-morning cup, and it’s totally delicious. It’s almost worth being awake and at work just so that I can be drinking this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, just because it’s that kind of morning. The brewed tea smells deliciously of cake – sweet, rich, vanilla. To taste, it’s definitely toffee with a touch of creamy, nutty nougat. It has that delicious caramelised, burnt sugar sweetness with a glorious fudgey undertone, and tastes like it should be sticky. It’s pretty sweet – almost a little too much – but it’s so spot-on flavour accurate that I don’t care for the moment. This one really is terrific!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

Mint and Chamomile seems to be an unusual combination – I think I’ve only ever tried one other similar blend. Based on that experience, I’d say that this surprises me. It sounds a little odd to begin with, for sure, but they’re ingredients that do actually work well together.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/11/13/mint-chamomile-rooibus-simple-loose-leaf/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100

I finished off the last of my “Anne” sample yesterday, which made me sad. It’s not a sipdown, though, because I’ve still got a pouch of the “Frank” version in my cupboard somewhere. I love this one for its nutty, creamy, sweet, marshmallowy wonderfulness. It’s a Squares bar in a cup!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

I know it must be a tough question, but which one do you prefer?

Scheherazade

I think the new version. I like the way the matcha worked, and the sweetness is more prevalent. The original old version was good, though.

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85

A sample from Miss B! This was my first cup of the day at work, and I’m enjoying it immensely. Flavoured teas can be a bit hit and miss, but this one delivers what it promises – buttermilk and lemon. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, just because. The scent of the brewed tea is very much buttermilk – it has that salty sour tang that’s so distinctive. This also translates into the taste, but it’s freshened up wonderfully by the bright, zesty lemon. It’s deliciously creamy but not too sweet or cloying – it walks the right line for a mid-morning cup, at least in my estimation. The overall effect, particularly with the added milk, is one of lemon pudding. Totally delicious!

Preparation
Boiling 3 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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