1623 Tasting Notes

75

From the EU TTB

I used to drink a lot of Chamomile, but not so much recently. I’m hitting up the calming teas at the moment, though – this week I’ve got nerves like never before. Anyway, the tea. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions. I like watching whole flower chamomile as it brews – I think that’s at least half of the calming effect. The liquor is a bright, sunny yellow.

To taste, this is one of the nicer chamomiles I’ve tried in a while. I mean, yes – they’re all pretty similar, but whole flower ones are definitely different to bagged varieties. This one is mildly floral, with gentle notes of hay and honey. It’s not overpoweringly sweet or cloying, and it’s not at the tasteless end of the spectrum either. It’s just…right.

I might have to snag this one for copious drinking over the next few days.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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65

From the EU TTB

This was my pre-bedtime cup. I have a big interview coming up this week, which I’m already starting to stress about. For some reason, Earl Grey always helps me to calm down. I think it’s the scent of the bergamot, even though bergamot isn’t my favourite thing most of the time. It works, anyway, and that’s all I’m looking for right now. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

I quite like this one. The bergamot is a little sharper to taste than I would usually go for, but the milk helps to take that down a little. The black base is smooth and strong, with pleasant citrus notes of its own – maybe a ceylon. It’s not the most unique tea out there, and it’s not the best earl grey I’ve ever tried, but it’s a pretty solid example. I’d keep this one around for evenings when I feel a bit deranged – it certainly helped me to get off to sleep!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Christina / BooksandTea

Good luck on your interview! What will you be interviewing for?

Rosehips

Good Luck! Drink lots of calming tea.

Scheherazade

Admissions Officer, but not where I currently work. It would be a new, unknown place…plus it’s three grades above my current job. I didn’t actually believe when I applied that I’d be offered an interview, and now I’m a bit scared!

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70

From the EU TTB

I like a good chai, and as today is fairly cold and autumnal it seemed like a good fit. Even though I live in Norwich, I’ve not tried many Wilkinsons teas, which is an obvious oversight on my part. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4.5 minutes in boiling water. It brews up strong and dark, which I think is a good thing in a chai, and I added a good splash of milk.

To taste, this is a solid, traditional chai. The black tea base is malty and sweet, and the spices swirl nicely through it – cardamom and clove, a touch of cinnamon. It’s not a hugely strong blend on the spice front, but it’s a pleasant balance. A conforting, classic chai blend, and one I’d definitely look at purchasing in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Dustin

I’m jealous of your autumn weather! We are still trudging through the summer heat here in Texas.

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60
drank Chocolate by English Tea Store
1623 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’m a bit of a sucker for a chocolate tea, so I was pleased to see this one in the box. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, it’s pretty good. There’s chocolate, all right, although it’s a little on the artificial side. The base is a little overpowering, I’d say. I can taste more ceylon, with its classic citrussy notes, than I can flavouring. It’s like a chocolate biscuit dipped in tea. The more I sip, the more I’m reminded of Adagio’s Chocolate Chip, which also has a ceylon base and a slightly artificial chocolate flavour. It’s nice, but not the best chocolate tea I’ve ever tasted.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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45

From the EU TTB

I picked this one out as my first try, largely because it’s a colder day today and I feel like something a little more autumnal. Plum says autumn to me! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this is pretty much a standard black tea. It’s sweet and malty, with just the slightest bit of astringent bite at the end of the sip. There’s a hint of something fruity and plum like in the aftertaste, but it’s fleeting and barely there. Still, it’s nice while it lasts! I could have taken a lot more plum flavour in this one, but it’s still a pleasant, straightforward black tea for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85

A sample from Roswell Strange. I was really curious to try this one, as gingerbread teas are typically among my favourites. This one smells good to start with – just like a freshly baked gingerbread man. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

The flavour is spot-on wonderful! It’s sweet, but not overbearingly so, with a pleasant edge of ginger and a touch of almond. It’s definitely “gingerbread” more than “ginger” – it has that wonderful cake-like quality that’s so difficult to capture in a liquid (and equally hard to describe!) The ginger is sticky and sweet rather than strong and sharply spicy. I’m really enjoying this one — I only wish I had more!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

I’m hoping I have more luck with this Bluebird choice, and I have a feeling I might be lucky. The dry leaf smells strongly of cherry and almond – almost to the point of being a bit sickly, if I’m honest. The dry leaf is the prettiest thing, though; red and blue cornflowers, chunks of cherry, burgundy and cream hibiscus, cubes of dried apple, almond slivers, the odd currant, and the green and cream white tea leaves. The scent actually reminds me a little of Christmas cake – but I’m thinking that might be the almonds more than anything. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale, pale pink and smells just perfectly of fresh cherry bakewell!

To taste, this is as good as I’d hoped. I was a touch concerned that it was going to be overpoweringly sweet based on the dry scent, but it turns out that’s not the case at all. This one really is like liquid cherry bakewell – there’s the sweet, slightly tart, jammy cherry in the initial sip, followed by quite a strong almond flavour, just like frangipane. There’s even a lingering sweetness at the end that reminds me of water icing. I’m so pleased with this one; it’s just as I hoped it would be.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
TeaNTees

This sounds lovely! I wish I was in the UK so that I could try more Bluebird Teas

Teatotaler

This really dose sound like an exquisite tea! I always wish that I was in the UK – Serious Anglophile here! :)

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90

I’m slowly working through the last of my Butiki teas, and it seemed like high time this one got an outing. The scent upon opening the bag is overwhelmingly lemony, with a background sweetness that totally puts me in mind of cupcakes, pastries, and macarons. It’s high-end bakery tea! As ever with Butiki, the dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous. The silver needles are very long – some up to 4cm – and a beautiful creamy pale green. They’re perfectly soft and downy, and the little pink and white puffs scattered throughout (I’m guessing these are the Amaranth and Calendula), only adds to this effect. There are a few almond slivers, too. I followed the recommended parameters and gave 2 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in water cooled to 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-gold.

The flavour, as expected, is divine. It’s lemony, but in a primarily candy-like way with just a touch of sharpness. I’m thinking candied lemon peel at this point. Underlying the lemon is an intense creaminess, very reminiscent of sweetened pastry cream. The final flavour is a light almond nuttiness, very reminiscent of macarons. The white base is perfect for the delicate cream and macaron-shell notes, mildly sweet and a touch buttery without being overpowering. I’m totally and utterly happy with this one – it’s an amazing flavoured tea. It also means that I miss Butiki more than ever, but such is life.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
TeaNTees

So full of sorrow that I will never be able to try this one! :(

Butiki Teas

Yep, the pink and white puffs are amaranth. The calendula pieces are the yellow ribbons. :)

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10
drank Pear Drops by Bluebird Tea Co.
1623 tasting notes

I tried this one hot a couple of evenings ago, and I wasn’t all that impressed because it mostly tasted of rooibos with just the slightest hint of floral pear. I figured I’d use the rest of my sample for a cold-brew, in the hope that that might bring out the pear flavour a little more. I was totally wrong, and, if anything, I like the cold-brew less than I did the hot. And that’s saying something. The reason I dislike this one so much is primarily because of one thing – STEVIA. It’s so strong and artificially sweet, and it’s sticking in the back of my throat so that I can taste it even though I’ve stopped drinking. There’s also no pear. Just rooibos. Wood-shaving rooibos, and stevia. Urgh shudders. Down the sink this one goes!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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10
drank Pear Drops by Bluebird Tea Co.
1623 tasting notes

I’m usually pretty impressed with Bluebird teas but sadly this one wasn’t a hit with me. I love pear drops, but all I got from my cup of this one was a rather woody, drying rooibos. There’s the tiniest bit of floral pear-like flavour lurking in the background, but it’s barely there and I often wondered whether I wasn’t just imagining it.

I really wish the flavour here could have been stronger. It’s such a delicious idea, but sadly not even close to realisation. A rare Bluebird flop.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 27, 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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