1088 Tasting Notes

60

After my success with S&V Candy Cane, I decided to cold-brew the last of my Carrot Cake Cupcake Green Rooibos for work today. I’m reasonably pleased with it — I think on balance I can taste more carrot cake, and certainly more cream cheese, than I could when drinking this hot. It’s still quite delicate, though. In the initial sip, it doesn’t seem like there’s much flavour to be had, but it does develop quite wonderfully in the aftertaste. There’s a delicate carroty freshness, a hint of spice, and a slightly tangy sweetness that really is reminiscent of cream cheese frosting. This will be an easy cold brew to sip on today, and it gets one of my languishing teas out of my cupboard. Not a restock, I don’t think, but enjoyable enough.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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95

Sipdown! I love this one…when I place an order with Teavivre next, this will definitely be on my list. It’ll probably be a little while, because I’ve just received my sampler of 2014 spring harvest green teas from them, but no doubt missing it will make it all the more desirable once it does make a return to my cupboard.

It’s deliciously malty, with grain and sweet potato notes…maybe a touch of honey at the very end of the sip. And soooo smooth! I’m on my third cup today, and I’ve loved every mouthful. Gorgeous!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
KittyLovesTea

This is one of my favourite black teas to date, such a beautiful quality and full of flavour. Always nice to see another golden tip fan :)

Ysaurella

agree girls this one is absolutely lovely even for me a non golden tip fan.

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45

My final cup last night was much better. I managed to replicate my first cup, which I enjoyed quite a lot. I’m still not enjoying the “base” flavour, or the oiliness, but the creamy vanilla mintiness almost makes it worthwhile. Still, I’m not too sad that it’s now left my cupboard. It was certainly an experience!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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95

Tea of the morning. It was as wonderfully malty and chocolatey as the first couple of cups I had. I’ll be drinking the last of my sample this evening, as an after dinner treat. Black tea perfection!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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45

I have to say that I enjoyed my second cup of this far less than my first one. I don’t know whether I overdid it or something, but it was bitter and quite drying — it kept catching the back of my throat. Sad to say, I dumped it after I drank about half.

It’s really strange, because the first cup I had was just lovely — creamy white chocolate, mint. Sure, it was oily, but I started to look past that because it tasted so good. Not so tonight. Where did the tea I liked go? I have enough to try once more — hopefully I can recover my mojo with this one before it’s too late!
Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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80

A sample from VariaTEA. I surprised myself with this one, because I’m not usually a decaf kind of girl. If I want caffiene free tea in the evening, I usually got for a herbal. Last night I really, really wanted black tea, but I knew it was a bad idea. Then I remembered this one!

The smell of the dry leaf is A-MA-ZING. It reminds me of Starbuck’s Vanilla Nut Latte! It’s scented strongly of vanilla, with a nutty background note. I gave it about three minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark, so I added a good slug of milk.

It tastes almost as wonderful as it smells. Not quite, because probably very few things actually do, particularly when it comes to flavoured black tea. It’s better than I thought it was going to be, though. There’s a nice, creamy vanilla flavour, not too overpoweringly sweet, and a toasty nuttiness…hazelnut, I think. It’s a really delicious and well balanced combination, and it stands up well against the black base. I can taste “tea” quite strongly, but as it mostly confines itself to the aftertaste, it doesn’t interfere too much with the initial flavour of the sip, which is all vanilla-nut loveliness. A really nice evening treat — just the thing! Many thanks to VariaTea for sharing this one with me :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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70

I had another cup of this last night, just to try and firm up my opinion of it. On balance, I like it. It’s a mild chai, and it has wonderful creamy notes from the coconut. It’s a really nice treat with a dash of milk, on an evening when something warming is nice, but heavy “winter” spice levels would be too much. Tasty and fairly subtle! I love the pepper notes in this one, and I’m appreciating tasting the individual spice flavours. Usually they get buried under clove, but this one is gentle enough that the “milder” flavours like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom can really shine. A pleasing cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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70

Finished the last of my bag with another cold brew today. I really enjoyed it on Wednesday, and after yesterday’s disappointment with Cherry Vanilla Cola, I wanted something I knew would be good. I didn’t have quite enough leaf, but it doesn’t seem to have suffered for it. I’m still getting a fabulous creamy vanilla flavour, and then a cooling hit of peppermint. Liquid candy cane, and truly fabulous iced tea! This one had languished in my cupboard a bit, but I think I might actually miss it now!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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60

Today’s cold brew of choice, which accompanied me to work. Last time I drank this iced, I was pretty happy with it. I don’t know whether it’s lost something in the meantime, but this time I’m just not getting much from it. It seems perverse to say it, but I actually prefer this hot. It has more flavour all round than the fairly uninspiring drink I’m faced with at the moment. I’m all the more surprised because I used a generous three tablespoons of leaf to just under 2 litres of water, and left it a good 12 hours overnight. It smells of cola, and it’s coloured strongly enough, but it just doesn’t taste of anything particularly. There’s a hint of very weak cola flavour lurking around in the background, but none of the cherry or vanilla amazingness I used to love. It’s been stored for a while, which I guess might have something to do with it…or maybe it just needs sugar to help it along? Too late now, either way! I’m not going to lower my rating just yet, because my memory of this tea is much better. I’m a bit disappointed, though — I was looking forward to a delicious treat to sip on all day :(

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85

Last tea before bed last night. Judging from the scent of the dry leaf, I was worried that this one was going to be pure rooibos. I couldn’t smell anything beyond a deep woodsiness, even while brewing. Thankfully, I was wrong. I gave this three minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

Admittedly, my first sip was fairly rooibossy. That quickly faded, though, and left a rich, creamy flavour, absolutely reminiscent of vanilla sponge. It’s a flavour that seems to build with successive sips, to the point where there’s even a hint of buttercream frosting, highlighted with a touch of almond.

This is a seriously yummy tea, and is more than likely to become a fixture on my pre-bedtime rotation for at least a few successive nights. I really like cake tea, and this is a particularly good one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, 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’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

Norfolk, UK

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