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680 Tasting Notes

65

This is an interesting one – coffee flavoured tea! The dry leaf smells primarily of coffee, although the earthy rooibos scent is also pretty strong. It’s that nice, slightly spiky looking rooibos that I’ve come to know I’ll quite like, though, so I’m not too apprehensive. I gave this 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and was rewarded with the usual red-brown liquid. Brewed, the scent is mostly woody rooibos, with just a hint of sweet almond – almost like frangipani, or a freshly opened packet of amaretti biscuits.

To taste, this isn’t actually as thin and watery as I was expecting. The coffee flavour isn’t overpowering, but it’s definitely there. It’s obviously not like drinking a cup of coffee, but it’s not fake or weak either. I’m pretty hungry at the moment, so that’s perhaps influencing my comparison here, but it’s actually making me think of a coffee flavoured bakewell tart. Not that such a thing exists in reality, but if it did. Frangipani and pastry, with coffee flavoured glace icing. Oh yeah!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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70

Sipdown! Another pouch finished in record time. That’s what seems to happen with the ones I really like. I take them to work, and don’t stop drinking them!

A pleasant final cup, anyway, and my second today. The strawberry is sweet and juicy, as ever, although I’m still not getting much mint. A touch, but that’s all.

I’m sad this has gone, anyway. Still, there are plenty more flavoured whites in my stash. Onwards and upwards!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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25

I’m not sure about this one. Something I drank this morning made me feel a bit pukey, and this is, unfortunately, one of the suspects. The first thing that struck me is how much I dislike the smell of the dry leaf. It’s kind of chemically, very sweet, but with an edge of bitterness. The smell reminds me of some of the adagio flavoured blacks, not all of which I can stand.

Anyway, I’ve had two cups today, the first with milk and the second without. It smells much better brewed, but the base tea is pretty bitter even after only three minutes. Out of the two cups, I think I prefer the one with milk, as it seems to tone down the bitterness a touch. On the other hand, I could definitely taste the strawberry-syrup-like grenadine and the creamy, sweet vanilla a lot more clearly without.

I’ve only got a sample packet, but there are at least a couple of cups worth left. I think I’m going to have to experiment a bit before I finally get this right. The base tea is strong enough to take milk, but it does mute the flavour, so a little bit of fiddling around with the amount of leaf and the brew time might help to clarify things for me. At the moment, I can’t say I really like this, so my rating reflects that. A shame.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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45

This blend is more herbal than Fairy Princess. The dry mix contains cornflowers, rose petals, blackberry leaves and what looks like lemongrass, as well as apple, hibi, rosehip, and orange. It smells distinctly more herbal, too. I gave it about 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and was rewarded with the normal dark red hibiscus colour.

According to the description, this one should taste very fruity, like a rocket blast, apparently. It doesn’t, really. There’s the normal over-tart, sour hibi-rosehip taste, but very little else reminds me of fruit. I can maybe find orange a tiny bit, if I’m really looking for it, but it’s not obvious. The main flavour, other than hibiscus, is more herbal than fruit. Rose comes through quite strongly, and something vaguely “green”, too. It’s not really a comfortable flavour combination. It’s not bad, though, and it’s certainly a more interesting fruit/herbal blend than some I’ve tried recently. I just wish it was a lot lighter on the hibiscus and rosehip – it would be so much better like that.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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70

First time trying this one today. It was probably more of a summer tea, but it’s always nice to be reminded of warmer days when it’s cold outside. The first thing that struck me about this one was the scent — it’s mouthwatering! Similarly with the taste. The strawberry is clear and strong, and reminds me a little of those red bootlace sweets you can sometimes get in pick n’ mix. It’s not exactly a natural flavour, but a candy strawberry flavour is good enough for me. I’m not getting much mint, even though there’s apparently both spearmint and peppermint in here. Maybe just a hint in the aftertaste. The white base is pretty perfect — it’s a little heavy as white teas go, but fresh and clean tasting, and somehow almost chewable. I’d like to taste a little more of the mint, so maybe I can work on that, but itherwise I think I’m going to really enjoy this one.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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15

Sipdown! This grew on me, and I actually rather like its minty freshness now. I’ve had two cups this afternoon, because my head feels like it’s full of cotton wool. It’s helping a little bit, probably more than a heavily flavoured or otherwise cloying tea would. I really just need to go home, though. That would probably sort me out.

Anyway, I’m sad that the darjeeling is completely lost here, but I like the mint. It’s doesn’t really taste any different from straight peppermint tea, but there you go. Right now, I don’t care anyway. It tastes nice, and I’ll drink it. Half an hour to go!

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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95

Sipdown! I only started this pouch last week, and it’s gone already. That might just be a record for me! I loved every sip of it, though, and that’s what counts. Very sad it’s gone.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Kittenna

Wow – that is fast!

Sil

take notes Kittenna… take notes.

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80
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
680 tasting notes

Started my second (and last) pouch of this today. The buses this morning were just…stupid. Seriously, the less said about them the better. Anyway, I was late, and didn’t have time to collect any tea on my way in to work. This was my first cup of the day, and thankfully helped to relieve the headache I’d developed while the bus company tried their best to irritate me to death. Ah, mate. How I’ve come to depend on you.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

I’m sitting on my bus now which running really late too! Grrrr to buses!

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90

Last Butiki sample for now, although I’ve got another order on the way…

I chose autumny teas with my last order, as that was basically my excuse for buying more tea when I still have…well, plenty. I added this as a sample, as I’m still not sold on pumpkin tea. I might have been, though, if this was the first one I’d tried. It’s gorgeous. I can immediately taste pumpkin, a hint of spice (mainly cinnamon, I think…), and CREAM. Even with no milk or sugar added, it really is reminiscent of creme brulee. The whole thing is perfectly balanced, with no one element overpowering the rest. How have I survived autumn without this tea? I know I won’t be able to now. I’ve got a packed of Pumpkin Milkshake coming, but I think I’m still going to have to grab a bag of this in the near future. The more Butiki teas I try, the more I love them. Amazing, amazing stuff.

Incidentally, today was my one year Steepster anniversiary. I’m quite surprised how far I’ve come in what seems like such a short space of time, tea wise particularly. I couldn’t have chosen a better tea to mark the day, I don’t think. Delicious and memorable. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Stephanie

I can’t wait to hear how this compares to the new Milkshake Oolong! Looking forward to your notes on it :) And happy anniversary! :D

Sil

congratulations darling! It’s wonderful to see so many of us celebrating this year heh

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70

This is an interesting one. The aroma while brewing reminds me a bit of an oolong, although I know it’s not. There’s also a sweet fruitiness from the peach, and a distinctive bakey-floral note from the hops. I gave it three minutes in boiling water, by which point the liquor has become medium brown in colour.

As it cools, I can smell more peach than I could initially. That’s a good thing, I think. First sip was still a little hot, but varied in taste between sweet and bitter. The peach adds a light sweetness, and a delicate, summery fruitiness, while the hops and base guranse add a slightly bitter, slightly floral note. I wasn’t sure at first, but on balance I think the combination is a good one. There’s a weight to it, a bit like beer, and an almost thick texture. It’s certainly unlike any tea I’ve tried before!

I’ve left it right until the end of summer to try this, but it’s a tea I could happily drink all year round. To me, it’s quite summery in terms of flavour, but it’s also substantial enough to make a really interesting autumn tea as well. Definitely one I’d buy more of in the future!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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