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685 Tasting Notes

100

I was drinking mostly coffee by the end of friday to try and keep myself awake. It really was a difficult week, and I’m so glad it only happens once a year. I celebrated my return to tea this morning with a cup of this. I love how chocolatey it is, and how rich and deep the flavour of the black tea base can be. I’ve not had a problem with astringency, which I half suspected I would. Instead, it’s just smooth, slightly dusty, cocoa heaven. A truly beautiful black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Ysaurella

will catch this one, one day at MF store

Sil

mm sounds delicious!

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95

I only started my pouch of this on monday, and it’s almost gone. I think that, more than anything, shows just how much I love it. It’s been a cold week, so the idea of a warm cinnamon bun has been really appealing. Since there were none to hand, this tea was a more than ideal substitute. I’ve been brewing it for between 4 and 5 minutes, by and large, and I can’t get over the fact that it tastes almost exactly like the real thing. The smell is the first thing I noticed. In the bag, it’s quite strongly cinnamon, and I could see the quantity of chips in here. In practice, though, the cinnamon is remarkably delicate, there’s a sweetness that’s reminiscent of icing, and there’s something…something in the background that’s maybe just reminding me of pastry. I picked this out after giving it a longer brew time on friday — before then I wasn’t really getting the bun element at all. I think I’m going to take some sugar to work next week and see what that does. As honeybush goes, though, this is going to be another of my favourites, alongside Strawberry Pie. It’s amazing stuff, particularly for autumn.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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70

Final sipdown this week! Another one that grew on me the more I drank it. I could never really taste cake, but I definitely got cream and raspberry, much like the filling of a victoria sponge, so I suppose that’s fair enough. It’s tea, after all. Tea is not cake. I did find the black base a little bitter and astringent here, but I learned to deal with that by brewing for a shorter time. That impacts on the depth of flavour a little, but not terribly. Adding milk helped to develop the creaminess, but I prefered this black on balance. One I’d definitely consider restocking in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Adventure by Yumchaa
685 tasting notes

Sipdown! This one was a long time coming, but I got there in the end. I wasn’t sure about it at first, because there’s a lot going on in terms of flavour, and it just seemed a bit confused. It’s grown on me, though, especially as the days have gotten cooler. I drank the last cup of this at work on friday afternoon, after I’d spent a couple of hours over in estates packing boxes of freight. It was freezing, and so this fruity, caramelly, slightly nutty, spicy wonder was just the thing when I got back. It reminded me almost of mulled wine, and maybe that’s the comparison I’ve been looking for all this time. Probably not one I’d buy again, but a nice enough autumn/winter rooibos for all that.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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30

I managed quite a few sipdowns this week, this among them, so I’ve basically spent most of this afternoon buying more tea. Naughty, as I still have more than enough to be going on with, but I couldn’t resist. It’s a treat after my hard week, that’s what I’m telling myself.

I wasn’t all that impressed with this tea in terms of flavour. It’s a perfectly nice chocolate mate, but I couldn’t get anything cakey or cream cheesy out of it, no matter hard I tried. If I’m in the market for a chocolate mate, I’d choose malted chocomate over this. It’s not a bad tea, I just wanted more from it. Good to have tried all the same, though.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

Sipdown! I’ve been AWOL this last week or so, I know. We’ve just been hosing our annual agent familiarisation week at work, so it’s been all hands on deck. I feel like I’ve hardly had time to breathe, let alone keep up with tasting notes, but it’s over now. I’m having monday off to compensate! I drank my last cup of this before bed last monday. I’d worked the saturday previously, knew a hard week was just beginning, and so felt like something wonderful and comforting that I absolutely knew wouldn’t let me down. This was the perfect choice. I’m really sad to see it go, so hopefully it’ll be reblended one day. I know I’d buy lots if it was — it’s more or less my all-time favourite honeybush!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Now that the mornings are a bit cooler, I’ve been drinking this a lot at work. It’s delicious! The cinnamon is just right — not overpowering, not too subtle. There’s also a sweetness that really does remind me of icing. I’m not reaaaly tasting the pastry element, but I guess I’m not concentrating all that hard. I’ll write a better note when I get chance to breathe — it’s been a pretty manic week. I’m really enjoying this one, though. It tastes amazing!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

I’ve been drinking this a lot more regularly since I brought the packet to work with me. I like the idea of this tea, but it doesn’t always work for me in practice. When I get it right, it’s gorgeous. Nice, robust black base, sweet raspberry, and a hint of creaminess (particularly enhanced with milk). I seem to get it wrong more often than not, though. Part of the issue is the strength of the black base — if the leaves are left in for even a few second more than they should be, the result is an astringent, almost raspberry-less brew. I like this, and I want to like it more than I do, but it’s just so hard to get right I sometimes wonder whether it’s worth the bother. It’s easy to say that it is when it’s perfect, but the bad times make me doubt. A lovely idea, I just wish the base tea was a bit more forgiving. I’ll drink the rest of my packet anyway, but it’s probably not one I’d buy again unless some alterations are made.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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15

I’ve had a couple of cups of this tea so far this week. I’m not 100% sure what I think of it as yet, though. I’ve tried Adagio’s Sarjeeling Sungma Summer separately, and it was okay — according to the packet, that’s the base for this blend. My issue is with the amount of peppermint, I think. For me, this might as well just be a peppermint tea, since I can’t taste anything of the darjeeling base. It smells of peppermint, tastes of peppermint, walks like peppermint, talks like peppermint. That’s fine, as far as it goes, but if I’d wanted that I would have chosen…peppermint. It’s drinkable, I’m just disappointed that the darjeeling is so lost. Less peppermint is required here.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Adventure by Yumchaa
685 tasting notes

As the mornings get colder, I’ve been turning to this one more than I have over the past few months. Its fruity caramel taste is just the thing when I arrive at work feeling cold and shivery. It’s not as good at waking me up as my normal morning mate, but it’s certainly a yummy tea. I’ve come to like this one a bit more as time has gone on. AAt first, it was just a confusing mess of flavours, but now I think I understand it better. Red fruit and caramel are a bit of an odd combination, but not terribly so. Somehow, the cinnamon helps to bring them together. Unusual, but I like it!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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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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