1088 Tasting Notes

85

Second cup of this. I really liked it previously, and my opinion is unchanged. I surprised myself all over again with how smooth and non-astringent the darjeeling base is, even when steeped for 4 minutes as per the recommended parameters. I was worried that I’d overdone it, but one sip told me we were okay. I also like how this one tastes like milkshake even without any milk — it can’t be anything but amazing Butiki awesomeness yet again! Spicy, milky, pumpkin wonderfulness. It may be spring and a bit unseasonal, but I love it anyway :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Sarsonator

I have to stop reading tea reviews… my wishlist keeps growing. I have to try this!

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100

I don’t really have much to add to my previous tasting notes, but I still find this one utterly delightful. Mild, slightly citrussy earl grey with a big smack of creaminess. It’s just gorgeous!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
1088 tasting notes

I’m treating myself to a cup of all of my favourite teas today, and this was high on the list. It’s as good as the first cup I tried last week, all fabulous sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb, buttery pie crust and just generally amazing awesomeness. I can’t help but love this one!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Memily

You are really making me regret not ordering this!

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90

A sample from VariaTEA. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, although I’ve never really had the chance until now. I guess that’s why I’ve been saving my sample! I wanted to wait for a day when I’d have the time to enjoy it. Thankfully, it’s as good as I’d hoped. It smells sweet and nutty straight out of the packet, and this only intensifies as it brews. For a first go, I gave 1 tsp of leaves 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. It tastes fabulous — absolutely like a fresh piece of brioche, or an almond croissaint! It’s bready and nutty (almond, mostly), with a hint of milky vanilla sweetness and cinnamon spice. The base is fabulously smooth, and its slight maltiness perfectly complements the bready, sweet notes of the flavouring. It’s one of those great flavoured blacks where it’s hard to tell exactly where the flavouring ends and the base begins. Many thanks to VariaTEA for sharing this one with me. I have enough for a couple more cups, but I’ll be hugely sad when this is gone!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75

A sample from VariaTEA, and the last of my pre-bedtime teas tonight. At first, I was convinced this was going to be all rooibos. After the first couple of sips, though, I proved myself wrong. This does taste almost like a truffle — a milk chocolate richness develops first, and then the sweetness of white chocolate comes through, with maybe a touch of vanilla. It’s almost reminiscent of a truffle with a milk chocolate centre that’s been dipped in white chocolate! The tiniest swirl of mint helps to prevent it becoming too sweet and cloying, and a slight background woodiness from the rooibos also helps on that score. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with this one! It’s a great guilt-free dessert tea, and a relaxing evening cup. Thanks again to VariaTEA for sharing this with me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85

A sample from VariaTEA. Hopelessly unseasonal, given that it’s practically summer, but I don’t mind. Delicious tea is delicious tea, and this is particularly wonderful. For starters, it smells wonderful — even dry, the rich scent of freshly baked cookies is hopelessly enticing. Brewed, it’s even better. That actually came as a bit of a surprise, as flavoured teas can be a bit hit and miss in terms of tasting like they smell. Not so with this one!

I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. It’s amazing from first sip; deliciously bakey, choc-chip cookie flavoured heaven, with a gorgeous milkiness that develops mid-sip. I like how the milk tastes slightly “thin”, like actual milk would. It’s almost too much in a way — it’s fairly sweet and rich, and a smallish cup is definitely enough. Thanks to VariaTEA for sharing this one with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
whatshesaid

Sounds yummy!

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65
drank Blood Orange by CaesarsTea
1088 tasting notes

A sample from VariaTEA. I was expecting this one to be quite sharp, somehow, but it’s not like that at all. It actually reminds me of a couple of orange teas I’ve tried recently; Twinings’ Lady Grey and Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce. It shares the same orange cream, almost sherbet-like, taste. I added a splash of milk to my cup, which I think helped with that a little. It’s not a very natural orange flavour, though; more like kia-ora than fruit. Even so, it’s a pleasant cup. The black base suits the flavouring and stops it from becoming too sweet and cloying. It’s not one I’d want on hand all the time (a good thing, because I don’t think I could get any even if I did…), but it’s a nice treat on a spring evening, and a great dessert tea. Thanks to VariaTEA for giving me the chance to try this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank SBT: Cotton Candy by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Second iced tea of the year! I also tried this one last year, and really enjoyed it. Again, I think I’ve done slightly better with the brewing this year. I timed more carefully while the bag was in the hot water (three minutes and no more!), but used the same parameters otherwise (topped up to 2 litres with cold water, cooled in fridge for 12 hours overnight). The cotton candy flavour is strong and clear, and delightfully sweet and sugary. It’s as close as a drink can get to the real thing. The base is wonderfully smooth, as ever, and supports the flavouring really well. I think the coolness helps to offset some of the sweetness, too, making this hugely refreshing this warm morning! Lovely, lovely stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank SBT: Razzleberry by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

First iced tea of the year! I tried this one last year, but I think I left the bag for too long and the base become very prominent and slightly astringent. I did better this year, because the cup I’m drinking at the moment is very smooth, and there’s a delicious berry flavour running over the (relatively subtle) black base. It’s more raspberry than blackberry, I think, and it tastes more like fruit flavoured candies than actual fresh fruit. I’m pretty sure I’m getting that impression because it’s sweet, with no hint of tang or tartness. Real fruit just wouldn’t be that uniformly sweet! Not that I mind — it makes a delicious and refreshing drink on a warm day. I could take the flavouring a little stronger, but that’s a minor complaint. Maybe this time I was a little conservative while trying to avoid bitterness! I brewed this in 1/4 pint of boiling water for three minutes, and then topped up the jug to 2 litres. It then went in the fridge overnight, for about 12 hours. I haven’t yet tried cold brewing one of these, but that’s something to keep in mind for the future. As a first iced tea of the season, though, I can only say I’m looking forward to the months ahead!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Veronica

Yum! I have a bunch of SBT that I’ve been saving for warmer weather. There’s nothing better than iced tea on a really hot day.

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60

Added a piece of crystal sugar to my cup last night. It helped the banana a little, although it’s still not quite as prominent as I’d like it to be. A drinkable cup nonetheless, though!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 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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