1699 Tasting Notes

65

The last of my Doctor Who fandom blends. It’s nice to have a change of pace from Earl Grey, because I feel like I’ve been drinking a lot of that this morning. This one has a decent, solid base of Irish Breakfast, with cinnamon and orange flavouring. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

For the first few sips, I could only really detect the sweet, caramel-like maltiness of Irish Breakfast. While nice, it’s not quite what I was expecting. Successive sips reveal some cinnamon, although it’s nowhere near as strong as I thought it would be. It lurks in the background, and only really emerges fully in the aftertaste, where it contributes a warming feeling and a hint of spice. The orange, I feel, is almost completely lost. I get the odd citrussy flash, but nothing I’d really be able to pin down as orange if I didn’t know that’s what it was supposed to be. Possibly this one has lost a little of its flavour, although none of the other blends in my sample box have, so I’m thinking it was perhaps a fairly mild blend to begin with. It’s pleasant enough – straightforward and easy to drink, not too in-your-face like some flavoured blends can be. I was hoping for more of an orange/cinnamon play-off, especially as its cold out today, but I’m happy enough with how this one turned out. It’s probably not one I’d repurchase, but I’ll have no problem finishing up my sample tin. Sometimes a fairly simple, reliable black tea is just what I’m after, anyway.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85

This is another of my older teas, so I have the original blend with the sweet potato. I consider myself lucky. I’m a little wary of black/green blends, probably because I’ve messed them up royally before, but I think I’ve worked out how to treat them now. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I figured that would be okay, since there’s not a great deal of green tea in this blend as far as I can see. The scent of the brewed tea is sweet with a hint of spiciness lurking behind.

To taste, I’m picking up strong initial notes of sweet potato. It’s wonderfully creamy, sweet, and almost a little starchy in flavour. Underlying, there’s the thicker maltiness of the irish breakfast, with just a hint of something cinnamon-like. There’s also a very slight edge of sweetness from the vanilla, with just a touch of dankness from the green tea. It sounds odd, but it’s actually a combination that works pretty well in practice. It’s a really great autumn tea, with its delicious sweet potato notes and creamy sweetness. I’m not entirely sure where the spiciness is coming from, but it seems to build with successive sips and leaves a pleasant warmth at the back of the throat. I really enjoyed my cup, and I’ll savour the rest of my sample tin over the coming months. This might become my cold day go-to for a bit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Mmm, sounds perfect for fall.

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40

This isn’t my favourite tea by any means, but I’m pretty close to the end of the tin now. I keep it around for when I’m feeling a bit under the weather – it’s good for sore mouth/sore throat days. I felt a bit peaky yesterday, like I might be starting with a cold, so I had a cup of this one before I went to bed. My scratchy throat has gone (for now) so maybe it helped. I’m another cup nearer a sipdown, anyway, and as this is one of my oldest teas, that’s no bad thing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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90

After yesterday’s success with Rose Tyler, I was more than up for another earl grey blend this morning. River Song has a base of Earl Grey Moonlight, which is Adagio’s vanilla/cream earl grey. It also contains Rooibos Lemon Cloud and, looking at the dry leaf, it’s about a 50/50 split between the two. There are a few strands of toasted coconut running throughout as well. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark, so I added a splash of milk.

I wasn’t sure about this one when I first read the description, which is probably why I’ve left it until now to try. I’m really impressed, though! The initial flavour is coconut, and it’s a smooth, coconut cream kind of flavour, with none of the soapiness I sometimes get from Adagio’s coconut blends. The lemon emerges in the mid-sip, and is bright and citrussy, but also a touch creamy in the way of lemon mousse. I can detect a touch of bergamot right at the end of the sip, but it’s barely there and by no means overpowering. It does cut through some of the rich creaminess, ending on a sharper citrus note, which is welcome after a few sips. Mostly, though, this is a lemon and coconut cream blend, and it’s as delicious as that sounds. A real tropical dessert tea! I didn’t expect to enjoy this one so much, but it just goes to show I can still surprise myself. An unexpected hit.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Raspberry Earl Grey sounds pretty good to me, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever tried/come across one before. Not that I can remember, anyway. The dry leaf smells pretty good, in a sweet, candy-raspberry sort of way. I can see pieces of dried raspberry, cubes of dried apple, and a scattering of lavender, so it looks pretty good too. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The lavender is a lot more prominent in the scent once brewed.

To taste, raspberry is definitely the main flavour. This is a good thing, to my mind. It’s nicely done, with a pleasant sweet/tart balance, and it’s not too candy-like. It’s not exactly dead-on fresh raspberry, either, but it’s close. I’m also enjoying the earl grey aspect, with it’s mild notes of bitter orange, and lightly floral, lavender edge. Neither the bergamot nor the lavender have become overpowering, which is a relief. They’re not my favourite flavours, but I’ll concede that they work well here.

This one made for a pleasant mid-afternoon cup, and it’s made me wonder whether there are other red-fruit flavoured earl grey blends out there that I’ve not come across. This could be the start of a new obsession.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
rosebudmelissa

Ooh, raspberry earl grey. That sounds like something I’ll have to try eventually.

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80

So I’m finally getting around to writing notes for the remainder of my Adagio Doctor Who teas, which I’ve been drinking my way through for a little while now, but apparently not logging. Hmm. I’ve had two cups of Captain Jack this morning – he’s that good. Adagio’s Ceylon base isn’t my favourite – I find it a little thin and a bit over-citrussy, and it has a tendency to become bitter. It’s not bad here, though – I think the addition of rooibos helps to tone it down a bit. Equally, the ceylon stops the rooibos from being overpoweringly woodsy, so maybe it’s a good pairing after all. It works, anyway. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The kitchen smelled deliciously chocolatey, so I added a splash of milk because that’s the kind of mood I’m in – I want something creamy, decadent, and warming. It’s cold today, and I put my winter boots and coat on for the first time this morning – that must mean it’s comfort tea time!

Anyway, the main flavour I can taste here is chocolate. It’s a dark, slightly bittersweet, cocoa-heavy chocolate, the kind that would taste a little dry if you were to eat it. There’s a touch of almond, too, but it’s not strong. The nuttiness is a nice counterpoint to the chocolate, at any rate, and pairs really well. It takes this one from being an ordinary, fairly unremarkable chocolate tea and makes it into something a bit more special and dessert-like.

I enjoyed this one. It’s smooth and seductive, like the Captain, and it’s one I’d consider repurchasing if I ever get my cupboard back under control. Total yum.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80

I started the day with this tea, hoping that it would be clean and refreshing. Thankfully I was right, and it made a great choice in lieu of breakfast.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/09/halpewatte-ceylon-black-tea-mks-tea-company/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Ancient Forest by Art of Tea
1699 tasting notes

The description of the “creamy texture and notes of amber and honey” this tea purports to provide made me particularly eager to try it. It certainly sounds divine, after all. I was even more interested when I learned that the base tea is Yunnan, as it’s one of my favourite black tea varieties.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/10/ancient-forest-black-tea-art-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Dorian Grey by Luhse Tea
1699 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m going to miss this one a lot – it’s definitely one of the best Earl Grey Cream blends I’ve tried in a good long while. As it’s also the only tea I’d consider reordering, it might have to be a while before it’s back in my cupboard. I’m going to savour my last cup!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Their shipping is crazy! I did a mock order and the rate was ridiculous so guess I shouldn’t bother putting this on my wishlist haha.

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90
drank Apple & Ginger by Clipper
1699 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’ve more or less given up on bagged herbal teas like this, because typically they smell a lot nicer than they taste. This one smells divine, too – very appley, like a fresh baked apple pie. I wasn’t expecting much from the flavour, but it’s actually pretty good. I can taste apple, and it’s a nice, fresh, crisp, “green” tasting apple – not too sweet, and not too tart, with just the tiniest hint of sharpness. The ginger is definitely second fiddle, but it provides a pleasantly warming background and just a touch of sweetness, with a mild gingery tang. It’s a really good pairing, and it’s really putting me in mind of apple pie! It’s just perfect for sipping on an autumnal afternoon, and it’s nice to see something other than the usual pairing of lemon and ginger, too – it’s just a little unusual. A definite winner with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 28, 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.

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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