1694 Tasting Notes

80

A sample from Miss B. The leaves of of this one are reminding me of a Butiki green I tried a while back, but I can’t now remember which one. They’re thin and wiry, very twisted (almost curly, really…), and a very dark green. The flavour is also reminding me of something, but I’m finding it hard to pin down exactly what. Roasted chestnuts is as close as I can come, but it’s not quite right…Roasted chestnuts and grass? Mushroom? Mushroom! That’s closer.

It’s a very smooth green, not at all astringent, but with a strong and distinctive flavour. Just the kind of green tea I’ve discovered I like! Thanks again to Miss B for sharing this one with me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

First cup of the morning! It’s feeling very autumnal today, so I picked out something fall-y, I think for the first time this year (at least, on purpose). What surprises me most is that there are no notes for this one yet – I’m pretty sure it’s from Bluebird’s last autumn collection.

In any case, it’s good. First sip reminded me a lot of David’s Tea Alpine Punch. There’s a very strong almond flavour right up front, very reminiscent of marzipan. In the mid-sip, there’s coconut, and then a touch of warming cinnamon spice in the final fade. It’s a rooibos base, but I can’t really taste any of the woodiness that I typically associate with red rooibos. No sawdust here! I think that’s partly because the almond’s so strong. It pretty well drowns out everything else.

I’m enjoying this one. It’s warming, and comforting, and it perfectly encapsulates early autumn for me. I used 1 tsp for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water, plus a splash of milk. Delicious! I’m probably going to add this one to my evening rotation, except I’ll be sad when it’s gone. If only it were still available!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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100

Sipdown! I’ll miss this one on chilly mornings. Although sometimes it borders on being too rich, that’s a small price to pay for a tea that (on the whole) is totally amazing. Really strong caramel and vanilla notes, on a thick and malty black base. Dessert tea perfection!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Good to hear that this is amazing because I was planning on getting it whenever I stop being lazy and place an order. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Fjellrev, out of curiosity, what do you tend to pay in shipping charges?

Fjellrev

I haven’t ordered from MF before so quite frankly, I’m a little scared in regards to that. But I did try a mock order a while back and don’t quote me, but it was like $20-$30 for a larger order.

Scheherazade

French Breakfast is nice, too. Chocolatey! I’m coveting American Breakfast, currently, but I don’t have a credit card at the moment so it’s not going to happen for a while.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Fjellrev. One of these days, one of these days.

Fjellrev

I keep saying that too haha.

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75

Today’s work cold brew. I’d been meaning to try this one cold for a while (since last summer, I think?) but I always seem to forget. This year, though, I remembered just in time. I’m not typically a fan of jasmine tea, but I do like peach, and this one strikes just the right balance for me. It’s not too floral or perfumey, and the peach isn’t overly artificial or chemical tasting. Instead, there’s a delicate balance of both. The peach is juicy and natural tasting, and the sweetness is augmented by the light heady floral of the jasmine. It’s a good pairing! The green tea base is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency at all. It must have had at least 7 hours in the fridge, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on that front (I don’t cold brew green teas very often, so I’m less certain about steep times and such like), but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Another excellent Teavivre offering!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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90

I wanted something fairly straightforward this morning, and this fit the bill perfectly. It’s still one of my favourite plain black teas – deliciously malty, with strong chocolate and cocoa notes. It’s very easy to drink, very smooth, and works well both with and without milk. I have a feeling this – or one of Teavivre’s Dian Hongs — will be a permanent fixture in my cupboard. They’re just too good to do without.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Today’s work SBT. Love blueberry, love banana, so this one should be a hit with me. I prepared it the usual way, and I’m pretty pleased with the result. The blueberry is strong, flavour accurate, juicy, fruity…everything you’d want a blueberry tea to be. The banana, though, is surprisingly absent. I say surprising, because usually it’s a flavour 52Teas/SBT do really well. It’s always a candy-like banana, but also always a flavour you can depend on to come over well. Sadly, I can’t taste it at all here.

I’m thinking it might be because the blueberry is so strong (I can’t even really taste much of the black tea base, which is a rarity with SBTs for me). I’m in no way disappointed with the way that comes across. It’s not really blueberry banana tea, though. Just blueberry, which is fine with me, but the name established certain expectations. If it’s only blueberry, just call it blueberry. Nothing wrong with that!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Yaupon, as a tea varietal, is entirely new to me, At first glance, it looks a lot more like a mate or a guayusa; flakes of greenish-brown leaf that put me in mind (albeit fleetingly) of fish food. Closer inspection reveals that they’re actually quite sizable chunks of (very shiny) tea leaves, although not as oxidized as I expected given that they’re referring to this as a “black” tea. Generously scattered among the leaves are cubes of dried apple, almond slivers, small pieces of beetroot, and cinnamon chips. Even dry, the scent is pretty amazing – spot-on apple pie spices!

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/09/29/american-apple-pie-catspring-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Un Momento by Tealux
1694 tasting notes

Today’s “new start”. From the scent of the dry leaf, I was expecting a cup of mostly rooibos, and probably a very woodsy one at that. Fortunately not so. The main flavour here is a slightly sour marscapone-ish creaminess, very reminiscent of tiramisu. Underneath that are notes of almond, coffee, chocolate, and just a hint of caramel. There is some rooibos poking out here and there, but it’s pretty effectively masked by the flavouring for the most part.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The dry leaf contains coffee beans, chocolate chips, and cubes of caramel, so there’s a slightly oily scrim to the brewed cup, but nothing too distracting. I enjoyed this one, on the whole. I’m not sure whether I’d have chosen a rooibos base…but it works. I’m a happy camper!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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30

Today’s work SBT, prepared the usual way. It’s also the most disappointing SBT I’ve tried in a while, because I can’t really taste much in the way of peach, cobbler, or ice cream (the package says a la mode even though the listing doesn’t…) If I concentrate, I can taste tinned peaches, or rather, the syrup that they’re usually preserved in. The flavour really is that light and insubstantial. There’s no vanilla to suggest ice cream, no creaminess, and nothing buttery, biscuitty, or even pastry-like to make me think cobbler. The main flavour is sweet black tea, with only the very, very mildest hint of peach. This makes me sad, because I had high hopes for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Super Starling!

(raspberry) (the sound, not the plant) That bites. Tazo makes a pretty good peach/apple cobbler chai thing. (The apple is a filler, and does show up). It’s pretty cheap, so if you see it in the supermarket, it might make you feel better.

Scheherazade

I’ll look out for that :)

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70

Sweet Dreams is part of AstroloTea’s Transformative Loose Tea range, which combines ingredients with specific properties to create teas designed to have an effect on either mind or body. Sweet Dreams, true to its name, is supposed to be a relaxing blend, with the intention of promoting sleep or rest. Like many blends of this kind, it contains a selection of herbal ingredients known for their calming properties, including rose petals, hops, jasmine, lemon balm, and lavender.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/09/26/musicandteamonday-sweet-dreams-herbal-astrolotea/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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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.

In addition to Steepster, I also write for the SororiTea Sisters. My reviews there will typically be posted here also, although typically in a shorter format. Any teas I’m sent specifically for review will only appear in full on the SororiTea Sisters website, with only a short introduction and link to my review here.

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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