940 Tasting Notes

30

A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I thought I’d logged this one, but apparently not! I’ve been experimenting with leaf and brew time for a few days, because somehow I just can’t seem to get this one quite right. *ashleyelizabeth*’s recommendation was for 1.5tsp of leaf in 98 degree water for 3-4 minutes. Unfortunately, I get a fairly astringent brew with little lemon or earl grey flavour when brewed this way. I cooled the water more and shortened the brew time, and that helped a little — 170 degree water for 3 minutes is where I found this most to my liking. There’s a light lemon flavour and a light creaminess, maybe the tiniest hint of earl grey. Sadly, this one isn’t really doing it for me. I’d try it again in the future if I got chance, though.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I thought this was a green tea for the longest time, so I was quite surprised to find it was actually a rooibos blend. It pays to read the pouch, right? I’ve been drinking this one as my pre-bedtime cup over the last couple of nights, and it’s certainly a fruity treat!

I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The main flavours I can pick out are mango and papaya. When hot, it’s a very fruity, refreshing cup. As this one cools, the flavouring does pick up a slightly over-the-top, almost artificial kind of flavour. I usually detect this most prominently with peach, as it tastes kind of plastic-like, but I’m getting it slightly here too. It’s not a huge problem — it just means I need to slurp it quickly! I do like the fruitiness here, and how it’s the main flavour rather than the rooibos base, but it’s not my favourite fruity rooibos because of the slight chemically bent to the flavour. The green rooibos is a good base here, though, and it definitely ticks more boxes for me more often that red rooibos does. Food for thought.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Memily

Yeah it’s interesting hey! Good note.

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100

This was my favourite of the ML Collection teas last time I tried them. It has a bold black base, which takes milk readily, and which is sweet and slightly malty. There’s a faint hint of chocolate in this tea, and I think it may come from the black tea rather than additional flavouring. The star flavour here is the strong, lychee-like fruitiness, though. It’s rich tasting and almost syrupy, but somehow not overly sweet. It blends really well with the black base, too, melding to become a part of the overall flavour (like the chocolate), rather than a flavouring “on top” of the black tea. There’s a moderate hint of rose in the aftertaste, which leaves a floral, slightly perfume-esque flavour on the tongue. It reminds me fleetingly of turkish delight!

I’m glad to find that one of my previous favourites still scores highly with me! This is a delicious tea that I could see myself drinking at any time of the day, and it’s one of the few ML Collection blends I’d consider reordering. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank SBT: Butterbeer by 52teas
940 tasting notes

Today’s iced tea for work. This one got the usual SBT treatment (3 minutes in a quarter pint of boiling water, topped up with cold and into the fridge overnight). I’ve tried the 52 Teas version of Butterbeer previously in one of the 12 Teas of Christmas boxes, and I’ve got an unopened pouch of a reblend in my cupboard. I liked it well enough, which is why I was eager to give the SBT version a try!

This is best fridge cold, when the buttery flavour seems to come out best. It seems odd to say that about Butterbeer, which should be hot and foaming, and wonderfully warming, but there it is! The flavour actually reminds me of a Werther’s Original, or some kind of butter toffee sweet. The main flavour is an almost caramelised, buttery sweetness, with the underlying flavour of chicory. There’s something a little root beery about it, although it’s definitely more caramel and butter than vanilla ice cream.

Fandom blends are a lovely thing, and this one is a thoughtful tribute to Butterbeer. I’d like to try the Adagio version one day, but I’m happy with this one for now. What I’m also looking forward to is being able to drink my reblend pouch brewed hot again in the winter, while pretending I’m not actually at work but in the Three Broomsticks. Yup, that’ll work.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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30

Another ML Collection tea, and I’m going to say that this one is identical to the Mighty Leaf version, Hojicha Organic. I certainly couldn’t tell them apart!

This one is quite a heavy, dark, earthy flavoured green. It’s not bitter or astringent, though, just strongly flavoured. It’s almost slightly salty, which is a little unexpected — it reminds me of seawater! Potentially that’s because I can also taste seaweed. That’s the closest descriptor I have for the flavour I’m getting from this one. It’s not sweet or vegetal like some greens, it’s slightly nutty, roasty, with a definite “green” flavour — seaweed is the closest I can come.

Not a favourite of mine, but then hojicha in general never has been. I appreciated the difference between this one and some of the other greens I’m drinking at the moment — it was a bit of a palate refresher if nothing else! I’ll happily drink up the rest of my bags, but it’s not one I’d seek our again.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70

Another from the ML Collection sampler, which I’m trying to finish off over the next week or so. This one is pretty much a dupe for Orange Dulce, although the base tea (black) seems lighter, and the jasmine less pronounced. I’ve had two cups of this today, and I’ve given both of them 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is golden brown, and probably too light to withstand milk, so I made no additions.

The orange flavouring is deliciously creamy, and it’s the primary taste. The jasmine emerges mostly in the aftertaste, or at least at the very end of the sip, and adds a rich, heady note to the sweet, juicy orange. Neither flavour is 100% natural tasting to my mind, but neither are they outrageously artificial. It’s just middle of the road flavoured tea. Pleasant, but not a repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
940 tasting notes

The name of this one is so apt! Just opening the bag and smelling the sweet aroma of apricot and tropical fruit made me think of holiday sunshine and happier days. I’m going for cheering teas today, since that seems to be what I need. This actually came as a free sample with a Della Terra order I placed a good while ago, so it’s about time it got an airing!

I gave 1 tsp of leaf 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175. It smells delightful while brewing — light, fruity notes of apricot, tinged with the deeper pepperiness of mango. The liquor is a golden sunshine yellow! The taste of this one is very similar to the scent. The initial flavours are apricot and peach, and they’re juicy and fruity. The flavour deepens with notes of mango, which adds a layer of stronger flavour and a slight peppery edge. The sip finishes on a tropical note, with, I think, guava. There might be a hint of pineapple, but I won’t swear to that. It could well be wishful thinking! The green base is pretty unobtrusive — it doesn’t stand a chance against the strong fruit flavours! I could actually be fooled into believing I was drinking a glass of fruit juice if I didn’t know better — it’s that fruity and juicy! A wonderful choice for a hot day — it’s certainly put a smile on my face!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65
drank Hunny by Empress Tea House
940 tasting notes

I forgot about this one while it was steeping last night, and left it for around 7/8 minutes. When I got back to the kitchen, the whole room smelled of mead. Rich honey with a floral edge. The taste was stronger than previous cups have been, so obviously a good long brew is the key if a deeper taste is required. I’ve found this to be the case with various rooibos blends, although sometimes it just makes the rooibos more prominent. Not here; if anything, the rooibos fades into the background underneath the strength of the honey.

I can see myself drinking this either way depending on my mood. Last night I needed comforting as I’d got myself completely stressed about work, and the soothing taste of honey was just the thing to ensure I calmed down a bit and at least got a reasonable night’s sleep. I also like the lightness of flavour that can be found when this is brewed for maybe 4/5 minutes rather than 7/8.

This is a very versatile tea, excellent for those who like honey. Winnie the Pooh would be proud!

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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70

I used up the last two bags of this for today’s work cold brew. I think I’m getting a cold, probably stress induced, so I wanted to stick with a familiar flavour until I work out whether it’s going to develop into something awful again or not. There are few things as sad as trying to taste a new tea while you have a cold :(

So, anyway. I can still taste things okay today, and this makes a very pleasant drink on a hot day. I was concerned at first that spiced tea would taste too heavy and cloying, but it doesn’t at all. It’s light and refreshing, and particularly good when it’s fresh from the fridge and nice and cold. This one will ensure I survive Thursday at work.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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65

I’ve been drinking a lot of light, refreshing teas over the last few days, largely because it’s been so hot. In an office with over 60 people and computers, it’s pretty unbearable at times. That’s one reason why I picked this one out to try — we’ve also been crazy busy, and a teabag is faster and more convenient when I’m desperate for a drink but also in a hurry to get back to my desk.

I allowed the water to cool to around 180 before adding the bag. Dry, there isn’t a great deal of scent. I gave it 2 minutes 30, which is my fallback standard for white teas. Brewed, this is a mild and delicate tea. I can definitely detect notes of ginger, but there’s also the tiniest hint of lemon lurking in the background. The white tea adds a slightly floral edge. It’s an overwhelmingly clean taste, and very, very refreshing. Easy to drink quickly! I imagine it would be good cold, although I don’t have enough left to try that, sadly. This is one of the few mighty leaf blends I would consider repurchasing, particularly for the summer months.

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

Norwich, UK

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