969 Tasting Notes

85

So I came into work today with this as my cold brew, thinking I’d made a mess of it. Turns out, it’s actually a surprise success. I was tired last night, so I filled up my iced tea jug on auto pilot with 2 litres of water, and dropped in three bags of this tea. It wasn’t until this morning that I realised I usually use three bags to one litre. It was such a pale pinky red, I was convinced it was going to be a watery disaster. I couldn’t have been more wrong! If anything, it tastes more like strawberry lemonade that when brewed stronger — the hibiscus is less tart and sour, and there’s a beautiful candy strawberry flavour that’s very prominent and distinctive. A light tang of lemon is just lurking in the background. I think I have a new favourite way to brew this tea! Yum!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Sil

awesome! sounds tasty!

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65

Sipdown! Another one finished off at work today. I’ve enjoyed this one a lot — it strikes a nice balance between chocolate, mint and vanilla. There are other very similar teas that I like just as much, so it’s probably not one I’d seek out again specifically. It’s just not unique enough for that. I did enjoy the bat sprinkles that added a green tinge to the liquor, though — that was a nice halloween touch!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank SBT: Lime Jello by 52teas
969 tasting notes

This was today’s iced tea for work. It got the usual SBT treatment.

It’s one I’ve tried before, so I wasn’t too concerned about being too busy to note my impressions. What I noticed immediately, though, was that this one hardly has any flavour at all. No lime, certainly. Weirdly, I could taste ginger a little…and black tea.

I’m going to leave my rating for this one as it is, because this wasn’t the experience I had last time I tried it. Very odd.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Sipdown! Another one I finished off at work today, instead of adding to my sipdown pile. We’re still manically busy, and I wanted a tea I was familiar with since I wasn’t going to be paying much attention. This one is a great choice for a warm day. Peppery, with distinctive cherry and almond notes, and a light “white tea” floral fluffiness. This one will be missed.

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

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70

Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today, since it was calling to me all afternoon. I have been storing up one cup samples for a big sipdown session when I’m next off work, but this one will just have to be the exception that proves the rule!

It was a fully enjoyable final cup. Probably not a restock, but very pleasant to have tried. Teas like this are what encourage me to keep going with oolongs, even when I’m convinced they’ll never really be my thing.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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45

This is such a pretty tea. The spears are made up of what look like mulitcoloured strands — I can pick out light and dark green, mid brown, and a creamy yellow. I followed the recommended parameters and gave two large-ish spears 4 minutes in water cooled to around 180. The resulting liquor is pale yellow-green. The leaves have a mild grapey scent.

To taste, this is really fairly mild. It’s the second mild oolong I’ve tried so far today, so it just goes to show that not all oolongs are overpoweringly awful. I’m reminded most of all of champagne — there’s a deep grape-like flavour with a mild fruity/floral edge. It’s very easy to drink, although it’s another one that’s reminding me more of a white tea than anything else. I feel odd saying this about an oolong, but I’d really like a stronger flavour. Clearly my tastes are changing!

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

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100

Pretty much every time I try an SBT, I think it can’t possibly get any better. Then I’ll try a new one, and somehow it will be. This one is definitely one of the best I’ve tried so far! Even when removing the bag from the pouch, I was hit with the wonderful biscuitty, zesty scent of lime cheesecake :) This one got the usual SBT treatment.

Brewed, it’s A-MA-ZING. The initial flavour is zesty lime, but it’s lime zest laced through cream cheese, and so is not too strong or sour. There’s also a slightly gingery, buttery biscuit flavour that’s absolutely dead-on cheesecake base. I’m not quite sure how a drink can taste so much like cheesecake, but this one manages it. It’s the most accurate rendition of cheesecake I’ve ever tasted in a tea (and that’s particularly true of 52 Teas blends…) It’s one I’d definitely pick up again once I use up my current SBT stash.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65

The second of the Doke teas I brought to work this week. For some reason best known only to me, I tend not to drink oolongs at home. I guess because in the morning I drink black tea, and then in the evening I’m usually looking for a herbal or rooibos blend before bed. I’m at work the rest of the time, or at home and completely exhausted.

So anyway. I’ve been meaning to try this one, and work seemed to be the best place to achieve that. I followed the recommended parameters, and gave 2 tsp of leaf 4 minutes in water cooled to about 170. The liquor is golden yellow, and has very little aroma.

It’s similarly light in flavour. The first sip seemed very delicate to my tastes, and I couldn’t actually detect that much other than a vague sweetness. Successive sips bring out a gentle apricot note, maybe a tiny touch of raisin. Burnt sugar very slightly. On the whole, though, I’m surprised by how mild this one actually is. It reminds me more of a white tea than an oolong. It’s very smooth, though, with no bitterness or astringency, so I might try slightly hotter water or a slightly longer brew time to try and coax a little more strength into my next cup.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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45
drank Buddha's Blend by DAVIDsTEA
969 tasting notes

A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I’ve left this one until last, primarily because green/jasmine teas have never really been my thing, and part of me at least is a bit scared of them. Silly, but true. Because I’m braver at work, I brought this sample with me to try today. I used 1 tsp of leaf in water cooled to around 180, and gave it 3 minutes.

The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-green. It smells surprisingly fruity. The initial flavour is peach — it’s quite fuzzy and natural tasting, thankfully, as peach is something I can be very picky about. After the initial fruitiness, I get mostly jasmine. It’s quite floral and sweet, although not overpoweringly so. A tiny bit of green tea pokes out in the aftertaste, but it’s smooth, a little grassy, and not at all bitter or astringent.

Overall, this one is okay. It’s a combination of flavours that’s never going to be my favourite, but it’s more drinkable than I feared. Thanks to ashleyelizabeth for giving me the chance to try this one!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Vanilla Slice by T2
969 tasting notes

Tried a shorter brew time last night, but I got about the same level of tartness with less vanilla flavour. The longer steep is definitely the better option! The vanilla flavouring is just too good to miss :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

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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