918 Tasting Notes

10

A sample from KittyLovesTea. This is another one I had high hopes for, because I like blueberries, and I like cheesecake. It’s also a rooibos, and I’m usually on the look out for some kind of evening caffiene free option. Unfortunately, this is another miss for me. I can’t actually taste anything other than rooibos, and certainly no blueberry or cheesecake. Woody, sweet rooibos is front and centre, and dominates the whole cup. As it cools, a very slight fruitiness does start to come out, but not nearly soon enough for me to say I enjoyed the whole experience. I’ll fiddle with the brew time, temp and leaf a little, but I fear based on other notes that I’m not going to have much joy here. Another one to chalk up to experience!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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10

A sample from KittyLovesTea. I actually wasn’t sure whether this was black or green tea at first — I initially thought black, but the leaves do have a greenish tinge to them that had me fooled for a few minutes. Upon brewing, I can see that it’s definitely a black. The dry mix has slivers of almond and large whole cherries among the tea leaves. At least, I assumed they were cherries. Now I’m thinking they might have been cranberries. This tea has me completely foxed.

Unfortunately, so does the tasting. I’m not getting cherry or almond, or, in fact, anything much from this tea at all. Pleasant black tea, yes. Fruit or nuts? Not really. Maybe very, very vaguely in the background, but that could be wishful thinking on my part.

Hmm. I wanted to like this one, as cherry is a favourite flavour of mine. I’m not getting anything from this at the moment, though, so I’m a tad disappointed. Back to the drawing board with this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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75

A sample from KittyLovesTea. On first sip, this one reminded me a little of 52 Teas Rainbow Sherbet. I’m guessing it’s the fruit flavours and almost-acidity, but there’s something of the same “fizziness” about them, paired with the black tea base. The lemon comes over most clearly here, perhaps understandably, but is followed by a slightly bittersweet, tart raspberry flavour. Both come across very naturally — nothing artificial or fake tasting here! I’ve enjoyed three cups of this from my sample over the past few days, and like it equally well with or without milk. It’s a fruity, slightly acidic tasting black tea, clearly flavoured and very enjoyable. Thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

First cup a couple of nights ago. Rooibos can be a tricky thing — generally I like it, but there are always some that just taste like wood shavings to me. This one is borderline. I love the sound of the ingerdients — caramel, vanilla, cream, and almond. In practice, they’re pretty muted. Creamy vanilla with a hint of almond, yes. I wasn’t getting any caramel. The rooibos also makes its presence pretty well known, although luckily that’s mostly in the aftertaste. A little fiddling around with some sugar, and the brew time and temp might help…it has potential.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Rooibos is insanely tricky for me. I get super strong wood shavings far too often.

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65

Dug out my tin of this the other day. It’s been a good year or so since I last drank any, and I still like it as much today as I did then. Obviously it’s a fresh tin — I’m not that bad yet! The chocolate comes out clearly, as does the raspberry, making the whole thing rather reminiscent of a raspberry truffle. The base is so-so. A little astringent, a little bitter. This is a pretty good tea with a robust flavour, though. I can enjoy it from time to time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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55

Drank this after Bats in the Belfry a couple of nights ago. It’s a pretty solid vanilla rooibos. Not too woody, wonderful creaminess from the vanilla. The “cream” flavouring comes out more as a thickness in the mouthfeel rather than a fakey flavour, which I find cheering. Another great caffiene free option I really must try not to forget about.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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50

Revisited this a couple of nights ago, and was reminded of how good it actually is. I think it’s basically Swiss Mountain with bat sprinkles, but I can live with that. I like chocolate mint teas any day of the week, and this is a good one. Not overpowering on the mint, sweet creamy chocolate…I’m glad I have a 2oz bag of this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80

Rounded off last night with a second S+V tea. I had a better time with this one — it’s mildly chocolatey, and, with milk, creamy. There’s something vaguely cake-like here, although it’s not strong. Yesterday was a long day, though, and I appreciated this as a tasty caffiene-free option. Musn’t let my S+V’s languish any more!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

Had a cup last night, but I can’t actually taste anything remotely carrot cake like here. That’s odd, because I could last time I had it. Maybe I’ve neglected it too long? I do worry about S+V’s paper packaging. I’ll give this another go tonight, because I really want to taste whatever it was the made me think of carrot cake last time. All I got today was green rooibos, unfortunately. Not that it’s bad, but I wanted cake small tantrum

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Yes to the packaging! I swear a couple of mine are starting to taste like paper.

OMGsrsly

Their packaging is terrible. I transferred into tins ASAP, and am getting quite good at making foil bags to contain some teas. :)

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80

A sad sipdown from Wednesday. I’ve enjoyed every cup of this tea, and it’s got me through many difficult and stressful days. I love the strong, sweet maple flavour, all the more so given that it’s paired with a base that stands up to milk. It’s another one where I’ve said pretty much all I have to say in previous notes, but it will be sadly missed. I’d definitely pick up another bag if the chance arose in the future. I don’t get much “pancake”, but the maple is enough for me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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