1088 Tasting Notes

65

This is the second milk oolong I’ve tried, and my second positive experience with this kind of tea. It was actually milk oolong that made me reevaluate my opinion of oolongs more broadly, and what a good thing that’s turned out to be!

This one is unflavoured, and is far more subtle than the David’s Quangzhou I first tried. It’s milky, but not over sweet or artificial. The main flavour is a mildly vegetal, mildly mineral green oolong. It’s a very light flavour, with a pleasant silky creaminess. I wouldn’t say it was outstanding, but it’s pleasant enough in my limited experience. I won’t have trouble finishing the bag, although I was expecting more from the flavour than I ultimately got. One to revisit another time.

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

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70

This is the second year of first flush darjeelings I’ll have tried. The dry leaf is quite dark overall — there are some silvery buds and green leaves, but not the high proportion some first flushes have. The scent is clearly fruity, though, with a strong muscatel note. It’s like summer in a cup!

I gave this 2.5 minutes in boiling water, which is slightly less than recommended. The resulting liquor is a peachy gold, with the same muscatel note found in the dry leaf. To taste, I can detect notes of stone fruit (peach, apricot) in the initial sip, followed by a floral flavour that’s almost perfumey. It’s rounded out with the development of the characteristic muscatel flavour, and is very slightly astringent.

On the whole, it’s subtle and juicy, and makes for a refreshing drink on a warm spring evening. Darjeelings are definitely something I’ll continue experimenting with — my enjoyment of them hasn’t waned yet!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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35

Sipdown! My last two cups of this were really sweet. I think all of the toffee pieces had fallen to the bottom! I didn’t add any sugar, and I didn’t need it. That just goes to prove that, with more toffee, this can be a palatable cup. Or maybe I’m just getting used to it! Either way, it won’t be one I’ll look to restock.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Sipdown! Not too sad about this one. I’ve enjoyed it, but I’ve had my fill for now! Last cup of the pouch had all of the cayenne dust at the bottom, so it’s very spicy. A fitting finale for a dragon-inspired tea!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

Another from the Mighty Leaf sampler box. As Earl Grey’s go, this is a sound contender. The base is nice and hearty, and the bergamot is just right. It adds a nice citrus tang, like orange rind, and a slightly floral, slightly bitter edge without being too overpowering. It’s also robust enough to withstand milk, which is another plus in my book. It’s not outstanding, but sometimes that’s not necessary. It’s pleasant, easy drinking. Perfect for a quiet afternoon or relaxing early evening.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55

This isn’t a bad breakfast blend. It’s strong, and takes milk well, it’s beautifully malty, and it has a deep, rich flavour. I wish Mighty Leaf were a bit more explicit about the varieties of tea that are in here. I’d guess Assam and Darjeeling, and maybe Ceylon. Nothing really special, but a good wake-up cup!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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30

This is exactly the kind of metallic, astringent darjeeling I don’t like. It has a fairly nice muscatel flavour to begin with, but it quickly develops into an iron-like tang. It leaves my mouth dry, too. I generally prefer first flush darjeeling, which might be why I’m not getting along too well with this one. I’m just conscious that I’ve definitely had better, and that spoils it for me. Not a winner, I’m afraid.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Second to last cup, and I think I’ve finally just about perfected my brewing of this one. Generous 1.5 tsp of leaf, long brew time (minimum 5 minutes), piece of crystal sugar, splash of milk. I’ve had a couple of cups that were really too subtle, and almost flavourless, when experimenting with the parameters, but this one was gorgeous! Fairly mild, medicinal root beer flavour, topped with a fluffy, almost thick tasting, vanilla creaminess. I completely forgot I was drinking honeybush, and that’s a rare praise indeed from me. Now I know what I’m doing with this one, I’ll definitely look to restock. It might just be becoming my favourite root beer tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100

Another one of these. Yummy yummy yummy is all I have to say, really. It’s my favourite EG at the moment. I went to see Cats yesterday — I enjoyed every minute of it, and it brought brought back some fond memories. Probably my favourite musical!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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35

Second pouch, this time with noticably more toffee pieces. Sadly, I still don’t like it. The apple is somehow floral, there’s a bitter aftertaste, and the whole thing tastes somehow musty. Also, I can’t taste any caramel. Disappointing, because this one sounded like my kind of thing. Sad face.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Courtney

I found this one floral too. So bizarre.

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, 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’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

Norfolk, UK

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