988 Tasting Notes

55

Second tea of the day here at work. I always get a bit nervous right before these things, so I chose chamomile to calm me down a bit. I think it’s the culmination of the planning and hard work, and wanting everything to go well. It turns out that chamomile and citrus make a pretty good pairing — naturally sweet, a slight hint of sharpness from the citrus, soothing and smooth tasting, yet with a distinctive edge. It maybe shouldn’t work, but it does. A true case of complementary opposites.

The chamomile here is whole flower, and the citrus is, I think, orange. It’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly, because the chamomile is definitely the primary flavour, but I’m going to say that’s what it is. It’s what I can taste, anyhow. There might be other flavours in there, but they’re too indistinct for me to really be able to identify right this minute. I quite like a good chamomile tea, and this is a nice one. Great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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65

I bought a couple of the Mighty Leaf Master Samplers just after Christmas because I knew I’d be doing a lot of events this year. However much I like my loose tea, tea bags are far more convenient when I’m running around away from my desk, and they mean I can get in my daily tea without feeling too guilty about it. As tea bags go, these are pretty good. They’re huge, for a start, and I love the way they’re sewn round the outside — it’s too cute! The tea inside is almost loose quality, too, so I’ve no real complaints.

My first choice this morning was Organic African Nectar. As rooibos goes, it’s one of the nicest I’ve tried. The tropical fruit flavours and the hint of vanilla are the standouts here, and the rooibos keeps itself to itself in the background. I can taste mango, primariy — juicy yet slightly peppery — maybe a hint of pineapple? It’s a great, tasty mid-morning treat, and it did make me feel marginally less grumpy about spending Saturday at work. So there you go. Tea really does make everything better!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Sipdown! Finished off the last couple of cups at work today. I wasn’t feeling great yesterday, so I took it easy on my stomach with a boring, bagged tea day. I think that helped me appreciate this all the more today, though. The caramel and the marshmallow make this a wonderful sweet treat, and the taste is equally of both. I’m not so keen on the surface oiliness, but it’s easy enough to ignore. The gold flakes left by the sprinkles add a pretty touch — and this really is a pretty tea, both dry and brewed. It’s not style over substance, though, because the taste is great. One of my favourite caramel teas, and one I’d definitely seek out again next Christmas.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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95

I brewed a cup this morning as soon as I arrived at work, and took it into our staff meeting with me. I’m glad I had it, because it went on for ages. Maybe because I ate one of the dinky marshmallows while standing in the kitchen, but this tasted a little thin and watery to me today. I used the same leaf as usual, so maybe I rushed the brew time a little. I don’t think so, though…

I’ll try again tomorrow, but I didn’t quite get the flavour I was looking for from this today. There was a generic sweetness, and a hint of marshmallow, but the caramel was largely lost except in the scent. It was oily as hell, too. Not a bad cup, but not quite what I wanted either. I’m not going to adjust my rating just yet, because the first cup of this I tried was phenomenal.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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65

I brought the last of my Christmas tea samples to work today, and will endeavour to finish the majority of them off this week. This was today’s sipdown — and a lovely treat it was too! It’s very similar to Christmas Tradtion, with a buttery, vanilliary creaminess underneath the frehsness of the mint. A bit like a butter mint, really. I enjoy this kind of mint black, although the red sprinkles did leave an interesting scum around my cup today. It’s hardly a unique tea, but it is one I enjoyed.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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70

Sipdown! Another one I enjoyed from the Della Terra Christmas box, probably joint favourite with Winter Nog. Once I got over the butteriness, I really came to love this blend. It’s nicely minty, creamy tasting, with a strong hint of popcorn. Definitely one I’d seek out again next year!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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5
drank S'mores Chai by 52teas
988 tasting notes

I fell out with this tea again today, so I’ve given up and passed the rest of my pouch to a workmate who professed to love the smell of the brewed concoction. I actually rather like the scent, too, but that’s unfortunately as far as it goes. There’s something artificial and chemically about this that just makes me feel really nauseous. I got on a little better with it the cup before last, but I’ve lost it again this time. I think maybe this one’s just not for me :(

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Sipdown! I’m having a very busy and stressful time at work at the moment, so I’m not getting in nearly as much tea as I’d like. When I do make time, I seem to be going for my rooibos blends rather than black tea, although I don’t quite understand why. Maybe I’m worried about sleeping at night? Either way, I finished off the last of this pouch today. Initially, I thought the cardamom was too heavy in this one, but that’s faded as I’ve moved down the bag. There are less actual pods now, which is maybe something to do with it. I enjoyed the distinctive apple taste here, and the wonderfully complementary spice in the back ground. A sad sipdown — a good apple tea is a wonderful thing!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Sil

Sorry work is so stressful :(

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70

Sipdown! Finished off the last of this today. It’s probably not my favourite green, on balance, but I did come to appreciate its good points by the end of my bag.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Sipdown! This will be very sadly missed, at least by me. The flavour of gingerbread was absolutely spot on here — sweet, crumbly, slightly molasses-tinged gingeriness. I didn’t really think “chai” while I was drinking it, but then I didn’t need to. I had a piece of freshly baked gingerbread to drink!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Dustin

Missed? Is it not being sold anymore or are you just referring to your sipdown?

Scheherazade

Both. It’s gone from my cupboard, and it was a Christmas tea.

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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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