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685 Tasting Notes

80

Another one I’ve had several cups of, but seem to have neglected to log. Strangely so, because I loved it from the first sip.

Dry, this smells quite strongly of cinnamon, with a definite hint of strawberry lurking in the background. I gave it 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a little milk. Brewed, the strawberry comes over much more clearly, as it does in the taste. The cinnamon is still a big part of the flavour, but it seems to mellow out a little and combine with the sweet, vanilla like aftertaste to create a flavour that really is reminiscent of pastry, or pie crust. It’s somehow buttery and bakey without being cloying, and the juicy, tart strawberry flavour finishes the whole thing off perfectly.

This is one I’m definitely going to enjoy drinking for many cups to come. It’s the perfect combination of fruit (that tastes surprisingly natural), spicing, and whatever magic it is that makes the pie crust taste emerge. A pleasure to drink!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Jewelled Apple by Tea Palace
685 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ve once managed to log this since I joined Steepster, although I’ve been drinking it on and off for years. It was one of the first loose teas I tried after finding Teapigs, and it’s a favourite even now.

I’ve not tried all that many toffee apple teas as yet, but maybe I don’t need to. For my tastes, this one is perfect. The dry leaf smells mouthwatering. It’s sweet and delightfully rich. I can definitely pick out the apple and caramel, and something slightly fruity I’ve always classified as strawberry. No idea why, but there you go. I suppose it’s more a generic candy-like sweetness.

Anyway, to taste this is as close to a real toffee apple as tea can come. I’ve tried it both with and without milk in the past, and like both equally. The black base is the only thing that’s slightly odd. It’s a little heavy tasting without milk, but not quite strong enough to really need any. It’s a minor complaint, but probably why I’ve never settled on one or the other as my preferred way of drinking.

All told, I do like this and probably always will. I love that I can clearly taste both the caramel and the apple; there’s an initial rich sweetness, which gives way to a slightly tangy “green” flavour, before sweetening again towards the end of the sip. It’s like tasting the toffee, then the apple, then both melded together, just like eating the real thing.

Minor issues with the base aside, this is one tea I can always see myself coming back to. I guess sometimes first loves really do endure!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

Sipdown! Finished off the last of these, so there are officially no more in my stash. It’s a shame in one way, as this is a pretty tasty earl grey. I’m ready to try some different teas now, though, so it’s not too distressing for the moment. I’ll probably come back to these in the future, but I’ve had my fill for now!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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35

Sipdown! Finished the last of these this morning. I liked them more than the first time I tried them, which probably shows that my tastes have developed since I started drinking whole leaf tea in earnest. They’re never going to be my favourite, though. There’s too much of that slightly metallic taste I dislike most in oolongs about them for that.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

Sipdown! My last cup of this didn’t go unnoticed at work this morning. Almost as soon as I added the tea to the water, people were commenting on the sugary, caramelly scent it gives off. It does smell wonderful, it has to be said. The bad news is that I’m getting a cold just in time for the weekend, and this tastes rather inexplicably of coffee cake to me this morning. I think my tastebuds have already packed up in protest!
This makes for a delicious tea, but it doesn’t taste quite as much of pineapple as I’d hoped. A definite contender for future Della Terra orders, though!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Sipdown! Finished the last of this off at work today. It’s one of those rare teas that fills the whole room with its scent. In a way, it’s a good thing I’m out on my own, because I think I’d have other people sniffing around my tea stash if they knew where the delicious smell was coming from! Amazing sweet, bakey, blueberry-ness. Just the thing for a dull and uninspiring day!

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100
drank SBT: Monkey Fart by 52teas
685 tasting notes

Today’s iced tea of choice. I’m sad that I didn’t get chance to try the honeybush version of this tea, but there you go. If this is anything to go by, it would have been amazing. You can probably already tell this this is a winner with me. It tastes exactly like fresh banana, none of this fakey artificial stuff here. There’s even something a little “green” about it, the taste that banana has when it’s not brown and over-ripe, but just approaching perfection. I think it’s pretty amazing how Frank manages to recreate flavours like this in tea form. No other brand I’ve tried has ever really managed to equal these iced teas.

As ever, the black base here is smooth and unobtrusive. It just supports the flavour perfectly, and adds a little bit of depth to the taste. It’s not too strong, it’s not at all astringent. For me at least, it’s just right. It’s a good thing no-one’s asked me what I’m drinking today. I rave about tea a little bit, if I’m given the chance, but I couldn’t tell the humourless people I work with that I’m drinking Monkey Fart. Such is life. Have to say, though – this is ace tea! I love banana almost unreservedly, from those foam banana sweets to banana milkshake, via all manner of desserts, right along with the real thing. Knowing this, it’s probably not surprising that I like this so much! It’s good, though. Really good. As a bit of a banana maniac, you can take that from me.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
scribbles

Gotta lice the name…I would order it just because of that! :D

scribbles

I meant LOVE not lice!!!

Nxtdoor

This is coming for me hopefully tomorrow. I cannot wait. I swear, if it’s good, I’m going to turn around and order all they have (ok, maybe not ALL) before it is all gone. Bwahahaha

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80

Another one I wasn’t sure about at first, and another one I think has benefitted from being opened a few days. When I smell this now, I immediately get pineapple and cake. It’s sweet, pineapple-y, with a hint of glace cherry and the unmistakable scent of cake. My brain is having trouble processing the fact that this is tea, and I’m actually quite tempted just to munch on the leaves. Self-control wins out, though!

I gave this three minutes in boiling water. It smells just as it does dry — fruity, cakey, amazing! To taste, I definitely get cake. There’s something spongy and vanilla-like floating around. I also get cherry in the aftertaste. Pineapple, not so much — it’s there, but it’s not as clear as I’d like it to be. Maybe I need to experiment with my brew times a little more. This is another great dessert tea, though. I love how much it tastes like cake — I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t tried it for myself. Liquid deliciousness indeed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

I wasn’t sure about this at all the first time I tried it, which is why I’ve waited until my second cup to rate it. I think the packet has benefitted from being open a couple of days, because I can smell blueberries when I open it now. Fresh, juicy blueberries, and a scent that is remarkably like crumble topping…sort of buttery and baked. I wouldn’t have thought it possible in a tea, but there you go.

This is only the second green/black blend I’ve tried. The first was a Bluebird Tea, and I was pleasantly surprised with that one. Brewed, this smells, if anything, even more like freshly baked blueberry crumble. It’s got the same buttery-bakey blueberry scent it has dry, and it’s absolutely mouthwatering! The glitter swirling around from the sugar sprinkles is so cute!

It’s just as wonderful to taste. The blueberry comes out first, followed by the crumble notes. The green/black base is perfectly balanced, with just enough depth and sweetness from the black tea, and a grassy, slightly vegetal note from the green that brings out the blueberry beautifully. One of the best dessert teas I’ve had in a long time! Magical!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

I removed this from my shopping list just so I could add it again! ;) Great note!

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60
drank The Witching Hour by 52teas
685 tasting notes

Just got around to trying this one, on one of the hottest days of the year so far. Not exactly fitting, but there you go. It’s actually a lot more complex than I was expecting. Dry, I could smell mostly mint. It’s pleasant, but nothing world changing. Brewed and slightly cooled, however, this really becomes an interesting tea. The peppermint is still very prominent, but the tulsi adds a really complementary earthy or maybe slightly woodsy note which works perfectly with the rooibos. I wouldn’t actually have known I was drinking rooibos at all if I hadn’t read the label. Its characteristic taste is almost completely absent, perhaps because the tulsi is the more potent of the two? I’ve never had tulsi before, as far as I’m aware, so its been an interesting experience from that perspective. I’d definitely be interested in trying more, because it’s really added something here. Today doesn’t exactly have the right atmospheric for this tea, but the background note here almost gives the impression of fog, or of a dark, misty forest. The chocolate adds beautifully to the overall effect, being deep, dark, and ever so slightly bitter. I’m going to keep some of this back for autumn/winter so I can drink it when it fits the season better. Great first impression, though. A really enjoyable, unique tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 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 not 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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