1443 Tasting Notes

80
drank Sakura 2000 by Mariage Frères
1443 tasting notes

A sample from Ysaurella, and the second tea I’ve tried from the MF selection she sent me. I used the parameters she recommended — 4 minutes at 80 degrees. The resulting liquor is yellow-green, and surprisingly smooth. 4 minutes is a longer brew time than I’d typically give a green tea, so I was expecting some bitterness or astringency. Interestingly, there’s neither.

The main flavour that comes out is cherry; sweet, floral, almost syrupy cherry. The biggest fruity-floral hit comes mid-sip, before it tails off and the mildly vegetal green tea base makes its presence known. It’s on the edge of bitterness right at the end of the sip, to my tastes, but it hasn’t tipped over. I think next time I may nudge the brew time down a little to 3.5 minutes, just to see how that works out.

The scent is beautiful, thought. Cherry blossom through and through! It’s such a spring-like, happy smelling tea! It’s impossible to inhale, take a sip, and not smile. Another MF I’d consider purchasing when I make my long-planned pilgrimage to France.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Ysaurella

so agree this is clearly a joyful green tea

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80

A sample from Ysaurella, and a long overdue tasting note! This was the first tea I tried from the MF samples she so graciously sent me. I followed the parameters she recommended — 5 minutes at 80 degrees. The resulting liquor is yellow-gold, and very smooth tasting. I was expecting a little astringency, for some reason, but fortunately there is none.

The oolong is floral, slightly buttery and “green” tasting on the whole. There’s a light flavour of orange blossom in the middle of the sip, but it fades relatively quickly. I’m finding it quite a calming, reflective tea, which is just what I need at work sometimes. It’s perfect for a late summer day, when there’s still some warmth but the seasons are definitely turning. If a tea could capture the last rays of sunlight on a grove of orange trees in blossom, this one would. I could wish the orange blossom was a little stronger or more lingering, but we can’t have everything we want in life. A beautiful cup.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Starfevre

this note is so soothing.

Ysaurella

the orange blossom is subtile in this Oolong. Orange blossoms candles are so relaxing too…love this flavour even in crêpes (pans)

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90
drank Goji Pop by DAVIDsTEA
1443 tasting notes

Final sample from Memily! This is one of the ones I’ve been waiting a long time to try, so I’ve kept it until I have time to write a note along with my precious single cup. I used 5g of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The liquor is pale orange-red.

First sip, and I can taste mostly hibiscus. My initial thought was “oh”, but then I got it. It took a few seconds for it to develop, but my mouth was suddenly awash with the juicy, fresh flavour of green apple and honeydew melon. The goji berries add a touch of almost sugary sweetness, and there’s a slight tartness in the aftertaste. It’s more like fruit juice than tea!

I’m drinking this warm, because it’s cold today and that’s usually what I do first time with a new tea. I can imagine it making an awesome cold brew, though. Sadly I don’t have the leaf to try it, but maybe some day in the future…I do wish DT was more accessible in Europe sad face.

Thanks again to Memily for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 5 g

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70
drank Hugs and Kisses by Adagio Teas
1443 tasting notes

I pulled this out for my afternoon cup at work. I have no milk, so I’m drinking it black. It’s very rooibossy like this, although I can taste a hint of cream. There’s no almond, vanilla, or caramel, though. They need milk and sugar to shine! Not a particularly successful cup, then, but it made a change from the black and green teas I’ve been drinking most of the day!

Note to self: use milk and sugar with this one in future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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90

I do this one an injustice, I feel, by forgetting about it when I choose which tea to drink. I usually reach automatically for a black tea, particularly at work, but I enjoy this one so much I really should try and remember to choose it more often. It’s wonderfully creamy, and the lemony citrus flavour is deliciously candy-like. Adagio can be hit and miss, but this one is a definite hit. It’s just so perfectly put together, with really well balanced flavours. I’m glad I have a large-ish tin of this one!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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70

I found the rooibos in this one by shaking the bag up. I think it had all fallen to the bottom! I wouldn’t call this one a favourite — it’s just too smoky for me, really — but it’s nice to challenge my tea tastes once in a while. I do wish the rooibos and the elderberries contributed more to the taste, because I have a feeling I’d like this one a whole lot better if that were the case. Given that I couldn’t stomach pu’erh at all at one point, though, I think I’m making reasonable progress. Not a repurchase, but interesting to have tried!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

Sipdown! Not my favourite assam, but a good effort. It’s sweet and malty…I just know I’ve been spoilt by other varieties! A solid, everyday-style tea, but not a sock rocker sad to say.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Vanilla Slice by T2
1443 tasting notes

Sipdown! This one will also be sadly missed. I’ve not come across another fruit blend that manages to taste so much like a decadent vanilla custard pastry. Absolute deliciousness!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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45
drank The Earl of Lemon by DAVIDsTEA
1443 tasting notes

Sipdown! This one was finished off at work, and I think the difference in water made an impact on the final cup. I could taste both bergamot and lemon, and it really did put me in mind of a light, summery earl grey. I would have liked more creaminess, but I’m glad I managed to coax out some of the flavours for my final cup. I’ve bumped the rating a little to reflect that last hurrah!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
1443 tasting notes

Sipdown! My last cup of this was deliciously creamy, with an authentic coconut flavour. A good way to say goodbye, but hopefully not forever!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 27, 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’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s ny latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

In addition to Steepster, I also write for the SororiTea Sisters. My reviews there will typically be posted here also, although typically in a shorter format. Any teas I’m sent specifically for review will only appear in full on the SororiTea Sisters website, with only a short introduction and link to my review here.

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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