914 Tasting Notes

55

Gave this a try last night. I was going to have another Apple Strudel, but I gave in to the temptation to try something new. This is a bit of an odd one, as it turns out. Initially, I felt like I could taste all of the ingredients separately, and it was a bit weird and not very coherent. As I took more sips, though, the flavours started to come together, and I did end up with a taste almost exactly like aniseed balls. If you stop sipping for a while and come back to it, you have to build up the flavour all over again. It’s like all the separate elements only combine once you’ve tasted them a few times. At first, they’re kind of overpowering (especially the stevia), but they do ultimately complement each other well.

A little strange, but pleasant all the same. I think this is one I’ll have to try again a few times before I’m really sure of my thoughts. There’s a lot going on in terms of flavour, and the almost layered effect really took me by surprise, so it’s one I want to pnder over a bit more. Interesting stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

As black blends go, this is really good. It’s rich and full bodied, malty and slightly smoky, with the tiniest edge of astringency. I’m not 100% sure which teas have gone into this blend, but they certainly work really well together! I had a big cup of this last night after an enjoyable but tiring day at work, and it was absolutely just the thing.

Angrboda was kind enough to share a sample of this with me, so it’s her I have to thank for this experience. This is the most I’ve enjoyed a black blend in a long time, and it’s made me interested to try some of the other plain black teas I’ve got hidden away in my stash. There again, I doubt any of them will be quite as good as this…but you never know!

A really enjoyable tea. I’d go so far as to say that if you’re any kind of black tea fan, you really need to give this one ago if you’ve not already. It’s awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’m glad you liked it! :D A&D generally deliver some pretty good stuff, I’ve found.

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoyed this one too. Now that this & my Tiger Assam are gone, I need to polish off the Caravan, so that I can justify buying all 3 again. Not that I need justification! :D

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95

Really enjoyed a cup of this before bed last night. The scent is amazing — it’s like freshly warmed apple strudel, just as its name promises, and the flavour comes out surprisingly well in the taste as well.

There’s a lot of apple in here — so much that the rooibos is sticking to it, and it comes out of the packet in clumps rather than smooth, free flowing loose tea. I actually quite like that about it — it’s not like the clumps are huge, and they look a bit like crumble topping. Funny how my mind works. Anyway, the taste here is pretty much dead-on apple strudel. There’s even that slightly gelatinous taste to the apples, like they’re in a thick, sugary sauce. I can taste something that reminds me of pastry, too, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that’s making me think that way. The spicing is perfect. Subtle enough that the apple shines through, and is the real star, but still easily tasteable. The rooibos here is a pretty good match too, I think. It has just the right herbally/woody aspect to offset the sweet, tart apple.

I love this, in short. So much that I think I’m going to have another cup tonight, rather than moving on to another rooibos/herbal tea. This is going to make a wonderful addition to my bedtime rotation this winter! Great stuff, Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
yyz

sounds awesome!

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10

I’ve been drinking this at work recently, and have more or less given up on it. Whatever I do, I can’t get it to taste of strawberry. Today’s cup actually had two pretty large pieces of strawberry in it, but they made absolutely no impact on the flavour. Surprisingly. I get the tiniest hint of strawberry if I brew this at a lower temparature, but it’s not very satisfactory.

I have to admit feeling disappointed. I thought this would be my cup of tea, literally, but it’s tasteless and not very inspiring. A shame.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80

I’ve been drinking quite a lot of this recently, but only seem to have managed to log it once. I do really enjoy it — the apple comes out really well, and the cardamom is obvious and very much a central flavour. I have noticed that sometimes my mouth feels a bit numb after drinking this one — maybe there’s just a bit too much cardamom on occasion? I’m not sure whether that’s the cause, and it’s a bit odd, but there you go. I like the flavour, so I’m going to keep drinking it anyway. I’ll maybe just be a bit more careful how many cardamom pods go in my infuser each time — there are plenty in the pouch, that’s for sure!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I think I’ve only actually had one cup of this, which is a shame as it’s a really nice Earl Grey. The bergamot smells quite strong initially, but it’s not overpowering once brewed. The black base is strong enough to withstand milk, but smooth enough to drink without, too. I like a versatile EG.

I’m going to try and pay more attention to the MF teas in my stash, I think. They’re not crazily flavoured, or brightly eye-catching like some of the other teas I’ve collected, but they are really nice. Yay for that.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
914 tasting notes

Long time, no drink. This one has been languishing in my desk draw for a while now, maybe because I’m drinking more tea with milk now the weather is colder. Anyway, I fished it out yesterday and gave it another try.

I still like it. I’m beginning to appreciate Dragonwell teas a bit more these days, I’m finding. Now I’ve realised they’re not the dark, strongly flavoured, murky bitter teas I’d somehow sized them up to be. I also find myself wishing that the cayenne pepper in Mayan Chocolate Chai could be more like it is here. Noticable, definitely there, but not OTT. I guess you can’t have it all, but I’ve always got Smaug to console me on days when I really want a spicy tea!

Preparation
2 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Jewelled Apple by Tea Palace
914 tasting notes

Another cup of this old favourite. I still like the toffee apple flavour this one has, although I’m becoming less keen on the base as time goes on. It’s not quite strong enough for me to happily add milk to, and yet it’s too astringent to really drink black. Still, the strawberry tinged toffee apple wonderfulness goes a long way towards making up for that. Still worthy of a place in the cupboard!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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80

This is the last tea from my S & V order that I haven’t tried yet. I finally gave in and opened it last night, and was surprised but pleased to find red rooibos. The other couple of rooibos teas I got with the same order were both green, so I think I was half expecting this one to be as well.

I like this one — it tastes of chocolate cake! I’m not getting anything I feel is particularly specific to red velvet cake, but that’s okay. It tastes really good anyway. I drank this with a splash of milk only, so possibly I’ll try a little bit of sugar next time just to see whether that brings out any hidden aspects of the flavour.

It smells good, it tastes good, and it’s caffiene free so I can drink it before bed. What’s not to love? I’ll write a better note when I’ve tried a cup and I’m not half asleep, but first impressions are good!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

What do you think of Simpson & Vail overall? I still haven’t ordered from them.

Scheherazade

I ordered the three cupcake teas, plus Candy Cane and Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Of those, Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Red Velvet Cupcake are probably my favourites. The others are nice enough, but they either lack flavour or have too much of it (i.e. the mint in Candy Cane). I find the green rooibos a bit weird, too, and it appears in quite a lot of their rooibos blends. I’m happy enough to have tried them, but I probably wouldn’t order again. They’re okay, but there are other teas and brands that I prefer, on balance.

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90

Tried a second cup of this one a couple of nights ago. Brewing for a little longer melts the chocolate chips, and helps to bring out that aspect of the flavour a little more. I honestly think I prefer it without the chocolate, though. It’s just a flavour too far for me. The blueberry is sweet and juicy — it doesn’t really need the milky, slightly cloying flavour of chocolate. Still good, though. I do like a blueberry tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 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 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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