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685 Tasting Notes

100

Finally tried this last night. I actually bought this with my second 52Teas order, just before last Christmas. I’m not sure why I held off. Maybe because I’d heard such great things and I didn’t want to be disappointed.

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not disappointed, because this is absolutely amazing. I was unsure about the scent at first. I could only really detect the honeybush, and maybe a faint whiff of chocolate. I left it sitting in the kitchen for 6 minutes or so, though, and when I came back things had definitely changed. I could smell strawberry, for starters. I added milk to this, because I couldn’t get my mind to think ice cream if it wasn’t some kind of creamy. That actually seemed to drown out the scent again, but I needn’t have feared.

I was seriously impressed by the first sip. The initial taste was quite strongly chocolatey, then the vanilla started to edge in, and then the strawberry emerged right at the end, carrying through into the aftertaste. Maybe because the milk contributed the creaminess I was looking for, but this tastes just like Neapolitan ice cream. It’s hot, but that doesn’t seem to matter somehow. The flavour is spot on. It’s almost uncanny.

I’m looking forward to this evening just so that I can drink it again. It’s going to be a really welcome addition to my summer pre-bedtime rotation, and I suspect there’ll be tears when it’s gone. I’d like to cold brew it, because part of me feels that ice cream should be cold. It’s so gorgeous hot, though, I’m almost tempted not to bother. I do have the SBT version of this, so perhaps I’ll break that out tomorrow. I’m almost done with the Razzleberry I’ve got at work, so I’ll need some more iced tea to keep me going tomorrow. Apparently we’re going to have a heatwave, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

I don’t think there’s anything left to say, other than “I really love this tea!” Amazing, amazing stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Lemon Sherbet by Yumchaa
685 tasting notes

Sipdown! Drinking my last cup of this at work right now. It’s a lovely, almost sharply citrus rooibos, but I think I’ve had my fill of it for the time being. I have a couple of other lemon rooibos blends in my stash, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare. I somehow doubt they’ll be able to beat this one for lemoniness, though. It’s been great both hot and cold.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Peppermint Leaves by Teapigs
685 tasting notes

I remember when Teapigs used to claim that this tea would stay green, and not turn a muddy brown like every other mint tea going. I can’t remember whether it was ever true, but it certainly isn’t now. Swampy it is. It at least smells fresh, though, and is very strongly minty.

To taste, this is one of the more pleasant mint teas I’ve tried so far. There’s never all that much between them, but I suppose this one has quite large leaves still, so it doesn’t become over strong too quickly. I gave this about three minutes, and was rewarded with a cooling, refreshing, definitely minty tea, but without the resemblances to toothpaste and mouthwash that can sometimes prevail.

I always find drinking mint tea an interesting experience, as it’s both hot and cold at the same time. On a moderately warm spring day, though, it’s quite a welcome sensation. Peppermint tea (and by this I only mean the herbal, rather than blends that include mint) will never be top of my list of favourites, probably because I’ve disliked so many of them. As they go, though, this is by no means a bad one. It’s not outright stunning (can a mint tea really be that anyway?), but it’s certainly better than average.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank SBT: Razzleberry by 52teas
685 tasting notes

Made this up last night, and I’ve been drinking it most of the day today in my too-hot reception area. It’s not even that warm outside, so I have no idea why the temparature gets up so much in here, but anyway.

I agree with Lala on this one. The intial smell is really like sour raspberry candies. Every time I get pick and mix, I go for some of those. The scent also reminded me a little bit of 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, which I loved, so it was almost bound to be a winner with me.

I brewed this according to the packet instructions. 2 cups of boiling water, and then topped up with cold to make just under 2 litres. I put it in the fridge overnight, and then decanted it into a bottle to bring to work this morning. I’d like to try cold brewing one of these at some point, but I went with both speed and tried and tested last night as it seemed the simplest thing to do!

To taste, this is much as I thought it would be. I get raspberry mainly, in both the scent and the initial flavour. There’s a slight tartness coming from somewhere, but it’s not overpowering. You can also taste the black tea, which has a slightly bitter bite to it. I suppose I was expecting that, given that it’s CTC, but it works quite well with the raspberry flavouring (which is quite sweet) in any case. I totally forgot to bring sugar with me, but I might have tried adding a bit to one of my cups if I’d remembered. There’s no harm done, though, because this is a perfectly palatable tea in its own right. I can’t really taste any blackberry, but that’s my only complaint, and a minor one at that.

I’ve got a few of the other flavours stashed away in my cupboard, so I’m looking forward to trying those now. I’ve appreciated being able to have my black tea cold today, though. Cold-brewed fruit and herbals weren’t quite doing it somehow, and I found myself feeling sleepy at around 3.00pm last week. Not so today! Clearly this is great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

This is one of the best mint chocolate rooibos blends I’ve tried. The dry mix smells just like an after eight, and is really lovely to look at. There are cocoa shells a-pleanty, little dark chocolate hearts, and, of course, rooibos interspersed with a generous quantity of peppermint leaves. I brewed it for about four minutes, and added a little milk.

The initial sip tastes just like mint chocolate — like a mint aero, or even mint hot chocolate. The rooibos stays firmly in the background, but adds a nice earthy complement to the aftertaste. I suspect the milk has made this creamier than it otherwise would be, but it suits this tea well. I’ll try it without milk at some point in the future, but today is not that day.

If you like mint chocolate, this really is a must try. It’s a beautiful blend, strongly flavoured, and perfectly executed. I haven’t loved all of the blends I’ve tried from Bluebird, but this one is a definite winner with me. Divine!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Starfevre

A mint aero? Really? I haven’t had one of those in forever.

Scheherazade

That’s what it tastes like to me! I thought it reminded me of something, and then it came to me while I was staring longingly into the vending machine the other day. This is doubtless much better for me :)

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35
drank Yerba Mate by Teapigs
685 tasting notes

A sipdown to end the working week. I’m glad, in a way, because I was getting a little tired of the green murkiness this tea added to my morning routine. It’s definitely flavoured for me from now on!

200th tasting note, by the way. I suppose it’s a significant one in that I have come to an understanding about my relationship with Yerba Mate. The journey of discovery goes on!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
canadianadia

Congrats on your 200th :)

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85
drank Super Fruit by Teapigs
685 tasting notes

I’m drinking the remainder of Monday’s cold-brew of this at work today. I usually have hot tea at work, but it’s so hot in my reception area that I knew last night I’d need a cold drink today. This tea actually belongs to my mum, so it’s not in my cupboard. I drank it iced once or twice when I had my own box, but I’ve never tried it cold-brewed before. I actually think this is the best way to drink this tea. The berry flavours come out really well, and it doesn’t taste over much of hibiscus, which it’s certainly guilty of when brewed hot. A light, refreshing berry delight! Just the thing!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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80
drank Foxtrot by Adagio Teas
685 tasting notes

Sipdown! I doubt I’ll be buying this again, simply because I’ve moved on from Adagio now. My next goal is actually going to be to finish up the remainder of my Adagio samples, as I seem to be acquiring new teas at a pretty scary rate. Trying to ban myself doesn’t work. Anyway, this turned out to be a pretty tasty tea, despite my initial reservations. Clearly sometimes it is worth judging a tea by its name!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

The final sample from my swap with Sil. Judging from the colour, there’s a lot of my friend hibiscus in here. While the scent is orangey, it’s also quitge spicy to begin with, although it does take on a notable creaminess as the steep progresses.

To taste, this is surprisingly sweet and creamy. The spicy notes I got from the dry mix made me think this would be quite sharp and tart, but it’s not like that at all. It actually reminds me a bit of Refreshers. Given that there’s probably a considerable amount of hibiscus in here, this is actually one of the nicest fruit teas I’ve tried in a while. It lives up to its name perfectly, somehow managing to be sweet, definitely orangey and creamy despite all indications to the contrary. A really enjoyable tea that I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try. Thanks again to Sil for sharing it with me!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

Drank my first cup of this last night. I’m really beginning to appreciate honeybush/rooibos blends before bed, and this is a particularly nice one. I’m beginning to suspect that, generally speaking, pineapple and coconut teas are not for me. I like both in actuality, pineapple particularly, but when they’re put together in tea they seem to take on a pukey kind of flavour. I have no idea why, but it’s definitely off-putting.

Anyway, I was a little worried about trying this tea for that exact reason. Fortunately, though, it doesn’t seem to happen here. I can taste the coconut first, but I love that the pineapple comes over so clearly as well. Maybe I like this blend where I haven’t liked others because there’s no hibiscus? I’ll pay more attention in future to the precise kinds of pineapple/coconut teas that I don’t like, and try and work that out. I’m not always a fan of honeybush either, but here it’s just perfect. A sweet, unobtrusive companion to the sweet, juicy tropical fruit flavours.

I’m glad I picked this one up. I can see it being a welcome companion on summer evenings!

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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