1658 Tasting Notes

90
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
1658 tasting notes

Sipdown! Finished off the last of this as a cold brew over the weekend. I’ve nothing new to add, but it was sweet, toffee-like, slightly appley amazingness. I think I can call my first oolong cold brew experiment a definite success!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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90
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
1658 tasting notes

Today’s work cold brew. I’ve never cold brewed an oolong before, so I was really hoping that it would work out okay. I’ve got a litre of it at work with me, so it would be pretty dire otherwise. Fortunately, all seems to be well. I was worried that it would have turned bitter, or that the oolong would be very much at the forefront rather than the flavouring, but neither are the case.

I used 2 tbsp of leaf in 2 litres of cold water, and it went into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. The result is a sweet, primarily caramel flavoured brew. There are hints of crisp apple in the mid sip, though, and that slight sharpness is a very welcome counterpoint to the initial sweetness. It is possible to taste the oolong, but it’s not overpowering. It’s a mineral flavour, like licking a wet rock, but it mostly stays in the background.

I’m glad I took a chance and tried this. I’m less scared of oolong than I used to be, but sometimes it’s still very much an unknown quantity. Now I just have to decide whether to finish off the last of my pouch with another cold brew, or to save the remainder for drinking hot come autumn. Decisions!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Rasseru

omg dont be scared of Oolong. Its such a wondrous tea.. I would be happy just drinking Dan Cong & high mountain green for the rest of my life

ColumbiaKate

Oolong! I agree. I’m a recent fan of cold brew and saving already hot brewed leaves for rebrewing cold. Oolong is especially good for this IMO because of the large leaf and so much room for more brew.

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75

I tried this one hot a couple of nights ago, and really wasn’t particularly impressed. I could only taste rooibos, really, and a pretty scratchy, woody rooibos at that. Cold, this is a much improved prospect. There’s still some rooibos lurking around in the background, but there’s also a delicious, sweet strawberries and cream flavour. It reminds me most of the Campino sweets that used to be available when I was a child. The flavour is pretty much identical to those, and just as creamy. That means, of course, that the strawberry is candy-like rather than natural-tasting, but I don’t mind that too much. It’s too good to pick faults with, really, and perfectly summery! I’ll definitely be using the rest of my bags for cold brews – hot has got nothing on this!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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85
drank Tuscan Sun by RiverTea
1658 tasting notes

MJy final RiverTea, gone forever. I used the last of this leaf up for today’s cold brew. I’m glad I tried it this way, because the flavours come out much more clearly than they do hot. Wonderful, sweet, strawberry awesomeness. A very sad sipdown :(

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Sil

awe…

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60
drank Chai Me by T-We Tea
1658 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B! I’ve not tried very many “herbal” chai blends before today, or at least, not that I can remember. I know I’ve tried at least a couple of rooibos vanilla chai blends, but that’s been about my limit in terms of exploration. This blend appears to be made up of a mixture of green and red rooibos, with, I think, pieces of ginger root, cinnamon bark, cacao nibs, and some tiny pink flowers that are amazingly pretty. There are doubtless other things, too, but it’s quite a fine blend and the components are tricky to spot.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brews up to a beautiful sunset-orange, very vibrant! Based on taste alone, I’m not sure that I would have immediately identified this as a chai. The rooibos is very prominent, particularly the green rooibos, but after that I’m getting mostly chocolate and then a good, spicy kick of ginger. If I was tasting blind, I’d probably have said ginger-chocolate rather than chai. I actually don’t mind the flavour, but as a chai it’s not ticking many boxes for me.

The description of this one is pretty unique, too. I mean, I get that it’s a Twilight thing…but what’s it got to do with this tea?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Super Starling!

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve read the books. I don’t recall anything about Alice drinking chai. Just that she saw the future and was basically the only sane one in the series.

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65
drank Monster Brew by Adagio Teas
1658 tasting notes

Today’s work cold brew. This one is pretty good cold, as all the Adagio Tree House blends have been. I’m actually finding that the chocolate seems more prominent than the fruit when brewed this way, which is the complete opposite of the hot version. I am getting some fruit – primarily cherry, maybe a touch of blueberry, but it’s definitely second fiddle to the chocolate which is milky, smooth, and delicious.

I’m really enjoying this one, and I’m pleased with how well these teas have come out both cold and hot. Usually Adagio isn’t my thing, but these are pretty good summery blends. For reference, I used 4 bags in 2 litres of water, into the fridge for around 10 hours.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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80
drank Grape Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1658 tasting notes

Tried this one shaken into cold water this afternoon, but I’m not sure that I’m a fan. The last matcha I tried it with was Red Leaf’s Sangria, and I really didn’t like that. I’m feeling almost the same about this one. For some reason, it seems to bring out the floral flavour of the matcha, and there’s something about it that turns my stomach.

Matcha latte? Yes. Any other preparation? Maybe not.

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70
drank Yuzu Temple by Mariage Frères
1658 tasting notes

Farewell to the oldest tea in my cupboard! I used the last of this up for today’s work cold brew, since it burns through leaf pretty quickly and I just couldn’t see myself drinking another 10+ cups of this hot. It’s not a bad tea, especially for a green, as I’ve proved to myself many times by actually drinking it and being pleasantly surprised. Somehow, though, I was just never really feeling this one.

It’s pretty good as a cold brew. I was expecting it to be bitter, and it’s really not, although it is on the savoury side compared to most of the teas/cold brews I’ve been drinking recently. The yuzu is more prominent cold than it is hot, and it’s nice to have that citrussy, pithy flavour front and centre. The green tea base is mostly smooth, although there’s a bit of a dryness in the aftertaste that I want to call astringency, but hesitatingly because it’s really not that bad.

I’ll be happy to sip on this one for the rest of the day. It’s refreshing, and a change of pace from the other teas I’ve got with me at work right now. I’d not repurchase this one, though. It’s just not a favourite.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 tsp 68 OZ / 2000 ML

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85

I received this tea bag with my Pink Parcel this month. I’ve never heard of the brand before, but according to the little brochure that explains where the “for you” items come from, they can be purchased from Harrods and are hella expensive – about £30 for 20 or something fairly ridiculous like that. The packaging doesn’t give much away – no ingredients, for example. It smells lovely, though – very fresh and lemony. One thing that is highlighted is the “innovative” cotton tea bag. I probably wouldn’t say innovative, exactly – Mighty Leaf have been doing similar for a while, except that theirs are nylon, but the woven pouch idea in general isn’t new (unless these guys were doing it first and I just didn’t know. Apparently they’ve been around since 1961.)

I gave the bag the recommended 5 minutes in boiling water. The bag looks to contain whole chamomile flowers, rose petals, and lemon verbena. Brewed, it smells more “herbal” than it does dry, and just a touch floral.

To taste, I’m actually quite impressed. There’s a creamy lemon flavour at the forefront, then the sweet, honey-like almost-cloyingness of chamomile, with just a touch of rose/lavender floral at the end of the sip. I’ve had other “lemon cream” tea that are equally good, but it’s always nice to find another one (especially when you’re least expecting it.) It’s supposed to be a relaxing tisane, and I guess it would be. I’d definitely drink it on an evening as a pre-bedtime cup.

What I’d be less willing to do is pay the quoted price. Harrods is an overpriced tourist trap anyway, so I’d not buy tea from there if I had any other choice, but if I could find this from an alternative supplier (or maybe direct from La Vie del Te, who are based in Italy and have a website…) at a more reasonable price then I’d definitely consider buying more of this one (or trying some other blends…) Best not to look, though. It’s such a slippery slope :)

I’m happy to have had the opportunity to try this one; I liked it a lot more than I was expecting to, and the quality appears to be there even though it’s bagged. Unexpectedly good!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

I’m enjoying another cup of this one at work today. Now that I’m getting towards the bottom of the bag, I’ve noticed that the stevia (if that’s what it actually is) has become more prominent. I’m thinking it had probably just settled and now I’m getting more per tsp than was intended. It does distract from the ice cream aspect a little, just because it’s verging on over-sweet, but it’s still a pleasant cup. I definitely get root beer, and with a splash of milk there’s vanilla ice cream in there too. One word: yum!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 28, 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 my 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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