901 Tasting Notes

80

Yuuuuuuum! I brought this one to work with me as another black tea to have on hand. I’ve said it before, but this is my favourite of the Simposon and Vail teas I’ve tried so far. It taste just like its name leads you to imagine, and that’s what I really want from a flavoured tea.

The apple here is quite subtle, but the cinnamon and cake elements are really prominent. I added a small piece of crystal sugar and some milk, and that’s brought out a creaminess that’s making me think of buttercream frosting. The apple develops a little more in the aftertaste, leaving behind a flavour reminiscent of apple crumble. I love it when a flavoured tea lives up to its name and description, and it’s brightened my day to find one as good as this!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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1

First cup of this last night was a no-no. I admit that I felt a little trepidation before trying a sip, and I proved myself right because in the end it wasn’t a cup I could finish.

I love the secnt of this tea dry. The chocolate is the thing I can smell the most, so I was hoping that I’d get a strong chocolate taste accompanied by a very spicy chai blend. I like spicy things, so I was figuring this would be right up my street. I gave this about four minutes in boiling water, and added a fair splash of milk.

Unfortunately, that’s where things started to go wrong, because all I can taste is cayenne pepper. NOTHING else. There’s no chocolate, no other spices, not even any black tea. Just cayenne pepper. It’s not painful, but it’s the kind of spice that sticks at the back of the throat and makes you cough. Unpleasant. I would have put up with it if there’d been other flavours, but there weren’t. Down the sink it went.

So. Either I need to adjust the way I brew this, or it’s just really not the tea for me. I’m going to try again with a smaller cup, a shorter brew time, more milk, and maybe some sugar. I might even try putting it in a t-sac or something, to try and keep back some of the cayenne pepper. I really want to like this, but I want to taste chocolate and spice as well as the cayenne heat.

We’ll see how the next cup goes. For now, though…ugh. Sad face.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
MissB

Uh oh. I have some of this on the way, and I had high hopes for it. Let us know if your experiments change the sip for you! I really hope it does.

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5
drank S'mores Chai by 52teas
901 tasting notes

I actually tried my first cup of this on Saturday night, I think, although it looks like I didn’t get around to logging it. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it, but I’ll have to try another cup to be sure. I brewed this as a latte, with a long brew for the leaves and plenty of milk. The spices are the first thing I could taste, followed by an intensely chocolatey taste (like a brownie…), a touch of smoke, and then the tiniest hint of creamy marshmallow. I was sort of expecting the spice to be one of the later flavours to develop, which is probably why I’m not 100% sure I like it. I do like the combination of fudgey chocolate, smoke, and sweet marshmallow, but the “chai” aspect really seems to dominate. Part of me wonders what I expected, because this is a chai blend…but another part of me insists that the flavour should present itself first, and then the chai as a base.

I’m going to have another cup of this before I rate it, just to clarify me feelings on the taste.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100

I’ve had a few cups of this today. It’s my first day back on reception full-time, and one visitor has already been rude and threatened to report me. For…doing my job? I don’t know what she’s going to find to say about me, I only referred her query and then discovered there was no-one around to answer it. Since when was that my fault? Days like this make me glad I’m leaving.

Anyway, this tea is going some way towards alleviating my headache, and it’s at least nearly home time. The chocolate and cocoa notes here are delicious, and I just find the whole thing really soothing. I was actually drinking a cup of Pineapple Cilantro Cream when “The Incident” occured, but I had to set that aside and find some black tea to calm me down. I’ve told my manager about it, and she says not to worry, but I would have liked a more successful first day back. It’s only Monday, and it’s got the week off to a bad start.

Still. I have things to look forward to. Don’t I?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Rosehips

I hate it when clients and customers are like that. I hope that the rest of today went smoothly.

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65

I like this better than the black version, which is surprising for me as I’m usually a black tea person when it really comes down to it. Anyway, I’ve tried a few chocolate peppermint rooibos blends in my time, and this is a pretty nice one. The chocolate adds a lovely cocoa note, which the peppermint cuts through nicely. The rooibos is a little on the woody side, but it’s disguised pretty effectively by the flavouring. It’s like drinking an After Eight, really, and it’s always nice to have another caffeine-free blends on hand for pre-bedtime drinks. It’s nothing earth shattering, but the flavours here are well balanced, and it makes for a genuinely pleasant cup. Quite a successful Halloween in terms of tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

I’m extending Halloween into a second day, while I finish sampling my themed teas. I love the smell of this one. It’s like blueberry compote. It’s strong, sweet and fruity dry, and most of that carries over into the brewed cup. I gave this 3.5, nearly 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

The taste here is mainly blueberry. The ghosts are entertaining, but I don’t think they add anything to the flavour. At least there was no weird colouring this time! The chocolate bits don’t seem to add much in the way of taste, either, which is a bit odd. Perhaps I need to give it a stir next time to make sure it’s melted into the water rather than sticking to the leaves in my strainer. Hmm. I can’t say I mind, though, because the blueberry taste here is wonderful. It’s very fresh and natural tasting, and I can see myself picking out a cup of this pretty often when I want something desserty but not cloying. Major yum.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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70

Sipdown! I’m not too sad to see this one go. I could taste banana, although it wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked it to be. I think 52 Teas Monkey Fart spoilt me a bit for banana teas, even though I’ve only tried the SBT version. There is banana here, but it’s pretty mild. The strongest flavour I can detect is actually caramel — caramelised banana? A little bit like a banana split, I suppose. It’s palatable, though, and it makes a nice dessert tea with a little bit of milk and sugar. I just think there are better Bluebird teas than this one, on the whole.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80

First cup of the morning. I’m still really enjoying drinking this when I arrive at work. The combination of the lemon and spices makes me feel all warm and cosy, and somehow cheered.

I have things to be cheerful about today, though. The 52 Teas reblends, for one. I read about them on the bus, and took the opportunity to grab a few before I started work at 9.00. I’ve had one cup of Rainbow Sherbet in my life, thanks to Sil, and I loved it, so I’m really pleased I’ve finally got the opportunity to try more. Cotton Candy I love, so that was a no-brainer, and I’ve been desperate to try Coconut Cream Pie and Strawberry Zabaglione for ages, so they went into the basket too. I could have added more, but I usually try and restrict my orders to 4. It’s not like I need loads more tea, but I just find myself unable to resist.

The second bit of good news was that I won my battle with HR, and I will now be offered four weeks notice on my new contract instead of one. It’s a risk for me to leave a permanent job for a fixed term one, but I think it’ll be a good career move, and I’m happier about it now that I’ll have a little more warning should it end unexpectedly. It was a battle worth fighting, so yay for me! I’m off to collect my new contract now! It’s also Friday, so what could be better? I love days that keep on giving in the happiness department :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome! way to go you!

Terri HarpLady

Good for you for hanging in there!
You know that saying, “When the Universe closes a door, a Window opens”. Best wishes!

Ysaurella

bravo Sheherazade :)

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55

A better experience with this one than with Bats in the Belfry. The black and yellow bug sprinkles are kind of cute, and they don’t bleed colour like the bats I mentioned in my Bats in the Belfry tasting note. They don’t add any flavour, either, so I guess they’re kind of gimmicky, but they’re sweet. Again, though, the sprinkles and the name are the only things that make this a Halloween tea. Otherwise, it’s just a run of the mill vanilla cream rooibos.

That’s fine with me, though, because there’s space in my affections for a vanilla cream rooibos. Especially one that tastes of vanilla and cream, and this one does that all right. The rooibos is really quite prominent, so the first taste is the typical woody-brassy flavour I know well and don’t really love. It’s saved by the vanilla, though, which really comes out in the middle of the sip. It’s a nice, natural vanilla bean flavour, rather than a chemically vanilla essence type taste, too. The creaminess is more detectable as a mouthfeel than a flavour, although there is a depth to the vanilla that suggests something like coffee creamer to me. I added milk, too, so they work together really well to create quite a decadent creaminess.

This isn’t the best rooibos I’ve ever tried, but it’s a nice enough tea. It’s comforting, sweet and creamy, and it works well as a cosy tea on a cold dark night. I’ll happily drink the rest of this — it’s not earth shattering, but it’s pleasant, and the bugs are a novelty. That’s probably more than enough Halloween excitement for me :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50

Backlog from Thursday.

This is Swiss Mountain with added sprinkles, right? I like the name, it’s very Halloween appropriate, and it made me smile. That’s really all the Halloween there is about this tea, though, if you don’t count the bat sprinkles. I wasn’t, at first, because you can’t really see them among the dark tea leaves, anyway. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that the bat sprinkles turn this tea a murky green-grey colour. I guess it’s the dye they’re coloured with. Add milk, and it looks even worse. I guess drinking tea the colour of zombie skin probably is kind of Halloween appropriate after all, although it’s a little bit off putting.

I drank it anyway. It tastes really lovely, but if you’ve tried Swiss Mountain you know that already. There’s just the right balance of peppermint and chocolate against the black tea, and it’s sweet, refreshing and lovely. I think I’ll be tempted to drink the rest of this without milk, simply to avoid the weird colour. The black tea is a little on the weak side for milk anyway, so I guess it’s not all that much of a sacrifice. It tastes great, but I’m not 100% sold on this variation. I’ll be sticking to Swiss Mountain in future, that’s for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Shmiracles

i just ordered a small sample. i love the little try me’s. and heck i will totally laugh at the grey-green-ness. the grosser the better! hah

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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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