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680 Tasting Notes

95

Sipdown! I’m on a roll with these this week, but it’s just been negated by the arrival of two swap packages. Ah well.

Drank the last of this at work today. I’m pleased I had the opportunity to try it, but I think I might have out-darjeelinged myself for a little while. Time to try something else from the cupboard!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Lemon Sherbet by Yumchaa
680 tasting notes

Added a pitcher of this to the fridge last night to cold brew. I took the tea out this morning, but I’ve yet to try it. I will when I get home from work, if my parents haven’t raided it first. I’m hoping that the lemon flavour will come trhough still, as it does when hot. If I’ve just got a jug of rooibos, I’ll be disappointed! I have high hopes, though — I could smell lemon when I gave it a tentative sniff this morning! We’ll see!


Managed to snag a glass of this in the end. I’m glad, because it’s actually really nice. I actually think the lemon comes out more clearly cold than it does hot, although the rooibos is a farily prominent taste also. There’s maybe something very slightly medicinal in the background too, but it’s tolerable.

The main flavour is unmistakably lemon, at any rate, and it tastes much more like it smells dry this way. I’m still awed at how clearly the lemon comes through. It’s tangy, very slightly sour — amazing! This is one I’ll definetly cold brew again in the weeks ahead, and it’s inspired me to try a few of my other Yumchaa rooibos blends cold also. A worthwhile experiment!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Fuzzy_Peachkin

This sounds so yummy for summer!

cteresa

I need to get this one – I love Yumchaa´s rooibos, I keep ordering them by mail but this one has always eluded me. I have had it, but never a whole package to try and experiment at home. My next yumchaa order for sure.

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35
drank Cinnamon by Adagio Teas
680 tasting notes

Tried this one with milk this evening, while it was on my mind. I do prefer it this way on the whole, I think. The milk seemed to smooth it out a little, and tone down the very slight musty/bitter flavour that emerges in the aftertaste when drank black. I’d happily drink it black again, but milk is going to be my preferred way forward here.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100

Oolong has not so far been my thing, but I’m willing to have my mind changed. I think that’s why I keep trying them – I know there must be one for me out there somewhere! Before now, I’ve only read about milk oolongs on here, but I’ve been curious to try one for a while now. Thanks to Sil, I finally have the chance!

The leaves of this one are intriguing. They’re rolled, I think, are roughly round, and a mottled green in colour with both light and darker patches. Once in my infuser, they unfurl pretty quickly, which is actually an enjoyable process to watch. I’ve just arrived at work, so I’m obviously easily distracted. There being 130 emails in my inbox isn’t helping on that front.

Brewed, the leaves actually smell pretty amazing. There’s a vegetal scent, as I might have expected from a green tea, but there’s also a very floral, faintly sweet overtone that I’m very encouraged by. I’ve never experienced this with an oolong before! I guess it’s what I was hoping they might be like, but instead have always found them quite bitter and mineral-tasting. The liquor is a golden yellow-brown.

I will admit to being a little apprehensive about this before taking my first sip, but I needn’t have been. I think I’ve finally found my kind of oolong! There’s no trace of bitterness at all – it’s smooth, sweet, slightly floral, and with a wonderful milky creaminess. I’m not sure whether it’s specifically orchid I can taste, but if it is, then orchid is a flavour I like. Who’d have thought it? I could happily drink this all day – it’s the complete opposite of what I was expecting, and, thankfully, has blown my preconceptions about oolongs out of the water.

Many, many thanks to Sil for finding me an oolong I can get behind!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Sil

Oh i’m glad you like this! you’ll probably like milk oolongs as a general GREEN oolong type. Organis sparrow tongue from butiki is also really nice as far as green oolongs, but it’s not creamy. it’s for sure more of a green taste. Also…i’ll try to see if there are darker roasted oolongs that i can suggest that you might like since you might be sort of like me in terms of “oolongs” (they’re mostly oo-wrong)

Scheherazade

I’ve got a little bag of Organic Sparrow Tongue in my cupboard at the moment, so I’ll give that a try next. I’m really not an oolong person in general, though, so this one really took me by surprise! It’s a good thing — I’d really like to be able to enjoy oolongs, and now I know it’s just a case of finding the right one :)

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95

First tea of the morning. I’m glad I chose a black, because I’d already had my first two visitors before I’d even taken my coat off. Sipdown on this one! I’ve got three other samples from this pack to finish, but this has been nice. Sweet, peachy, clean, fresh. Sad to see it go.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank MojiTEA by Bluebird Tea Co.
680 tasting notes

Sipdown! Finished off the last of this at work today, after returning from my training. I had a bit of a headache, so it went down well. Refreshing and cooling — just the thing. This is one I’d buy again!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Berry Berry Nice by Yumchaa
680 tasting notes

Haven’t had one of these in a while, so I made up a cup with milk last night. Really, really enjoyable — more so than I remembered, actually. I’m not sure whether I’ve tried it with milk before, but the berry flavours were clear and strong, complemented by the smooth creaminess added by the milk. The woodsyness of the rooibos was all but absent. This is one I’ll be adding to my evening rotation. I must remember to try it as a latte as well.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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35
drank Cinnamon by Adagio Teas
680 tasting notes

I’ve had this in my cupboard for a while, but this is the first time I can recall trying it. The box is open, though, so maybe I’m wrong about that. Anyway, I’m kind of assuming that this tea is what I’ve got – it’s the bagged version called Cinnamon Spice, but it’s essentially cinnamon flavoured black.

The dry leaf smells reassuringly of cinnamon, exactly like a freshly opened pot of the ground up spice. There’s actually quite a lot of dust in the little packet it was wrapped in, so maybe that’s what it’s actually flavoured with. In that case, no surprises. Brewed, this smells almost exactly the same as it does dry. There’s something in the scent that’s making me think of Butiki’s Cider Guayusa – it’s kind of earthy, and I imagine (but can’t actually remember) that they share cinnamon as an ingredient.

To taste, this is much more palatable than I expected. I didn’t brew it for the recommended 5 minutes, as I have no milk. I gave it about 3 minutes, and it’s a pretty dark brown, so I was expecting to taste Adagio’s black base a lot and maybe not much else. It’s not like that at all, though. Cinnamon is definitely the predominant flavour, and there’s something deeply earthy and maybe a tiny bit smoky-spicy in the background. I will try it with milk at home, because I think I’ll definitely prefer it like that. I’m getting on with this a lot better than I thought I would, though. I feel I’ve been spoilt for Adagio’s blends now by all the other kinds of tea I’ve tried and loved, so I can’t help but think I would have liked this a whole lot more earlier in my tea journey than I do now. It’s not bad, though, and it’s certainly one of the better Adagio flavoured blacks I’ve tried.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65

I actually drank most of this iced over the bank holiday weekend, but I managed to salvage a couple of cups worth to drink at work today. Iced, the main flavour is papaya, closely followed by hibiscus. I guess that’s understandable, but it seems to lack depth a little bit, given all of the fruit flavours that are in there. I’m hoping this will shine more hot!

Dry, it does smell irresistibly fruity. I can definitely pick out the papaya, passionfruit, mango and orange, and it just screams “tropical”. The summer we’ve been having so far hasn’t been all that wonderful, so it’s nice to have something sunny in my cup if nowhere else! Brewed, this has the tell-tale colour of hibiscus – the ubiquitous pinky-red. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of hibiscus. The mango contributes a pepperiness, which is very welcome, and cuts through the sweetness of the papaya and passionfruit. There’s a slight citrus tang that I assume is from the orange, and a tartness that’s almost certainly the hibiscus, but no one flavour really dominates. Of all the tropical fruit blends I’ve tried, this is one of the more convincing ones! It’s genuinely fruity and very refreshing. It’s a shame it seemed to lose some of its punch cold, but I’m more than happy to drink it hot – it’s how I prefer my tea anyway! Another great blend from Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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95
drank Enchanted Forest by Yumchaa
680 tasting notes

Sipdown! I haven’t tried any new teas in a couple of days, because I’ve got a really heavy cold. I’m mostly drinking lempsip, but it’s the perfect excuse to finish up a couple of teas that have been in my cupboard for a while. I’ve tasted this one so many times before, I can remember what it’s supposed to be like even if I can’t taste it all that well at the moment. A fond farewell to this one — it’s been nice.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 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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