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685 Tasting Notes

65
drank Berry Berry Nice by Yumchaa
685 tasting notes

I couldn’t remember whether I’d logged this as a cold brew, but it looks like I haven’t. I’ve had a pitcher of this in the fridge ever since I had my first success cold brewing Yumchaa Lemon Sherbet. That made me keen to try some of my other rooibos teas cold, and this was the one I chose. I’ve been kind of addicted to it ever since, because the berry flavouring comes out so, so well when this is cold brewed. It’s far stronger and far more clear than when it’s hot, and the rooibos doesn’t become overpowering. I had feared it might, but if anything, it seems to fade into the background more in the face of the berry flavouring. It also develops a creamy, delicately floral flavour that really isn’t there when hot. A hugely enjoyable cold brew, and one I’m certain to turn to time and again this summer.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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70

I’m down to the last few of my samples from Sil now, and this is one of the ones I’ve really been looking forward to. I’m a big fan of both white tea and berry tea, so this should be a good fit for me.

The dry leaf smells really lovely. Sweet, with definite notes of raspberry and maybe the merest hint of champagne. There are a good proportion of silver tips among the leaves and stems, and everything looks very fresh and green . I was drinking Adagio’s white peony yesterday, which is probably why the greenness stands out here. Although I love Adagio’s version, the leaves are much darker, almost black-brown in some cases, and just don’t have the look of freshness about them that these do.

Anyway, I waited patiently for the water to cool, and gave this about 2.5 to 3 minutes. The liquor is a beautiful golden colour, rather like champagne, and the champagne scent itself is more noticeable now it’s brewed.

To taste, this is wonderfully delicate. The champagne flavour actually comes across really well. I’m not sure what gives that effect – maybe it’s a slight grapeiness I’m picking up on? The floral nature of the white tea base helps a little too, I think. It could only really be improved if it was fizzy, let’s say that! The raspberry is more subtle, but it’s definitely there in the background. In terms description accuracy, this really is like drinking a glass of champagne with a couple of raspberries in it, only in tea form. I’m enjoying this as a warm drink (I’m not going to say hot, as I was good and waited for the water to cool, such that it can’t really be described as hot any more…). I’d love to try it iced, though. I have a feeling that’s how it would really shine. As flavoured white tea goes, though, this is a triumph. Hugely enjoyable. Thanks again to Sil for sharing it with me!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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50
drank Monk's Blend by Tealish
685 tasting notes

My experience with this tea sounds pretty similar to everyone else’s. I find vanilla, caramel and grenadine a slightly odd combination – it’s like there are two halves to the flavour that don’t quite come together. Dry, there wasn’t much scent to this tea. It’s vaguely sweet, but that’s about all I was able to detect. It’s similar when brewed, except the faintest notes of vanilla and strawberry are detectable upon concentration. Mostly, though, the scent is of normal black tea.

The first sip surprised me by being a lot more astringent than I expected. I don’t think I overdid the brew time on this one, although it’s possible I overleafed the tiniest bit. I’ll try and remedy that next time. I can taste the caramel and vanilla in the initial sip, although they’re not strong, and they’re kind of overtaken by the bitterness of the base tea. The grenadine only really comes out in the aftertaste, and is rather like strawberry ice cream syrup. It’s very sweet, maybe a little too sweet, and somehow it just doesn’t fit with a tea that’s otherwise quite dry and flavoured more with creamy tastes than fruity.

Overall, I’d say this tea isn’t really for me. I like the idea of it, but maybe not this exact expression. I’m looking forward to trying my Mariage Freres Marco Polo, though!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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35
drank Yerba Mate by Teapigs
685 tasting notes

I will admit, I’m flagging this afternoon. On the hunt for an energy boost, I decided to try these Yerba Mate teabags, which I stuck in my desk drawer earlier in the week. I always approach them with trepidation for some reason, I guess unflavoured, mate is not my favourite thing in the world. Possibly that’s something to do with the faintly green tinged yellow liquor this one produces. I’m odd about colours and food sometimes. Thankfully, I had a pleasant experience with 52Teas Malted ChocoMate last week, so I’m feeling encouraged about this. Sort of.

Brewed, it has the familiar, tell-tale mate scent. I didn’t like it the first time I tried mate, but I can appreciate now that it smells a bit like coffee. It’s a sort of toasted scent. Not terribly off-putting in itself, but unusual when it comes to tea.

Unfortunately, I’m still not a fan of the taste. I’m not even sure what it is about it that I dislike. There’s just something a bit…swampy, or musty, about it. I can almost convince myself that this is an unusual kind of coffee, which is how I psych myself up to drink it plain, but it’s not something I really like. I can get behind the benefits that it has – especially if it’s going to help me to wake up – but flavoured is going to be the way forward for me here. I just need something to take the edge off its inherent oddness!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Foxtrot by Adagio Teas
685 tasting notes

I will confess, it was the name of this tea that made me buy it. Now it’s actually time to try it, though, I’m not so sure. For some reason, I’m having a hard time processing the combination of ingredients. I mean, rooibos and chamomile? Okay. Rooibos and peppermint? Okay. But rooibos, chamomile AND peppermint? Does not compute. It smells nice, though, like one of those butter mint hard-boiled sweets. Still, though. It even looks odd in the bag – red rooibos, green peppermint leaves, and yellow chamomile flowers. They clash!

Anyway, I’m going to stop making judgements about this, and actually try it. Into the water it goes. 5 minutes later, the water is, unsurprisingly, rooibos red. The scent is mainly of chamomile and rooibos, but the mint is also detectable. So far, not so unexpected. To taste, it’s actually better than I thought it was going to be. The chamomile takes centre stage, and it’s sweet, vaguely floral, and honey-like. Second is the peppermint, which adds a cool, menthol-like effect to the sip, and actually pairs with the chamomile better than I thought it would. I suppose they’re both quite sweet flavours, so I’m not sure why I thought they would hate each other. The rooibos remains firmly in the background, and actually does a pretty good job of bringing the two flavours together. It does taste a bit like a butter mint, which is actually a very pleasant flavour now I come to think about it. An unexpected pre-lunch treat!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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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
685 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
685 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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Profile

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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