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685 Tasting Notes

90
drank MojiTEA by Bluebird Tea Co.
685 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
685 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
685 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
685 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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90
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
685 tasting notes

So, this is a sample from Sil and my very first David’s Tea. I had a look at this on their website first, because I kind of like to know what I’m getting into, and this seems like a busy tea in terms of ingredients. I can see pretty much all of them in the dry mix – hibiscus and beetroot, blackberry and eucalyptus leaves, lemongrass, pieces of apple and carrot, orange and tangerine. I was trying to imagine what it was going to taste like, but I’m finding it hard to say at this stage. Orangey, maybe? My throat is hurting again, so this may not be the most insightful of tasting notes. It’s really just a hot drink I’m wanting at the moment, but I brought this one to work especially to try, and got all excited about it, so I’m not going to back down now!

The first thing I have to say about this is that it’s a really lovely colour. It’s hot pink rather than flamingo pink, but that’s almost as good! It smells nice, too. I can definitely detect orange and tangerine, and the eucalyptus, and I’m picking up something red fruity also. It seems kind of blackcurranty at the moment, but it might just be hibiscus.

It’s equally nice to taste, and pretty true to its scent. Orange and tangerine are, as I hoped, very much in the foreground. I can also taste the eucalyptus, but it’s not at all overpowering. I feared that it would be, but it just adds a nice menthol-like kick to the aftertaste. It’s not something I’d have ever thought of pairing with orange, but the combination is a pretty good one. It doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of hibiscus, either, which is another point in its favour. It’s there all right, in all its sour glory, but it stays firmly in the background and is actually pretty successful in that kind of supporting role. If hibiscus was always like that, I could maybe get to like it! I’m missing the apple, carrot and lemongrass, but that might be my tastebuds. I’m surprised I’m able to taste as much as I can at the moment, so everything’s a bonus. In any case, they’re not flavours I feel bereft without. If they were all there, this would be a pretty confusing tea, and, as it stands, I’m really enjoying it. I’ve not tried many orangey herbal teas, so this is a nice experience to have had, and a great first acquaintance with David’s Tea. I’m looking forward to trying some of the others in my stash now! Thanks again to Sil for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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100
drank Raspberry Cream by 52teas
685 tasting notes

This is the nicest flavoured black I’ve tried in a good long while. I wanted something different but still reassuring last night, and this is what I plumped for. The dry leaves smell wonderfully sweet, with hints of fresh raspberry and cream. I’ve been disappointed so many times by flavoured teas that smell amazing dry, and then don’t live up to the expectations they’ve raised when they’re brewed. Not so with this one. I will admit being a little concerned, because the scent brewed is predominantly of black tea, and not of raspberry. Oh man, though, the taste! The black base is detectable, of course, but it supports and rounds out the flavouring really well. Mostly, though, this tastes just like fresh raspberries and cream. There’s nothing artificial about it at all, and it somehow tastes really clear, not muted or overpowered or simply like muddied tea. Every sip is fruity, creamy deliciousness. Deciding to buy this was a close thing for me, because I find it hard to abide any kind of artificial cream taste (cf. my review of Adagio Cream). I’m glad I decided to pick up a bag of this one, though. Now I’ve tried it, it’s going to be hard to live without!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
685 tasting notes

A sample from Sil. When she first sent me this, I didn’t have any at all. Since then, I’ve somehow acquired two 2oz bags, and all without ever having tried it! I’m not 100% sure how that happened but never mind. Hopefully I’ll find I like it, and it won’t be a problem! I’ve only ever tried one mate tea before, and that was just plain old yerba mate bags from Teapigs. They weren’t my favourite things, but I didn’t hate them either. I just found them a bit…odd. Since then, I haven’t really sought out mate teas to try, and I haven’t really avoided them. I’ve heard a lot of things about this one, though, and I’m up for most things related to malted chocolate, so…

The dry leaves smell strongly of chocolate, and slightly coffee-like. There’s certainly something roasted about the smell, which, at this time of the morning, is really very appealing! Brewed, I can detect the mate slightly more clearly, but it’s mostly the deep, dark, chocolatey notes that are prevalent. To taste, this is much more palatable than I was expecting. I think the flavouring helps to make the mate less of an odd creature, or maybe it’s just that chocolate is old and familiar. Either way, for a first acquaintance I’m really enjoying this! It does taste something like maltesers, which is what I wanted from the Chocolate Malt Honeybush I tried a week or so ago. Mostly, though, I’m tasting chocolate, with a hint of coffee lurking somewhere in the background. I’m usually hopelessly tired when I get to work on a morning, and I actually feel like this is helping some. I think it might become my go-to morning drink from now on! I’ll definitely root out one of those bags when I get home and station it permanently in my desk drawer. A new tea love, just what I needed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank MojiTEA by Bluebird Tea Co.
685 tasting notes

This is one of the most intriguing tea ideas I’ve seen in a while. I’m a fan of the mojito anyway, so I naturally couldn’t resist trying the tea version. The dry mix has a significant predominance of dried lime pieces, which I think is pretty fantastic. They’re not small things, these are actual slices of lime in halves or quarters, and at first I wondered what the hell these big lumps of brown stuff were in my tea! They’re not the most attractive looking things, but I have high hopes for what they might add to the flavour. The rest of the leaves are more conventional – pieces of lemongrass, chopped peppermint and lime leaves, green tea, and stevia. The scent at this point, as you might expect, is primarily of lime and mint, with a faintly detectable undertone of citrusy, hay-like sweetness from the lemongrass.

I waited patiently for the water to cool this time, honestly I did. It was worth the wait! The lime pieces don’t rehydrate as much as I was hoping, but maybe they’ll soften a bit more with subsequent steeps. Brewed, the scent is sweet and minty with a faint hint of lime, which is pretty accurate as far as I’m concerned. The taste is light and delicate, and seems to take a few seconds to develop fully. The green tea base is one of the most pleasant I’ve encountered so far – it’s very subtle, very smooth, with no hint of bitterness or astringency. I might even go for a slightly longer steep next time, which is seriously unlike me. There probably isn’t actually all that much green tea in this blend, when compared with the quantities of other ingredients, which might explain this to a certain extent. It’d be a fantastic candidate for a cold brew, I think! Anyway, the mint is what I can taste first here, followed by a slight grassy-citrus flavour from the lemongrass and green tea, and then finally the lime. It tastes exactly as if a twist of fresh lime was added to this after it was brewed – it just seems to dance there in the background, highlighting and complementing the other flavours. I’m really impressed with this so far, but I’m going to try a longer steep for my next cup and see how that works out.

Second cup: This time I used slightly more leaves, slightly hotter water, and another minute on the brew time, all of which seemed to help this tea to really shine. The mint is much the same as ever, but the lime is more defined and adds a tangy edge to this otherwise rather sweet tea. Fortunately, I’ve not found the stevia overpowering, which worried me a bit at first. The only thing that seemed to suffer a little bit from my adjustments was the lemongrass, which I can’t detect at all now. I guess the delicate edge has gone, but there’s still absolutely no bitterness from the green tea.

I’m actually torn as to how I prefer this tea now. The first cup was beautifully delicate, but, while all the flavours were there, I was looking for more punch. I’ve got that from my second cup, but at the expense of the lemongrass and the subtle play of flavours. There might be a line I could walk with this tea, which would let me have the best of both worlds, but I imagine it would be difficult to find. I’m more than happy with the versatility of this tea at the moment, though, so I’m not too concerned. Both cups were fine with me! Of the teas I’ve tried from Bluebird so far, this one has been the biggest hit with me. I’ve never had a tea quite like it before, and the flavours work fabulously together. It’s not a bad attempt at recreating a cocktail, either! Truly amazing –well done, Bluebird!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

oh man sounds delicious!

Mike Turner

Give it a try iced with a bit of rum and maybe even a bit of raspberry. It’s the real deal! http://t.co/6XYZAD3dXr

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85

I’ve brought the last of this to work today to finish off. I’ve been drinking it cold-brewed most, but it’s really nice hot. Since I’m getting a cold, I need all the hot drinks I can get! I really adore the combination of strawberry and lemon in this one — it’s comforting and summery all at the same time. Given how I feel this morning, they’re the two things I’m craving most of all. How can it only be 38 minutes since I arrived at work?!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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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