915 Tasting Notes

90
drank Chai by Teapigs
915 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! Finished off the packet this morning, with a couple of chai lattes. I had a pretty frazzled day yesterday (interview, ugh), and felt like something relaxing to start my Friday. I added a spoonful of honey to the milk this morning, then added two tea bags, topped up with boiling water, and left the whole lot until the colour brightened from ghostly white to pale creamy brown. I’m surprised how much difference the honey makes, actually. It sweetens and adds something I hadn’t known I was looking for previously. Yum, basically. Just what I needed this morning. This is a tea I’d definitely repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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60

I love the scent of this one dry. It’s so fresh and clean. It’s supposed to be an earl grey, but I can’t detect bergamot at all. Instead, the main note is grapefruit. It’s almost sweet, but there’s an underlying twang of sharpness, just like the fruit itself.

The bergamot emerges while this is brewing. Not too strongly, just enough to know it’s there. The liquor was pretty dark after 3.5 minutes, so I added a splash of milk. Fortunately, it withstands it rather well.

I like this. The grapefruit is clear in the initial sip, more so as it cools, and tastes clean and fresh. The bergamot is surprisingly strong and a little bitter in the aftertaste, but the citrusy aspect pairs well with the grapefruit. I’ve not tried an earl grey quite like this before, so it’s been an interesting experience. I think I’m coming to like fruit flavoured EGs, though, so this is definitely a tea I’d revisit in the future. My first Simpson and Vail, and a pleasant cup. Shame it’s just a sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
915 tasting notes

Last sample from Queen of Tarts. One thing’s for certain, this definitely smells like apple pie. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was. It perfectly captures the sweet yet sharp apple and buttery pastry. It’s right there in the scent. I wasn’t sure about the green base here, but it really works. It’s slightly vegetal and fresh tasting, and is itself partially reminiscent of tart, sour apple. The green tea combines beautifully with a sweet sugariness, and a hint of cinnamon, to make me think of the finished baked product. Sweet sugary baked apple flavour, and the sense of buttery, rich pastry. I don’t know exactly how all of this manages to be there, but it is. It really, absolutely is. I think this is probably as close as you can get to drinking apple pie. It’s just perfect, and really captures the essence of the real thing. Amazing!

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

ooooh. I want to try this!

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85

Third steep. This has rather lost its flavour now, both in terms of maple/pecan, and even the oolong itself. It’s still smooth and eminently drinkable, but I can’t get it much beyond a pale yellow-gold now, and the only really discernable flavour is a weak mineral nuttiness. I’m pleased with how this one worked out, though — I can’t say I haven’t had a good morning’s tea from these leaves!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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70

Backlog from Sunday.

I like this one — it’s another perfect autumn tea. Nothing suggests the colder months to me better than the scent of roasted chestnuts, so it’s really evocative and oh so comforting. I gave this nearly 5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

To taste, the chestnut flavour isn’t strong or overpowering, it’s just delicately there in the background. It’s nutty and slightly toasty, and quite rich tasting. The vanilla is more prominent, and adds a delectable smooth creaminess, especially in combination with the milk.

I’d have liked the chestnut to be a little stronger, but it’s very pleasant as is. It’s creamy, sweet, and nutty, with the slight maltiness of the black tea complementing the flavours beautifully. I’m glad I had the chance to try this one — thanks to Queen of Tarts for sharing it with me!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Resteep is almost as good as the initial infusion. I can taste more of the oolong this time, although I actually don’t mind it. It’s mostly still maple and pecan. There’s a slight mineral taste to the initial sip, but that develops into something almost buttery. Then comes a strong nuttiness, and the rich, sugary sweetness of the maple. Honestly, this is almost like drinking maple syrup, only less thick and sticky. I’m glad I gave the leaves a second steep, because the taste is almost unchanged. Anything to make the remainder of my packet last longer :) I might go for a third in a little while!

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec

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85

First cup of the morning. I’m actually finding that I appreciate my quality teas all the more after a week’s break. This one in particular seems especially decadent. Maybe because it’s such a dessert tea? It really is like pecan pie in a cup! I’m going to go with a resteep of this today, I think, as I haven’t tried that yet. I only bought a 1oz packet as I’ve not have great luck with oolongs…ever, really, and now I love it and I’ve not got much left. I guess that’s how it happens sigh. I can just about taste the oolong here, but it’s not at all overpowering, and it has none of the characteristics of oolong that I’ve typically disliked. Mostly, though, I can just taste maple and pecan. And it’s gorgeous! Nuff said.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Cannelle by Mariage Frères
915 tasting notes

This is a pretty perfect tea for an autumn afternoon. I like cinnamon in most baked things, so it’s probably not much of a surprise that I like this tea. It’s another relatively straightforward one in terms of flavour — black tea, cinnamon. I’ve added milk, because that’s what seemed right to me, and it works well with that addition. The first sip is just black tea. Slowly, though, the cinnamon starts to develop at the back of the mouth. It’s a warm spiciness, but it’s delicate and almost fragrant. More like a cinnamon stick than ground cinnamon. It’s a taste that lingers well into the next sip, where the flavour builds and strengthens. This could be a nice alternative to 52 Teas Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, now that my supply of that is all gone. I also prefer it to Adagio Cinnamon Spice, which really wasn’t my thing at all. A really good, robust, cinnamon tea. Thanks to Queen of Tarts for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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75

I was scared of this one for a long time. I think I expected it to be bitter and astringent, but I don’t really know why. A hangover from my early bad green tea experiences, I guess. In any case, this was a really pleasant surprise. I gave it two and a half minutes, because I was too worried to give it any longer than that. I may in future, though. I was rewarded with a fairly bright medium yellow-green liquor, with the vague scent of citrus.

To taste, I’m getting a flavour somewhere between mandarin and lemon, which makes sense as that’s what a yuzu is, more or less, as far as I know. There are slight notes of peppery sharpness almost like lemon, but also hints of juicy, almost orangey, sweetness. They balance each other out perfectly, and make for an interesting and unique combination.

The green tea base is pleasant too. It’s smooth and almost sweet, with no astringency at all. This cup came across fairly weak, I think because I gave it such a short brew time, but I can remedy that in future. I have almost a whole 100g tin, after all. I was worried about that, but now I’m not! Great stuff.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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50

I’ve liked most of the Davids Teas I’ve tried so far, but this one maybe isn’t for me. I love lemon, but there’s not nearly enough flavour here to really satisfy my tastebuds.

There’s plenty of lemongrass in the dry mix, with lemon myrtle and pieces of lemon zest, too. Green rooibos as a base. I can taste lemon in the finished cup, but it’s just lacking some of the oomph I expected. I’m used to my lemon strong. It’s odd, because it smells of lemon, almost like lemon curd, it just doesn’t seem to translate all that well. It’s on the sweet side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing where lemon is concerned.

I can taste lemongrass primarily, which is smooth and hay-like, and goes really well with the green rooibos base, which is similarly mellow and herbal-tasting. It’s by no means a bad tea, just not quite what I was expecting. Probably my fault for building it up in my head, but come on — anything called Three Lemon should be screaming lemon in my book. It’s pleasant, but it doesn’t stand out enough to become a favourite, sadly. Still, thanks to Queen of Tarts for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 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 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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