987 Tasting Notes

75
drank Jewelled Apple by Tea Palace
987 tasting notes

Another cup of this old favourite. I still like the toffee apple flavour this one has, although I’m becoming less keen on the base as time goes on. It’s not quite strong enough for me to happily add milk to, and yet it’s too astringent to really drink black. Still, the strawberry tinged toffee apple wonderfulness goes a long way towards making up for that. Still worthy of a place in the cupboard!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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80

This is the last tea from my S & V order that I haven’t tried yet. I finally gave in and opened it last night, and was surprised but pleased to find red rooibos. The other couple of rooibos teas I got with the same order were both green, so I think I was half expecting this one to be as well.

I like this one — it tastes of chocolate cake! I’m not getting anything I feel is particularly specific to red velvet cake, but that’s okay. It tastes really good anyway. I drank this with a splash of milk only, so possibly I’ll try a little bit of sugar next time just to see whether that brings out any hidden aspects of the flavour.

It smells good, it tastes good, and it’s caffiene free so I can drink it before bed. What’s not to love? I’ll write a better note when I’ve tried a cup and I’m not half asleep, but first impressions are good!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

What do you think of Simpson & Vail overall? I still haven’t ordered from them.

Scheherazade

I ordered the three cupcake teas, plus Candy Cane and Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Of those, Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Red Velvet Cupcake are probably my favourites. The others are nice enough, but they either lack flavour or have too much of it (i.e. the mint in Candy Cane). I find the green rooibos a bit weird, too, and it appears in quite a lot of their rooibos blends. I’m happy enough to have tried them, but I probably wouldn’t order again. They’re okay, but there are other teas and brands that I prefer, on balance.

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90

Tried a second cup of this one a couple of nights ago. Brewing for a little longer melts the chocolate chips, and helps to bring out that aspect of the flavour a little more. I honestly think I prefer it without the chocolate, though. It’s just a flavour too far for me. The blueberry is sweet and juicy — it doesn’t really need the milky, slightly cloying flavour of chocolate. Still good, though. I do like a blueberry tea!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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95

I’d been wanting to try this one for a good long time, so huge thanks to Angrboda for sharing this with me!

This is a big, bold, beautiful cup. It’s beautifully malty, with a really distinctive assam flavour — there’s no mistaking this one! I was half expecting it to be a bit astringent and rough around the edges, but it’s not like that at all. It’s not perfectly smooth in the honeyed way that some teas have, but it’s pretty typical for an assam. There’s certainly plenty of flavour, and it’s wonderfully suited to my big tea mug, brewed long and strong, and with a splash of milk added. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed another assam quite as much as this one for a good long time!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Angrboda

I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I had pretty much the same surprise when I first tasted it. :)

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80

Sipdown! Very, very sad to see this one go. Once I discovered how to best prepare it to suit my tastes, I loved every cup. Sour lemon, with a sweetness reminiscent of meringue, and a gorgeous blend of chai spices. Still, all good things come to an end!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Excited note to say I spotted the bat sprinkles in this yesterday. I didn’t actually realise there were any until I looked on here. I saw the pumpkins, because they’re orange, but the bats blended in with the tea leaves a bit too well. Anyway, so cute! They melt on the bottom of my infuser and dry hard, though. Not so fun when it comes to scraping them off.

Anyway, I can live with that because this tea is so awesome. Smooth, liquid pumpkin pie wonderfulness. Autumn in a cup! Delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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1

On the strength of my experiment with Bluebird’s Dark Choc Chilli Chai, I decided to risk another cup of this. My first cup was ALL cayenne pepper, and it was not pleasant. This time, I’ve brewed it at half strength, and added plenty of warmed milk.

Tentative first sip.

It’s STILL cayenne pepper, and there can hardly be any tea in this cup. Given that it’s almost white from the milk, I would have thought hardly any flavour could come through, but it has. It’s more bearable than the first cup, but it’s still creating an unpleasant burn at the back of my throat, and I’m not really getting any chocolate or spice. Just cayenne pepper.

sigh

I really did want to like this one, but perhaps we’re just not meant to be friends.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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70

Had another go with this yesterday, while watching an old episode of The Vampire Diaries on DVD. When I made the first cup a few days ago, I kind of forgot what I was dealing with and treated it much as I would any other black tea. I was “rewarded” with a very strong chilli kick, which was almost a bit much. So today, I decided to try and remedy that a little and brewed this as a latte instead. I used quite a big cup, added an extra teaspoon of leaf (with some trepidation, admittedly), and used half as much water as I usually would. After about 5 minutes, I topped it up with some warmed milk.

It’s much better this way. The chilli is still there, but it’s a spicy warmth rather than a hot burn. The other flavours are also a little more prevalent — there’s more chocolate coming through, and some of the other spices, like the cinnamon and ginger, are making their presence known.

It’s nice to know that there are a couple of ways I can brew this, depending on the flavour profile I’m looking for. It’s equally reassuring to know that I can tone the chilli down into something pleasant, rather than a challenge. I feel more at home with this one now.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

I took the opportunity to buy a bag of this in anticipation of winter when Bluebird had it in stock a little while back. I’m glad I did, because I don’t have very many rooibos chai blends in my stash at the moment. This is a really nice tea for a chilly afternoon. The dry leaf smells a little too perfumey, almost like a scented candle, but thankfully that doesn’t translate to the flavour of the tea.

Instead, this tastes just like freshly baked gingerbread. It doesn’t have the heat I was expecting, somehow, but the spicing is spot on. It’s sweet and very bakey tasting, with maybe just a hint of sugar. I don’t think it’s sweetened, but it’s a pretty good recreation of a gingerbread man, albeit in liquid form. Cinnamon and nutmeg as the dominant spices, as far as I can discern, so it’s not really a traditional chai. It’s really wonderful brewed as a latte, though, with an extra smattering of cinnamon dusted on the surface.

I did think twice about this, but I’m glad I picked a bag up. Hopefully it’ll assuage some of my biscuit cravings this winter! Lovely stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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70

I haven’t really been a fan of oolongs so far, but I’m trying to find ones that I can enjoy as I’m going along. I asked for this one as a sample with one of my recent Butiki orders, and I decided to give it a go today. It doesn’t have that very mineral taste that I so dislike in oolongs, so that’s a point in its favour already. Instead, it tastes almost sweet and slightly fruity. Apricot I’d definitely agree with, and honey as well. I’m getting a slightly floral flavour in the background that I wasn’t quite expecting. It’s a little bit cloying, but it’s not spoiling my enjoyment. I really like how smooth this is. I usually struggle to finish a cup of oolong, but this is really lovely and very drinkable. I have a bag of this in my cupboard now, so I’ll write more a more detailed note as I become more familiar with it. A nice treat for a Sunday afternoon!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 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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