1293 Tasting Notes

80
drank Cuba Libre Black Tea by 52teas
1293 tasting notes

This is today’s cold brew of choice. It’s much, much better cold. The cola flavouring is still fairly subtle, and then rum subtler still. It’s very refreshing and easy to drink, though, and that’s an important consideration when it comes to iced tea. I’m surprised how mild the base stays, given that it was in the fridge for around 12 hours overnight, and I used two generous tablespoons for just under two litres of water.

It’s not my favourite cola flavoured tea, or my favourite 52 Teas tea, but it’s eminently drinkable all the same. On the whole, though, I think I prefer 52 Teas Cherry Vanilla Cola, or the cola flavoured SBTs. This is okay, but not quite up to those.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
TeaBrat

ugh, sounds like my morning :)

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80
drank Cuba Libre Black Tea by 52teas
1293 tasting notes

I pulled this out to cold brew last night, and decided to have a cup hot at the same time. I probably don’t have enough leaf left to cold brew in bulk again, so it seemed a sensible option at the time. Predictably enough, though, this isn’t all that great hot. There’s just a fundamental wrongness about hot soda flavoured things, somehow. It’s not that it’s bad — I can taste a mild cola flavour and a hint of rum — it’s just weird. The base seems too prominent when this is brewed hot, too. Bitter and slightly astringent. I think I’ve tried this hot with sugar previously, and it’s better like that, but I’m trying to avoid using too much sugar if I can help it. Probably that means I should stick to cold brewing this one!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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70

I did well with this today, largely because I gave it a longer brew time than I usually have patience for. It’s deliciously creamy, with a strong vanilla note emerging first, and then a cooling hit of peppermint. I’m drinking this hot today as it’s dull and rainy, but I’m starting to think I’d really like to try it iced. I might take the bag home with me and give that a go. The only thing I’m not too keen on after letting this steep for longer is the tell-tale taste of stevia that lingers at the back of my mouth. It’s just a little too artificial. Otherwise, this is perfect! A great start to the morning!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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45

A sample from VariaTEA. I’ve got to admit that the green oily scum floating on the surface of this one was almost enough to put me off it without ever having taken a sip. It just didn’t look…nice. I closed my eyes and got on with it anyway, and I’m glad I did because it tastes pretty amazing! The first sip actually reminded me of 52 Teas White Christmas (I’m pretty sure that’s what the LE Christmas Day tea from the 2012 12 Teas of Christmas box was called. That’s the one I’m thinking of, anyway!) Mint is the initial flavour, followed by a gorgeous creamy, white chocolate, vanila flavour. I can see why this one would have been great during the winter…the flavours and the warmth just go so well together, it’s almost like drinking liquid peppermint bark. Why the pink peppercorns, though? I’m not sure what they’re contributing, if anything, and yet there are LOADS of them in my sample.

I’m glad I finally got to try this one, anyway. I read so many tasting notes about it last Christmas that I almost couldn’t bear not being able to try any. Thanks to VariaTEA, I got my chance at last. It’s not one I’d want to drink a lot, despite the flavour…the oiliness is a texture too far for my tastes. I can ignore it for a few cups though, if they all taste as good as this one!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

Second to last cup this morning, and it was REALLY good. Why is it that just as I’m about to run out of a tea, I find a way of brewing it that seems to bring out the best in it? I suppose it’s the culmination of all the trial and error that used up the rest of the bag, but I seem to have a particular talent for it. I feel like sulking.

I can’t for too long, though, because this was wonderful paired with my croissaints this morning. Very walnutty, beautifully smooth, with a nice hit of banana in the middle of the sip. It was a treat indeed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp
Courtney

I find it’s always the very first or very last cup I make the best.

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85

Second cup of this. I really liked it previously, and my opinion is unchanged. I surprised myself all over again with how smooth and non-astringent the darjeeling base is, even when steeped for 4 minutes as per the recommended parameters. I was worried that I’d overdone it, but one sip told me we were okay. I also like how this one tastes like milkshake even without any milk — it can’t be anything but amazing Butiki awesomeness yet again! Spicy, milky, pumpkin wonderfulness. It may be spring and a bit unseasonal, but I love it anyway :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp
Sarsonator

I have to stop reading tea reviews… my wishlist keeps growing. I have to try this!

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100

I don’t really have much to add to my previous tasting notes, but I still find this one utterly delightful. Mild, slightly citrussy earl grey with a big smack of creaminess. It’s just gorgeous!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
1293 tasting notes

I’m treating myself to a cup of all of my favourite teas today, and this was high on the list. It’s as good as the first cup I tried last week, all fabulous sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb, buttery pie crust and just generally amazing awesomeness. I can’t help but love this one!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Memily

You are really making me regret not ordering this!

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90

A sample from VariaTEA. I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, although I’ve never really had the chance until now. I guess that’s why I’ve been saving my sample! I wanted to wait for a day when I’d have the time to enjoy it. Thankfully, it’s as good as I’d hoped. It smells sweet and nutty straight out of the packet, and this only intensifies as it brews. For a first go, I gave 1 tsp of leaves 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. It tastes fabulous — absolutely like a fresh piece of brioche, or an almond croissaint! It’s bready and nutty (almond, mostly), with a hint of milky vanilla sweetness and cinnamon spice. The base is fabulously smooth, and its slight maltiness perfectly complements the bready, sweet notes of the flavouring. It’s one of those great flavoured blacks where it’s hard to tell exactly where the flavouring ends and the base begins. Many thanks to VariaTEA for sharing this one with me. I have enough for a couple more cups, but I’ll be hugely sad when this is gone!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75

A sample from VariaTEA, and the last of my pre-bedtime teas tonight. At first, I was convinced this was going to be all rooibos. After the first couple of sips, though, I proved myself wrong. This does taste almost like a truffle — a milk chocolate richness develops first, and then the sweetness of white chocolate comes through, with maybe a touch of vanilla. It’s almost reminiscent of a truffle with a milk chocolate centre that’s been dipped in white chocolate! The tiniest swirl of mint helps to prevent it becoming too sweet and cloying, and a slight background woodiness from the rooibos also helps on that score. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with this one! It’s a great guilt-free dessert tea, and a relaxing evening cup. Thanks again to VariaTEA for sharing this with me.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 27, and I live in Norfolk 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’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s ny latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

In addition to Steepster, I also write for the SororiTea Sisters. My reviews there will typically be posted here also, although typically in a shorter format. Any teas I’m sent specifically for review will only appear in full on the SororiTea Sisters website, with only a short introduction and link to my review here.

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

Norfolk, UK

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