1295 Tasting Notes

70

First cup of the morning; 1 tsp of leaf, 3 minutes in boiling water, plus a splash of milk. This particular assam is a second flush single estate variety from Borpatra, picked on 25th March 2014. The dry leaf is short, a little twisted, and a pretty uniform black. There’s the odd golden-tinged leaf scattered throughout, but no more than that. To taste, though, this is such a sweet, malty assam. It has strong raisin notes, which I love, and which are reminding me a little of some of my favourite Taiwanese assams. It’s faintly reminiscent of fruit cake, although nowhere near as intense. It’s smooth and not especially tannic, so a good choice for a morning cup. I’m impressed with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

Also at work with me today, the wonderful Ten! Ten is a chocolate blend on a base of irish breakfast, and it’s probably the most chocolatey tea I’ve tried in a good long time. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown. The dry leaf looks fairly ordinary – relatively short black tea leaves, a scattering of chocolate chips and marigold petals, and a few cocoa shells. The scent is out-of-this-world chocolatey, though, and that’s what gave me hope for this one!

Fortunately, it lives up to its promise. The chocolate flavouring is smooth and rich, almost like melted dark and milk chocolate mixed together and poured into a cup, only thinner. The black tea base adds a lovely malty sweetness that really works well with the chocolate, and which helps to stop it becoming too cloying. This is a really wonderful chocolate tea, and it’s not often that I say that. It’s the goldilocks of chocolate teas for me – just right!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Continuing through my sampler of Dr Who fandom teas, the next from the box is Nine! Nine is one of those green/black blends that I’m always a little scared of. I never know whether to use water to suit the green, the black, or somewhere in between. I threw caution to the wind for my first couple of cups, and used boiling water, 1 tsp of leaf, and a 2.5 minute brew time. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown.

As flavoured blends go, this is one of the more intriguing ones I’ve tried. It contains quite a lot of flavours I probably wouldn’t have put together – chestnut, aniseed and cinnamon, on a base of irish breakfast and gunpowder. The resulting flavour is quite complex – I get the aniseed fairly prominently, followed by the rich roastiness of the chestnut, rounded off with the mild spice of the cinnamon. It makes me think of Christmas in some small way! The base is smooth and clean-tasting – irish breakfast was a good choice here, and there’s just the slightest hint of dank, vegetal green.

I’m a bit stumped on the fandom aspect again with this one, but it’s certainly a tasty, unusual tea. The flavours work together a lot better that I ever would have expected, and this is one I’d consider repurchasing if I buy from Adagio in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

65
drank Jasmine Pearls by Teapigs
1295 tasting notes

I received this bag as a sample with my recent Teapigs order. It’s been a long time since I tried these – apparently my last order with them before this one was in 2012! How time flies. I’m not the greatest fan of jasmine tea, which is why I don’t really bother with it these days. It’s always good to challenge preconceptions, though, so I’m giving this another go anyway.

I actually don’t mind this one as much as I used to. It’s not too strong or too heavily floral, and there’s a pleasant sweetness from the green tea base. It’s perfumey, and it’s unmistakably jasmine, but it’s not horrible. I can drink it, even though it still wouldn’t be my first choice. This one wouldn’t be a re-purchase for me, but the occasional cup is fine.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

I started this morning in my favourite way – with a matcha latte! Grace & Green kindly sent me a sample of their Morning Organic Matcha to try, and as a matcha fan, I was very keen to give it a try!

See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/07/13/morning-organic-matcha-grace-green/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank SBT: Bubblegum by 52teas
1295 tasting notes

This is today’s iced tea. I first tried this one last year, I think, and I enjoyed it so much I picked up another bag pretty much straight off. It’s as good as I remember – I’m still surprised by how accurately this one reflects the flavour of bubblegum! I mean, it’s tea. It’s also sweet, mildly fruity, with that inimitable “bubblegum” flavour that’s difficult to describe accurately in any other way. In short, a delicious treat on a humid work day. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this one in future.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75
drank Tropical Dream by RiverTea
1295 tasting notes

Sadly, this didn’t work as well as a cold brew as I’d hoped. I used my usual ratio of 2 tbsp leaf to 2 litres of water, into the fridge for around 10 hours overnight. It was very woody and slightly medicinal in flavour (100% rooibos, basically), with hardly a hint of the tropical fruit flavours I’d hoped would show up well. Definitely one I’ll be finishing off hot!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

Finally pulled out my box of Dr Who teas to try! I was looking for a fairly straightforward black tea last night, and the description on the tin fitted my mood perfectly. The eleventh doctor was probably my favourite – we graduated from the same University, after all, so I’m allowed to be biased.

Anyway, the tea. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and have it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. To taste, I’m picking up mostly a very smooth, sweet, malty assam. The coconut and vanilla emerge after a couple of sips, and add a delicious creaminess to an otherwise plain cup. The apple is a little more shy, but it does appear in flashes right at the end of the sip, and lingers just a little in the aftertaste. It’s not especially apple-y apple. It tastes more baked or caramelised; sweeter than I was expecting, and not as tart. A little like the apple in apple pie filling, perhaps. It’s a tasty cup, although I would have liked the flavouring to be a little stronger and more immediate. It feels like I have to search for them a little bit.

As for the fandom aspect of this blend, I’m not entirely sold. Sweet, fruity? Hmm. I’m struggling a little. It’s a pleasant cup, though, and a sample I’ll have no trouble finishing off!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

60

Today’s Assam of choice from my remaining Golden Tips samples. This one is a second flush assam, picked on 27th June 2014. It’s a single-estate variety, from Mankota. Looking at the dry leaf, I’d say it’s about two thirds black-brown leaves, reasonably thin and twisty, and a third golden leaves. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this is a fairly ordinary assam. It’s malty, for sure, but not as malty as some I’ve tried. It’s delicately sweet, with a grain-like flavour lurking in the background. There’s just the slightest hint of molasses, but it’s not strong or particularly defining. It’s a very smooth cup, for the most part, although a little tannic towards the end of the sip.

This makes for a solid, everyday kind of assam. It’s not particularly unique, I don’t think, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s tasty, if a little forgettable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I’m half way through my Golden Tips samples now! While I love Assam, I’m trying to space them out between other teas as I try each one for the first time, so that I can get an accurate impression of the flavour, rather than just a comparison to the one I drank previously.

This is a second flush assam, harvested in June 2014. There looks to be about a 50/50 split between wiry, black-brown leaves and slightly downy golden leaves. There are also some golden tipped leaves. The scent is malty, maybe a little woody. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

The one thing the scent and appearance didn’t prepare me for at all was the flavour! Usually it’s possible to get a rough idea, but this tea was a complete dark horse. From my observations of the dry and brewing leaf, I was expecting a fairly generic assam, strong and malty but perhaps not with many distinguishing features that would really mark it out. I was totally wrong. The mild chocolate and smooth caramel notes are obvious from the very first sip. They’re not strong, in your face flavours, but they’re definitely what this tea tastes of. The ubiquitous maltiness emerges in the mid-sip, and adds a sweetness that helps to define the chocolatiness still further. There’s a light woodiness towards the end of the sip, so I wasn’t completely wrong, but it’s not at all the defining flavour of the cup. I’m pleased also with how smooth this assam is; there’s no hint of astringency, and neither is it particularly tannic. Just perfect for my tastes, then!

This is a tea I’d repurchase, if only for it’s beautiful chocolate and caramel notes. It’s certainly an assam like few others I’ve tried.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
donkeytiara

hard to tell the difference between the assams some time, but I also like this one!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer