949 Tasting Notes

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
949 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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60

This is probably my favourite berry rooibos tea so far, perhaps because it’s relatively simple and straightforward. There’s rooibos, which is as rooibos always is. Woody, slightly earthy/brassy. Over the top, there’s the distinctive flavour of grenadine — syrupy, sweet, strawberry wonderfulness — augmented by the sweet creaminess of vanilla. It’s wonderful, lovely, gorgeous. All that and more. I haven’t tried the black version of this yet, although I’ve got a tin unopened in my stash. I like the rooibos here, though. It just seems to fit so well with the fruity, slightly floral flavour profile.

This note seems unutterably brief for a tea I like so much, but it really is that uncomplicated. The two main elements are the best they can be, they taste wonderful together, and that’s all that really matters to me today. I gave it about three minutes, and added a splash of milk, but I think it’d be equally palatable without. Definitely one I’ll revisit often this autumn!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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45

This one’s interesting. It brews to a pale golden brown, even when left for four or so minutes. I can see things I like in the dry mix, though — cardamom, pepper, fennel seed. There’s not a lot of tea leaves as far as I can see — it’s mostly marigold petals. I’ve never had an oolong chai before, so it’s a first for me.

Despite my reservations, I like the taste. It’s very pale in colour, maybe a touch on the weak side, but I can taste the spices, and it’s got a certain creamy edge to it. There’s a hint of pepper, a lot of cardamom, something gingery, vanilla (hence the creaminess, I assume?). I can taste chocolate, but it’s not particularly strong. It just contributes a cocoa note in the aftertaste and a sweetness to the overall flavour, and reminds me of hot chocolate more than anything.The base tea contributes a vaguely grapey taste, with a slight raisin note. It’s sweet, and contrasts well with the other flavours — certainly unique!

Not my favourite chai, but interesting to have tried. Thanks to Queen of Tarts for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

If you’ve not read the notes on this one, most people like it brewed a long time and then add honey like a traditional chai. I have some blends (not this one) that have suggested steep times of 9 minutes! I finally preferred steeping this in milk with honey for the grandkids.

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75

I have mixed feelings about earl grey, on the whole. Some I love, some I hate. To my surprise, this one definitely falls into the former camp. On opening the tin, the main scent is bergamot. It’s very strong and quite harsh, and that alone made me worry a little, because I don’t like very strong, harsh or bitter earl greys. Fortunately, this loses some of its potency once brewed.

After about three minutes the liquor was a pretty dark brown, so I added a splash of milk. There’s a slight astringency here, but it’s nothing terrible. Enough to make me glad I added milk, but that’s all. The bergamot is lovely — beautifully balanced — adding a cirtussy top note to the relatively sweet, slightly malty black base. There’s a very faint floral edge, too, which almost reminds me of jasmine. I can only imagine it’s contributed by the cornflowers, which are copiously scattered throughout the dry mix.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this one. My dad tried it first and really liked it, but then he’s usually happy with a decent quality earl grey. Our tastes differ a bit, but this is definitely one we can agree on. I’ll enjoy drinking the rest of this tin over the coming months. It’s one of the nicer EGs I’ve had in a while. Great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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100

Feeling better today, so I started the morning with this tea. I’m going to have a Mariage Freres tasting day today, I think. I’m still not in the mood for anything heavily flavoured, so I’m going to start getting my tea mojo back with a couple of these.

This could well become a favourite with me. It’s so chocolatey and gorgeous, and very easy to drink. It’s sweet, malty, with delectable notes of dark cocoa, and not a hint of astrincency. A perfect plain black blend, in my estimation! It’s nice to be drinking tea again :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Glad you’re feeling better!

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50

This is all I’ve been drinking today, because I have a really awful cold. It’s so unlike me, but I just can’t face the thought of anything flavoured. It’s not great tea, but it’s a hot drink and it’s making me feel a smidge better, which is more or less all that matters to me right now. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon. I’ve got all kinds of tasty tea heading my way!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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60

Second cola tea to try hot. This one works better than Cuba Libre, I think. Perhaps because cherry and vanilla are more conducive to heat than lime and rum. Either way, it tastes more plausible hot than Cuba Libre did.

The cherry and vanilla come out very clearly, perhaps slightly more so than they did when I drank this iced. The cola, on the other hand, is more muted. It’s there, more noticably as the tea cools, but it’s second fiddle to the cherry and vanilla. That’s fine with me — I think that’s actually what I wanted anyway, thinking about it.

Like Cuba Libre, I definitely prefer this cold. I was curious to try it hot, though, and it’s more successful than I thought it might be. I might even drink it hot again, if the mood strikes me. If it doesn’t, I can always look forward to finishing it off iced next summer! Either way,as a cherry coke fan, this one scores points with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 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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