911 Tasting Notes

75

Cold brewed this last night to bring in to work today. I actually think I prefer it this way — something about the taste of pineapple and coconut together, and in a hot drink, makes me feel a little nauseous. Cold, I’m fine with it. I also think the flavours have chance to shine much more. The pineapple tastes sweet and juicy, and pairs really well with the cocount to make a pretty authentic pina colada taste (minus the alcohol, obviously). Although it was in the fridge all night, the honeybush is pretty indiscernable, which is fine with me. I’m sad that I left it this long to try this tea cold brewed, because I was really missing a trick. Unfortunately, my pouch is almost gone, but there might be just enough left for another pitcher tomorrow. I finally found my happy place with this tea, though, and maybe with pineapple/coconut blends in general. Yay for that!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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50
drank Popcorn Tea by Teapigs
911 tasting notes

I’ve had this one before, but I think it was before I joined Steepster so I’ve never logged it. It’s not my favourite genmaicha these days, but I think I’ve been spoilt a bit by other varieties. It is wonderfully nutty, and slightly sugary tasting, very much like the sugar puffs the description refers to. The green tea base is light and delicate, although it also has a slightly bitter aftertaste, and is a little astringent. This is a fairly average genmaicha — not bad, not great. As an introduction to this kind of tea, you could probably do a lot worse. I just know what else is out there now, and on the whole I prefer it.

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

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70

Sipdown! Finished these off today. I think white tea is just about the perfect summer tea for me. Not too heavy when the weather’s hot, but satisfying nonetheless. This one is so light and delicate, it almost doesn’t have a colour once brewer. It’s beautifully, airily floral, though. Probably one of Teapigs’ best imo.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80

Decided to give Lime Chiffon another go tonight, just to compare with the Lemon Chiffon I’ve just finished. This got the same treatment as the lemon; I started the cup without milk, and added a splash half way to compare. Dry, the lime flavouring is less detectable than it is with the lemon. It’s no less creamy, though. This tea is really making me think of dessert; key lime pie, maybe? Some kind of creamy, citrussy confection, anyway.

Fortunately, the lime emerges a little more when brewed, enough to compete with the rooibos, which was my main concern. Without milk, the rooibos steals the show a little bit, but the lime is reasonably prominent. The creaminess is a little muted. With milk, the creaminess is enhanced, and the rooibos fades a little, but so too does the lime. I prefer this one without milk, simply because I love the taste of lime and I’m willing to make the trade with the creaminess to taste a little more of it.

Another gorgeous rooibos blend — it’s impossible to split these in my estimation at the moment. Maybe I need another cup? I’m definitely going to try this one cold if there’s enough left in the sachet. I think its true colours may shine through.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60

My last Harney & Sons sample, courtesy of Courtney. Dry, this has a very faint scent, maybe vaguely fruity but mostly black tea. It reminds me a bit of Adagio’s Cranberry, from their Holiday Cheer set, in that respect.

Brewed, this smells much more strongly of cranberry — it’s definitely cranberry that’s detectable now, rather than just “red fruit”. There’s also a pretty strong influence from the black tea base — it’s kind of sweet smelling and slightly malty, and it contrasts nicely with the tart, almost bittersweet cranberries.

In terms of taste, I feel much the same way as I do about the scent. It’s softer than I expected it to be, with the tart cranberry taking centre stage and the mellow, sweet base still a big part of the flavour, but in a purely complementary way. I think I expected this to taste bitter (maybe a memory from the Adagio!), so I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s not. This is a tea no doubt better suited to a brisk autumnal day, but it’s certainly been a pleasing cup tonight anyway. Thanks again to Courtney for sharing this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
911 tasting notes

I’ve just had the Rudest Man on Earth in my reception, so I’m about to go and console myself with another cup of tea. This was my first of the day, though, and although mate isn’t my favourite thing, it definitely does help to get me started on a morning. It doesn’t make people seem any less rude, but I didn’t really expect it to. Sometimes I hate being a receptionist, but at least I have tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95
drank SBT: Watermelon by 52teas
911 tasting notes

Is today ever a day for iced tea! I thought it was hot last week, but it’s nothing compared to this. I’m looking forward to going home just so that I can change my tshirt, which isn’t my usual motivation. Good thing I brewed this up last night and brought it in today, then! I’ve had a few cups of hot tea today (I need them to get me going in the morning), but as the day has worn on, it’s become far too hot for that.

The first thing that struck me about this one was how clearly the watermelon taste comes over. I’ve always found watermelon to be a particularly delicate and easily obscured flavour, so I was expecting it to have to fight hard with the black tea base. It doesn’t, though. Somehow, it remains a really clear and juicy flavour, and the black tea stays firmly in the background. Delightful! I was hoping it would be this way when I opened the sachet last night, because I could smell watermelon really clearly then, so I’m really glad not to have been let down. Not that Frank’s teas are a let down, but flavoured blacks in general can be.

I don’t think my thoughts are very coherent at the moment, because I’m sweaty and uncomfortable, so I’m going to shut up. This is a really tasty iced tea, though, and I think it might have actually helped to keep me sane today!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Um, creamy lemon awesomeness or what? That’s the thing that strikes me most about this tea, in both scent and taste. It’s just yummy amazingness. Dry, the scent is very strong, slightly tangy lemon, tempered by a sweet creaminess, and with the faintest hint of rooibos lurking in the background. To taste, it all comes together to create possibly the most amazing rooibos blend I’ve ever tasted. I started the cup without milk, which is definitely where the strongest lemon flavour is to be found, although also the most detectable rooibos. I added a splash of milk about half way through, just to see, and got more creaminess, but less lemon. The rooibos was toned down a bit, too. I’m not sure how I prefer this — either way, at the moment, I think. All I know for now is that this is probably the best rooibos blend I’ve tasted so far. I’m going to see if I have enough to try it cold tomorrow — somehow, I think that would really rock. For now, just yum! That’s all.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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70

Had my first cup of this last night. I brewed it for about 4 minutes, thinking it might need milk, then decided to give it a try black. The scent and the initial taste remind me very much of 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, which I absolutely adored. Sadly, this doesn’t have the same rich, creamy depths, but it’s still a very pleasant tea. Raspberry is the primary flavour, of course, but there’s something very slightly “green” in the aftertaste — maybe all the raspberry leaves? That’s the only aspect of the flavour I’m not 100% keen on — it just doesn’t seem to sit well with the sweet fruitiness I’m getting otherwise. I can’t really taste much that’s making me think of cake or frosting — more like raspberry jam, or fresh raspberries with the merest smidge of cream. It’s a pleasant tea for a summer evening, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with this a little until I’ve found the perfect way to brew it for my tastes. Another hit from Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95
drank SBT: Mango Peach by 52teas
911 tasting notes

This has been my iced tea of choice the last couple of days. Straight off, I agree with JoonSusanna about this. When I drank it yesterday, I mostly got a delicately peachy, maybe slightly apricotty taste. Today, after it spent last night in the fridge, I’m tasting more mango. Either way, it tastes great!

The flavouring here seems more delicate and natural than some of the other SBTs. Not that any of them are overly fake or synthetic tasting, but Rainbow Sherbet does not exist in nature. This one tastes exaclty like fresh, ripe, juicy fruit. Like I actually added squeezed juice was to the tea, which (of course) I didn’t.

I brewed this in the normal way — nearly 3 minutes in 2 cups of boiling water, then topped up to just under 2 litres with cold water. I’ve not had a dud yet, so I guess that really is the best way to do it. The tea base here is a little more noticable than usual, maybe because the flavouring is more subtle. That’s by no means a bad thing, though, as it’s delicious in itself.

Another winner, and another I’ll definitely repurchase this summer!

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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