1052 Tasting Notes

65

Backlog from Thursday.

This is Swiss Mountain with added sprinkles, right? I like the name, it’s very Halloween appropriate, and it made me smile. That’s really all the Halloween there is about this tea, though, if you don’t count the bat sprinkles. I wasn’t, at first, because you can’t really see them among the dark tea leaves, anyway. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that the bat sprinkles turn this tea a murky green-grey colour. I guess it’s the dye they’re coloured with. Add milk, and it looks even worse. I guess drinking tea the colour of zombie skin probably is kind of Halloween appropriate after all, although it’s a little bit off putting.

I drank it anyway. It tastes really lovely, but if you’ve tried Swiss Mountain you know that already. There’s just the right balance of peppermint and chocolate against the black tea, and it’s sweet, refreshing and lovely. I think I’ll be tempted to drink the rest of this without milk, simply to avoid the weird colour. The black tea is a little on the weak side for milk anyway, so I guess it’s not all that much of a sacrifice. It tastes great, but I’m not 100% sold on this variation. I’ll be sticking to Swiss Mountain in future, that’s for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Shmiracles

i just ordered a small sample. i love the little try me’s. and heck i will totally laugh at the grey-green-ness. the grosser the better! hah

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75
drank Candy Corn Black Tea by 52teas
1052 tasting notes

Backlog from Thursday.

It was Halloween teas a go-go last night, and this was the first of them. I don’t really have all that much to add to my first tasting note — I’m impressed how much flavour the piece of melted candy corn adds to this, but also how much flavour the tea itself has. It tastes exactly like candy corn — sweet (quite overbearingly so, if a large piece of candy corn melts in a small cup…), but also quite honey-like. It’s the most obviously Halloween themed tea out of all the teas I drank yesterday, maybe with the exception of The Witching Hour. 52 Teas wins this one, either way. A lovely treat for a dark night!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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60
drank The Witching Hour by 52teas
1052 tasting notes

It’s Halloween, so I decided to be a little bit perverse and added milk to my current cup of this. I’m not sure quite why I’ve resisted adding milk before — the tulsi, I think. It’s okay, though. The mint comes through as well as ever, and it’s a little bit creamier for it. The rooibos/tulsi still contributes a very earthy taste, almost like wet dirt. I might be getting just the tiniest hint of dark chocolate now, too. It’s reminding me a bit of mint aero…if it weren’t for the overpowering earthiness.

I’m still not 100% sold on this one. It’s not bad, just a little…odd. Still, it’s Halloween. Things are allowed to be odd today!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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70

First cup last night. The dry leaf is really pretty — that’s the first thing that struck me about it. The red and white petals made me think of a candy cane, and I guess a little psychological prompt doesn’t hurt!

I gave this 4 minutes in boiling water, and came back to a cup of candy cane! The smell met my nose almost as I walked into the room, and it actually really cheered me up (because I need cheering up — apparently I’d only be entitled to a week’s notice with my new job, and as a result I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to accept it. Boooo!)

To taste, this is no different. It’s pretty strong on the mint, which reminds me powerfully of a candy cane, while also leaving a very cold sensation at the back of my throat. I could really see this as an iced tea in the summer, so I’ll have to remember to keep a bit back until then! The mint is accompanied by a sweet, creamy vanilla flavour, and then the sweet, slightly herbal taste of the green rooibos lingers in the background. This is going to be a great holiday tea, and hopefully one I can drink in the warmer months as well thanks to its cooling characteristics! Definitely my favourite tea so far from my S&V order :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

I’ve had a cup of this three or four times in the last few days. It’s probably one of the more unusual teas, in terms of flavour combinations, in my stash. I usually drink white teas at work, as I’m generally more patient when waiting for the water to cool than I am at home. Strange but true.

Anyway, this is a tea that’s growing on me. The first time I tried it, I wasn’t sure. I mean, corriander in tea? I added sugar to the second cup, but forgot about it and let it brew a bit long. The third cup was the best — a small piece of crystal sugar, about two minutes brew time, and NOW I feel like I understand it.

I can taste pineapple more as a sweetness in the initial sip than as a definite flavour. The strongest element by far is the corriander, which I’ve discovered is fine with me. I like corriander in food, and I like it in tea also! It’s so creamy, it’s unbelievable. I think the sugar helps to develop that characterisitc, somehow. The overall effect is an interesting one, but I’m coming to like it more and more with each successive cup. Kudos to Butiki for making such a unique tea!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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65
drank Jasmine Pearls by Teapigs
1052 tasting notes

Final discovery from the depths of my cupboard. This one was actually rattling around loose, so I’m guessing it probably escaped from the packet at some point. Thank goodness it’s a tea bag!

I purposely under brew this one, as it’s very heavily floral when left. I gave it a scant two minutes in pretty cool water, and now have a cup of light, delicate jasmine tea. I’m happy I found this one, as it suits my mood perfectly this morning! I’ve been appreciating green tea more than is usual for me lately, so maybe my tastes are changing a little. It used to be something I couldn’t tolerate at all, and now I can name more than a few that I really like. Jasmine anything used to be a no for me, because it’s not normal to drink flowers, but in certain guises I don’t mind it now. I think I’ll always be a black tea person on the whole, but there’s space in my life for some of these. Brewed sympathetically, anyway :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Super Fruit by Teapigs
1052 tasting notes

I usually really enjoy this one, but this morning it just tastes wrong to me. I think it’s the hibiscus, but something is contributing a metallic tang and it’s making me think of blood. The colour isn’t helping, either. I have a feeling it might be an age thing — this is another remnant from the bottom of my stash, and it could well me a year old, possibly a little more. I’ve not had a problem with fresher bags of this tea, so that’s all I can put it down to. Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for it today.

As a second-thought rescue attempt, I’ve added a spoonful of honey. This has toned the flavour down a bit, and I’m getting more berry than before. It’s still not quite right, though.

Ah well, can’t win them all. I’m going to leave my rating as it is, because this isn’t how I remember this tea. I’m sure it’s better than this normally.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I think it’s the hibiscus, but something is contributing a metallic tang and it’s making me think of blood. This is exactly why I can’t make myself drink even small amounts of hibiscus. It tastes like blood to me. I’m glad I’m not the only one to have that experience of it.

I agree, it could be an age thing. It might have faded a bit and the other flavours faded a bit more than the hibiscus did.

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65
drank Spiced Winter by Teapigs
1052 tasting notes

Another remnant found lurking at the bottom of my stash. I really thought I’d finished all of these — it must have been almost a year ago, too. Still, shows what I know! It’s probably a bit early to be drinking Christmas tea (although that hasn’t stopped me guzzling Yumchaa Red Christmas), and this is a seriously Christmassy one. It’s heavy on the cinnamon, but there’s also a blend of other spices that are almost reminiscent of mulled wine.

I gave this about 3 minutes, and added a splash of milk. The spices come through clearly, and the rooibos adds a woody undertone to the whole thing. I don’t mind this one, although it’s fairly season specific. I might buy it again in the future, although it’s not quite the thing for right now. Maybe on Christmas Eve :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Winter Infusion by Twinings
1052 tasting notes

Another remnant! I honestly don’t know where this one came from. I finished the caddy, but this portion was in a little envelope all on its own. Obviously I’d intended it for something!

Anyway, I still like how clearly the orange comes across in this blend. The rooibos is very mild — it’s there as a woodiness in the background, but that’s all. Orange is the main player here, along with a dusting of cinnamon that comes out mostly in the aftertaste. When I first added this to my stash, I thought it was an odd choice for a Christmas tea. It does make me feel Christmassy, though, so there you go. Possibly it’s the orange, although I have limited Christmas memories involving orange, so I really don’t know.I’m gabbling now.

This is a pleasant tea to drink, although I think I need some caffeine to see me through the afternoon. A nice surprise from the depths of my stash!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
alaudacorax

I don’t know why, but the taste of cinnamon always seems Xmasy to me.

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90
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
1052 tasting notes

Another one I thought was gone! This really is the last cup now, though. I’m in a sweet mood today, so I’m drinking this with milk and sugar. I brewed it while I was faffing with the photocopier, so it got about 4 minutes in the end.

I still like this as much as I did the first time I tried it. The caramel flavour actually isn’t as strong as the Yumchaa Caramel Sweetheart I drank previously, but it’s definitely there. It’s a sort of toffee popcorn taste, more than anything. The black tea base, as ever, is pretty perfect. Smooth and unobtrusive, it just lets the flavouring shine through.

I was pining for this one a couple of weeks back, so I’m glad to have had the (albeit unexpected!) opportunity to reacquaint myself with it. I’m feeling pretty dreadful at the moment, covering reception with a headache and the beginnings of a cold. Maybe I’ll step up my tea consumption a little — that’s bound to make me feel better!

Oh well, back to work…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, 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’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

Norfolk, UK

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