1088 Tasting Notes

95

I feel awake enough to write a proper note this time, although I did almost fall asleep on the bus for the second day running this morning. It’s so warm and cosy, and so cold outside. Not fair! Anyway, I started the day with a cup of Mariage Freres Earl Grey French Blue, which I’m never going to drink with milk again now. I’ve moved on to this for my second cup of the morning – it’s enough to make me glad I didn’t buy milk this week. I don’t need it with teas as delicious as these!

Dry, this smells soooo nutty. There are a generous amount of actual pistachio nuts among the green tea leaves, too. I gave this about 2.5 minutes in water I’d left to cool for a while, and the liquor is now a pale yellow-gold. It smells of pistachio nuts – as if you’d just opened a packet – with a faint vegetal undertone.

The real treat is in the taste, though. It’s creamy, nutty, sweet, grassy awesomeness. I keep forgetting to replenish my crystal sugar supply at work, but I’d love to try this with a piece at some point. I have a feeling it would just augment the creaminess that little bit more. It does taste remarkably like ice cream even without, though. I think it’s the way the creaminess and the nuttiness work in combination. Even though I’m drinking this hot, it’s somehow still living up to its name! If I can manage to save some of this until the summer, I’d love to try it iced. If not, I guess I’ll just have to buy another bag! My stash is short of really great greens, so I can’t see myself being without this one for long. Another great (not to mention unique) Butiki experience!

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

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95

Tried a cup this afternoon, but I was focusing more on my training notes than I was on the tastes, unfortunately. I know, priorities. I was surprised by how creamy this tastes, even with no additions — I definitely get ice cream! The pistachio flavour was there, too.

I’ll write a better note once I’ve had more of a chance to really focus on the flavours. I think this is going to be a love, though…

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

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75
drank Mao Feng by Tea Palace
1088 tasting notes

I neglected to pick up any milk on my way into work this morning, so I’ve been drinking green tea for most of the day. It was probably good not to rely on my black tea stash, because it made me dig out some of the neglected teas in my drawer and actually give them fair consideration. I’ve only tried a couple of mao fengs, but I do like this one. The liquor is more green than brown, and it’s sweet, a little grassy/hay-like, and really, genuinely pleasant. A lovely cup for an afternoon!

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

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75

Tried this without milk for the first time this morning. I brewed it a little lighter than I would otherwise, to try and avoid an overwhelming bergamot/astringency experience.

I needn’t have worried, though, because it turned out perfect! Lovely, mellow black tea base, with a nice citrussy top note. I always find the scent of earl grey really calming, so this was a good choice for my first day in my new job. I’ve been moved to a different team to the one I was going to be joining originally, but hopefully it should be permanent if HR can be encouraged to jolly along. Anyway, it was a tiring, fairly stressful day, but this tea helped to make it that much better.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

this is a very calming tea, very comfortable

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55

Gave this a try last night. I was going to have another Apple Strudel, but I gave in to the temptation to try something new. This is a bit of an odd one, as it turns out. Initially, I felt like I could taste all of the ingredients separately, and it was a bit weird and not very coherent. As I took more sips, though, the flavours started to come together, and I did end up with a taste almost exactly like aniseed balls. If you stop sipping for a while and come back to it, you have to build up the flavour all over again. It’s like all the separate elements only combine once you’ve tasted them a few times. At first, they’re kind of overpowering (especially the stevia), but they do ultimately complement each other well.

A little strange, but pleasant all the same. I think this is one I’ll have to try again a few times before I’m really sure of my thoughts. There’s a lot going on in terms of flavour, and the almost layered effect really took me by surprise, so it’s one I want to pnder over a bit more. Interesting stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

As black blends go, this is really good. It’s rich and full bodied, malty and slightly smoky, with the tiniest edge of astringency. I’m not 100% sure which teas have gone into this blend, but they certainly work really well together! I had a big cup of this last night after an enjoyable but tiring day at work, and it was absolutely just the thing.

Angrboda was kind enough to share a sample of this with me, so it’s her I have to thank for this experience. This is the most I’ve enjoyed a black blend in a long time, and it’s made me interested to try some of the other plain black teas I’ve got hidden away in my stash. There again, I doubt any of them will be quite as good as this…but you never know!

A really enjoyable tea. I’d go so far as to say that if you’re any kind of black tea fan, you really need to give this one ago if you’ve not already. It’s awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’m glad you liked it! :D A&D generally deliver some pretty good stuff, I’ve found.

Terri HarpLady

I really enjoyed this one too. Now that this & my Tiger Assam are gone, I need to polish off the Caravan, so that I can justify buying all 3 again. Not that I need justification! :D

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95

Really enjoyed a cup of this before bed last night. The scent is amazing — it’s like freshly warmed apple strudel, just as its name promises, and the flavour comes out surprisingly well in the taste as well.

There’s a lot of apple in here — so much that the rooibos is sticking to it, and it comes out of the packet in clumps rather than smooth, free flowing loose tea. I actually quite like that about it — it’s not like the clumps are huge, and they look a bit like crumble topping. Funny how my mind works. Anyway, the taste here is pretty much dead-on apple strudel. There’s even that slightly gelatinous taste to the apples, like they’re in a thick, sugary sauce. I can taste something that reminds me of pastry, too, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that’s making me think that way. The spicing is perfect. Subtle enough that the apple shines through, and is the real star, but still easily tasteable. The rooibos here is a pretty good match too, I think. It has just the right herbally/woody aspect to offset the sweet, tart apple.

I love this, in short. So much that I think I’m going to have another cup tonight, rather than moving on to another rooibos/herbal tea. This is going to make a wonderful addition to my bedtime rotation this winter! Great stuff, Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
yyz

sounds awesome!

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10

I’ve been drinking this at work recently, and have more or less given up on it. Whatever I do, I can’t get it to taste of strawberry. Today’s cup actually had two pretty large pieces of strawberry in it, but they made absolutely no impact on the flavour. Surprisingly. I get the tiniest hint of strawberry if I brew this at a lower temparature, but it’s not very satisfactory.

I have to admit feeling disappointed. I thought this would be my cup of tea, literally, but it’s tasteless and not very inspiring. A shame.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80

I’ve been drinking quite a lot of this recently, but only seem to have managed to log it once. I do really enjoy it — the apple comes out really well, and the cardamom is obvious and very much a central flavour. I have noticed that sometimes my mouth feels a bit numb after drinking this one — maybe there’s just a bit too much cardamom on occasion? I’m not sure whether that’s the cause, and it’s a bit odd, but there you go. I like the flavour, so I’m going to keep drinking it anyway. I’ll maybe just be a bit more careful how many cardamom pods go in my infuser each time — there are plenty in the pouch, that’s for sure!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I think I’ve only actually had one cup of this, which is a shame as it’s a really nice Earl Grey. The bergamot smells quite strong initially, but it’s not overpowering once brewed. The black base is strong enough to withstand milk, but smooth enough to drink without, too. I like a versatile EG.

I’m going to try and pay more attention to the MF teas in my stash, I think. They’re not crazily flavoured, or brightly eye-catching like some of the other teas I’ve collected, but they are really nice. Yay for that.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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