1088 Tasting Notes

10

A little confused by this one at the moment. I’m not getting strawberry at all. I mean, not even slightly, and yet I can see little pieces in the dry mix. Huh? The cake’s there, although I was thinking more vanilla than chocolate, so that’s thrown me again. There’s something rich and bakey about this, though, and it’s kind of nice. I do find that this becomes astringent as it cools, though. I let it a bit on purpose in case that helped the strawberry to develop, but instead I just got a cup of bitterness, more or less.

I’m going to try this again later with some crystal sugar, I think. At the moment, though, I feel like I’m getting something wrong here…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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40
drank Green Rooibos by Adagio Teas
1088 tasting notes

Sipdown! Last two cups of this finished off this morning. Bad journey in to work — traffic jams on the main road, the bus was broken down when I got to the Park and Ride site. I’m waiting to hear the outcome of an interview, as well, so I’m feeling a bit antsy. The chair of the panel said she’d come and find me today if she was going to offer, but she hasn’t as yet. I suppose if she doesn’t that means I wasn’t successful, but it seems a pretty cruel method of informing people. I’d rather just know. Still, fingers crossed.

This tea wasn’t a favourite, so I’m glad to see the sample gone. It was good to try green rooibos in its natural state, though. I know better what I’m tasting when I come across it in blends now!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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90

I tried my first cup of this last night, but I was so sleepy I don’t really remember all that much about it. I brought a bit to work with me today, and made it to enjoy over lunch. I have to say, this is probably the best caramel/vanilla tea I have ever tasted. It smells like 52Teas Weeping Angel, but it has a much greater depth of flavour. It’s almost like the flavouring is part of the tea, rather than floating on top of it.

I’m glad I tried Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam separately before opening this, because I feel like I understand it better than I would have done. The base tea is still the best assam I’ve ever tasted, and it’s just even better with the delicate, creamy caramel and vanilla flavouring added. The caramel is rich and warm-tasting, the vanilla light and sweet. Both work beautifully with the chocolatey cocoa notes in the base tea, and it all tastes very natural, like it was somehow meant to be. I’m drinking this with a splash of milk, and that seems to really augment the creaminess and bring the flavours together. It’s lucious stuff. I feel like I could drink it forever.

I’m on my second resteep of the leaves at the moment, and they haven’t really lost anything. The depth of flavour in the base tea is still there, and the caramel and vanilla are as distinct and clear as they were the first time.

I’ve got a few cups worth left in my 1oz packet, but this is definitely one I’ll restock in future. I can see it being a great tea for autumn. Another hit from Butiki!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Chai by Teapigs
1088 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! Finished off the packet this morning, with a couple of chai lattes. I had a pretty frazzled day yesterday (interview, ugh), and felt like something relaxing to start my Friday. I added a spoonful of honey to the milk this morning, then added two tea bags, topped up with boiling water, and left the whole lot until the colour brightened from ghostly white to pale creamy brown. I’m surprised how much difference the honey makes, actually. It sweetens and adds something I hadn’t known I was looking for previously. Yum, basically. Just what I needed this morning. This is a tea I’d definitely repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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60

I love the scent of this one dry. It’s so fresh and clean. It’s supposed to be an earl grey, but I can’t detect bergamot at all. Instead, the main note is grapefruit. It’s almost sweet, but there’s an underlying twang of sharpness, just like the fruit itself.

The bergamot emerges while this is brewing. Not too strongly, just enough to know it’s there. The liquor was pretty dark after 3.5 minutes, so I added a splash of milk. Fortunately, it withstands it rather well.

I like this. The grapefruit is clear in the initial sip, more so as it cools, and tastes clean and fresh. The bergamot is surprisingly strong and a little bitter in the aftertaste, but the citrusy aspect pairs well with the grapefruit. I’ve not tried an earl grey quite like this before, so it’s been an interesting experience. I think I’m coming to like fruit flavoured EGs, though, so this is definitely a tea I’d revisit in the future. My first Simpson and Vail, and a pleasant cup. Shame it’s just a sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Mom's Apple Pie by DAVIDsTEA
1088 tasting notes

Last sample from Queen of Tarts. One thing’s for certain, this definitely smells like apple pie. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was. It perfectly captures the sweet yet sharp apple and buttery pastry. It’s right there in the scent. I wasn’t sure about the green base here, but it really works. It’s slightly vegetal and fresh tasting, and is itself partially reminiscent of tart, sour apple. The green tea combines beautifully with a sweet sugariness, and a hint of cinnamon, to make me think of the finished baked product. Sweet sugary baked apple flavour, and the sense of buttery, rich pastry. I don’t know exactly how all of this manages to be there, but it is. It really, absolutely is. I think this is probably as close as you can get to drinking apple pie. It’s just perfect, and really captures the essence of the real thing. Amazing!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

ooooh. I want to try this!

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85

Third steep. This has rather lost its flavour now, both in terms of maple/pecan, and even the oolong itself. It’s still smooth and eminently drinkable, but I can’t get it much beyond a pale yellow-gold now, and the only really discernable flavour is a weak mineral nuttiness. I’m pleased with how this one worked out, though — I can’t say I haven’t had a good morning’s tea from these leaves!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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80

Backlog from Sunday.

I like this one — it’s another perfect autumn tea. Nothing suggests the colder months to me better than the scent of roasted chestnuts, so it’s really evocative and oh so comforting. I gave this nearly 5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

To taste, the chestnut flavour isn’t strong or overpowering, it’s just delicately there in the background. It’s nutty and slightly toasty, and quite rich tasting. The vanilla is more prominent, and adds a delectable smooth creaminess, especially in combination with the milk.

I’d have liked the chestnut to be a little stronger, but it’s very pleasant as is. It’s creamy, sweet, and nutty, with the slight maltiness of the black tea complementing the flavours beautifully. I’m glad I had the chance to try this one — thanks to Queen of Tarts for sharing it with me!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Resteep is almost as good as the initial infusion. I can taste more of the oolong this time, although I actually don’t mind it. It’s mostly still maple and pecan. There’s a slight mineral taste to the initial sip, but that develops into something almost buttery. Then comes a strong nuttiness, and the rich, sugary sweetness of the maple. Honestly, this is almost like drinking maple syrup, only less thick and sticky. I’m glad I gave the leaves a second steep, because the taste is almost unchanged. Anything to make the remainder of my packet last longer :) I might go for a third in a little while!

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec

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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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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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