1186 Tasting Notes

90

I’m extending Halloween into a second day, while I finish sampling my themed teas. I love the smell of this one. It’s like blueberry compote. It’s strong, sweet and fruity dry, and most of that carries over into the brewed cup. I gave this 3.5, nearly 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.

The taste here is mainly blueberry. The ghosts are entertaining, but I don’t think they add anything to the flavour. At least there was no weird colouring this time! The chocolate bits don’t seem to add much in the way of taste, either, which is a bit odd. Perhaps I need to give it a stir next time to make sure it’s melted into the water rather than sticking to the leaves in my strainer. Hmm. I can’t say I mind, though, because the blueberry taste here is wonderful. It’s very fresh and natural tasting, and I can see myself picking out a cup of this pretty often when I want something desserty but not cloying. Major yum.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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70

Sipdown! I’m not too sad to see this one go. I could taste banana, although it wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked it to be. I think 52 Teas Monkey Fart spoilt me a bit for banana teas, even though I’ve only tried the SBT version. There is banana here, but it’s pretty mild. The strongest flavour I can detect is actually caramel — caramelised banana? A little bit like a banana split, I suppose. It’s palatable, though, and it makes a nice dessert tea with a little bit of milk and sugar. I just think there are better Bluebird teas than this one, on the whole.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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80
drank Lemon Meringue Chai by 52teas
1186 tasting notes

First cup of the morning. I’m still really enjoying drinking this when I arrive at work. The combination of the lemon and spices makes me feel all warm and cosy, and somehow cheered.

I have things to be cheerful about today, though. The 52 Teas reblends, for one. I read about them on the bus, and took the opportunity to grab a few before I started work at 9.00. I’ve had one cup of Rainbow Sherbet in my life, thanks to Sil, and I loved it, so I’m really pleased I’ve finally got the opportunity to try more. Cotton Candy I love, so that was a no-brainer, and I’ve been desperate to try Coconut Cream Pie and Strawberry Zabaglione for ages, so they went into the basket too. I could have added more, but I usually try and restrict my orders to 4. It’s not like I need loads more tea, but I just find myself unable to resist.

The second bit of good news was that I won my battle with HR, and I will now be offered four weeks notice on my new contract instead of one. It’s a risk for me to leave a permanent job for a fixed term one, but I think it’ll be a good career move, and I’m happier about it now that I’ll have a little more warning should it end unexpectedly. It was a battle worth fighting, so yay for me! I’m off to collect my new contract now! It’s also Friday, so what could be better? I love days that keep on giving in the happiness department :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome! way to go you!

Terri HarpLady

Good for you for hanging in there!
You know that saying, “When the Universe closes a door, a Window opens”. Best wishes!

Ysaurella

bravo Sheherazade :)

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75

A better experience with this one than with Bats in the Belfry. The black and yellow bug sprinkles are kind of cute, and they don’t bleed colour like the bats I mentioned in my Bats in the Belfry tasting note. They don’t add any flavour, either, so I guess they’re kind of gimmicky, but they’re sweet. Again, though, the sprinkles and the name are the only things that make this a Halloween tea. Otherwise, it’s just a run of the mill vanilla cream rooibos.

That’s fine with me, though, because there’s space in my affections for a vanilla cream rooibos. Especially one that tastes of vanilla and cream, and this one does that all right. The rooibos is really quite prominent, so the first taste is the typical woody-brassy flavour I know well and don’t really love. It’s saved by the vanilla, though, which really comes out in the middle of the sip. It’s a nice, natural vanilla bean flavour, rather than a chemically vanilla essence type taste, too. The creaminess is more detectable as a mouthfeel than a flavour, although there is a depth to the vanilla that suggests something like coffee creamer to me. I added milk, too, so they work together really well to create quite a decadent creaminess.

This isn’t the best rooibos I’ve ever tried, but it’s a nice enough tea. It’s comforting, sweet and creamy, and it works well as a cosy tea on a cold dark night. I’ll happily drink the rest of this — it’s not earth shattering, but it’s pleasant, and the bugs are a novelty. That’s probably more than enough Halloween excitement for me :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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
1186 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
1186 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
1186 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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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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