1088 Tasting Notes

65
drank Berry Berry Nice by Yumchaa
1088 tasting notes

I’m going to call this a sipdown. I’ve got one cup’s worth left, but I’ll drink that this evening as my bedtime rooibos. Given that I’ve almost finished a full 2 litres of SBT neapolitain ice cream today, I doubt I’ll be in the mood for the honeybush version tonight. That would be overkill. Or maybe just really nice, depending on your perspective. Variety is supposed to be the spice of life, anyway.

This has been a pleasant berry rooibos. I’m over it now, as I usually am by the time I finish a 100g bag. It’s been great knowing it, though, and I might revisit in the (distant) future. It’s bound to be distant, given the number of teas in my cupboard at the moment, isn’t it? Anyway, a fond farewell to this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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100

After my success with the honeybush version over the last couple of evenings, I decided to try the SBT version at work today. I brewed it up last night, following the instructions. 2 cups of boiling water for three minutes, and then top up with cold to make just under 2 litres. Then it went in the fridge overnight, and this morning it came to work with me!

It’s thundery and humid out, so no surprise that it’s far too hot in my reception area. I’m surprised it took me so long to work out that iced black tea is what I’ve been lacking at work every summer. It’s a lot more refreshing than my usual hot tea, and because it’s black I can get my caffeine fix in as well. I’m useless by mid-afternoon, otherwise.

This is the second of the SBTs I’ve tried, and I think I did slightly better this time. The black tea base is still something you can taste, but it seems lighter and less prominent this time. I think maybe I oversteeped my Razzleberry, although I can’t say it really bothered me at the time. By comparison, though, this is more what I was looking for. Something to remember next time I’m brewing one of these — don’t get distracted!

Anyway, as with the honeybush version, this tastes uncannily like actual neapolitan ice cream. It also has the advantage of being reasonably cold this time, so the resemblance is even stronger. I can taste chocolate first, then a creamy vanilla, and then finally strawberry. The three combine beautifully in the aftertaste, to give the full neapolitan effect. Amazing!

Both versions of this are absolute winners with me. I added milk to the honeybush, which I haven’t done here, but I didn’t add sweetner to either. It really doesn’t need it. It’s not sweet, per se, but it tastes of what it’s supposed to, and that’s enough for me. I got one of each available flavour to try with my last order, but I think I’m going to have to stock up again very soon! These are just too good to pass up!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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50

Popped over to my parent’s to collect a parcel before heading out again to a friend’s. It was actually me who got them to start drinking this tea, while I was at university. The water is so bad in Norfolk, most of the cheaper brands seem to develop a slimy film on the surface. I’ve since got my dad to share some of the teas I drink now, but my mum has stuck to this. It’s not bad, as supermarket CTC teas go. In fact, it’s probably one of the better ones. Anyway, long story short, when you visit my mum, this is the tea you get.

Incidentally (or maybe not) the parcel that had arrived was my Tealux order. I sometimes have bigger things sent to my mum, as she’s usually in during the day to accept them. They’re all samples, so they won’t linger in my cupboard, but they’re definitely going to bump my number up! They’ll be the first Tealux I’ve tried, so I’m really quite excited…

Also in the parcel was my new finer infuser, which should let me brew rooibos without transferring it to a filter bag. Happy days!

Watch this space, I guess :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Neapolitan Honeybush by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Finally tried this last night. I actually bought this with my second 52Teas order, just before last Christmas. I’m not sure why I held off. Maybe because I’d heard such great things and I didn’t want to be disappointed.

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not disappointed, because this is absolutely amazing. I was unsure about the scent at first. I could only really detect the honeybush, and maybe a faint whiff of chocolate. I left it sitting in the kitchen for 6 minutes or so, though, and when I came back things had definitely changed. I could smell strawberry, for starters. I added milk to this, because I couldn’t get my mind to think ice cream if it wasn’t some kind of creamy. That actually seemed to drown out the scent again, but I needn’t have feared.

I was seriously impressed by the first sip. The initial taste was quite strongly chocolatey, then the vanilla started to edge in, and then the strawberry emerged right at the end, carrying through into the aftertaste. Maybe because the milk contributed the creaminess I was looking for, but this tastes just like Neapolitan ice cream. It’s hot, but that doesn’t seem to matter somehow. The flavour is spot on. It’s almost uncanny.

I’m looking forward to this evening just so that I can drink it again. It’s going to be a really welcome addition to my summer pre-bedtime rotation, and I suspect there’ll be tears when it’s gone. I’d like to cold brew it, because part of me feels that ice cream should be cold. It’s so gorgeous hot, though, I’m almost tempted not to bother. I do have the SBT version of this, so perhaps I’ll break that out tomorrow. I’m almost done with the Razzleberry I’ve got at work, so I’ll need some more iced tea to keep me going tomorrow. Apparently we’re going to have a heatwave, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

I don’t think there’s anything left to say, other than “I really love this tea!” Amazing, amazing stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Lemon Sherbet by Yumchaa
1088 tasting notes

Sipdown! Drinking my last cup of this at work right now. It’s a lovely, almost sharply citrus rooibos, but I think I’ve had my fill of it for the time being. I have a couple of other lemon rooibos blends in my stash, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare. I somehow doubt they’ll be able to beat this one for lemoniness, though. It’s been great both hot and cold.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Peppermint Leaves by Teapigs
1088 tasting notes

I remember when Teapigs used to claim that this tea would stay green, and not turn a muddy brown like every other mint tea going. I can’t remember whether it was ever true, but it certainly isn’t now. Swampy it is. It at least smells fresh, though, and is very strongly minty.

To taste, this is one of the more pleasant mint teas I’ve tried so far. There’s never all that much between them, but I suppose this one has quite large leaves still, so it doesn’t become over strong too quickly. I gave this about three minutes, and was rewarded with a cooling, refreshing, definitely minty tea, but without the resemblances to toothpaste and mouthwash that can sometimes prevail.

I always find drinking mint tea an interesting experience, as it’s both hot and cold at the same time. On a moderately warm spring day, though, it’s quite a welcome sensation. Peppermint tea (and by this I only mean the herbal, rather than blends that include mint) will never be top of my list of favourites, probably because I’ve disliked so many of them. As they go, though, this is by no means a bad one. It’s not outright stunning (can a mint tea really be that anyway?), but it’s certainly better than average.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank SBT: Razzleberry by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Made this up last night, and I’ve been drinking it most of the day today in my too-hot reception area. It’s not even that warm outside, so I have no idea why the temparature gets up so much in here, but anyway.

I agree with Lala on this one. The intial smell is really like sour raspberry candies. Every time I get pick and mix, I go for some of those. The scent also reminded me a little bit of 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, which I loved, so it was almost bound to be a winner with me.

I brewed this according to the packet instructions. 2 cups of boiling water, and then topped up with cold to make just under 2 litres. I put it in the fridge overnight, and then decanted it into a bottle to bring to work this morning. I’d like to try cold brewing one of these at some point, but I went with both speed and tried and tested last night as it seemed the simplest thing to do!

To taste, this is much as I thought it would be. I get raspberry mainly, in both the scent and the initial flavour. There’s a slight tartness coming from somewhere, but it’s not overpowering. You can also taste the black tea, which has a slightly bitter bite to it. I suppose I was expecting that, given that it’s CTC, but it works quite well with the raspberry flavouring (which is quite sweet) in any case. I totally forgot to bring sugar with me, but I might have tried adding a bit to one of my cups if I’d remembered. There’s no harm done, though, because this is a perfectly palatable tea in its own right. I can’t really taste any blackberry, but that’s my only complaint, and a minor one at that.

I’ve got a few of the other flavours stashed away in my cupboard, so I’m looking forward to trying those now. I’ve appreciated being able to have my black tea cold today, though. Cold-brewed fruit and herbals weren’t quite doing it somehow, and I found myself feeling sleepy at around 3.00pm last week. Not so today! Clearly this is great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

This is one of the best mint chocolate rooibos blends I’ve tried. The dry mix smells just like an after eight, and is really lovely to look at. There are cocoa shells a-pleanty, little dark chocolate hearts, and, of course, rooibos interspersed with a generous quantity of peppermint leaves. I brewed it for about four minutes, and added a little milk.

The initial sip tastes just like mint chocolate — like a mint aero, or even mint hot chocolate. The rooibos stays firmly in the background, but adds a nice earthy complement to the aftertaste. I suspect the milk has made this creamier than it otherwise would be, but it suits this tea well. I’ll try it without milk at some point in the future, but today is not that day.

If you like mint chocolate, this really is a must try. It’s a beautiful blend, strongly flavoured, and perfectly executed. I haven’t loved all of the blends I’ve tried from Bluebird, but this one is a definite winner with me. Divine!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Starfevre

A mint aero? Really? I haven’t had one of those in forever.

Scheherazade

That’s what it tastes like to me! I thought it reminded me of something, and then it came to me while I was staring longingly into the vending machine the other day. This is doubtless much better for me :)

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35
drank Yerba Mate by Teapigs
1088 tasting notes

A sipdown to end the working week. I’m glad, in a way, because I was getting a little tired of the green murkiness this tea added to my morning routine. It’s definitely flavoured for me from now on!

200th tasting note, by the way. I suppose it’s a significant one in that I have come to an understanding about my relationship with Yerba Mate. The journey of discovery goes on!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
canadianadia

Congrats on your 200th :)

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85
drank Super Fruit by Teapigs
1088 tasting notes

I’m drinking the remainder of Monday’s cold-brew of this at work today. I usually have hot tea at work, but it’s so hot in my reception area that I knew last night I’d need a cold drink today. This tea actually belongs to my mum, so it’s not in my cupboard. I drank it iced once or twice when I had my own box, but I’ve never tried it cold-brewed before. I actually think this is the best way to drink this tea. The berry flavours come out really well, and it doesn’t taste over much of hibiscus, which it’s certainly guilty of when brewed hot. A light, refreshing berry delight! Just the thing!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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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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