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680 Tasting Notes

90

First cup of the day. This is another one I tend to forget about, although I do like it. The strawberry/grenadine flavouring is thick and syrupy, maybe a touch artificial tasting. It reminds me a little of strawberry ice cream syrup. The black base also has a tendency to become bitter, so care when brewing is pretty necessary.

Even though it can be finicky, this one is worth the effort. When it’s right, it’s a really nice, sweet, easy-drinking cup. One of the first Mariage Freres teas I tried, and one I’ll remember fondly for a long time to come.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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55

This is one that tends to get a bit neglected in my stash, through no fault of its own. As vanilla cream rooibos blends go, it’s a pretty good one. Hot, it’s a little too woody but as it cools the thick creaminess comes out more and more, and a hint of vanilla is detectable at the edges. It has quite a weighty, decadent mouthfeel, which makes it a perfect bedtime tea on a cold night. One to try and remember more often!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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100

A sample from Shmiracles!

I’ve been saving this one for a time when I felt I deserved it, and I’ve worked so hard recently I felt that day had finally come. I love this. I knew I’d love it. Dry, it smells pretty amazing. Biscuitty, caramelly, sweet…it smells like a caramel tea SHOULD smell, in the best of all worlds. While brewing, the base tea comes out in the scent a little more, and adds its own malty sweetness to the overall profile.

To taste, this is just…divine. It’s smooth, it tastes like the richest, most decadent caramel dessert imaginable. It’s creamy, sweet, heavenly deliciousness. The assam base pokes out a little in the aftertaste, but it’s robust maltiness is so well matched to the caramel flavouring that it enhances, rather than detracts from, the overall experience. I’m a fan of assam at the best of times, but here, and in this combination, it’s more perfect than ever.

I’m in love. Huge thanks to Shmiracles for sharing some of this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Sil

soooo good. this is one of my favoutite flavoured teas

Ysaurella

+one with Sil. I am not a chocolate tea lover but this one is the exception

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, this was a real interesting tea, which I enjoyed as well!

Shmiracles

hahah wow. WOW you’ve definitely been saving this tea! i sent it to you in May last year! and crap i seriously wanna buy more after reading your review. really glad you liked it so much. ONE HUNDRED!!

Scheherazade

I know — it’s almost May again :) You sent them in such great little pouches, though, that I felt okay to do that.

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100
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
680 tasting notes

A sample from Shmiracles!

This is a tea I’ve wanted to try for ages, which is probably the main reason I’ve held on to my sample for so long. The scent reminds me of Della Terra’s Fireside Spice, only far, far creamier. I love the swirls of gold sparkle that spin through the cup, too. It’s such a festive and cosy-looking cup. Which is why I’m drinking it on a beautiful warm spring day, while listening to the Eagles. Obvious, really.

I could have done better with seasonal ambience, but I’m really enjoying this one. It’s actually a bit of a relief, because I’d built it up to be something really amazing in my head, and I didn’t want it to be a let down. It tastes primarily of cinnamon, and while it’s pleasantly sweet it’s not overdone. What I love most is the thick creaminess this somehow has. It’s gorgeous, like drinking a cup of some rich, spiced dessert.

Thank you so much to shmiracles for sharing a sample of this with me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp
Shmiracles

so glad to hear that you liked this tea!
and hell, spring weather & Eagles always go together. and can only be enhanced when accompanied by tea. :)

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100
drank Caramel by Kusmi Tea
680 tasting notes

A sample from Shmiracles!

This is a really great caramel tea. I’ve been on the hunt for a decent one for what feels like a long time, and now I’ve found two in two days. More on that later. This is the more subtle of the pair, so far as the caramel flavouring goes. It’s creamy, smooth, sweet, and distinctively caramel flavoured, but it’s also beautifully balanced with the black base. As far as shares in the overall flavour go, they’re equal contenders.

It’s probably fair to say that this one smells more like caramel than it tastes, but when the combination is as good as it is here, that’s more than okay with me. There’s nothing fake or artificial here — it’s like actual caramel was melted into a sturdy black base. A genuinely lovely afternoon tea, and a wonderful treat for my Sunday!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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55

A sample from KittyLovesTea. Last cup of the day at work. I found this one a bit of an odd duck while hot, but as it cooled it seemed to settle down. It brewed up pretty dark, which suprised me. It’s a herbal, so I just dumped the bag in boiling water and hoped for the best. I found chicory an odd ingredient here, and it might be responsible for the slightly weird flavour I detected initially, but it’s an undeniably lemony tea. It’s a little sour as well, so quite accurate lemon, rather than over sweetened or candied lemon.

I think this one would be really refreshing on a hot day, and even better cold. As lemon teas go, it’s a good one. I’m not over-awed or anything, but it’s a nice tea to have tried. Thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing it with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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55

A sample from KittyLovesTea. I’m naturally suspicious of peach tea. I’ve tried a few, and almost all of them have been unbearably fake-tasting. The kind of peach a kid’s lipgloss might be flavoured with. The smell of this one dry concerns me. It’s exactly the kind of over sweet, cloying, thick artificial peach that I dislike most. I’ve never had a real peach that tasted anything remotely like this (and other peach teas) smell.

As ever, though, I’m up for giving it a chance. Brewed, it’s not actually so bad. There is quite a thick, artificial peach taste, but the base tea is nice and smooth, and it peeks through in just the right places. I actually added milk to this, based on how dark it brewed up after only a couple of minutes, and I think that’s helped to give it a creaminess that it maybe wouldn’t have had otherwise. The suggestion on the sachet this bag came in was to ice it, and I think it might be very refreshing like that. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have quite the natural, fresh peach taste I was really hoping for, so it’s probably not one I’d seek out again. It’s just a little too far on the wrong side of cloying for my tastes. My search for the perfect peach tea continues.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

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80

A sample from KittyLovesTea. I like being presented with things that I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I like white tea in general, and most berry teas, so it’s a good combination for me. Initially, I was concerned about the colour this brews to in a surprisingly short time. It’s quite a dark brown, even in cooled water, and only for about 2 or 2.5 minutes. As another reviewer has commented, though, it does contain things like blackcurrant, liquorice and cranberry, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

The real proof is in the taste, of course, and the taste here is wonderful. The berry flavour is clear, slightly sweet, and very fresh tasting. Not a hint of artificiality at all. It’s mostly blackcurrant, I think — it actually reminds me of the hot ribena my mum used to make me when I was a child. It’s not as strong or as chemically sweet, but the flavour is there. There’s not much in the way of white tea to be found, but I suppose that can’t be expected when put next to strong flavours like blackcurrant.

I really like this one, and it’s something I’d consider purchasing for myself. I’m going to go and check out Goodness Direct, now!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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55

A sample from KittyLovesTea, and another one I neglected because I was scared of it. I read some of the reviews below, became even more scared, and then decided to give it a go anyway. I mean, it’s better to know.

I wasn’t really sure how to treat this one, so I dumped a teaspoon (about 35 berries) into my infused, and added it to a cup of freshly boiled water. I forgot about it for a few minutes, so it probably had about 4-5 minutes brew time in total. The liquor is a pale yellow, and it smells…vaguely fruity, and a little medicinal. I sniffed it suspiciously before taking a sip, you see. So I know.

First taste isn’t actually too bad. It does taste subtly fruity — I agree with the sour plum another reviewed picked out. There is something a little vinegary about it in the aftertaste, but it’s not terrible. For some reason, I was expecting a much stronger flavour, but it’s actually quite palatable. I’m coming round to the view that it’s rather nice to drink something completely different once in a while. Something you’re probably not going to come across ever again — a challenge for the tastebuds.

I wouldn’t say this is something I’d drink often, or even seek out. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to try it, though. I’m not getting five flavours from it (which might be a blessing in disguise), but it’s a nice enough vaguely fruit/berry flavoured cup, if a little odd around the edges, Something everyone should try once.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank Red Christmas by Yumchaa
680 tasting notes

Sipdown! Finished off the last cup this morning, while trying to remember how to breathe. Day 2 of attempting to keep my job in proportion is off to a wobbly start.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 25, and I live in Norwich 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 not 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

Norwich, UK

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