1654 Tasting Notes

90

I feel like I never log this one, and it’s not because I’m not drinking it (because evidently I am…) Anyway, I’ve made a point of adding a note for it today, mostly because it’s so perfect for a hot day and I had to share that. I love spearmint at the best of times, but its cooling sweetness is just the thing when only a hot drink will do, and it’s also nearly 30 degrees out.

I’ve not tried this one iced or cold brewed yet, because I’m a little bit afraid of the gunpowder base going astringent or bitter on me. I can imagine it working really well, though…if I get it right!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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60
drank Sweet Nothings by Adagio Teas
1654 tasting notes

Sipdown! Used the last of my leaf in another cold brew, partly because I’m enjoying it and partly so that I can finally say goodbye to this one. It’s been good – particularly cold – but I feel like I’ve moved on from Adagio so I’ll not be repurchasing. There are other, equally good (or better) peach/apricot teas out there, but I’ve enjoyed this one while it lasted.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85

This morning I had a hankering to try this cold, so I whisked 1/4 tsp into a shot glass of cold milk, as a kind of mini-milkshake trial. It’s good – I can taste the bubblegum pretty clearly, followed by the creaminess of the milk. It’s much like a latte, really, only cold, and a little more intense because of the volumes involved. The aftertaste is especially good – bubblegum is such an artificial flavour, but I was definitely in the mood for it today and I LOVE it! Thanks again to Roswell Strange for sharing this with me.

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65

A sample from Roswell Strange. This has to be one of the oddest combinations ever? I mean, mate, black, herbal…? Surely it’s hardly herbal if it’s got both mate and black tea in it, neither of which are renowned for their caffeine free-ness. I can get behind the idea of mate and black, though, and caramel works well with darker teas as a flavour, so…maybe?I have another question. What’s monk fruit? Please don’t say fruit eaten by monks. I could google, but the people at work would think I’m odd. Or odder than they already think I am, anyway. Maybe that’s one for later.

I gave the bag 3 minutes in boiling water, and it’s brewed up to a medium golden-brown, no additions. The initial taste is very heavy on the mate – quite earthy and pungent with a burnt coffee-like aftertaste. There’s also something smoky, although I can’t pinpoint exactly what. Maybe the mate? The monk fruit? Ha. I didn’t get much caramel initially, but as the cup cools I can begin to taste it. It’s a little on the artificial side, but not too badly, and there is a hint of salt. The salt actually works really well with the savoury flavour of the mate and the smoke – somehow it helps to bring everything together. Then with the underlying richness of the caramel, it actually makes for a pretty decent cup. I’m not even sure how it is that earth, coffee, smoke, salt and caramel taste good together, but they kind of do so there you go. My befuddled morning brain can’t make any more sense of things than that.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
rosebudmelissa

I think monk fruit is a natural sugar-free sweetener, like stevia (though with a different taste).

teaqueen

Stash really is magical in terms of the depth and interestingness of their bagged offerings.

Super Starling!

Weird. Totally on my to-try list now. Caramel is my weakness.

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100
drank Movie Night by DAVIDsTEA
1654 tasting notes

Sipdown! This will be a fond farewell, because I love it so much and it’s really difficult to get hold of David’s in the UK. I’ve had three cups from the sample so kindly provided by Roswell Strange, though, and I’ve resteeped each one once, so six cups in all. That should be enough to keep me going until next time I manage to get hold of some!

It’s not goodbye, but until we meet again. I hope.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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60
drank Sweet Nothings by Adagio Teas
1654 tasting notes

Cold brewed this one again in an effort to finally finish the tin. I’m not there yet, but we’re making good progress! I’ll probably continue with this one over the next few days until it’s finally gone, because I enjoy it so much more cold than I did hot. It’s got good peach/apricot flavour, and a deliciously refreshing white base, and it’s been in my cupboard for far too long…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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75

Finishing off my last tuocha today, and it’s going to be an unexpectedly sad goodbye. This was one of the first pu-erhs I tried, and although we had a few false starts I’ve come to enjoy this one really quite a lot. I’ve logged this one in detail before, so this time I’m just going to say that I’ll be resteeping it probably all day, and that I love its earthy compost flavour.

This makes a really good introductory/gateway pu-erh. It’s not too strong (as long as you don’t steep it too long to begin with…), and it has a fairly gentle, accessible flavour profile. I enjoy it most on a cold winter day, but I’m trying to get my cupboard under control and I don’t want a lone tuocha hanging around for another 5 or 6 months. I may repurchase – one day.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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90

Sipdown! I’m using up my last two pearls today, and after Friday’s success I’ll be resteeping them probably most of the day. I’d buy more of these with absolutely no hesitation.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Liquid Proust

It’ll be a little longer until more comes out. I’m going to make them creamier.

Evol Ving Ness

I am definitely signing up for that batch then.

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75
drank Tea Rex by Adagio Teas
1654 tasting notes

I really must have been more than half-asleep when I first tried this, because I definitely got cherry chocolate second time around. No raspberry, and definitely no blueberry. I should probably also note that the base is honeybush and not rooibos, which I generally always find sweeter and less woody anyway.

So yeah. Not sure what I was thinking last time. This is good, though. Cherry, milk chocolate, and a light, smooth base with very mild honey notes. This one’s going to be my go-to pre-bedtime blend for a while.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90

Returning to my original bag of French Toast Dianhong, which I found a little floral the first time around. I’m pleased to say that I’m not getting any floral flavour today. I’m steeping two pearls in boiling water for about three minutes (no additions), and I’m currently on my second steep.

The first steep was quite sweet, with very strong vanilla notes and an overall caramel-like flavour. The second steep is a little more muted, but still delicious. The vanilla seems to have mellowed into a thick creaminess, and I’m tasting chocolate and a touch of hazelnut. It’s reminding me a fair bit of nutella, actually, although not as intense.

I’ll probably stick with this one for a while longer, maybe another steep or two. It was a good choice for today’s cold work morning!

ETA: I’m on my sixth steep now, and it’s holding up a lot better than I expected. It’s less intense in terms of flavour, but there’s still plenty of delicious creamy vanilla, and just a touch of chocolate. The base tea is more prominent, but it’s so pleasant; smooth, malty, and eminently drinkable, that it’s no chore to keep going with this one. I’d not tried resteeping it before today, but now I know what I’ve been missing!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 28, 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’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

In addition to Steepster, I also write for the SororiTea Sisters. My reviews there will typically be posted here also, although typically in a shorter format. Any teas I’m sent specifically for review will only appear in full on the SororiTea Sisters website, with only a short introduction and link to my review here.

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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