1026 Tasting Notes

30
drank Walk in the Woods by Yumchaa
1026 tasting notes

Had another go with this, as I couldn’t stop thinking about where I might have gone wrong. I let the water cool a little, left the bag in for 2.5 minutes, used a little bit less leaf, and made sure there were some fruit pieces in my infuser. I also left it black.

I’m still not keen, the problem being that this time it doesn’t taste of anything at all. I don’t understand this tea, at the moment.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

i’ll have to see if i manage any better with it, pretty sure this is one of the ones waiting for me to drink up :)

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70
drank Caramel Sweetheart by Yumchaa
1026 tasting notes

I always enjoy this one, as long as I’m patient and leave it long enough for the caramel and white chocolate pieces to melt. And then give it a decent stir. It wasn’t my favourite at first, but it’s growing on me as I learn better how to brew it. A surprise contender for a permenant place in my stash.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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30
drank Walk in the Woods by Yumchaa
1026 tasting notes

Tried this for the first time today. I generally like black teas flavoured with red fruit, but finding one with a good flavour balance can be difficult. In the bag, this one smells just as I want it to. Blackberry and raspberry predominate, and I can actually see one or two whole fruits among the leaves. The base of this one is actually identified on my bag as a keemun, but it seems to have been cut fairly liberally with raspberry leaves. The effect is pretty, but I guess I’m kind of wondering why they’re so predominant. Surely they’re not going to add much in the way of flavour?

Anyway, on to the tasting. I brewed this for about 3.5 minutes in boiling water. Yumchaa don’t really give much in the way of brewing parameters, so I know it’s going to be trial and error until I find what works best. At first, this has no discernable smell, but after about three minutes it develops quite a strong smoky scent.

The smokiness doesn’t translate to the flavour too much, although I can taste it. On the other hand, I can’t taste much in the way of berries. Maybe very slightly in the aftertaste, but that’s all. Obviously I’m going to have to work on how I brew this a little, because what I’ve got at the moment can’t be this tea at its best. The smokiness confused me at first, although after a quick google, I established that keemun teas can taste smoky and bitter, depending how they are processed. I know the taste isn’t contamination, as I haven’t had any smoky tea in my cupboard since I bought this. Smoky tea really isn’t my thing. Where is the fruit, though? It’s so odd, because it smells just fine dry, and I want it to taste like that too!

Not sure about this one at the moment. I might try it black, and adjust my leaf and time/temp parameters to see if any of that helps. The name is pretty accurate, though. It tastes like a walk in the woods in early autumn, when there’s the scent of woodsmoke on the breeze…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

i sooo want to dive in to your teas today but i’m worried my taste buds are a little off. they’re calling to me!

Scheherazade

Maybe wouldn’t start with this one, then! Raspberry Vanilla is pretty unmistakable, if you’re worried about your tastebuds. I can usually still taste it all right even when I have a heavy cold :)

cteresa

How very strange, I swear I never got any smokiness from my packages. With walk in the woods, I got raspberry and I think elderberry and the chinese black, but with my package (not sure if just one package or two. i think two so far, though am out of it at the moment) no smokiness at all. I think something might have gone wrong with your package? in transit or in the store/stall?

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95
drank Chilli Chai by Teapigs
1026 tasting notes

Had another of these today, as a sort of joyous farewell to winter. Just straight, with a little bit of milk. The chilli and clove come out most prominently when it’s brewed this way, I think. I’m not a huge fan of clove, so I generally prefer this as a latte, but it’s good all the same. Nice, warming hit of chilli. Good stuff.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Queen of Berries by Tea Palace
1026 tasting notes

I think I’m getting better at brewing this, because today’s cup didn’t taste like ordinary black tea, even to start with. I could taste berries, sweet and juicy, straight away. I’m really happy that they’re no longer just in the aftertaste. I’ll have to try and work out what I did differently this time, so that I can repeat it again next time. Or maybe it’s just that it’s been out of the plastic bag and in the caddy for a while since I last drank it. I don’t know. Either way, I feel justified in raising its rating a little now. Truly delicious for a warm spring day!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Courtesan by Yumchaa
1026 tasting notes

Okay, so it’s actually been appreciably warm today, so after a walk to the supermarket to get my lunch ingredients for next week, I came home and made a big pitcher of this. I think it’s the first time I’ve been able to use my iced tea jug this year, just when I was beginning to think winter wasn’t going to end!

I used 4 tablespoons worth, and was rewarded with a lovely, strong, fruity result. I can’t decide whether I prefer this cold, or hot with honey. Both are equally nice, but cold is a better fit for today’s weather. I don’t actually have all that much of this left, maybe enough for another pitcher. It’s one I probably won’t be buying again, as there’s something in the flavour that doesn’t appeal to me. I still can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I find it puts me off what is otherwise a very pleasant fruit tea. In spite of the hibiscus, as well!

Still, this is going down well this afternoon, and that’s all I’m asking for the minute :)

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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60

The last of my samples from Butiki. I really enjoyed the Cider Guayusa yesterday, so I have high hopes for this.

The dry leaves smell delicately of orange, creamy rather than zesty, with the earthiness from the guayusa providing a pleasant undertone. It’s quite a straightforward scent, but if it tastes as good as it smells, I’ll be a happy girl.

I brewed this for 6 mins, and needn’t have feared. The tangerine is a subtle flavour, but it’s definetly there. The creaminess isn’t noticable at first, but develops more as the tea cools. I haven’t added anything to this, but I can imagine the contribution a little sugar would make. There’s not a great deal of natural sweetness from the tangerine, so the earthy guayusa does tend to dominate, at least in the intial sip. The creamy tangerine is noticable in the aftertaste, though, which makes for a very pleasant early-afternoon drink.

On balance, I prefer the Cider Guayusa I tried yesterday, so this probably isn’t one I’d order more of. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it, though. Experience is the key in all things!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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55

Third sipdown of the day! You can see that I set myself a little challenge there, but it paid off. Another one I won’t be buying again, for the same reasons as Rooibos Vanilla. It’s not unpleasant, just not really my thing. Another to chalk up to experience.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Rooibos Vanilla by Adagio Teas
1026 tasting notes

Second sipdown of the day. I don’t mind this terribly, but it’s not something I’d buy again. The vanilla is a bit too fake-tasting for my liking, and adagio’s rooibos appears not to be my thing. Glad to have tried it, though!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Sipdown! Finished this off today. Good, strong, everyday black (as ever), see previous notes for more detail. This’ll be taking a break from my cupboard now while I work on some of my other straight blacks. It’ll be back, though. No doubt about that!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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 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

Norwich, UK

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