1088 Tasting Notes

75

This is the first of the samples from my second Bluebird order. I love the little packets they come in – so cute! This one actually looks a lot like the Yumchaa Enchanted Forest I’m working my way through at the moment. It’s a sencha, with quite long, flat, folded leaves and a smattering of rose petals. The difference is the addition of cherry blossom, and the fact that this one smells divinely floral and (as you might expect!) strongly of cherry.

Brewed, this smells really marvellous. It’s actually filling my reception area with the scent of cherry blossom! The cherry comes out surprisingly well in the taste as well, although it’s more floral than fruit. Given that this is supposed to be cherry blossom, though, I suppose that’s not too surprising. It’s quite delicate and pleasant, perfect for drinking on a sunny morning. I guess I picked a good day to try this one! There’s a very slight bitterness from the green tea base, although I think that might be my fault for not letting the water cool quite enough. Patience is something I’m still working on when it comes to tea! Ultimately, this is a very pleasant tasting tea. It’s sweet, delicate, and very moreish. I feel slightly disappointed now that I only had a one cup sample. This is definitely a candidate for future orders!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Mike Turner

I don’t have any patience either, so I put cold water in the mug first! I want one of those posh kettles that does it all for you…

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90
drank Weeping Angel Tea by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Approaching sipdown on this one. I’ve been drinking it most evenings, at the expense of the other teas in my stash. I really do enjoy the caramel-popcorn combination it’s got going on — it’s almost like it was made for drinking in front of the TV (Dr Who particularly, obviously), or while watching a film. I’ll be sad when it’s gone, but at least it’ll force me to start drinking something new again!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Shmiracles

i knowww! what will i drink during episodes now that my Weeping Angel is gone?! whimper..
:) heehee

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95
drank Enchanted Forest by Yumchaa
1088 tasting notes

This is the other one in my desk drawer at the moment. Until fairly recently, I wasn’t a huge fan of green tea. This was one of the ones that helped to change that. I’m trying to run down my stash of Yumchaa teas a little bit, which is why I’m drinking this and Raspberry Vanilla pretty intensively at work atm. I like the sweet, creamy, rhubarb flavour this one has. It’s actually making me want to sample Bluebird’s Rhubarb and Custard, just to compare, but it’s not like I need to buy any more tea just at the moment. If anything could make me think of unicorns wandering through a magic forest on a work day, it would be this tea. I don’t know why it makes me think like that. Possibly because I’m so tired I’m almost hallucinating? It’s a pleasant thought, anyway, and now I’m going to stop rambling. This is a great flavoured green tea, one of the best I’ve tried. That’s really all there is to it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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30
drank Chocolate Malt by 52teas
1088 tasting notes

Another sample from the wonderful Sil! I did actually try and order this one, but a bag of Malted ChocoMate turned up instead. Still, it was just as welcome, and I’ve got to try both in the end anyway!

The dry leaves smell sweet and woodsy, and ever so slightly like maltesers. It’s only very slight at the moment, though — the main scent is undoubtedly the honeybush. That’s okay, though. Honeybush and I can get along.

Brewed, this smells rich and deep and chocolatey. Not so much like malted chocolate, more like a bar of chocolate that’s been melted. To taste, this isn’t quite what I was hoping. It is vaguely chocolatey, but I’m not really getting chocolate malt. There’s also a slightly odd chemically flavour that I know some others have picked up on too. It’s not overpowering, but it does seem to mask the flavour a little.

With my second and third cups, I tried a little more leaf and a slightly longer brew time, but that didn’t really change anything. I’m not 100% happy with this one. It’s a palatable enough honeybush, but it just doesn’t wow me like some other 52Teas blends have. I’m not missing the full bag after all!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Sil

well glad that worked out for you. i really didn’t like this at all, but apparently the original blend was amazing.

Scheherazade

Well…kind of, anyway. I was hoping it was going to taste more maltesery, but you can’t win them all. The original blend does sound a lot closer to what I was expecting!

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85
drank Vital Apple by Tea Palace
1088 tasting notes

This is another one I’ve been drinking almost exclusively cold-brewed recently. On the whole, I prefer my tea hot, though, so it’s high time I tried this one before I run out.

The dry mix smells insanely strong — just like freshly squeezed apple juice, with a touch of pineapple swimming around in the background. It reminds me a little bit of apple fruit leather, only jucier!

Brewed, this smells completely different — a bit like freshly baked apple pie. There’s a slight hint of cinnamon and caramel about it, which is probably what’s giving me that impression. The pineapple also comes out much more clearly than I was expecting. It’s a bit of an odd combination, actually.

I needn’t have worried, though. This has got to be one of the better fruit teas I’ve tried — not least because it’s got no hibiscus in it! The natural flavours of the apple and pineapple shine through, and it really is like drinking a fruit salad. The “baked” element I detected in the scent doesn’t really translate to the taste, except slightly in the aftertaste. It’s just fruity, refreshing, tropical wonderfulness. Another hit from Tea Palace!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec

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85

I loved strawberry lemonade when I was a child (and anything pink, come to that). Now I’m all grown up, I like tea more than carbonated drinks — and fruit tea is a particularl favourite. When the two can combine, it’s a good day in my book. The dry leaves of this tea are insanely summery. Huge chunks of strawberry, lemon and orange peel, small pieces of apple, hibiscus, and sunflower petals. The scent isn’t exactly strawberry lemonade — it’s somehow more sherbet-like than that. I suppose that could be the “fizz” element. Either way, it definetly smells of strawberries, with maybe the faintest hint of lemon. Fresh, sweet, beautiful!

I tried this cold brewed a couple of weekends back, and was a tiny bit disappointed with how well the strawberry came out. It was a little flat tasting, and the hibiscus seemed to take over, so I’ll be interested to see whether it’s different brewed hot.

Brewed, this is definetly a fight between the strawberry and the hibiscus, but I think the strawberry just about wins. The same sherbetty element I picked out in the smell survives and adds a certain lemonade-esque quality to this tea. The lemon itself comes out really clearly in the aftertaste. On balance, I wish there was a little bit less hibiscus, but this is a pretty good fruit tea. I certainly get strawberry lemonade from it, and accurate taste can sometimes be a rare commodity in fruit teas. I could drink this happily all summer — it’s so juicy, naturally sweet, and nicely balanced in flavour. Great work, Bluebird!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
TeaBrat

I think Teavana also has a tea like this, have you tried it?

Scheherazade

No, I haven’t yet. Lack of a credit card is the problem at the moment, but it’s certainly one I’d like to try in the future.

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85
drank Raspberry Vanilla by Yumchaa
1088 tasting notes

Drinking this at work right now. It’s sweet and comforting, as always, but I think on the whole I prefer it with milk. It seems to lend this a milkshake-like flavour that I can really get behind. Anyway, there is no milk, so black it is. I’m having a hard time staying awake today for some reason. I can’t think why I should be so majorly tired, but I am. I think I’m going to switch to something caffeinated for my next cup or two. Honestly, 5.00 can’t come quickly enough!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Vital Apple by Tea Palace
1088 tasting notes

Yesterday’s tea was a cold brewed pitcher of this I’d prepared the day before. I seem to have finished it without really paying attention to what I was drinking, though, so I’ll add a better note at a later date. As for what I can remember — the both dry and brewed reminded me of apple juice, as did the colour of the liquor. As I expected, given that this is primarily an apple tea, apple was the main taste coming through. I also detected a hint of cinnamon, and a dab of pineapple in the aftertaste. I had to work to find the pineapple, which is a shame as I was hoping it’d be a more prominent flavour. Still, apple is nice, so that’s fine with me! I found this quite a subtle tea, at least brewed like this. The flavours are there, but they’re not really in your face. I might experiment a little bit with quantity of leaf and brew time, just to see, and I’ve yet to try it hot as well. Definetly refreshing, though. Just perfect for our first summery day!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85

Today’s cold-brew is a pitcher of this. It’s recommended for icing on the packet, but it’s somehow fallen a little short in my estimation. I put it in the fridge yesterday, in the early evening, so it had a good 14 hours plus to infuse. I’m getting strawberry, just about, and a slight bitter sweetness from the lemon in the aftertaste. What I can taste most is hibiscus, which I dislike in fruit tea, although it’s pretty unavoidable. It’s pleasant, but the whole thing just tastes a bit washed out. I used 4 tablespoons, so I doubt I underleafed, but I suppose it’s possible. I think next time I’ll maybe try making this in a smaller quantity, and possibly adding some actual lemonade. It was definetly refreshing, though, and pleasant to taste. I just wanted the strawberry to come out a litle more strongly. I can work on that, though, and it smells divine in any case!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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65

Another sample generously sent my way by Sil. My experiences with chamomile tea so far have been good, and orange blossom is a flavour I know I like, so I’m looking forward to this one. My new job is still stressing me a bit, so I’m hoping this will help me to relax a bit after a long and tiring week. The dry mix has generous amounts of whole chamomile flowers, lemongrass pieces, orange blossoms and orange zest. It smells primarily of chamomile — that very distinctive, honey and hay-like scent with a slightly sweet, floral undertone.

Brewed, this still smells primarily of chamomile, but with a definite edge of orange. There’s also something slightly lavender-like in there, although I don’t think lavender is actually one of the ingredients. I guess the taste will tell. One thing that did take me by surprise is the colour of the liquor — it’s bright, grassy green! As the tea cools, it seems to mellow into a more ordinary golden yellow, but it certainly made me question my vision for a few seconds. I’m assuming the purple flower petals (are they orange blossom?) were the cause. Interesting, but unexpected!

To taste, I’m not getting lavender any more, I don’t think. Instead, I’m getting mint. I saw it listed among the ingredients, but I couldn’t see any in the dry mix, and it certainly doesn’t come out in the scent. It’s very subtle and complementary, though, so I’m happy enough with the combination. The taste is mostly of chamomile and a sort of floral orange in any case, so the name is pretty accurate after all. It’s not the over-sweet chamomile I’m used to, though. It’s somehow more herbal, more floral, and more grassy in taste than those I’ve tried previously. While the orange blossom isn’t strong, it adds to the flavour delicately and pleasantly, contributing a fresh, zesty, floral aftertaste.

A very enjoyable evening drink. Thanks again to Sil for sharing it with me!

Preparation
Boiling 4 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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