1052 Tasting Notes

85
drank Queen of Berries by Tea Palace
1052 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
1052 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
1052 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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95
drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
1052 tasting notes

Another of my samples from Butiki, and another first for me as I’ve never tried a guayusa before. I guess this is a funny kind of day to be trying one for the first time, too, but I figure I need waking up. I’ve been feeling so dreary today, maybe this will do the trick.

The dry leaf smells like…cider, as it happens. I usually visit a cider press in the summer with my family, and sniffing this tea takes me right back there. It’s the same beautifully fresh, fermented apple scent. Although the ingredients list specifies other ingredients, at this point apple is all I’m getting, and that’s all right with me.

Brewed, the apple/cider scent comes through even more strongly, and there’s also a definite hint of spice (I think cinnamon and clove, mainly) that I didn’t detect in the dry mix. To taste, the natural sweetness of the apple is just glorious. It almost tastes sticky, if that’s even possible. There’s a slightly dank aftertaste that I’m assuming is the guayusa, but it’s by no means unpleasant. On the scale of my experiences with apple tea, this one is doing pretty well. It’s certaintly the most natural tasting of those I’ve tried so far, and also one of the clearest and strongest in terms of how well the apple translates. It might just be love at first sip. Definetly one I’m glad to have tried, and another I’ll be watching for future orders!

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

I want to try this one! I enjoyed the Sunshine Guyasa from Butiki very much :)

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85

I have terrible backache today, so I’m mostly drinking this. It’s just one of those teas I find comforting when I feel off colour. I’m actually getting close to a sipdown on this, with only a few more day’s worth to go. Probably because I’ve been digging into it so heavily today. Still, tea is for enjoying, and this is just the thing at the moment.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
canadianadia

awww…hope you feel better soon

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85

This was one of the samples I got with me first Butiki order. It’s actually one of the ones I was most curious about, being a person that likes blueberry and being intrigued by the “purple” base. It’s an interesting tea to look at. The leaves are dark — almost black in colour — and quite fine. There are pieces of dried blueberry and what I’m assuming are cornflowers scattered throughout. The scent is quite delicate. It’s definetly blueberry, but there’s also an earthy sweetness to it that I really like. It almost reminds me of compost, in the best possible way!

To taste, this is actually really nice. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, but it shares in taste the same candy-like sweetness and faint touch of blueberry that it possessed in scent when dry. It’s very subtle and delicate, but it’s definetly moreish. There’s a very, very slight astringency, but it’s so slight it’s barely there. As it cools, the blueberry taste comes out more clearly, along with a slight creaminess I didn’t notice at first. Rewardingly, there is a tinge of purple about the liquor.

I had no idea what my reaction was going to be to this tea, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. I’m glad I decided to try it as a sample, but it’s definetly one I’ll come back to in future orders!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Stephanie

Intriguing

Emily M

I really enjoyed this one, too. =)

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65
drank Chocolate Flake Tea by Teapigs
1052 tasting notes

Like Yumchaa’s Caramel Sweetheart, this one definetly benefits from a good stir. That I have discovered. I have, somewhat distrubingly, started using two bags of this in a big cup. Possibly I should eat some real chocolate, rather than trying to recreate it in a drink. At least it’s Easter Sunday…there’s a chocolate rabbit with my name on it that I think would go rather well with another cup of this :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 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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