1293 Tasting Notes

75

I have mixed feelings about earl grey, on the whole. Some I love, some I hate. To my surprise, this one definitely falls into the former camp. On opening the tin, the main scent is bergamot. It’s very strong and quite harsh, and that alone made me worry a little, because I don’t like very strong, harsh or bitter earl greys. Fortunately, this loses some of its potency once brewed.

After about three minutes the liquor was a pretty dark brown, so I added a splash of milk. There’s a slight astringency here, but it’s nothing terrible. Enough to make me glad I added milk, but that’s all. The bergamot is lovely — beautifully balanced — adding a cirtussy top note to the relatively sweet, slightly malty black base. There’s a very faint floral edge, too, which almost reminds me of jasmine. I can only imagine it’s contributed by the cornflowers, which are copiously scattered throughout the dry mix.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this one. My dad tried it first and really liked it, but then he’s usually happy with a decent quality earl grey. Our tastes differ a bit, but this is definitely one we can agree on. I’ll enjoy drinking the rest of this tin over the coming months. It’s one of the nicer EGs I’ve had in a while. Great stuff!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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100

Feeling better today, so I started the morning with this tea. I’m going to have a Mariage Freres tasting day today, I think. I’m still not in the mood for anything heavily flavoured, so I’m going to start getting my tea mojo back with a couple of these.

This could well become a favourite with me. It’s so chocolatey and gorgeous, and very easy to drink. It’s sweet, malty, with delectable notes of dark cocoa, and not a hint of astrincency. A perfect plain black blend, in my estimation! It’s nice to be drinking tea again :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Glad you’re feeling better!

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50

This is all I’ve been drinking today, because I have a really awful cold. It’s so unlike me, but I just can’t face the thought of anything flavoured. It’s not great tea, but it’s a hot drink and it’s making me feel a smidge better, which is more or less all that matters to me right now. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon. I’ve got all kinds of tasty tea heading my way!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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60

Second cola tea to try hot. This one works better than Cuba Libre, I think. Perhaps because cherry and vanilla are more conducive to heat than lime and rum. Either way, it tastes more plausible hot than Cuba Libre did.

The cherry and vanilla come out very clearly, perhaps slightly more so than they did when I drank this iced. The cola, on the other hand, is more muted. It’s there, more noticably as the tea cools, but it’s second fiddle to the cherry and vanilla. That’s fine with me — I think that’s actually what I wanted anyway, thinking about it.

Like Cuba Libre, I definitely prefer this cold. I was curious to try it hot, though, and it’s more successful than I thought it might be. I might even drink it hot again, if the mood strikes me. If it doesn’t, I can always look forward to finishing it off iced next summer! Either way,as a cherry coke fan, this one scores points with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Chai by Teapigs
1293 tasting notes

Two wordS; chai latte. One word; love. It more or less has to be autumn when I start drinking chai, and it’s something I look forward to all summer. This is a long-time favourite, and one of the first chai blends I tried. It’s relatively mild, as chai goes, and especially in latte form, but I don’t mind that. It just tastes all the more creamy!

I had another bad day at work, so I used two bags in a big cup, brewed with half water and topped up with hot milk. Even the smell cheers me up; it’s warming and comforting and familiar all at once. I can primarily taste the spice here; cinnamon particularly, but also cardamom. That’s actually all there is, other than ginger and vanilla, and the assam base. That’s why it tastes mild, I think, but I quite like that about it. I have more in-your-face blends for when I want that. This one is quiet and unassuming.

I don’t like this one quite as much as Teapigs’ Chilli Chai, but it’s up there. It was certainly just the tea for this evening, and for many evenings to come, no doubt.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Honeybush by Adagio Teas
1293 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’ve finished my sample packet, but I actually wouldn’t mind drinking this again. I’m not usually a fan of plain honeybush, but as they go this one’s really quite nice. It’s not fun, but sometimes fun isn’t on the agenda. A nice, vanillary, comforting (and caffiene free) tea. Well done, Adagio!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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20

This is better with milk. A lot better. I’m still not really getting blackberry, but there is a fruitiness and it’s more defined now that the base isn’t so overpoweringly bitter. I’m increasing the rating a little. It’s friday, and I feel charitable.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

Blackberry seems to be a hard one to pull off in tea. I’m still looking for a suitable one.

Angrboda

Ìf you still have more of this I would recommend trying it with cooler water. In general I find flavoured teas do best with just under boiling water (around 90°C or so). Moreover, this blend has green tea in it, which I think is what causing the extreme bitterness for you when you use boiling water. And if you don’t feel like bothering with it anymore, I’d be happy to take the rest off your hands and om-nom-nom it up for you. ;)

Anna

Angrboda, that is an amazing display of generosity right there. ;P (But yeah – as usual, you have a very good point – I’m often tricked by black/green blends; they can get horribly bitter, and in a very sneaky manner.)

Angrboda

Isn’t it just? :p Selflessly volunteering to save Scheherazade from something she dislikes. :D
(Seriously, though, Scheherazade, if you would like to swap it for something of mine you might like better, pm me.)

Scheherazade

I was thinking I’d probably try a lower temparature, and then I got sick. I might try it once more when I feel better, but otherwise I’d definitely consider a swap :)

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20

Another Jenier that’s kind of weird. I’m not having the best of luck with these. This is a black/green blend, flavoured with…what? It contains cornflowers and mallow flowers, but they’re not contributing much in the way of taste. The black and green teas are mostly what I’m getting, and the effect isn’t 100% pleasant. I gave up and read the description – the black teas are assam and Ceylon, the variety of green tea isn’t specified, and the flavour is supposed to be blackberry. Well, well. I’m not sure I’d have guessed.

The black teas are quite strong and astringent, and the green tea tastes pretty murky. The recommendation was to brew this in boiling water, which is what I did, but I think next time I’ll try letting it cool for a bit. That might help the green a little – I imagine it certainly can’t do any harm. There is a hint of fruitiness now that’s what I’m focusing on, but I wouldn’t say it’s specifically blackberry. What this is, mostly, is bitter.

That’s perhaps apt given my mood at the moment, but it’s not the tea for me right now. Back to the drawing board with this one, I think.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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50

The dry leaf here smells wonderfully of fresh strawberry. It’s just so strong and clear, it’s made me really interested in trying the brewed tea AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I was patient, though, and waited for the water to cool :)

Brewed, this is the kind of murky yellow-green that makes my heart sink. I was expecting it to be bitter, but it was actually okay. The strawberry is reasonably clear, and the sencha base is smooth and slightly vegetal in taste. I didn’t expect the strawberry to taste as strongly as it smelt, but it almost does. It’s sweet and slightly candy like, but definitely strawberry. Apparently there’s papaya in here too, but I can’t taste that.

This is probably my second favourite of the Jenier Teas I’ve tried so far. I haven’t been all that impressed on the whole, but I’ve found a couple of teas to like from the selection I chose. This is one of them.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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25

Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today. I’ve tried different steep times and temparatures, and varying the amount of leaf. I still don’t really like it, though…it’s just a bit chemically and over sweet for my tastes. I’m glad to have tried it, but there are definitely other grenadine flavoured teas I prefer.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 27, 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 ny 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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