92 Tasting Notes


This tea is a result of a nationwide contest for choosing New Zealand’s preferred Earl Grey. Last year Twining’s put out the chosen Breakfast, which was such a winner, so I was very keen to try this years pick.

I prefer this without milk or sugar, steeped for 3 minutes. Which is odd, since I hardly ever have earl greys without milk, but find it dulls the citrus notes too much.

Taste wise, it’s basically the classic Twining’s Earl Grey with sweet orange added. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong. I will have to revisit this one as I think my expectations were a bit unfair to this cup. =/

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut Rough by t Leaf T
92 tasting notes

Woohoo, new Game of Thrones!

Dry, this smells of chocolate and caramel with a titch of coconut. The tea is full of chocolate and coconut pieces.

5 minutes – The rooibos is the dominant flavour, followed by coconut.

7 minutes – Coconut comes through more, with some hints of chocolate, all the while being backed by rooibos.

After being steeped for 10 minutes the chocolate comes through a lot more and the rooibos diminishes significantly.

Overall, quite nice with or without additions and being caffeine free is always a bonus for expanding late night options.

Boiling 8 min or more

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This smells mainly of lemongrass, but once steeped more of a lemon and lemon zest flavour come through. A little zingy (for a unflavored herbal), overall quite a nice cup to wind down with at night.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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Dry, this smells of rich cocoa and black tea. MMMmmmmm!

I tried this at 3 minutes (which is usually my cut off point for blacks) and while I liked it, I chose to steep it for another minute. I was pleasantly surprised, this actually pulls of a semblance of chocolate, unlike other chocolate teas I’ve tried. Not artificial chocolate, or cheap oily chocolate, but rich dark chocolate. I added milk to try to bring out any creamy notes if present, but it overwhelmed the cup.

Next time I’ll try a 5 minute steep or overleafing if I’m planning to have it with milk. Quite nice on it’s own though.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Mon Secret by Nina's Paris
92 tasting notes

The keemun base is smooth, but that is all I’m tasting sadly. No peach, melon or papaya. There’s a light fruit scent, but I’m not finding that it comes through in taste.

My thanks to Laurent from Nina’s Teas for the sample.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Sounds like my experience. Maybe if we had more than a sample, we could get more fruit chunks in there?

Miss Starfish

Perhaps that’s the issue, but I have found that all of the samples that I’ve been lucky enough to try have lent more towards being perfumed then flavored. It’s common for the human body to register fragrance as taste when eating, so that could attribute for reviews saying they could barely taste the additions. It could be that the samples may be from the “bottle of the barrel” or perhaps old stock (although I would doubt it) as well. Who knows!

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This tea smells quite strongly of clove and cinnamon, so I was surprised that even went steeped for just under 5 minutes it was really weak, even the black base. Disappointing.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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drank Demain by Nina's Paris
92 tasting notes

Dry, this smells wonderful! Juicy raspberries and strawberries abound.

Steeped, it tastes like mellow green tea and a titch of raspberries. The berries come through more in scent than taste, which is still lovely.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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This tea’s claim to fame is that it uses apples from King Louis XVI’s kitchen garden in Versailles, which is pretty damn cool. After sampling this blend, I’m wondering whether Marie-Antoinette ordered her husband’s apple trees to be watered with wine? ;)

Dry, this smelled like a cheap sauvignon blanc. Bleh!
Steeped it smells a bit better, like mulled wine and there’s the Jolly Rancher note that others are mentioning. Taste, hint of light rose, but overall just fermented.

Kind thanks to Laurent for the sample, but this one isn’t for me.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I brewed this western style and easily got 9 full flavoured steeps!

The leaves are long and unfurl beautifully. Scent is sweet, floral and lightly starchy. When brewed it has a slight syrupy mouth feel with cocoa, honey, and floral notes. Can be slightly malty depending how long it’s steeped for (longer steep = more malt) which is a nice addition. This tea takes milk well, but is so beautiful by itself that I much prefer it without.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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Main notes were lemon and bergamot, no caramel present. I didn’t care for it plain, but I believe that’s more due to how long I steeped it (4 minutes). The liquor is relatively dark, which surprised me.

With milk, the lemon and bergamot blended together and a light caramel note came out. Yum.

With milk and sugar, the caramel note comes out a lot more, not just in sweetness but gooey creamy caramel. MMMmmm.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I generally take my tea straight, although occasionally blacks may end up with a splash of milk if I’m after a certain comfort factor. I’m enjoying expanding my tea palate, and am so far favoring whites and greens the most, although oolongs and blacks aren’t that far behind. Still deciding on rooibos, and have yet to try honeybush.

Likes: Coconut (addict), Peach, Honeydew, Various Melons, Lychee, Nectarine, [Blood and normal] Orange, Tangerine, Berries in general, but specifically Strawberry and Raspberry, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Caramel, Pecan…

Dislikes: Licorice, Coffee, Grapefruit…

I haven’t perfected a rating table as of yet, so here’s some bad tea jokes instead!

What is a baby teapots favorite game?

What does a teapot say to it’s lover?
O, dajarling!

How long does it take to ship tea from China by slow boat?
Oolong Time!

What does a tea bag do when it’s tired?
It seeps.

What do lady teapots like to wear?
String of Earls!

Why did the tea get away?
Because it was loose.


New Zealand

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