110 Tasting Notes

67

Had a little too much to eat at Easter dinner (postponed until today because we helped my sister-in-law move into her new house), so I wanted something to help settle my tummy. This seemed like the most suitable tea in my possession.

I’m not super keen on this. I like mint and fennel most of the time, and you can definitely taste both, but I can’t help thinking that the flavor suffered because it’s a bagged supermarket tea rather than a loose blend you’d get from a tea shop. My stomach does feel better than it did before, so that’s got to count for something.

Preparation
Boiling

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58

The bagged version of this is what I’ve taken to drinking at my in-laws’ house. It’s rather old (best before date was 18 months ago), but it’s still better than Twinings Everyday!

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32

This is what my in-laws stock at their house. I’ve been drinking this stuff every time I come to visit for over five years, and I still haven’t figured out how to make it taste good. It doesn’t taste bad, per se; it mostly tastes like nothing. I guess it’s okay if you just want a comforting warm beverage and there’s nothing else available but it’s not like there’s a lack of options – we’re in England, damn it! No supermarket bagged black tea I’ve tried is as insipid as this one.

At least I managed to find a box of English breakfast that must have gotten lost in the cupboard :)

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67

This was on clearance at a local health food store, so I went for it (to my partner’s chagrin, seeing me come home with yet another box of tea).

Upon opening the packet it smells exactly like a vanilla pod, no doubt owing to the ground vanilla beans it contains. I took a sip after it had been steeping for 3 minutes, but found it a bit weak and left the bag in for the full 5. It was okay plain, better with sugar, and about the same level of tastiness with a splash of soymilk toward the end of the cup. The vanilla flavor was quite herbal – almost medicinal, but not in a way that made me dislike it. Should make a nice addition to my stash of bedtime brews.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Highland Fling by Eteaket
110 tasting notes

Just received my Eteaket order today! I was going to try the Sailor of Hamburg blend, but what arrived in that caddy did not match the photo on the website (I think I got coffee leaf tea instead).

I went for my second choice, Highland Fling, a CTC blend that smells like it has quite a kick to it. The leaf bits are smaller than I was expecting and surprisingly dusty – there was a little shadow of fine particles left on the counter when I moved my filled infuser into my cup.

It’s punchy, like the description says. Straight up it’s quite similar to my usual morning black bagged tea – strong and bitter, but with a bigger astringent twang, and somewhat more drinkable, oddly enough. The drinkability improves with sugar (though the 1 tsp I added was probably a bit much). I then added soymilk, thinking a tea like this would take it very well, but it covers up a lot of the appealing flavors. When I was almost finished with the cup I was met with some more particles that had escaped the infuser and expanded to the size of coffee grounds. Blech.

It’s a pretty nice tea on the whole, but it seems a little unnecessary to keep on hand when I have bagged black tea that I like – they take milk better and don’t leave gritty sludge in the bottom of my cup. Maybe I’ll get some paper infusers for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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89

Lately I just haven’t felt up to evaluating tea, so I’ve been sticking mainly to my old reliable strong bagged black + soymilk + sugar. But now we’re in the throes of a cold snap and I’m drinking cup after cup to keep warm, so I figured it was about time I tried a loose tea from my stash that I haven’t reviewed.

I still don’t have the vocabulary to describe this one, but I really like it! “Earthy” is probably a good word for it. It’s smooth and kind of sweet and savory at the same time, and it went nicely with the sourdough rye toast I had with it. I happily drank the whole cup without even considering adding milk or sweetener. I think I would prefer it a bit stronger, so I’ll just have to watch how much water I put in my cup next time.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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55

Opening the packet, it smells like ripe red fruits; steeping, it smells deliciously juicy. I can taste both the white tea and pomegranate, as well as a bitter/astringent edge that grows stronger as the tea cools. Reasonably good for what it is, but I wish it tasted more like it smells.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Cloud Nine by Clipper
110 tasting notes

Feeling a little woozy this afternoon, possibly from too much caffeine. Perhaps a full pot of that English breakfast is not the best way for me to start the day. So I figure now is as good a time as any to try an herbal.

Aroma while steeping is apple-y and somewhat grassy, with a floral note. I don’t really know how to describe the taste, though… there’s the definite sweet aftertaste from the licorice root, but everything else seems to be blending together. I’m not too impressed by it, but it is helping to ground me a bit (contrary to the name, hurr hurr). Next time I’ll go for a longer steep.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Aroma from the bag: citrusy, floral, very sweet

First steep
Scent while steeping: mostly charcoal-y
Color: medium yellow-brown
Flavor: charcoal-y with some sweetness & floral notes

I used 1 1/2 tsp loose tea and probably too much water (I was shooting for 8 oz in the tea maker but it wound up almost overfilling my mug), so no rating just yet.

ETA: 2nd and 3rd steeps were much more smooth and mellow with nice fruity-floral overtones and a mild complementary smokiness. I’ll wait until next time to rate, but it’s a good’un!

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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58

Another pot for breakfast! I can see why people like this (it was voted one of Whittard’s top 3 teas by customers) because it’s not bad with milk & sugar. Only 79 more grams to go…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.

Location

Bristol, UK

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