197 Tasting Notes


It’s taken me three or four tries to get this tea right, something which I probably should have expected as it’s quite cheap on the scale of First Flush Darjeelings. Now I’ve got it right, though, it’s absolutely delicious and I know exactly why I tell people that First Flush Darjeelings are my favourite type of tea. So sweet and gentle, I just love drinking it.

For the record, the trick is to use slightly more leaves than usual, use water at 85degC and steep for 1.5 mins or thereabouts.

1 min, 45 sec

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A colleague has been telling me that he drinks Earl Grey at home, so I brought him a sample of this to try. He was impressed! It’s a very good Earl Grey, noticably different (and in my opinion better) to most other earl greys and he agreed with me.

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drank Lapsang Souchong by Twinings
197 tasting notes

I don’t often feel like lapsang souchong but this really hit the spot yesterday

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drank Mango by The Boston Tea Company
197 tasting notes

I had a really good christmas and got lots of new tea from people who see my obsession as an easy opportunity to buy me presents (I’m not complaining). But several of them remain unopened while I drink my way through this one. It’s easy (in a bag) and yet tastes very nice. It’s got the balance of fruit and tea quite well – it’s quite sweet but not so sweet that I screw up my face like I do with some so-called teas

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I can’t decide whether the addition of the kwai flower improves this. I tend to think not actually.

I’m not really into flowery teas though, so the fact that this is getting is reasonably high rating shows that it’s a pretty good tea. It also stands up very well to being steeped several times without losing the flavour, so it must be good tea!

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drank Gyokuro Asahi by Tea Palace
197 tasting notes

It’s a proud day today. I gave a cup of this to my housemate. He has had several cups of green tea at work and been very disappointed. They were cheap teabags and my personal experience is that it is very hard to find a good green teabag.

So I let him try a sip of this gyokuro that I was drinking and – wow! – he really loved it. He gulped down his builder’s tea (Tetley) and asked for a whole cup to add to the little sip he tried at first. He even said it was a little bit sweet.

I have been persevering with my housemate for over two years and he is finally showing real signs of understanding tea, and really appreciating the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. And he has such good taste in tea: as I have said before, I think this tea is excellent!

The best part about it was the funny face he pulled when he scalded his tongue. I know it’s mean to laugh, but I couldn’t help it and I laughed and laughed and laughed and he stuck his tongue out at me.

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drank Gyokuro Asahi by Tea Palace
197 tasting notes

I have a picture in my head of what a green tea tastes like. Gunpowder tea, for example, tastes a bit like it, sencha tastes even more like it. Now I have discovered Gyokuro and it seems to me to taste more like a green tea than any green tea I have ever tasted.

It’s delicious, and incredible how you can get so much flavour without tasting bitter. The experience is like a rainforest. You pull the infuser out of your pot or cup and some impossibly vibrant coloured stalks are showing through the mesh. The infuser drips with yellowish exotic-looking liquid. It smells full of life and energy and you can almost hear the animal calls and rustles that you would hear if you were in darkest Paraguay.

It’s a rainforest in a cup. Impressive for a leaf from the opposite end of the world


Speaking of gyokuro, this reminds me that I should be drinking more of it. It truly is fascinating.

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drank Green Tea by El Gawhara
197 tasting notes

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drank Tetley Tea Bag by Tetley
197 tasting notes

This is my ‘normal’ tea for home at the moment. I’m often not the person who is drinking it though, because I often make it for my housemate while I make myself something more interesting. He invariably compliments me on how good it is and asks me what it is (he’s very good at showing an interest in my tea obsession). I can’t say it’s wonderful, but it does the job it’s supposed to, and it does it pretty well


I have as well a weakness for normal blue blox plain-from-the-supermarket Tetleu in a blue box.

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I moved from the UK to Australia in 2015. I’ve had a fascination with tea since university, and like to try lots of different types. My preference is for real tea over other infusions: green tea, oolong and black, including flavoured varieties. I love encouraging people to try new teas. I also play the trombone.
>90: Some of the best I’ve had so far.
80-90: I love this tea, likely to buy again
70-80: Good tea. Most tea in my cupboard is in this category because it’s fine to drink it all day!
50-70: I’d drink it if it was offered to me, and I’ll drink what’s in the cupboard, but I’m unlikely to buy it again.


Hobart, Australia



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