266 Tasting Notes

drank Strawberries and Cream by T2
266 tasting notes

We initially bought this one for my husband, who only likes standard Tea and fruity things you can serve on ice, but as it’s edging further and further away from iced-drink season, I feel justified in serving this hot and liberally sweetened.

Is it weird that I rather like hot fruit teas? I have a friend who drinks hot Vimto, so at least I’m drinking something that, under most circumstances, is meant to be consumed warm. This one’s really nice: I think the bit of creaminess – and there is a bit of it – around the very pretty taste of strawberry takes the edge off of any hibiscus-tart that would otherwise threaten to dominate. This is good.

I noticed last time I visited the Westgate in London that T2 now has an outpost there, which has robbed me of my only excuse to go to Shoreditch and pretend I’m cool.

(Which is probably for the best, because I am not cool enough to be in Shoreditch.)

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drank Sleep by Twinings
266 tasting notes

You can probably guess based on my tasting notes of late that I did a little supermarket teabag binge when I started my new job, so I’d have a stash of hopefully decent things to hand in my desk drawer, without alarming the colleague I share an office with by constantly measuring loose-leaf into an infuser.

I’m also currently watching what I eat and drink to try and solve a lingering health issue, which sadly means I’m restricting myself to one caffeinated drink per day. This means a TON of herbals at work, and while Sleep seems a counterintuitive choice for when I’m meant to be getting stuff done, I’m figuring that I’ll be better off if its calming properties help keep stress at bay anyway.

And it’s not like I was falling asleep at my desk today. In fact, I was standing for most of the day, shimmying about to Radio 6 with my headphones on. That’s how I roll when I have an office to myself.

As for the tea – OH, YOU JEWEL! I mean, it was delicious, but I’m mainly really excited to have found an herbal blend with absolutely no licorice root at all! It’s ruined so many otherwise potentially nice teas for me! THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING IN THIS TEA, LICORICE ROOT! The first taste is definitely chamomile, but the other gentle herbal and floral tastes definitely get a look in, for which I’m also grateful. It’s got a lovely, pillowy soft texture and subtle sweetness. I’ll be keeping this in heavy rotation in the desk drawer, I reckon.


I hope you’ll be able to tackle those health issues. Must be rough having to be that strict.

Sami Kelsh

It’s annoying, but on the other hand it’s forcing me to be sensible about all the food choices I make, without actually being too restrictive? I’m just hoping that it’s enough to heal me and I can be a little bit more free with tea-drinking again soon :)

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By some miracle, I don’t taste the licorice in this. I take it very hot and quite sweet, and it just tastes like cherries sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, which is such a winning combo for me. Always pleased to find a fruit blend I can pick up in an emergency (as I only drink this when I’m under the weather, and as I have to be VERY careful about caffeine as well these days) and drink at the office. Good.

Feeling masses of professional envy today, as a big announcement about a new range of stories has been all over my feed, and all I can think is how I’m happy about it but having to suppress that nagging sense of sorrow eroding at my sense of Monday emotional well-being because WELL DAMMIT, NOBODY WANTS TO PAY ME TO WRITE ANYTHING. At this point, it kind of obliterates my motivation rather than spurring me on.


I’m pretty much constantly in a state of professional envy, so I do relate. Hang in there; for what it’s worth, I would pay you to write if I had the money.

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drank Settling Ginger by Twinings
266 tasting notes

I’m not giving this a number because gosh knows I added way too much honey to know what it actually tastes like in and of itself.

But hey, I’m under the weather, so surely that’s allowed, right?

As it is, I’m getting lovely warm notes of honey, masses of spicy and warming ginger (as one would expect from a ginger tea) and just a hint of clove and cinnamon. Almost enough to make it akin to a very gingery chai, but not quite, and I think the honey killed any suggestion of licorice root, thank goodness. It’s a winner, and exactly the kind of cheap, restorative brew I need to drink to excess without feeling guilty about how expensive or hard to acquire it is. GOOD.

It’s really awkward having no voice, incidentally. This dude had brought his bike into the supermarket for some stupid reason and then apparently I brushed against it looking at ice creams and it fell over (because, duh-doy, why would you bring your bike into the supermarket) and I tried to apologise but my voice makes basically no noise at the moment, and he started carrying on about how many press-ups he does every day? I’m like bully for you, friend, I’m proud of the fact that I got out of bed and put on actual going-out clothes this morning! SO WEIRD.

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drank Berry Poppins by DAVIDsTEA
266 tasting notes

Probably not the best time to evaluate a tea when you’re under the weather, but never mind.

I fear that, following a visit to the doctor earlier this week, it’s become clear that I’m going to have to seriously restrict my caffeine intake at the moment, for the sake of my poor, beleaguered oesophagus. This is going to be tough. This is also going to mean taking a closer look at a lot of the herbal and fruit stuff I’ve got in my cupboard.

(Except for mint, apparently, which pains me greatly. I LOVE IT SO MUCH)

But anyway. For someone whose sense of taste and smell is probably decidedly askew, I will say that of the two ways I’ve had this prepared in the last 12 hours, I liked it hot and lightly sweetened better than cold and unsweetened. I do find with some of these flavoured and fruity things that you get a taste of artificial sweetness coming through, which I oddly find is only tempered by adding a bit of actual sugar. And I’m VERY sensitive to artificially sweet tastes, and I also hate them.

Otherwise, a scrummy, berry brew! What tartness there is isn’t overwhelming, which I’m grateful for. I look forward to giving the cold brew another go when I have all my senses back properly… sniffle cough wheeze


Oh no! Feel better.

Sami Kelsh

Thanks keychange! I can’t talk now, but I almost otherwise feel normal! Been sipping on standard super-honeyed ginger tea all day to try and clear out all the badness :p

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drank Mango & Strawberry by Twinings
266 tasting notes

This might be better with sugar, but I’m on a fast day. Mostly it just tastes tart-sour and generically fruity. I’m really finding, on the whole, that apart from Twining’s cherry and cinnamon (which is the bomb when I’m under the weather) bagged fruit teas all sort of taste the same to me. It scratches the fruity-things itch if I’m desperate, otherwise nah.

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drank Love by Pukka
266 tasting notes

Found this hanging out in the cupboard at work and figured what the hey, as I’ve yet to import masses of work-tea to my new office.

I didn’t think much of it before adding a sachet of sugar, so I don’t think this will be in my regular rotation of daytime teas, as I’m desperately trying to shift the massive paunch I’ve somehow managed to accrue in the last year. Ugh. I’ve gone up two trouser sizes. So depressing. I can’t afford new trousers. I just keep alternating between two pairs at the office and hope nobody notices I clearly don’t own any other trousers that fit. IT IS SLIM DOWN TIME BECAUSE I REALLY DO HAVE OTHER TROUSERS, HONEST

But I digress. I think the reason I felt the need to add sugar to this is that it has a sweet note behind the predominantly chamomile flavour – that’s probably the licorice root at work. I don’t know what it is about licorice root, but the weird sweetness it imparts to some teas gives me this sort of gross cognitive dissonance that makes me need to add actual sugar to make it palatable (probably because I don’t notice the licorice-derived sweet anymore). Which is a shame, because all the other flavours in here are things I should like. Other than that, I mostly get chamomile. Oh well. At least it was free.

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drank Divine Elixir by Tea People
266 tasting notes

Picked up a sample of this at a food festival recently, and I’m very pleased I did. I was intrigued because of the sheer number of different kinds of tea leaves going on in here (pai mu tan, darjeeling green tea, chinese fog tea, sencha, lung ching, gunpowder, jasmine jade pearls) but it’s really well-blended, as it all comes together into a nicely light-bodied brew. There are notes of that grassy-peachiness of the teas poking through beneath a slightly citrus-tart, floral fruitiness that’s just really doing it for me right now. Sweet, with a nice palate-cleansing sharpness on the end. It’s good.

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My head is killing me, but MY GOSH this is good.

A whirlwind day today, in the office in the morn, then dashed off to London to interview the cast and writers of the film Bill, from the people who brought you quality things like Horrible Histories and Yonderland. Such lovely people and I hope they do very very well indeed. I want to be their friends. :3

Then stopped off at the Japan Centre to stock up on Crunky biscuits and dorayaki. NOMS. Good day, but the shifting air pressure out there is killing me!

As for the tea, yes. Yes yes yes, yes. I love a good dragon pearl, and this one’s got lovely soft cocoa notes and it’s smooth as heck. There’s a bit of honey and malt in there too. It’s the kind of tea I like to drink when I drink plain black tea, really. Perfect.

Also, my husband bought me a Soup Dragon figurine to go with the Small Clanger I’m knitting. :’) I love Soup Dragon so much.


Whoa! you’re married?! wow! it really has been a while since I’ve been on here. I seem to remember you calling him your boyfriend!


How exciting! I’m sure the photo is lovely :) :) (blind girl here LOL). I love weddings…we got married last September!

carol who

The photo is great. It really tells me a lot about your and your sense of humor. ;P What are you holding in the photo?

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I am currently battling with my office’s financials programme.


This is the actual worst. I’ve been wrestling with it for like an hour and it’s destroying my soul. I think Oracle Financials R12 is gaslighting me. Bastards.

This is probably my second-last cup of this blend, before I have to face the decision of when I’ve depleted my cupboard enough to be allowed to re-order. Sigh. It’s been good to me, this one. It was markedly tasting on the pu erh side of things today, with that sort of coffee-ish smoothness taking a backseat to pleasant earth. It’s a good, grounding brew. It probably helped me to not throw my computer out of thE BLOODY WINDOW BECAUSE OF THIS SODDING TAX ENGINE DECIDING IT DOESN’T WANT TO RUN, BLOODY BLOODY BLOODY


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My Time Lord name is the Brewmaster. Currently working on People Of Who, an exhibition of portraits of the people who made Doctor Who happen. Professional dilettante. Literary enthusiast, frustrated sometime writer. Knitter of things.


Probably a small grey sofa in Oxford



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