263 Tasting Notes


MAN, I need to get back into writing notes for all the teas I drink. Though I expect I’ll have a little more free time soon… just finishing up a fixed-term work contract where my post is being restructured and downgraded, so back into the temp pool I go. When did I go from “just getting a day job in the meantime while I look for ways to do what I’d rather be doing” to “being forced to spend so much time looking for a day job that there’s no time left to look for ways to do what I’d rather be doing anyway because it turns out finding a day job is just as hard as becoming showrunner of Doctor Who”?

As for the tea, YES. I bought it while visiting family back in Canada because it was hot as balls out there, and I needed something I could cold-brew that my husband would like as much as me. And we love rhubarb more than sense. Good Gosh, rhubarb is good. So is this. Needs a touch of sweetening to bring out the flavours properly when it’s cold, but it’s making me a little sad that David’s TEA don’t ship to the UK because this is fit. Guess I’ll either have to see if T2 or somebody stock anything similar, or see if I can convince my brother to ship me tea in exchange for things they can’t get in Canada…

And I’ve missed you guys! How are you?


BUSY. xx

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It’s been way too long since I actually wrote a thing about a tea I’ve been drinking. I have been remiss, and I am sorry.

I remember being underwhelmed by this the first time I tried it, but maybe it just wasn’t under the right circumstances, because a 5 minute steep with milk and sugar was GLORIOUS. Like, this is hitting the spot quite perfectly in terms of exactly what it turns out I needed in this exact moment. It’s got a heady sweetness, but not in a gross, artificially oversweet way. The caramel and berry and vanilla give it a good balance of brightness and depth. It’s just delightful.


OMG, haven’t seen a post of yours in ages! What have you been up to? I went through your older notes and you got married. Awesome!

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Ooh, I’d totally forgotten I owned this one!

A nice wind-down for the end of a lovely weekend that, annoyingly, has left me as fatigued as I was at the end of work on Friday. No fair.

But at least this tea is as nice as I’ve come to know Dammann fruity things are – the base is strong and tasty, and I’m getting plenty of peachy cherries. That’s nice. This is a good ‘un. I’m glad I remembered it!

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I’d forgotten how sweet this one was, as it’s been a good month or two since I last made it. Such buttery, lemony biscuits!

Absolutely, buttery, lemony biscuits. I don’t get poppy as a thing in this, or almond per se. But definitely buttery, lemony biscuits. How many times can I say buttery, lemony biscuits in a review?

In other news, slightly despairing that my hands are itching to get stuck into new knitting projects and I have ABSOLUTELY NO MORE SPACE FOR KNITTING. Seriously. I may have to investigate viable alternatives to etsy to, like, make space for new knitted things. SO MUCH KNITTING. Also, had photos taken for my new married-people visa yesterday evening and ugh. Why do I look so bad in these photos? I’m just trying to make a neutral not-smiling face and I look like somebody’s just murdered my cat and my eyes are oddly lopsided and my forehead is all wrong and I just… UGH. It’s hard to feel self-confident in the wake of a face like that.

My spouse, on the other hand, looks like a radiantly beautiful majestic bear. It’s not fair.

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drank Konami Code Tea by Adagio Teas
263 tasting notes

So, who’s heard the UK’s Eurovision entry? It’s been pointed out to me that it’s basically this classic advert for Birdseye Potato Waffles:


… which at least has waffley versatility in its defence. The song is just… dismal. And I say this as someone who generally loves cutesy fusions of vintage things. They’ve just conceded they won’t win so put forward something deliberately cringeworthy, didn’t they?

At least this tea is something of a comfort in these dark times. In the interest of not wanting too much sweetness and a bit of a backbone to actually get me out of the house before lunchtime, I cut it with half of a pu erh which in itself is unremarkable, but is good for adding a little farm-flavour behind other stuff that’s too sweet on its own. Now that’s nice.


I don’t watch Eurovision but good on them! Beats some of the horrible clips I’ve seen from other entrants in the past.

Sami Kelsh

For me, nothing will ever beat this:



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I really do look forward to being able to hear out of my left ear again. I’m just a total loagy mess all the time right now and it’s poop.

I tend not to gravitate straight off the bat to decaf teas, but I really need to get more into the habit of not caffeinating myself at night because BY GOLLY, DO I NEED ALL THE SLEEP I CAN GET. Which is woefully little, it seems. How do other humans have normal jobs and not just be exhausted all the time?

Anywho. I always forget how much I like this tea until I make it again, and remember. It’s soft, creamy citrus instead of sharp, tart citrus, like a sunshiney pillow of flavour. It makes me feel all snuggly.

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I have been horribly, horribly remiss in actually logging tasting notes for, uhh, the entire month of February. Shame on me. I guess the wedding kind of preoccupied me for quite a while there, then I was in LA on book-promo duty (which I’m terrible at because doing social frightens me at the best of times, and actually telling people to go make a donation and invest in Seasons Of War? Eep! At least the work speaks for itself, as far as I’m concerned…) and since I got back I’ve been sick. Started with flat-out exhaustion, like, to the extent that I fell asleep at my desk enough times in a morning that I just went home for the next 2 days, then came the migraine, and now I’m deaf on the left side again. Yippee!

So I’ve actually been drinking a lot of tea in between attempting to get writing done, wrestling with spreadsheets at the office, and panicking about where the heck I’m going to rustle up £600 from for my ridiculously expensive visa application so I can keep living in the same country as my spouse. So yeah, Stupid busy.

And REALLY into the spicy teas of late – I keep reading about how cinnamon is really good for you, but not actually sure that the amount in, like, a cup of tea is going to make a lick of difference. But who cares? It’s delicious. It’s like a super-spiced apple crumble that snuggles you from the inside out. I love this tea. It’s spicy and juicy and cozy and all of the things I want to be drinking right now.


Oh my! I hope you feel better and things settle down soon.

Sami Kelsh

Thanks! I think we’re slowly crawling towards normal :)

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For the past couple months, I’ve basically repeated the words “wedding dress” to myself every time I’m tempted to just go eat mac n’ cheese for lunch instead of edamame because everyone wants me to do everything at once and my salary band does not remotely justify this level of pressure. Wedding dress, I tell myself as I succumb to another packet of biscuits because THEY’RE RIGHT THERE ON MY DESK ALL THE TIME AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE THEM ANYMORE BUT THEY’RE THEEEEEEEEEEEERE. Wedding dress, wedding dress, wedding dress.

I have to fit into this thing on Saturday. I’m pretty sure any pretense of trying to eliminate any of my abundant lumps can be thrown out the window now. Surely it is so. We’ll both make a concerted effort to fit into those too-tight jeans as newlyweds. Honest to gosh, we will.

But first, I really want mac n’ cheese for lunch. There’s kale in it. Surely that counts as one of my five-a-day. I had matcha and rice milk for breakfast.

But I digress. I thought I’d tried this one already, but apparently I hadn’t, and what a very pleasant surprise it was! Like boom, pineapple and juicy and sweet-floral with a luscious, soft mouthfeel. It’s going to take all the willpower I have not to scoff the entire bag of this pretty quickly. It’s gorgeous. I’m so glad I get to try it.


saturday! OMG!!! congratulations!!


Congrats! I hope it all goes well, and once the wedding dress is no longer a worry, spoil yourself thoroughly with delicious food :)


Pre-congratulations on the wedding, Sami!

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How is the weekend halfway over? Ok so we kind of slept until half past 10 and then played Lego Marvel Superheroes until like 1 and I broke the salt shaker and set of the smoke alarm attempting to cook sole meuniere. Good day. I need more weekend than this. Booooooooo.

As for the tea, it’s nice having a tropical fruity solution when you want citrussy goodness with sweet sunshine and absolutely no coconut. The green rooibos base plays very well indeed with fruit, and this is a perfect example of that. And it’s also really nice when you leave the last third of it until it’s stone cold. This will serve me well in the summertime, I think.


Sounds like a rocking weekend so far!

Sami Kelsh

I wish it was still weekend! That weekend was fierce!

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I realise that pumpkin spice is kind of an autumnal flavour profile, but after a really good think about what I should be wanting to drink in January, I couldn’t really get beyond this. It fits the cold weather: it’s spicy and creamy and warm and I’m definitely tasting the pumpkin, with lashings of cinnamon and nutmeg. Honestly, this is kind of just the sort of thing I want to have year-round anyway. It’s gorgeous.

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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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