620 Tasting Notes

67
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
620 tasting notes

Alright, a real sipdown for the day – 177/397.

This one found me through the EU TTB and Anna forever ago, and I’ve been putting off drinking it because it just terrifies me. I’m biased against grapefruit at the best of times because of the bitterness, and green tea because of the astringency I usually associate with it, so combined… don’t ask me why I picked it out of the box, I really have no idea (it was just a small sample, though). The fact that Lupicia recommend brewing this in boiling water made me super wary, but I also had a small sample of Happiness, another green tea which Lupicia recommend at boiling point, at ignored their instructions and got nowhere with the tea. So this time, instead of my usual parameters for green tea, I compromised and went with 90C. I honestly don’t know how long it was steeping because I forgot to set my timer, but I’m guessing around 3 minutes, so a little longer than recommended. I held my breath, took a sip and… surprisingly tasty! I don’t know why I was so worried. The green tea has held up well against the hotter temperature, and the grapefruit is bright and citrusy without being too bitter to enjoy. It has a slight sting and a bitterness to the end of the sip, but very manageable and it adds to the overall ‘grapefruit’ effect nicely. Surprisingly I enjoy this one much more than Happiness, which adds peach to the grapefruit and green tea, a flavour I typically love. It’s not something I would actively seek out, but I am impressed and happy I picked it out to try. I would definitely drink it again – I can see myself starting my day with a cup of this tea, a bowl of natural yoghurt and some toast while sitting on the veranda of a fancy apartment in a foreign city, stealing a moment of peace and quiet with a good book while my boyfriend walks our (imaginary) dog. Yes, I am very glad to have tried this one!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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51
drank Sleigh Ride by DAVIDsTEA
620 tasting notes

I don’t remember much about this, as I drank it a couple of years ago and forgot to remove it from my cupboard. On the plus side though, my DAVIDsTEAs are back from the grave! Or the garage, I should say, which is where I found them, all packed up for some unknown reason. I hadn’t actually realised I’d drank this one until I came across the empty tin. All I remember is that I didn’t like it as much as Forever Nuts, but it was pretty similar, just with a fruity sourness I didn’t enjoy too much. Oh, well. Another day, another sipdown. Might try to squeeze another one in since this is cheating.

176/397

tea-sipper

You found them! haha

Nattie

I did! I’ve never been more surprised, lol. Or more relieved!

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94

Yesyesyes I LOVE this one! Having only drank it once before this sample from VariaTEA (thank you!) got lost in amongst my stash until I went on the hunt for a blackberry tea and stumbled across it again. The scent of the dry leaf is absolutely intoxicating, and it only gets better as the tea brews. Huge chunks of waffle and whole blackberries make it visually stunning, too, and the whole experience is rounded out by the incredible flavour. Even after following the recommended steeping parameters of 5 minutes at almost boiling, there is very little astringency and the black base comes across as very smooth with a honey-like sweetness that really compliments the blackberry note which is strongest overall. The maple is noticeable throughout the sip too, and the fluffy golden waffle comes in at the end, which surprised me. I didn’t add any milk this time, as I was enjoying the bright juicy blackberry notes too much, but I did add a drop of maple syrup and it amped up the waffle comparison by a notch. I just about guzzled my entire mug down, and am about to go and resteep the leaves even though I had planned to move on to another tea next! I think this is the only tea I’ve tried from The NecessiTeas, and it was an excellent introduction. I’ve added it to my wishlist already, checked out The NecessiTeas website to make sure they ship to the UK (they do!) and might be eyeing up a few blends I want to try once this comes back into stock and I’ve got through a sufficient chunk of my current teas.

This gives me Butiki’s-little-sister vibes, which is very exciting.

ETA: The base doesn’t hold up to a second steep, but that’s okay. The blackberry has faded too so now it’s like eating a jam donut.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

Ooh, yum!(I may have posted this twice, but this sounds worthy of two yums.)

Nattie

It is definitely yum yum worthy!

Martin Bednář

Blackberry tea which tastes like blackberries? Really it is possible?

tea-sipper

The problem with Necessiteas is they usually have so many things out of stock.

Nattie

@Martin – it’s true! Juicy and fresh (:

Nattie

@tea sipper – ah no! ): fingers crossed this comes back into stock, because it is definitely going on the future purchase list!

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30
drank Pear Drops by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
620 tasting notes

Nope. This is not a pear drop tea. It’s a flat woody rooibos and lapacho blend with cloyingly sweet liquorice root at the end of the sip that lingers and sticks to the back of your throat. It does remind me of eating liquorice root sticks as a kid, and if it were marketed as a liquorice root tea I wouldn’t enjoy it any more but I’d at least be more impressed with the comparison. As it is, it is both disappointing and miles off base with not even a hint of pear in sight.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
620 tasting notes

Resteeped my leaves in less water and for a minute longer, and I think I actually enjoy this more than I did the first steep! The banana is actually coming through more now, not a flavour I usually enjoy but here it works. I added a pinch of sugar but no milk this time, just to make the flavours pop. Coconut banoffee pie goodness. Yummy. As it cools the coconut is taking on a slightly sour note – probably my fault for leaving my leaves in the IngenuiTEA overnight. But it’s Butiki though, so no ragrets.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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98
drank Hello Sweetie by Butiki Teas
620 tasting notes

Nomnomnomnomnom. Thank goodness this tea still tastes as good as ever! After a day of mostly duds and disappointingly-ageing teas, I am ending on a high note. I even convinced my dad to try it! His first cup of loose leaf ever! He said he’s not keen but he can drink it, which is as good as I could hope for – my father is a very fussy man. I added milk before I remembered I prefer it without, but all that really did was bring the coconut out slightly more over the caramel praline goodness. Adding sugar really makes this one pop. I’m almost out and I will be very sad to see it go, but I need to drink it while it’s still good. The faded teas I had earlier have scared me into action.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
tea-sipper

I’ve been meaning to re-visit my Butiki teas…

Nattie

Do it!! Most of mine are still fine, but a couple (including one of my favourites) have turned bad in the last couple of months and I’m so upset ):

Kawaii433

It could be. I think I’ve been here for a little over a year. I can’t change it on my phone or on my laptop. There is what a get: Error 503 first byte timeout
first byte timeout

Guru Mediation:
Details: cache-dca17781-DCA 1588813068 974986809

Kawaii433

oops wrong thread :P

Nattie

@Kawaii433 – lol! I know what you meant XD I actually did get that message once a couple of days ago but I refreshed the page and it was fine

mrmopar

Enabling your dad is a good thing. Draw him into the fold.

Nattie

Lol, I knew if anything could draw him in it would be Doctor Who themed teas!

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75
drank Snowball by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
620 tasting notes

Blech! This is ruined with age. Damn you, coconut! It’s all I can taste. When it was still hot, the sweet creamy coconut and chocolate was sort of mildly present before a slightly sour aftertaste, but now my cup is cooling the rancid coconut has completely taken over. Rating based on how it was when it was good. I’ll have to purchase more next winter and give this tea the write-up it deserves, because it really was very tasty once.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

Drinking this one right after the Plum Compote and Cashew Cake for comparison, with half a sugar just as I had in that one. I’d hoped that the flavour profile wasn’t as faded as I remember it being, but alas, my memory was correct. The brandy is nowhere to be found while the plum plays hard-to-get. It’s such a shame because this used to be one of my favourites, too. The cheesecake note, once all but lost and consumed by the heady combination of plum and brandy, is now curiously the only note still discernible. I think I might combine some of this with the PC&CC and see where that gets me, and perhaps try again with double the leaf. I am desperate to chase down something of that wonderful elixir from my memory before this tea is lost forever. I fear I will fail, but I must try.

Something about this tea is making me write like a Victorian gentleman, for some reason. Idk what’s going on there. Carry on.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

Half a sugar and no milk seems to be the way I’ve settled on drinking this tea. I accidentally overleafed a little bit, which is bringing out some astringency in the base tea, but it’s also amped up the cake note which I don’t usually get as much from this tea. While it was steeping I enhaled the scent and was immediately transported to a farm shop tea room. That’s exactly what it smells like! The scent of tea and baked goods is dead on. I’ve never had an actual ‘plum compote and cashew cake’ but this does strongly remind me of a suet pudding with jam – something like a jam roly poly. The cashew isn’t something I notice, it just blends into the overall cakiness of the tea. Plum cake is still delicious though! Upping my rating just a teeny tiny bit from 76 to account for the additional cakiness. Next time I think I’ll play with the steeping parameters to see if I can keep that note while toning down the astringency.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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88
drank Summer Rose by Adagio Teas
620 tasting notes

Well, I am an idiot! I apparently counted this tea as a sipdown ages ago and removed it from my cupboard, when in reality I’ve had the last spoonful sitting in my tea box for ages, going unnoticed! Drinking it black as it’s underleafed and the Adagio black base isn’t coming through too strongly. The rose is still delicious and delicate without getting lost. I have a couple of small tins of Whittard’s English Rose tea to get through, but might eventually repurchase this when I’m in need of a staple rose tea without frills. There we go, now it really is a sipdown! facepalm

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Shae

Oh I love floral black teas. I might have to check this one out.

Nattie

It’s a good no-frills rose, and definitely one of Adagio’s best, but it’s not exactly the most nuanced or complex floral out there. I like it for when I want something uncomplicated. (:

Shae

Hey that sounds good to me!

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Profile

Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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