1768 Tasting Notes

85

I’ve surprised myself by developing a craving for this one over the last couple of weeks. Pu’erh is a thing my brain is still afraid of, even though I’ve tried enough by now to know that I actually quite like it. My first experience with this one was good, as far as I can recall. My reacquaintance with it was, possibly, even better. It’s the sweetest pu’erh I’ve ever tried, with a really prominent sugar cane flavour and a decent dose of creaminess. It mellows with successive steeps, the initial heady sweetness fading as more earthy, mulchy flavours develop. It’s kinda perfect for this time of year, and I’m just a little bit addicted. I’m nearly done with my pouch, and this is one I’m (quite unexpectedly) going to miss.

Preparation
1 tsp

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65

A work kitchen freebie. I feel like elderflower tea is a relatively rare thing in the UK, so I rarely pass up an opportunity to try one. This box was sitting out in our work kitchen, so obviously someone didn’t like it. It’s generally always worth a punt, though, isn’t it?

I gave the bag (a silk pyramid thingum – I don’t rate these any more highly than normal tea bags, to be honest) 4 minutes in boiling water. Probably I could have left it longer, but I’m impatient. To taste, it’s actually…pretty good. I can taste the elderflower, although the pear is clearly the primary flavour. If I had one criticism, it would be that it’s a little over-sweet. It reminds me a lot more of a pear drop than an actual pear, in that floral, sugary, powerfully intense way that pear drops sometimes have. The apple is lost entirely. I wouldn’t know it was there based on taste alone, and I don’t think it should have headline billing in the name – that’s kinda misleading, because this is not an apple tea. It’s a pear and elderflower tea, and nothing else.

I like it, though. If I found it in my local Tesco, I might even pick up a box.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80

I’ve been drinking this one every day at work for a week or so now, and I’m more pleased with it than I expected to be. Oolongs aren’t usually my favourite thing, but this one is very much like a light black tea, with just a touch of roastiness in the mid-sip. The orange flavouring is pretty natural-tasting, neither too sharp nor too sweet. Thankfully, there’s very little floral.

I bought this one on holiday two years ago, so it’s about time it saw the light of day. I’ve got so lazy in recent months that I’m basically just resteeping a generous teaspoon all day. The orange flavour departs around the third steep, but the light oolong that’s left behind is very palatable – no fuss, easy to drink, and not a tea I really have to pay attention to. That seems to suit my mood at the moment. I know it’s not like me, though, and I hope that one day soon I start to feel more like myself again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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95

Kinda hurried today, but these are my thoughts on this one:

For the first few steeps, I get primarily freshly baked bread with a touch of chocolate. After the third steep, there’s more of a honey-like flavour. Deliciously smooth throughout, with no bitterness or astringency. First steeps around 2-3 minutes, later ones around 3-4 minutes, always in boiling water, no additions.

Another excellent tea from Teavivre, would absolutely, definitely purchase again.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Sounds mightily lovely!

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80

A sample from Teavivre. The first thing I noticed about this one, other than it’s long, thick, twisty leaves, was how light it is. Even after 3-4 minutes, it’s still a medium golden brown. Most of the Yunnan/Dian Hongs I’ve tried have been similar, but still usually darker (at least on first steep) than this one gets. It’s actually quite refreshing, because there’s none of that black tea “heaviness”, and (of course) no bitterness or astringency. There’s no impact on the flavour, either – that’s still full and surprisingly fruity.

I was expecting bread/chocolate, but this one’s a little different. I’m getting mostly stone fruit flavours – apricot, maybe a touch of plum. There’s also a mild earthiness that reminds me a little bit of ripe pu’erh, but it’s by no means overpowering. Subsequent steeps have a little breadiness in the mid-sip, and a touch of honey towards the end of the sip, but the main flavour for me is the fruit. It’s light and juicy, perfectly smooth, and just right for a warm summer afternoon. Another win from Teavivre!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
TeaVivre

Lots of my teavivre colleagues enjoy this tea quite much, including me!

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90

A sample from Teavivre. I’ve been excited to try this one for a while, since Yunnan teas are a favourite of mine. Somehow, though, I’ve just never got around to it. Call it life, maybe. Today is as good a day as any, besides.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in almost-boiling water. The scent is malt and honey with a hint of chocolate, and the taste is similar – it’s always nice to find a tea that lives up to its scent! The initial sip is brown sugar and malt, but a dark chocolate flavour develops in the mid-sip and lingers nicely. It’s super-smooth, with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. I’ll be resteeping this one!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

This one came to me as a free sample from Teavivre ages ago, and I’ve only got around to trying it now. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – some extreme form of lethargy, apparently. I’m drinking tea, but I’m not writing about it; there are a lot of things I’m just not feeling at the moment, sadly.

I used half the sample pouch – 5 pearls – for my cup (I’ll be resteeping for sure!) I gave them 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. To taste, it’s pretty much as I expected. I feel like I’ve tried something very similar from Teavivre before, but I’ve no previous notes on this specific tea, so it can’t be this one. Maybe it wasn’t organic, or something? Anyway, it’s malty, with all the thick-tasting sweetness that suggests. There’s also a chocolately, cocoa-like flavour, which, if I’m honest, was what I was hoping for when I picked this one out today. Delicious! This is a dragon pearl I’ll seriously consider keeping around.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Terri HarpLady

I haven’t written tea reviews for ages, although I did finally write one yesterday.

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25
drank Retro Ted by Bluebird Tea Co.
1768 tasting notes

I didn’t much care for this one the first time I tried it, but I thought I’d give it another chance last time I placed a Bluebird order. Turns out I still don’t like it. It sounds good in principle – pineapple, lemongrass, coconut – a Hawaiian/tropical fruit tea blend. But no. It also contains rose, and I’m wondering if that’s what’s making it sit wrong with me. I’m not generally a fan of floral teas (although there are a few exceptions…), and I think it’s the rose-coconut-pineapple combination that’s kinda “ugh” to me. Most people seem to quite like this one, but I really, really can’t abide it. At least now I know!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
ashmanra

That sounds like a very odd combination of flavors to me!

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55

I’ve been drinking a new sample bag of this one over the last couple of days, and I think, on the whole, I like it a little less than I used to (and I didn’t like it a lot to begin with.) Hot, it’s a whole lot of hibby – tart, sour, and tell-tale red in colour. It’s just about possible to taste the mango and papaya, although they’re almost-but-not-quite drowned out. There’s a pepperiness that’s very pleasant, though, and which somehow manages to cut through the hibiscus. Mostly, though, the fruit flavours feel like a bit of an afterthought. It’s okay – sort-of tropical fruit, but really no worse or better than any other hibi-fruit blend I’ve tried. Talk about faint praise.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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70
drank Japanese Cherry by Pekoe Tea
1768 tasting notes

Another of the teas I bought while on holiday in Scotland last year. Still behind! I drank this one a couple of times before I went away this year, but I was so busy with work that I didn’t take the time to log it. I’m still busy now – helping out the same team I was helping before I went away, but I’ve also decided that I’m not going to work my butt off if the people I’m helping aren’t putting in a similar amount of effort. And they’re not. So I’m logging my tea, and doing things at a more leisurely pace.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for this one – it looks like sencha, and contains a lot of really pretty pink cherry blossoms. So far, so good. The downside is that is smells a little too much like cherry cough medicine for my liking – artificial, over-sweet, and strange. I gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees.

Turns out, it’s actually not too bad. There are hints of Carmex in the cherry flavour, but it doesn’t come across as super-artificial, which was my main fear. The flavouring is by no means subtle – you definitely know it’s cherry – but it’s fairly accurate in terms of flavour, so that’s okay. The green tea base is smooth, sweet, and slightly grassy. It’s a good pairing with the cherry – they get along well.

Overall, I’m okay with this one (which is a good thing, as I have a whole tin…) I’m tempted to try it cold brewed.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Profile

Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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