This has got to be one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen. It has really, genuinely large wiry leaves, that range in colour from almost black through brown, green and a creamy white. It reminds me both of a bird’s nest, and of white peony. In common with the latter, both twigs, leaves and buds are easily identifiable in the dry mix. It’s so airy and interesting-looking, it’s hard to believe it’s actually tea.

Brewed, this has a mineral, slightly metallic scent that reminds me both of oolongs and darjeelings. Given that this is a darjeeling oolong, I guess that makes sense. The liquor is a medium golden-brown, which is about what I was expecting. So far, so good.

I don’t mind darjeelings, but oolongs have never really been my thing. It’s understanable, then, if a little disappointing, that this tea really isn’t my thing either. I’m not picking up many of the complexities others seem to rave about, which is sort of spoiling my enjoyment. I’m picking up a muscatel note, and a slight base spiciness, but that’s about all. I feel I should be getting more from this tea, and I do genuinely want to like it (particularly as it looks so gorgeous, I suspect). I’m going to experiment a little with brew times, temparatures, and quantity before I give up on this. I would quite like to add some honey, which seems kind of perverse, but I might give it a go anyway. For the minute, though, it’s not entirely what I hoped it would be.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec

If you are steeping it with boiling water, try again at a lower temperature. Sometimes I find darjeelings are better when you steep them at 180 -190 F.

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If you are steeping it with boiling water, try again at a lower temperature. Sometimes I find darjeelings are better when you steep them at 180 -190 F.

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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.


Norfolk, UK

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