60

Finally getting there with my older 52 Teas (and with all my teas, come to that – I’m under 150 now!) This one smells great out of the bag – like mildly spiced apple cider. I’m hoping it’ll hold up in the flavour.

The leaf here seems quite fine for shou mei. There are a lot of darker coloured, small-shred leaves, but also a few silver tips. While brewing, the scent is slightly cloying in the way that white tea sometimes has – there’s a lot of sweetness and hay. To taste, it’s pretty good. There are apples, and although the flavour is fairly light they’re also pretty flavour accurate, too. This one puts me in mind of pink lady or something of that ilk, rather than a sharp green apple, but it’s good all the same. The white tea base pairs well, enhancing the sweetness without being overpowering. While I’m enjoying this one, I’m not overwhelmed by it. It’s tasty enough, but that’s about as far as my enthusiasm stretches.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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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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