90

I think this might actually be my first savoury tea, which is exciting enough on its own, but what’s more exciting is that it’s composed of three of my favourite flavours – tomato, basil, and black pepper are some of my favourite things in life. I’m really glad Anne decided to reblend this one, otherwise I’d have been forever wondering…

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water as per the recommended parameters. Brewed, the scent is soup-like and a touch smoky. The taste is similar – there’s an initial note of tomato – sundried rather than fresh – that’s almost sweet in its intensity. The mid-sip is dominated mostly by the basil – which is really clear and well defined (yay!), and which cuts through some of the sweet tomato, adding an almost-vegetal, herby freshness. The pepper comes out at the end of the sip and lingers a little in the aftertaste, adding a touch of welcome spiciness. All in all, pretty perfect for a savoury tea! I can taste a hint of smoke, but it’s not overwhelming and it doesn’t drown out the other flavours – it was unexpected, at first, but it fades at the cup cools so there’s no fear if smoke isn’t your thing.

As a first experience with a savoury tea, this was a good ‘un! Another I’d happily repurchase if it became available again in the future. I’d really like to experiment with some more savoury teas now…

Preparation
Boiling 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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