Last of my teas from last year’s trip to Scotland. I’ve been again since (just back!), so I’m clearly as behind with my teas as ever. I’m not entirely sure what thistle should taste of, if I’m honest. Floral, maybe? The description says fruity, but I’m not really feeling that. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. All of these have brewed up pretty quickly (and dark, because CTC), so I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this is pretty much just your average Indian CTC black, as far as I can tell. There’s a tiny bit of something that initially made me think lychee, but that might be overgenerous. I certainly get where the “fruity” in the description comes from, though, because it kind of is. It’s maybe like someone added a teaspoon of syrup from a tin of fruit salad to a cup of thick, malty assam. Not bad, as far as it goes. I’m reminded a little bit of Mighty Leaf Celebration, but only a little bit. It’s not as chocolatey as all that.

This one surprised me, though, I’ll admit. It might actually be my favourite of the four after all. Thankfully, there’s no floral to be found (and no bitterness, either!)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

Let me know if you’re ever around Edinburgh :) I can recommend some nice tea shops in the area!

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Let me know if you’re ever around Edinburgh :) I can recommend some nice tea shops in the area!

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 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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