I picked this one up with my last Leaves of the World order. It wasn’t one of their summer collection, but I guess it could have been; it certainly smells of summer! In practice, though, the flavour is more muted than I expected. There’s a light strawberry flavour, very artificial, but I guess that kind of goes with the territory. It tastes like a strawberry maoam stripe, which is possible no bad thing, depending on your expectations. The thyme is somewhat stronger, and actually comes across a little bitter. It was a combination that worked well in my head, but which isn’t so flawless in practice. The green tea base is smooth and sweet, so no complaints there, but there’s also a quantity of pink peppercorns that are adding a bit of a spicy kick in the background. That doesn’t quite work either, I don’t think. It’s just a little overdone.

On the whole, I’m not super-impressed with this one. I’ve found Leaves of the World to be fairly hit and miss with their blends; some are amazingly done, others seem rather hastily put together from an odd selection of ingredients, with clearly mixed results. Here, for example, there’s sea buckthorn peel, lemon verbena, lemongrass, and pink pepper.

I think their ideas are good, if sometimes flawed in the execution. This one isn’t bad, but it doesn’t hold together well enough to really be convincing – the strawberry is too muted, the thyme too bitter (in my head, these should be the other way around in terms of prominence), and the pepper just plain odd.

Close, but no cigar.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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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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