1768 Tasting Notes

90

Finally getting to the bottom of the sample box Miss B sent me literally ages ago. I think I’ve just got a couple of tea bags left now…

Anyway, this one intrigued me because I don’t think I’ve tried a white chai before…or come across one, even. Usually I’d cool the water quite substantially for a white tea, but the parameters for this one recommend 195 degrees so that’s what I went with. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and left it approximately 2.5 minutes.

The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-orange, the scent mildly spicy. To taste, it’s definitely the most interesting chai blend I’ve tried in a while. It’s fruity, first up, and quite tropically fruity at that – pineapple, coconut, a background hint of citrus. There’s also apple, and it’s a baked apple kind of vibe that I’m getting. Sweet, mushy…paired with the spices, it’s putting me in mind of apple pie!

The spices are the other side to the coin here. On the one hand there’s fruit, and then from the mid-sip onwards it’s all about the spicing. Ginger and cinnamon are the most prominent, but there’s also a good strong hit of pepper (which I adore in a chai), plenty of cardamon, and a touch of clove.

The white tea, which is the truly unique thing here, makes for a better base than I expected, in all honesty. It’s not thin or particularly sweet – it’s more of a thick, almost slightly dusty-tasting white. It allows both the fruit and the spices to shine without being particularly obtrusive, and it works well enough with both that it’s not a jarring contrast. It doesn’t feel like a tea of two halves – it tastes like it was meant to be, and I think the choice of base helps with that in a way that’s hard to express in words. It has to be tasted to be believed.

Highly recommended for all chai fans!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65

I had one of these left over from summer cold brews, and I’m pretty sure I said when I last logged this one that I wanted to try it hot once it was colder. Well, now it’s colder!

I gave this one 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. It’s fair to say it’s as I imagined it would be – lovely juicy mango flavour, strong and slightly peppery, followed by the almost-bitter orange/floral of bergamot. The green tea base is just a touch on the astringent side, but on the whole fairly unobtrusive.

I’m not really a bergamot fan, so this isn’t one I’d choose to buy for myself, but I do like the mango flavouring. Next summer, I’d quite like to seek out some other mango blends from Whittards, just to see whether they stack up…

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

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90

I had high hopes for this one, because it smells so good, but experience tells me (at least with the old 52Teas genmaicha blends with the new rice…) that it won’t quite live up to its promise. In any case, it’s a great idea for a tea. Inspired, even.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. I’m pleased to discover that there is strawberry, although it’s quite an artificial-tasting, candy-strawberry – it reminds me of Nesquik strawberry milkshake powder! There was quite a lot of marshmallow root in my cup, and its contributed a delicious creaminess. When paired with the light toastiness of the rice, it really does replicate the “marshmallow treat” flavour pretty well.

One of my main complaints with “sweet” genmaicha blends is usually that the green tea base is too prominent and grassy, which makes the whole experience rather odd. Not the case here – the green tea is very subtle, and actually quite difficult to pick out. The genmaicha isn’t too toasty or burnt-tasting, either.

I think this means that I’ve found a 52Teas genmaicha that agrees with me, which is all the more delightful because I didn’t expect to find it here. I would have liked a more natural tasting strawberry, but I’m mostly just pleased that I can taste it and it’s there. This one’s definitely a tea that lives up to its name! I’m going to enjoy this one.

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

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100
drank Dragon Lychee Pearls by Tealux
1768 tasting notes

Finally getting around to trying this one. It’s been in my cupboard long enough, that’s for sure. I followed the recommended parameters, and used 1.5 tsp of pearls (which amounted to 12, some smaller than others). I gave them 3.5 minutes in boiling water, no additions.

I’d heard a lot of good things about this one, and fortunately it’s as delicious as I hoped. It has a strong, fruity, juicy lychee flavour right up front, followed by the smooth, malty chocolatey flavour of the black tea base. It’s an amazing combination! Although the lychee is strong, it’s not overpowering or cloying, which is always a bonus when it comes to flavoured teas. I wish more things were lychee flavoured, actually. I think it could only improve my life, in all honesty.

I have some of Tealux’s unflavoured Black Dragon Pearls to try next, and it’ll be interesting to see how they compare with both this blend and with the Teavivre pearls I tried a while back. I love that there are still new tea discoveries to be made, even though I’ve rated 900-odd individual teas in my two years on here. Hooray for new tea adventures (and more lychee!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

This sounds fantastic, and you’ve just reminded me that I already have this on my wish list haha.

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80

A sample from Miss B. The leaves of of this one are reminding me of a Butiki green I tried a while back, but I can’t now remember which one. They’re thin and wiry, very twisted (almost curly, really…), and a very dark green. The flavour is also reminding me of something, but I’m finding it hard to pin down exactly what. Roasted chestnuts is as close as I can come, but it’s not quite right…Roasted chestnuts and grass? Mushroom? Mushroom! That’s closer.

It’s a very smooth green, not at all astringent, but with a strong and distinctive flavour. Just the kind of green tea I’ve discovered I like! Thanks again to Miss B for sharing this one with me.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

First cup of the morning! It’s feeling very autumnal today, so I picked out something fall-y, I think for the first time this year (at least, on purpose). What surprises me most is that there are no notes for this one yet – I’m pretty sure it’s from Bluebird’s last autumn collection.

In any case, it’s good. First sip reminded me a lot of David’s Tea Alpine Punch. There’s a very strong almond flavour right up front, very reminiscent of marzipan. In the mid-sip, there’s coconut, and then a touch of warming cinnamon spice in the final fade. It’s a rooibos base, but I can’t really taste any of the woodiness that I typically associate with red rooibos. No sawdust here! I think that’s partly because the almond’s so strong. It pretty well drowns out everything else.

I’m enjoying this one. It’s warming, and comforting, and it perfectly encapsulates early autumn for me. I used 1 tsp for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water, plus a splash of milk. Delicious! I’m probably going to add this one to my evening rotation, except I’ll be sad when it’s gone. If only it were still available!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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100

Sipdown! I’ll miss this one on chilly mornings. Although sometimes it borders on being too rich, that’s a small price to pay for a tea that (on the whole) is totally amazing. Really strong caramel and vanilla notes, on a thick and malty black base. Dessert tea perfection!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Fjellrev

Good to hear that this is amazing because I was planning on getting it whenever I stop being lazy and place an order. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Fjellrev, out of curiosity, what do you tend to pay in shipping charges?

Fjellrev

I haven’t ordered from MF before so quite frankly, I’m a little scared in regards to that. But I did try a mock order a while back and don’t quote me, but it was like $20-$30 for a larger order.

Scheherazade

French Breakfast is nice, too. Chocolatey! I’m coveting American Breakfast, currently, but I don’t have a credit card at the moment so it’s not going to happen for a while.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Fjellrev. One of these days, one of these days.

Fjellrev

I keep saying that too haha.

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75

Today’s work cold brew. I’d been meaning to try this one cold for a while (since last summer, I think?) but I always seem to forget. This year, though, I remembered just in time. I’m not typically a fan of jasmine tea, but I do like peach, and this one strikes just the right balance for me. It’s not too floral or perfumey, and the peach isn’t overly artificial or chemical tasting. Instead, there’s a delicate balance of both. The peach is juicy and natural tasting, and the sweetness is augmented by the light heady floral of the jasmine. It’s a good pairing! The green tea base is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency at all. It must have had at least 7 hours in the fridge, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on that front (I don’t cold brew green teas very often, so I’m less certain about steep times and such like), but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Another excellent Teavivre offering!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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90

I wanted something fairly straightforward this morning, and this fit the bill perfectly. It’s still one of my favourite plain black teas – deliciously malty, with strong chocolate and cocoa notes. It’s very easy to drink, very smooth, and works well both with and without milk. I have a feeling this – or one of Teavivre’s Dian Hongs — will be a permanent fixture in my cupboard. They’re just too good to do without.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

Today’s work SBT. Love blueberry, love banana, so this one should be a hit with me. I prepared it the usual way, and I’m pretty pleased with the result. The blueberry is strong, flavour accurate, juicy, fruity…everything you’d want a blueberry tea to be. The banana, though, is surprisingly absent. I say surprising, because usually it’s a flavour 52Teas/SBT do really well. It’s always a candy-like banana, but also always a flavour you can depend on to come over well. Sadly, I can’t taste it at all here.

I’m thinking it might be because the blueberry is so strong (I can’t even really taste much of the black tea base, which is a rarity with SBTs for me). I’m in no way disappointed with the way that comes across. It’s not really blueberry banana tea, though. Just blueberry, which is fine with me, but the name established certain expectations. If it’s only blueberry, just call it blueberry. Nothing wrong with that!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

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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