1731 Tasting Notes

95

More tea! There’s no stopping me today :) I made up a cup of this after dinner, and I loved it tremendously. I wasn’t sure at first exactly what I was tasting, but a few sips sorted me out on that front! This is a fairly complex tea, to my mind, at least in terms of the flavour combinations it presents. It starts off smooth and sweet, with notes of blossom honey and a slight saltiness. The mid-sip is all about the chocolate, dark high-cocoa chocolate with some fresh baked bread notes. After this comes a reasonably strong fruitiness – I thought black cherry at first, but it’s deeper than that, and more reminiscent of plum or maybe damson at times. It ends fairly sweetly with a hint of caramel and just the faintest touch of cooling eucalyptus. I found it a very refreshing cup, and incredibly moreish. A tea I could (and will!) drink at any time of day. I’d forgotten how much I liked Whispering Pines, but this has been a timely reminder.

1.5 tsp of leaf, 3.5 minutes, boiling water. Splash of milk.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Xxxxx

Great review! I am liberating this one from the tea cabinet for tomorrow’s breakfast!

hawkband1

I just bought this! Can’t wait to try it.

Xxxxx

Can’t wait to see you’re review @hawkband1.

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80

I’m drinking this one just now. Also, it’s my 1500th tasting note! I bought this with my first Liquid Proust order, largely for the tangerine twist. I haven’t always been the greatest fan of jasmine pearls – many are too floral for my tastes, in a thick, mouth-coating way that I find pretty unpalatable. Not so here. I used 1 tsp of pearls for my cup, and gave them 2 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.

The green tea base comes out first, with a deliciously smooth and buttery flavour with no bitterness or astringency to be found. The jasmine comes second, right in the middle of the sip, but it’s quite a light and delicate jasmine and not at all perfumey. The tangerine is confined mostly to the end of the sip – it just kind of pops up at the end as a bright, very slightly sweet citrus, with a touch of pithy flavour lingering in the aftertaste.

If I’ve one complaint, it’s that I’d have liked a bit more tangerine. It’s there, but I think the blend as a whole could stand it a bit stronger without losing anything. That’s a small complaint, though, because there is tangerine here and it works well with the green jasmine. I’d like to try this one cold brewed this summer.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

I went through my tea box again this afternoon and pulled out some more treats to try while I’m still off work. I get bored easily when I’m not working, so the fact that I’m really enjoying this extended Easter break tells me more than anything else that I really hate my job just now. And obviously I need to do something about that, but that might be easier said than done.

But anyway, the tea. I’ve been curious about this one for a while. I used two of the smaller balls for my cup (my cup is big), but I think with the larger ones I’d just use one. I gave it 4 minutes in boiling water, and then added just a splash of full-fat milk.

I can say from first sip that this stuff is the best. It’s chocolatey and malty up front, with strong vanilla and custard notes in the mid-sip. There’s also a touch of cinnamon/nutmeg towards the end of the sip, but only the smallest hint. What I did notice as my cup cooled was quite a prominent floral note which is a little at odds with the other flavours. I’m sure it wasn’t there to start with, but I certainly noticed it towards the end of my cup. Really, though, the rest of it was so good that I’m not about to let that put me off. I’m impressed with this one, and I’d certainly repurchase once my bag is finished.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Sipdown! Finished off the last of this today, and although sad it’s one of the older teas in my cupboard so I’m also looking on it as an achievement. I enjoyed this one, although it was a little finicky at times in brewing terms. When I got it right, though, it was SO right. I know I’ll miss it in the days ahead.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100

I allowed myself another Whispering Pines start this morning, because I’m off work and have time for second breakfasts and all that…I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it a good 4 minutes while I pottered around doing a few first-thing tasks. I added a splash of milk, just because.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but this genuinely is full-bodied and flavoursome while also somewhat light. I like breakfast teas that aren’t too heavy, especially if I’m drinking them on a mostly empty stomach, so this one fits the bill perfectly for me. The initial sip is very smooth and sweet around the edges. I definitely get honey and a touch of caramel, with a mildly fruity sweetness reminiscent of apricots. The mid-sip is lightly chocolatey, with just a hint of red berry – maybe cranberry or raspberry? There’s a slight sharpness at this point that cuts through the sweetness and is really appealing. The end of the sip had breadier notes, and tastes a little salty. All in all, totally delicious! It’s one of the more complex breakfast blends I’ve tried in terms of flavour, but I like that about it. I’m glad I chose to try it on holiday so I had time to sit and appreciate it! It’s thoroughly deserving of a much higher rating than it seems to have at the moment – it’s sweet without being cloying, flavoursome without being heavy. Perfection in a cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
ashmanra

Wow, this sounds like a must have!

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, this is totally up my alley.

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100

Sipdown! I drank my final cup of this one last night, and it was excellent. Just what I wanted in my pre-bedtime cup. It took me a while to nail the brewing on this one, but as usual I achieved perfection just as I started to run low. Beautiful chocolate cherry vanilla. I’m sad to see this one make its departure from my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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80

This seemed like an odd choice to start the morning with, even to me and I’m drinking it. It was there, though, and it’s a lovely warm spring day, so I decided to throw caution to the wind. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. When I returned, the liquor was a deep pinky-red (hello, hibi!), but the scent was sweet and tropical.

The first sip shows that you shouldn’t judge by appearances, because this one actually tastes exactly as it should. I get pineapple immediately, sweet and true to life, followed quickly by coconut. There’s a slightly odd floral in the midsip, but it’s not too heavy or thick tasting so I’m choosing to ignore it. The mint comes our pretty well in the aftertaste, the sweetness of the spearmint most prominently, but with the deeper, cooler resonance of the peppermint lurking in the background.

I’m more impressed with this one than I expected to be. Pineapple mint seemed like an odd flavour combination to me, but it really does work. The mint isn’t strong, so the sweeter fruit flavours are allowed their time to shine, but it does add a refreshing cleanness that’s actually very welcome after the sweet tropical fruit flavours.

What I really want now is to try this one cold brewed in the summer. A definite repurchase in the warmer months ahead.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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60

I’m in one of my comparatively rare raw pu’erh moods today, so I pulled this one out to start the work day with. I gave the leaves a 1 minute rinse, and then went back for a first infusion of 1 minute in boiling water. The tuocha comes apart completely in the first steep, despite seeming initially hard and very compact. The leaves are a medium brown in colour and quite large, the scent very heavily spicy with an edge of raw wood.

To taste, the first infusion is quite potent. There’s an initial smokiness that lingers well into the aftertaste, quite a heavy bitterness, but also a touch of fruitiness that’s very juicy, reminiscent of stone fruit generally and apricot specifically. It’s an interesting combination of flavours, but it seems to work in an odd way. It’s a touch astringent after a few sips, and leaves me feeling a bit dry-mouthed.

I went for a slightly shorter second steep – 40 seconds – to try and combat some of the astringency. It’s worked to a certain extent (there are still hints of it at the end of each sip), but the overall flavour is also less. The second steep is a little smoother, with less juicy fruitiness and a little more woodiness. The smokiness has faded a little, but is still lurking in the background. I can taste a more savoury, mushroom-like flavour this time that wasn’t there before.

Third steep for 40 seconds in boiling water. I’m probably going to stop with this infusion, because I’m not really feeling this one. The flavours are okay – and they work, even though they probably shouldn’t – but the astringency and the dry mouth are too much for a work day when I’m talking a lot on the phone and need to feel hydrated. I have another sample sachet of this one, so I’ll be trying it again at some point in the future. It’s not over until its over.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 7 g

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55

A sample from Miss B. This is my second cup this morning, and both have been interrupted so I’m not sure that I’ve really done them justice. I used 1 tsp for each cup, in boiling water, for 3 minutes and then more like 5 minutes respectively. I added milk to both because they brewed up quite dark, and because that’s usually what I do with chai anyway.

Even with the extended brew time on the second cup, the flavour of this one is quite mild. It’s wonderfully creamy, which is something I love in chai, but there’s really not all that much in the way of spicing that I can taste. I do get hints of cardamom and a touch of ginger and clove in the aftertaste, but that’s really it. Mostly, it comes across as a creamy, smooth black tea with just a chai-like hint around the edges. It’s pleasant to drink, but I really like more kick from my chai.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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100
drank Cinnamon Star by Tea Desire
1731 tasting notes

A sample from Miss B. This one actually reminds me quite a lot of 52 Teas Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, only it’s a black tea…and all the better for it. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water, no additions. The liquor is a medium golden brown, and the scent reminds me of warm danish pastries – sweet, a little pastry like. My colleague said it made her think of toast, but I guess some people are just a bit odd.

To taste, it’s cinnamon roll in a cup. The cinnamon isn’t too sharp, just a prominent yet gentle spice. The vanilla is the really amazing thing here, creating a flavour very much like icing, and adding a distinctive creamy sweetness that lingers well into the aftertaste. The black tea base is smooth and allows everything to shine nicely without really making itself too conspicuous. This might be flavoured tea heaven!

Many thanks to Miss B for sharing this with me. It’s been an unexpected hit, and I’m very glad to have tried it :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 28, 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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