1736 Tasting Notes


A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I’ve heard a lot about this one, and I’ve recently had some very positive experiences with Chinese black teas, so I was pretty excited as I brought this one out to try. The dry leaves are simply beautiful — slightly curly, golden brown with cocoa tips, darkening to almost-black. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent is sweetly malty with a hint of smoke.

The initial flavour is similar to the scent — sweetly malty with a very slight edge of bitterness. The flavour of sweet potato develops mid-sip, and I get a hint of milk chocolate. A vague smokiness swirls around in the background, adding a mildly bitter, savoury overtone to perfectly augment the sweetness of the malt. I like this as a middle of the road kind of tea. It hasn’t got the chocolate and bread of Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip, nor the deeper, darker, leathery notes of their Balian Gongfu. Instead, it treads a line somewhere in the middle — the best of both worlds! It’s wonderfully delicious! I would purchase this one as a breakfast/morning tea, simply because it’s strong and tasty, and has many of the flavours I enjoy in a black tea. Truly lovely stuff! Thanks again to ashleyelizabeth for sharing this one with me.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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So, I finally worked out how to get turkish delight from this one! You ICE it. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before, but there you go. I cold-brewed the last of my bag (about 3 tbsp), in one litre of cold water, and left it in the fridge for around 12 hours. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it’s an okay tea so something pleasant and refreshing to sip on at work was all I was really after. Instead, I get amazingness. The kind of amazingness i was looking for all along!

The initial sip tastes just like biting into a piece of turkish delight; sweet, with rose and lemon flavours by turns. For once, the lemon isn’t first! Rose is the prominent flavour, and as that fades the lovely mellow citrus of the lemongrass takes over. It even tastes somehow gooey, and there’s a pleasing overall sweetness that really is reminiscent of icing sugar. Hot, this is useless. Cold, it’s liquid turkish delight. My only regret now is that I didn’t try cold brewing this one earlier. Somehow, it just didn’t occur to me. I have 1 tsp left for a final hot cup before we say goodbye, but I think this might be on the repurchase list after all. There’s a surprise. I’ve increased the rating, because now I feel I know what this tea is about.

Iced 8 min or more

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I have two sample pouches of this one, so I’m rather pleased that it turns out I like it. I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 2.5 minutes in cooled water, and the resulting liquor is…orange! The scent brewed is mostly of cream and caramel, which is as unlike the dry leaf as it’s possible to be. The dry leaf smells strongly of orange zest, and reminds me a little of hard boiled orange candy sweets.

To taste, the orange is a little candyish and chemical. It’s also fairly mild. The creaminess is amazing, though! Together, the two flavours do make me think of a brulee. Sweet, a little rich, creamy, a touch of caramel. All I’m missing is the crunchy caramelised sugar! I can’t taste the oolong base at all, which is always a bonus in my book.

I have a feeling I let the water cool a little too much, but I’m at work and I got distracted. Next time I’ll leave it a little hotter and see if that brings out more orange flavour. I can see myself getting along with this tea quite well, though, which is a rare thing for an oolong.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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I haven’t had this one in a while, so I pulled it out for last night’s pre-bedtime cup. It’s an interesting one — the main flavour is lemongrass, but there’s also a strong element of hot chocolate. It’s creamy tasting, with strong hints of cocoa, a touch or rose…and lemon. I’m not really getting turkish delight, and I do find the lemon a slightly odd combination with cocoa and rose, but it’s a unique experience all the same. A bit like Narnia, I suppose!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Final tea of the day at work was this herbal from my ML Collection sampler. It’s very, very similar to the ordinary Mighty Leaf version (Chamomile Citrus), with perhaps a touch more citrus and slightly less sweetness from the chamomile. It’s a good combination, and particularly since the citrus makes me think more of orange and lime than the ubiquitous lemon.

So far I’m finding the the ML Collection teas are often just slightly refined versions of the standard Mighty Leaf bags. Some of them appear in either one range or the other, but many are held in common. It’s hard to say which I like best. They’re so similar they’re practically the identical, but with a couple of tiny distinguishing features. With this one, I think on balance i prefer the ML Collection’s slightly stronger citrus quotient. I have a few more bags left to help me make up my mind, though!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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This has been my bedtime cup the last couple of nights. Of the Celestial Seasonings I’ve tried so far, this is probably my least favourite. That makes me sad, because it’s actually one of the ones I wanted to like most.

I tried this first plain with no additions, and it was okay, but largely almondy with an odd herbal tang. I tried my second cup with the addition of crystal sugar and milk, but found the milk made it very watery and washed out in flavour. I tried my third cup with just sugar, and found it the most palatable of the three versions. The herbal note disappears with sugar, and a little more “cookie” flavour comes out to play with the almond. Somehow, though, it’s still not quite what I hoped. Still, can’t win them all! I have three bags left to play with, even so!

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

I’m not a big fan of this either. It tasted like artificial butter flavor to me, and smelled like pina colada or something. I found it really odd.

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Today’s iced tea for work. I gave this my usual treatment (3 mins in 1/4 pint boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold and into the fridge overnight). It tastes beautifully of cola — absolutely, ridiculously spot on. How does Frank do it?! It’s flat cola, to be sure, but it’s cola! What I can’t really taste here is vanilla, which is a shame because I was particularly looking forward to that aspect. There’s a very mild creamy sweetness kicking around in the background, but it’s not enough to make me really say “yeah, that’s vanilla.” I do like cola flavoured iced tea, though, and this is a good one. I’d definitely try another bag at some point in the future to see if I can eke out some vanilla flavour. A good treat for a hot day, all the same!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #25

The last of my sipdowns, which I finished yesterday evening. Unlike ML’s Organic Hojicha, this is a green tea I can confidently say I like. It’s grassy and slightly vegetal, but fresh and mild all the same. It reminds me of some of the better Mao Feng greens I’ve tried (maybe not surprisingly?), but the leaf here is more beautiful! A sad sipdown.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #24

The more I drink this one, the more I find myself not really liking it. It’s not the green for me, and I knew that from the first time I tried it, but the roasty/nuttiness kept me interested for a while. It’s too…dank…for my tastes. Sorry!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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.


Norfolk, UK

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