24 Tasting Notes

69
drank Lemon Vitality by Ahmad Tea
24 tasting notes

Brewed this tea with low expectations so was pleasantly surprised at the result. Sure, the green tea is nothing special, but the lemon is good. It’s very drinkable, you don’t have to think too hard about the flavour or take time to savour it to pull out the flavour notes. A good, light tea when you want something quick. For a tea bag, it pretty good quality. Better than most green teas I’ve had from similar tea bag brands like Twinings.

It has a lemony bitterness, warm grassy green tea body, and slightly sweet aftertaste. There’s no sharpness or tartness that I can detect, which makes me think it’s at least partially artificial lemon flavouring.

I’ll happily finish the box of tea bags, but won’t be buying again. There are better lemon green teas out there, but this tea certainly isn’t bad. In one word, it’s a “nice” tea.

Full review with pictures: https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/ahmad-tea-lemon-vitality-review/

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Lemon Zest

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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71
drank Assam by Twinings
24 tasting notes

A little ashamed to say this is currently the only Assam tea I’ve tried. It’s rich, malty and strong, in a good way, as I’ve read an Assam should be. Reminded me of a malted milk biscuit (cookie).

I brewed for just over a minute… although I think I should have brewed less. I couldn’t finish the cup without adding a dash of milk to mask the bitterness. Even without another Assam to compare this to, I imagine the bitterness is not so much a flavour of the tea but a result of over-steeping the tea bag.

Definitely going to try more Assams in the future! Any recommendations?

Full review with pictures: https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/twinings-assam-tea-review/

Flavors: Bitter, Malt, Milk

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
derk

Since you’re in the UK, I would recommend What-Cha, based in London. He has a good selection of loose leaf Assam should you want to venture down that route.

Izzy

Thank you Derk, I’ll check that out :)

Martin Bednář

Certainly! What-cha is perfect, I can suggest Mancotta Assam (review should be here), maybe few others I had too.

Izzy

Thanks guys, I’m going to order a selection of teas from What-Cha to try next month after their holiday shopping delay :)

gmathis

Recommendations? All of them :) (It’s a favorite of mine, obviously.) Upton Tea Imports has some very good quality Assam options.

ashmanra

Grace Rare Tea! Their Assam is pretty good. It is called Pure Assam Irish Breakfast.

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60

Decided to give this tea another go, I do have 3 more bulbs to get through and I can’t bear the thought of throwing tea away.

First steep was the same as before; disappointing. No rose flavour or aroma at all. The marigold has a nice warming flavour but it overpowers everything. I can get 3 small cups from my teapot, so by the third cup it was very bitter too from the green tea.

Instead of throwing it away, I decided to refill the teapot for a second infusion. It’s milder this time and quite calming. The marigold is still the dominant flavour but it’s somehow starting to become creamy. Distinctive nutty notes are coming through too. More palatable but no flavour from the green tea leaves.

It’s going back in the cupboard. Maybe I’ll try again in the summer. Might even try it iced, although I’m not sure how that will work with a blooming tea or if it will suit the warmth of the marigold.

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71
drank Earl Grey by Zest Tea
24 tasting notes

When there’s a ton of work to get through, you need a ton of caffeine. That’s the main reason I picked Zest’s earl grey to review today. Mondays always need a pick-me-up.

I got carried away while the kettle was brewing so the water was approx. 90C or a bit less by the time the tea sachet hit the cup – a happy accident. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before it seems so obvious. Brewing this tea at a slightly lower temperature stops some of the bitterness from the tea extract they add to get the caffeine in there. Brew it like a green tea and it’s actually a lot better tasting… although still more bitter than any other earl grey I’ve ever drank. I might try rinsing it next time to see if that has a similar effect.

I noticed fresh orange zest aroma with the classic bergamot flavour notes. Not too overpowering. The tea base is flowery orange pekoe, which has a nice body. I’m tired of trying new earl grey blends that use darjeeling. It’s too light for my tastes and the bergamot just overpowers it and ruins the tea flavour. Zest got the body right in this blend though, it’s almost like drinking an English Breakfast tea with bergamot oils added.

As always, full review with pics is up on my blog, if you want to read a bit more about my experience with this tea https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/zest-tea-earl-grey-review/

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Orange Zest

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Martin Bednář

Yup, I started brewing black tea in tea bags for shorter time as well than they usually suggest. I can not imagine brewing some tea in small cup (ca. 200 ml) for 5 or more minutes as they sometimes suggest.

Izzy

Exactly :) Even with a 500ml+ mug I almost never brew black tea for more than 3 minutes or it’s too strong and undrinkable. I don’t understand why tea companies make the brew time suggestions so crazily long

Mastress Alita

Right? I have never understood that either. Three minutes is usually my sweet spot too, and I tend to drop it even further if it is a CTC tea and not whole leaf.

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87

The last of my Christmas tea was drank today. I’d been saving this last bag of ETS Ginger Bread Man for a special occasion, but I caved and had it this afternoon. I love how light it is, both in colour and flavour. I brewed for 4 whole minutes, which is a long time by my standards, to get a fiery orange brown brew.

The aroma is seriously inviting. It’s spiced and apple-y, while the ginger makes my nose tingle. The flavour has very little ginger in it, but that’s ok. It tastes a lot like the spiced apple juice we drink at Christmas, but more complex. The Ceylon tea in this blend is light with a medium body. It compliments the apple flavour and stands up well behind the complex spices without competing to be the dominant flavour.

Is it just me or are ETS teas always perfectly balanced?

Although I really enjoy the flavour of this tea (I wish this wasn’t my last tea sachet), I’m torn. On one hand, it is delicious and perfectly balanced. On the other, there’s barely a hint of ginger and it tastes nothing like a real ginger bread man. A great tea, just completely mislabelled and slightly disappointing when you’re in the mood for a very gingery tea.

I had some fun taking pictures of this brew for my tea blog, featuring a cheeky ginger bread man https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/english-tea-shop-ginger-bread-man-review/

Flavors: Apple, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Fireplace, Ginger, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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82

It’s late and I’ve been staring at this laptop screen all day, so this cup of chamomile is very welcome!

The dry flowers have a really beautiful fresh hay aroma that’s doused in a natural sweet honey high note. I’m kind of sad that the hay aroma didn’t stay after I brewed a cup. I was also a little worried at first, because it was a vibrant lemon yellow colour at the start of a brew. My experience with chamomile teas in the past has always been a dull but light gold colour. I double checked the label but there’s definitely no artificial colours added. After 2 minutes it was back to the gold colour I love.

The taste pales in comparison to the aroma, but still I had no trouble slurping it down. So good, so sweet.

Chamomile puts me to sleep fairly quickly, and it’s too dark to take pictures right now, so I’ll update this tasting note with a link to my full blog article tomorrow sometime. Goodnight!

https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/whittard-chamomile-tea-review/

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honey, Musty, Sweet

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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74
drank Jasmine Tea by Sunflower
24 tasting notes

This was probably one of the first teas I ever drank, I remember heading to London’s Chinatown with my parents to pick up a box when I was just a kid. Good memories.

I brewed it in a teapot, as we always have. Just 1 heaped teaspoon and enough water to fill the pot. At 3 minutes, it was a very aromatic light gold colour. No hint of bitterness and a gentle grassiness from the green tea.

At 5 minutes, it was a fair bit darker and had a noticeable body. I could also detect bitter notes starting to overpower the jasmine.

At 9 minutes the leaves were completely unfurled, the liqueur a rich amber colour and it was incredibly drying and noticeably bitter. Still drinkable, but only with food.

Sunflower jasmine tea is still one of my top picks for a palate cleansing tea.

The aroma has more jasmine than the flavour, and I also found the green tea leaves to have a woodsy/smoky smell when dry.

I wrote an article about my experience with this tea here (with lots of pictures of the tea in action), if you’re interested! https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/sunflower-jasmine-tea-review/

Flavors: Bitter, Drying, Jasmine, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
gmathis

Loved your review photos. This tea can actually be found inexpensively in humble little corners of Southwest Missouri!

Izzy

:D thank you! That’s lucky for you then :) travelling into central London for a small box of this tea is not a cheap journey. Worth it though, in my opinion.

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74

This tea was surprisingly good! It brews a beautiful berry red colour and has a naturally sweet and tart flavour. The raspberry comes through first, with an exotic twist from the dragon fruit. I also noticed red berry undertones that gave a red wine-like quality to the tea – it’s quite drying on the tongue as well. I had no trouble finishing the whole cup.

If you can manage to find this range again from Twinings, I’d highly recommend giving it a go. I’m not a big fruit tea drinker, but it won me over completely! You can read my full thoughts in my tea review article for this blend https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/twinings-raspberry-dragon-fruit-tea-review/

Flavors: Drying, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Red Wine, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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37

In one word? Dismal. At first, the teabag had a lovely amber, sticky golden syrup honey aroma… once brewed, however, it was just overpoweringly strong ginger and anise. I brewed the first cup for the full 5 minutes but found it too strong… deciding I would be able to judge it more fairly at 3 minutes, I gave it another go. Besides the overbearing anise and ginger, there’s a little hint of lemon in the aftertaste but no sweetness or honey whatsoever that I could detect. For someone who usually loves strong ginger, this was just too much. It lacked depth as well.

I actually wrote a whole 1000 words about this tea because I dislike it so much, you can read it on my blog here https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/pukka-lemon-ginger-manuka-honey-tea-review/

Flavors: Anise, Ginger

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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79
drank Superberry Samba by Zest Tea
24 tasting notes

Thank you Steepster for reminding me to review what I’m drinking today! I started my morning with a strong cup of Superberry Samba because of the high caffeine contents. I save this tea for when I need a real boost of energy.
It tastes quite bitter and strong, but after those first few sips you get a lovely passionfruit flavour with a little berry goodness. Needs a generous teaspoon of sugar if you’re not keen on that astringent start to your day.
I wrote a lot more about this tea, but I won’t bore you with it here. Bottom line: it’s super fruity and one hell of a tea kick! Read more of my review on my humble blog if you’re interested https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/zest-tea-superberry-samba-review/

Flavors: Passion Fruits

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Profile

Bio

A British tea lover with the crazy idea that she can review every possible tea. Ever. Check out my blog to see my progress so far…

My all-time favourite tea brands that I go back to for a cup of comfort:
Clippers
Whittard of Chelsea
English Tea Shop

I rate teas on a spreadsheet, giving marks out of 10 for:
Condition of the tea leaves/ingredients,
Quality of ingredients (e.g. artificial flavours or freshly dried fruit?),
Dry aroma,
Wet aroma,
Flavour,
Texture,
Sensation (how does it make me feel?),
and Colour.
Then, with a little head scratching, I do the math and work out the score out of 100.

Open to tea swaps – even internationally!

Location

Chelmsford, UK

Website

https://www.immortalwordsmith...

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