313 Tasting Notes


Oh jolly good! Some shitty faced wank stain sorry excuse for a human parasite broke into my house yesterday afternoon and stole a bunch of shit from me and my flatmates. Pardon my French. My laptops are gone, Gentleman’s laptops are gone, and mostly I’m pissed because they weren’t even good laptops but they were mine and they’ll probably have binned them anyway and so the whole venture just means they got nothing out of it and we had to have a new window put in and now we don’t have our computers that, frankly, given all the crap we’ve been through in the last few months, I can’t bloody afford to replace. GOSH DAMN MOTHER FLIPPING BEESTINGS.

So I guess this is kind of an angry review, as I’ve been crying a lot more than I can blame on my period, but I thought, you know, oolong’s nice. And it is, and this is a nice oolong. It’s a darker one so you get that muesli, autumn flavour, but it’s quite a distinctly fruity muesli. Like, there’s some toasted oats and nuts in there, but also an unusual number of raisins and sultanas and stuff. It’s good.

Gentleman’s just walked up to me and handed me a piece of cheese. I’m blessed to have him. We can weather any crap as long as we have each other. I’m grateful for that. I’m so grateful.


Sorry to hear this!! Where do you live?


so sorry…. :(

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I’m not normally a big fan of Ceylon teas, but this one does it for me. There’s a certain fruitiness in the aroma that I can’t quite put my finger on, and a clean sort of autumn leaf taste, and a fruit-floral note to it. The company describes it as floral, but to me that sort of manifests itself in a lighter, fruitier sense, and less in any sort of heavy or super-fragrant way. Good.

Also, I wore a shirtdress I haven’t worn in ages today, and then remembered why I haven’t worn it in ages. It makes me look like either a nurse or a schoolgirl. Seeing how I’m not either, kind of not good. At least Gentleman told me I looked nice. He’s good at knowing what to say.

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I just love this tea a lot, okay? I confess that it’s really nice having a day off of work outside of the weekend, and I’m taking full advantage by, uhh, bingewatching cooking shows and drinking tea. Perfect. This one makes me so happy. It’s almond with cinnamon. How could I not love it?

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Guess who picked up a giant box of tea from the post office this morning?

This happy little dork! BEST THURSDAY EVER

It’s like my mouth has gone mad with flavour. The smell and taste of this tea start out strong, with the buzzing, almost manic smoke of the lapsang standing out at the fore as you’d expect, but there’s an earthy backbone running under it, followed by sweet, true apple flavour. In the cup, this translates to a wonderfully textural, juicy finish. It’s dark, bright, calming, and absolutely delicious. I’m always slightly nervous with any blends where lapsang’s involved as it can easily overpower subtler flavours if you use too much of it or with the wrong thing, but the balance here is good. It’s like eating a bumper crop of fresh autumn apples around a campfire on a cool evening. A cunning blend indeed.

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One of the perks of being a temp is getting to fascinate/horrify a whole new group of coworkers with my interesting teas every time I start a new contract! As it happens, today’s the last day of my new contract (only 3 days, and I bloody like it here! Boooooooooooo) and I think the response to my interesting teas has been largely positive, though I must say this is a very coffee-and-tea-friendly workplace to begin with, with two fully stocked kitchens. GLORIOUS. So I decided to make another steep of this while waiting for the messenger post to arrive.

Ohhhhhhh baby. I don’t quite understand why coffee works with tea, but I suppose if it’s going to work with any tea it’ll be a pu erh, with its complete lack of bitterness and dark notes. I think I actually like this better than coffee (and I do love a good cup of coffee), and it’s one of my favourite pu erhs. It’s a kind of magic. I love Bluebird a lot.

(And yeah, you’ll notice I’m going through my Bluebird samplers again. They’re just the right size bags to carry with me to work and back without weighing me down/looking a bit crazy)


I’m sure you already miss theses 2 kitchens !

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Steeped this twice at the new office today, and OHHH BABY how much have I missed an office with a real kitchen. It was magnificent. They had mugs! They had spoons! They had a sink and so much fresh milk in the fridge and freshly ground coffee!


Seriously though, I don’t know if I just got a lot of oolong in this spoonful specifically, but it was definitely prominent enough alongside the peppermint on first steep, the latter of which actually did still hold its own on steep two, albeit milder. Such an indulgently cozy combination. Ohhhhh baby.

Christina / BooksandTea

Congrats on the new office job! When did you start working there?

Sami Kelsh

It’s a three-day assignment, but THE OFFICE HAS TWO KITCHENS I could cry.

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Hmm. Feeling it a bit less today, actually, even though this cup is basically half Amy Pond and half sipdown of Captain Jack with the aim of minimizing the things I don’t like about each blend. I’m not sure if it’s the berry with the chai that I feel sort of meh about, or the amount of rooibos taste I’m getting, but it’s not a favourite. It’s tasty, but not something I’d buy an entire thing of. Sorry, Amy!

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drank Aussie Wattle Breakfast by T2
313 tasting notes

I got this tea when lovely Gentleman actually suggested we go all the way out to Shoreditch just to visit the T2 shop when we were in London last weekend. Bless his beautiful heart.

I also got it because I knew basically nothing about wattleseed except that I’d never tried it before, and it was an Australian thing. T2 being an Australian company, I thought it’d be appropriate to give this one a go. And I’m so glad I did. Straight out of the bag I get a scent of malty, sweet tea, redolent with cinnamon, chocolate, and almond. Then I went and forgot I was making it and sort of let it steep for 9 minutes.

And you know something? Still delicious! A little tannic, but that’s to be expected with such an overbrew. It’s, like, my ultimate comfort flavour combination. The cinnamon is sweet and warming, lightened by the roasty, toasty presence of almond with hints of cocoa, bolstered by robust black tea that I’m quite sure would be nice and smooth if you brew it for 3-4 minutes instead of like ten. It’s a keeper, that’s for sure. Highly recommended!


For all the T2 blends I’ve drunk in the past, I’d never even really noticed this one. Huh! Thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, it’s so good. Do it!


Sample obtained…!

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I saw this in Cornwall and couldn’t not get it as a souvenir of my visit, right? It’s tea! PIRATE TEA!!!

And given that it was under 2 quid for a box, I’m happy with my decision. It’s more on the “light and lively” side of everyday black teas, while I tend to be more a fan of the “robust, smooth, and tastes vaguely of ovaltine” end of things. But though it tends to go a little tannic if you let it sit longer than, like, a minute, it actually kind of tastes of the seaside. There’s, like, a seaweedy hay note to it that’s piqued my interest. Tastes of the grassy dunes and slimy shores of Cornwall itself, and that’s no bad thing. Go figure!

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I just put my finger on exactly what this tastes like: taai-taais, those wonderful pillowy soft Dutch biscuits, egg-glazed and golden shiny, redolent of aniseedy deliciousness.

And this is coming from somebody who generally doesn’t like aniseed-tasting stuff. It’s just… so good in taai-taais, though, just as it is in this tea. Because this tea tastes like taai-taais.

Having just reminded myself of how damn good this tea is, and being about half a mug away from a sipdown, I am kicking the crap out of myself for not picking up a full bag in my last adagio order. Bad Kelsh!

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My Time Lord name is the Brewmaster. Currently working on People Of Who, an exhibition of portraits of the people who made Doctor Who happen. Professional dilettante. Literary enthusiast, frustrated sometime writer. Knitter of things.


Probably a small grey sofa in Oxford



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