620 Tasting Notes

74
drank Jamaïque by Mariage Frères
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 106/395

Another from the EU TTB. I was super excited about this one when I first picked it out, because I’d heard so many good things about it. I remember being really disappointed when I tried it and couldn’t taste any vanilla or rum, so I held onto the last cup of my sample as it never really grabbed me, expecting it to be as lacklustre as the first time. This made it a good candidate to drink while my tastebuds were on strike, though, so I brewed it up and was surprised when I took my first sip and BOOM flavour. I drank the whole cup plain, no additives, and got it all – rum, vanilla, and some dark rich frutiness which was hard to place. I owe you an apology, Mariage Freres; I never should have underestimated you.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

Okay I swear I’d reviewed this tea before… I’m pretty sure I even remember mentioning how I don’t usually like green teas all that much but could drink this one all day… What’s going on with Steepster eating my notes??

I snagged this from the EU TTB round 2 after trying it on a whim and finding to my surprise that I actually really enjoyed it. It’s not as vegetal or astringent as many of the green teas I’ve tried in the past, and has more of a buttery, smooth and mild flavour. I would actually pick this one up!

As a side note, I apologise for how brief and vague my recent tasting notes have been/are going to be. A lot of these are backlog from the past few days when I haven’t felt like coming on here, as well as old teas (I’m focusing on trying to sip down all of the teas I’ve had the longest and as a result many of them have lost some of their former glory). I’ve also been getting over a cold, and still don’t have all of my taste fully back yet, so all of this combined means my tasting notes are not exactly thrilling right now. I can’t bring myself to not drink any tea until I’m feeling better, so I thought I may as well drink some that have already lost flavour while my taste is not 100% anyway. Plus, I really want to break my no-buy and pick up the sampler of Bluebird Tea Co.’s spring selection, so I think if I manage to get myself to 125 sipdowns I will allow myself to buy that as a treat. Motivation, right?

Sipdown (105/395)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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44
drank White Angel by Tea Desire
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 104/395

Another of the oldest teas in my collection, acquired some years ago now from a mystery box I bought from MissB. Drank after receiving some bad news, and while coming down with a cold. I barely tasted it. Some maybe-pineapple fruitiness. I was surprised to find it was a green tea.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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73
drank Key Lime Pie by Della Terra Teas
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 103/395

I seem to be in the minority with this one – I like it! It is closing in on 4 years old at this point, so maybe that’s why, but I don’t get any bitterness from the tea whatsoever. It’s definitely more ‘key lime’ than ‘pie’, and I would like there to be some buttery pie crust notes, but it’s still a pretty nicely flavoured tea without it. The lime flavour is most present but there is a creaminess which rounds it out, too. As the cup cools the cream becomes far less noticeable and the lime note peeks through a much more dominant base. I’ve just had some bad news about a family member while I was writing this so I’m going to cut my note short, but yeah. I liked it.

ETA: Thanks go to Janelle for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
teepland

Hope everything’s okay with your family member… :(

Fjellrev

Oh no, I’m sorry, Nattie. I hope everything is ok.

mrmopar

Prayers your way.

Nattie

Thanks, everyone.

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69
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 102/395

I can’t believe I don’t have a tasting note on this already! I could swear I remember writing one in the past… weird. It’s a shame I didn’t have a note already, since this was one of the oldest teas in my collection and isn’t as complex as it once was. I don’t get any citrusiness from the bergamot, nor do I really get much vanilla, though there is a hint of it. Mostly, this is a very plummy, stone-fruit heavy malty black tea. I am drinking this plain and the base tea is nicely smooth and does not overpower the fruit notes. It is a very pleasant cup to drink while spending a quiet afternoon reading.

Thank you MissB for sending me such a generous sample of this tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML

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86

Attempting to get rid of a few ravaged-by-time teas today while I do a giant pile of ironing, and this tea from Kittylovestea is far too old to hang onto any longer. The flavours have faded to ‘pleasant green tea creaminess’ at this point, with some bonus weird fruitiness which I think is the result of cross-contamination. It’s okay, but I remember it being sooo much better. My ranking is based on how I remember this tea, creamy and nutty and delicious. I’m not going to mark it down because I let it hang around getting old in my cupboard.

Sipdown! 101/395

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Jlvintagelove

Wow, kudos to you…I can’t remember the last time I ironed anything =)

Nattie

To be honest, it was the first time I’d ironed anything in a really long time, lol. (:

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94

Sipdown 100/395!! Triple digits y’all!!

I finished this off dumping the rest of the leaf from my sample into my ingenuiTEA, and I only gravitated towards this tea as a sort of stomach settler, as my boyfriend had been up through the night ill and I wasn’t feeling so great myself when I got home from work. I drank it in bed catching up on Strictly and was super surprised by how delicious it was. I expected to like it, since I am a fan of jasmine teas, but I was not prepared for how natural and delicate the jasmine flavour was, or how juicy and almost fruity the white tea was. It’s super flavourful, and I managed three steeps Western style without the flavour profile changing too much. I think it would last even longer if I’d treated it better, too. Definitely going on my repurchase list for when I’m finally done this no-buy. But, still, 100 down, I guess?

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML
Sil

go you!

mrmopar

BIG sipdown!

Dexter

Great Job!!!!

Evol Ving Ness

I love that we celebrate buying and no-buying here! :)

TreeGal

This sounds really delicious! Onto the list it goes!

Nattie

Thanks, everyone! ^^

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66
drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
620 tasting notes

Sipdown 99/395! Sipdown 100 here we come!!

Thank you to VariaTEA and Janelle who both sent me samples of this tea. I’m actually mixing the scraps of both to eke out one last cup today. It’s a little underleafed, but hey. I don’t know why I’m gravitating so much towards cinnamon-heavy teas at the moment, maybe it’s the snow making me want a warming tea, but I’m just going to roll with it. Sorry if everything I’m posting is the same. Anyway, I get a lot of the cinnamon in this, with a kind of brown sugar cakey aftertaste. Plain, the cinnamon is definitely the most prominent flavour, but I added a little sugar and the ‘roll’ notes of butter and Brown sugar came through a lot more. Cinnamon rolls are some of my favourite things in the world, so maybe I’m biased in saying that it doesn’t really totally convey all the flavours, but it’s still pretty nice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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77

Sipdown! #98/395

I really have trouble letting go of Butiki blends, even ones like this that were never really my favourites in the first place. So I added this into my focus box almost a year ago, and I’m only just sipping it down now because I held onto it way too long. Totally my own fault, of course, but now I’m having my final pot and 90% of the magic is gone. The yummy bready, cakey base is still yummy, and the vanilla cream cheese frosting flavour is still discernable, but most of the carrot cake spices have faded completely and the tea is just feeling more flat than it used to. Still, I am enjoying it. It’s a nice quiet tea for a nice quiet afternoon.

ETA: playing around with additives, and a pinch of sugar does amp up the ‘frosting’ element of this tea, but milk is a hard no. I added some to one of my cups of this and it just mutes all of the yumminess and really highlights the staleness of my tea. Oh, well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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81

I tend to gravitate towards this tea quite often on a night time, or through the day when I want something decaf or sweet and fruity without being too much. I will write a more detailed note for this tea another time when I’m not so inexplicably tired, but it is a surprisingly tasty tea, and one which I would probably repurchase if I ever get my stash down enough to do so.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Profile

Bio

I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.

Location

South Shields, UK

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