Sipdown! (63/375)

Thanks for the sample, Janelle!

I really like this, which is annoying. It’s not one I would keep in stock all the time, but I’d probably grab an ounce of it or so around winter time if I had the option. The dry leaf smelled the same as all of my samples now do, and the resulting liquor when brewed has a really distinct fruity sort of smell, so I was worried that this had been contaminated, but I needn’t have worried. This is really lovely. The chocolate note is present mostly at the front of the sip, and the chilli kick – the perfect heat for me – a lovely warming presence in the background, probably verging on the ‘moderate’ side of things but still mild enough that those not keen on spice could still enjoy this tea. But what really shines is the Sansia Black; it is absolutely beautiful and I’m kicking myself that I never tried it unadorned when I had the chance. Had I tried this tea back when Butiki was open I know I would have bought some of it. The distinct leafhopper-bitten honey note is super intense and prominent, followed up by a fruity note which I could definitely describe as cherry mixing soooo well with the chocolate flavour. There’s a thick, malty breadiness to it which makes me think of a chocolate bread, not one of those really sweet dessert-type ones but an actual loaf of bread with cocoa in it. I think that the Sansia must have a natural chocolate note because the flavours seem to mesh together so naturally that if it weren’t for the chilli (which is clearly not a part of the natural tea) I might be tricked into thinking that I was drinking the most magical elixir of a straight tea ever discovered. The best part of all is that I brewed this for four minutes at boiling and there isn’t even the beginnings of a hint of astringency! I added half a sugar which intensified all of the flavours, and now it feels like something really special. Dammit, Stacy, why you gotta be so good for?

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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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.


South Shields, UK

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