Sipdown! (64/375)

Thank you so much ohfancythat (whatshesaid) for parting with such a generous amount of this for me to try (and the Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake – I figured it out)!

This is a tricky one to rate. Echoing whatshesaid ‘s sentiment, the flavour is pretty spot on, but it’s not one of my favourites, mainly because I’m not a fan of grapefruit. When I was younger I remember staying in a hotel that offered a continental breakfast in the morning, and, seeing a bowl full of grapefruit slices and thinking that they were orange, I filled up my own bowl with them, headed back to my table and promptly got a shock when I shoved them in my mouth and discovered they were not what I had been expecting. I don’t think I ever really got over that surprising bitterness and wishing they were oranges, because all these years later I remember that moment well and still have an aversion to grapefruit. I did enjoy this tea a whole lot more than I expected, though!

I’ve had several cups, black each time, and each time I was surprised by how flavourful it was after such a short steep. The Crimson Horizon was a good choice. Grapefruit always seems like such a breakfast flavour, and the Crimson Horizon is to me a breakfast tea, or at least that’s how I always drink it. It has some natural citrus notes to it, too, which pair really well with the grapefruit note, which is strongly present and impressively accurate in the initial sip. It is bitter, but it seems natural in a grapefruit tea, and adds to the accuracy so that I’ve never felt the need to add milk as I might otherwise. The brown sugar note also comes across, mainly in the aftertaste and I swear it also adds some sweetness. I can taste some sort of creamy note, too, which adds a lot to the sweetness and cuts through the grapefruit nicely. It could just be the power of suggestion, since it is called ‘Grapefruit Creme Brulee, and after reading the description I don’t think it’s actually intended to taste like a real creme brulee but more just a grapefruit halved with brown sugar. Either way, it’s there and I like it. I added some brown rock sugar which intensified the brown sugar (obviously) and creamy notes. It’s still a breakfast tea but now reminds me more of something I would eat after lunch than breakfast. The grapefruit is still the dominant note, bright and tangy but balanced. Since this is my last cup of this tea I decided to try adding milk, since it is my last chance. Turns out I preferred it without, but I’m glad I tried it both ways. With milk the bitterness is no longer present, but it just doesn’t seem quite right any more. It’s a little too creamy and sweet for my liking to be a breakfast tea now, though it does taste a lot more like creme brulee. The grapefruit note I suppose is still there, but without the bitterness it’s throwing me. Like I said, the bitterness seemed like a natural part of a grapefruit flavoured tea, and now it’s gone I’m not sure what it’s supposed to taste like. There is still a citrus note but I wouldn’t be able to immediately identify it as grapefruit any more. Who knew removing the bitterness could be a bad thing? I think I’ll do a resteep of this later to see if there’s any grapefruitiness remaining.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 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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