Had another go with this yesterday, while watching an old episode of The Vampire Diaries on DVD. When I made the first cup a few days ago, I kind of forgot what I was dealing with and treated it much as I would any other black tea. I was “rewarded” with a very strong chilli kick, which was almost a bit much. So today, I decided to try and remedy that a little and brewed this as a latte instead. I used quite a big cup, added an extra teaspoon of leaf (with some trepidation, admittedly), and used half as much water as I usually would. After about 5 minutes, I topped it up with some warmed milk.

It’s much better this way. The chilli is still there, but it’s a spicy warmth rather than a hot burn. The other flavours are also a little more prevalent — there’s more chocolate coming through, and some of the other spices, like the cinnamon and ginger, are making their presence known.

It’s nice to know that there are a couple of ways I can brew this, depending on the flavour profile I’m looking for. It’s equally reassuring to know that I can tone the chilli down into something pleasant, rather than a challenge. I feel more at home with this one now.

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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