2196 Tasting Notes

85

Apparently I was on a latte kick last night, because this was my pre-bedtime cup. And I slept so well. I’m thinking this tea made the difference, because I haven’t slept that soundly in a long time.

Sometimes tea that’s supposed to inspire sleep gives me weird, super-vivid nightmares, but fortunately that wasn’t the case here. I’ve more or less identified passionflower as the cause of that, but it doesn’t explain why B&B’s Dozy Girl does the same thing…

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100

I made a latte with this last night and, even though it’s super-old, I was reminded how amazingly awesome it actually is. With some added honey and vanilla, it tastes exactly like liquid blueberry muffin. When I’m back in more of a routine with things, I’ll definitely be buying a fresh tin.

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60

It’s peppermint; not too dank. I drank it during our office move this week, since most of my loose leaf tea and infusers were being held hostage in a crate for the best part of two days. I’m still not sure how I survived.

Also, I think I might be back. It’s been a while!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Mastress Alita

Welcome back!

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100

365/365

Today is the last day of my 365 Days of Tea challenge! It’s gone so quickly, it feels odd to be at the end already. I saved this tea until last because it strikes me as a celebratory kind of blend. I’ve got a good feeling about it!

I had to try this one, literally as soon as I saw it. It has sparkling wine flavouring, and gold shimmer. Sold! The scent of the dry leaf upon opening the pouch is similar to opening a bottle of prosecco – alcoholic in the best possible way! Strong, though. Unexpectedly so, given that this is tea.

The scent holds even once brewed, and the gold shimmer is really pretty. It’s not quite as gaudy as David’s Glitter & Gold used to be, but it’s not subtle either. I tried to capture it in my photo for my facebook challenge album, but it turned out to be impossible. You’ll just have to take my word for it!

In terms of flavour, it’s really nice. It’s rare that a tea claiming to taste of wine actually does, but it’s true of this blend. Prosecco is the first thing I tasted! The pomegranate is there too, as if you’d added some to a glass – juicy and tartly fruity, but definitely a background flavour. It’s all about the wine here!

I’m glad I picked this one up. It’s a really nice festive treat, and an excellent way to round off my challenge. If you can try this one, you absolutely should!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Snore & Peace by Clipper
2196 tasting notes

364/365

I assume the name of this one is a play on “War & Peace”, that notable sleep-inducer. I find that cutely amusing, but in practice this is a pretty ordinary blend – chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender. The flavour isn’t bad, but it’s not unique or particularly inspiring – I mostly get lavender, with just a hint of lemon, and then the sweetness of chamomile in the background. It’s like a lot of sleep teas I’ve tried, in that respect, but I’m always up for trying a new one! So far, the Twinings Superblends and Bird & Blend’s Dozy Girl have been most effective for me, but both seem to give me crazily vivid dreams, which is a side effect I could do without. So, the search continues…

I didn’t experience any dreams with this one, but I’m not sure that it really helped me get to sleep. It took me at least an hour to drop off. I felt I stayed asleep more readily, although that could be coincidence. I’ll have to give it a few more tries before I can say for certain. I wouldn’t say I particularly like the flavour, but that’s more to do with my own personal preferences than anything else. I’m not generally a fan of floral teas, but sleep blends tend to be that way inclined. It’s drinkable, but not particularly…interesting? I’ve tried more flavoursome options, let’s say. Still, I don’t tend to drink sleep teas for the flavour, on the whole. It’s time I stopped complaining.

I’ll persevere for a while, certainly long enough to finish the box. You never know, after all.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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40

363/365

The last of my untried flavoured matchas! I made this one as a shot in cold milk, because simple. It’s about the only thing I have time for on a morning at the moment. I like my new job, but the commuting is evil. Anyway, I was hoping for a creamsicle sort-of vibe with this one, but unfortunately that’s not what I got. There wasn’t much in the way of orange flavour, and what there was came across pithy and a touch bitter. This was one of Bird & Blend’s first flavoured matchas, if I remember right, so perhaps they just weren’t as on point with those early ones as they are now…but still, it was disappointing. I also found it a bit clumpy, but that might just have been my impatience.

It’s not awful, but there are definitely better B&B matchas out there.

Mastress Alita

Perhaps vanilla almond milk would help bring out a creamsicle note?

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80
drank Gone Surfing by T2
2196 tasting notes

362/365

Yet another sleep blend! This one’s a blend of chamomile, lavender, spearmint, passionflower, rose, linden, and lemon balm. It reminds me a little of Twinings Superblends Sleep, but it’s just not as flavourful. It actually tastes quite “flat” to me – mostly lavender, but with a background of chamomile. There’s not much of anything else. I was looking forward to the spearmint, but it’s not really there; maybe there’s a tiny hint of background sweetness, but it’s just as likely I’m imagining it.

I’ve tried this one once before, I think, although some years ago now. I remember really liking it, so I’m not sure if something’s changed between now and then. Unless my tastes have changed more than I thought they had…

I found the passionflower effective in the Twinings, but it did give me weird dreams so I’m hoping to avoid that here if I can. I’m drinking it a good couple of hours ahead of bedtime to try and help me relax, with the intention of avoiding the worst excesses. I did find it a little drying, which isn’t excellent in a pre-bedtime tea. I find I get thirsty during the night anyway. It’s not astringent, as such, just…very herbal?

I can’t say I really like this one for it’s flavour; it needs something to brighten it up. Lemon, maybe? A decent quantity of spearmint might have helped. Maybe my bag just needs a good shake! I’ll be trying this one again, so I’m not going to alter my previous raring for now. There’s time for it to prove itself yet!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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80

361/365

Made this one up as a shot, since I’m having a lot of success with that recently. It’s also quick and easy to prepare on a morning, which is when I tend to need matcha most! I’m not sure why this is called swampthing – there’s certainly nothing particularly swampy about it, in terms of colour, scent, or taste. It’s described as lavender & lime, which gave me pause, but the initial flavour reminded me more of Skittles than anything. Or Starburst, maybe. The green ones, mostly, which would make sense, but not exclusively by any means. There’s a kind of tangy, fruity, sweetness that’s reminiscent of fruit flavoured candy generally – but I’m okay with that!

I get a lot of lime from this, in a tangy, candy-like sort of way. I don’t get much lavender at all, which is fine by me. The thought of floral matcha scares me a bit. I hadn’t expected to get along with this one, but it’s actually really nice. A good surprise, for once! This is another matcha I’d be happy to add to my morning repertoire – which, thanks to Bird & Blend and their sudden explosion of flavoured matcha releases – only seems to keep expanding!

Facebook reminded me this morning that today marks one year since I began my challenge. I’m happy that I haven’t slipped too much – only by 4 days or so, thanks to colds, new jobs, and general life stress. This year has gone so quickly, though! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already! Today is also my first work-at-home day, which I’m thoroughly appreciating. Peace, quiet, no commuting, no phones…I’m so glad I finally put the effort into changing job this year. My new one isn’t perfect, but it’s way better than my old one and I’m a lot happier for it. Hopefully next year will be an equally positive one!

ashmanra

What challenge are you celebrating? Congrats on the first day working at home! Peace and quiet are precious!

Scheherazade

My 365 days of tea :)

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90
drank Caramel Brownie by T2
2196 tasting notes

360/365

This one turned out to be more pleasant than I thought it might be, but then I’m not sure why I didn’t think I’d like it to begin with. A minor trepidation about chocolate teas, maybe? As it happens, it’s a good one! There’s lots of caramel – it actually reminded me very clearly of a Cadbury’s Caramel bar, which can only be a good thing. The caramel tasted smooth and glossy in the same sort of way; sweet, but not overpoweringly so. The chocolate is nice also; a tad artificial, maybe, but at least not watery or weak. While the overall impression is of milk chocolate, there’s a background hint of cocoa that’s really pleasant, and only adds to the overall effect.

I drank today’s cup black, but I think this might make a decent latte. If not, then I like it fine anyway – a good thing, given that I have 100g…

Overall, a really decent cup. One of the better chocolate teas I’ve tried recently.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp

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60
drank Love by Pukka
2196 tasting notes

359/365

This one’s a slightly unusual choice for me, being a blend of rose, chamomile, and lavender. Floral teas generally aren’t my jam, but I’d heard a reasonably number of good things about this one and I figured I should probably give it a try before my challenge ends. It’s so close now!

In the end, I didn’t find it particularly memorable. It’s lightly floral and very sweet. There’s so much liquorice, it couldn’t really be otherwise, but I guess it’s fitting for a tea named love. If it wasn’t sweet, there’d be disappointment. Especially when it comes in a bright pink box. Like, retina searing.

Anyway, the most prominent flavour is rose, followed by lavender. I couldn’t really tell there’s chamomile there at all, even though it’s purportedly the main ingredient in quantity terms. I found it reasonably palatable; more so than I’d expect for a blend containing some of my least favourite things. I’d like it more, except the liquorice really spoils it.

It’s not one I’d buy again, but I had to try it at some point. It’s by no means bad, just not for me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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