2237 Tasting Notes

65

Day 9 of the Whittard advent. There’s some exotic stuff in here; amaranth and cactus blossoms! There’s also mango and chilli (obviously…)

I was surprised this was a black tea in some ways, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. The standard Whittard base, which has just about got to be Ceylon, is fairly citrussy and so it works pretty well. There’s very little malty sweetness to interfere with things.

There’s quite a lot of chilli heat initially, and loads of mango. Very juicy! The pepperiness of the mango and the background warmth and spiciness of the chilli pair pretty well, although it’s a fairly savoury combination. I quite like that, though. It was a nice change of pace from the sweeter teas I’ve been drinking recently. I’m basically finishing up my T2 cubes at work, so it’s been dessert teas a-go-go for quite some time now.

This probably isn’t a blend I’d want to drink all the time, but it’s one I’d definitely come back to from time to time. I’m glad to have tried it, since it’s not something I’d have picked off the shelf for myself. Got to keep challenging those preconceptions!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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55

Day 8 of the Whittard advent calendar.

It’s a pretty standard chai. Nice, but not exciting.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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55

Back to day 6, which was a fruit-based tea. Evening drinking, basically.

The scent of this one reminded me immediately of David’s Movie Night, but in practice it’s not that good. Sadly, because I adore that stuff.

It’s buttery and there’s lots of toffee, but the apple is lacking. It could stand to be a lot sharper, or even just better defined. There’s a light nuttiness from the macadamia, which is nice.

I enjoyed this one well enough, but it’s on the watery side and not overwhelmingly interesting. At least there’s no hibi!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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80

I skipped ahead to day 7 this morning, as 6 is a fruit tea. It’s morning. I want caffeine. Also, this is another tea I’m convinced I’ve tried already, but no notes or rating…

I’m glad to try this one again, though, because it’s unexpectedly good. I had it down in my head as nice but ordinary, but it’s actually deliciously malty with the tiniest background hint of pepper. It’s strong and pretty tannic, but I don’t mind that too much. I mean, I couldn’t drink cup after cup after cup, but it’s ideal as a motivational morning kick.

I have new respect for this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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60

Day 5 of the Whittard advent.

Another white tea; I feel like I’ve not had any white tea in a really long time, so it’s a nice change of pace to find some here. This one has coconut, apple, cocoa and carob, and (no surprises here!) it’s really sweet.

In terms of flavour, I’m on board with the name. It does taste like a coconut truffle, at least up front. It has a nice creamy white chocolate-ness initially, but the more I sipped the more I realised it was actually carob. Caramel and coconut are what I could ultimately taste. It was still nice, but it had drifted from the initial flavour which was (fleetingly, at least) fairly spot on.

As it cooled it developed an aftertaste that reminded me of the way the air tastes in a nearby head shop, but I’m not going to examine that too closely!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70

Day four (?) of the Whittard advent calendar. Only a few days in, and I’ve already lost count. I’m also already behind, but there’s nothing particularly new about that.

This is a white based Earl Grey, and I don’t honestly know whether I’ve ever had one of those before. It’s a slightly strange beast, but it actually works. Who knew? It’s very creamy; lots of vanilla and milkiness here. It’s also quite floral, which is a slight downside for me, but I can overlook it because there are so many other things about this that are good. Like, good good. There’s definitely rose in here, maybe a little jasmine too. My first sip was bergamot heavy, but that seems to have faded as it’s cooled. It’s hard to believe now that it was ever there; I get milk/cream/vanilla and rose, primarily. And I’m enjoying it!

A good start to the day, for once.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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55

I got this as part of a present from an old family friend. It came with the Dreamtime instant tea, which I actually ended up liking even though it was about 99% sugar and 1% actual tea. This is the same deal, basically, except it’s lemon/lime flavoured.

It’s pretty sour initially, like those fizzy sour sweets, but the sugar soon overwhelms that. It’s sort of lemon-limey, but – no surprises here – pretty much mostly just sugar. I drank it hot because it’s winter and it’s cold, but I can see this being pretty nice fridge-cold in the summer. It’s a no-fuss sort of thing, too, which appeals to me at the moment. I’m really having an absolutely can’t be arsed kind of time right now. This suits that mood perfectly.

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60

Third day of the Whittard tea advent. I know for sure that I’ve drank this literally loads of times before, and yet there’s no record on here of it ever having happened. Hmm…

It’s a pretty decent Earl Grey, and I’ve really developed a soft spot for it over the years. I’m one of those perverse people that will sometimes put milk in an EG (but only sometimes, I promise…) I didn’t today, but I know from experience that it holds up reasonably well.

This one has just a touch too much bergamot for me to be absolutely over the moon with it, but it’s nowhere near as blergh as some. It was nice to revisit this one today. It’s definitely been a while.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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70

Second day of the Whittard tea advent. I’m hoping to catch up today, since I’m working from home. I feel like I’ve tried this one before, but there’s no record of it on here. Either I’m confused (likely) or it’s been eaten (entirely possible).

Either way, it leaves me with good tea. Because it is. I’m not usually a fan of floral blends, and the rose in this is pretty strong. What sells it to me is how candy-like it is. Sweet. Sugary. All the things I want at the moment. It also holds up to milk really well, so bonus!

I’d probably not always want this one around, but it’s a nice novelty.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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70

My mum bought be the Whittard advent calender this year, and this was the tea for the 1st December. (I’m a day behind already!)

It smells really good. Sweeter and creamier than I’d expect given it’s name, but there are definite hints of whisky about it in a peaty, smoky kind of way. I added a splash of milk, because the Whittard base isn’t one I’m super keen on ordinarily. It was probably the right decision; it’s not subtle, so the flavouring wasn’t overpowered in the least.

I’m struggling with whisky a little in flavour terms. There’s maybe the very slightest hint, but I mostly get chocolate. Really nice, milky, creamy, chocolatey-chocolate, but chocolate all the same. If this one was called whisky chocolate, I’d be there, because that’s what it is.

It’s pretty delicious, though. I’d buy it because it tastes nice (but not if I were looking for whisky…) If I were looking for Whisky, though, honestly, I’d probably just buy whisky!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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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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