70
drank Skylark by August Uncommon Tea
2230 tasting notes

017/365

I’m considering buying some more August Uncommon blends, now that I’m apparently back on a tea-buying bender. I feel like I’ve bought all the tea in the last two weeks. I’ve certainly made up for lost time!

The description for this one mentions tangerine, and I don’t get that at all. What I can taste is strawberry; sweet and juicy, and really flavour accurate. It tastes to me like a strawberry that’s maybe just a touch over-ripe, when they go soft and pinkish in patches, and become even sweeter and more strawberry-like than they were to begin with. The end of the sip brings a light lemon flavour, with just a hint of orange peel. It’s a semi-pithy flavour, rather than juicy, but it’s a good contrast with the super-sweet strawberry. There’s a slight earthiness in the aftertaste that I’m guessing might be the silver linden.

I was intrigued by the inclusion of thyme, but it’s actually totally lost as far as I can taste. That’s a shame, because I was hoping it would cross a kind of sweet/savoury divide. As it stands, this one mostly strikes me as a sweet dessert tea, and I would have liked more “forest”. It’s definitely a case of a description making promises the actual tea can’t deliver, although somehow it’s close. That’s maybe the most infuriating thing of all.

I noticed from reading other notes that people found the sencha to be fairly prominent, and I don’t get that at all. I feel like I have a low tolerance for green tea when it’s obviously getting in that way of the flavouring, or clouding my appreciation of what the blend is supposed to be delivering. I don’t find that to be the case here – it’s just a smooth, sweet backdrop for the equally smooth, sweet flavours – a green meadow on a sunny day, to keep with August’s imagery. I was a lot more conservative with my brew time than they recommend, though. If I’d left it for 5 minutes, as the pouch instructs, I feel it might be a different story. I don’t typically give my greens more than 3 minutes, particularly on first steep.

I like the flavour of this one, but I feel like it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I guess based on the few I’ve tried, I’ve become used to August Uncommon blends delivering something fairly unique, and this one really just isn’t. It’s a pleasant, easy drink though, and so I can’t really complain.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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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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