I have been very bad at getting round to finally do my tea tasting, ideally before I started receiving everyone elses’ thoughts on the teas. It was blind for me too and I wanted to be as uninfluenced by the consensus as possible. Moving house, flu and regaining a social life meant it took me a little bit longer than intended. So, after a lovely weekend perusing art exhibitions and eating all manner of cakes, sushi and other nibbles, a quiet Sunday evening was spent feasting on eight teas.
Drunk black, I found this too bitter, too strong, too overwhelming. Unusual, I typically love my tea strong, hearty and overpowering. Good colour on it though. With milk it was much improved, there almost seemed a hint of bergamot without the foulness I normally associate with an Earl Grey; nicely fragrant. Turned out to be a real grower, the more I drank the better it got. I suspect this might be Yorkshire. It was certainly lovely. I think this would be a tea I could drink every day, my staple tea at work. Accompanied well with a sweet pastry from the cake shop round the corner. Yum.
Bland. I might still be a bit bunged up from the flu, but couldn’t really distinguish anything black. With milk it was still disappointingly ordinary, this is a tea with absolutely nothing about it. As you get down the cup, it mellows a touch and does improve. Definitely a tea I’d serve to the plumber on a Monday morning when I can’t really be bothered. I’d probably leave out a packet of bourbon biscuits and leave him to it.
Delicious black, with overtones of something else, something extra. Very very nice. With milk becomes ever so rich and malty, while being subtle yet still strong. Utterly drinkable, a totally amazing brew, being fruity and vibrant, slightly tangy too. This was a cracking cuppa. I’d be drinking this with friends on a Saturday lunchtime, with a slice of home made sponge cake before heading out to explore the world. Fantastic.
Good black. Tea D wasn’t too blunt while still being a decently strong brew. With milk this developed into a blinding cuppa, full of flavour without anything really dominating. However, returning to this after Tea C proved it just wasn’t up to the same standard; it actually tasted a bit flat. Mixed opinions then. Perhaps it was over-milked. Not a bad tea to serve with a few chocolate hob-nobs on a drizzly evening.
Very soft and smooth black, exceptionally drinkable. I normally like my tea with a good splash of milk. Doing so, it seems to lose something, becoming utterly undistinguished in the process. This is the tea I’d make in the afternoon and forget about until it had gone stone cold, having eaten the accompanying muffin instead.
Very nice black, pleasant aroma and not overly bitter. Initially seems slightly dull with milk but grows to become rather yummy. Far more delicate than the first 5 teas; it is tasty but not spectacularly so. I think it’d go well with a very rich malty fruit cake, eaten in front of the TV with friends.
First reaction is that this is a strong cup of tea. Lacks any kind of depth or flavour or refinement. Its so so so strong. Too strong probably, being totally one dimensional, and even worse with milk. It reminds me of your bog standard tea bag from the greasy spoon down the road, but possibly worse; a huge disappointment from a loose leaf tea. It’d probably make a good builders tea – strong, add lots of milk and sugar. What would I do with this tea? I certainly wouldn’t serve it to anyone; I might add it to some cement dust if I had a wall that needed building. I think it could be good at unblocking drains as well. And to accompany? I’d put the kettle on and start afresh…
Now we’re talking. While the slightly greenish tint to the liquor is unusual, the aroma marks this tea out as something really exciting. Absolutely delicious black and even better with a tiny splash of milk. This is easily the tastiest tea of the lot, slightly smokey and nutty, fresh and gorgeous. This is the tea that I’d bring out the tea pot and the best tea cups in order to impress someone amazing before we went off to chase squirrels in the park.