72
drank Yellowstone by Simpson & Vail
2586 tasting notes

I thought I would try another of my remaining National Parks teas today! I had a couple that I was holding off on because I felt like I should post them on Instagram, but now that I’m not doing that anymore I’m free to try them whenever I like! It’s funny how we impose such restrictions on ourselves for no real reason…

Anyway, this is another prickly pear black tea – similar to Grand Canyon (I think it was). The package mentions strawberry pieces but only prickly pear flavoring, so I’m expecting to mostly get prickly pear, bergamot, and perhaps something from the oatstraw.

Welp. It actually is quite similar to Grand Canyon, because I barely taste bergamot at all. The prickly pear is present, and is giving me the usual tart rhubarb sort of vibes. I do feel like there are some strawberry notes, but not sure if that’s just because of the expectation or just an association with strawberry-rhubarb pie. The base is quite earthy and woody, which actually makes a rather nice foundation for the fruity and tart elements. The bergamot is barely there, and I don’t think I would have even noticed it if I hadn’t read the ingredients…

I think I slightly prefer Grand Canyon to this one, but I’m not sure either of them makes my skirt fly up enough to warrant an order. It’s a bit odd to me that they made such similar teas in the same collection… I think I just have one National Parks tea left to try from the sampler!

Flavors: Bergamot, Earth, Jam, Prickly Pear, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

I don’t think it’s new or trendy, but all of a sudden I’m seeing lots of teas with oats or oatstraw. Didn’t pick it up at the time, but Celestial Seasonings had a wellness tea with cinnamon and oats that made me curious.

Cameron B.

That’s so interesting that’s it seems to be sort of a thing now. I guess maybe it makes sense since oatmilk is very popular? I didn’t really notice the oatstraw in this blend, but there was one of the other National Park teas where I remember it giving an oat-y note that I enjoyed.

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gmathis

I don’t think it’s new or trendy, but all of a sudden I’m seeing lots of teas with oats or oatstraw. Didn’t pick it up at the time, but Celestial Seasonings had a wellness tea with cinnamon and oats that made me curious.

Cameron B.

That’s so interesting that’s it seems to be sort of a thing now. I guess maybe it makes sense since oatmilk is very popular? I didn’t really notice the oatstraw in this blend, but there was one of the other National Park teas where I remember it giving an oat-y note that I enjoyed.

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ 2021 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ December Sipdowns: 3
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 492

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

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Austin, Texas

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https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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