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YAY!!!! First sample from the swap box Shmiracles sent me!!!! I’m so excited! There are sooooo many teas in this box! You really outdid me. I thought we were shooting for 10. I think I gave you 13. And then I open this deceivingly small box to find 20 samples!!!! Wow!! You are amazing, girl!

So, on to the first one! :D I do have to ask though…What does this tea have to do with North Africa? When I think of houjicha, I think of Japan. When I think of chai spices, I think of India. And when I think of peppermint, I think of Christmas and the North Pole. LOL! No Africa in any of that! But let’s just get brewing already. :P

The dry leaves looks like chai and are chock full of spices and big cardamom pods. Mmm, I LOVE chai! This smells heavenly! And I don’t even remember the last time I had houjicha. It’s been too long. I loved houjicha long before I loved sencha, matcha, white tea, and even oolong! Okay okay, it’s done steeping and now I can finally get to the taste!

First sip…hmm, all I can really taste is chai spices. It probably didn’t help that I just ate three slices of pepperoni and sausage pan pizza. LOL! But I was starving!! I couldn’t wait any longer! Man, I am talkative tonight. I apologize for my ramblings. Just very excited! Second sip…now I’m getting a hint of mint amongst all the spicy goodness. But the houjicha seems very quiet still.

Well, even just as a cup of chai mint tea, it’s yummy! I’m surprised I like the introduction of mint in chai. I think it works because it’s a very small amount of mint compared to the other flavors. Now if only I could get the houjicha to shine! Houjicha has such a nice roasted toasted taste. The base here feels more like a backdrop to the mint and chai spices so that you’re not drinking a purely herbal tea. No roasty toasty elements to be found, sadly.

Oh well, if I didn’t know what houjicha was supposed to taste like, I wouldn’t know what I was missing. So overall, I’m enjoying this cup for what it does taste like. ;) Wow, my brain is just kooky tonight. Is any of this making sense? LOL! Thanks Shmiracles!!!!

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

well, don’t thank me yet, cuz some of those are lapsangs and i notice on your profile that you’re not really a fan. however, i AM a fan and i’m on a secret mission to convert everyone haha.
ok ok not really. but a girl can dream.

Shmiracles

ok see. what really happens is i start putting a box together. and as i do that i’m like “oh but i didn’t include this one” or “i can’t give them this one without that one” etc etc until i’m trying to decide which one to take out cuz i can’t close the box.
i was never good at making mixed tapes either. it’s sooo hard to choooose!
your box is great too!! swapping really is the funnest. i definitely always feel like i get as well as i give. and there is always something to be said about getting to try a brand new tea :)

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Shmiracles

well, don’t thank me yet, cuz some of those are lapsangs and i notice on your profile that you’re not really a fan. however, i AM a fan and i’m on a secret mission to convert everyone haha.
ok ok not really. but a girl can dream.

Shmiracles

ok see. what really happens is i start putting a box together. and as i do that i’m like “oh but i didn’t include this one” or “i can’t give them this one without that one” etc etc until i’m trying to decide which one to take out cuz i can’t close the box.
i was never good at making mixed tapes either. it’s sooo hard to choooose!
your box is great too!! swapping really is the funnest. i definitely always feel like i get as well as i give. and there is always something to be said about getting to try a brand new tea :)

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Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

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Maryland, USA

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