I found a filter bag of Tazo Refresh in my chest of random assorted “maybe I’ll drink this some day” individually wrapped tea bags. It’s in the dark green envelope, so it’s obviously a bit old, since the latest crop of Tazo filter bags come in light envelopes. I decided to give it a try now that I regularly imbibe the sachet version of Refresh at Starbucks as a follow-up (and free refill) to my coffee.

The filter bag is perfectly potable, but, predictably, not as good as the sachet. One immediately noticeable difference, as the blend steeps, is that the scent of the filter bag is nowhere near as strong and—I dare say—aromatherapeutic as the sachet. I seriously walk around sniffing the Refresh fumes through the little hole in the top of my Starbucks cup. People in the street who see me probably think that I’m a real weirdo. Oh well, at least I’m not talking to myself. Or am I? One never knows these days with all of the newfangled gadgets available. In the post-Y2K world of Twitter and selfies, when people walk around incoherently babbling to themselves, everyone just thinks that they’re using a Bluetooth.

Now back to Refresh. I definitely did not notice so much the scent of the Refresh filter bag while drinking it. Yes, it smelled like a somewhat standard spearmint-heavy tisane, but it did not have the same “come hither, flaring nostrils” quality at all.

The filter bag is okay. I won’t buy it, though, so long as the sachet remains available. The dried powder blend in the filter bag does not rehydrate to the same degree as the shredded herbs (spearmint, peppermint and, most importantly, tarragon) in the sachets do.

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Effective February 1, 2015, I’ll be writing about tea at my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves. Please stop by and contribute your ideas—all viewpoints are welcome!

A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

The scent of tea can be just as appealing as—sometimes more than—its taste! Tea also offers boundless visual beauty in its various forms and states of preparation.

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2400+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):


Finally, please note that after a great deal of debate with myself, I have decided to use the cupboard here at Steepster as a “museum” of sorts—to commemorate all of the various teas which I have purchased and truly enjoyed since December 2013.

I do not currently possess all of the teas listed in this cupboard, but am using the function as a way of recording how many times I drank every tea which I did own at some point and wish not to forget. Teas found both in my “cupboard” and on my “wishlist” are those which I did own and intend to restock. Teas best forgotten have been removed from the cupboard once depleted (in some cases tossed…).

I have also decided (beginning in 2015) to use the tasting note function to maintain a chronological record of the teas I’ve consumed since December 15, 2013. Most new reviews will now be posted directly at my blog, sherapop’s tea leaves.


Somerville, Massachusetts, USA



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