This is my final The Spice and Tea Exchange (TSTE) entry in the trilogy purchased by my thoughtful wife last weekend. I hate to see these selections come to an end. The first two that I tried, Black Chocolate and Lapsang Souchong, were simply amazing. Let’s see if TSTE can keep the run alive!

When I opened the zip-lock pouch of black leaves with blue, yellow, and brown specks, a very strong fruity/blueberry aroma was instantly revealed. It was a natural smell, not fake or chemical.

I steeped the leaves at 212 degrees for four minutes as recommended in the instructions on the pouch. The brewed color was a deep amber. A robust blueberry odor gushed from the pot.

My first sip produced a sweet, smooth, and very blueberry taste in my mouth. The flavor was much like the smell: sweet, full, and very natural, without any artificial inclinations. The taste was like fresh blueberries had just been picked and squeezed over the tea. The black tea attribute was in the back of the bus at no disadvantage to the great flavor.

The taste remained delightfully unchanged with all subsequent sips (and then gulps). Bitterness was nowhere to be found. The aftertaste was sweet and fruity. It reminded me of the glass of natural blueberry juice I drank a while back.

I wasn’t that fond of fruity teas as most of the ones I tried seem to have a chemical or perfume-like taste. However, the flavor of this tea was excellent. It was wonderful at breakfast and I’m sure it would be equally terrific at lunch, dinner, or iced. This blend was great enough to make me give the fruity tea category another chance!

To say that I am extremely impressed by the quality and flavor of TSTE’s teas would be a gross understatement. As I mentioned in an earlier tasting note, their selections are somewhat pricey at about $5.50 per ounce. Having said that, I also feel that the quality matched the price. All three of the selections that I tried were absolutely incredible. I may need to send my wife on another trip to the Washington, D.C., area soon! :-)

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I ventured into the world of serious tea drinking in the Summer of 2011. I started out slowly and gently with bagged tea but climbed to the incredible flavorful heights of loose leaf teas in October of that year. Once you go leaf, you never go bag (except when you get free samples)!


South Carolina, USA

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