I guess this is what you call backlogging?

Last night I was so exhausted from working until after midnight the night before (and starting before 7 a.m. the next morning) that I went directly to bed after dinner. But the night before that, I decided to try replicating this flavor using loose spearmint and peppermint leaves and some tarragon I found on the spice shelf.

I didn’t recall Refresh being overly pepperminty, so I thought they must go heavier on the spearmint. Accordingly, my concoction was 2 parts spearmint, 1 part peppermint and 1/2 part tarragon. It tasted pretty good, and, I thought, similar to what I remembered Refresh tasting like. Then I had Refresh, to compare.

Boy, was I wrong. Big difference. First, the peppermint is stronger than it seemed. Second, the tarragon is actually more responsible for the taste, or perhaps the synergy among the ingredients, than I’d expected. The Refresh tasted much better than my attempt. Much… fresher.

Next time I think I will try a 1:1 ratio of spearmint and peppermint. I may also have to buy some fresher tarragon. And finally, I may need a different peppermint. Although I really like the Upton spearmint, this batch of peppermint, also from Upton, is too earthy for me. I find the dirt undercurrent distracting. I suppose I could also try washing the leaves, so perhaps I’ll do that as well.

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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