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Finally! My inaugural tea of the Doulton-engineered French buying extravaganza!

MmmmmmMMMMmmmmmMMmmmm.

And that’s just the smell of the dry leaves. Amazing raspberry. Reminds me of the filling in linzer tarts, which I used to get from a little pastry shop in Cambridge, MA. I can smell it from several feet away; if I stick my nose into the bag (that has an adorable little giraffe sticker on it :-)) it becomes extremely concentrated. Dark chocolate color leaves with flecks of lighter brown.

The variety and complexity in the aroma becomes more apparent after steeping. I can smell some vanilla, and berry, but I’m also getting a note that seems lemon or orange. Some citrus in any case.

The taste has wonderful berry things going on. It’s not the Kool Aid of some berry teas I have tried, it’s more of the kind of berry note you’d find in a nice wine. It adds a tiny bit of tartness to the tail of the sip. Vanilla is there, but not a strong presence. I’m trying to figure out what berry I’m tasting and I think it’s mostly raspberry and strawberry, but what a contrast to the strawberry of other flavored teas. It’s subtle, but deep and smooth. Apart from the tart berry-tail, the tea is medium-sweet. Not sugary like some blacks. I can see what they mean when they say caramel, though it isn’t the sweet caramel of the Sugar Caramel Oolong. It isn’t bitter either, it’s just a number of notches down from carmelized-sugar sweet. There’s a fresh note to the finish which strikes me as floral.

Note to self: try more leaf next time. I used about 1.5 tsp in about 8 oz water. I think it could go stronger and perhaps unfold even more.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
S

Ooh, do you remember the name of the pastry shop?

__Morgana__

Unfortunately no, and I have no idea if it is still there as I haven’t been back since the mid 80s, but I remember where it was. It was in a shopping center in Harvard Square that also had a Souper Salad and Pizzeria Uno, among other things. The little pastry shop was right next to the Souper Salad. It really wasn’t a lot more than a counter with cookies and pastries in a window, but I remember it being a great temptation after having tried to be virtuous by eating at Souper Salad!

S

Oh, sad, I don’t think it’s there anymore :( and neither is Souper Salad, although Uno’s still is!

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S

Ooh, do you remember the name of the pastry shop?

__Morgana__

Unfortunately no, and I have no idea if it is still there as I haven’t been back since the mid 80s, but I remember where it was. It was in a shopping center in Harvard Square that also had a Souper Salad and Pizzeria Uno, among other things. The little pastry shop was right next to the Souper Salad. It really wasn’t a lot more than a counter with cookies and pastries in a window, but I remember it being a great temptation after having tried to be virtuous by eating at Souper Salad!

S

Oh, sad, I don’t think it’s there anymore :( and neither is Souper Salad, although Uno’s still is!

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Bio

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.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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