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This is the last of my free Herbal Infusions samples. And it poses something of a dilemma because if I’m reading the description correctly, it could be either a black tea or an oolong depending on what they send you? Or is it a mix of black tea and oolong? No idea.

I honestly can’t tell by looking at it either. A good bit of the volume of the sample is fruit chunks, and of the leaves I see, some could be stevia. I haven’t seen a stevia leaf except in the picture I just googled, so I am not sure. The leaves that look like tea are a medium brown and could be either black or a v. oxidized oolong. I’m going to use boiling water just because I’m feeling lazy today.

The mixture smells fruity, mostly a nonspecific non-citrus fruit scent. Apple and apricot primarily. There is some spiciness as well, which I have found in a number of samples from Herbal Infusions and which leads me to believe it is more likely this is primarily a black tea base, since that’s mostly what my samples were.

After steeping, there is a very fruity aroma. Mostly apple, maybe some pineapple. The taste is sweet and fruity, with a dominant apple flavor. The tea base is what keeps this from tasting like a very lightly flavored fruit punch.

It’s fun to drink something with this name, and it’s flavorful, but I tried it mostly because I liked the name and with the expectation ahead of time that it wouldn’t likely become a favorite. And I was right.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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