79

A strange little tea, full of surprises.

When I read the ingredients, I thought it sounded like a terrible mistake. Yet it actually works pretty well.

The dry mix in the sample packet smells mostly like vanilla/coconut and chamomile. The addition of water brings out the lavender. (The mixture in the infuser after brewing smells mostly like lavender and chamomile. Its nice. The association I had was with the smell of something that belongs in a sachet in my sock drawer.)

My glass tasting cups are all in the dishwasher so I’m having to view the liquor against a white background. It’s dark, definitely getting its color from the black tea. The aroma is mostly chamomile, followed by lavender, followed by coconut, followed by vanilla. I’m not detecting much in the way of tea.

The taste is extremely interesting. It has an almost minty taste and feel to it, a volatile coolness. I think this is the lavender. I can taste the chamomile, and it’s in the foreground, but surprisingly it’s not that mouthful of flowering hay taste chamomile sometimes reminds me of. The lavender and coconut (or maybe the tea) take the edge off, so it’s all of what I like about chamomile with none of what I don’t like about it. There’s coconut/vanilla at the end.

The main thing I’m not tasting is the tea. It’s strange, though. I’m not really tasting it, but I’m aware of its presence.

I didn’t try this with sugar and milk, as suggested. I will give that a try next time.

I am pretty impressed that this turned out as well as it did. Who would have thunk it?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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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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