drank Hawaii Cocktail by TeaFrog
953 tasting notes

In honor of the recently expired Steepster Select in which I didn’t participate this time around, I’m breaking out one of my samples from the last TeaFrog Steepster Select (which explains why I didn’t participate this time, I still had all the samples from last time intact until a few minutes ago).

I wish that I had tried a different sample for my first TeaFrog venture as this one and I didn’t get along very well.

Initially, I thought it was going to be similar to Tazo Passion, Teavana Caribbean Breeze and The O Dor Je M’appelle Dorothee. It’s a pretty, chunky, blend with a lot of dark red and brown tones, and some lighter neutral colors that appear to be the tropical fruit. I could smell the hibiscus in the dry blend, but the main fragrance I got was currants, followed by the tropical fruit, primarily pineapple. So far so good.

On steeping it turned that beautiful dark red color that these other three tisanes share, but after that things took a different turn. Toward the extremely tart. I could smell the tartness in the aroma of the blend after steeping, and on tasting it was confirmed. Very tart, and slightly bitter around the edges (it stays with in the aftertaste and I’m thinking it is at least partially from the orange peel). Not what I generally prefer in a fruit blend as I like ’em sweet.

I put a bit of sweetener in to see how that would change things, and while it did sweeten up and bring out the fruit flavors more, it didn’t do much to turn around the bitter note.

So sadly, my first try was not a success. I have a lot of other samples, though, so I’m hopeful!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Hooray for hope!

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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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