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I’m the only one of all my co-workers who likes this, though I have some friends and guests who love it. During our tasting last fall I got both cups of this, sweetened and unsweetened. I must say the rock sugar gives it more of a holiday spice feel rather than the earthy culinary spice feel it has without. It is very clove and pepper dominant and leaves the whole body feeling warm and buzzing, this physical sensation is why I come back to it.

While for the last couple months I’ve been drinking mostly straight tea there are a few flavored oolongs I decide to brew every now and then. Monday it was French Spice Quartet. I was surprised to get three infusions out of it and Was pleased at how large the oolong leaves unfurled. I have yet to try a straight pu-erh though I have several samples, but there is a nice earthy punch in there that doesn’t seem to come from the oolong or spices. This time the blend was less warming and more churning, I had three 16 oz servings before a very late lunch and my stomach seemed to be nawing on itself, perhaps aided by the digestive properties of the oolong and pu-erh.

Overall a very interesting blend, not a chai masala and not a dessert spice tea. It is strong and not for everyone. I’m not sure if it will last past this year, but I’ll enjoy it while I can, next time after a meal.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
The DJBooth

Definitely one of the better one’s that Teavana has masterminded.

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The DJBooth

Definitely one of the better one’s that Teavana has masterminded.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

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Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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