I woke up craving this tea, even though I probably need something with more caffeine. I opened the packet containing this tea, and inhaled the glorious, sweet jasmine scent. I boiled the water. I checked the temperature. I watched the clock as it brewed, waiting for my first taste of jasmine ambrosia….

And then I was disappointed. This tea tastes flat today somehow. The throat drying sensation of the jasmine doesn’t really pop, and it’s not as sweet as I remember.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been trying a lot of new teas lately. And I’ve been disappointed that the flavours were flat, dusty, nothing special, whatever. But when that same feeling happens with a tea I’ve had before, that I know I like? There’s got to be something else wrong. Maybe it’s not the tea’s fault.

Is something wrong with the water? Do I need to clean out my kettle? More investigation is necessary.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Updated February 2014:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen for loose-leaf tea hard. Within a year of joining Steepster, I’ve spent at least $500 on tea, and gotten a whole bunch in swaps! At this point I’ve got a better handle on what I like and dislike, but I’m sure that there will always be more to discover.

Likes: Green tea, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender.

Things I’m on the fence about: Oolong, vanilla (I prefer it mixed with black teas or rooibos rather than green tea), white teas.

Still need to do my research on: pu’er teas.

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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