Featured & New Tasting Notes

98
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
1774 tasting notes

So Dexter3657 drank this yesterday and got me thinking about it, and since they don’t need me at work today it is TOTALLY the right choice to drink this one today while I can enjoy it. (Aside from the sick hubby and toddler who need attention. :P)

I’m taking a Special Dark break!

The first time I had this I followed the instructions and steeped it for 30 seconds, but this time I went right for 4. Maybe next time I will go for 8. I didn’t realize this one couldn’t be oversteeped but you can’t blame me for being hesitant! If I did this to one of my favourite blacks it would likely be too bitter and strong at the end.

This, on the other hand, at 4 minutes is quite rich and dark. And yes, very chocolatey. I almost want to rip open my 85% emergency-use-only chocolate bar just to compare the different types of chocolate, but I’d better save that for an emotional pick-me-up. This cuppa has made me happy enough already!

Yes. This is complete proof that Puerh ISN’T something to be afraid of! I can do it! I can enjoy it! Also, this makes me want to put in an order at Mandala to see what else they can do with Puerh!

Flavors: Cocoa, Earth

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Stephanie

:D Love this one

Dexter

Crazy right? But it totally works, and it’s yummy.

I placed a Mandala order this morning…. Garret is so nice, and the teas are amazing. I already have shipping confirmation with tracking number. Can’t beat the customer service. :))

Cavocorax

That’s pretty awesome. Shipping is generally around $10 too, right? Maybe at the beginning of March I’ll be able to place an order! (Unless they have a sale which lets me break any resistance I have! :P)

And my second steep of this at 10 minutes is pretty awesome too. I was going to drink Laoshan Black today but now I don’t want to….

Dexter

They charge actual shipping cost. I order A LOT today. I ordered 9 oz of tea, plus 2 × 100g pu’erh cakes, plus 6 oz of their tea soak stain remover. So that’s 15 oz + 200g of product and shipping was about $15.00. I’ve placed smaller orders with shipping in the 10-12.00 range, and I once ordered tea and a yixing teapot and it was 17.00. It depends on what you order. It’s a bit expensive if you consider lots of places do free shipping over 50.00 etc. BUT there are lots of US companies that try to charge us 30-35.00 for a couple of oz of tea. I consider Mandala “medium” when it comes to shipping costs, but the tea is AMAZING. I’ve ordered a few times and will continue to do so….

Stephanie

Wow I wish I had your tea budget, Dex! :D Can’t wait to read all your Mandala reviews!

Sil

Cavo…also it’s 5$ through sharon for shipping….just saying

Dexter

LOL Sil – keep encouraging….

Stephanie – I think I’m doing good – 175.00 ish since Cyber Monday and the vast majority of that was Mandala today. Less than 200 in two months… not bad – for me at least :))

Cavocorax

Sil – lemme know next time you want an order!

Sil

cavo – march sounds good to me unless you need it earlier lol that will give me time to sip some down OR you can come shop at my house for samples so you can narrow your choices down haha

Cavocorax

March works for me too!

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drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
897 tasting notes

An incredibly caring Steepster friend is concerned that all I’m drinking are samples from other people, and that I should take some time and enjoy some of my favorite teas. I’m searching for the great teas, but not enjoying the one’s I’ve found. I’ve decided to “sort of” take that advice.
I have sent samples of this out to several people, and assume that it is going to be amazing, but I’ve never actually drank it. So tonight I’m taking a ME tea night to explore the dark side.
I threw about 2.5 tsp of this into my gravity steeper, gave it a quick wash and then let it steep – I’ve read lots of review that say that this is AMAZING if steeped for a long time. I’m watching and waiting, and it’s getting darker, and darker, and I chicken out at about 4 minutes. OK 4 minutes is a LONG steep for pu’erh – at least for me…
Wow this is crazy – unlike any other pu’erh I’ve tried. There really isn’t any of the musty/earthy typical pu’erh taste – it is just deep dark chocolate – maybe a hint of “pu’erh” in the back but it’s just adding depth to the chocolate. OK I’m a believer.
I add another couple of tsp of new leaf to the old leaf (I don’t care it’s my tea night I can do what I like) – gave it another quick rinse and let it steep for NINE minutes.
OMG – this is unsweetened cocoa from a fine chocolatier. I add about a tsp of sweetener and just a splash of milk – just enough to change the color. This is my new favorite chocolate tea. I love this.
Now what do I do? I think I’m going to take the leaves and toss them in the fridge to cold steep. If anyone hasn’t tried it – cold steep pu’erh is crazy good.
As always, thank you Mandala for another amazing tea experience.

Sil

i’m so happy you enjoyed this one. i love this puerh a lot.

keychange

It’s your part-tea and you can steep how you want to, steep how you want to!!

TheTeaFairy

Yay for ME tea nights, so proud of you :-)
Dark and choco, yum, yum!!

MissB

Wow, I tried this the other night and got it wrong. I’ll definitely try it again with longer steep parameters.

Kamyria

Darn right you can do what you want! :D

Cold steeping pu’erh, ah? I have to try that.

Cavocorax

That sounds really amazing.
I will TRY to steep mine that long but I gotta say 4 minutes, and NINE minutes makes me a little nervous. I’m a “followe the vendors instructions, you noob” sorat gal. Especially with this. It’s my FIRST/ONLY Mandala tea!

Dexter

It’s my par-tea and I did what I wanted. :)) It turned out great.
Sorry you didn’t enjoy it MissB – it doesn’t get nasty as you steep it longer, it just gets deeper and more chocolate. I highly recommend a long steep. I was VERY nervous too, but after trying the 4 minute steep, I knew you could not hurt it. I will do 8 or 9 minutes first steep next time.

Kamyria I didn’t believe the cold steep pu’erh either, and then I tried it. I quite often western steep leaves a couple of times, then toss them in the fridge for 16ish hours. Can’t explain it, it’s a different experience – very refreshing, you should try it once….

Dexter

Cavocorax – if you want to follow vendors instructions, then you go right ahead. It’s your tea, don’t let me talk you out of your comfort zone. First/only Mandala? You are starting with a good one….

Sil

I twisted her rubber arm into ordering SOMETHING, ANYTHING from mandala when I placed my order lol

pyarkaaloo

omg yay!! u just put the seal of approval on this one for me…it’s on my to-try list from Mandala…it sounded delicious to begin with, although i was worried it might have a damp,earthy pu’erh quality. but if this is anything like you say, i simply must give it a go!

Dexter

Good job Sil – “something – anything” is pretty much correct when it comes to Mandala – it’s all good.

pyarkaaloo – but I like the “damp,earthy pu’erh quality” This has a little of that – it is a pu’erh, but it’s more in the background adding depth to the chocolate rather than hitting you in the face. I love all Mandala pu’erh. Their Silver Buds are really mild – more of a white tea with a hint of pu’erh. Noble Mark is just fantastic, but more traditional pu’erh. Wild Monk is the best sheng I’ve ever drank – pretty much what Sil said – anything from Mandala is a good choice….

Dexter

Does restocking favorites count as breaking hiatus?

pyarkaaloo

thanks for the clarification…this sounds like a nice pu’erh! i think i’ll be happy with this as long as it isn’t a predominantly ‘mossy/earth’ kind of flavor, although one never knows…if i try enough pu’erh cakes i may find one that i love! or i may develop my palate.. the cold steeping sounds delicious!

Cavocorax

Yeah, I’m really happy Sil was able to do talk me into it! It was difficult because it was Black Friday and I’d already allocated most of my budget to Butiki and DTT. But ONE tea from Mandala… OK YES.

There will be more from them in the future. I still have to get past them being fancy in my head and just start drinking!

And I can experiment now! It’s just the first steep that I don’t like to mess with on the assumption that the vender knows what’s best. :P

TheTeaFairy

Does.not.count.

Dexter

Cavocorax This is a video of Garret giving you permission to play with your tea. He has a very open, whatever you like is correct for you attitude…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUt6kt00mpo&feature=youtube_gdata

graceatblb

I love steeping Special Dark for extreme amounts of time. Unlike with most teas, this one improves on a longer steep. The last time I had Special Dark I steeped it for 15 minutes and added a touch of cream. Heaven.

Garret does have a very laissez-faire approach to tea. Which I really appreciate. It eliminates the guilt when I, inevitably, break the rules.

Garret

Do as you like :) Whenever I do tea classes, I give people basic parameters for brewing and leave the rest up to them. I let people know that if they dig a green tea with boiling water, that’s cool, that’s how they should have it. I do use a little disclaimer here, though, and tell them that if they are serving tea to guests that it might be a good idea to go to more “traditional” way of brewing it :)

ifjuly

Yay! I love this one. And I love that someone was awesome and reminded you you should not get overwhelmed with sampling and take some time out for whatever you want to drink. Definitely.

ifjuly

And so agree, it’s the most intensely chocolate tea I’ve tasted.

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93

Omg omg omg….ok. This is SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. Like wow. At first I was like hmm strong bergamot..but then it was all like BAM MARSHMALLOW. And fluffy. And creamy. And toned down just enough by the bergamot and black tea. Very good base for this tea too, not overpowering or too weak. I am just enjoying this to the max on this Monday afternoon at work. Not even sure how long I steeped it for lol, probably around 2 minutes. Yes, I really like this, not even filtered water used! Rating now added, although if I come to my senses and this one isn’t as epic, it might go down haha.

Flavors: Cream, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling
Courtney

All the reviews for this one were so intriguing, but bergamot is a deal breaker. Sigh.

VariaTEA

Courtney, if you want to try it I can send you a sample in one of our swaps. I am not a huge EG fan but I love this.

Courtney

Hmm. Alright, maybe just one cup VariaTEA. :)

VariaTEA

Haha. Remind me next time we swap and I will throw in a sample.

MissLena

You have to try it @Courtney! The marshmallow is truly perfect in it, just like a pillow :)

Courtney

Haha a pillow. :P That is awesome. Perhaps that will help with disguise/drown out the bergamot.

MissLena

I think it did, it helps a lot when the tea is a bit cooler, I noticed the bergamot the most when it was pretty hot

Courtney

Excellent, thanks for the heads up. :)

MissLena

No problem :)

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100

Kamyria’s review yesterday about the forest inspired me to go have a long walk today and write this review.

By now, you probably know that the forest is my backyard. I’ve written many times here on Steepster about my little adventures and how lucky and privileged I feel when I look outside my window or go for a walk, it never gets old.

This lifestyle is Nature’s gift to me, and that gift keeps on giving as long as I care for it in return. It’s pretty simple and yet, I wish more people could fully grasp that concept. The tea I’m reviewing today also keeps on giving…

I tell you, my snow shoes really get a run for their money this winter. I made my own trail and I try to go as often as possible. There’s a spot that we always stop at. It’s on top of a small hill and a huge rock stands there, under the trees. it is shaped as a loveseat, I call it my rocky chair.

I take a break as I watch my dog Dexter chase squirrels, his favourite sport. They like to tease him and sometimes, I think they’re playing with him, knowing full well he’ll never catch one of them!

The day is magnificent, sunshine coming at me from all directions, immaculate snow everywhere you look at, pine trees with heavy arms from all the snow weighing on them…

When I got back inside, I was freezing and seeking warmth, I love that feeling. My head still felt clear and peaceful from all the beauty I had just laid eyes on, and of course, the right tea amplified that feeling and made it linger a while longer.

I was waiting for a special moment to choose this sheng pu’erh, sent to me by the generous and wonderful Dexter3657. She read on a post that I wanted to experience more with shengs, and offered to send me this one. She wrote that this tea is the highest rated on Steepster, so I read nothing about it, not wanting to be influenced by other reviews.

I used 7g, 5oz yixing pot. The piece of cake is tight and compressed. Quick rinse. Already the aroma brings me somewhere, but I don’t want to go there yet, I want to take my time with it.

I pour the very light coloured liquor, close my eyes and smell, have my first sip.

Instant Nirvana!

Sweet sugarcane is what I notice first. Then, a feast for the senses. The smell that comes out of the pot can’t be ignored. I can describe it easily, cause it’s leading me there. If you’ve done camping in your life (most of us did), you have to think about the next morning, when you get out of the tent.

The smokey scent from the firecamp is still in the air, but it’s just a shadow of what is was the day before. It mixes with fresh morning dew, humid grass and moss. Earthy and smokey tones, fresh menthol. Take all these “ingredients”, gather them in a cake, and later, when you hit it with hot water, the memory trap is released and you experience that moment again.

I choose not to describe more. As it happens when I drink something really special, I give in to the tea, not wanting to think anymore but just be in the moment and feel the pure energy. Cha qi. The best thing that can happen. I’ve had these moments before, but not often enough. I plan on having a lot more in the future…

Thank you so much Dexter3657 for wanting me to discover how special your beloved Mandala truly is. You were right :-)

(Cough, Implacinganorderscrewthehiatus, cough, cough)

Preparation
7 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
__Morgana__

Lovely note.

caile

So lovely!

Dexter

cough waituntilyou’vetriedsomeoftheothersbeforeordering cough

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Morgana and Caile!

Dexter, cough, okbutitwillbereallyhardtowait, cough.

Kamyria

Wow.. that was a beautiful note! I’m honoured to have a mention in it too! :) I have to have this sheng… I hear too many good things about it to ignore it for much longer. I feel it… the order will be happening soon.

keychange

Beautiful note!

Dexter

I’m really happy that you liked it. Mandala teas are special to me, and it makes me happy that you are experiencing some of that.
I’m not saying to wait until you’ve tried ALL the tea I sent you, but IMHO you will like the Milk Oolong. As much as I love this one, I think Noble Mark is better – different but better. :))

TheTeaFairy

Kamyria, thanks, I loved your review of yesterday:-) and yes i hear you about the order happening real soon, lol!

Keychange, thank you:-)

Dexter, yes, I will refrain just a bit longer!! ( gee, I wonder if I can handle better than this one, lol)

Fjellrev

That’s so awesome that you have snow shoes! I always wanted to try them out.

Ysaurella

that sounds really nice I’ve always been curious about Mandala teas. I’m so jealous of your forest backyard…Y-a-t-il un plus joli jardin ? certainement pas.

TheTeaFairy

Fjellrev, snow boots are awesome, and very useful around here!!

Ysaurella, I’m lucky to have other samples to try, I have a feeling an order will be placed very soon once I got to try a few more… Shipping seems to be very reasonable too. And yes, to me it is “le plus beau des jardins”, you got this right missy:-)

TheTeaFairy

(I meant snow shoes)

OMGsrsly

I wish we got more snow here. That sounds so awesome! Man, I need to skip out of work early one day this week and go for a trail run. :)

Garret

So excited that you enjoyed this tea! I had a lengthy gong fu cha session with it on Sunday afternoon and I was more enamored with it than ever before. Always interesting when I find myself wanting to keep the rest of a stash rather than sell it :)

I loved your review of this. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

I have a new pressing of this tea happening right now in China. I got the leaf from the same farmer but it’s autumn 2013 versus spring 2012. I’m looking forward to trying the new one, too. The mao cha itself is darned good and already going through changes since it arrived in the pu’er vault. Yahooooo!!!!!

TheTeaFairy

Listen Garrett, please don’t make it even more tempting than it already is, lol!
Thanks for sharing it, but wait for me, please don,t lock it in the vault all to yourself!! I’m browsing your website and will be placing an order soon, how can I resist???

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88
drank Lemon Meringue Rooibos by Tealish
2370 tasting notes

Sipdown!!

I decided to finish what was left of this tonight. I might grab more in the future as it is definitely a delicious blend however I have a lot of the chiffons left and I think I would need to get through those before I can justify buying some of this. Thank you MissB for sending me this to try. It is lemony and creamy and just a very pleasant cup.

On another note, why is “cannabis”, “green bell peppers”, “asparagus”, etc. flavor options but there is no “lemon”, “mint”, etc.? I find this very, very strange.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

With those options, one might as well start reviewing frozen stir-fries and special brownies.

VariaTEA

Haha. i just don’t understand why such common flavors are not available but those made it on the list. Apple is another missing one.

Fjellrev

Me neither. Someone was clearly out to lunch.

OMGsrsly

Must have been a very interesting salad… ;)

Kamyria

There is no “pineapple” or “mango” either… Many flavours common to tea are missing… lol so strange.. but I found “fish broth” :o

Starfevre

roasted chicken is in there

VariaTEA

Who came up with this list?!?

OMGsrsly

Maybe they were just really very hungry… :)

mewakeling

I was just looking for mint last night and thought precisely that. Cannabis but no mint?

Courtney

My favourite is “autumn leaf pile”!

Isaila

But… don’t you guys have cannabis fish broth asparagus tea? With some iodine and yam flavouring?

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drank Snow Bunny (organic) by DAVIDsTEA
897 tasting notes

I took this one out of the GCTTB when I had it last month.

Banana, walnut bread? Really? That’s what this is suppose to be? To me this is chocolate coconut. I actually quite like it, but I’m not getting any banana, not getting any walnut, not getting any bread.
That’s why I’m not filling in the “flavors” at the top of the tea page – I don’t want to give anyone bad info because of my OPINION – they see that first and have to scroll WAY down to get the official discription. I don’t want anyone to think this is a chocolate coconut tea, because I’m nuts…. :))

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Patience Dexter, patience…I’m sure they will hear ya on this one :-)

Dexter

I know, I need to let it go….. maybe being a little to vocal about it.

TheTeaFairy

Nah, I don,t think you are… I spent more time this morning after a good night sleep looking at everything and I also posted on certain things that I feel need to be reviewed and corrected. That’s how it goes when new stuff is being implemented, they need our feedback to make it work better :-)

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100

Oh my, this is decadent and dripping with luxury. TGY, why do you have to be so tempting and appealing to me?

Why do you have to be such a tease and so cruel by being so delicious and knowing full well that you are a sipdown and that I have no longer access to your splendour?

Oh, I do know what you are, and I can tell you what you are not: modest! No you’re not. You’re such a Diva, wanting to show me all your nuances and complexity at once…

Giving me sweet vanilla bean, enchanting orchid flowers, a rich buttery mouthfeel, wrapping it all in an almost minty fresh breath in the background, you possess all the attributes to exude such confidence, you are absolutely fabulous and luxuriant.

Wish I had a better vocabulary to describe you…

I must admit that despite your obnoxiousness, you are good to me this morning in your last attempt to seduce me, you are giving me many re-steeps by being so potent. I will cherish every moment I have left with you on this quiet Sunday, and tell you this:

Until we meet again! Cause we will TGY, yes we will.

Terri HarpLady

Love this review!

Ysaurella

will Stacy restock it ?

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Terri, Glad I could entertain :-)

Ysaurella, what do you mean exactly, it’s available at the moment. I don’t think its one of the tea she plans on departing from…we’ll let her answer that if she sees this. But I will have to get heads up on that cause I definitely need to keep some of it around :-)

i’m just not ready to order now (well I’m always ready to order more tea, but I’m trying not too!)

yyz

Sounds fabulous.

Terri HarpLady

I too am always ready to order more, but I’m really really trying to be good, at least for awhile…

Ysaurella

I thought it was not available anymore because you were so sad to have finished it :)

TheTeaFairy

Yes, me too Terri, though it seems I can’t be a good girl for very long when it comes to tea:-)

Haha! ysaurella, yes I am sad, but just because i must wait and refrain myself from placing another massive order with butiki!!

Butiki Teas

This tea is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. :) Someone once described our TGY as mint ice cream, now that is all I can think about when I drink it.

@ligongsf

sounds like you had a love affair with this Anxi TGY, LOL. very poetic

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85
drank Peppermint Patty by Butiki Teas
6407 tasting notes

I hate overnight testing. It took my forever to fall asleep earlier, and then my other halfs stupid friend started texting him just after i fell asleep..which wouldn’t normally be a problem but his phone sound was on so i got woken up. Just waiting for the go ahead so that i can test and then head back to bed for a few more hours of sleep. One of these weekends i’ll get to actually sleep in both days.

Made a cup of this because my throat wanted tea but i wanted something light that i didn’t have to think to about while brewing. Love the creamy good ness of this one even after several bags :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
keychange

Sleep interuptions are awful. I hope you feel rested soon!

Sil

i’m hoping next weekend i’ll be able to have a lazy, stay at home all weekend…except that my other half is off on saturday so i foresee running errands and getting together with ppl heh

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65
drank Caramel Vanilla Assam by Butiki Teas
1349 tasting notes

A sipdown, only because I’ve packed up the rest of what I had for a fellow Steepsterite that LOVES this. I can always order more!

I did however want to try it, because gosh darn it, I should try a tea before sending some out, right? Was a in a bit of a rush making this, and I did have to overleaf ever so slightly (2 1/4 tsp) just because there was a tiny bit left over. This smelled really strong as I brewed it, and I was a touch concerned. I added sweetener before tasting it – I could just tell this was going to be strong. And, while lovely (I definitely got the caramel and vanilla out of it) the base was too strong for me, and it ended up drowning out everything else. I ended up dumping about half of the cup, because as it cooled, the base only got stronger. :(

Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
JustJames

i love this tea….. happy sigh.

hen did steepster change over? where have i been?

MissB

It changed over earlier today, you’re okay. :) When you do your first tasting note you’ll see a link to a message from the Steepster team about it. As for this tea, well who do you think I packed it up for? ;)

Dustin

The Irish Cream Cheesecake does the same thing and gets stronger and a little bitter as it cools. Best drunk hot!

JustJames

spoilererer. =0X

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
1920 tasting notes

This is another tea MissB dropped off tonight (yay!!!), and is the only reason I have not fallen asleep in my chair yet. Oh, it was so good. I just steeped it in water and had it plain. Yes, it’s quite thin, but I really liked the flavours. I made my BFF try it, and she liked it too. Might have to give her the rest of MissB’s sample, since I do have a reblend coming my way (again, through MissB. She’s amazing, yet SUCH an enabler.).

Thank you!

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

I used 1.5 tsp. Not 1.

MissB

Argh. I love the new features, however I can’t like?

So glad you’re getting use out of all of them! I knew you loved this, so I wanted to get you some while (I assumed) you were waiting for more in the reblend order. ;)

OMGsrsly

It’s so funny that my last note popped up and my rating was ‘:(’. :) This smells so good and is so delightfully caffeinated that I don’t mind the thin texture!

OMGsrsly

You have to click the teensy weensy heart. It’s working in my phone , haven’t tried a computer yet.

Sil

yeah heart clicking is harder now

MissB

Got it. Heart the click. Too tired for this precision work! ;)

Sil

ugh…tell me about it. just. want. to.sleep.

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36
drank Cherry Blossom by DAVIDsTEA
1151 tasting notes

Attempting at a sip down. Attempting being the key word here. This as a cold brew fooled the pants off of me.

When I went to take the first sip, I initially thought that this worked way better as a cold brew. The questionable underlying floral note is virtually invisible, and I get mostly cherry. But give it just a few seconds.

Then the aftertaste hit me. COUGH SYRUP. I took a bit of a break and just poured my second glass—because I’m a masochist and all—and it’s now cough syrup through and through. I feel guilty for being wasteful, but I think I’m just going to dump the rest of the 1.5 litres I have left. Why force myself to drink that when I have 2984205845 others to try.

Lowered the rating, too.

TheTeaFairy

Cherry seems to be so hard to capture properly, it turns out icky easily I find…I’m still on the hunt to find the perfect one cause I love cherries so much…

Starfevre

Cough syrup usually doesn’t bother me if it is sweet enough but I’m not sure how I’d like it as tea in large quantities. Cherry flavour is really difficult apparently.

Fjellrev

That’s just it. I actually don’t mind cough syrup either, but to drink two litres of tea that tastes like it? No thanks.

Theoretically, you would think if blends had actual dried cherries in it, the tea would have really good cherry flavour…

gmathis

The perfect cherry tea…it’s got to be out there somewhere…

aisling of tea

My wife had some of her cold brew of this today, we added a touch of vanilla agave and she seems to like it! I’ll poke her into posting a tasting note.

TheTeaFairy

You too, gmatis? Let’s make sure we let each other know when one of us finds it!!!

gmathis

A work friend gave me a bag of “Cherry Blossom Tea” from a visit to Washington DC; it was repackaged/relabeled from Eastern Shore Tea Co. Wasn’t entirely natural, but it wasn’t cough syrupy either. I can’t find my own review here on Steepster—I’m sure I did, but K S posted on his blog: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2013/10/eastern-shore-tea-company-cherry-blossom.html Still isn’t the cherry nirvana I’m looking for.

CrowKettle

Oh, gross! I think I’ll avoid making this as a cold brew then..

TheTeaFairy

That’s it, I want cherry nirvana, don’t we deserve that? And so true Fjellrev, why aren’t there cherries in most cherry blends? All I seem to find is rose petals!!!

Fjellrev

Glad your wife likes it, aisling of tea!

A friend of mine swears by a sencha-based sour cherry tea a local store here blends. I haven’t tried it yet since I keep spending my money on e-tailers, but it too only has cherry flavouring. When I get around to it, I’ll let everyone know the verdict, and if it’s good, I can send some to the Steepsterites on the hunt for that perfect cherry tea. :)

Dexter

What kind of cherry tea are you guys looking for? Cherry Tisane? Cherry green? Chocolate Cherry Black?

Starfevre

Some of RLT’s cherry matchas are nice. I liked Black Cherry.

Fjellrev

I’m personally open to any of the above options with cherry, but particularly a chocolate cherry black sounds good. I know of the Tea Spot’s Chocolate Cherry Bomb but shipping is ridiculous.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about RLT’s cherry matchas but Black Cherry does sound tempting.

TheTeaFairy

I love both, sweet black cherries and sour. I too love to pair black cherries with chocolate, but it’s never really done right. Rivertea is not bad though I must say, but not overly cherry the way I’d want it to be.

The sour cherry teas/tisanes I’ve had always end up being overwhelmed by evil hibiscus. I love tart , but somehow hibiscus takes over everything else. But that’s just me :-)

Chocolate cherry bomb??? Don’t I wish, that’s what I’m looking for, but in a non deceptive way…

Dexter

My favorite Cherry Tisane is Cherry Goddess from Tealux – I think it’s really tart – but I like that. The other one that’s really good is Pondi Cherry from NMTC – it has hibisus too but it’s not quite as in your face as the Tealux one. I add cherry tisane – which ever one I happen to have in the house to all kinds of things – straight black, green, white teas – I’ve added it too cherry chocolate teas – Cherry Cordial from Culinary Teas wasn’t cherry enough for me, but it was a decent cherry chocolate – then I added a bit more cherry and was pretty good….

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65
drank Spiced Fig by DAVIDsTEA
2920 tasting notes

Sipdown (203)!

Somehow this one keeps finding its way back to me, despite my not wanting to have it in my cupboard. this was one of the three free samples from the DAVIDsTEA order sent to me, so yet another time it’s wound up in my cupboard without my actually picking it out – the other being as a Christmas gift.

It’s heavy and weak in flavour, and just all around costly. Plus side? It’s easy enough to sipdown, so it never really sticks around long. This one has that going for it.

EDIT: I just checked out the DT site to see the new tea of the month, and am admittedly relieved that it’s not something I feel compelled to go buy. It’s another green…

I have lots of Hot Lips which sounds similar enough to me for me to pass (but I’ll try it once I’m out of Hot Lips). Although, the lack of ginger in the new one is a little compelling – also because I really like cloves.

Kristal

The plus side of it being so heavy is that it got out of my cupboard quickly!

VariaTEA

I also am not really interested in the new tea which is awesome because I don’t need more tea.

Kristal

I’ve been trying to cut back as well…although, hypocritically, I just bought $65 worth of tea…but to be fair the ones I have never had before I only bought 25 grams worth so in case I don’t care for them they won’t stick around my cupboard long!

VariaTEA

@Kristal – when it comes to teas I have not tried before, I now only get 10 g. That way it is enough for 2-3 cups so I can try it out but am not stuck with it if I don’t enjoy it.

Roswell Strange

When I get DT samples I get between 15g to 30g amounts depending on weight/price. That way I can do several hot cups to see if I can perfect a bad cup (if I have a bad cup) or do a cold brew to try that way.

Kristal

If I am really skeptical I will get less but I went for 25 grams just in case I liked the teas. Luckily I didn’t HATE any of the teas I just bought!

keychange

I tried the new tea in store today, and I don’t think you’re missing out. it just tastes like a cinnamon heart, and that’s honestly all-I don’t get too much of anything else at all—cloves, orange peel, base—just lots an dlots of cinnamon. I only had it in their shot glass thing though, so I only had a few small gulps.

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Thank you, VariaTEA. :)

Tea of my childhood. I can’t believe I used to steep this forever and put in heaping spoons of honey. Holy moley. It is SO sweet. Cinnamon-vanilla-spice tea.

Definitely off my shopping list at this point, but I’m so glad I had an opportunity to try it again! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Glad you got to relive your fond memories! :)

OMGsrsly

I used to drink all the Celestial Seasonings teas, but some of them I can’t revisit. Maybe next I’ll manage to try Mandarin Spice or whatever it’s called.

MissB

I used to feel addicted to this one as well. Lately, not so much.

OMGsrsly

I haven’t had it since I was a teenager, MissB. :) It’s been a while.

MissB

Heh. Wasn’t that just a few years back? ;)

OMGsrsly

That probably doesn’t say anything for my maturity level. :)

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Tony took me out for my Birthday dinner tonight. We went to the same fancy restaurant as last year, the kind of place where if you order a steak, you get a fillet that is roughly 2 inches in each direction, with a velvety sauce, & the side of veggies are really more like a garnish. It’s not a great amount of food, just enough so that I’m hungrier when I get home than I was when we got to the restaurant, but every bite is the best tasting, most succulent, tender meal you’ve ever had.

Earlier this evening, while I was waiting for Tony to come pick me up to go to dinner, I enjoyed this tea, steeping 1 TB + 8oz X 3min/resteep 5min.
This tea is so satisfying, really just perfect.

Yvonne

Glad to hear you had a great birthday meal! :)

cryptickoi

happy birthday.

MissB

Happy You Day!

NofarS

Happy birthday!

scribbles

Happy birthday!

boychik

Happy Birthday!

caile

Yay! Glad you enjoyed a tasty birthday dinner!!

ashmanra

Happy birthday! I may have drooled a little at the description of the steak.

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75

Sipdown no. 47 for the year 2014. 50 is in sight! I should definitely make it over the weekend, maybe even by the end of the day.

Under the light of my desk lamp, where I ordinarily sit when on the computer, the liquor today is redder than it looked in sunlight yesterday, closer to the way I described the liquor of the Double Bergamot. I think there must have been a steeping fluke on my first tasting that resulted in a lighter, yellower liquor.

In any case, though my Earl Grey pantheon is full, I will enjoy this while it lasts.

Flowery

You have a pantheon? Is there a single favorite or maybe a top three? I’d love to be an Earl Grey monogamist but haven’t started looking for ‘the one’ just yet.

__Morgana__

Haha. Yeah. My top EGs are Samovar’s EG and EG Lavender (which I don’t think they make anymore so I will be substituting the American Tea Room lavender) and then I have a vanilla, a rose, a chocolate, etc. and some runners up as well in those categories. Also like the ATR Lady Grey. The one thing I don’t have is a decaf but I’m not sure I need one. I don’t ever feel like drinking EG except in the morning.

keychange

what’s your favourite vanilla EG/EGC?

Flowery

Thank you! Those are vanilla, rose, and chocolate EGs? That sounds terrific too. So much for monogamy.

TheTeaFairy

I’ll jump in with a suggestion too, since I have found “the one” for me: Zen Tea Earl Grey Cream. So good. But then again, I’ve never had a pantheon of Earls in the house, so what do I know, lol!

__Morgana__

I see that my current favorite by rating is the Upton Vanilla.

__Morgana__

But now I want to try the Zen!

TheTeaFairy

But of course you do…

bluebelle

Jumping in to second the Zen Tea EGC! Two of my favorite blends are Harney & Sons’ Tower of London and Diamond Jubilee as far as fruit EGs go, but Zen’s is my favorite cream that I’ve tried. I’m still looking for “the one” myself, though, so I’m taking notes on these suggestions!

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100

Oh, my dear, dear queen.

Until we meet again. Let me never forget your perfect, lithe balance. Your game of clever contradictions. Your maple but maybe not maple finish, and your tantalizing smoke and bracing power. Until we meet again. It will be soon.

Courtney

This tea note is great. :)

keychange

Haha, so is the queen! :)

Yvonne

Love it! I think I saw this flavour at my local Chapters – I gotta get me some. :)

Sil

Yvonne – chapters is sometimes on the expensive side, so just watch for that :)

Tuscanteal

Interesting that they have this one at Chapters, I shall check. Would be nice to try it first before buying a whole bucketload!

Yvonne

Thanks for the heads up :) Yup, Chapters isn’t cheap…never has been. Seems to be the only place I know of that sells very limited types of Harney and Sons though. :( Wish they had Florence – I love that tea.

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40
drank Choco*Late by American Tea Room
1774 tasting notes

Weird. I’m happy I got a sample of this from VariaTEA instead of buying it because I am not a fan. Nope, nope nooooooo.

I thought I would be too, but it’s just too … huh. I’m not even sure how to describe it. It’s like rotten banana – with that sort of liquorish odor, and it’s thick and woodsy and not chocolate. I’m just going to dump this. (155)

VariaTEA

And now to pass the sample on to someone else in hopes this will find a nice home. Either that or it will get passed along until it gets dumped cup by cup.

Cavocorax

Yes. If someone (Canadian) wants the last bit of it (2 cups?) they can have it! If no one claims it it will just… disappear!

OMGsrsly

That sounds terrible. Please disappear it! Please. (Well, unless someone is REALLY curious!)

Fjellrev

Gross, I think BPAL makes a perfume that smells like how you describe the taste of this: Banana Peel in a Graveyard. Personally, I wouldn’t want to know what that would taste like.

Fjellrev

And thanks for taking one for the team and trying it/going through that experience. Now you’ve spared me.

caile

BPAL comes up with some interesting perfumes, that’s for sure.
Rotten banana tea sounds pretty awful.

TeaBrat

I was not a fan of this either

Cavocorax

Ok, I’m glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t a fan.

And yes, I think I’ll do everyone a favour and just disappear it. I wouldn’t want to inflict this on my worst enemy, nevermind one of you guys!!!

VariaTEA

If you go to the tea’s page, people rated it fairly highly. Perhaps it was just this sample that I inflicted on the both of us?

Cavocorax

That’s a possibility!

VariaTEA

In that case, I am very sorry to have subjected you to this nightmare.

Cavocorax

Hahah. Well it’s not like you made it bad! It could have just been another tea that I like which you don’t. (i.e., those Teavana ones I was able to drink)

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55
drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
2370 tasting notes

For some reason I had it in my head that green rooibos would not be as rooibosy as red. This cup is proving that not to be the case. Though it is not immediately recognizable as rooibos it is definitely there. And there is a tint of caramel but it is not sweet like I anticipated it would have been. Honestly, I am not sure what I am tasting. It is like really weirdly artificial. Mostly it just tastes like something is missing. This won’t be a restock and I think I will send the last 1-2 tsps to Roswell Strange so she can try it out.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Ana

I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this. :( I actually liked it when I got it to go with a bit of agave.

VariaTEA

I think sweetener would help but I don’t sweeten my teas.

Ana

I hardly do unless it’s a bit of honey when my throat is sore. In any case I was thinking of picking this up but maybe I won’t now because I can’t be bothered adding things.

VariaTEA

Haha. I think I wanted more sweetness so it would definitely be an easy remedy for someone willing to sweeten their teas. But if you don’t want to add anything, I don’t recommend it.

Ana

I may go for the chocolate mint rooibos instead. ;D

VariaTEA

I was not a huge fan of that either (in fact I am selling mine now because I stupidly bought 50 g) but I think that is more because I am not a huge lover of chocolate and mint.

Plunkybug

I handle green rooibos better than red, but yeah, this one doesn’t benefit that, iirc.

OMGsrsly

I actually kind of like this one! The odd person out. :) It’s good with a bit of coconut cream. Mmm.

Fjellrev

Green rooibos is awesome, but it kind of defeats the purpose if they’re going to mix it with the red variety.

Kamyria

I like this one with a bit of milk… hmmm… never tried coconut milk, I think that would be quite delicious too

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Taiwan Ginseng oolong! I love you I love you I love you. You are delicious. You are addictive. When I make you, I make a lot of you, and I drink and drink and drink.

Tonight I served you with homemade lomein.

Now I asked if there is licorice root powder in this and was told no, and I am sure whoever it was doesn’t know it is there, but it HAS to be there. I taste it, and I have never seen a ginseng oolong that didn’t have at least a bit. I don’t care. I love it.

I tried another ginseng oolong and it was nothing compared to this one. I scoff at it. Buy this one.

Stephanie

I’ve never tried a ginseng oolong…I don’t even know what ginseng would taste like!

ashmanra

I have heard it said that it tastes like a dirty potato, lol! But this doesn’t, I think there must be licorice root making it so sweet. A couple of my friends have just gotten addicted to this tea. There are two main types of ginseng and this is American rather than Siberian. There is a distinct difference, so maybe that is why the flavor of this is so good.

Stephanie

Nice, I’ll pick up a sample with my next Teavivre order :)

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OK call me crazy – it’s ok, I don’t mind….
This is Neapolitan ice cream. When it’s melted and all the flavors are mixed in the bottom of your bowl – that’s what this is. It’s more Neapolitan than the big name one that’s out there. This is good – it’s really good. Chocolate, strawberry, creamy – awesome. Maybe a hint thin on the mouth feel, but I can over look that.
Thank you so much VariaTEA for sending this sample my way.

VariaTEA

Yay! I am glad you liked it. I want so much for my cacao aversion to subside so I can have a tasty cup of this. It just smells soo awesome.

Yvonne

The more I hear about this tea the more divine it sounds!

Abby Noelle

Mmmm Neapolitan!!

Dexter

If it wasn’t so cold outside, I’d be temped to ice the rest of this sample – I think it would be amazing cold.

Abby Noelle

Or be inventive and make tea pops…lol

Dexter

I need to look into doing that this summer – and this tea would be a good one to do it with – Moose Tracks would be another…hmmmm I see more HI orders in my future.

Abby Noelle

Mm yes I see reviews on moose tracks, is possible for you to send me a link to HI, please?

Fjellrev

Oh wow! I wonder if anyone has tried these cacao-based ones iced or cold brewed then.

Bonnie

My tea shop also sells organic cocoa shells from Tisano and has a few blends besides bulk sales. One favorite is a chocolate puerh with several other natural ingredients. I keep the hulls at home yo mix in my own puerh blending.

Bonnie

You know I don’t mean mine literally, my shop here in town.

ifjuly

Moose Tracks tea pops sound awesome!

So does that chocolate puerh, Bonnie!

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86

Thank you, Courtney, for sending this surprise to me in our swap!

This is really tasty! The aroma is soft and lovely with spice and vanilla, and it tastes very much like carrot cake – sweet and delicious. I added cream to my cup, and it was so good – a perfect treat!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Courtney

2/3 is pretty good! You’re going through them quickly today now haha.

caile

haha! I actually had the ruby pie yesterday though but wasn’t able to add the note until today. :-P

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88
drank Maple Pecan Black Tea by Design a Tea
1349 tasting notes

So very glad that I’m having more of this tonight! Holy moly, what a different steep does to this tea.

I’m getting maple, I’m getting creamy, I’m getting pecan, I’m getting sweet. It’s really fantastic – so much so that my 6-year-old took a sip, and asked if he could “have as many sips as I want”. I said no, because it is caffeinated, and made him some of Tea Desire’s Sweet Toffee (rooibos) instead. He says it’s “ahhh.. makes me feel better – tea”.

Anyway. This is delicious! Upping the rating significantly.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

Sounds delish!

OMGsrsly

That’s so cute!

MissB

OMG I suck! I forgot to thank Dexter3657 for this, as she sent it to me in a swap a while back. Bad me!

Also, it makes me want to peruse Design a Tea more; the concept of creating my own tea blends just plain rocks.

Nxtdoor

As soon as I see “design a tea” I think Dexter. :)

Dexter

I haven’t loved all the teas I got from them, but it’s hard to blame them when you choose what’s in it. Brian is just amazing, helpful, funny – great guy to work with. If you are at all interested in playing “mad scientist” this is a fun company to do it with. (It’s also really inexpensive – bonus!!)

Cavocorax

That’s awesome Dexter – have you ordered full size blends, or just the sample?

Dexter

I’ve ordered from them twice, both times I got full sized blends (and some samples the first time). The first time I stayed pretty conservative – regular base plus two flavors -off the main design page. The second time I dug way deep into the site and choose some of the specialty bases and added all kinds of stuff. Brian is great – just because your “dream” doesn’t fit into the drop down boxes doesn’t mean you can’t get it. I wrote almost a full page of “special instructions” and I got everything I asked for – no problems at all – fun emails from Brian to clarify. Great experience.

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85

Sad, sad sipdown!! (205)

Thank you Roswell Strange for this one. It is a rare rooibos that doesn’t rooibosy. It beautifully captures the flavor of a homemade apple strudel. I am sad to see it go.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Yvonne

I need this tea in my life…shopping list.

Courtney

Those are the best rooibos teas – the ones that don’t taste like rooibos. :P

Roswell Strange

Heh, unless you’ve received more tea in the last 24(ish) hours you now have less tea than I do :P But I’ll remember you like this one (I hoped you would because of the pistachio).

VariaTEA

I just bought 15 new teas!!

Roswell Strange

With your 52Teas order? They don’t count yet – not in your cupboard atm ;)

VariaTEA

No. I was not including that. I went to DAVIDs and CaesarsTea today and bought 15 teas in person. I have a problem.

VariaTEA

If I include the 52 teas than you need to add an additional 19 on top of that.

Roswell Strange

My hiatus has been going pretty well, I must say :) Though, there may be 19 in total on the way to me, heh… RiverTea + Keychange + Cavo + Moraiwe + “Take It Away” thread.

VariaTEA

I grabbed 10 g so I will cold brew that and see if I am left with anything to try it hot. I also grabbed Guava Cadabra and intend to cold brew it.

Roswell Strange

I like Guava Cadabra too, though I’m surprised you got it because of the hibiscus.

VariaTEA

I tried Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait as a cold brew and enjoyed it so I decided to give Guava Cadabra a try that way just to see what happens. I figured if I grabbed 10 g that wsas probably just enough for one bottle cold brewed and so its nbd if I am not a fan.

VariaTEA

So I just realized I commented here the response I meant to put on my Countess of Seville post. I was wondering where that went. Haha.

Roswell Strange

I didn’t even notice it was on the wrong tasting note! :C

VariaTEA

That’s because our conversations transend boundaries :P

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drank SBT: Orange Creamsicle by 52teas
1349 tasting notes

I hate it when a picture is missing from a tea, so I always try to do a screen capture and add one. This time, it seems a bit messy. (Boo). Hopefully when Frank gets a chance he can change it.

Anyway. This is my second attempt at steeping one of Frank’s SBT blends. I really, really wish they came loose so that I could parse out the amount I wanted, as there are few 2-quart containers in my neck of the woods. I will definitely message him to share this, as I think I’d buy more if I could measure it, instead of getting one huge tea bag.

Anyway. Steeped it exactly as shared on the bag: 3 minutes, then added cold water to fill my Teavana glass pitcher. I found it a bit weak, and am going to let it sit in my fridge overnight to really cool. I did notice that as the small amount that I poured for myself cooled, the black base was less apparent, and the orange took over. Initially, all I got was cream and black base.

Also, a question for all you experienced SBT-ers, or at least those experienced to cold steeping: should I leave the tea bag in the water overnight, or use it again for another steep?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

When I make it, I cold steep the bag for 15-16 hours. However, I only every cold steep them so I am not sure how the flavor would change using a bag that has already been hot brewed and then iced.

VariaTEA

What other SBT did you make btw?

MissB

I’m blanking out as to which one I made, as it was a while ago. We left it in the fridge too long, so it was icky by the time I got around to drinking it. :(

VariaTEA

Oh no. I am trying the last of my SBT teas tomorrow morning and then I will be placing an order for more. I figured I should try what I had so I knew what to restock.

OMGsrsly

LiberTEAS cold steeps overnight, then hot steeps to get the most out of them. Check out their reviews. :)

OMGsrsly

I have to admit, they are tempting. If you’re going to order more, MissB, might I tag along?

VariaTEA

OMGsrsly, I was going to offer to add some to my order for you and then realized that may not be the most effective plan given we don’t live nearly as close as you and MissB. However, if you are only looking to get a couple to try some, they are pretty flat and could probably pass as letter mail and therefore not really cost anything for me to send them to you. I will probably be ordering tomorrow evening so if you want me to add anything, just let me know :)

OMGsrsly

Ooo. Let me go check!

OMGsrsly

UH OH. Eggnog honeybush? Too tempting.

VariaTEA

Haha. I was tempted by that too. But I don’t know if I want 2 oz of it. Mostly because I don’t know if I would like it. Although, no one does honeybush like Frank.

MissB

Heh. I’ve got a LOT of Frank’s stuff on the way from the Kickstarter, plus the new ones. One just showed up now, it was somehow held in transit for weeks. I grabbed eggnog, and will pass along some to both of you if you’d like. :)

OMGsrsly

I’d really appreciate that, MissB!

I have to admit the cart I built (Malted Chocomate!) is only $40. Tempting to just buy. Are all the SBT caffeinated? I don’t see any honeybush ones.

VariaTEA

They are all black teas…I think.

VariaTEA

And I just wish someone had reviewed the eggnog honeybush so at least there is something to guess how the tea tastes. I may just cave and order it anyways. I have a nice balance on my paypal account that can go towards my order.

I am also debating the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. It was so tasty the first time I had it but the second time around I was not that impressed. The fear that I won’t be able to have it again is pushing me towards getting it even though I am not sure that I would want so much of it.

OMGsrsly

Hmm. Umm. I might just order now and ship to MissB. hides head

VariaTEA

haha. I think you should go for it.

OMGsrsly

Ok, ok… Let’s see. Oh no! It worked! Haha. MissB, you should be expecting a parcel for me…

VariaTEA

What did you end up getting??

OMGsrsly

Too much! LOL. Rootbeer Float, Butterbeer, Strawberry Zabaglione, Honey Ginger, Almond Milk (?!), Gingerbread Smoke, Eggnog Honeybush, Malted ChocoMate. Oh boy, oh boy. :D

VariaTEA

Haha. My cart right now is sitting at about $50 and that includes 13 diff SBTs (multiples of a couple) and the Pineapple Angel Food Cake. I made the mistake of looking through the Available Now and I am currently debating the Eggnog Honeybush, the Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, and the Frankenberry (but only because I saw it has Marshmallow root). I think I have a problem…

NayLynn

I have not had any SBT yet but have wondered for a while if you could just cut the tea bag open and get what you needed and repackage the rest. Is there a reason this would not work?

OMGsrsly

I don’t think there’s any reason why that wouldn’t work. They’re just a little more expensive than the loose teas – $12/2oz rather than $8.99. So if there’s a flavour offered loose, I’d probably just get it that way.

OMGsrsly

I wish I could just ‘like’ your comment, VariaTea!

NayLynn

Thanks, that is a good point about the difference in size/value. The main one I would get is sold out in loose & ya’ll are funny

MissB

I have a huge amount of Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, I love it that much!

NayLynn, I could easily cut the bag open, I just think I’d enjoy it more/more often if I was deciding how big my container is to cold steep, and then going from there.

OMGsrsly, sounds good!

keychange

Yeah, I wish I could cold steep smaller amounts also. I don’t even want two quarts. Because hello! I need to cold steep in my mason jar!

OMGsrsly

Both the containers I picked up are “two quarts”. One is actually 2 quarts, but the other is way closer to 3. I’ll probably keep that one for herbals as I prefer cold steeped tea to plain water.

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