First, I want to say that I love the concept behind Mad Pots of Tea. You fill out a form online about yourself, your likes, your dislikes, how people would describe you, places you would love to be. Based on your answers, a tea is designed just for you.
When I saw Stevia on this, I was unsure whether I wanted to drink it. I don’t sweeten my teas, and I absolutely despise artificial sweeteners. Stevia leaf is natural, though, so I was hoping to like this.
The tea is beautiful to look at. There are so many rose petals, violets, elderflowers, and tiny bits of dried strawberry – very colorful! We each ate a tiny piece of dried strawberry and it was so sweet and good.
The steeped tea smelled mostly of peaches and that was the foremost taste I got as well. My guest agreed. But there was an strong aftertaste to it like licorice root and my tongue burned a bit. My guest said at first that she liked the front of the sip but the aftertaste was bitter like artificial sweetener to her. I asked if it possibly tasted more like licorice, and she said YES! Like the aftertaste of licorice. And now for the second time, this tea has left me with a burning esophagus and stomach, something that happened with the first cup I tried but I didn’t log it because I wanted to be sure the tea was the culprit. And oh, OW! It is! I hope this stops soon!
I think I actually like the TASTE of stevia, because I like the way my throat feels after drinking sore throat teas with licorice root in them, I like ginseng oolong that has a similar flavor, and I kind of liked the aftertaste at first. But then the burning started again and hasn’t stopped.
I didn’t put stevia on the “Don’t” list for my ingredients because a.) It never occurred to me that it might be put in the tea blend, just as I didn’t specify “no black pepper, no codeine, no ampicillin.” Stevia just fell in that category of things I wouldn’t think of saying not to add because I didn’t dream it was an option, and b.) I have never had it so I didn’t know it would do this to me, and c.) I thought I did say that I don’t sweeten my teas, so it wouldn’t have crossed my mind that a sweetener of any kind would go in. I am not trying to be contentious or a smart butt! Just sayin’.
And I don’t know for sure it is the Stevia. There are other ingredients here that I have never had like elderflower. Does anyone have any experience with Stevia leaf and stevia extract? Is it the likely culprit?
The bottom line is that the taste isn’t bad, but the aftereffect is making this undrinkable for me. The great thing is that you can send your tea back if it isn’t to your liking and just pay a $5 shipping charge, although since one is also paying to ship it back, it is hardly worth the trouble to return it, so I am not sure what I will end up doing.
Overall, though, I think this is one of the coolest ideas! And it would be such a great gift for someone who loves tea or who is hard to buy for. A tea blend, inspired by and blended just for you? I love the idea!