Okay, I tried. I really tried. I tried every which way I know how to get some flavour other than “veggie juice” out of this blend. I just cannot taste anything else, unfortunately. In addition, after the tea cooled a bit, it got really, really bitter and astringent. Also, in spite of my infuser’s fine mesh, there was quite a bit of sediment in my teacup.
The nice thing about big companies like Teavana and Adagio is that they don’t participate on Steepster, they don’t go the extra mile to establish a rapport with customers and use wonderful incentives to drum up business and introduce themselves to us. Consequently, I have no qualms at all about calling it like I see it and being critical of a blend I don’t like.
It’s different with the little guys. These little companies are either just getting started or intentionally staying small and catering to a niche within the tea market. They make such a huge effort to procure our business, our trust, and our loyalty. They participate in random discussions, give us the benefit of their expertise, and are responsive to our feedback. They become our friends.
Don’t get me wrong, this is awesome. But it also means that I feel obligated to like their teas, especially if I get them as free samples. I feel guilty when things don’t work out, even though well-intentioned criticism can be more helpful than a glowing review. So here we are, my first free sample that I didn’t love, and I’m feeling terribly guilty about it. Sorry, sTEAp Shoppe, better luck next time.
Tea amount: 2 tsp
Water amount: 8oz./~237mL
Additives: 1 tsp Demerara sugar
Dry mouth factor: 3/10 hot, 7/10 after cooling