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So, I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the maple-y flavor of this tea before, so I decided to up the ante today and do a double-strength steep. I used a rather larger than normal size mug, just to be on the safe side. My plan was to steep it for as short a time as possible, but I ended up steeping it a teensy bit longer than my gut told me to… and the result was VERY astringent, even with sugar. I attribute this to the fact that there’s basically tea dust in the bag, instead of distinguishable leaves… a quality issue that RoT teas frequently have. :/
Anyway, the tea was WORLDS better after I added about a tablespoon or two of milk to my cup. Mmm, maple-y goodness! I didn’t even really have to sweeten it all that much (been trying to do less of that anyway). The pecan flavor isn’t all THAT strong, but it’s there. So, the moral of the story is that milk makes this tea quite delicious, but without it, it’s almost not worth drinking.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

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Louisiana, USA

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