Hmm, secret flavours.

My first impression from the dry leaf was subtle notes of chocolate and strawberry.

I steeped 1tsp in 8oz of 96C water for three minutes. I typically steep blacks for at least four, but Secret Garden’s Plum & Cottage Pear seemed a bit oversteeped at four minutes. I think three minutes was the right choice for this, and I’ll be starting with three minutes for my other Secret Garden blacks, too.

Steeped, the cup smells very creamy on top of the strawberry chocolate notes.

The taste… it’s good, but I can’t really put my finger on what I’m tasting. Creamy, chocolate, strawberries, malt?? A hint of berry tart that’s there on the finish but not the rest of the sip? Maybe even just a touch of citrus and hops? There’s definitely more to this than just strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.

I’ll have to try this again on a different day and maybe my palate will be able to better pick out the different flavours, as I’m having a hard time accurately describing this. It’s desserty and different from other chocolate berry teas I’ve had. I like it, and I think it would probably be tasty with milk and sugar, too.

Thank you to Tiffany at Secret Garden for the sample!

Flavors: Berry, Chocolate, Citrus, Creamy, Hops, Malt, Strawberry, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.


Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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