I’m finally home for the holidays with my folks and I’m so excited! All the tea I ordered on the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales was delivered here so coming back after semester finals was doubly anticipated. I’m running around with all these tea parcels and my father is just shaking his head. He told me that all he needs is his Red Rose. He’s missing out…

I didn’t know where to start but I figured I should get caught up on my 52teas advent calendar first.

Day one

Ah, my first cup ever, from this company! It’s funny that in all the times I’ve eyed the 52teas website and the various crazy “food items” I never imagined I would actually be able to smell or taste the tea in the blends. Yet, here the black base is unmistakably prevalent beneath a layer of fluffy cotton candy aroma. Neat! The scent that wafted from my advent packet makes me feel like it’s my birthday, or something equally exciting. Still, I’m somewhat skeptical; it smells so very airy and sugary but it has such a strong base!

I steeped it for two minutes. First impression is that it has a bit of an astringent nip! I was half expecting this to be over the top, artificially sweet, and the other half expecting it to be all bitter leaves. I’m pleased that it actually falls somewhere in the middle. The first notes are nippy but then it mellows down into a smoother black before finishing with a soft cotton candy brush. Melted caramel notes.

I’m torn on whether or not I love it. I’m disappointed in the astringency but I’m also happy that this is more a black tea with some unique flashiness than liquidized cotton candy that may have rolled in some tea leaves. I also appreciate that the flavour is prevalent and vivid without being overwhelmingly, nauseatingly sweet. It gets points in my book just for the subtle finish and true “tea-ness”.

I need to experiment with the rest of my sample. Maybe it would go well with milk? Iced? Iced latte?

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

Welcome home! (I remember coming home at semester’s end and Mom complaining because I didn’t want to do anything but s-l-e-e-p!)

CrowKettle

Thank you! That scenario sounds very familiar. :)

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gmathis

Welcome home! (I remember coming home at semester’s end and Mom complaining because I didn’t want to do anything but s-l-e-e-p!)

CrowKettle

Thank you! That scenario sounds very familiar. :)

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and the not so roasted green oolong varieties are my favourites. I enjoy the odd shu puerh too.

Currently looking for the most buttery and sweet green oolong I can find.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, butter, caramel, cedar, cream, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lilac, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, orchid, pine, rice, rose, vanilla.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike: apple, cocoa nibs, licorice, marine, peach, stevia

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

91-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

86-90: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-85: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Lower Mainland

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