Utopia Tea threw this one in as a sample and I’m glad they did because the aroma alone is amazing (for me)! It’s red fruity with a backdrop of spice. Dried and sweetened strawberries seem to blend with ginger and spice just as well as any self-respecting peach or pear taste, it seems.

The flavour is pleasantly surprising in that I can taste the creamy white base. Flavoured tea is not too appealing as of late, and I’m grateful for that presence. There’s a toasty strawberry jam pastry note that lingers as an aftertaste, although the fruitiness isn’t as present during the main sip as the dry leaf smell had me believe. Pepper and freshening ginger are subtly present in the corners, but I’ve a hard time discerning where one ends and the other begins.

The Utopia teas I received consist of some very interesting ingredient combinations, which I think I may need some time to warm up to. This one, however, I like right away. Strawberries are some of my least favourite berries too… Maybe it’s the sweet fruit jam, or the prickly zest of the spices, or the smoothness in mid sip- it’s definitely not the drying, puckering sensation it leaves in my mouth. Once I empty out my cupboards I’ll pick up a tiny amount of this.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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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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