The aroma of this guayusa is quite lovely- like toasty vanilla with a dash of mint. A hot cup of this makes me think of Pistachio Ice Cream (it’s the creamy vanilla), but instead of green tea and pistachios there is that earthy tone that guayusa is known for.

The spearmint seemed stronger in my cooled down cup than in the piping hot one; the vanilla tasted more subdued. I think I may like this better when the vanilla takes the more dominant role, but the cup is still consistently creamy, floral, and earthy enough for me. The lavender is on the periphery of my senses most of the time, although, like the mint, that seems to be more prevalent in the cooler cup.

On a few other, somewhat related, notes.. I love the name of this blend a lot. It’s also a decent substitute for those who loved Teaopia’s now defunct Mate Vanilla Mint.

It’s not something I see myself drinking all the time, however that’s likely due to some unfortunate conditioning with guayusa, all-nighters, and hopeless papers. I see this getting rotation with David’s Jungle Ju Ju, as a deceptively smoother alternative, around school deadlines.

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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.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike or stay away from: apple, cocoa nibs, marine, peach, stevia, dairy products

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-84: 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.


BC, Lower Mainland

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