For reasons, unbeknownst even to me, this is the only item from AQ2T where I picked up more than a sample size. I tend to dislike apples and mead, and found the tea flavour/base pairing to be… bizarre, which may have held a lot of appeal to my subconscious chaotic self? It’s a mystery.

The loose-leaf is heavy on the apple and honey aromas, with something boozy, while the steeped liquid is deceptively like genmaicha with a touch of honeyed apple. The flavour is pure mead, with a dash of apples and toasty rice kernels which manages to accentuate the mead a lot.

At first I was repulsed, because it tastes so much like mead, but then I got further into my cup and started to love it because it tastes exactly like mead (this sums up my relationship with actual mead too).

Sometimes I lie to myself and say it tastes more like that infused honey apple cider I like to pick up, and it does taste a lot like that! I also get baked apple pie as well. Cider and pie or the only times I like apples, so this tea hit the lottery.

Good job, boozy genmaicha! You muddled my brain and made me your fan, whether I like it or not.

Steep Count: 2

The “headiness” of the flavouring loosens up a tad when the tea allows to cool for a few minutes and on second steep. It’s still pretty citric and sweet though.

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Honey, Honeysuckle, Spices, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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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