As always, I need to preface this by acknowledging that perfumey teas aren’t my thing. But I love vanilla and caramel, both of which are abundantly present in this tea. Just too abundant for my preference. And I’m not picking up the underlying tea flavor.

Second steep the vanilla arrives at a nicer, subtler level, so as it steamed off the pour I was looking forward to the cup, thinking my strategy next time I pull out this tea will be to give it a quick pre-steep rinse. Unfortunately, along with the perfume, the tea seems to have lost its depth and complexity. It’s got a nice fragrance but it all goes flat and ends with astringency. Tried adding almond milk as an afterthought, but that didn’t help.

I can see how folks who lean toward flavored teas would love this, because the first steep is a nice strong vanilla-caramel, and very true caramel, at that. As for me, I’ll try it again with a quick rinse.

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Strong preference for exploring teas au naturel, and unflavored (except for unprocessed ingredients, e.g., cocoa shells/nibs, vanilla beans, flowers, fruits…). Favorites lean in the direction of rich caramelly, malty blacks, any puerh, fresh floral oolongs and whites that have some dimension.

I am always up for swaps.

Beyond the experience of tea, I’m interested in exploring its medicinal aspects. Other interests … yoga, creative veggie cooking, environmental issues, animal welfare, music/guitar, lefty politics, preventive health/nutrition, biking, swimming, foosball, photography.

Here’s how I rate ’em:

95+: euphoria-inducing, le petite mort
91-94: extraordinary, exhilarating
85-90: delicious
81-84: definitely enjoyable
75-80: good, solid stuff
65-74: I’ll drink it, but without enthusiasm
45-64: something redeeming about it, but not much
31-44: just barely drinkable
< 30: tidy stream into the spit bucket


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