When I went on a search for local honey, my first stop was a small “natural foods” store in town (and yes, they had what I was looking for, yay!). Half of the store is supplements, and then a little of this and little of that. The tea wall was actually pretty big for the size of store, with mostly Celestial Seasonings, Yogi and Traditional Medicinals. But this caught my eye, as I had seen reviews of Tulsi of late, so I settled on this Vanilla choice (only other choice was Raspberry).

This is a blend of 3 different types of Tulsi (Holy Basil), along with some rooibos, chamomile and vanilla flavor. The first time I tried it with T. of honey, it was too sweet. Unsweetened it is not sweet at all, so after tasting without, I’m adding 2 tsp. honey. The honey really brings out the clove note that some associate with tulsi. I’m a fan of clove, so this is perfect. There’s a hint of apple, or other fruit that makes it seems a little like an apple pie (spiced with cinnamon and clove). Some have mentioned a mint note on other tulsi blends, but not getting it in this. Vanilla impression, a little.

I’m retesting so that I can test 3 Upton offerings of Holy Basil varieties. BH02 (Holy Basil Purple Leaf) has no spicy or noticeable flavoring type scents. BH03 (Wild Forest Holy Basil, aka Vana Tulsi, aka clove basil) has a licorice scent. BH06 (now BH08) (Holy Basil Green Leaf) does have more of a mint scent that the others (with spice). I wish I knew the ratio on this tea, so can duplicate (will attempt).

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Originally started testing teas, to replace a lifelong Coke (Coca-Cola) habit. Now I’m just amazed at all the choices. Still in beginner stage of tea education. Until I get really good at iced/cold tea, the Coke habit remains, but is down to a minimum.

My cupboard here on Steepster was ridiculous, containing each and every sample size that I have been accumulating. It now only contains non-sample size teas. Loose leaf outweighs the bagged teas, but it doesn’t look that way by the list (over 100 samples).

I started my tea journey testing flavored teas. My favorites are chai and mint flavored teas, along with Earl Grey. Also like chocolate, caramel, coconut, almond, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and some others. Most flavors are better with a nice black tea base. The mint ones seem best paired with greens. I’m branching out now to unflavored teas and it is way more overwhelming then the flavored category. Phew.

My (grown) son has decided that he wants to try to find tea that he likes too, so I’ll be passing along the ones I don’t care for to him (with instructions to then pass them on to his sister…evil plot? yes!). So I’ve removed my shopping list from Steepster and moved it to a spreadsheet (swaps are out for now). My shopping list had grown to 197! By going through each one, I was able to split that in half (since many were added in beginning, before I knew what I like/don’t like).

While not swapping, if there’s something in my cupboard that you’d like a sample of, please feel free to ask : )

Ratings (for now):
90s: Must have in personal rotation. Crave it.
80s: Makes me a happy tea drinker. Very good. Unsure of long term relationship.
70s: Like this. Will drink what I have (sample/tin/box), but unsure of whether I’d buy again.
60s: Probably a good tea for what it is. Just not to my personal liking.
50s and below: Do not like…at all. Either poor quality, yuck flavor or … (see tealog).

Old (and still current) obsessions: books, music and fragrances. Hopefully my tea collection stays much more “normal” then those. (too late)


Central Ohio

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