I found this teabag in my stash at work. (I’m back in the office for the first time today but I’m not sure I’m going to last the whole day. Still coughing and sore throat-y.)

Steeping at work is always imperfect because the water is kind of take it or leave it, and it comes out of the spigot quite hot. So I try to limit myself to teas that can take really hot water.

I should mention that I’m not a huge sweet potato fan. I really like the fries they do at The Counter, and I will eat a baked sweet potato during the appropriate season, but I’ve never been much for the mashed potato with pineapple thing my BF likes to make for Thanksgiving. I can’t now recall whether I’ve had sweet potato pie. I must have, but I probably thought it was pumpkin.

The little mesh bag had little white dots in it that I assume are the marshmallows, and fine grains of tea managed to escape onto my fingers as I held it to my nose. Wow, what a strange smell to the dry leaf. Definitely potato, but it seemed to me to waffle between sweet potato and white potato. There was also some weird strong scent that I see Auggy has identified as whisky. Yeah, that could be it.

The tea was a really lovely clear reddish brown but the aroma of the steeped tea was bakey bakey bakey and not in a way that appealed to me. The flavor, though, was surprisingly quite good. On the front of the sip, there’s a mild tea flavor, but there’s something sweet and lightly spiced that’s pie-like evident toward the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. The little marshmallows also add sparks of sweetness that pop every now and then in the mouth.

I think this is quite well done. It’s not something I would buy, but mainly because sweet potato flavor is not in my top ten or probably even 20 list. I could see how it would appeal to fans, though.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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