I got this as a sample when I ordered the Rooibos Lemon Chiffon. I came very close to picking another sample (which they let you do) because I am not big on white chocolate for two reasons. The first is because of a news item I read a number of years ago to the effect that although there are quality control requirements and standards imposed by law concerning ingredients of brown chocolates, there are none on whites. (Whether this is true or not I have no idea, but it influenced my feelings about white chocolate. Essentially, I try to make it a rule not to eat something if I have no idea what’s in it.) The second is just based on taste. I love chocolate, but white chocolate doesn’t have the same flavor. It’s just close enough to seem like it might be the same, but it’s a tease that way — and I always feel a bit let down after I eat it because I’m expecting that true chocolate flavor. If only I could change my expectations, then maybe I could appreciate it for what it is. But life is short, so given the choice I’d always choose a brown chocolate over a white.

The smell upon opening the bag is pretty strongly of a liqueur. I thought perhaps it was Amaretto, but reading the ingredients it’s more likely Frangelico. The aroma opens up some after steeping and some more chocolatey notes come through along with a suggestion of something buttery.

The flavor is also buttery and nutty. It isn’t exactly what I think of when I think of toffee, but I can see the resemblance. And there’s a sweet, subtle fudginess to the taste which I suppose is the white chocolate. I suspect if the white chocolate flavor was more pronounced I wouldn’t like it as much. All in all, it’s pretty nice, and I can see it growing on me over time. It’s something I should probably reserve for dessert given the sugar content.

Actually, between this and the cinnamon latte I had earlier, I am pretty close to having the sugar shakes…. so I think I’ll go bounce off the walls for a while now….

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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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