It looks a lot and tastes a little like (a sour) Hawaiian Punch. My feeling about this tea is much like my feeling about Raspberry Darjeeling Black by Numi was. Too strong on the hibiscus, and perhaps the pomegranate as well, which makes the tea too tart and masks the other flavors. The taste isn’t altogether unpleasant, but it isn’t what I expected from the name of the tea. I’m not getting the raspberry I did from the Numi, even in the finish, and I’m not sure where the pomegranate is, other than in the tartness (but I should say that though I’ve eaten pomegranate seeds I haven’t had pomegranate juice so if that flavor is in here I wouldn’t be able to identify it as such). Instead it’s a generic tart fruitiness (as opposed to fruit tartiness, heh) that I’m tasting, which does seem as though it could be good iced.

If I concentrate really really really hard, I can pick up a green note in the aroma. But I can’t taste it.

As an aside, my boyfriend told me his company has this in their kitchen, and as he’d been eyeing mine he had some the other day at work. His reaction to it was much more positive than mine, but though he’s been a tea drinker for much longer than I have and pretty much always chooses iced tea to go with his meal when we eat out, he hasn’t been participating in my tasting endeavors and experiencing the really excellent teas I’ve had lately. Also, as it turns out he tells me they have an extra zorijushi which they’re talking about giving away. To which I responded first “how Silicon Valley start up of you” and second “gee, I wish you’d told me that before I sunk the bucks into buying one…”

175 °F / 79 °C 2 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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