Sipdown no. 2 of 2018 (no. 358 total).

I still have the filter bag version, which is what I had logged this under when I first tried it years ago. It quickly became my favorite mint herbal tea. I tried unsuccessfully to replicate the ratio of spearmint to peppermint to tarragon. Blending isn’t my superpower.

I still have a box of the filter bags, which I bought about a year ago. This sipdown is of bags I had for much longer and was hoarding.

There is a difference between the full leaf sachets and the filter bags. The full leaf sachets give a more full, more balanced flavor in which the tarragon has more potency. The filter bags are more minty.

The hoarding behavior made sense in this case because apparently, Tazo no longer offers the sachets, which I personally believe is an economic decision — the tins the sachets come in are metal rather than paper, and the sachets themselves are in netting rather than paper, so I expect it’s more expensive to make the sachets and Tazo decided that they should reserve those for teas where it would make more of a difference. They still offer sachets on their web site, but not for this herbal or any herbals.

Alas, it makes a lot of difference to me with this herbal. I wish they still had it available in the sachets. It’s still my favorite mint herbal, but now that I’ve had a chance to compare the two, I have to give this a higher rating than the filter bags.

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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 tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

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 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; 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.

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.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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