drank Congo Bongo by SerendipiTea
2036 tasting notes

I got this ages and ages ago. Stunningly, SerendipiTea still carries it. I thought for sure it would be off the rotation by now just given the number of years I’ve had it. The last Steepster note on this tea was 6 years ago.

In the tin it smells coconutty, mangoey, cookie like. After steeping there’s a citrus edge as well which is weird since there’s nothing citrus in the ingredients.

I was prepared for this to be another tropical tea that basically devolves into coconut. That it doesn’t is a pleasant surprise! There’s a very obvious and discernible mango here and the coconut, at least in this cup, is more in the background. But it does a nice job there of keeping the tea from becoming too sharp. It provides a natural sweetness that tamps down any acidic notes that could detract from the flavor.

It’s been a long time since I had a mango black tea, and I can’t remember being overly impressed by any — though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. I should go back and look at my notes to see what I thought of the others I’ve tasted. But that wouldn’t be an apples to apples comparison unless they also had coconut and didn’t also have pineapple, which is always the challenge — introduce pineapple into the mix and everything is either pineapple or coconut. Everything else gets lost.

Not so here. Eureka!

Flavors: Coconut, Mango

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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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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