Moving on with project chai sipdown, who knew there were so many “Night of the Iguana” chocolate chais? Steepster’s database has (count ’em) 8!

Can anyone explain that to me? Are they all the same blends, but marketed by different companies? Or is there some deep, literary connection at work? I don’t think I ever read the play (or saw it) so I remain baffled.

Also, I noticed this one’s chocolate is actually white chocolate. Which is debatably un-chocolate and actually butter.

I made this on the stovetop using the Samovar method with Golden Moon French Breakfast as the extra black tea. I messed up, though, because I didn’t read the part in the description that said to shake the packet to get the spices to distribute until after it was steeping away in some lowfat milk and splenda.

Next time I’ll shake it up, because although I am finding this very (and somewhat mysteriously, given that I am in the white-chocolate-isn’t-really-chocolate camp) chocolaty, the rest of the spice mix isn’t coming across very strongly to me. Not even the black pepper.

The strongest flavor other than chocolate that I taste is ginger, which gives this a confectionery aspect that’s enjoyable.

Rating it high for the chocolate aspect. I’ll adjust as necessary once I get the spice mix right.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ginger

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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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