What an interesting smell this dry leaf mixture has. I can definitely smell the cashew, something creamy and buttery (must be the white chocolate), and there’s also a sharp note that I can’t identify but that I’m sure is a flavoring component. I’m not getting what Ricky smelled, but I can see where his comment came from. I can’t really explain it well. The best I can do is to say the interaction between the cashew smell and the white chocolate smell makes the cashews smell different than straight cashew would.

The white chocolate chips startled me at first as they are huge. Well really, they’re the size of normal chocolate chips, but most teas that I’ve had with chips in them have the tiny ones so these seemed staggeringly gynormous by comparison. At first I thought they were cashews buried in the black tea, until I scooped one out and could see its shape. The cashews look like your basic cashew halves, split down the middle. The tea in this one has large, long, pretty dark leaves.

The tea liquor looks like weak coffee with milk in it. It’s virtually opaque and a tan/orange color. I am guessing this is the influence of the (now melted) white chocolate chips. It has an unexpected aroma. Fruity. Fruity surrounding the cashews. Though the tea doesn’t have much in common with it really, I made an association with Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bars.

The flavor is just what it purports to be, and in a really satisfying way. The cashew flavor is subtle and powerful at the same time. Not quite sure how that happened, but it did. I haven’t had cashew flavored tea before and I was concerned I’d be getting more of a generic nut flavor, but no, this is most definitely cashew. The white chocolate surrounds it without blotting it out. I can even taste the tea under it all, though it certainly isn’t the main event but rather the stage on which the event takes place.

I threw a little salt in as LiberTEAS suggested. Made a little difference, but not as much as I’d expected. This may be, however, because I’d just eaten pretzels and so had already had the effect of added salt before adding more. :-)

This is a very nice tea that accomplishes what it sets out to do and I give it a lot of credit for that. White chocolate isn’t my favorite flavor and I think if this had had regular chocolate instead I would have been reduced to speechlessness.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

It’s ok, Ricky smells weird things- this is the same guy that said Adagio’s cocomint smelled like nail polish LOL! :)

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It’s ok, Ricky smells weird things- this is the same guy that said Adagio’s cocomint smelled like nail polish LOL! :)

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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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