I can’t believe I didn’t realize this sample was decaf until I came here to write a note about it. I must have known it a couple of months ago when I placed the order, but the packet doesn’t say decaf so I’d totally forgotten.

The fact that it is decaf is really good news. I’ve been looking for some good decafs to have on hand when my bagged starter stash runs out (which is looking like it will be pretty soon) for those times when I feel like having tea instead of a tisane.

In the packet, the leaves smell uber peachy. It’s a nice smell. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it fresh smelling, but it isn’t overly candified, it isn’t medicinified, and it doesn’t resemble cleaning solution. All of this is good.

The tea smells extremely peachy too, though the tea comes through as well. I’m liking this decaf! It’s not entirely without that “something is missing and it can’t be just caffeine” thing, but it is so much better tasting that the only other black decaf I’ve had. The peach flavor is sweet and strong without being overpowering, and the tea, though it isn’t a strong taste at all, isn’t bad. It’s fairly mild with some astringency.

I’m going to have to get some of this to start out my new black decaf category. Though I don’t think decaf will ever taste as good as the real thing, this one is pretty good.

This rating is not a comparison to caffeinated teas. It’s where I think this belongs on a decaf scale.


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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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