drank Peppermint by Teavana
1280 tasting notes

This is a July tea of the month on the classic plan.

This is my fourth peppermint (in my official tasting memory) though I’m sure I must have had others along the way. I’ve lived too long for that not to be the case.

I’ve had Bigelow Peppermint, Upton and Adagio. The Bigelow was pre-Steepster, but I’ve written notes on the others. (By the way, does anyone know why Bigelow sells almost no loose leaf tea? Seems like an odd choice. They have 10 or so kinds in tins on their web site, but mostly they seem just to have bags. Hmm.)

I’m trying this one straight up tonight, and it’s quite nice. Very minty, but not in that mouth full of dirt way I got from the Upton. There’s a turn to the sip that makes it seem it’s heading into bitterness, but it bounces back up before ever dipping that far, buoyed by a very refreshing, intense and volatile peppermint.

One thing it doesn’t seem to have that I’d like it to: a natural sweetness. The Adagio had that and I quite liked it. Instead, this one has a tiny bit of plantiness and a very long lasting mint echo, rather like the aftermath of an Altoid or a mouthwash or something very strongly minty. Not to be confused with fake. I don’t get fake at all.

On balance I’d probably seek out the Adagio were I to choose, because I really did like the sweetness of that one. But this is much nicer than the Upton. Which I’m now wondering more than ever whether I got a bad batch of.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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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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