drank Azteca Fire by Teavana
1994 tasting notes

Moving right along in my deep wade through my “everything with the word chocolate in it” buying spree of yestermonth, we come to this Teavana offering. I’m most excited by the fact that this has neither rooibos nor honeybush in it. I am trying to recall whether I’ve had an herbal chocolate blend that didn’t have rooibos or honeybush. Yeah, I think there was a TeaFrog sample of a tisane with chicory in it, but that’s all I can recall.

It’s got fruit in it (apple and strawberry) but the fruit morsels are surprisingly tiny in their chunkiness compared to the usual Teavana fruit blend. The smell of the dry mix reminds me of what I’ve smelled when I’ve stuck my nose into a Halloween bag after trick or treating. A lot of different sweet smells all mixed together, with chocolate and fruit among them. Oh, and there’s spice, too. A pretty strong spicy note, which fits right in with the Halloween theme as it takes up the banner of red hots and their ilk. Spicy sweet, but not cinnamony.

The infusion is the color of apple juice, the dark, no sugar added kind, and cloudy. It has a less intense version of that generic candy aroma from the dry mixture.

Now here’s the really weird part. As I started to sip this, I realized why I made the association with Halloween. Candy corn! Yeah, strangely, that’s what I taste. More of a corn syrup flavor than anything else. Maybe a tiny bit of cocoa, and some sweetness from the strawberry, but put it all together and I get candy corn.

The first time I made this it was pretty weak. I was able to strong it up a bit, but it didn’t change the candy corn note. The spice isn’t enough to make an impression.

Candy corn is ok, but I don’t really care for it in my tea. Fortunately it takes so much of this to make an infusion that is strong enough to have flavor, I only have about a cup’s worth left.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

This is strangely delicious with a pinch of peppermint added to it. Turns into total peppermint patty.

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This is strangely delicious with a pinch of peppermint added to it. Turns into total peppermint patty.

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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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