Today, while in the mall, I traveled to Teavana to pick up a tea that, turns out, was discontinued-which fully explains why I had never heard of it and was so intrigued. (Holy Run-On Sentence Batman!) Nonetheless, I decided to aid digestion in a cup of the old favorite. I asked for it hot and “slightly sweetened” which usually means a lot less sugar than was put in here. I am not criticizing, I am just saying…

For this store made brew, I am afraid I have to almost change my rating, it did not taste nor smell anything like I remembered. It was strangely sweet, smelled like oatmeal – an oaty, sugary, cinnamon and raisin kind of smell. The flavor was sweet and slightly and I mean very slightly spiced with cinnamon, but that’s it. This really reminds me of snickerdoodles, the butter cookie with cinnamon and sugar and that’s about it…sigh, this is not what I remembered at all!

To make sure I was not crazy, I went home to dig through my cabinets to see if I had any remaining and try and figure out what was amiss. I had enough for one small pot (this is a bittersweet moment, I had enough to quiz and question myself, but was able to finish off another tea). The pot I made at home was much more like I remembered: some almond flavor, some coconut, spices from cinnamon and cardamom, nothing at all like what I just had in the mall!

My infusion was three minutes, hot, no additives. The store was three minutes hot, slightly sweetened. Could “slightly sweetening” with the German Rock Sugar really do that? I guess so. So, fellow Steepsterites, I do not really know if this proves anything, but what I do know is do not sweeten this tea, it kills the flavors and undertones that you should be enjoying and almost killed a perfectly good rating.

For now, I will chalk the change up to the sweetened version and keep my rating for the version made at home. If you do give this one a try, I cannot stress enough to try it on it’s own before adding anything.

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I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone



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