Justea

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90
drank Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
1108 tasting notes

Came across a tin of this in the kitchen of where I am staying. Nice malty backbone. The bergamot is strong but does not assault like some do. Earl Grey just the way I like it.

I added milk because hooray for a functioning fridge!

And how is everyone coping in these strange and bewildering days?

Martin Bednář

Sounds cozy.
And how do I cope? Well, being glued to my chair and screen, trying to finish last semester of university (undergrad). Tired of distant learning. At first, it was a good change, I was much more into lectures, but now it’s rather annyoing.

Evol Ving Ness

I am so glad to not be a student or a teacher in these times. Too much of the same thing everyday. I appreciate studies much more when I need to get up, get dressed, and go somewhere away from home, even when commuting is a pain.

Martin Bednář

I had so many time idea showing up in PJs only to the online lecture, but inner me said: “Would you show up to actual lecture like this?” and I decided not to do that. Of course, exams are different story and luckily, I didn’t had to wear suit while being examined online.

I am trying to be active, and teachers are glad for that, but being almost only one who responds is terrible feeling.

Evol Ving Ness

Good for you!

But for most people motivation is a huge factor.

tea-sipper

I almost had this tea today. I’m glad you found a tin of it!

Evol Ving Ness

It’s really good. I like it a lot. I don’t tend to reach for Earl Grey’s all that often, but love them when I do. The good ones anyway.

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81
drank Purple Chocolate by Justea
1143 tasting notes

Sipdown 25- 2021
Another sip down from Dustin’s advent. I really, really like this one. It’s definitely one of the best chocolate teas I’ve ever tried. It’s not artificial tasting at all, and tastes more like unsweetened cocoa powder than a bar of chocolate. Really tasty, and something I’ll be purchasing once I get my cupboard a bit more under control.

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81
drank Purple Chocolate by Justea
1143 tasting notes

Advent from Dustin Day 5
(backlog)
I’ve only tried a couple purple teas, and they’ve all been unflavored, so I was quite excited to see this!
Brewed, this smell extremely chocolatey- like a fresh cup of hot chocolate.
The chocolate flavor is really good. Not at all artificial or thin like so many chocolate teas tend to be. The chocolate also works extremely well with the purple tea, which is earthy and rich on its own.

tea-sipper

Oh wow, Justea is still around and they have way more than three teas now! (Last time I looked, they had three.) I’m glad they are doing well!

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98
drank Purple Rain by Justea
398 tasting notes

Thursday 9/24/2020 in North Carolina 71 Degree Rainy and Overcast Afternoon Still under Covid 19 Dumbness,Looking for a Bright Delight this afternoon, Steeped a Mug of Purple Rain (1st Steep) This was the Fruity Brightness that I needed today, Nice Balance of all the Fruit Flavors, LemonGrass, Hibiscus, Apple Pieces, Rosehips, Passion Fruit. I’ll Make the 2nd Cup a Little Hotter first was 195* Gonna keep on Steepin On

Flavors: Lemongrass

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88
drank Purple Rain by Justea
198 tasting notes

Well, I’m back. Again. I’d like to thank whomever’s idea it was to give me a boatload of SNAP because it allowed me the chance to indulge in a couple luxuries I could never afford previously.

This was one of those luxuries.

I’ll start by saying this is a beautiful tea. The presentation in the window top tin, with wooden serving spoon on the side is just divine. I love it. So kudos to Justea for that.

I brewed this up western style, 2tsp/190F/4min/12oz

Taste is… MMM that’s fruity. I never thought I’d see the day when someone did hibi right, but here we are. I didn’t add sweetener to this, and it’s tart. But not overpoweringly tart. It’s just the right balance of tart and sweet, without additives. Also, the liquor is a lovely majenta/purple color from the hibi and I love it in my white mug.

This stuff is just so good and balanced. That’s the key word here – balanced. Hibiscus teas are usually wretched because they come out unbearably sour. This, however, is lovely. I’m glad the tin is pretty decently sized because I can see me going back to this one, and who knows how long they will be handing out extra money.

All in all, great tea.
Now, if I can just figure out how to properly make the matcha I bought, I’ll be golden.

Flavors: Apple, Lemon, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank African Chai by Justea
2533 tasting notes

I picked this tea tonight because I am feeling sentimental this Christmas Eve. My husband has been sick for several days, mostly tired and achey and a bit of a sore throat with some upper respiratory issues. We hardly ever have chai and almost never have lattes, but I made him one a few weeks ago and he liked it, so I thought it would be a nice treat tonight.

The reason this is so special is because it is from the last samples ever sent to me by our Steepster friend, K S, before he passed on. You see, he could read between the lines and when he sent me a “you okay?” message, he didn’t believe my “I’m fine!” (I wasn’t.) So he mailed me some tea and an encouraging note.

I wanted it to be extra rich and comforting, so I heated some milk on the stove with a bit of sugar and put in the whole sample pouch of tea and spices. I know true chai is usually half milk and half water, but I am going for Christmas Eve level comfort here!

I strained it into mugs and we drank it while we listened to an old radio broadcast of It’s A Wonderful Life. It was very good, and I see more chai lattes in our future this winter, especially when we have cold spells, something we don’t see an awful lot.

I checked to make sure this company was still in business before posting. They are, and this tea is available on amazon. I like the Justea business model, providing sustainable jobs in Kenya. I hope they do well.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

mrmopar

Merry Christmas. I miss KS too. Always enthusiastic and making a joyful noise in the band as he described it.

Martin Bednář

I unfortunately have no chance to meet K S here, but I read several notes that he was a good guy. It makes me so happy that you guys haven’t forgot about him.

Merry Christmas!

gmathis

This is just the year for remembering, isn’t it? Received word yesterday that my dear writing mentor and friend passed. Alzheimer’s. Spent Christmas Eve evening thanking God for her influence, her constant encouragement, and her love of good stories—the kind that make you snort tea out your nose. One of my prize possessions is a little black notebook with her favorite mystery novels, categorized by author and series—a reading bucket list that I will continue to chase down in her honor.

ashmanra

Martin: I wish you had been here when K S was here! He was a great guy!

Gmathis: You must treasure that list! I am glad you have it, and glad you are working through it. It will be almost like reading along with her. ❤️

tea-sipper

I will drink some of my African Chai tomorrow in honor of K S — didn’t know him well, but he was one of our Steepsterers.

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40
drank Kenyan Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
59 tasting notes

I bought this at the SF Int’ Tea Festival because I’ve heard of Kenyan tea but not have had a chance to sample. I tried their jasmine flavored version and thought it was good. A friend tried the chocolate or mint and also found it tasty. However, I really just wanted to try JUST the Kenyan purple tea without any flavors. I had to ask them if I could taste JUST the purple tea without any flavoring, but they didn’t have it brewed, so I bought this untasted.

The tea leaves are small and have a purple tinge to them.
The dry leaves smell faintly of plum.
The warm (not wet) leaves smell more of plum and a light roast.

I brewed this in two different ways.
- Western
- GongFu

TL;DR — Western Style: Hardly any flavor
GongFu style — MUCH too bitter, even at a low temp/short steep times.

WESTERN:
I brewed this per their recommendation on the bag: Western Style 1tsp (3g) for 1cup water @ 175F for 3 minutes. (NOTE: Their website suggests 3g at BOILING WATER for 3-5 minutes)

Steep 1 : Tea broth: a very pale dirty yellow
Flavor: Extremely mild flavor. There’s hardly any initial flavors, only hints of toasted flavors, but nothing discernible. There’s an extremely mild astringency as my whole tongue dries out just ever so slightly. The water at 175 deg F isn’t helping leach out any of the flavors. (This is when I check their website and find that they recommend BOILING WATER)

Steep 2: 4 minutes @ 208degF
Leaf aroma: there’s a vegetal / roasted scent
Liquid aroma: A very mild fruity (not plum, no stone fruit) scent.
Flavor: There’s an extremely mild sweet vegetal notes. And a bit more astringency than the first steep. It’s not really all that much flavorful than the first steep

Conclusion for Western: When brewed to their recommendation, this tea has hardly any flavor, which is why they probably mix it with other things.

GongFu
Tea: 5grams / Water: 150ml

30 seconds @ 203F
The tea broth looks like a dirty rose wine. It looks rather unappealing, but has a underlying hints of sweetness in its aroma

Flavor: First thing that hits your mouth is BITTER. I can’t even finish drinking it as it’s so bitter.

20 sec @ 175F — I dropped the steep time down as well as the water temperature, hoping that this will help. It’s not as bitter as the first steep, but still bitter enough to be undrinkable.

Conclusion: Won’t drink this stuff as GF. A higher tea to water ratio does not necessarily make this tea flavorful.

Bluegreen

I keep hearing about all those wonderful Kenyan teas as well but those few that I tried were similarly disappointing, or, at best, nothing special. Either my luck is lousy or the hype is a bit excessive.

Jade

I think the hype is excessive. It seems to be okay as a blended tea, but on its own? Meh…

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70
drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
881 tasting notes

Teabox Tuesday! This is one of the teas I’ve had stashed from the Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and all those that participated and shared! I always meant to try this sooner, and I think my brain thinking that a lot of these teas “should” be drunk gong fu style is what has held me back, as I rarely have the time to do a session. Finally today I just said “screw it” and made it western (easier for me, especially as I can take that out the door to work in my thermos). I had 3.3g in my sample and just brewed it all up in 450ml of water, and since I had no idea how purple leaf tea should be brewed, I used the recommendations from their website for 175F water and a 3 minute steep.

The leaf unfurls to be very full, reminding me a Jin Xuan oolong in appearance, with a strong stewed vegetal aroma. The color of the tea is a pinkish-brown color that is very pretty. The flavor is reminding me of a mellow Chinese green tea, as I’m getting that slight beany flavor that I find in Long Jings and Pi Lo Chuns; there is also a weak, floral oolong quality, though the vegetal flavor comes on stronger. There is no bitterness on the sip, but the tea does leave my tongue with a fairly strong lip-smacking/tongue-drying aftertaste. I’m curious if cold-steeping this would eliminate that and create a more refreshing “clean green” flavor.

It’s a nice enough mellow, afternoon pot of tea sort of brew, and I’m glad for the opportunity to try it!

Flavors: Beany, Drying, Floral, Green Beans, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 15 OZ / 450 ML

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90
drank Kenyan Earl Grey by Justea
9 tasting notes

Yesterday morning I woke up early.
It was chilly in the house and I knew I needed a good strong, hot cuppa.
Since I was sleeping over at my boyfriend’s house, I didn’t have my full cupboard.
Lucky for me, I did bring Justea’s Earl Grey.
It had been quite awhile since I’d had a cup, but when I popped the lid off the tin….
Ahhhhh, heaven in a sniff.
I enjoyed my morning brew so much, I ended up having 3 more cups through the day.
It’s a lovely, well-balanced Earl Grey.
Not too bitter or astringent, and just enough bergamot to be tasted but not overwhelming.
I remember why this is my favorite.

Flavors: Bergamot, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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90
drank Mount Kenya by Justea
41 tasting notes

Wasn’t too strong, I loved this even unsweetened. 4.5/5

Flavors: Tea

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35
drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
796 tasting notes

Discovery TTB #20

The purple oolong from this box was a surprise hit for me, so I decided to sample the other purple tea as well. There was barely a teaspoon of this tea left in the box, so I brewed up a single cup and finished it off. The color wasn’t as “purple” as I was hoping…more of a light, slightly blueish brown. And the flavor was surprisingly light (it tasted like a very mild green tea) and unpleasantly astringent. Not a fan!

Flavors: Astringent

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Nattie

Oh dear

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These leaves are very dark with a purple tint to them. Once steeped, they unfurl to show they are rather large, green, and purple. The color of the brew is a pale green. It has an earthy smell. The taste is faint at first, also earthy, but lingers a bit. It doesn’t really have much flavor, in my opinion. And what it does have, isn’t that great. This was a sample. I don’t think I will drink this again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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drank Purple Chocolate by Justea
1459 tasting notes

It’s the first day of National Black History Month! I looked through my teas and couldn’t find a single tea that was from a black owned company! :( Second best thing is this tea, which is picked by Kenyan farmers. Jamilla is the farmer who is featured on my tin.

I’ve gone through half this tin in two years. It’s a good tea, but I usually want more from chocolate than just chocolate alone so I feel like I really have to be in an extra chocolatey mood to appreciate it. It’s very raw dark chocolate like. It has that sour tang that dark chocolate gets. Maybe it’s the addition sugar that usually mellows that out? It’s more of a raw than a refined chocolate taste. It reminds me both of the smell of walking into a shop that actually grinds their own beans to make chocolate and the biproduct of the process, the shells, that get sold in giant bags for gardening purposes. I’ve bought a bag of that ground cover before and it goes through stages of smelling really good and chocolatey like this tea and going a bit sour when it starts to decompose and stay damp under a few layers. I can’t pick out the tea in this under the chocolate domination. I’d love to see this company expand on the use of cacao shells with chocolate orange or chocolate mint combos, much like Tikal used to do. So few companies experimenting with cacao shells!

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drank Purple Chocolate by Justea
1459 tasting notes

Tried some of this tea at the SF tea festival a few weeks ago. From what I understand, purple tea is a type of tea leaf that isn’t commonly used. I recall Butiki having a purple tea offering, but I don’t recall being taken by it. Anyways, there were four blends this company had made with purple tea. I chose this one because of the chocolate aspect. It reminded me of Mezzo’s now discontinued chocolate tisane that I loved. This blend lacks the cinnamon and coconut that the other blend has, but it is nice on it’s own. I don’t get much tea flavor coming through, mostly the chocolate notes. I over steeped and any bitter notes are blending well with the chocolate. It looses a little bit of it’s appeal as it cools, but adding cream at that point makes it interesting again. I’m expecting this tea to become a favorite.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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55
drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
2238 tasting notes

135/365

From the Regional Group Buy. The leaves have a purple tinge to them, but the tea itself brews up a pale green-ish brown. At least, it does for me. It’s nothing like the purple in the picture on the card that came with this one, but maybe it’s my fault for keeping it too long. I’m thinking probably not, but since I actually don’t know I think we’ll just move along…

In flavour terms, it tastes a lot like a green tea. It’s fairly sweet, with a light edamame flavour. There’s something else there in the background, too; a flavour almost like the smell of melted plastic? I’m aware that makes very little sense, but it’s what I’m getting, and right at the back of the throat.

I’m okay with this one, but it’s not quite as unique as I hoped. I’ve tried two purple teas before (one from Butiki and one from Tealux, I think, which came in the form of unicorn horns.) I don’t remember either being quite what I expected, and this one isn’t either, so perhaps purple tea just isn’t my thing. Always worth a try, though.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Starfevre

apparently adding a bit of lemon will make the purple really come out.

Scheherazade

I’ll maybe try that next time. I’m pretty sure any amount of lemon will totally drown the flavour, though…

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85
drank Nandi Hills Black by Justea
2238 tasting notes

133/365

From the Regional Group Buy. This black is one I’d characterise as “lighter” in terms of both flavour and mouthfeel. Something I’m enjoying about trying these teas close together is the level of contrast between teas from the same geographical area – especially given that most of them are either black or oolong. Both of the group buys I participated in with LP have been illuminating in this way, and I love how it makes me question my assumptions and preconceptions (some of them I didn’t even know I’d made…)

Anyway. This one is interesting, because at first sip it reminds me very much of whisky; it has both a richness and a peaty, earthy sweetness. The end of the sip is smooth and honey-like, but the whisky vibe remains throughout and lingers well into the aftertaste. It’s almost like the teas was aged in barrels, but I’m almost certain that wasn’t the case here.

Although the flavour is distinctive, it’s not heavy. It seems almost to dance across the palate. I have another tea from this grower that I’m now really excited to try, and I’d certainly seek them out again in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
4953 tasting notes

Unsure who this sample is from (Sil, VariaTEA?) as it was in the bag of teas from Sil’s house. Decided to give it a shot tonight, and I think I may have oversteeped it or overleafed, as it’s pretty astringent. It does remind me of the purple spear tea (unicorn? I don’t remember what they were called) from… a company… although I’m not sure if I would have made that association if I didn’t know this was a purple tea. (My memory is super bad tonight, maybe I’ll fill in the details later if I remember.)

I’ll have to give it another try more carefully. Thanks for the sample, guys!

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90
drank Purple Mint by Justea
3351 tasting notes

I’m very thankful you sent this over, JusTea! A lovely mint tea on a hot day. The tea looks like mostly mint with a piece of rose petal or purple leaf occasionally in the blend, maybe that is just my sample. The mint is mmmmm delicious. Sweet and strong, just the way I like it. The second steep is even more magic, sweet and full minty flavor. I figured I could steep close to boiling on the second cup because it is mostly mint. I didn’t try to add lemon to make it purple this time. I wanted to enjoy the lovely mint as is! If you want a great mint option, this one is perfect.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 27 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

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77
drank Purple Mint by Justea
12411 tasting notes

Finished this one off as well – this is a damn fine mint tea when you want mint around. What i didn’t try, but might be fun with this one, would be to use it to make a mojito :)

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77
drank Purple Mint by Justea
12411 tasting notes

Sample from Justea (i don’t know why i keep writing it with two t’s). I’ve been a slacker in getting a review out for this one, mostly because i need to be in the mood for mint. Mint isn’t really something i just drink a lot of and this is a MINT tea. peppermint and spearmint makes for a lot of mint. It works though. What doesn’t really work for me is the addition of the rose petals – though thankfully they’re not overpowering. I want to play with this one again, but this is a night evening cup of tea for me when the night is a little cooler. I like being able to sit out and inhale the mint.

Thanks for the sample Justea! I wouldn’t have picked this one out myself but it’s good when you want a little mint in your life ;)

Final Count: 57

cuddlesmom

You know, I really enjoy a good mint julep. I don’t drink them often but when I find a good mint tea, I enjoy it almost as much.

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drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
1271 tasting notes

This Purple Leaf tea steeps up beautifully! I suggest you check out my photos in the link at the end of my review. You get a unique pale purple, that turns pink with lemon.

The flavor is quite light, a little vegetal and plummy. However the texture is quite dry and it makes your whole digestive tract dry. I steeped this low temperature, so the balance of flavor output and astringency is VERY fussy. Someone cold brew this and report back. It is good if you like really delicate, dry green tea.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/purple-leaf-tea-justea/

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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78
drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
3351 tasting notes

JusTea sent me a message saying they’d like me to try this unique tea (and they also sent over some extra extra goodies.) Thank you so much for reaching out, JusTea! I appreciate that. I love JusTea’s offerings. Now, all tea that isn’t a tisane comes from the green tea tree. But not THIS. It’s purple leaves. I wouldn’t say the end result looks extremely purple… the leaf actually looks like a dusty, twisty black tea with a hint of emerald color. But upon brewing, the leaf looks like a delicious green. I tried following the steep instructions, but the resulting brew had the lightest of flavors like green tea. The color definitely seemed different though. A muted mauve. I didn’t have any lemons to squeeze into the tea, so I used quite a bit of lemon juice. The color was pink! But the flavor then was mostly lemon. Whoops. Pink lemonade! I tried steeping the second cup a half mug right after boiling for two minutes. Unlike a green tea would have, it didn’t taste too bitter, but again the flavor is light. It’s a fun and different experience though! A pink cup without including hibiscus.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug// 35 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 minute steep

Another day steeping with fresh leaves, I wanted to try two teaspoons as the flavor was a little light with one teaspoon. The cup was much more flavorful this time, even more like a green tea. The color of the cup was darker but I didn’t want to add lemon to affect the flavor this time. I just wanted to enjoy the flavor of the purple! Still like a light green tea but with a dry quality, vegetal yet sweet. I think the best steep time for this on the second cup might be 15 minutes after boiling (around 195 degrees) or even hotter as a half mug at boiling didn’t overkill it last time. Next time I’ll try two teaspoons and add lemon and see how purple it gets. If you want a unique tea experience, give this one a try!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 minute steep

Fjellrev

Mauve-coloured tea? Sign me up.

CrowKettle

Interesting…

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50
drank Mt Kenya Black by Justea
33 tasting notes

The first thing that I would say about this tea is that it does not gong fu. That doesn’t mean that it is bad but it is ctc and medium quality so when I did try and brew this tea gong fu what ended up happening is that a lot of the bad aspects of the tea. That being said, I think that this tea does pretty well if you steep it for less then the recommended amount of time and do it western style. I used about 3 grams in a big mug and only steeped it for about a minute and the tea was honey like with some nice basic assamic notes. The tea wasn’t super interesting and didn’t have very many complexities but is nice when you are looking for something that isn’t as involved as a full gong fu session.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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67
drank Purple Leaf Tea by Justea
11221 tasting notes

Sipdown (519)!

I had been holding out on finishing this one off ‘cause I wanted to try it Gong Fu but I finally admitted to myself I didn’t really leave enough for that to happen so I just brewed up this last bit Western instead. Not a huge deal; I do have a VERY similar purple tea from a different vendor that I’ll be able to try out Gong Fu instead.

For this sipdown, though, I decided to add in some lemon infused honey as well just ’cause I had a bit of a scratchy, sore throat and I thought that would be a good compliment to the more vegetal/edamame tasting notes that the tea already has while still being soothing on my throat. It actually somewhat eclipsed the taste of the tea completely though, and I mostly just ended up tasting the lemon.

Meh.

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