I woke up craving this tea, even though I probably need something with more caffeine. I opened the packet containing this tea, and inhaled the glorious, sweet jasmine scent. I boiled the water. I checked the temperature. I watched the clock as it brewed, waiting for my first taste of jasmine ambrosia….

And then I was disappointed. This tea tastes flat today somehow. The throat drying sensation of the jasmine doesn’t really pop, and it’s not as sweet as I remember.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been trying a lot of new teas lately. And I’ve been disappointed that the flavours were flat, dusty, nothing special, whatever. But when that same feeling happens with a tea I’ve had before, that I know I like? There’s got to be something else wrong. Maybe it’s not the tea’s fault.

Is something wrong with the water? Do I need to clean out my kettle? More investigation is necessary.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Updated March 2016:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen in love with loose-leaf tea. I’ve also set up a site for tea reviews at http://www.booksandtea.ca – an excellent excuse to keep on buying and trying new blends. There will always be more to discover!

In the meantime, since joining Steepster in January 2014, I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on my likes and dislikes

Likes: Raw/Sheng pu’erh, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks, rooibos.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender, really vegetal green teas, shu/ripe pu’erh.

Things I generally decide on a case-by-case basis: Oolong, white teas.

Still need to do my research on: matcha

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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