drank Caribe by Harney & Sons
4410 tasting notes

Thanks to Sil for saving the last little bit of this one to try (originally from Lala!). Also, sipdown! 798.

So this tea? Super, super potent! It smells like a tropical candy, and I can’t quite figure out which fruits are comprising this tropical aroma. I see guava listed, but it’s really not guava for me. Passionfruit, perhaps?

Anyhow, I opted to steep this as a green (though I don’t recall how long I infused for… I intended 2 min, but I think it may have gotten 2.5). The flavour is just as tropical-flavoured as the aroma, which is certainly nice (and not usually what happens with such delicious-smelling teas). I can’t taste the green tea at all. However, even though this tea is definitely quite tropical, I’m not quite sure I like it. There’s a bit of an odd, almost smoky flavour in the background (black tea?) and I feel like it could really use some sugar in order to taste “right”, as in, all these tropical flavours without any real sweetness to speak of is throwing me off.

Overall, certainly an interesting tea, but I’m glad all I had was enough for a cup, because my curiousity has been thoroughly satisfied. Thanks Lala and Sil!

ETA: Second infusion (in my totally awesome forest bubble cups from DT that I bought a few weeks ago to match my teapot!) was quite similar and still quite fruity. That smoky flavour was still there making things a bit odd for me so yeah, I’m happy to have just had a single cup of this!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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