Ew. Just ew.

I got some of this in a swap with QueenOfTarts. The smell was absolutely overpowering. Sickeningly sweet. HEAVILY scented of grenadine, in a way that makes me think of the sugary syrup that bottled cherries float around with, and I mean in a BAD way. Warning bells ringing before I even started boiling water.

SO I start steeping it. I pour boiling water over the leaves and the syrup smell intensifies. No tea smell that I can tell…at first. About two minutes in, I catch a whiff of black tea. And it smells bitter, pungent and cutting to my nostrils. I worry even more. I just knew I should have used a lower water temp. I pull the leaves out a bit early (about 3min 30) and stir in a touch of sugar. Take a sip. Wait, then take another. Add more sugar. Sip. MORE SUGAR. Sip. SUGAR AND MILK, OH GOD, IS THERE ANY SAVING IT?!

The answer is no. I couldn’t doctor it in any way that made it palatable. I had to dump out the whole cup after unsuccessfully trying to shove it onto my friend. The grenadine flavor was cloyingly sweet, like fruit punch concentrate. The tea base was strong and bitter and unforgivingly in-your-face. I couldn’t take it.

I wasn’t sure if I should even write a review or not. Buuuut I felt guilty.

I might experiment with cold-brewing or try it again at a lower temperature. Then again, that experience was horrific enough to frighten anyone away forever. I don’t know if I have it in me.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try it QueenOfTarts. I wish I had nicer things to say. ):

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I am still relatively new to loose leaf, as I have only been drinking it since 2013. I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, kind individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

Pure black teas are my favorite. I drink black tea daily and I try to keep a variety on hand. I also enjoy white tea, puerh, and the occasional oolong. Matcha is something that I love though I haven’t tried a large variety. The very good matcha that I’ve had is quite expensive. In general I try to stay away from flavored teas—especially those with artificial flavorings—but I will make rare exceptions, and I do enjoy a well crafted blend of straight teas. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, straight green teas.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea

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