35

This was the free sampler I got from Strand Tea when I placed an order with them last July. July?! Goodness, I really need to work through some of my older samplers! Hopefully this one still has some oomph left (though admittedly there is a big clump of sunflower petals all fused together on the top of the package… eh, I put them in my cold brew mason jar, hopefully it’ll be fine!)

The sampler looked quite small, but I was surprised to find I had enough teaspoons of tea to do a quart of cold brewed iced tea and had just enough tea left over to make a double-size warm mug at work to sipdown the sampler.

So, warm cup first. I’ve had one other mango green tea, which was a decaf green tea by Spice and Tea Exchange, which I found to have a very bitter flavor and a sort metallic aftertaste that I found very unpleasant. I figured it mostly had to do with the decaf nature of the leaf. There are certainly no metallic notes here, but I am experiencing that same sort of tart/bitter puckering on my tongue, so now I know that particular quality must just be my experience with mango flavoring. Some sips go down with no issue, but most of the time, I get this really strong tart/slightly bitter aftertaste right at the very back of my tongue, right near the throat. I don’t mind the flavor of the mango itself, which is very nice in the tea, and the base green tea leaves used in the blend appear to be of good quality and actually leave a bit of a vegetal flavor in my mouth even despite what appears to be me having a strong reaction to the flavoring, but when that bitter aftertaste hits, it’s a bit off-putting. I don’t seem to have this problem when mango is blended with other flavors, but it seems that mango as the dominant flavor note just isn’t my cup of tea. I almost wonder if this is some sort of mild sensitivity to the mango flavoring commonly used in tea blends, or mango in general (I’ll admit I don’t really eat the raw fruit, since the “mushy” textures of most fruits set off my gag reflex… I’m tempted to try some now just to see.)

Now, the iced tea. I used the cold brew method, and let the leaves steep in cold water in a sealed mason jar in my fridge for somewhere between 8-12 hours, then strained the tea leaves from the water, so I didn’t start with a warm tea base. This is probably a good thing, because that strange bitter sensation I experience on my tongue with hot mango-flavored tea is not present in the iced cup. I feel that puckering sensation slightly at the start of the sip (so I do still suspect I may have issues with mango flavoring), but it isn’t so strong that the cup is unpleasant, and the finish instead has a sweeter, floral taste, likely from all the flower petals in the blend. The fruit flavor is just a lot softer this way, and the other flavors, like the florals in the blend, are allowed to come through. Even without that weird sensation I’m left in the mouth from the mango, I’m reminded why I enjoy fruity greens more iced than hot.

I don’t think this is a bad tea… but I do think I’m coming to discover I have a sensitivity to mango flavoring (and possibly even the fruit itself). I’ll have to continue to keep an eye on that as I weed through more blends in my collection.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Mango, Tart, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little apartment!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas (lapsang souchong)/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Plain raspberry leaf (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Medicinal flavors
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

My Tea Obsession of the Moment: A sweet tisane right before bed

My Monthly Tea Theme: Autumn Harvest! This month I’ll be focusing on teas from my collection featuring flavors from the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices of the bounty of the autumn harvest season!

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating.

New Teas Tried for 2018: 234
Sipdown Count for 2018: 202

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . If you are interested in tea exchanges (USA only, please), feel free to contact me!

Location

Idaho, United States

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