I had this tea with my breakfast at my favorite local cafe, Twin Beans. They are the only decent place in town to get a cup of tea, as everywhere else in my town only serves coffee (with their tea being the typical crap bagged tea options you’d find at any other restaurant). Twin Beans actually has a modest selection of loose leaf teas sourced by TeaSource, with my only real complaint being nothing against quality (I’ve liked pretty much all the teas I’ve tried!) but how fast they discontinue the various varietials/blends… I’ll get hooked and then poof! It’s gone. I actually was introduced to this tea when I walked in one day and ordered one of my favorites, Golden Mao Feng, only to have the barista bring a pot of this to my table with the sad news, “Sorry Sara, we are out of that one and it’s been discontinued now, too. This is a close flavor match, give it a try, if you don’t like it I’ll make you a pot of something else.” To her credit, it was a very close flavor match, having that honeyed-apricot note that I liked so much about the Golden Mao Feng; I’d just say this tea is perhaps a little less sweet because it has a slightly husky, smoky note right around the close. Still a solid Chinese black.

Buuuuut… it’s also been discontinued by TeaSource, so once I’ve drunk up the stash Twin Beans has in stock at their shop, it’ll be time to move on again. Sigh! TeaSource, why must you break my heart like this over and over? This relationship is not healthy for either of us. * shifty eyes *

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Malt, Smoke, Smooth

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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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:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

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: 228
Sipdown Count for 2018: 196


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!


Idaho, United States

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