70
drank Happy by Art of Tea
729 tasting notes

May Flowers! This is one of my oldest samplers, so it’s time I finally tend to it (at least there is no coconut in it, so dodged a bullet there!) This is a guayusa tea blended with jasmine green tea (I admittedly can’t stand a plain, heavily-scented jasmine tea, but have found I’m usually fine when it’s blended with other things so it’s more subtle), and it also has some hibiscus petals as well as some strawberry (since my sampler was before they changed the formula to raspberry) and rosehip to add some other fruity notes.

Brewed up warm, this tea has a very odd aroma… I’m getting a somewhat tobacco smoky but somewhat earthy scent from the guayusa, but it is mixed with a very sweet floral aroma. Honestly, I don’t think the two really pair all that well, and after tasting the tea, I feel about the same. The flavor of the guayusa is a bit dominating and that smoky flavor sticks out a bit rather than really mixing well with the floral jasmine and soft, underlying fruity notes. It feels a little off. I think if it was a little more subdued it would be better, or maybe if the tea was somehow a little more naturally sweet, somehow the profile would work better. Since I still have quite a bit of the sampler left, I do plan to play around with brew amounts, water temperature, and steep time, and see if I can’t get a more favorable tasting cup out of this. I feel there may be potential, but for now I’m not impressed.

The batch of iced tea I made is a bit more pleasant; the guayusa is still a little stronger than I’d prefer, but much more subdued overall than my warm cup, with far more of the sweeter strawberry and floral jasmine notes coming through. Since my iced tea batch was prepared by cold steeping overnight, this definitely makes me think that experimenting with colder water temperatures and shorter steep times than what Art of Tea recommends may be the secret to a tastier warm cup. But if all else fails, I definitely can sip this down making iced tea!

Flavors: Berry, Earth, Floral, Hay, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, 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 condo!) 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/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)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

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

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: What-cha teas, Rishi teas

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. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 130
Sipdown Count for 2020: 151

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 . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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