Sampler Sipdown September! So, this is probably the most non-traditional tea review on this site? Maybe? Because I have a confession… other than using this in a batch of iced tea once (and it was mixed with some Stash Lemon Ginger), I’ve never drunk this stuff. (For the record, that was one of the worst quarts of iced tea I’ve ever had to put myself through, and I had put absolutely gobs of honey in the thing trying to make it palatable).

Truth of the matter is, I’m not really a fan of plain ol’ black assam and ceylon teas to begin with, so a plain ol’ Lipton bagged black tea? Hell na. This box was gifted on me by a former volunteer in my department at the library, who handed me a bag of her tea cupboard de-stash of boxed teas, and I took it all home to sample. I never really wanted this, but I have a hard time throwing tea away (I did end up having to throw away the Traditional Medicinals Raspberry Leaf she bestowed on me after sampling it, though… that stuff was just too nasty.)

So I’ve now used this up with hardly any of the stuff having to actually touch my tastebuds. How? I’ve been using it up making black tea hair rinses! Yes. The boatloads of medications I’m on for migraine coupled with my PCOS-hormonal-rage cause a ton of shedding, and apparently black tea is a natural way to help with that (yes, I’m one of those weird “natural” people when it comes to my hair, I won’t put any weird chemicals/dyes/what-have-you in it). I’m also hoping that it might naturally color my grays (I have a ridiculous amount for only being 36), but haven’t seen any results in that department, yet.

My regimin has been three of these teabags plus four teaspoons of loose sage herb (which is supposed to naturally help with the grays) steeped in boiling water for five minutes. I strain and let it sit in the fridge when I go to wash my hair, and by the time I’m done, I take the tea out of the fridge and it’s still warm but cool enough to apply without fear of scalding. I pour half in an applicator bottle and half in a spray bottle and thoroughly soak my hair in the black tea. I let it sit for at least ten minutes, then do a two cup rinse that is one part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water since the apple cider vinegar helps act as a sealant. Because the caffeine in the tea can be drying, I put a nice honey and sage deep conditioner on, let it sit for about 20 minutes, then do a luke warm rinse. Hair is very soft afterwards.

Shedding is still pretty bad when I wash, but is already noticably better day-to-day when the hair is dry, and breakage/split ends is much better too. No coloring of the grays yet, though. The Lipton is gone now, and this was a great way to get it out of the cupboard. Now I’ll just start using my “less loved” loose leafs (those more bitter/astringent blacks that I rarely feel like drinking!) up this way!

Got Lipton? Making a hair rinse out of it is always an option!

Lexie Aleah

I hope that iced tea wasn’t made after I suggested you trying a lemon ginger tea iced. If so I feel terrible!

Mastress Alita

Stash’s Lemon Ginger was just bad, and I was trying to find a way to use it up so it wouldn’t be in my cupboard anymore (cause I feel bad to throw things away). I actually really liked the Twinings Lemon Ginger I tried the other night, it was just the Stash bagged one that had a taste that was really unappealing to me. I thought if I mixed it with black tea and lots of honey I wouldn’t notice all the artificial lemon taste and the overwhelming strong ginger, but… it didn’t really work. It didn’t help the black tea was also gross. I still drank it, though.

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Lexie Aleah

I hope that iced tea wasn’t made after I suggested you trying a lemon ginger tea iced. If so I feel terrible!

Mastress Alita

Stash’s Lemon Ginger was just bad, and I was trying to find a way to use it up so it wouldn’t be in my cupboard anymore (cause I feel bad to throw things away). I actually really liked the Twinings Lemon Ginger I tried the other night, it was just the Stash bagged one that had a taste that was really unappealing to me. I thought if I mixed it with black tea and lots of honey I wouldn’t notice all the artificial lemon taste and the overwhelming strong ginger, but… it didn’t really work. It didn’t help the black tea was also gross. I still drank it, though.

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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, RuPaul’s Drag Race, 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 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/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
-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!

Currently Sipping Down: Strands’s Niagara Frost Ice Wine, Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe’s Mary Queen of Scots, Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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 2019: 22
Sipdown Count for 2019: 31

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!)

Location

Idaho, United States

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