85

Holiday Tea-son! This is the tea in my advent calendar today, an herbal so I’m fixing it up as my night brew. I really didn’t care for the last rooibos chai I had from B&B, Gingerbread Chai, which I have decided to gift to a friend because I just have too large of a bag to ever sip down when I just don’t like it enough; I found that tea to have a strong “holiday candle” sort of aroma, and while this tea doesn’t have the same aroma as Gingerbread Chai, it is still reading very much as one of those “holiday candle” sort of scents.

Hopefully this spice blend will just be more to my liking… my main issue with Gingerbread Chai is I could tell they had used some sort of flavoring in the rooibos that I am certain they also use in their Birthday Cake rooibos, and I have formed a stomach aversion specifically to that Birthday Cake Rooibos blend because I got hit with a nasty case of food poisoning on my birthday last year, and that was the last thing I’d had before the sickness hit (note it was my burger that caused the food poisoning, certainly not the tea, but that just happens to be what my stomach has attached the aversion to…) Whenever I taste that particular flavoring, I feel queasy. So if that flavoring isn’t in this chai (and if it isn’t so ginger-heavy, and the aroma smells much more cinnamon forward) hopefully it’ll be more up my ally.

The aroma smells quite sweet, still very cinnamony, and I still can’t stop thinking of spice candles! I definitely like the flavor of this one better than Gingerbread Chai… it is spicy and produces a nice warmth, but I don’t find that it is lingering in my mouth in an unpleasant way. There is a slight heat at the back of the throat, but it settles down rather quickly, and I taste a better blend of the spices rather than just a really potent ginger kick like I was getting with the other tea. The cinnamon seems to be the most forward spice, though I get a lot of clove notes as well, with the ginger/cardamom leaving a spicier note at the end of the sip. The base of the tea definitely doesn’t have that vanilla/cherry tasting flavoring that came out so strongly once I’d added milk to Gingerbread Chai and immediately set off my stomach aversion; the base of this tea is hard for me to describe… it really makes me think of those poinsettia spiced candles, if you could imagine that without any soapy context to the flavor. It’s not exactly reading as floral in taste, though, more fruity, perhaps like dried tart berries, in the most subtle of ways… and it’s a bit roasty/nutty?

I actually really like this one! I’d say this might be my favorite tea from the calendar after Christmas Cake, even though I fail entirely trying to properly describe it.

Flavors: Berries, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutty, Roasted, Spices, Spicy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 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.

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.

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/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited 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 outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, 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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