92

Uuuuuuuugh… so after spending $1140 in car repairs last month, my car is still having the same issues, and I just can’t stand the thought of having to take it back (after five trips to the mechanic already!) and be without a vehicle again after they’ve already screwed me over so thoroughly. At this point I think I’m going to have to be going used car shopping, and who knows how much that is going to cost me… the depression is overwhelming at this point. I just want a car that is going to reliably start on me and get me to and from work, is that too much to ask for? I’m so frustrated at this point…

Anyway, Throwback Thursday! I think one of my biggest issues achieving sipdowns is I tend to sort of forget about older teas in my cupboard, things I’ve reviewed before, since I’m just not the sort of person that logs every single cup of tea I drink (I don’t have the time for that, and trust me, you don’t need to see that, either). But I was thinking that it would be good for me to “remember” those teas and make progress towards them if I went back and revisited them at least periodically, especially since my brewing techniques and palate have likely changed a lot since I last reviewed the very earliest teas I logged. Thus, Throwback Thursday!

This tea was actually probably the first I ever purchased when I got into collecting looseleaf tea, though it was horribly overpriced and came from the Spice and Tea Exchange (man, did I get ripped off as a complete tea newbie from that place!) (Original review located here, first I published on Steepster! So historical: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/365230 ) The blend there is identical to Rishi’s West Cape Chai, which they sell for $32.00 for a pound; Spice and Tea Exchange sells it as “Rooibos Chai” for — get this — $22.39 for 4 oz. * cough * Yaaaaaaa. Now, I don’t have the space for a pound of tea in my tiny apartment, so when I wanted more of this specific tea after I’d drank up my Spice and Tea Exchange 1 oz. sampler, I ordered this particular bag from California Tea & Herbal (also called “Rooibos Chai”), since they offered 2 oz. sized bags, just the right amount for my collection. And yes, it’s not much cheaper from them than from Spice and Tea Exchange, but when you just don’t need a whole pound of tea at once and Rishi won’t sell you human-sized bags directly…

I’ve had a few different rooibos chais/spiced teas since this “OG” blend, but coming back to this… ya, this is still my favorite. There is something about this particular spice blend that just does it for me. This rooibos is actually a bit more earthy/woody than most I try — usually I pick up sweeter, honeyed notes — but it fits the blend very nicely. I get a strong cinnamon note that hits my tongue initially, with a strong spicy kick of ginger, clove, and pepper that hits the roof of my mouth, and then toward the end of the sip there is a soft sweetness of licorice root. It’s actually quite well blended. It actually leaves a bit more of a spiciness than I usually prefer, but because I like the unique taste of all the subtle flavors so much, I actually hesitate to add milk, and focus on the roasty, earthy, and sweet licorice notes until the spiciness subsides between sips. I probably will try it as a latte sometime, though!

I still really like this blend. I’m lowering the rating just slightly since my personal preference is for a little less spice-burn on the back of the throat, but that is entirely subjective because I’m a spice-wuss; I love everything about the blend and flavor, which is why I’m subjecting myself to the spice-burn regardless. A year later and this one still holds up for me! Probably an especially good choice on a really cold evening like tonight where my toes are frigid!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Earth, Ginger, Licorice, Pepper, Roasted, Spices, Spicy, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kawaii433

Omgosh, that car problem, and their inability to fix it sounds like the worst nightmare :(

Kawaii433

I’m so sorry you’re going through that crap. hugs :(

Mastress Alita

Thanks. It has been incredibly stressful, for sure!

mrmopar

Hope you can find a better car. Sucks having a mechanic that can’t fix it the first time.

lizwykys

Ugh, so sorry to hear that this continuing. :(

VariaTEA

I hope the car issue is worked out soon. Perhaps seeing a different mechanic is another option? My brother-in-law had a terrible car and his mechanic kept “repairing” it for a whole lot of money (as in the car was bought from the mechanic by my brother-in-law’s Mom and my brother-in-law had to sink almost 10k in repairs). Finally my mom told him to go to our mechanic and our mechanic looked over the car and basically said it was a death trap on wheels and refused to charge my brother-in-law for looking over the car and also wouldn’t even let me brother-in-law drive the car home which was only 5 mins away because of how bad the car was. Hopefully that wouldn’t be what happens with you but maybe a second mechanic’s opinion is what you need…if you don’t necessarily want to go car shopping just yet.

Mastress Alita

@VariaTEA : Oh, I would love to get a second opinion or go somewhere else. My problem is I live alone and have no family/friends that live in my town, so I don’t have a second driver that can help me out. The place I’ve been going offers a shuttle service that will at least get to me work and come pick me up to get me back to my car, so I’ve felt “stuck” with them as I rely on having to have some way to get to work/back to my car while it has been constantly in the shop. To go anywhere else, I would need an entire day off of work during “business hours” (which pretty much never happens) to take it in, and then be stranded at the shop all day waiting on the repair. I don’t even have a cell phone to pay for a taxi. :-(

tea-sipper

Ack… I’m so sorry about your car. Also, dumb questions…doing five seconds of research… you need a smart phone to even use taxis now? Not only to use an Uber or Lyft app but then you can only pay in credit/debit cards? You can’t use cash? Or call them with a non-smart phone? So they just assume everyone has a smart phone?

Mastress Alita

At least my town is backwards enough the taxis around here haven’t required cells, I guess I just feel shy/awkward asking a business if I can use their “behind the counter” phone or if they’d call me one. I obviously have problems with assertiveness… >_>

Mastress Alita

That said, I have been in many a situation where several places/things are designed with the assumption that everyone does own a cell phone/smart phone. I refuse to get one because I simply don’t want one/don’t like them. It’s very annoying.

tea-sipper

Yeah, I don’t think it will be great when it’s just Uber or Lyft and no other taxis. I like diversity in everything. haha.

VariaTEA

I get being uncomfortable asking to use a phone. I wonder if another mechanic has a shuttle service though? I know the ones I have used all had a shuttle service. I mean if you want to go that route. Sometimes it just makes sense to cut your losses and look for something new(er in the case of a used car)

LuckyMe

Ugh, expensive car repairs are the worst. Definitely get a second opinion though because even trusted places get it wrong sometimes. Recently my auto service shop told me that I had a timing gasket leak that would cost thousands to repair, more than what my car was worth. Luckily I found another mechanic that fixed it for less than $400 and no issues since knock on wood. Whether you keep the car or get another one, look into an extended warranty…that can give a little peace of mind in the event of unexpected repairs.

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Kawaii433

Omgosh, that car problem, and their inability to fix it sounds like the worst nightmare :(

Kawaii433

I’m so sorry you’re going through that crap. hugs :(

Mastress Alita

Thanks. It has been incredibly stressful, for sure!

mrmopar

Hope you can find a better car. Sucks having a mechanic that can’t fix it the first time.

lizwykys

Ugh, so sorry to hear that this continuing. :(

VariaTEA

I hope the car issue is worked out soon. Perhaps seeing a different mechanic is another option? My brother-in-law had a terrible car and his mechanic kept “repairing” it for a whole lot of money (as in the car was bought from the mechanic by my brother-in-law’s Mom and my brother-in-law had to sink almost 10k in repairs). Finally my mom told him to go to our mechanic and our mechanic looked over the car and basically said it was a death trap on wheels and refused to charge my brother-in-law for looking over the car and also wouldn’t even let me brother-in-law drive the car home which was only 5 mins away because of how bad the car was. Hopefully that wouldn’t be what happens with you but maybe a second mechanic’s opinion is what you need…if you don’t necessarily want to go car shopping just yet.

Mastress Alita

@VariaTEA : Oh, I would love to get a second opinion or go somewhere else. My problem is I live alone and have no family/friends that live in my town, so I don’t have a second driver that can help me out. The place I’ve been going offers a shuttle service that will at least get to me work and come pick me up to get me back to my car, so I’ve felt “stuck” with them as I rely on having to have some way to get to work/back to my car while it has been constantly in the shop. To go anywhere else, I would need an entire day off of work during “business hours” (which pretty much never happens) to take it in, and then be stranded at the shop all day waiting on the repair. I don’t even have a cell phone to pay for a taxi. :-(

tea-sipper

Ack… I’m so sorry about your car. Also, dumb questions…doing five seconds of research… you need a smart phone to even use taxis now? Not only to use an Uber or Lyft app but then you can only pay in credit/debit cards? You can’t use cash? Or call them with a non-smart phone? So they just assume everyone has a smart phone?

Mastress Alita

At least my town is backwards enough the taxis around here haven’t required cells, I guess I just feel shy/awkward asking a business if I can use their “behind the counter” phone or if they’d call me one. I obviously have problems with assertiveness… >_>

Mastress Alita

That said, I have been in many a situation where several places/things are designed with the assumption that everyone does own a cell phone/smart phone. I refuse to get one because I simply don’t want one/don’t like them. It’s very annoying.

tea-sipper

Yeah, I don’t think it will be great when it’s just Uber or Lyft and no other taxis. I like diversity in everything. haha.

VariaTEA

I get being uncomfortable asking to use a phone. I wonder if another mechanic has a shuttle service though? I know the ones I have used all had a shuttle service. I mean if you want to go that route. Sometimes it just makes sense to cut your losses and look for something new(er in the case of a used car)

LuckyMe

Ugh, expensive car repairs are the worst. Definitely get a second opinion though because even trusted places get it wrong sometimes. Recently my auto service shop told me that I had a timing gasket leak that would cost thousands to repair, more than what my car was worth. Luckily I found another mechanic that fixed it for less than $400 and no issues since knock on wood. Whether you keep the car or get another one, look into an extended warranty…that can give a little peace of mind in the event of unexpected repairs.

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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, 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 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)
-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!

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: CitizenTea’s White Pearls, Snake River Tea’s Coconut Oolong

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 2019: 89
Sipdown Count for 2019: 135

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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