78

Repost. I bought this tea from Strand Tea under the name “Niagara Frost ‘Ice Wine’ Black Tea” and have been working on sipping it down (one serving left!) but have recently discovered this blend is wholesaled from Metropolitan Tea Company, so I’m moving my original review under the wholesaler because that is just how I like to jive.

Autumn Harvest! This is one of my oldest teas; I bought it in a Strand Tea order in the summer of 2017. It’s a black tea with some Bai Mu Dan white tea leaves, ice wine grape flavoring, and raisins. The dry leaf does smell sweet and grapey, but also a bit like black currant, and also has some floral notes.

I have a pitcher of this icing in the fridge, but right now just have a warm thermos to sip at work. Originally I prepared the tea at 205F and steeped for four minutes, but this produced a bit more bitterness and astringency than I prefer; I wasn’t sure if that was because I steeped a little longer than I usually prefer to steep black teas, or if I didn’t take into account that this blend includes some Bai Mu Dan which may have reacted poorly to me using the typical water temperature I use for black tea bases. So on my lunch break, I prepared another thermos using 190F water and steeped for three minutes, and the tea seemed to be much more to my tastes this way. There was still some astringency after the sip, but it wasn’t nearly as potent, and I also found there was a sort of pear-flavored note coming through in the flavor prepared this way as well. The base is Ceylon, so it likely is a quite brisk black, and I do tend to respond more favorably to stronger blacks with shorter steeps, so I imagine that had a lot to do with it.

The flavoring is quite nice; there is a floral touch here that I like, slightly rosy and sweet like honeysuckle, which I also noticed in the Honey Mead tea I had recently. Beneath the floral notes is a strong grape note, but it doesn’t taste particularly raisiny. The end of the sip brings out some subtle pear and citrus notes. It’s a fairly pleasant tea, with perhaps a hint more astringency than I tend to favor due to the Ceylon base. Certainly not enough to keep me from drinking, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my iced tea turns out, since I think this flavor is going to work well for that.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Honeysuckle, Pear, Rose

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Nattie

Good sleuthing!

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Nattie

Good sleuthing!

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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 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: TeaSource’s Raspberry Lemonade, ITI’s Tropical White, ITI’s Kalahari

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: 66
Sipdown Count for 2019: 92

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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