85

Sampler Sunday! I want to finish off my California Tea House samplers, so I pulled out my big ol’ teapot again and decided to brew up this tea as my afternoon pot while watching Japanese dorama with Todd. I have one more rooibos sample which I’ll probably brew up this evening.

When I cut open this sample, it smelled very heavily of orange peel/orange zest… which I suppose makes sense for something boasting itself as “marmalade” flavored. Interesting enough, oranges aren’t listed in the ingredients on the package… huh. It has preserved peaches, pineapples, lemon peel, and licorice, but smells a dead ringer for orange peel!

Brewed up, the earthy aroma of the pu-erh comes forward more strongly, but there is still a syrupy sweet fruity aroma of oranges and apricots wafting from the cup. The tea brews a nice, dark brown, and the flavor is very nice; I remember trying one of those pu-erhs stuffed in a tangerine once and it didn’t have a very strong orange flavor, it was more of a light, floral, orange blossom feel, while this is what my brain was expecting from the tangerine-stuff pu-erh — I’m getting a rich, earthy flavor, a bit like wet stone or minerals, and then a strong ripe orange note. There is definitely a stonefruit quality to the fruitiness, as the lingering flavor on the roof of my mouth tastes like apricot jelly rather than oranges. During the sip, though, the flavor is very citrus-forward. The tea has a very warming quality to it, as well.

So far, I’m really enjoying these California Tea House blends… but alas, they are another of those places that only sells in 4 oz. sizes. Siiiiiiigh. Tea shops, PUH-LEAZE, would it really be so hard to package 1 oz. and 2 oz. options as well?

Flavors: Apricot, Citrus, Earth, Mineral, Orange, Orange Zest, Smooth, Stonefruit, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 13 g 32 OZ / 946 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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