Sampler Saturday! I had a single teabag of this herbal and decided to brew it up tonight. In general I’ve always been very impressed with Steven Smith Teamaker blends, so I’m hoping this will be nice.

Gave this a nice long steep, a bit over the five minutes I usually give rooibos just because I was busy with things, but eh… it’s rooibos, you can’t really oversteep it. It’s a proper ruby red color, and smells a bit like stonefruit and pear? The ingredients don’t really give any hints to the “natural fruit flavors” in this, so I wonder how far off I am…

This is pretty nice. Better than many of the rooibos I’ve had recently (but then, I drank one with chamomile in it yesterday, so that bar was pretty low, heh). I’m getting a natural very subtle smoky note which I’ve never tasted from rooibos or honeybush before, but it isn’t unpleasant, and I’m very sensitive to smoky notes; it blends nicely with that slight woodiness perfectly, actually. And just the tiniest hint of pepper. I’m also getting a vanilla note from this, which is quite nice, and it brings out a lovely natural sweetness in the cup. Usually whenever fruit flavors are added to rooibos it tends to bring out the sharper, medicinal notes for me, but thankfully I’m not getting that taste here at all; the fruit flavoring is more on the subtle side, letting the natural notes of the rooibos and honeybush shine, but it is there, and I’d say it is sort of an apple/pear sort of flavor. With that woody/smoky rooibos note, the natural sweetness, and the apple and pear paired together, my mind is stretching this a bit to baked fruit or cobbler, just minus the cinnamon/spices or pastry-sweet elements.

The more I sip on this and unwind, the more I’m really getting into this. Ya, I think Steven Smith Teamaker has won again for me!

Flavors: Apple, Pear, Pepper, Rooibos, Smoke, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

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.


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.


Idaho, United States



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer