I actually sipped down two of my Thunder Mountain Teas yesterday (Phoenix Rising and Forever Spring Oolong); nice to finally have a routine in my life again and to be drinking tea again. My new companion animal, a black cat that looks a lot like Toothless wakes me quite early for breakfast (I never give in but she still hasn’t learned!) and now my body clock is starting to wake earlier, giving me time to sit and enjoy a cuppa before work in the mornings. I’ve pulled this sampler, which was kindly provided to me by Thunder Mountain Teas, to work through next as my morning tea.

The dry leaf smells just like a fudge brownie to me. Brewed up, the top of the cup is a wee bit filmy from the chocolate bits that melted into the tea, but the aroma is just as desserty and pleasing, especially since I’m (BURN THE WITCH!) not a very big pu’erh fan. This is my second pu’erh from this small independant local business (she works out of her home from Boise, Idaho) and while I don’t like it as much as the Strawberry Dawn (which tastes like strawberries dipped in Nutella to me, which is a hard flavor combo to beat in my opinion) this is pretty great… and again, this is from someone who is, in general, just not a fan of pu’erh (they tend to usually taste a little too much like a mouthful of dirt to me). I’m not getting any of the unpleasant “dirt/marsh mud” notes that tend to turn me away, there are some rich earthy flavors beneath a sweet chocolately flavor, and the chocolate helps temper it a lot. The chocolate has a slight fudginess to it but isn’t overbearingly sweet, with more of a dark chocolate/bittersweet note that is left on the tongue after the sip. I also get a slight nutty note toward the end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

This is a satisfying morning cup, and Chiya is just going to have to wait until I finish at least half of it to get her bowl refilled.

Patience is a virtue.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Nutty, Roasted Nuts

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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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 genderqueer asexual (she/they) 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
-Hemp/CBD teas
-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://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

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



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