I finished off my Caramel Chai Pu’erh sampler from Fusion Teas this morning, and since Dethlefsen & Balk has stopped producing it and that was where they were wholesaling it from, they have stopped carrying it; I’m a bit sad about that sipdown since I really enjoyed that particular chai.

I also have brewed up the entire sampler of this tea from Fusion Teas in a few cold brew mason jars, but despite my best efforts I couldn’t hunt down the wholesale source (I could find many strawberry oolongs, but they were all using infused flavor and didn’t include strawberry pieces or blue cornflower petals). So either Fusion is making some additions, or they have just managed to elude me on their sourcing… touche, Fusion, touche! You win this round.

I do have to say that compared to the Strawberry Oolong I get from TeaSource, I am not crazy about this one. It has a much stronger aroma, so one would think this would be quite flavorful, but there is just something about that flavor that just… doesn’t really appeal to me. It tastes too artificial to me, I think… or maybe there is just something about the natural notes of the oolong that is clashing with whatever flavoring has been added to the tea? I’m not sure exactly what the case may be, but something about the taste isn’t meshing for me. I’m getting a slightly acrid peach flavor mixed with a really artificial strawberry flavor, minus the sweetness you’d expect to accompany that sort of strawberry flavor; the vegetal smoothness of the base oolong at least holds through, and it would probably be a good, quality oolong, if this flavoring just wasn’t working for me.

There is a review by Pureleaf on this and I think I’m getting the same sort of flavor experience from this, only finding it a bit more unpleasant, personally. I’ll finish what I’ve steeped up in my water bottles, but am not going to miss it. And may even make a brew of my TeaSource Strawberry Oolong which has a softer but natural and tasty strawberry note added to a green oolong to wash this away.

Of course this one is still available for ordering, and it’s the one that won’t be missed. C’est la vie.

Flavors: Artificial, Biting, Bitter, Peach, Strawberry, Vegetal

Iced 8 min or more 9 g 32 OZ / 946 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, 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:
-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)
-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: Art of Tea’s Tropical Mate

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: 80
Sipdown Count for 2019: 123


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.


Idaho, United States



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