I purchased this Vanilla Earl Grey limited edition at Amazon.com, unaware that it had been created specifically for Amazon by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There was some sort of promo, and somehow I ended up paying about $8 for six cans. Now they are selling exactly the same thing for $35. It seemed like a good gamble at the time, given my love of Earl Grey cream teas.

So the tea. From appearances, this should be fantastic: full-leaf single estate Ceylon along with an abundance of dried rose petals! There are also chunks of unknown stuff. I wish that I could figure out what they are, since they look like neither bergamot nor vanilla to me. What else could they be?

Artificial flavoring numbers among the ingredients, and unfortunately I find the scent a bit overwhelming. This does not smell like roses or vanilla. It smells like something else. I was hoping that the aroma would evaporate off and I’d be left with a lovely Vanilla Earl Grey. Sadly, the aroma is also a strong flavor.

I have had negative experiences with this company before in the past. They use a lot of artificial ingredients which seem to ruin otherwise good compositions. I’ll pass on their deals at Amazon in the future. I drank this glass but did not enjoy it very much. I’ve been spoiled by so many excellent pure teas of late. The superficial charms of flavored blends are becoming less and less appealing to me, and all the more when they boast black box artificial ingredients which do not add to but detract from the taste of the tea itself.

Fortunately, I love the sleek tins. I’ll be peeling off the labels and using them for more noble teas.

Perhaps Jeff Bezos should consider reining in his hyperactive diversification activities. Drones, the Washington Post, $500 million dollar contracts with the CIA, “My Habit”(a social-shopping company), limited edition teas? What next?

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

I am stopping my Amazon dealings over this last business with not listing books by a certain publisher because they want a better deal.

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I am stopping my Amazon dealings over this last business with not listing books by a certain publisher because they want a better deal.

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I have fallen off the “tea log boat”, as I am now in New Zealand and was really flailing about for a while, having depleted all of my Chinese and Japanese green tea supply! Fortunately, my first order of 2015 has now arrived! I should begin writing very soon about tea at my new blog, sherapop’s tea leaves. Please stop by and contribute your ideas—all viewpoints are welcome!

A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

The scent of tea can be just as appealing as—sometimes more than—its taste! Tea also offers boundless visual beauty in its various forms and states of preparation.

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2400+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):


Finally, please note that after a great deal of debate with myself, I have decided to use the cupboard here at Steepster as a “museum” of sorts—to commemorate all of the various teas which I have purchased and truly enjoyed since December 2013.

I do not currently possess all of the teas listed in this cupboard, but am using the function as a way of recording how many times I drank every tea which I did own at some point and wish not to forget. Teas found both in my “cupboard” and on my “wishlist” are those which I did own and intend to restock. Teas best forgotten have been removed from the cupboard once depleted (in some cases tossed…).

I have also decided (beginning in 2015) to use the tasting note function to maintain a chronological record of the teas I’ve consumed since December 15, 2013. Most new reviews will now be posted directly at my blog, sherapop’s tea leaves.


Curio Bay, South Island, New Zealand



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