This tea smelled AMAZING loose. A friend of mine had bought it, and when I went to visit her earlier this weekend she let me try it. I took a big whiff, and was absolutely mesmerized by the almond-cinnamon-sugar cookie smell. I steeped myself a large cup of this one, using two full scoops instead of 1 1/2. It steeped up a wacky candied apple kind of color—bright pinkish red, with some few hints of yellow mixed in. Anyway, I took it with me to the couch to let it cool off, sniffing as I went. There was a LOT of sweetness, totally adding to the whole candied apple picture, with some hints of cinnamon. I realized that I couldn’t smell the almond quite anymore, but I wasn’t worried.

I took my first sip… and then took another one, just to be sure. Yep, it was still there. This tea had the completely unmistakeable taste of oatmeal. Apple flavored oatmeal. With maybe a LITTLE caramel in there somewhere. No almond, not even a little. I looked through the reviews, and no one else seems to have had that experience with this tea, but… it was uncanny how much this tea made me think I was drinking oatmeal. It was a little bland, too, like someone had forgotten to put cinnamon in the oatmeal, or had tried but not put enough. I do encourage you to try it yourself, because your taste buds might not react the same way mine did. I don’t think I’ll be buying this one, but I’m glad I got to try it. I may give it another go at a later point, maybe blended with something else.

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite, but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3


Colorado, USA

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