I generally don’t put samples in my Steepster cupboard because I have so many of them and small amounts that I can sip down quickly enough that I feel like I’m misleading myself as to what’s really in my cupboard.

Every now and then I make a mistake — apparently I put this sample in my cupboard a while back. I’ve now removed it. Which is exciting because it brings me that much closer to a cupboard that is under some degree of control.

Continuing with working my way through the oolong stash, I thought I’d give another Todd & Holland flavored one a try since I enjoyed yesterday’s Tropical Escape so much.

The smell in the packet is strongly strawberry — like smelling a packet of dried strawberries. However, after steeping in the gaiwan for an initial 15 second, post rinse steep at 195F, I get very little strawberry aroma. It’s there, but extremely muted. The tea is light golden yellow.

Admittedly, I had red beans and rice for lunch about 30 minutes ago, so my taster was overwhelmed recently. But the first steep is disappointing. Not much flavor of any kind. A little strawberry in the aftertaste, maybe.

Steep 2, 20 sec. A bit more flavor of the underlying tea, a floral green oolong. I can get a hint of strawberry, a parfait-like strawberry.

Steep 3, 25 sec. Interesting. This is actually the best steep so far, which is surprising. I would have expected the strawberry to become fainter with each steep, but it is actually stronger in this one. It blends well with the flavor of the oolong base.

Steep 4, 30 sec. The strawberry is fainter.

At this point, I feel like I’ve given this as much attention as it warrants. I might steep it a couple more times, but while it’s pleasant enough, it seems like Western in the Breville is more than adequate to enjoy this for what it is.

It’s not bad, I would just hope for more strawberry, since it’s in the name.

Flavors: Floral, Strawberry

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer