Biggest Loser Bob sold me on Extra Sugar Free Gum, so I have tried just about every flavor they have including their Strawberry Banana, and boy howdy if that wasn’t exactly the smell that I smelled when I opened up the sample packet. There were big hunks of crispy dried banana chips and smaller dried strawberries (with green tea leaves stuck to them) among more green leaves that looked like sencha.

After steeping, the tea was a very pale greenish yellow color with an aroma of sweet strawberry and banana. I got all excited because I thought I might actually be about to experience a flavored green tea success story. But the taste was not nearly as sweet (or indeed, as intense) as the smell, and there was an almost bitter downward turn at the finish. There was something else that was interesting; a marine taste that reminded me of a very mild fish oil, like in omega 3 capsules. It must have been from the tea rather than the fruit. I’m open to such tastes in tea, particularly green tea, as many of them are said to taste like kelp or other seaweeds. But it wasn’t the best pairing with strawberry and banana.

I thought this tea had more flavor than the Strawberry Daiquiri of last night, but it still didn’t have the depth of flavor I was hoping for. I noticed in the description there’s a suggestion of serving this iced. Honestly, I don’t think it would stand up to icing.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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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



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