drank Chili Brew by Brooke Birch Tea Shoppe
1577 tasting notes

Last tea to try from the sampler my coworker bought me back in May? If you come across this, Gary, thanks again for your generosity :)

Edited to make this a simpler note than the comparison I had written up yesterday to a tea in the same vein: Frontier’s Warming Crimson Berry https://steepster.com/teas/frontier-natural-products-co-op/17906-warming-crimson-berry-tea While I used to appreciate Warming Crimson Berry, Chili Brew is world’s better!

Chili Brew contains Ceylon black tea, hibiscus, dried blackberries, New Mexico chiles, orange peel and chrysanthemum. The fresh, warming bite of chili pepper hits the senses first followed by the full and juicy mouthfeel provided by hibiscus. Every ingredient comes together to produce a cohesive profile that is not excessively sour or acrid like so many hibiscus blends can be (no sugar needed!). Fruity and iron/earthy, juicy, definitely warming, fortifying. Not much caffeinating since the black tea is not in high proportion to the rest of the ingredients, none of which are flavorings. Good for one solid steep that can be brewed for well over the recommended 3-5 minutes.

I’d recommend this to people who can tolerate a solid dash of regular hot sauce on their food, and I don’t mean Taco Bell hot sauce. A little spicier than Crystal, not as much as Tabasco.

Glad I saved this fortifying brew for the rainy season. On a cold-ass, time-change morning when my hormones are rebelling, it’s helping me hate my body less :P

Flavors: Blackberry, Chili, Earthy, Fruity, Hibiscus, Juicy, Orange Zest, Smooth, Spicy, Tart, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, and Nepal. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possesses off flavor/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

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