It’s early and it’s still dark. I have a batch of dvds to return to the library before the fines begin in an hour or so. And so, I pulled the Prince out of the box to propel me into action.

To me, the scent of the steeped tea is citrus.
The first sip or two is rose, leather, and wood. I remember this taste from China.
Further sips produce a thicker mouthfeel and round out the flavours with a buttery earth honey sweetness.

To be continued after my sprint to and from the library.

Ok, I am back and it is sweltering out there. Humid, oy!

On my second steep now. The taste has become lighter but sweeter in both honey and rose. A bit drying in the mouth in the after sip. Not as rich and intoxicating as round one with the leaf. The rose and honey continue to be intense. I must mention here that I steeped the tea using cooler water. Hence, the rose is intensified and the chocolate note is missing altogether.

This second steep may be a bit too sweet and a bit too rose and a bit too drying for me. The first steep seemed somehow richer and more grounded with the flavours more complex and somehow kaleidoscopic. That is to say that the first steep was very wow. If I were to have this tea on hand, I would stay with that first steep every once in a while for a wow tea experience.

The third and fourth steeps were milder, of course, and more enjoyable. I steeped with boiling, hoping for chocolate or cocoa, but nope.

I have a bit left for a second run with this tea which I will likely begin steeping at a higher temperature to see whether I will be able to coax any chocolate notes and to see how that changes things.

Thank you, teabento, for sending me this sample box to try. I am very much enjoying exploring your variety of teas.

Flavors: Honey, Leather, Rose, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.


Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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