(Note that the name of this tea on my sample bag wrapper and on the website as of today is “Passion Petal”. It’s possible the name on Steepster was what they used to call it, or just a mistake.)
I’m starting to get irritated with the one-hand-filled-tea-bag sample size at Artful Tea in Santa Fe. ONE sample bag, in one of those brown paper fill-your-own tea bags, stapled inside a small wax bag and wrapped in a paper label with info about the tea, is $2.50, the cost of an entire grocery store box of tea bags—yet there’s barely a teaspoon in the tea bag. That’s just not enough to make a proper cup of tea with anything but regular black tea, I’m sorry. In my smallest tea cup (a sweet little fluted clear cup from Ikea) I am still getting not much in the way of flavor, even overbrewed.
Scent in the leaf: the mango and passion fruit come out a considerable amount. The liquid becomes sort of a medium brown and is transparent. Brewed, I’m not getting much of anything in the scent or flavor: a very vague dark oolong flavor (this is not the lighter, greener oolong that can be buttery/flowery, this is the stuff that to me tastes like light pu-erh) with a tiny bit of tanginess from the aronia berries. Mango and passion fruit are gone, but there is a very faint floweriness if I really concentrate. I would not have been able to identify it as rose if I didn’t have the ingredients on the wrapper in front of me. Overall it is slightly flavored/perfumed hot water.
I feel bad giving this tea a lowish score (for me) when I suspect it would be more flavorful and drinkable if the tea amount were doubled or more. But if Artful Tea doesn’t want to give me more than a teaspoon in an expensive sample, well, then I have to go with what they give me to work with. Recall from my last review of a sample from Artful Tea that their minimum purchase of bulk tea is 3 oz.; Passion Petal at $12 is their cheapest oolong, but 3 oz. is a little more than I want to buy of one type of tea (I tend to get 2 oz. of something I know I will want to drink repeatedly, and 1 oz. for things I’m just checking out, at Fava Tea here in WI). I just think their sales practices of no free samples, tiny/expensive samples, and minimum 3 oz. purchase are not friendly to anyone who isn’t a wealthy Santa Fe tourist. Especially in this day and age of Adagio, David’s, Verdant, etc. with their copious and large free/cheap samples and/or 1 or 2 oz. availability of bulk teas (and prices seem often lower than Artful). Artful just doesn’t look good to me. Sorry.
Flavors: Bamboo, Berry, Dirt, Flowers, Fruity, Rainforest