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I’ve always looked forward to shopping at Daiso whenever visiting the west coast. For the unacquainted, Daiso is an Asian dollar store that sells some really nifty Japanese items. Kawaii stuff, stationary, housewares, toys, snacks, etc. So imagine how stoked I was when the first Daiso store in the midwest opened up just a few minutes from my house. I’ve been dropping by regularly and usually leave with one of their bottled Japanese teas.

I’m a big fan of the Ito-En line of bottled teas and their Golden Oolong is one of my favorites. Last night though it was missing from the beverage case so I picked up a similar tea from a different brand. This Sangaria tea was a darker oolong than Ito-En which is made from a blend of Tie Guan Yin and Huan Jin Guei leaves. To me it tasted like a Da Hong Pao. A heavier roast with a cinnamon warmth and motor oil like thickness and mouthfeel. Definitely on the darker end of the oolong spectrum. Not my preferred flavor profile but still a very drinkable tea.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Thick

Preparation
Iced
gmathis

Oh, that (Daiso) would be the place to Christmas shop for my son! A little far to drive, unfortunately :)

Mastress Alita

I wish I could get any decent Asian bottled teas living in podunk Idaho. Sigh.

LuckyMe

@gmathis it’s definitely worth stopping by if you happen to be in the area

@Mastress Alita if it’s any consolation, cold brewed loose leaf tea still beats the pants off any Asian bottled tea. but the convenience factor of bottled tea can’t be denied

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gmathis

Oh, that (Daiso) would be the place to Christmas shop for my son! A little far to drive, unfortunately :)

Mastress Alita

I wish I could get any decent Asian bottled teas living in podunk Idaho. Sigh.

LuckyMe

@gmathis it’s definitely worth stopping by if you happen to be in the area

@Mastress Alita if it’s any consolation, cold brewed loose leaf tea still beats the pants off any Asian bottled tea. but the convenience factor of bottled tea can’t be denied

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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