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A Berry Frui-tea July! This is one of the earliest teas I ever got when I first got into loose leaf teas, and I think it was the first white tea I ever tried. I purchased it from a tea shop in Campbell, California, called Steepers, but have since figured out that they wholesaled the blend from English Tea Store, along with several of their other blends (and I got very ripped off from the mark-up! Ah well, I was new to tea and honestly didn’t know better…)

I had told the owner I liked flavored blends, so she recommended this one. English Tea Store describes it as “reminiscent of premium 2nd flush Darjeelings with a light fruit finish.” I’ll admit I have tasted hardly any darjeelings, and certainly not enough to even know a second flush from a first flush, but this tea almost nearly turned me off from ever trying any other white teas or darjeelings back in those early days, I disliked it so much, hahaha! It just tasted so vegetal, but with this strong, very artificial apricot/peach flavor over the top, and the two contrasting flavors of this particular vegetal note that at the time I couldn’t even describe with this overwhelming strong artificial fruit flavor (and I’m not really a fan of strong artificial flavoring to begin with) just didn’t mix for me. I shoved it in the back of a cupboard and didn’t touch it for a long time.

Not long ago I tried it again, as my palate has developed a lot with a lot more tea drinking (especially of other white teas, which I’ve found quite tasty). I still wasn’t really a fan of this tea, but didn’t find it as horribly off-putting as I once had (I could at least finish the cup). That vegetal flavor was definitely the taste of autumn leaves, and I still didn’t really find that slightly astringent earthy leaf flavor mixed with stone fruits very pleasant. It was much more drinkable iced, but still not my favorite. It really reminded me of TeaSource’s Machu Peach-u, which I also didn’t really find to be my cup of tea, but between the two, I at least found TeaSource’s Machu Peach-u to have a much more natural-tasting peach flavor. I was able to sip-down Machu Peach-u in a few quarts of iced tea to clear it out of my house (even though I didn’t really like that autumn leaf taste) while the bag of this tea I had to gift to my mom (I knew that her and my stepdad enjoyed Machu Peach-u and figured it was a close enough taste match they’d probably get some use out of it).

I wonder what is causing the white tea in this blend and Machu Peach-u to have that autumn leaf taste when no other white tea I’ve tried has that flavor? I do notice neither of these specify the kind of white tea used (it seems most of the fruity whites I enjoy tend to specify they use Bai Mu Dan, so I know I enjoy that tea, and I really don’t think either of these could be using that as a base). Could it be Shou Mei? If anyone schooled in the art of whites knows, enlighten me!

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Peach, Stonefruits, Vegetal, Wet Earth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: Tealyra teas, Adagio teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 27
Sipdown Count for 2020: 34

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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