54

Trick or Treat! I got this tea from Par Avion Tea, and also as a sampler from the Here’s Hoping Teabox (as “Sue’s Blend” from The Angry Tea Room, so thank you tea-sipper and all contributors of the box!), both of which wholesale and repackage blends from Tea Guys.

For the Par Avion Tea batch, this tea just smells of candied ginger. And steeped… it just tastes of candied ginger, too. Where in the world is the chocolate? It lists roasted cocoa beans, dark chocolate chips, and dark cocoa powder in the ingredients, and there isn’t so much as a hint of chocolate anywhere in the flavor. None! Just a really, really sweet gingery taste (not spicy at all), like those sugary ginger candies. The flavor actually reminds me exactly of their Ginger Darjeeling Peach tea, minus the peach flavor. It’s rather bland, without any of the other flavor notes that should be in the tea coming through.

So I actually pulled out some of my leftover cocoa shells from the Simpson & Vail sampler to see if I could… I don’t know… force some chocolate flavor into this to try to make it taste how it should? That certainly helped a bit, but I still wasn’t getting strong chocolately notes, and I added half a gram of cocoa shells, so it seems to me the candied ginger is just so strong it simply overwhelms whatever they were trying to go for with a chocolately-ginger tea.

Yaaaa… I think I’ll use this one up the same way I used up the Ginger Darjeeling Peach, by cold-steeping it in lemonade, which left the lemonade with the candied ginger flavor and at least gave me some tasty lemonade, if nothing else.

The batch from the teabox was a bit better, actually having some chocolate notes present, which almost makes me wonder if Par Avion Tea received defunct product. The base tasted a bit like a bittersweet Mexican cocoa, with a nice spiciness to it. There is a sweet cinnamon flavor that settles onto the tongue, and then a warmer ginger spiciness that lingers in the aftertaste. I think the sweetness from the cinammon and the cocoa helps add a bit of balance there. There is a nice warmth and a slight kick, though. It reads more as Mexican cocoa than a chocolate ginger bourbon, but was a much better blend than the complete lack of chocolate found from the Par Avion leaf.

I’d give a 37 to the Par Avion batch and a 70 to the batch included in the teabox, so I’m averaging the scores to a 54.

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Ginger, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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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: Adagio’s Lavender Earl Grey, Steven Smith Teamaker’s BonBon

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 2019: 93
Sipdown Count for 2019: 142

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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