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Holiday Tea-son! The ninth tea from my advent calendar. I actually had an extra teabag of this as a freebie with my advent calendar order, and I just stashed it away figuring it was probably in the calendar too, since it is one of their popular holiday flavors. So this morning I was able to make a pot of tea using my 16 oz. dobin using both teabags instead of just a single cuppa. Huzzah!

The dry leaf has a strong scent of chocolate and coconut, which are two of my favorite things, but I’m a little sad that the teabag version given out for the samplers doesn’t have the vegan marshmallows… they would’ve added a nice, sweet, creamy element. Ah well.

The cocoa shells and nibs actually have a pretty forward flavor here, reminding me of when I steeped plain cocoa shells, creating that bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor in the cup, and I am getting a coconut note as well. The black tea is coming out relatively smooth and lacking in bitter/astringent notes, though without the marshmallow which would’ve added some sweetness to the blend, the cocoa itself is a bit bittersweet so the tea could do with some sweetening in the teabag form. What is lacking to pull it all together for me is a sweet and creamy element, since it tastes like it wants to be hot cocoa, but has the light mouthfeel of a tea, so I think this is a tea that is simply meant to be taken as a latte. Once I mixed some warm coconut milk (and I use the sweetened kind!) into my cup, it really pulled it together. The coconut notes were emphasized, the cocoa flavor now felt more like creamy hot cocoa than bittersweet hot cocoa water, the sweetness it was lacking was provided from the milk, and it was quite nice. It felt a little bland before that. The flavor was there, it just really needed the thicker/creamier mouthfeel and a little more sweetness to make the chocolate and coconut come together for me.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 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: TeaSource’s Cherry Blossom Green

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: 7
Sipdown Count for 2020: 8

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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