90

Throwback Thursday! …A day late because this week has been very high stress and I’ve been so exhausted I just haven’t even been able to brew a pot of tea most nights.

When I originally reviewed this tea (back in October of 2017!) I had acknowledged that I bought it at Snake River Tea in Boise, and I knew that they wholesaled it from somewhere, and ended up putting my review under Spice and Tea Exchange since the ingredients matched, though I’m quite positive now that they likely just also wholesale from the same source (that just makes me feel even worse about those Spice and Tea Exchange prices I paid in my tea newbie days… ugh!) It took a lot of Nancy Drewing this time, but I’m fairly certain that Teas Etc. is the source of the tea; they appear to no longer have it on their website, but there is a review still cached on Google for their Chocolate Mint Fusion Pu-erh that says “…this is a very nice tea and i enjoy it, but i do miss the chocolate covered strawberry…”. The dark chocolate curls, which were pretty unique to this blend, are also used in the Chocolate Mint Fusion Pu-erh and have the same ingredients. I’m pretty sad Teas Etc. is no longer producing this one, though. I went and checked Snake River Tea’s website and… yup, they don’t have this tea listed anymore. Baaaaaaah!

Since I deleted my OG review from over a year ago since it was under the wrong listing, here is what it said:

“The tea really does have a lovely scent like chocolate-covered strawberries. It doesn’t have an ‘earthy’ or astringent taste from the pu-ehr as the chocolate and fruit notes sweeten up the tea nicely. At the same time, it isn’t overbearingly sweet; the darkness of the tea is still able to shine through the flavor. The flavors don’t hold out well trying to resteep, however; the chocolate melts out on the first cup, leaving a subsequent steep noticably weaker. This is an indulgent dessert tea, best with a fresh cuppa each time.”

I gave it a 90, so it left quite an impression as I was getting into tea. I’m excited to revisit it and see how it holds up, but at the same time a little worried I’ll still be as smitten? I had finished off my leaf from my first Snake River Tea visit in 2017 and restocked on my 2018 trip, but now I know they no longer carry it so I won’t be able to get more for my 2019 trip…

It actually smells quite earthy, but smooth and mellow, and very sweet and jammy. The cocoa notes I’m picking up are like dark chocolate, more of a bittersweet aroma. Sipping the tea, I still really enjoy this, but it isn’t reading quite as desserty as I’m remembering… and honestly, I’m perfectly okay with that. But then, my palate has changed a lot too, because in the early days, I was one of those tea-drinkers that spent a good year having to add sugar to everything before one day I just suddenly stopped, heh. It has a very earthy aroma, and some of that is present in the taste, but it’s more mild and pleasant, and it mixes really nicely with the dark bittersweet cocoa notes and berry notes in the tea. The strawberry is giving me a syrupy liquor vibe, there is a sweetness there but something that almost has a fermented fruity bite? The aftertaste in my mouth definitely tastes like chocolate-covered strawberries, and the chocolate is a rich, dark chocolate.

Aww man, I am going to miss this one after all. Baaaaaaaaah, bah I say!

Flavors: Alcohol, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Jam, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Kawaii433

This sounds good. I hope they offer it again. I like the Lupicia’s Chocolate & Strawberry Puer.

Mastress Alita

There is at least a somewhat similar blend that a teaseller up in Boise offers which is a strawberry and hazelnut pu-erh that I like, and it tastes very chocolately to me despite not having any chocolate ingredients in it (I get “strawberries in nutella” vibes) so that blend or trying out the Lupicia blend (assuming Hawaii carries it) may do the trick since Teas Etc no longer makes this one. I’m betting it had to do with the strawberry-flavored white chocolate curls being too difficult or expensive of an ingredient to source.

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Kawaii433

This sounds good. I hope they offer it again. I like the Lupicia’s Chocolate & Strawberry Puer.

Mastress Alita

There is at least a somewhat similar blend that a teaseller up in Boise offers which is a strawberry and hazelnut pu-erh that I like, and it tastes very chocolately to me despite not having any chocolate ingredients in it (I get “strawberries in nutella” vibes) so that blend or trying out the Lupicia blend (assuming Hawaii carries it) may do the trick since Teas Etc no longer makes this one. I’m betting it had to do with the strawberry-flavored white chocolate curls being too difficult or expensive of an ingredient to source.

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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: 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

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https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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