So, I am officially moved! I am not even close to being unpacked, but I did manage to get at least the kitchen and my tea area done, so hopefully I’ll slowly start easing back into a tea routine again!

I also have kitty moved in! I have named her “Chiya,” the Nepalese word for tea.

I still have a few really old Fusion Tea samplers that I need to finish off. A quick bit of ingredient Googling and I found this particular mate blend, which I purchased as “Caramel Cream Yerba Mate” from Fusion Teas (check under that entry for the bulk of reviews) is sourced from East Indies Coffee & Tea Company. I have one other mate blend sampler from Fusion I need to finish off as well that I’ve never opened, but it has coconut in it, so who knows if it is still good after all this time… since this one doesn’t, hopefully it’s still safe.

The tea brews up the color of a rootbeer… and the aroma reminds me slightly of it, as well. There is sort of a creamy/vanilla scent, as well as that caramel sweetness, that I think is just reading as pop to me… I’m also getting a stronger, barley/coffee sort of aroma as well, and just a hint of cracked pepper?

To taste, it hits more on the sweet side. I’m getting a bit of a chicory/spice note toward the back of the throat at the end of the sip, but the mouth fills out with a strong caramel/vanilla sweetness that lingers on the tongue. It’s quite nice, very naturally sweet, with a bit of a roasted/peppery element to keep it from feeling too overbearing. Overall, the balance manages to be pretty good.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Cream, Pepper, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Vanilla

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

I wish you lots of great time in new place!


Hurrah! A place to call your own.


Yay for home! Yay for Kitty!


Congrats again and that is a great name for the kitty. :D

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Martin Bednář

I wish you lots of great time in new place!


Hurrah! A place to call your own.


Yay for home! Yay for Kitty!


Congrats again and that is a great name for the kitty. :D

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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:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

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: 31
Sipdown Count for 2020: 50


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.


Idaho, United States



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