85

I didn’t have time to prepare tea before work yesterday, because it was one of those mornings, so instead I had to grab my water bottle out of the fridge that was filled with the remainder of the Caramel Vanilla Chai from Day 1 that I had prepared as an iced chai (yes, I still drink iced tea when there is snow on the ground, with the convenience of pre-preparing it being just one reason!) I will leave a footnote that prepared chilled as a latte with vanilla almond milk, the vanilla and caramel notes of that chai really came out and it was much sweeter, while it was much spicier when taken as a straight hot tea.

Today’s tea is Crisp Cranberry Soda, and I actually have an older packet of that from 2017 in my collection, and since I’ve been trying to sip down my old teas anyway, I decided to set a big ol’ liter mason jar of it to cold brew before work and keep the new, fresher packet. So more on that later after 8-24 hours of steeping in the fridge. Today I prepared yesterday’s tea from the advent calendar that I missed, Gingerbread Pancake Black Tea! It’s Treat Day at work today to hopefully a thermos of this will go nicely with the goodies in the breakroom.

The tea has a very sweet, candied ginger and molasses aroma… I’m almost getting something a bit nutty from the scent, as well. The flavor is reminding me if the Carrot Cake Pancake tea which was another of my favorites… I really like how the spices and maple compliment each other. It has a very warming effect from the ginger, but it isn’t spicy… the ginger has a sweet or candied sort of taste. I’m also picking up sweet cinnamon and an aftertaste of cloves. I’m getting more of a thick, syrupy, molasses flavor than the extremely sugary-sweet taste of maple, but it compliments the spices nicely. It’s a very tasty tea!

Flavors: Candy, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Maple, Molasses, Nutty, Pancake Syrup, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 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, 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)
-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.

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.

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/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited 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 outbound gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, 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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