80

I have never had a mint tea before now. Well, at least, not a straight mint tea – I’ve had mint in other blends but never as the star. I’m a bit particular about mint. I like it in some things, especially when there’s sweetness involved, and I don’t mind it in others. Opening the tin, the smell of the dry leaf is extremely strong and it is very similar to a sharp spearmint gum or mouthwash scent. The loose leaf looks like gunpowder green to me (I’ve never tried a gunpowder, but the look is pretty distinct). I brewed it for 3 minutes and added a small amount of sugar (probably about 1/2 tsp).

The brew itself smells very spearminty, although thankfully it’s not as extreme as the dry leaf. It now smells like a milder spearmint gum. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea. Unlike the scent, the spearmint taste does not overpower the tea. However, I think I would be happier with slightly less spearmint and slightly more tea. I can taste a light smokiness which I can only guess must be characteristic of gunpowder. The mint melds with the tea beautifully, and there is a slight but not unpleasant bitterness at the end of the sip. I think the steep time was perfect (I partially based it off of my results with Strawberry Green).

Overall, pretty tasty. I can see why this is a classic (although it likely won’t be a classic for me). This could be very relaxing in the evening or refreshing as a spring tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke, Spearmint

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- August Sipdowns: 40
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 137

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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