This is the last of the Steven Smith Teamaker teas that Todd brought to share with me when we met up at Anime Oasis. I had one of the teabags in the hotel while enjoying a My Little Pony bingewatch of the most recent season (yes, two grown adults, one nearing 40 and the other nearing 50, enjoying some MLP while drinking tea!) While all the teas he brought that I hadn’t sampled yet were great, I think this one was by far my favorite. I brought the second teabag home and am having it tonight.

It produces a nice yellow color with the most wonderful aroma; it’s like a dessert somehow, with that toasted nutty smell from the genmai mixed with the sweet floral rose. The flavor is also really wonderful, if you like floral teas (which I do!); the base is sencha mixed with Mao Feng, so it has more of a beany, vegetal quality which pairs nicely with the roasted nut notes from the genmai. There is also a subtle hint of bergamot in this blend, not enough to be overbearing on the flavor, but just enough to give the base a bit of a citrusy note, which also compliments the vegetal flavor nicely. The citrus notes also pair great with the floral rose sweetness that comes in midsip and pops on the roof of the mouth and lingers slightly in the aftertaste; it is not an especially strong rose taste, and doesn’t taste like they’ve added a bunch of rose oil or tried to make the tea an especially strong rose tea, but the florality is noticable in the aroma and flavor and blends really well with the other flavor notes in the cup. The genmai adds that nice roasted flavor that I find really settling and relaxing on my stomach, and somehow the rose just adds to that soothing, relaxing sensation.

This is one of Steven Smith Teamaker’s real winning blends, in my opinion. I will absolutely pick some of this up when I visit Portland this summer!

Flavors: Beany, Citrus, Floral, Nutty, Roasted Nuts, Rose, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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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, 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
-Hemp/CBD teas
-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.


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://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . 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.


Idaho, United States



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