This was another sampler from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and to everyone that contributed! I took a 5g sample and used half of it for my travel thermos to take to an early morning staff meeting at work yesterday, and am finishing it up this morning.

The base of this tea has a really lovely flavor that makes is apparent that the black tea leaf blend is using at least some Chinese black… there are those notes of burnt toast, smoke, molasses, and a hint of leather and fruit (cherry? mandarin? a bit hard to peg under the flavoring…) Mostly, the natural slightly burnt/smoky flavors come through, and the salted caramel flavoring in this tea is actually really good. Usually even teas that call themselves “salted caramel” just taste like “caramel” to me and don’t have that distinction to me, but this one does, and I quite like it! With the natural smoky notes and rich molasses from the base, I get a bit of a burnt sugar/melted caramel vibe from it. I don’t, however, get any of the proposed “pumpkin flavor” from this tea at all. I realize pumpkin is a difficult flavor to pull off (especially when you are separating it from all the spice) but with such strong flavor notes in here, I’d be curious what the blend would be like if that was turned up a bit. I like pumpkin. Even savory pumpkin. And it isn’t used enough, it’s always the spice blend that gets all the cred.

So some points off for no pumpkin, but I am still a big fan of this Chinese black-heavy base and nailing a salted caramel flavor. Thanks for the sample, tea_sipper!

Flavors: Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Fruity, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Salty, Smoke, Smooth, Toast

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

I really should review this already. I’m glad this found a fan!

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I really should review this already. I’m glad this found a fan!

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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 genderqueer asexual (she/they) 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 open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

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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