I was really excited to try this, because it’s something different, and I’ve been so impressed with What-cha’s offerings. The package directions recommend 3-4 teaspoons per cup, but this tea is long, spindly sticks, some pieces 10cm or longer, so not really well suited to being measured in teaspoons. I got out my scale and measured out 3g of tea for my cup, just pulling the sticks out of the bag with my fingers (a fork might have worked too – this is no job for a spoon.)

The dry leaf just smells like tea – that distinctive but unnuanced smell of tea bags. Steeped, the leaf is quite pungent, with notes of fruit, peony and wet wood.

The liquor is a rich gold and very clear. Flavour-wise, this is less complex and exciting than I was hoping for. Lots of hay, a kind of generic fruitiness, floral, some earth, and a note that I can only describe as lipstick. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but I’m getting a slight throat scratchiness from this.

The second cup was much the same as the first.

Interesting tea. I’m not wild about it, but I’m glad I tried it.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Fruity, Hay

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I grew up drinking jasmine green tea with meals, but really fell in love with tea on a trip to Britain in elementary school. My first great love was Earl Grey, and I still adore it and all its variants.

I discovered the beauty of loose leaf tea much later, when, on impulse, I picked up a few teas that were on clearance at a home store. My introduction to loose leaf teas were Masala Chai and Provence Rooibos by the Metropolitan Tea Co and an unknown brand of kukicha and gyokuro (little did I know what a precious treasure I’d stumbled onto with that.)

At the time I was lucky to live in a place with multiple tea shops and several places to have afternoon tea, which is a delight I still miss.

Tea is part of my daily ritual and a nice, affordable way to appease the collector in me.

I enjoy distinctive whites, greens and oolongs, flavoured blacks, and herbals that are heavy on the citrus, lavender or mint.

Rating rubric, to give myself some consistency:
0-15 Yuck, not even drinkable.
16-30 Disappointing, not really inclined to give it a second try.
31-45 Disappointing, but maybe there’s potential? Worth one more try, prepped differently.
46-60 Mediocre, not terrible but not memorable.
61-75 Not bad. I’ll definitely finish what I have and might buy again.
76-90 Very enjoyable. Tasty, complex, it’ll keep me coming back.
91-100 BEST! I love everything about it and I will drink it forever.

Beyond tea, I’m a sex educator, polyamory activist, and radical queer. I love backwoods camping, abstract painting, baking & cooking, nail polish, cats, ceramic sculpture, and home nesting.


Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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