I’m putting this one into my “tricky steeper” file; when it worked it was awesome but when it didn’t it was meh. I also never got it to fly through multiple steeps (over 2).

The perfect cup was nuanced- mellow hay and cucumber layered with honey, stonefruits, melon, and nuts covered with a light dab of cocoa- leaving the mouth full of something surprisingly equal parts fruity (sweet, melon) and savoury (pepper, walnut, and smoke). The hint of “spice” reminds me a tad of juniper and cedar. There is also a touch of something subtly creamy smooth, like rice or coconut water, or maybe almond milk. This cup pairs surprisingly well with a chocolate peanut bar.

On a bad day it tasted like burnt hay and astringent messiness. Fickle, fickle tea.

Thankfully for the sipdown, today was a good day. Teabento says steep at 80C or 85C and I found life was better if it was steeped somewhere in the middle of this range.

Steep Count: 2 + Rinse

(Sample generously provided by Teabento)

Flavors: Cocoa, Cucumber, Fruity, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Nuts, Pepper, Smoke

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Favourite Flavours/Ingredients:

-Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan
-All Citrus: Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Yuzu
-Anise, but not licorice
-Ginger or Clove-forward chai
-Grass/Marine/Vegetal/Nutty Green teas
-Florals: Rose, Lavender, Jasmine…
-Musky and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus
-Berries: Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry
-Bananas, and most fruits actually.

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

-Stevia and most sweetners
-Cinnamon-forward chai/blends
-Apple & Cranberries
-Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
-Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
-Metallic or overly artificial teas
-Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Alright, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Average to mediocre cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, the unholy abomination that is a chimera. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.


BC, Canada

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