I thought this tea might be a good one for days I want coffee but my stomach doesn’t think it’s such a great idea. It really smells like coffee dry. While it was steeping I could smell something sort of toasted grain-like. I wasn’t completely sure if that was the barley malt or the mate. I have very little experience with mate (just a couple of flavored bagged teas from grocery store brands) so I’m not sure I could identify “mate smell”. I usually taste my tea before deciding if it needs milk/cream or sugar, and I probably should have done that with this one too…but it’s been a grumpy day of spring allergies and stressed out sewing procrastination (feeling a bit in over my head on a project) and it looked and smelled like the kind of tea I’d want to add something to so in went the sweetened condensed milk right away. I don’t teally taste the coffee. I can still smell it a bit but it’s not nearly as strong as the dry tea. It kinda just tastes like roasty black tea. I may have buried any of the more subtle flavors in sugary milky goo. It’s not bad this way but it doesn’t make me think coffee. Oh well, will taste it first next time and maybe use plain milk if it needs additions. It feels astringent in a way I’m not sure I’ll like plain but always good to try it anyway.

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I may have a mild to moderate tea addiction. Black, white, green, pu-erh, it doesn’t matter. I’m a little on the fence about oolongs but I’m starting to think I’m just particular about how they’re brewed. I haven’t tried any yellows yet but they’re on my wishlist so I can have a complete rainbow of tea. My tea problem is bad enough that I don’t necessarily even need tea in my tea, most herbals are welcome in my house too.

Favorites: jasmine, moonlight white, shou mei, chenpi/tangerine peel, violet, rose, Mengku sheng (especially autumn), anji bai cha, taiping houkui, blooming tea balls, tulsi/holy basil, chamomile

Dislikes: red rooibos, eucalyptus, allspice, flavorings of unknown origin, pumpkin, apple, banana, annoying flower petals that don’t add any flavor but are thrown in to look pretty (they tend to float and get in my way if I brew tea grandpa style)


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