drank Bliss by Yokotea
8 tasting notes

When a currently-Category-4 hurricane is aimed almost directly at you, when you’re hunkering down and riding it out, and when you have two days to kill before the storm proper arrives? Drink tea. (Hopefully, of course, it won’t be a Category 4 when it gets here; if I thought that was likely I doubt I’d be sitting here writing Steepster reviews…)

Pre-hurricane time is a good time for something soothing and unfussy, so I thought I’d crack open my pouch of Yokotea Bliss. The dry blend looks interesting, like the cast-off outer husks of something a squirrel would eat, not that I mean that in a negative way. The blend is just … browner than I expected; I was thinking mint chocolate, with an emphasis on mint, not cacao shells with a scattering of chopped up mint leaves.

Dry, the tisane smells like a Peppermint Patty, a cool sear of mint on a backdrop of chocolate. About a teaspoon of tisane went into 8 ounces of water just off the boil, at a steep time of somewhere between 2-3 minutes (making tea during hurricane prep doesn’t always encourage precision). The fragrance is dairy-reminiscent, like hot chocolate with a hint of translucent mint on top.

The taste? Certainly not bad, but not mind-blowing. The taste gives an impression of sweetness without actually being sweet, like cool water on a hot day, and the cacao comes off like somewhat dusty milk chocolate, without much depth or staying power, the taste dissipating almost instantly after a swallow into a vague, if not unpleasant, mint that also fades quickly.

The brew seems a little weak, so maybe next time I’ll try a longer steep time, never mind the instructions on the package, or maybe it’s that this tea has been sitting in the package too long for its liking; hard to tell. Still, not a bad pre-hurricane brew. It tastes decent, and won’t put me to sleep, but it also won’t keep me awake, and right now, that’s all I wanted.

Flavors: Chocolate, Mint

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Life is story, dreams, and tea.

As a mixture of Chinese and Southern American, I was probably destined to love tea, though it wasn’t until 2002 that I became voraciously obsessed with loose leaf and exploring the glorious infinite tea realms. I consider myself a carrier of Tea Adoration Syndrome more than a tea snob, and will happily consume virtually any tea prepared with respect for what it most wants to be.

I enjoy tea both flavored and unflavored, blended or unblended, with milk or without, respectfully sweetened or without sweetener, hot or cold, bubble or not — it all depends on the tea. At the moment, I mostly prepare single servings, Western style, often but not always with milk, though in the near future I plan on restarting my long-abandoned gongfu habit.

Absolute favorite teas to date: creamy oolongs, rose black, Earl Grey creme, super-malty full-bodied Assams

No affiliation with the company Crimson Lotus Tea, BTW. ;)

And for the curious, a few non-tea things about me: I’m currently a fiber artist; my degree is in anthropology; I have a certificate in web design and a few years of classical music training; and my resume makes it look like I know something about writing and editing. My favorite instruments are probably guzheng, electric guitar, and duduk. I’m interested in life, the universe, and everything. I almost majored in environmental science and physics, but a string of bad math teachers led me into burnout mode and I really ought to have taken pre-calc before calculus. ;) My online persona is infested with emoticons. I love old things and new things, and I’m better at extremes than at middles of any kind. Randomness is awesomely delightful, so feel free to drop me a randomness-filled line.

(Profile picture created from the photo “Red Lotus, Guinsa Temple” © 2005 Peter Garnhum, <https://flic.kr/p/3wBm1>. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

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