Last night I had all the telltale signs of a sinusy cold coming on — pain between the eyes, drippy nose, horse throat, exhausted by 7 pm — so the tea I decided to bring to work today is one I picked up at the Tea Chai Te teashop in Portland on vacation last spring when the rainy Portland weather was also getting to my throat. I’m a very “spice-sensitive” person and just looking at the leaf is a bit intimidating, as it /looks/ very ginger-heavy, but a tea full of Vitamin C-rich hibiscus, rosehips, and citrus, and spicy throat-soothing ginger and licorice root was exactly what I was feeling.

I’m always amused when I brew hibiscus teas at work, because they come out purple instead of red (and I use the filtered water here! I seriously have to wonder about the water quality at the library sometimes…) Color aside, though the tea does have a nice heat to it, it wasn’t near as off-putting as I was fearing. I can’t taste the licorice root, but I think it adds enough natural sweetness to help tame some of the spiciness, and the hibiscus and rose hip give the tea a rich, tart base which grounds it a lot as well (and I have one of those tongues that takes tart flavors very well). There is a distinct orangey citrusy flavor to the base, followed by a burst of gingery heat. It’s a bit like an orange version of a lemon ginger tea, but more punchy due to the hibiscus, and the ginger notes are a lot stronger than I tend to find in most lemon gingers. It’s a bit spicy for me to drink this as a daily drinker, but this is a good, strong “throat tea” for a cold. Chock full of Vitamin C and herbs good for a sensitive throat.

Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Ginger, Hibiscus, Orange, Spicy, Tart

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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 asexual 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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