Ah, Scottish Caramel Pu-erh. I think nearly every independant teashop I’ve visited has had this on the line-up, and if you search it here on Steepster, you’ll probably get a good twenty iterations of it because of that, but I’m fairly positive they are all wholesaling it from the same popular teashop wholesaler — Metropolitan Tea Company. What I find most fascinating is how many of these teashops put butterscotch or caramel (or both) on the ingredients list (the one I purchased it from did!) yet inspecting the leaf, there isn’t a trace of caramel or butterscotch pieces in it (only chopped almond), meaning these are flavorings. That makes a big difference to those with dietary restrictions, preferences, or allergies; my BFF is Vegan and the difference between caramel flavoring (often non-dairy) and caramel pieces (typically dairy) is huge, and simply listing “caramel” on the ingredients list is not very helpful! The consumer shouldn’t have to dig through their leaf to figure out what is in their tea, especially after buying… /end rant

In any event, I picked up my go at this blend from Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe and Afternoon Tea last year when I was on vacation in San Diego. The leaf does have a bit of the “fishy” smell I find tends to be a problem with the bases in flavored pu-erh blends, but thankfully it mellows out in the brewed cup, and doesn’t leave any lingering flavors (at least that I notice, and that can’t be said for some other flavored pu-erhs in my collection). The tea brews up very thick and dark as coffee, has a damp earth flavor with a bit of a mineral finish, but is very sweet. The pu-erh base is a bit strong so I don’t get a heavy caramel note, but more of a sweet, burnt sugar finish, with a slight caramely taste left lingering on my tongue afterwards. During the sip, something about the sweet flavorings and the earthiness of the base gives me this coconut flavor on my tongue… I realize there is nothing in the tea to produce a coconut flavor, but the caramel notes read to my palate that way more than caramel. (That isn’t exactly a bad thing, I like coconut, but I find it interesting). I’m not sure what the diced almonds are doing for the blend, since I don’t get any nutty notes from the tea. The tea comes off as a cheap pu-erh that uses its flavoring to pre-sweeten the leaf and hide the unappealing notes that typically come with a cheap pu-erh. It’s drinkable, but not something I’m going to miss once I manage to finish it off.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Coconut, Mineral, Sweet, Thick, Wet Earth

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 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
-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://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JjlpjQ94UyoryaDRMIeqnPHObgvCtmRp/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! My participation in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or group orders, and acceptance of any tea gifts is very limited at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited outbound gifting (USA only!)

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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