I realize teas like this typically “should” be drunk gong fu, and maybe I will still get around to that (I have 50g, so plenty more to experiment), but today I just wanted to brew up a quick mug of something to go with my grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Originally I was going to make a straight black but when I started digging through my straight tea storage, I saw this pouch, it had been opened at some point, and it’s old, so I figured, why not? (It has been brought to my attention my definition of “old” and other Steepsterers definition of “old” is not the same, so I will specify this is the Spring 2017 harvest. Yes, I consider 2017 teas “old.” Remember, I didn’t get into the tea game until fall of 2016 so my oldest teas in my collection are currently 2017 teas, and those are the ones I’d rather get out to replace with fresh.)

Anyway, I was certain I’d reviewed this before, since it was an opened package, but I did a Ctrl+F on my Steepster.txt file where I keep all my review writings and… nope! So here we go. Considering this is an older tea and brewed western, I’m sure it will not be as nuanced, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. (To be fair, anything I say about oolongs should be taken with a grain of salt anyway).

3.5g brewed in 350ml water at 205F for a 3 minute steep. The aroma is incredibly fruity, like oranges and honey, immediately making me think of marmalade jam. I’m getting a bit of an apricot note in the aroma as well, and a more subtle maltiness. The flavor is quite tasty, definitely very heavy in the fruity notes that were coming out in the aroma. Mainly I’m getting an orange taste, but it is sweeter and honeyed rather than citrusy, and I’m getting a strong stonefruit impression. There is a bit of a maltiness with hints of baked bread, cocoa, cinnamon, raisin, and toward the end of the sip, a sweet florality toward the back of the tongue that tastes of rose to me. I’m really enjoying it and impressed with how much flavor I’m getting considering the age and brewing method I chose.

Flavors: Apricot, Bread, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Jam, Malt, Orange, Raisins, Rose, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 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 genderqueer asexual (she/they) 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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