Thank you Mastress Alita for the fun way to encourage us to sipdown teas! I learned of the tournament style sipdown challenge when Roswell Strange asked me to help her pick 16 teas and I thought it sounded like so much fun that I decided to join as well. Thankfully, Roswell was kind enough to return the favour and picked 16 teas for me to work on. Today’s clash is between two teas from the single-estate teas box by Palais des Thes that my sister bought me for Hannukah. I paired this tea with Grand Himalaya since those were the two straight(ish) teas, Ros had picked.

As far as genmaichas go, this one is pretty good. It leans more heavily into the popped rice, at least in this cup and that could have been because a lot of the rice made it into the filter. It’s smooth and buttery and not bitter or grassy at all. Honestly really comforting – popcorn tea for sure.

To see how it stacks up to Grand Himalaya, check out the note here: https://steepster.com/rachel12610/posts/415973

Check out a picture of the teas here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMA1JvPgOwi/?igshid=17oukytf2p49j

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My cupboard has grown exponentially since joining this site and I have a lot to share. Feel free to snoop through my cupboard and message me if anything interests you – I am always happy to swap!

For me, flavored teas are definitely my sweet spot. I will most often reach for black teas and rooibos or honeybush blends but I do keep some flavored whites and greens around for when the mood strikes. I have a few herbals/tisanes but most of the time I find myself disappointed by them as they often smell deliciously sweet and then end up tasting tart/sour. I have a little bit of an aversion to pu’erh and oolong teas. I am also wary of florals, earl greys, and chai teas. I do not like overpowering citrus flavors nor do I usually like hibiscus, licorice or chamomile. I love dessert teas – caramel, vanilla, toffee, cookie, cream, and other sweet flavors make me smile. Fruits like strawberry, peach, mango, and pineapples will often catch my attention as well.

I have also realized that although I really enjoy adding frothed milk to some of my teas, if I do not like the tea with zero additives (just in plain water without milk or sugar), I probably won’t drink it. The one exception is flavored matchas which I will happily drink in cold milk if I do not like it mixed with hot water. My theory is if the tea can’t stand on its own then it is not for me and I will more than likely try to swap it out for something else.

Tea Ratings Guide (as of December 10, 2017)
90-100 Teas I NEED on hand at all times
80-89 Teas I want to keep around for a cup every now and then
70-79 Teas I am glad I have around and can experiment with but probably don’t need more than what’s in my cupboard
60-69 Teas I would not turn down a cup of from a friend but that would probably be enough
50-59 Teas I can see why someone would enjoy but are not for me
Under 50 Teas I really did not like and most likely got dumped


Waterdown, Ontario

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