Ohh, this tea.

This was the second Teavana tea I ever owned, and I very clearly remember the first time I smelled it. I took one whiff and stepped back coughing, not because it smelled bad, but because it smelled STRONG. From then on, this tea has had the nickname “the stinky oolong.” This nickname, once sarcastic, has now become a term of endearment, as this tea has become a staple of my tea collection.

The tea’s richly spicy aroma carries over when steeped. When I sip, I taste mostly cloves and the creamy pumpkin, with the nutty oolong flavor as a complementary base. The papaya comes in the aftertaste. I love this tea anytime, but particularly when it’s cold. It’s great in the morning or in the afternoon, and I frequently pair it with lighter flavored teas, like Dragonwell or Snowy Peak Downy Tips, or a tea with a similar flavor profile, like Spice of Life (all of which are Teavana’s). Teavana suggests pairing it with Toasted Nut Brulee, another oolong, but I find that the two of them just don’t mesh very well.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite, but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3


Colorado, USA

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