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Rachel Emmel  

User's reviews

  • Ginseng Green

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    Tasted like green tea. Couldn't pick out any extra flavor notes. Not bad, but nothing special for me.

  • Bonfire

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    Smells interesting, like the remnants of a wood fire. I'm sure there's a market for this, but it's not for me. I'm not into overly smokey flavors; the lapsang is just too strong.

  • Cinnamon

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    I'm not a big fan of cinnamon. It can easily overpower other flavors. But I was pleasantly surprised; this had just the right amount of cinnamon to give a warm flavor. You can taste it, but it's not overwhelming.

  • Gyokuro

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    A nice green tea with a smooth mouthfeel. It's a bit more on the savory side with primarily grassy notes. But a bit of sugar helps bring out it's buttery side.

  • Rooibos Caramel

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    The familiar scent of rooibos - a little medicinal, a little woody. It steeped a beautiful red color. The caramel flavor came through stronger once it cooled a bit - warm and smooth, goes very well with the woody, sweet flavor of rooibos.

    I added sugar and milk.

    Steeped 212F 5min

  • White Eternal Spring

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    Nice delicate white tea. Sweet and tropical, just a lil floral. Good hot or iced.

    Steeped 180F 3min

  • Foxtrot

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    The scents of peppermint and chamomile are battling it out to see who's the strongest here. The match was decided by the steep, and chamomile came out triumphant. Peppermint stayed meekly in the background, and rooibos was somewhere off in the stands.

    I don't dislike chamomile, but it's not my favorite either. When hot the tea was okay, especially with some sugar added. But I really did not like the flavor of the chamomile once it chilled - so drink it down while it's hot.

    Steeped 212F 5min

  • Daydream

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    A beautiful mix of ingredients, lots of interesting bits and pieces, and a LOT of hibiscus. When steeping a vibrant red color bloomed from my tea basket. Mesmerizing to watch the color blend into the water. It smelled citrusy. It might've been luck of the draw, or perhaps it's how it's designed, but my sampled was loaded ith hibiscus. Although that was probably responsible for the pretty color, it also made my tea unbearably tart. It overpowered most of the other ingredients, and what flavors did break through - peppermint, lemon, licorice - tasted off/bad.

    Steeped 212F 5min

  • Chocolate Chai

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    A light chair with a good kick of ginger. The chocolate is overpowered at the start, develops a bit more as it cools, but is never really the star of the show.

    Steeped 2x, 200F 5min

  • Honeybush Hazelnut

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    A heavy hazelnut scent wafts from the dry tea. It makes a great hazelnut tea on its own, but it's even better with sweetener, and the best made into a late (being sure to steep it in 1/2 the water as usual since the steamed milk is added afterward to make up the difference)

    Steeped 212F 8min

  • Gaucho Mate Chai

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    A medium strength chai. Very cinnamon and clove forward. I couldn't really pick out the mate flavor amongst the spices, but that's alright with me since I'm not a huge fan of mate. Pairs well with milk and sugar.

    Steeped 190F 8min

  • Apricot Green

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    When hot the apricot only came across as a scent, not a flavor, and it was slightly bitter even though I was carful about my time and temp. I added some sugar and let it cool. Similar to a lot of fruit flavored teas, the apricot flavor grew stronger the more I let it cool. This would work well iced. The green tea kept it's bitterness, though it was more of an afterthought once it cooled.

    Steeped (1) 175F 2min (2) 2.5min

  • White Strawberry

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    This tea has a strong strawberries n'cream scent. The is is a nice light white tea that carries plenty of flavor. Good hot or iced.

    Steeped (1) 175F 1.5min (2) 2min

  • Formosa Oolong

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    I love how this tastes, reminiscent of a black tea. It steeped a nice dark color. When hot it had an autumnal, woody flavor, and a nutty scent. Once it cooled it picked up a sweeter, raisin flavor and came across a bit malty as well.

    I got 2 strong steeps out of this, and 1 milder one.

    Steeped 3x, 200F 3min

  • Currant

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    This was an interesting one. I don't think I've had real currents before, so to me it came across rain or date-like. A nice flavor though, especially with some sugar added to amp up the sweetness.

    From experience the ceylon base does better at a lower temp then what's recommended, otherwise it can become quite astringent.

    Steeped (1) 190F 2.5min, (2) 195F 2.75min

  • Ti Kuan Yin

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    hen hot this tea had a strong vegetal flavor. Once I let it cool down it picked up more of a light floral tone, which I preferred. The subsequent 2 steeps were more mild from the start and transitioned the light floral quicker.

    Pleasant and mild.

    Steeped 3x, (1) 190F 3min, (2-3) 2.5min

  • Mocha Nut Mate

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    I'm starting to think that mate is just not for me.

    My mate sample seemed very heavy on the tobacco flavor when hot. I almost dumped it. I let it sit and cool a bit more, and when I tried it again the flavor had shifted to more coffee-like. I prefer the coffee flavor over the tobacco, but it still wasn't for me.

    My sample also didn't have any chocolate in it. I added my own sweetened cocoa nibs, but I couldn't detect any chocolate or hazelnut flavor in the first steep.

    I braved a second steep, which gave me better results. Again I let it cool a bit from it's steeping temp, and when I sipped it I was able to pick up on the chocolate and hazelnut flavors. I'm glad I finally reach this tea's potential, but it's a bit too nuanced for me. I don't think I'll purposefully go looking for it again.

    Gave it a cold bath then Steep 2x, (1) 150F 5min, (2) 3min

  • Chamomile

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    I was a little off put by the scent of the dry tea. A very dry grass / hay like scent, as was the initial flavor. But once it cooled slightly the flavor turned a bit more floral and honey-like. The addition of sugar helped bring out it's sweeter notes.

    Steeped 212F 8min

  • Jasmine Yin Hao

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    A nice green tea. The jasmine was not as strong as the jasmine phoenix pearls I tried recently. The jasmine was a strong flavor, yes, but I was able to also actually taste the green tea base. In comparison, this tea's jasmine flavor wasn't as overwhelming as the pearls. The flavor stuck around for 3 steeps, of course getting just a bit weaker with each additional steep.

    Tastes good with sugar.

    Steeped 3x, 175F 3min

  • Chili Lime Green

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    I've been getting into spicy foods recently, but I don't think I'm ready for spicy tea. Unfortunately the pepper was just too overpowering for me.

  • Valentines

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    My tea had a light strawberry scent to it. My sample was littered with pretty rose petals, but it sorely lacked in chocolate ingredients and fruit. With no actual chocolate product or strawberries to carry the flavor my tea was rather bland, not even sugar could amp up the strawberry. So in the end I had a vaguely flavored, malty black tea. Not the worst, but not what I was looking for. I chucked in some of my own cocoa nibs for the second steep, but that only helped a bit.

    Steeped 2x, 200F 3m, and 3.5m

  • Jasmine Chun Hao

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    This tea has such a beautiful, floral scent! However, I prefer to smell my flowers, not drink them. I don't mind light floral notes, or florals in blends, but I'm not a fan of the stronger ones or single note florals.

    The second steep was a bit weaker, and a bit more to my taste. There was a distinct astringency to both steeps that I tried to sway with sugar.

    In the end I think I got more enjoyment out of simply smelling the tea than drinking it.

  • Lemongrass

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    It's lemongrass. Lemony with a bit of natural sweetness. I love the smell of it dry or steeped. One of the best things about it is it's versatility! Good on its own, and in blends. Great hot or iced. Of course it goes well with sugar, but it also plays nice with milk

  • Sleeping Dragon

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    Rolled teas are the best to watch steep. It's like magic when you watch them unfurl and see just how big the leaves are.

    When hot the tea did have a slightly vegetal flavor, but that mellowed out as it cooled. All in all, a nice green tea. Milk, not too grassy or hay-like, and I did not get any bitterness.

    Steeped 3x: 175F 2.5min, 180F 2min

  • Peach Bellini

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    All said and told I think this tisane has a good flavor, but it works better as an accompaniment than by itself (ie. used in a blend).

  • Chocolate Chai Pu Erh

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    When hot, what I mostly tasted was chai spice, a lil heavy on the cinnamon, but not at red hot levels. As it cooled chocolate flavors bloomed, and the earthy pu erh helped deepen those flavors. There was still spice hanging out, but it didn't overpower the chocolate flavor. A really good combo, chocolate and spice.

    Rinsed and dumped, 200F 15sec

    Steeped 2x, 200F 5min

  • Honeybush Banana Nut

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    I love banana brea! So I was excited to try this tea out. This tea smells divine! Nutty and banana-y lol.

    Thankfully the banana flavor is not candy-lie, like laffytaffy. The flavor is a good likeness to banana bread - not a perfect one to one, but it's similar enough to connect the dots.

    Besides the chestnut, the honeybush also brings its natural woody sweetness to the party. It actually helps hammer in the 'bread' or 'baked goods' aspect of the flavor for me.

    Sugar helps enhance the flavors, but since honeybush is naturally sweet one has to be careful not to oversweeten it. Milk or cream are also a welcome addition.

    Steeped 212F, 5min

  • Jasmine Phoenix Pearls

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    This tea smells amazing! Reminds me of walking through a botanical garden. I love the scent of jasmine, and this tea doesn't hold back!

    Bonus is that it's a rolled green - those are so interesting to watch unfurl as they steep! Make sure you give them enough room!

    The combo of the scent and the sight of the tea unfurling is a very relaxing, mesmerizing experience, for me at least.

    Unfortunately that's where the bulk of my enjoyment ends. While I love the scent of jasmine, I am not the biggest fan of their flavors. I can handle an accent of florals here and there, but ones of this strength are not for me.

  • Peach Oolong

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    This one smells like peach rings.

    Once steeped the peach flavor was dominant, but not overly artificial. This tea could most likely work well either hot or iced. Adding sugar amplified the peach flavor and I found I didn't need as much as usual. The flavor lasted through multiple steeps.

    Steeped 3x, 190F 3min

  • Rooibos Mango

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    When dry, this has the usual Rooibos scent - woody, a little medicinal - as well as a faint sweet fruity scent.

    When I started steeping it a beautiful red color bloomed.

    This tea doesn't really shine when hot - even the rooibos flavor is faint. Once it's cooled a bit the woody sweet roobios becomes more prominent, and a bit of the mango starts to come through as well.

    I love drinking this tea iced, at that point the fruit flavor seems to be at it's strongest, especially with the addition of a sweetener.

    Steeped 212F, 8min

  • White Peach

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    The tea smelled like peach rings! Since this a white tea I tried to be careful with the steep temperature. I got a really nice peach flavor from this. It wasn't too candy-like, as the scent originally suggested. Without sugar more of the floral notes from the white tea are noticeable, but sugar brings the peach flavor to full strength.

    Steeped (1) 175F, 3min (2) 3.5min

  • Spiced Apple Chai

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    It was a strong chai in and of itself, the ginger and cardamom especially stood out. I didn't detect any apple flavor in my sample though

  • Cha Cha

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    When dry all I could smell was the peppermint and chamomile, so I thought those would be the most overpowering, but it was actually a really nice, even blend. You could pick out each flavor, but as a whole they tasted even better.

  • Rooibos

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    I love rooibos - nutty, woody, sweet. Goes well with cream and sugar, is super versatile in blends, steeps to a beautiful rust color. I like drink it plain, or with sugar, or even brewing it double strength for milk tea. The only down side for me is that, like a lot of tisanes/herbals, it doesn't hold up to multiple steeps.

    Steeped 212F 8min

  • Fujian Orchid

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    The dry tea had a hay-like scent. The little rolled leaves expanded so quickly, and took up so much room in my steeper - if all you have is a tea ball, you're probably better off just letting it steep directly in the cup then straining - this tea needs space to grow. The taste and smell after steeping was very floral. The flavor held strong for 2 steeps, and probably would've done for a third and even fourth, but floral isn't my favorite flavor note so I stopped at 2.

    Steeped (1) 200F 3.5min, (2) 2.5min

  • Ceylon Sonata

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    I was excited to try this one! I could smell the maltiness on the *steam* as it steeped! Beautiful dark color, rich, malty, nutty flavor. I didn't try it with milk, but I'm sure it'd pair well. Sugar brings out more of a sweet, chocolate-like flavor. I didn't pick up on the citrus notes that adagio mentioned, but my taste may not be that nuanced yet. All around a good black tea.

    Steeped (1) 200F 3min, (2) 4min

  • Sencha Overture

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    The scent of the dry tea was grassy. The flavor was buttery, and grassy, a bit more on the savory side. I was very mindful of the temperature to try to keep the astringency and wet grass/hey flavor at bay - which I believe I succeeded. It was just lightly astringent, and the flavor remained bright. I finished the cup, but it's not my favorite green, I din't go back for a second steep.

    Steeped 165F 2m

  • Pu-erh Hazelberry

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    For how much I don't like Pu-erh Dante I'm surprised I've liked all the flavored pu-erh's I've tried since, this one included. I did rinse the tea, and I tossed the rinse since I did detect a fishiness, then I carried on with the regular steep. When hot the earthy pu-erh mixed with the hazelnut flavors. As it warmed the strawberry came forward to join the party, it was more of a light flavoring so I helped it along a bit with some sugar.

    On the 2nd and 3rd steep I lost the strawberry flavor all together but the hazelnut still hung on. I like these 2nd and 3rd steeps in general with pu-erh because the earthiness of the pu-erh is a bit weaker.

    Steeped (1) 200F 4m, (2-3) 200F 5m

  • Melonberry Green

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    The scent of the tea is very green, grassy - not much fruit fragrance, which usually comes along with fruit infused teas.

    The first steep was strong, had a bit of dry, grassy flavor, but the strawberry flavor was also predominant, even when hot (usually I don't notice fruit flavors until the tea has cooled a bit).

    As it cooled the strawberry showed it's full potential - sweet & just a bit tart from the hibiscus.

    I managed 3 steeps from my serving. The strawberry flavor stood strong through the first 2 steeps, but it reasonably more subdued by the time I got to the 3rd. However the natural green tea flavor was still present and enjoyable. I didn't notice a distinct watermelon flavor at any point, so it either just melded with the berry flavor - and/or it just wasn't the strong.

    I sweetened all 3 steeps with sugar.

    Steeped (1) 175F 2.5m, (2) 180F 3m, (3) 180F 4m

  • Campfire S'Mores

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    The scent of the unsteeped tea has the lapsang's signature smokiness. I was surprsied when the tea lost the scent once I started steeping, and it only stuck around as a light aftertaste. All said and told it tasted like a chocolate tea with just a hint of smoke. The second steep was even lighter on flavor - tasting more like a plain black tea.

    Steeped (1) 200F 3min, (2) 212F 4min

  • Mandarin Green

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    A mild green tea. Light, grassy flavors. I couldn't taste any mandarin/orange, even once it cooled down - which usually helps bring out fruity flavors. Though I tried to be careful with the temp and time, my second steep was quite astringent. Not a bad green tea, but not my favorite.

    Steeped (1) 175F 2.5min, (2) 1.5min

  • Yunnan Jig

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    Beautiful black and gold Tea. A lovely, smooth flavor. A bit malty, with just a tad of astringency. I managed 4 steeps out of one serving!

    Steeped (1) 200F 4min, (2-4) 5min

  • Milk Oolong

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    Rolled teas are so fun to watch steep! I gave it a little extra steep time in the initial steep to allow it to unfurl. The color was very pale. The flavor was more on the floral and buttery side. The second steep had a smoother mouthfeel, which really lent itself to the flavors.

    Steeped (1) 195F 3.5min, (2-3) 3min

  • Tiger Eye

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    This is one of the black teas I think benefits from a slightly cooler steep temp. If the water is to hot it is very astringent and I feel like the flavor is lost. It still hangs on to some of the astringency at a cooler steep temp, but it's not near as strong, and the flavors are more distinct.

    As for the flavors, I don't really pick out one over the other, chocolate vs caramel, but it's more of a slightly artificial 'chocomel' flavor, inseparable yet recognizable.

    Goes well with milk and sugar.

    Steeped (1) 195F 3.5min, (2) 200F 3min

  • Blackberry Sage Oolong

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    The dry tea has a strong berry scent. Once steeped the sage becomes the most prominent scent; strong and herbal.

    Sage is all I could taste when the tea was still at it's hottest. The more it cooled the more the berry flavors came to the front. The sage flavor didn't go away, but it mingled with the berry, a very pleasing blend.

    On the second steep the berry flavors were the most prominent, even when hot. For the third steep the berry flavor drops out almost completely and you're left with jus a sage oolong. The sage is not as strong as the first steep of course, so it's still a nice cuppa if you're one for herbal flavors.

    Steeped (1) 190F 4min, (2) 200F 4min, (3) 200F 4min

  • Jump Start

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    Although this has a strong cinnamon scent it wasn't as overwhelming as I expected once steeped. I had plenty of cocoa nibs in my serving but I didn't really get much of a chocolate flavor. If I had to say I'd say the flavor was more like praline. Sweet and nutty.

    Steeped (1) 195F 10min, (2) 195F 15min

  • Decaf Spice

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    My serving wasn't very spice heavy, I'm not sure if that's by design or luck of the draw. But even with that I got a nice spice flavor, that seemed to favor cardamom just a bit. In the first steep the citrus just added a bit of background sweetness, in subsequent steeps the actual orange flavor shined through more. I got two decent steeps out of this, eeking a third out with a lil help from a pink of another [orange spice] black tea.

    Steeped (1) 195 2m 40sec, (2) 195F 3.5min, (3) 195F 4min

  • Double Ginger

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    My sampling was rife with peppercorns, which I quickly dispatched. There was also plenty of green rooibos. But even with all the additional flavorants, it lived up to it's name, all I could taste was ginger. I won't fault it for what it is, but it's not for me.

  • Rooibos Vanilla Chai

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    It had a nice level of spice, the flavor that lingered the most seemed to be the ginger for me. I think the Rooibos melds well with the Chai flavors.

    I [forgot] let it steep for about 25min, then added sugar and steamed [almond] milk.

  • Dragonwell

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    The abundance of leaves in my CommuniTea packet had a light, grassy scent, not as strong as some other green teas. Once steeped I immediately noticed the buttery flavor, only a hint of the grassiness was left, and I didn't notice any astringency. Works well hot or cold.

    Steeped (1) 180F 2.5min, (2) 185F 3min, (3) 185F 4min

  • Assam Melody

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    Once steeped I only noticed a little astringency. I added a bit of sugar out of habit. The flavor was rich and smooth. As it warmed a natural sweetness blossomed, even a little maltiness, which I was happily surprised by (having not read the description thouroughly beforehand).

    Steeped (1) 195F 4min, (2) 212F 5min

  • White Blueberry

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    I don't drink white teas often, but when i do they are a welcome change of pace. Delicate yet flavorful.

    The scent of blueberry was strong in the CommuniTea packet, I did get one whole blueberry as well. Once steeped the blueberry flavor was more subtle than I would've guessed from the scent, but it got a bit stronger as it cooled.

    I did do a 2nd steep. The blueberry flavor was all but gone, but it was still a nice cup of white tea.

    Steeped (1) 175F 2.5min, (2) 185F 3min

  • Almond

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    The taste of this tea was a tad too 'artificial' for me. I couldn't taste much when it was hot, just a subtle aftertaste, but as it cooled the almond flavor did get stronger, but the aftertaste got worse.

    I made sure to steep it at 190F for just 2.5min to cut back on the chance of astringency, and while it was still a tad astringent, I don't think that is the root cause for the off flavor.

    The 2nd step was better for me because the flavoring was weaker. I can see how this would work in some blends as an accent flavor, but I don't think it does well on it's own.

  • Summer Night

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    The smell from my CommuniTea packet leaned very strongly toward 'orange soda'. The contents however were mostly apple pieces (as is pictured on the product page), a smattering of rose hips, and a sprinkle of mint and other tidbits. I let it steep good and hot for over 10min. I was rewarded with just a bit of mint flavor, and the faintest hint of 'fruit' flavor. With how strong the smell was I expected more. I'm not a fan.

  • Pu-erh Tahiti

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    This is the first pu-erh I've come across where I kept the rinse. It didn't have any fishy notes, just light earthiness.

    I had a good amount of every ingredient in my CommuniTea packet. The flavor was definitely 'tropical fruity', but other than that I couldn't pick out the separate flavors. I chose not to pick out any of the many rose petals, but even so it didn't have a heavy floral taste.

    All said and told I would say this is a well balanced, fruity and earthy tea. I would be interested in trying it more.

  • Raspberry

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    The smell of the dry leaves straight from the CommuniTea packet was a bit artificial smelling, very candy-like. This scent completely disappeared during the steep though. This black tea is definitely temperamental. At first taste it was quite astringent, and I couldn't taste any berry flavor. I added sugar as I am wont to do. When it reached more of a 'warm' temp the berry flavor finally decided to shine through. This tea would probably benefit from a cold brew, and enjoyed iced.

  • Silver Sprout

    

    The CommuniTea packet had a light, sweet, straw scent. Once steeped and hot the scent and flavor was more green, grassy, and a bit astringent. I added sugar to help with the astringency. I find I preferred it once it cooled - it went from being grassy to more buttery.

    The second steep was only a tad lighter, and it wasn't as astringent so I didn't need to add as much sugar.

    Steeped (1) 180F 3min, (2) 180F 2min

  • English Breakfast

    

    Such a good, rich black tea! I didn't get any astringency, but that could be because I sweeten my teas anyway - though this tea didn't really need much sweetening. I did get a lovely malty flavor, not so much chocolate notes. I easily managed 2 good steeps from this.

    Steeped (1) 200F 4min, (2) 212F 4.5min

  • Rooibos Earl Grey

    

    Ah the family scent of Rooibos. I do enjoy rooibos, and earl grey flavors have become a recent favorite. My CommuniTea packet was missing orange peel, so I added a few pieces from my own stash. There's not much more to say about this tea other than it's a Rooibos flavored with Bergamot. A good combination, I always through citrus worked well with Rooibos. I added some [almond] milk and a tiny bit of sugar. I twas a very enjoyable cup.

  • Candy Cane

    

    Boy did this smell strong! You'd think I had just cracked open an Altoid tin rather than a CommuniTea packet! I decided to make it into a hot tea latte to mellow the flavor a bit. Since the flavor was so strong it held up against the sugar and milk very well.

  • Rooibos Nutcracker

    

    A strong rooibos smell overpowers the other ingredients right out of the (CommuniTea) packet. It's a smell that I'm not very fond of, even though I do like rooibos. When steeped the flavor of rooibos is, as ever, present and powerful. The nutty and caramel flavors were strong and rich, the chocolate flavor a bit more subtle. All in all a good tea, but not my favorite rooibos.

  • Honeybush Blueberry Pancake

    

    This one really hits the 'blueberry pancake' flavor right on the nose without tasting artificial. Would probably work well for late sweet-tooth cravings too. Sweet, flavorful and no caffeine!

  • Masala Chai

    

    I do like warm spice teas during the winter. It is one of the stronger chai's I've tried so far - but that's coming from someone who doesn't drink chai on the regular.

  • Christmas

    

    A lovely black tea with a good combination of citrus and spice. I love an orange spice tea and this one was a treat.

  • Yuletide Toddy

    

    It smelled like bubblegum and a was too tart on its own. I added honey whiskey and sugar. The sweet balanced out and pair with the tart, it was the teas saving grace.

  • White Chai

    

    I am definitely starting to get used to chai. I'm still not used to strong chai's so I do appreciate this lighter take on it. I'm not a fan of peppercorn though (so I pluck them out), but I'm loving the warm spice.

  • Cocomint Green

    

    When I cracked open my CommuniTea packet the mint was ready and rearing to go! It smelled so good! I got one lil cocoa nib, so I added a couple more from my own stash - didn't really bring a noticeable flavor to the party though, so I probably could've just done without.

    When hot the green tea actually managed to overpower the peppermint with a straw-like flavor. I let it cool down some and the peppermint made itself know, though it couldn't completely cover the flavor of the green tea. I couldn't taste any "coco" at all.

    I steeped it a second time and the straw-flavor was pretty much gone. Leaving me with a light, minty tea. Still no coco, but not bad.

    I did add sugar to both steeps, hoping to help the mint and coco (the laster of which refused to show).

    In the end, I think I'll stick to my preferred Rooibos Cocomint instead.

    1st steep: 180F 3min .. 2nd steep: 190F 3min

  • Chestnut

    

    The tea smells and tastes lovely! This tea's flavor is rich, warm and nutter! I've never had a real chestnut, but this is immediately recognizable as the seasonal flavor that it is. I added a bit of sugar and [almond]milk and really enjoyed this cozy treat!

    CommuniTea sample. Steeped 195F 3.5min. 2nd steep 200F 4min (the flavor was there, but noticeably weaker).

  • Vanilla Oolong

    

    I rally like this tea. It's simple, but has a good flavor. The vanilla is strong enough to be a distinguishable flavor without being overwhelming.

    1st steep 190F 4min; 2nd steep (vanilla was a bit weaker) 200F 5min

  • Honeybush Mango

    

    I do like this tea! It's fruity, it's sweet, it's versatile (good hot and cold).

    The CommuniTea packet had a bit of a zebra gum scent (aka, artifical fruit haha). But even so, the sweet mango flavor came through and works well with the honeybush.

    It's good hot, but I think it shines iced. I steep it hot, throwing in some dried pineapple if the feeling strikes, then chill or drink over ice.

  • Gingerbread

    

    I could smell an artificial spice from today's CommuiTea packet. Though there was no scent while steeping, and not really much flavor when hot. After cooling a little, there was a bit of gingerbread-esque flavor, but it wasn't strong enough to the point where I could go, "Yes, that's definitely gingerbread," without knowing beforehand. I wouldn't have even picked out the ginger to be honest. All in all, it was a decent, lightly seasoned black tea.

    This is a review for a CommuniTea packet, so here's hoping a larger sampling would yield better results.

    Steeped 200F for 4min, the steeped a 2nd time 212F for 6min.

  • Spiced Green

    

    I liked the spiced scent coming out of the CommuniTea packet, but it's not as strong as I expected once steeped. Which I suppose is the point; a lightly spiced tea.

    Though it's interesting, when it was at it's hottest I couldn't taste any spice, just a buttery green tea. As it cooled the spice became more prominent.

    Steep 180F for 3min, steeped twice.

  • Raja Oolong Chai

    

    I steeped this a little stronger (longer time, less water), because I planned from the start to mix in [almond] milk. I did take a precursory taste before adding the milk though. Now I'm not familiar enough with oolongs to pick out it's flavor, so to me the cinnamon was definitely the strongest point here. Before adding milk it tasted like cinnamon candy - very strong (helped along by my longer steep I'm sure). I may have overdone it a touch with the milk, but it did it's job and tamed it down to a more suitable level for me.

    CommuniTea Steeped 8min, 212F

  • Genmai Cha

    

    I've noticed this tea before in stores, but today's CommuniTea is my first time trying it. I'm guessing the strong scent is the puffed rice, because it doesn't smell like green tea. It was more savory than I expected, even after adding sugar.

    It was interesting to try, but I don't think I'll be buying more.

  • Pomegranate Grove

    

    I thought I'd like this. I like fruity, sweet teas, and it smelled good.

    However, it was very tart, from the hibiscus I'm guessing. It overpowered any other fruit flavors. Then it had a lingering ginger aftertaste I wasn't a fan of.

    If I tried this again, I would try to cut this with, perhaps, a green tea.

    Reviewed from CommuniTea. Steeped 8min at 212F

  • Peppermint

    

    If it looks like peppermint, smells like peppermint, and tastes like peppermint, then it must be peppermint.

    I've never tried peppermint tea by itself, so I did take a few sips of it straight before combining it with my blend (which I steeped in a separate cup just for this reason)...

    It tasted like peppermint. Left a tingling on the tongue and a freshness on the breath.

    Would I opt to drink peppermint on its own again? I wouldn't turn it away, but I do prefer it in blends.

  • Pu-erh Chorange

    

    After tying and not liking Pu-erh Dante in last month's CommuniTea I was fully prepared to dump this one down the drain, but upon opening the packet I got a strong orange-chocolate scent and my hopes were lifted ever so slightly.

    As suggested I did a quick rinse. My mind might've been playing tricks on me; I thought there might've been just the slightest of fishiness in the rinse, so I dumped it just in case (Dante really did a number on me haha).

    I did a full 5min steep next. I got a dark, rich color, an earthy scent, topped with bright orange and smooth chocolate - like when I first opened the packet. Upon tasting it plain, the hay-like earthiness was too strong for me, even with adding some sugar, it still distracted a bit too much from the orange-chocolate. It was alright.

    For the second steep the hay-like flavor was all but gone, and the orange-chocolate reined supreme. Again I sweetened with a bit of sugar; this was my favorite cup!

    I'm a little surprised the flavorants managed to hang in for a rinse and 2 full steeps - in other teas the extra flavors are tired out by now. I'm temped to see if it'll give me a third steep.

    Orange Chococlate is one of my favorite flavor combos, I'm really glad this tea beat my expectations.

  • Golden Flower

    

    I did not know what to expect from my first straight oolong. It had a straw-like scent dry, in the COmmuniTea packet, but the minute it was in the water it was overwhelmingly flora.

    The flavor of the 1st steep had a strong floral taste. I added some honey to it, which helped a bit.

    I gave it another go and steeped a 2nd time. It still ha a strong floral scent, but not as strong as the 1st steep - this time I tried a sweetener.

    The 3rd steep was my favorite. The floral scent was down down to accent-level, noticeable, but not near as powerful as before - a natural sweetness finally got to show off, which I helped along with a bit of sugar.

    If I could steep to the 3rd level immediately that'd be great, but the first 2 steeps, while they had a floral scent I enjoyed, it wasn't my favorite thing to drink.

  • Earl Grey Moonlight

    

    I had some nice chunks of orange peel in my CommuniTea packet, and a strong smell of bergamot. As someone who used to not like Earl Grey, I really enjoyed this slightly mellower Earl. I added some cream and sugar 0 with those additions the smell reminded me of froot loops :D - I may have over sugared a bit haha. Still tasted great. I'll definitely come back to this at a later date.

    200F for 4min

  • Elderberry Wine

    

    This is probably one of the stronger fruit teas I've tried, and i believe it's my first experience wth elderberry. The tartness is definitely there, and sugar does little to sway it, but I do like tart drinks so I didn't mind that. In fact it barely needs sugar because of a natural, berry sweetness as well. I'm betting this would make a good iced tea. As it cooled I did get some interesting flavors that I couldn't put my finger on - it could be the elderberry that got stronger, but I'm not sure.

    From CommuniTea 12/2/20

    Steeped at 212F for 5min

  • Fiery Cinnamon Spice

    

    Cinnamon is not always my favorite flavor because I find it can easily be overpowering. I was wary of this tea when I first opened my CommuniTea packet & was greeted by a puff of cinnamon powder. The smell of the dry tea leaned very 'red hots' which I suspect is the fault of the cinnamon flavorant, not the real cinnamon.

    With cinnamon powder shedding everywhere, even managing to escape my cotton tea bag, I steeped at 190F for 4min. I added sugar and cream and ended up with a nice cup of tea. The sugar and cream ensured that the end result wouldn't be hot enough to clean out my sinuses, but just spicy enough to wake me up and put a lil pep in m step. I reserved half of the sample to use in an eggnog latte later on.

    I attempted a second steep at 200F(boil) for 10min and got a very week, lightly cinnamon water. Wouldn't recommend for more than one steep.

  • Earl Grey Bella Luna

    

    My first impression of this tea came from a CommuniTea packet (11/30), so even though I am reviewing it, I don't think I really got a full grasp on it's potential as my packet was lacking coconut pieces.

    I wasn't able to discern any distinct coconut flavor. There was also more fanning dust in this packet than I've seen in other recent packets, so I'm suspecting mine was a bit bottom of the barrel.

    Besides that, the actual Earl Grey flavor was very nice. I am having fun with my newfound interest in earl Grey teas (I used to hate them, but that was when my only experiences was store-bought bags).

    While I didn't get the best sample, it has still peaked my interest, so I'll probably come back to this again in future.

    1st steep: 4min at 190F / 2nd steep: 5min at 200F

  • Green Assam

    

    This wasn't a bad green tea, but it wasn't my favorite. As other's have noted, there was definitely an astringency to this tea. I ended up adding extra sugar to combat it. Luckily I like sweet teas. Other than that, it wasn't too 'grassy'. The second steep did have a straw-like smell, but it didn't carry into the taste too much. I've probably had this tea in blends before without realizing, but I don't think I'd hunt it down to drink it on it's own again.

  • Yerba Mate

    

    I really enjoyed this tea. I made sure to steep at about 150F. I managed 2 steeps, both for 3min. I added a spoon of sugar to both steeps. I didn't notice any grassy or smokey notes. It was similar to a light green tea, but smoother. I've had Mate in other blends before, but now I'm really interested to try just a flavored Mate. (reviewed from CommuniTea)

  • Happy Belly

    

    This tea has several ingredients that I am not a fan of: licorice, aniseed, pu-erh. So I am not surprsied to find that I do not like the flavor of this tea. (Reviewed from CommuniTea)

  • Cranberry

    

    There were no cranberries in my CommuniTea packet, but I still got a strong, fruity scent from the packet. Plenty of raspberry leaf bits were clinging to each other. My 1st steep was 3min at about 190F. I added a spoon of sugar, and I didn't notice any bitterness. A berry flavor was noticeable, but it wasn't distinctly 'cranberry'. I did a 2nd steep for 4min at about 200F, again with a spoon of sugar, and it somehow had more berry flavor than the 1st steep.

  • Passionfruit

    

    The dry tea had a strong, fruity flavor. Reminded me of Fruit and Cream Oatmeal for some reason - in a good way. When fresh brewed and hot I couldn't taste any passion fruit or other fruity notes. As it cooled the sweet, fruity taste started coming out of the woodwork. I believe this tea would make a good iced tea, as it seems the fruity flavor is strongest when cool. (CommuniTea: 1st steep 3min at 195F; 2nd steep 3min at 200F)

  • Rooibos Peach

    

    I do like Rooibos teas. They work great hot and iced, and flavored Rooibos' can be really nice. This one did have a 'fruity' taste, but it was not distinguishable as 'peach' for me. Now that could be because it's not flavored strong enough, or I'm simply too used to crystal light peach flavored drinks, which are very strong in comparison.

  • White Peony

    

    The dry leaf smell was very reminiscent of, well, dry leaves. Like the start of Autumn; when green is just starting to turn to brown. The tea itself has a mild flavor that a bit of sugar helps bring out more. I'm not usually a fan of 'light' teas, because I have hard time tasting them, but this one I can actually taste and can appreciate the subtleness. ... 1st steep: 3min at 180-190degF .. 2nd steep: 4min at 180-190degF

  • Pu-erh Dante

    

    Can't say I enjoy my tea tasting like hay. I did try doing the first rinse. I was amazed with how dark the tea was in just 30 seconds, but the second steep at 3min was even darker. The first steep did have a fishy smell and taste. I was too curious not to taste. Thankfully that went away for the second steep, which had a warm hay scent and taste. I managed to drink down the whole cup, but I wasn't a fan.

  • Rooibos Orange

    

    The smell of the dry tea was a bit off-putting (not unusual with rooibos) - reminded me a bit of orange soda. The flavor does come across a bit more artificial than natural. But with a bit of sugar and creamer it is still a nice, sweet cup.

  • Green Pekoe

    

    I can barely taste it. Not too far off from just hot water. I steeped 4min at about 180degF. I got an extremely light color and barely any distinguishable flavor.

  • Lapsang Souchong

    

    The CommuniTea packet smelled like barbecue. I wasn't a fan of the Lapsang in the Bonfire tea, but I made a small sample to try it straight anyway. I wasn't surprised to find that I still don't like it. I even put some brown sugar in, because, y'know, brown sugar goes well with barbecue. And so it then tasted like sweet barbecue. Not much of an improvement.

    I saw someone else mention they used it as a meat rub. I'm going to save the rest and see if I can find a recipe to try instead.

  • Cream

    

    A nice black tea. In both my CommuniTea sample and my 10cup sample from the Sweet Tooth Teas box, I don't really notice the cream flavor, I would prefer if it were stronger. But then again I'm used to adding cream/milk to my teas anyway. Perhaps if I compared it side-by-side with an unflavored black tea the cream flavor would stand out more. For now, it's a decent black tea. I switch between drinking it with a bit of additional cream and sugar, and using it to cut down spicier teas.

  • Jade Snail

    

    This is the second rolled tea I've tried, the first was Gunpowder, but I was still amazed by just how big these leaves actually were. It's so fascinating watching them unfurl. I managed 3 steeps from this, all had a nice flavor.

  • Honeybush

    

    I love sweet teas so I naturally gravitated to Honeybush. Not a strong flavor on its own, especially when comparing to Rooibos (which I also enjoy). But it does have a woodsy sweetness. Works well iced, or as a milk tea base, but I do prefer mixing it with other flavors or teas.

  • Golden Monkey

    

    I love the golden look of this tea. I steeped it twice, 3 and 4 minutes at a near boil. When I sipped it before adding anything to it my amateur taste really didn't pick up any flavor. I added a bit of sugar and it brought out a smoothness and flavor that was lighter than the Scottish Breakfast (I know that's a mix but I don't really have anything else to compare it to). Whereas the Scottish Breakfast would be a brisk wake-up call, this tea see, to be able to achieve the same goal but in a calmer way - if that makes any sense. I didn't get any bitterness from this.

  • Thai Tea

    

    I was able to steep this twice. The first for 5min at 200oF, the second for 8min at 200oF. My first steep I tried iced, with a spoon of sweetened condense milk. I probably added a touch too much condensed milk because it seemed like the tea flavor was overpowered, and had a powdery aftertaste. The second steep I drank hot with a bit of sugar, and whatever condensed milk I didn't bother to clean from the spoon (very little). I definitely liked the second steep better. I don't know if it's that it was hot, or because it had less milk, but much more flavor came across. I could actually taste the coconut. I only wish I had tried it hot the first steep, I can imagine how much better the flavors might've been.

  • Scottish Breakfast

    

    A lovely rich, black tea. Goes well with milk and sugar. Smooth, malty. I can get 2 steeps out of a serving.

  • Gunpowder

    

    I finally got a chance to try this tea by itself and learn a bit about it's flavor. I'm more used to flavored, sweet, or fruity teas, so I picked out the smokey notes in this tea right away - completely different to what I'm used to. Though it's nowhere near the lapsang tea I've tried before in terms of 'smokiness'; it's noticeable but it's not like I licked a piece of charcoal. I do also notice the earthy/grassiness, but again, I don't find it to be overwhelming. Would I drink this on it's own again? Probably not, I do still prefer flavored teas. But I wouldn't turn down a cuppa if someone offered.

  • Honeybush Apricot

    

    A good basic tea. I do enjoy honeybush and rooibos teas. Barely needs sugar. I've tried it iced, for which it's a nice iced tea but the flavor doesn't come across as strong as it would hot.

  • Caramel

    

    This tea definitley benefits from sugar and milk. I do wish the caramel was a bit stronger, but I also know from experience that it can be difficult to get a strong caramel taste with flavorants without it tasting too artificial. I did manage multiple steeps out of this though. Even if the second steep didn't really have the caramel flavor, it was still a nice black tea.

  • Rooibos Almond

    

    The almond flavor is very strong! In it's product description it is likened to marzipan and I tell you, that is spot on. As someone who is actually not a fan of super strong almond, I don't think I would drink this on it's own again. But I'm definitely going to experiment with mixing it.

  • Matcha Mate Grapefruit

    

    I was surprised that I liked this. I don't have much experience with matcha or mate, but I made this iced with milk and it ended up tasting very good. I like the citrusy note mixed with the green. It works.

  • Christmas Eve Herbal Tea

    

    I was pleasantly surprised by the spearmint and spice combination. It doesn't lean too heavily into either toothpaste or chai territory. It's a good mix. Definitely puts me in a seasonal mood.

  • Cinnamon Vanilla Herbal Tea

    

    The cinnamon is way too strong. Tasted like I melted a Red-Hot into my tea. I have to steep it with a different black tea to mellow out the flavor. I mixed it with both Adagio's Black Cream, & Bigelow's French Vanilla. Both work well to bring this to a manageable level of spice.

  • FRENCH VANILLA TEA BAGS

    

    Even after learning the difference between loose vs bagged tea. This is still a favorite of mine! Strong vanilla flavor. Goes well with sugar and milk.