515 Tasting Notes

89

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

AHHHHHHH.

Five minutes gives a heavy-bodied, creamy Assam, still with no bitterness, some malt, and a notes of roses in the scent. So, so good.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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96

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes.

A toasty, slightly smoky, slightly winey Keemun. Orchid notes in the scent. Mineral finish. Delicious.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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95

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped four minutes.

A very enticing blend. Creamy heft from the Assam, muscat from the Darjeeling, wineyness from Keemun, fruitiness from the oolong, and a hit of jasmine. Drinking my second cup in less than an hour. Soothing and delicious.

I find this one tastes better when made with slightly cooler water.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Marcel Duchamp

I’ve been wanting to try this one.

Michelle Butler Hallett

It’s very good. The jasmine is subtle.

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89

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

An excellent Assam. Bold, not bitter. Notes of freshly baked bread, roses, and sunshine. Medium to heavy body. Drenching Assam taste. Good malty pucker but not so astringent as to tear the mouth off ya. Sweet notes. I prefer it steeped a little longer.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

My favorite unflavored from Stash.

ashmanra

I have been passing through their catalog lusting for all the tea paraphernalia. (I may have purchased a couple of potty teacups but we won’t say for sure.)

ashmanra

GAH! Pretty, not potty! What a horrible autocorrect!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Stash carries gorgeous stuff. They were the first tea company I fell in love with. Back in university, 1989 onwards … the cafeterias had Stash bags, and I fell hard for the Orange Spice and Jasmine Spice. Some of their herbal blends were just plain weird, but I admired the creativity. Some of their teacups — oh, I swoon over them.

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100

1.5 tsp for 330mL water @100C. Steeped 4 minutes. Drunk bare.

Oh my GAWD.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had any Black Needle Yunnan, and this tea from Stash is very, very good. Liquor is dark brass. Notes of honey, musk, pepper and minerals. Clean finish. My favourite Yunnan. I forgot the leaves can be re-steeped and am kicking myself for tossing my leaves after just one cup.

Worth every penny, even shipping.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ approx 82C, steeped 3 minutes first infusion, four minutes second infusion.

So clean.

The jasmine seduces me. Potent but not perfumey. Never soapy. Just gorgeous.

Teagasm.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

I am desperate for a hit of Assam.

There is Assam in this delicious blend.

There’s also a fair bit of Keemun, I think, which can get bossy, but the Assam notes come out as the tea cools.

Damn Fine has never let me down.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81

1.5 tsp for 300mL @ 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

I am completely OUT of Assam. How the hell did this happen? The Tiger is not roaring. The Captain is lost at sea. Even the Gingia Estate tin is bare. I have some Kopili Estate Assam on its way to me, but damn it, I need Assam right now.

Scottish Blend will have to do. It’s not got the assertiveness, deep malt or raisin-y notes of some Assams, but for a CTC Kenyan (?) blend, it does very well. Plenty of black tea taste and body, provided it’s not oversteeped — I find at around 5 minutes its get all acidic and dark. Clean and mild finish. Dependable, and always better than I think it’s going to be.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Oh dear!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Oh dear that I ran out of Assam, or Oh dear that I’m being such a tea snob again? :)

I try never to run out of Assam. It’s something that when I crave it, nothing, absolutely nothing else will do. There’s something precious and irreplacable in those leaves.

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87

1.5 tsp for 300mL @ 100C, steeped 3 minutes, drunk bare.

A creamy Ceylon, lots of body and heft. I like it better at 3 minutes versus my former 5. Bright and brisk, with some pucker, and a very comforting scent.

There is no bergamot in this tea. It’s just straight up blended Ceylon.

This would be lovely cold-brewed for an iced tea. It also cries out for an afternoon tea party, with sandwiches and cookies.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

I’d before I got no copper notes from this tea. That was at a 5-minute steep. At 3 minutes, some copper comes out.

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98

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Some days, only Assam will do. My body craves Assam, craves something in those leaves that’s not in Darjeeling, let alone any non-India tea. No idea what that is. I still love Yunnans and Darjeelings and Himalayans and Keemuns and oolongs, but nothing can replace a good Assam. Steepsterite Claire recently commented she likes for her black teas to not only wear Doc Martens but kick her with them; a good Assam does that.

This Assam Gingia is a second flush and quite strong. Notes of malt, of course, but not suck-your-mouth-dry malt, molasses, honey, freshly baked bread,and sunshine. No bitterness. On a winter day, with yet more snow coming down, it’s a dire necessity. It’s TEA.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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