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I am surprised by some of the negative reviews of this Namring Estate 2nd Flush Darjeeling sourced for the Steepster Select February sample pack from Upton Tea Imports. Perhaps some of the reviewers do not like darjeeling? It’s also easy to ruin by oversteeping…

My batch tastes very good. The packet contained 3.6 grams, for the record, so perhaps that’s why the liquor was a bit lighter amber than the darjeelings I imbibed yesterday. No matter, I kept the steep time short and found no bitterness whatsoever in the glass. In fact, this was good enough that I am now contemplating placing an order at Upton, which I have not done in quite some time, but in truth they were the company which opened me up to the higher echelons of tea!

To be honest, I quit Steepster Select because 2 out of 5 of the samples of that pack were from Upton, which sells fully curated tea samples of 10 gram for $1 or $2! It seems wrong to claim “curation” credits for pre-curated teas. I don’t need samples which are smaller than the ones Upton offers for triple the price! I expect true curation to involve some factfinding missions beyond visiting the Upton Tea Imports website, which I am perfectly capable of doing all by myself. Steepster didn’t even bother to say whether this is FTGFOP or TGFOP or SFTGFOP1! This information is readily available at the Upton website for all of their teas. Go there and search for Namring, and you’ll find a whole slew of good darjeelings.

The good news is that I have been inspired by this Steepster Select “curation” to pay a visit once again to Upton Tea Imports, all of whose teas are fully and impeccably curated and sold at very reasonable prices. I used to love how the labels came printed with the customer’s name. I wonder whether they still do that? We shall see…


second infusion: I am not at all convinced that darjeeling tea is supposed to be reinfused, but it said so on the Steepster Select packet, so I tried. it tasted like dishwater, so I tossed it.

(Blazing New Rating #69)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML
TheTeaFairy

I can’t get Steepster Select in Canada, but that was very informative…

Cheri

I felt like the Steepster Select was just really expensive for what you get. I got some good teas, I got some teas I really didn’t care for, but I didn’t get that much tea, especially for that they would charge for it. (I got a free box.)

TeaBrat

I’m not normally a big fan of 2nd flush darjeeling but I didn’t think it was terrible.

sherapop

Cheri, I joined at the cut rate, which seemed like the right price ($10) for what one receives. The regular price ($25) is kind of ridiculous, given the number of companies in existence which essentially curate teas (they are not producers) and offer good sample programs. Compare the price of a Teavivre sample set, which includes 10 samples of 7 grams (more or less) for significantly less. More tea for less money, and it’s curated by tea experts, not hobbyists. I like this website and community, but Steepster Select is not really offering much of a service for the price being charged. Some of my samples were scantily filled, which was especially annoying. How skimpy can one be—I mean, tea is not that expensive!

TeaTiff

I was also surprised by the ratings of this tea. I really enjoyed the flavor of this tea. It actually led me to experiment a bit more with Darjeeling.

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TheTeaFairy

I can’t get Steepster Select in Canada, but that was very informative…

Cheri

I felt like the Steepster Select was just really expensive for what you get. I got some good teas, I got some teas I really didn’t care for, but I didn’t get that much tea, especially for that they would charge for it. (I got a free box.)

TeaBrat

I’m not normally a big fan of 2nd flush darjeeling but I didn’t think it was terrible.

sherapop

Cheri, I joined at the cut rate, which seemed like the right price ($10) for what one receives. The regular price ($25) is kind of ridiculous, given the number of companies in existence which essentially curate teas (they are not producers) and offer good sample programs. Compare the price of a Teavivre sample set, which includes 10 samples of 7 grams (more or less) for significantly less. More tea for less money, and it’s curated by tea experts, not hobbyists. I like this website and community, but Steepster Select is not really offering much of a service for the price being charged. Some of my samples were scantily filled, which was especially annoying. How skimpy can one be—I mean, tea is not that expensive!

TeaTiff

I was also surprised by the ratings of this tea. I really enjoyed the flavor of this tea. It actually led me to experiment a bit more with Darjeeling.

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Bio

A long-time tea and perfume lover, I have recently begun to explore the intersections between the two at my blog: http://salondeparfum-sherapop.blogspot.com//

I participate at fragrance community websites, and I care about tea as much as perfume, so why not belong to Steepster as well?

A few words about my ratings. In assessing both teas and perfumes, my evaluation is “all things considered.” Teas do not differ very much in price (relative to perfumes or any luxury items), so I do not usually consider the price when rating a tea.

What I do consider is how the particular tea compares to teas of its own type. So I might give a high rating to a fine herbal infusion even though I would never say that it is my favorite TEA. But if it’s good for what it is, then it deserves a high rating. There is no point in wishing that a chamomile blend was an Assam or a sencha tea!

Any rating below 50 means that I find the liquid less desirable to drink than plain water. I may or may not finish the cup, depending upon how thirsty I am and whether there is another hot beverage or (in summertime) a source of fresh water available.

From 50 to 60 indicates that, while potable, the tea is not one which I would buy or repurchase, if I already made the mistake (I have learned) of purchasing it.

From 60 to 70 means that the tea is drinkable but I have criticisms of some sort, and I probably would not purchase or repurchase the tea as I can think of obvious alternatives which would be better.

From 70 to 80 is a solid brew which I would purchase again.

From 80 to 90 is good stuff, and I probably need to have some ready at hand in my humble abode.

From 90 to 100 is a tea (or infusion) which I have come to depend on and look forward to imbibing again and again—if possible!

If you are interested in perfume, you might like my 2300+ perfume reviews, most of which have been archived at sherapop’s sillage (essentially my perfumelog):

http://sherapop.blogspot.com/

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Website

http://salondeparfum-sherapop...

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