159 Tasting Notes
My first thought on tasting this was “must change water filter” The water here is so bad I never use it without filtering.
As always, a good strong brew is the answer, so I poured in back in the pot for another minute.
And it delivered. Sadly, the last of this batch. Off to buy some more this morning.
This is my second tasting of this. I don’t seemed to have logged the last one.
I’m not sure what the “Red Thunder” refers to, but the tea itself does have a reddish hue. If I looked at it in a glass I’d think it was Kenyan, but it isn’t.
It has classic Darjeeling character, but there’s a spice element. Most of the Red Thunder listed on-line is a Darjeeling Oolong, but this isn’t.
Best guess would be to say that it has an alluvial, rich soil that is altering the character slightly. A bit like others I could name, notably Daintree.
All in all, very nice. Classic Darjeeling, and then that mildly peppery aftertaste.
My companions had milk. I don’t imagine that worked at all. It looked very light. But they both enjoyed it.
Shared a KMF with “Mrs Devotea”.
Great rich taste as usual. It really is a good, hearty black tea. One must always make sure one asks for the Mao Feng, as T-Bar has two Keemuns, and they’re both good, but this one shades the other.
Mrs D. also loved it in her milk+sugar configuration.
After a week with almost no internet access, it’s great to be back!
So, I find myself in my back yard, in the light rain, sitting next to an open fire, making a billy of tea.
Into the billy with the water, and when it’s near boiling, I toss the tea in.
After it boils, i took it off and had a taste. Black and savoury, as to be expected.
But then, I did what you should always do when camping (even if it’s only pretend) and thats to add a decent glug of sweetened condensed milk.
Warming sweet breakfast bliss with some damper.
I have not added any notes for about 6 days, because my ISP has virtually shut down.And it’s come to this: Drinking Lipton tea-bag Darjeeling at McDonalds.
I did so at MvcDonald Noarlunga on Saturday. And it was pretty bad. But then again, it’s one of the worst McDonalds for anything.
Sunday, hit McDonalds Reynella. Slightly better. I think they filter the water.
Today is Monday, back at McD’s Moarlunga and I have been served the single worst cup of tea ever. Not even my mother-in-law had plumbed these depths.
I waited 15 minutes. So did the tea, apparently. It was lukewarm – and that’s being generous.
So, I asked for it to be re-made. To be honest, I was a little prickly.
The remake is a slightly hotter version of the rubbish I was served.
Here’s how it goes: McDonalds aim at “cheap and cheerful” and generally get that half right. I had enough of sulky adolescents when I had two at home.
The tea is rubbish. Lipton bags are not up to any sort of standard – I wish I’d just had one of the Dilmah bags under the other counter. They’re better for being stronger and I like Dilmah’s ethics.
So a poor product, made by the incompetent and the unwilling, served to a massive tea snob in a bad mood.
At least when I’m typing, I’m not drinking….
A tale of two tea occasions.
Last night, I was feeling great, needed a nightcap. This was the one. Great smooth minty finish to the day.
This morning, woken up in horrible condition. real belter of a migraine, and of course, urgent work to complete.
So I’ve been re-steeping last night’s pot for medicinal reasons.
It’s helping. The clean palate of the mint helps clear my head.
Unlike other additions to tea, mint does not seem to disappear from re-steepings. It’s just as perky as when it was first steeped.
I wish I was.
NEWS FLASH: I have something new to say about this tea.
Amazing, having added 25 tasting notes on it.
But something has happened.
I’ve been buying it from Cafe 16, which is around the corner from my house. It’s been a very consistent product. And I’ve had it two or three times hot at T-bar.
But the batch I picked up yesterday is suddenly different. It’s bigger, and the flavour is stronger. And I’m not sure I like it.
I took some to our son’s place yesterday, and I noticed it was different, but I put that down to different water, different equipment, not being able to find anything and the fact that the kitchen was a tip.
But this morning, under the highly controlled scientific environment of The Devotea Test Kitchen, I have made some up using Cyril the Transparent Teapot.
It is woodier, has a mushroom tang, is stronger, is deeper.
And I’m not sure I like that, The jury is out.
It’s like waking up next to your partner of many years to find they’ve changed. It’s an uneasy feeling to find a tea for which you have professed undying love is now different.
Different crop? Different batch? Substitution? I will be worrying about this all day.
After writing a piece on Kenyan Tea workers and with three Kenyan clients, it was time for me to put aside my disdain for Kenyan Tea and give it another go.
So, I invested in 50g.
I made this is a little white one-person pot, so I used a glass mug to appreciate the colour.
Kenyan tea really does have a distinctive redness. So do a lot of tea bags these days, which is a clear link.
As a CTC tea, it was very fine (not in a good way) and I gave it a quick steep.
It was a decent cuppa, but really nothing more. Quite tanniny, long lasting flavour on the palate, some Ceylon characteristics but a thinner taste.
I think the perspective I have on this tea is this: While there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s an opportunity missed to have something better.