76

Apparently I didn’t try this yet – Either that or I didn’t rate it. This is one of the three teas that my aunt sent me for Christmas from Pippins Tea Company in Toronto (which no-one else has ever logged, what’s up with that??) All of these teas came in a gold bag, but no product description and the name hand written on the outside. It’s a mystery! Well, not this one, since cream of earl grey kinda says it all.

I did this up in a T-Sac today, which I’ve closed in a different way than usual, to allow tonnes of room for expansion. I feel quite smart, but really I should have caught on ages ago. I just tucked the extra flappy bit inside and stapled the edges like a “regular” teabag. I have the size 2 ones, so it’s quite roomy, which I like. Watching the swirls of amber come out is one of my favourite parts of steeping.

I didn’t smell it pre-steep – Sorry! Once steeped the liquor is a golden amber, and looks like an ordinary black tea. I went light on the first steep for now, as I’m treading unusual waters, for me. The steeped smell has a hint of coconutty vanilla, which worries me. I loathe coconut! But, so does this aunt, so it’s unlikely to be coconut. There is also a really fruity smell hidden in the middle, I don’t know how to explain that. Maybe the cornflower blossoms they threw in there? They’re pretty, if nothing else.

First sip – Mild. Very mild. Missing the earl grey flavour here, but that’s likely because of my short steep (1.5 – 2 minutes). It’s sweet. I’m throwing the tea back in for another 30 seconds, see if that brings out its muscles.

Sipping again – Still weird. You can get the earl grey flavour at the end of the sip now, but I still get a hint of something coconutty. Starts off sweet still as well. I think that the “tea water” container at work has been contaminated by coffee, as something is weirdly coffee in this steep. I’ll drink it and I’ll try for a re-steep but I think that a proper measure of the tea will be done at home when I’m in charge of things like water temp. For now, no rating, as this was a weird example. It’d probably get a 65 – 70 if I were going to go numerically right now though. I’m coming to like it more and more as I go through he cup, but I definitely want to try again with some boiling water, that doesn’t have a hint of coffee.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

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Canada

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