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.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I am a lover of many things, but my passions include my records, tea and books (not necessarily in that order!) I embrace local food and good cooking as much as I can, and place great value on time with family and enjoying the bounty of nature. As of January 2014 my husband and I finally moved to the country to be closer to family and continue our journey in a family home. We have been wanting to do this for a couple years, so we are very excited to follow our hearts. We also have a wonderful kitty named Emma that is the princess of the house.

I am drawn toward good Chinese blacks, enjoy some herbals and the odd roasted oolong. Greens and whites can make me nauseous, but I will have flavoured ones on occasion. While I don’t yet adore puerh, I am giving it my best effort. Chamomile and coconut are the devil though, I wish they didn’t exist. Mint has been a particular favourite of mine since childhood, and I enjoy both flavoured and pure teas though unflavoured blacks are tops for me.

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: WOW. This is the cream of the crop.
71 – 80: This is a solid tea. I enjoy it, and would recommend it to others, but may not repurchase.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. May try again to improve.
41 – 60: Bleh. Might finish it, but it’s not to my taste OR just doesn’t impress me at all.
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.



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