87

Den’s tea sample numero uno. I’m fascinated by the suggested temperature and steep times in the pamphlet that accompanied the sample “kit.” 15 seconds. Boiling. It’s intriguing enough that I have to follow it at least for the first try and see what happens. I just hope my reaction time is quick enough to be able to get the filter out in 15 seconds. Heh.

The leaves are uniformly brown but have gradations from a light milk chocolate color to a dark chocolate color. And they smell like…. toasted rice! Really toasted rice. Like the kind of toasted that sticks to the bottom of the pot and starts to carmelize when you don’t get the water/heat ratio exactly right. Fortunately, I’ve always loved that smell. :-)

At 15 seconds I get a liquor that is a tawny golden yellow, and a toasty aroma reminiscent of some oolongs but less intense and less full. The flavor, however, is surprisingly green! There is a roasted, nutty note, but mostly I taste a celery-like, sweet green flavor, with a bit of a rice-like flavor mixed in which I think is mostly coming from the aroma.

The second steep (20 seconds), brought out a slightly deeper, less green flavor, but I preferred the first steep. Next time I’ll go 15 seconds on the second as well and see what happens.

Like this one. Like.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Jillian

I take it you got the novice green tea sampler too? I’m working my way through mine right now – it’s good stuff. :)

Ricky

Woah everyone’s having Dens!

__Morgana__

Yes, it’s an epidemic!

S

This sampler sounds so neat! Did you get an extra sample of sencha in your order? I want to try the Apple, Grape, and Orange senchas, but am thinking maybe I’ll just cross my fingers and hope they send a sample of orange sencha my way?

Cofftea

Shanti, you may not get a free sample of orange for a while- it was the free sample last month (or was it Feb?) so it may not come around again for a while.

Cofftea

Morgana- Japanese greens are now my favorite- partly because they all have different steeping parameters. I’ve yet to find out if other teas (Chinese greens, for example) are all prepared differently.

__Morgana__

@Shanti — looks like I got Organic Sencha as my lagniappe. Not sure whether this is what they’re giving as the “seasonal” choice with all the intro packages though.

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Jillian

I take it you got the novice green tea sampler too? I’m working my way through mine right now – it’s good stuff. :)

Ricky

Woah everyone’s having Dens!

__Morgana__

Yes, it’s an epidemic!

S

This sampler sounds so neat! Did you get an extra sample of sencha in your order? I want to try the Apple, Grape, and Orange senchas, but am thinking maybe I’ll just cross my fingers and hope they send a sample of orange sencha my way?

Cofftea

Shanti, you may not get a free sample of orange for a while- it was the free sample last month (or was it Feb?) so it may not come around again for a while.

Cofftea

Morgana- Japanese greens are now my favorite- partly because they all have different steeping parameters. I’ve yet to find out if other teas (Chinese greens, for example) are all prepared differently.

__Morgana__

@Shanti — looks like I got Organic Sencha as my lagniappe. Not sure whether this is what they’re giving as the “seasonal” choice with all the intro packages though.

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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