85

At last, I have reached what I hope will be the pinnacle of my coconut journey. I’m really excited to try this one given all the love it has here on Steepster.

Also excited because I can’t remember whether I’ve had Nilgiri before. It might have shown up in a blend somewhere along the line but I don’t recall ever having tasted it straight before.

The coconut in here, being toasted, looks different than the coconut in other blends I’ve tried recently. It’s in long thin strips that look a little like flower petals in tea. The Nilgiri leaves are big, dark and sort of coarse looking. The fragrance of the dry mix is intense. Very volatile, almost alcohol-smelling.

After steeping I can really smell the tea more than coconut, though there’s a coconut note there, for sure. The tea’s aroma has a really pretty floral note to it that I wasn’t expecting. The liquor is medium-light amber.

I should say that I steeped this according to Premium Steap’s directions and put it at boiling rather than at a lower temperature, which I’ve been doing with other flavored blacks, mostly because it seems sometimes to bring more flavor out. Other times it doesn’t or doesn’t make a difference. But I wanted to go according to the book the first time with this one.

And yes, there’s a difference in flavor between toasted and nontoasted versions of coconut black tea, though not as much as I had expected, and though I’m not sure how much the Nilgiri contributes to the mix since I’m rather a Nilgiri neophyte. I have to say the American Tea Room version was pretty impressive notwithstanding its nontoastedness. That said, I’m really enjoying the macaroon flashes I’m getting from this, especially as the tea cools and especially in the minutes after sipping.

To me, the most impressive part about this is the blend. It’s not a black tea with coconut sitting on top so much as it is a tea that seems to be imbued with coconut flavor. Like they can’t really be separated from each other. I’m always pretty impressed by teas that manage to do this as it seems much more difficult to accomplish than just flavoring tea (though I have no idea whether this is true, it just seems that way because it’s rarer than an obvious flavoring).

The true test of this one will be tasting it in isolation without earlier coconuts still in my tastebuds’ memories, but so far it’s in front, with the ATR close behind. I could see this and the ATR coexisting in my cupboard much in the same way I can see The du Loup and Florence coexisting as though they’re similar, they’re different enough to be… well… different.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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