64

Hi guys. I know I continue to be scarce. It sucks, as I miss you. All I can say is yay for cooler weather! I’m actually cold in the house today, and craving tea for the first time in a while. And what exactly am I craving? Talk about 0 to 60 in 4 seconds… I go from being “meh” about tea to wanting something dark, smoky and as intense as possible.

I have been eyeing this one for a while, I just have, as I’ve said, been knocked off my singlemindedness as far as tea is concerned, and each time I try to stage a comeback it turns out to be too halfhearted to last. As it starts to get colder, I’m holding out more hope.

The first thing I noticed about this one is that it appears to have fluffed in volume between the time I opened the inner cellophane to the time I tried to close the tin. I don’t know whether this is how you’re supposed to do it or not, but with Kusmis I open up the inner cellophane packet, pour the leaves into the tin, and discard the cellophane. This is the first time the tea grew in volume so much that I couldn’t get the tin closed. It was slightly better after spooning some tea into the Breville, but I think it will take a few more servings before it isn’t a bear to close.

It has, as expected, an intensely smoky fragrance in the tin, heavier on the ash and lighter on the salty meat than some others I’ve tried. The liquor is lighter than I expected, a sort of dark honey color. The smoke mellows in the aroma; there’s some malty sweetness lurking under the lightly smoky overlay.

Now for the taste. Hmmm… I am a little disappointed, but I think there is user error here. I have to wonder whether I need to beef up the amount of leaf some (that could be why the liquor is lighter than expected) because it tastes a little faded to me. Almost watery. Kusmi teas are subtle, but in my experience so far that has never translated to watery. I must be rusty in my tea-making skills.

Despite the wateriness, it’s entirely not horrible. It has the smoke, which I was craving, but it doesn’t have the tar/pine/resin thickness of some lapsangs. Nor does it have much in the way of bacon, beef jerky, or other salted meat. I hesitate to conclude this without further experimentation, but my preliminary assessment is it’s a sort of lapsang lite.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Angrboda

I pour it into the tin like that too, but that’s not as much a question of what I think I’m supposed to do as it’s a question can’t be bothered with the stupid cellophane. :) The reason I have tins is so I won’t have to bother with that sort of impractical bag.

__Morgana__

I hear ya, Angrboda. Here I go dating myself, but I was never one of those people who just slit through the shrink wrap on the outside of their record albums and kept it on the album either….

Angrboda

Good lord, people did that? O.O

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Comments

Angrboda

I pour it into the tin like that too, but that’s not as much a question of what I think I’m supposed to do as it’s a question can’t be bothered with the stupid cellophane. :) The reason I have tins is so I won’t have to bother with that sort of impractical bag.

__Morgana__

I hear ya, Angrboda. Here I go dating myself, but I was never one of those people who just slit through the shrink wrap on the outside of their record albums and kept it on the album either….

Angrboda

Good lord, people did that? O.O

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer