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2168 Tasting Notes

78

This is another first flush sample I picked out from Upton in my last order.

I tend to like first flushes a lot but this isn’t anything terribly special to me. I’m getting a light muscatel with a nutty element and a slight bit of bitterness in the finish. I might need to try steeping this at a lower temperature to see what happens. Also Happy Earth Tea mentioned cold brewing their ff darjeelings so I may try it out with this one to see what happens. It’s ok but nothing to rave about. Perhaps my expectations are too high but I want my darjeelings to be truly sublime…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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90

Okay, I decided to try it again this morning at 3 minutes 30 seconds… it is a delightful assam. Malty and very rich, an excellent breakfast tea. There is something floral about it, but the finish is also spicy and strong. I added some soymilk to mine but no sugar. Might even be a bit better at 3 minutes only. Not the best assam I have ever had but definitely up at the top in terms of flavor. Assams are my favorite breakfast tea so I’m glad I got a lot of this! I also recommend checking out the Brahmin if you like a strong tea.

Sorry, Sil. I’m keeping it! :-P

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
looseTman

“Not the best assam I have ever had but definitely up at the top in terms of flavor.”
What is your favorite Assam? Have you tasted the Assam from Zen Tea Life? http://steepster.com/teas/zen-tea/30455-assam-mangalam-second-flush-ftgfop1

TeaBrat

No, I haven’t tried that one. I think my favorite assam was one from Simpson and Vail which they ended up discontinuing: http://steepster.com/teas/simpson-and-vail/30783-cream-of-assam-organic-rani-estate

looseTman

7 minutes ago
I haven’t had the S&V one. I thoroughly enjoyed the Zen Tea Assam. What is your current favorite Assam?

Sil

haha FINE! be that way! like my tea ;) the tiger assam from A&D is also damn good…

TeaBrat

@Tman, I don’t think I have a favorite right now, thanks for the possibilities!

looseTman

You’re welcome!

looseTman

One more: http://steepster.com/teas/andrews-and-dunham-damn-fine-tea/28374-tiger-assam I guess it skipped my mind as it’s $80/lb and not organic.

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90
drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
2168 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon here…
I drink this all of the time and it is SUPER GOOD!

Life is going great!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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90

This was my tea of the morning, so confident I would like it that I bought 4 oz…

I let this steep too long by accident (mornings are not my best time). It seems very thick and malty (a real spoonbender) but I just need to time it correctly before getting an accurate review/impression.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

you ever need to get rid of it because you decide you hate it, just give me a shout lol

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90

Yet another tea sachet sample from Steven Smith… in the interest of full disclosure I am generally not a fan of Earl Grey/bergamot based blends but I have to try it anyway… right?

For a bergamot blend this is pretty tasty. The black tea base is dark and rich and the bergamot is bright and flavorful. Gasp – an Earl Grey I actually like!? Most of them are obnoxious and soapy in my opinion.

A splash of soymilk just really made this perfect for me. I might need to keep some of this on hand… yummy. It seems so well balanced and artfully composed. On the list it goes. I rather wish I had purchased some more of this.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmmm good to know. Maybe this is one i’d be ok with.

TeaBrat

I was shocked I liked it!

Terri HarpLady

Sil, I’ll send you a sample. It really is one of the few Earls I can live with, & although I don’t drink it often, I have some because,…well, because Steven Smith made it! :D

Sil

sounds good terri!

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73

Another tea sachet sample to try from Steven Smith…

Eh I wasn’t terribly impressed with this chai for some reason. I’m finding the assam tea base isn’t really standing up to the spices and the ginger root seems much stronger than the other spices in the tea. Better with soymilk and sugar but probably won’t go on my list of things to repurchase.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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92

After lunch tea here for me…

I don’t tend to gravitate towards second flushes very often but I have quite a few first flushes and thought I’d at least try it based on the description.

This review is for the tea sachet version of this tea. It steeps up to be a medium orangy-brown. I really like the fact that it has a sweet, almost juicy finish instead of the stubborn astringency I find a lot in 2nd flushes. Has a light muscatel flavor and some woodiness. I wouldn’t really describe this as floral, only slightly in the aroma.

I’ll happily finish off the bag I have of this… IMO it was a bit better than the No. 47 I tried yesterday.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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78

Surprised at the meh sort of reviews this blend has received, I thought it was pretty good.

Definitely a lot of assam in here but the ceylons add a bright note. The keemun is likely my least favorite part, to me it makes the blend slightly muddy, it is very rich though and the bit of smokiness is a nice touch. A good eye opening breakfast blend… I enjoyed mine with a bit of soymilk!

Sorry for the short review but I’m late already.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
looseTman

Do you have any #18 sachet preparation recommendations?
Per SST’s website, 212*F / 5-min. / oz.? – Thanks!

TeaBrat

hmm. not really. I usually steep my black teas for around 4 minutes.

looseTman

Thank you.

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77
drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
2168 tasting notes

This came with the black tea sampler I got from Steven Smith teas today…

I love darjeeling (at least the first flush) so I had some pretty high expectations about this. It’s a blend of 1st and 2nd flush teas and came in a sachet.

The instructions say to steep this for 5 minutes which seemed a bit excessive to me. I went for around 4 minutes.

The aroma of the wet leaf is woody and toasty and the tea liquor is a medium reddish brown. I’m definitely getting the nutty and toasty notes from this tea but the fruit /flower flavor seems to be eluding me. I was hoping for some muscatel which I’m not finding anywhere. For a darjeeling, it is very mellow and gentle.

Overall, it’s fairly good but nothing I would bother to keep in stock on a regular basis. If I was going to buy one teabag form of a blended darjeeling it would be Mighty Leaf’s version. Still I am glad I tried it!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

Tea of the morning here, I am not wanting to get up today and was hoping this would help. This is a 5g sample from Upton tea Imports – the leaves inside are very dark, slender and curly.

I admit I forgot to set a timer so I have no idea how long this was really steeping for. I am getting some chocolate type notes along with spiciness in the finish. It would be interesting to compare this with the Imperial Bohea, which I really love. This isn’t as smoky as the I.B. from what I recall. I’m not sure I got the full flavor profile because of the timing issue but so far my impressions are very good. Definitely more on the mellow side of teas…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I am also a slow starter this morning. I stepped outside to pick some asparagus, radishes, & scallions, & by the time I got back to the house, my head was reeling & my chest was heavy from allergies.

TeaBrat

I’m ready to take a nap. :)

Doug F

I just received this yesterday from Upton. Waiting to have a second cup before I review it, but I like it a lot.

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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