67

Another tea I picked up on my trip to St. Louis!

The leaf is so weird…. They are little balls. Tiny little balls. It reminds me of coffee grounds, but a little rounder. The wet leaves remind me of a mix of wet coffee grounds and something mostly digested that my cat would hork up.

All of which brings to mind the question – is there GOOD CTC leaf? Because if there is, this would probably be it. But isn’t that a bit like saying it was a good tax audit?

It brews up into a actually very pretty cup. Clear and a dark reddish brown. I see why they say it is like Assam – the smell is very similar. A bit of me fears the taste with such small leaves PLUS a similarity to Assam. But I will attempt it first with no milk or sugar (mostly because there is no room in the cup).

Okay, this isn’t bad! It’s got the cardboard taste I now know is ‘malty’. But when thinking about the quality of the malt taste, I still have to bring out the cardboard comparisons. This one isn’t gourmet but it isn’t a dirty, used Amazon box that’s been half way around the country and has little dings in the corners. This is a fresh cardboard box. Clean and shiny with a nice smooth outside yet to be roughed up by indelicate postal workers. The taste hits right in the middle of my tongue and sort of settles in, lingering after each sip, creating just a hint of dryness right there (but no where else).

There is a spiciness in the scent that I don’t really get in the tea until it starts cooling just a bit. It makes me wonder if a tiny bit of milk and sugar would bring that spice forward more. I might have to try that next time. This doesn’t seems as stout as the Kenyan tea from yesterday, but it isn’t a wimp by any means. It would hold up well to milk.

So this seems like a good solid tea. Not overly special but nice. Smoothish but malty (cardboard-y). I imagine for a stouter extending the steep time would work. I didn’t taste any bitterness at 3:30 so I’m not sure when (or if) that would show up… Anyway, good stuff but nothing I’ll be tempted to buy once my 2oz are gone. Probably.

ETA: Did a 2nd steep at 4:00 and it is still nice, clean cardboard. A little thin this time so I could have gone 4:30 probably but was just nervous with the small leaf size.

(Also, not as review-y but as an aside – this tea has seriously stained my teacup! I’m sure it will wash out but there’s a little ring around the top and everything!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
teaplz

Oh my god. That cardboard box explanation just had me seriously laughing out loud here. And I refuse to use LOL because that’s so internet-passe. snooty

Ahhhhh I LOVE your reviews. I get such a sensory experience when I read them!

Auggy

Hehe – yay! I think your reviews make more sense because you actually pick out tastes and I pick out… boxes. But that’s what comes to mind when I drink it! When I told the husband he took a sip and said “Yep, now I can taste cardboard.” So it’s not TOO far off. Just… weird.

sophistre

I think it’s helpful to me…I’m still at the stage in trying tea where it’s easier to compare the flavors in tea to other things, rather than to other teas. That may change eventually, but it gives me references I can immediately identify, which is helpful!

Oolonga

Am I the only one confused here? You are talking about cardboard taste but how can you actually know what it tastes like until you tried real cardboard first? I can understand the smell but taste?

sophistre

Well, since taste is tied intimately to our sense of smell, I think many times that substitution is quite common. Also, I have probably accidentally (maybe even intentionally) eaten stranger things than cardboard. I can probably vouch for this, haha.

Auggy

@Oolonga, well, considering I DO know what cardboard tastes like, I can fairly accurately say that certain tastes in tea make me think of that cardboard. Other people might have different associations with that taste, but with me the malty tastes in teas translates to cardboard (or paper bag at times). I rarely have anything malty so I cannot associate the taste with malted chocolate balls or milk shakes or whatever else form malt comes in. Also, sophistre raises a good point that smell and taste are tied very closely together. I smell cardboard pretty regularly (thus reminding and reinforcing those taste associations) but once again, avoid malted items pretty much entirely.

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teaplz

Oh my god. That cardboard box explanation just had me seriously laughing out loud here. And I refuse to use LOL because that’s so internet-passe. snooty

Ahhhhh I LOVE your reviews. I get such a sensory experience when I read them!

Auggy

Hehe – yay! I think your reviews make more sense because you actually pick out tastes and I pick out… boxes. But that’s what comes to mind when I drink it! When I told the husband he took a sip and said “Yep, now I can taste cardboard.” So it’s not TOO far off. Just… weird.

sophistre

I think it’s helpful to me…I’m still at the stage in trying tea where it’s easier to compare the flavors in tea to other things, rather than to other teas. That may change eventually, but it gives me references I can immediately identify, which is helpful!

Oolonga

Am I the only one confused here? You are talking about cardboard taste but how can you actually know what it tastes like until you tried real cardboard first? I can understand the smell but taste?

sophistre

Well, since taste is tied intimately to our sense of smell, I think many times that substitution is quite common. Also, I have probably accidentally (maybe even intentionally) eaten stranger things than cardboard. I can probably vouch for this, haha.

Auggy

@Oolonga, well, considering I DO know what cardboard tastes like, I can fairly accurately say that certain tastes in tea make me think of that cardboard. Other people might have different associations with that taste, but with me the malty tastes in teas translates to cardboard (or paper bag at times). I rarely have anything malty so I cannot associate the taste with malted chocolate balls or milk shakes or whatever else form malt comes in. Also, sophistre raises a good point that smell and taste are tied very closely together. I smell cardboard pretty regularly (thus reminding and reinforcing those taste associations) but once again, avoid malted items pretty much entirely.

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Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

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http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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