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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

The last few grams of my Jim’s Caravan.
I actually had this as a nightcap last night, and have re-steeped this morning. My tastebuds are cold-addled.
And yet, it cuts through, it’s smooth, it’s invigorating.
A good choice.

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

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

My morning Pick-me-up. It’swas hot already at 6:30am when I had this.
Great tannin tones on an ultra-gentle smoky base.
Wobnderful start to the day.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

This is only my second tea of the day; the first day of our new found democracy in South Australia.
i decided to replace the English Breakfast in the micro-cafe with Jim’s Caravan.
So. it’s infuser and paper cup time.
Great aroma and lovely tan colour.
The smokiness is just at the right level, the brackish warmth is very heart-warming.
A little cup of happiness.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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90
drank Jim's Caravan by Custom
159 tasting notes

Made up a batch of this yesterday afternoon.
For those not familar with it (and since only about 5 kilos have ever been sold at a guess, that’s pretty well everyone) it’s a Russian Caravan-like blend but with a fair amount of FTGFOP 2nd flush Darjeeling.
A good approximation is to buy a good quality RC and mix 4:! with a good 2nd flush Darjeeling. Or make your own RC.
So, I sat down in the late afternoon yesterday with a cup, and with the daughter of the “Jim” who the tea was blended in honour of (who is also my wife).
It was warm, there was a breeze, and it was paradise out on the deck.
Chattering parrots in the fruit trees added to the environment.
I guess drinking anything at that time was likely to work. However, the laptop battery was flat, and I was forced to make paper notes. (Kiddies, if you can’t remember the old technology of a pen and paper, look it up on the net. It’s ingenious!)
First note: CLEAN
I’d been shovelling mulch and moving rocks. Hot and thirsty as I was, the tea cut straight through.
Second Note: Smoky
Definitely a smokiness. There’s no lapsang in this mix, but the Keemun base seems to emit a hint of smoke.
Third Note: Vitality
Your tongue sparkles. This is what the darjeeling adds to the mix
Fourth Note: AAhhhhhhhhh
The lingering taste of an excellent cuppa.
Unpretentious in the extreme, this tea. I’ve created some really exciting teas, including custom heritage blends and a freaky chai for those who take it without milk, but I’m still proud of this one.
If anyone wants to create it at home and review it; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
sophistre

Heck, I would try it. It sounds delicious. Fair warning — I’ve never blended my own tea before. Disaster potential is perhaps fairly high.

Robert Godden

Just buy a good Russian Caravan, a good Darjeeling 2nd flush, and blend by weight. 80% RC.
And enjoy!
Belnding is always fun, even if you get it wrong. We had an old Latvian guy (85yo) at the tea shop, and he lost track while he was blending on of our Earl Greys. So we sold the resulting 2kgs of whatever it was as ’ Latvian Earl Grey", It was a big hit.

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83

Just having one of these neat – no milk, no sugar, no wineglass.
It’s silky smooth and refreshing.
Must remember to dig out the Quince version I have at home

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83

Just shot a video of me making this, should be up next week. Layered in a wine glass.
I should have sweetened the milk, but nevertheless, a very rewarding ‘dessert tea’ having just consumed china jasmine, pai mu tan, assam and darjeeling whilst filming three episodes back to back.
The wild cherry is interesting, but for this, I think the plain and the quince are better flavours. The cherry is lost a bit in the milk.
I might add chocolate and make it into a black forest cake tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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83

OK, made this as one of my famous layered rooibos lattes.
Layer of hot milk
Layer of vibrant red rooibos
Layer of froth
(I’ll shoot a videe of this soon, promise)
I like to take a few sips carefully to enjoy the full Rooibos falvour, then a quick stir and enjoy the milky goodness.
Sweet and invigorating

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
bikermonster77

where is this available?

Robert Godden

Not sure. I bought a tea shop and found 4 kilos in a cupboard. Oh, and I’m in Australia.
The origin of the tea is Germany, where they mixed German flavourings and Cherries with South African Rooibos.
If you can’t find it; have plain rooibos and a black forest cake.

bikermonster77

haha alright thanks for the input

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61

Thought I’d finish this one off while browing steepster and appraising the hornet’s nest I (somewhat) inadvertently stirred up.
It’s strong today, and it seems to match the slightly cooler, strong wind buffetting us here.
Nice tannins, earthy, real old-fashioned tea.
Probably the last decent cup I’ll get until I arrive home in 8 hours.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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61

Went back for another serve. Slightly weaker this time. Nice colour, nice aroma, nice taste!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
gmathis

And deserves at least 5 extra points for the name. Kerfuffle. Love it.

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61

Time for Clarence, a slightly bigger teapot, because it’s tea for two. Interesting mix of brown and black colours with a fair bit of really small stuff.
The liquor is reddish brown, the aroma quite Assamese.
I think it works better in my bertter half’s cup (white with two) than mine (black with oneish)
But pleasant. And my late Grandmother, who grew up in the Great Depression, would ne mighty impressed with the effort of recycling the last few grams of three teas to get more tea.
Basic tea, well made if I do say so myself!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 45 sec
mermaidcatch

I am not a fan of Irish Breakfast Tea. Nevertheless, I hope it was your “cup of tea.” :)

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

Now that I take no sugar in tea, I’m having to learn to love some teas again.
Funnily enough, the mildly smoky’s have become my absolute favourite blacks, while LS has not gone down well. It’s very, very savoury without sugar.
So making a cup at 5am was a little risky.
In sort though. it’s been a rough night and I need some invigorating.
This isn’t it. It tastes good, but sometimes, went you need your tea black and strong, the smokiness gets in the way.
I’m not going to blame the tea, rather my choice. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed it, I just might have enjoyed something else more,

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Veri-Tea

I’ve never thought to try sugar in Lapsang Souchong… I can see how it could work though.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

I’m doing some manly stuff – installing an espresso machine. So I need a manly tea, and the manliest of all is lapsang souchong.
Now I know everyone believes that the Chinese make this stuff, but I reckon it’s actually 6foot4, check-shirted, beer-drinkin’ Canadians along the Yukon (or is that in Alaska?)
Anyway, it’s lumberjack tea all the way, without the Monty Python-style aspersions cast upon these manly lumberjack men, and so as not to be sexist, manly lumberjack women.
So, I get out a dainty little teapot, and pop some in. And pour some hot water. 5 minutes along, and the kitchen smells like a manly campfire. I pour the tea, and it comes halfway up the sides of the very butch oversize cup I’m using. So I resteep it in Panda (that’s my smallest teapot, named after the Fiat Panda, the smallest car I’ve ever been in).
Ah, bliss! As I’ve noted before, the second steep is always less smoky, and the mixed 1st/2nd steep cup hits a lovely midrange note.
It’s refined and elegant.
I’m instantly transported to visions of the tea room at the Ritz in London, with elegant platters laden with sweet, sweet tea cakes and cucumber sandwiches.
A liveried waiter point me in the direction of the eclairs. But sadly, in my vision, there’s a bunch of lumberjacks wolfing them down.
A good cup of tea is a journey, indeed.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

With the discussions going on on this forum right now, I had to have some.
I did.
It was huge; it was a large cup of a very large tea.
And it was silky, silky, smokey.
mmmmmm
You either love it, or leave it for me!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

Ahhh yes, time for that first tea of the day.
Even though I’m sitting at my wife’s desk creating diagrams of social enterprise models, I am supposed to be outside digging up some rock-hard ground and old grass before the horror of the day (Should be about 39degC, or about 105F) really hits and then mowing the lawn.
So, for these manly pursuits, I need a manly tea. LS it is !
I made it in Cyril, my glass teapot, to better admire its leather-brown colour (OK, so not the manliest of starts there)
But the colour is that of a leather belt, or gun holster, or saddle. Very apt.
The aroma is that of a campfire, with a real pine forest feel.Camphor and campfire, saltwater and saltbush all roll through my mouth, it’s like a camping trip in a cup.
And the taste cuts through the mouth, extinguishing the sleepless night I had, and reinvigorates me in exactly the manly way I was after.
“I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK !”
I had put down MS publisher and picked up my garden tools.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Robert Godden

Second steep was interesting. Less smoky, more golden, still quite nice.

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88
drank Lapsang Souchong by Custom
159 tasting notes

After a crack at Taylors bagged version yesterday, decided I’d better redress the balance and have a real one.
And the difference is indeed mighty. My kitchen already smells like an open campfire. Don’t want to steep too long…
Hmmm, it’s a lovely round taste that circles your mouth. Strong enough to chew, but fades in a surprisingly dainty manner.
A great tea to take just before I head into the city for some work. Of course, my first stop is actually a tea shop.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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83

I am still feeling quite crappy after a bad night, and 4 cups of Pai Mu Tan, so here goes:
teaspoon of Superior Vanilla with pods in an ibrik (turkish coffee pot)
Steep in a little water for 2 minutes
Add a dash of honey, a shake or two of dried ginger and two split green cardamom pods (hang the expense)
Added some low fat milk and on the stove to slowly heat up.
The taste is wonderful. I’ll comment later on whether it worked

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 15 sec
Robert Godden

It worked a treat!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Congrats on a well done blending experience.

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87

A tale of two tea occasions.
Last night, I was feeling great, needed a nightcap. This was the one. Great smooth minty finish to the day.
This morning, woken up in horrible condition. real belter of a migraine, and of course, urgent work to complete.
So I’ve been re-steeping last night’s pot for medicinal reasons.
It’s helping. The clean palate of the mint helps clear my head.
Unlike other additions to tea, mint does not seem to disappear from re-steepings. It’s just as perky as when it was first steeped.
I wish I was.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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87

I might have to recreate this one, I do love it.
On my second cup. I have developed a head cold and a sore throat- it’s not been my week – and this is keeping me going.
It’s invigorating and head clearing. Keeps the doctor away!
Oh, and I have it sweet. It’s traditional!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec
takgoti

Eep, feel better! Good thing you have good tea!

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87

Minty and great, with breakfast, which is cheese and tomato on toast.
Wonderfully mediteranean feel with this meal, this tea, in this glorious sunshine ahead of a hot day.
Hard to resist a second cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec
Cofftea

Then don’t:)

Robert Godden

I didn’t !

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87

A lovely cup of a tea that remains a favourite despite it’s inadvertent creation.
I had to get up very early, and I’m not ready for anything heavy, but I wanted to move on from my cup or two of Jasmine an hour ago.
A mint tea can be a dessert, and I used it to follow some toast. The aroma has filled my office, and it keeps drawing me back fro another sip, and the inevitable second cup.
The green tea teases the palate; the mint smashes it to smithereens a millisecond later.
It’s the most exciting think happening in Adelaide at 5:59am, I am sure

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Veri-Tea

LOL I’m sure you’re right ;)

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

My 100th Tasting Note!
Our kids cooked us dinner last night, some Asian fusion stuff. We knew our youngest (Saxon) is a talented chef – he has worked for us as such in the past – but our older son Lucas also did a great job.
But… we were promised tea and it never came.
So, arriving home at 10:30, time for a cup.
I made the chai up about two months ago, and this was the last of it. Immediately, you know it’s going to have a more cinnamon taste, because it falls to the bottom over time, When we owned a tea shop, we had customers who would only buy chai when the jar was low.
So, out with a chai, 4 grams in 150mls of water for 6 minutes.
150 mls of skim milk, 1 sweetener and two spoons sugar (yep, diet time)
Steamed to a frothy 80 degrees, poured two steaming mugs, sprinkles on top.
A very worthy, sweet, delicious 100th note!
PS: Saxon’s partner Sarah was wearing a “No Woman No Chai” badge last night.

Jason

Congrats on hitting the century mark!

takgoti

Congratulations, indeed! ::cue applause::

By the way, “No Woman No Chai” is genius. I might need to gank that for unknown future use.

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Talking with Cofftea about chai and stuff, so I had to have one.
really frothed the hell out of it in small steaming jug. Piping hot, sweet, smooth, creamy, foamy.
At this moment, I am king of the world!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Just tried this using the steam wand method but without sugar or any other sweetener.
Just doesn’t work

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 45 sec
bikermonster77

what is the steam wand method?

Cofftea

Yeah, ditto Chris’ comment. Although I never add sweetener to chais.

Robert Godden

I put this chai, which is my own recipe if you check it out, in about a third the normal amount of water and then let it steep.
Then I put the liquor, COLD milk and sugar in a frothing jug and steam it on the steam wand of an espresso machine.
Pour it into a cup, latte style and sprinkle with powdered cardamon, cinnamon and sugar.

Cofftea

@Robert, I can’t reach my stove so I do it that way too- except I microwave the mixture… unfortunately I’m very good at scortching the milk and making a huge mess…

Robert Godden

The microwave is the natural enemy of a good cup of tea.
Microwaves were entirley invented for warming scones to have with one’s tea, and any other use is the work of the devil.

Cofftea

Yeah well, when you’re in a wheelchair in a home that isn’t built for one sometimes you have to make due. It’s better than having no chai at all IMO. And unfortunately mom refuses to let me use a hot plate so that’ll have to wait til I move out.

Robert Godden

I once bought a house that had been built for someone in a wheelchair, and it taught me a fair bit.
Everything was really low, so for example, everytime i missed a light switch by hitting the wall above it, it reminded me that I was fortunate.
A microwave is a matter of choice for me, but is clearly it is essential for you and I should not be so flippant.

Cofftea

And I’m not average height either. I’m only 3 ft 8… which is one of the reasons I don’t walk w/ leg braces and a walker. Since I’m so short I feel safer in a chair. Especially in the winter.

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96
drank Smooth Chai by Custom
159 tasting notes

Just attacked the espresso machine again to make this.
Made 100ml strong tea. As an experiment, I left the infiuser in the jug while I heated the milk and sugar to 70 deg C.
mmmmm, it’s smooth. I love the way the spices line up in order on your pallet. Sugar / Cinnamon/ Cardamon/ tea/ milk / aniseed and cloves. Then sip again

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec
Robert Godden

Might have to up the black pepper quantity.

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