Easy Tea Hard Choice

Recent Tasting Notes

Another tea from Dexter – thank you! So many tea’s from swaps, it seems like I don’t have my own tea.

I really enjoy these types of oolong’s. Charcoal with roasted notes to be found in the background. In this one I got some mineral notes as well. I appreciate that the charcoal notes in this tea aren’t so powerful that they don’t let the other flavours through. The brew is a beautiful colour – almost purple in the cup that I’m using.

The second steep didn’t work out too well – too bitter. But most likely due to my bad…water temp was too high, I think.

This is the type of tea that would be perfect on those crisp but sunny autumn days. I have enough for one more cup, and I’m gonna save it for that perfect autumn day.

Stephanie

Ah good call, does sound autumn-y

looseTman

Scribles,
Congrats on your 200th tasting note!

scribbles

Stephanie – yes, something about the charcoal and roastiness reminds me of fall :)

LooseTman – thank you for noticing!

looseTman

You’re welcome!

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When I opened the packet I couldn’t tell if this was an oolong or black tea. there was nothing on the packet to indicate which it was. the leaves were huge, twisted and dark chocolate in colour.

The steep was brewed for 2 minutes, below boiling. The colour was deep amber.

Took my first sip…aaargh – too hot! Burned tongue :(

Lesson learned. Waited a minute or two before taking another sip. Hmmm. This seems to be a little too fruity for my liking (burned tongue did not factor in my opinion). But, I kept sipping. As the cup cooled…WOW! Rich, thick honey flavour came through. I was convinced I wouldn’t like this, but it is so much better a little cooler.

Second steep was at 4 minutes. Let the cup cool a bit, and same sweet cup of honey.

Thanks for the sample, Dexter! It didn’t start too well for me, but ended up being really good!

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This is one of the teas from the BBBB, submitted by Tasty Brew I believe.
I didn’t write anything the first time I drank it. I just didn’t really have anything to say.
Today I tried going with more tea & less time, & I did enjoy the first steeping, approx 1 minute, but the steeps afterwards just weren’t that exciting to me, although they weren’t bad.

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First Easy Tea Hard Choice for me, thanks Dexter3657!

I can see how this is like Bai Hao Oolong but more oxidized—it has the same leafhopper-sponsored honey sweet, fruity fragrant notes and smoothness but a little more heft. It read initially to me as an extremely light black, but it also works if you kind of think of it as a heavier version of that oolong. It’s a little unusual (at least to me) and enjoyable, but I think I’d like it more on a warm spring day than this endless ice cold season. Will revisit when it warms up.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Thomas Edward(Toad)

Sounds good to me :)

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84

i think this one was my Favourite from the easy teas that dexter was kind enough to share with me. It’s not too light, and also has a fruity flavour to it that is unlike other teas like this that i’ve had. I quite like this one…even cooled (work distracted me!) it’s tasty!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Dinosara

Definitely my favorite too.

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71

backlog – i didn’t realise i’d already had this team – some came my way via the BBB box grab bag ;) it’s nice to revisit this since it’s been a while since i last had it. However, my perceptions are still the same. Not a bad tea, not a great tea…just average…

Final Count yesterday: 213 (not too shabby since i lost 6? hours to Ikea..18 teas)

Terri HarpLady

I brought all of my ‘grab bag’ teas with me this weekend, so hopefully I’ll get around to trying them all.

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71

sipdown! this was a share from dexter, who is awesome! Sadly, this one falls a little flat. It’s not a bad cup of tea but there is a floral note hiding in the tea that i am not the biggest fan on. It’s not enough to ruin the cup for me thankfully, but it is enough for me to pass on needing to pick this up. I appreciate the share though, since i was curious about these teas but missed the chance to try them recently :) thanks dexter!

Dexter

I agree, the couple of these I’ve tried have been just ok. At least you get to try them for yourself. :))

Sil

Yes! And I appreciate it a bunch madam :)

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68

thank you dexter for sharing this one with me. While this tea is on the sweet side, it’s also on the wimpy side. the flavours aren’t super strong, and there’s a bit of astringency to it that leaves my mouth a little dry. Not a bad tea, but there are for sure others that i’d prefer over this one most days.

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This isn’t really doing it for me either. This isn’t bold enough. Really light and delicate for a black, adding more leaf or longer steep didn’t seem to make it stronger, it just made it more astringent.
For the record mine wasn’t anywhere near as red as it shows in the picture.
I’m going to pass on this one.

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87

Sipdown, 103. When I made the last of this tea this morning, I was afraid it would be a little over strong, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It was super delicious this morning! Smooth, sweet, no hint of bitterness or astringency. I wasn’t as impressed with the other black teas from this company, but this tea I would actually reorder. Yum!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

seems to be the common theme heh

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87

Today I used a touch more leaf but pretty much the same steeping parameters… it turned out different, but good! People sometimes talk about a waffle note with Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black, and I have to admit I have never tasted waffles in that tea. But perhaps that put an idea in my head because this totally tasted waffley. For sure less fruit, and somewhat less caramel. But now a baked, doughy flavor that does remind me of waffles. This is definitely an interesting tea and definitely my favorite black tea from this company.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
caile

Sounds nice!

Dexter

You’re the second person I’ve seen that said this was their favorite. I’ve only tried the Red Jade – might have to make this my work tea for tomorrow.

Sil

yeah i wasn’t blown away by any of their teas but this one was my favourite.

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87

The third of the teas from Easy Tea Hard Choice that I ordered with the $20 credit they provided. I used my very conservative steep times/temps that I figured out from the other black teas. The liquor of this is relatively pale for a black tea but it already smells robust enough for me. Very fruity, but without that weird stomach-turning astringency that they get when over steeped.

This one is my favorite so far, definitely. It’s fruity but not overly fruity, and not particularly floral. There is a slight caramel note as well, which I love. Not astringent at all, smooth and slightly sweet. I still have to try the Red Rhythm again at better parameters but I definitely prefer this one to the Red Jade.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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81

Sipdown, 124. With a short steep time, a cool temp, and a moderately small amount of leaves, this tea works pretty well for me. It is quite fruity, slightly sweet, and moderately floral. There is also somewhat of a grain-like quality to this tea; not really malty, but slightly like toasted oats. Not my favorite Taiwanese black tea, but a pretty decent one when you get the parameters right.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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81

I could tell from the instant that this was done brewing that I would not be into it as brewed. With the Red Rhythm tea from this company I had followed the provided steeping directions on the box, which were 5g/8oz water, boiling, 3 minutes. This time I went for 5-6g/12oz (which is still a bit high for me) 90°C, 3 minutes. I think I need to go for less leaf or way less time, or both.

This is one of those teas that smells astringent. It has a particular scent that I encounter in black teas sometimes that just kind of turns my stomach. Taste is bitter and astringent. Definitely need to brew this one differently.

Ok, take two, because I have the time and I’m curious. Less leaf (3g? I eyeballed it), less time (1 minute). It still has a bit of that stomach-turning astringency smell, but not so much of it. Now it also has a fruity and floral scent. This is much better. Now it is pretty sweet and fruity.

Definite raisin notes, as well as a rich, cooked-fruitiness like jam. There is a hint of astringency, but it is almost like the fruity astringency of grapefruit. I still don’t love the tea because it’s fruity-floral in a way that doesn’t quite suit me. But I am still so glad I tried this one like this because it is a lot better and I am much more pleased with my experience.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Dexter

I am so happy to hear that I am not the only one who likes black teas steeped at a lower temp. 90 C for black seems about right for me.
I am not happy to hear that this is astringent even with the lower temp. I have all three of these blacks and haven’t tried any of them yet. LOL may let you play with it, once your find your perfect steep parameters let me know. :))

K S

I tend to use about 3g/12oz especially with new tea. Though the dryness of astringency doesn’t bother me, my stomach can’t handle some black teas especially Assam.

Dinosara

I updated the note with a new steep of it. I was using more leaf than I usually would as directed by the company, but this is one of those cases where that was a bad idea. With less leaf and less time (and still a lower temp) this is a much nicer tea.

ashmanra

I often do my black teas at 203F just to be on the safe side. Astringent tea makes my stomach very angry.

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Hello~ I’m glad to see the tea has arrived. Please try this steep method:
(1) Water 150cc/90˚C (2) Tea: 6 gram (3) Time: 1st Steep’ 50sec 2nd Steep’30sec 3rd Steep’60sec

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My teas arrived from Easy Tea Hard Choice today. The box and packaging are very cute. I pulled this one out first simply because I didn’t know what it was. I brewed up a cup and started drinking it before I read the notes on it. I agree 100% with Dinosara. It’s a little astringent per the brewing instructions and none of the other Taiwan teas I’ve had have had much astringency. Doesn’t work for me with this tea. I think next time I’ll use the same leaf amount but shorter steep times. It’s also not as juicy as the teas from Taiwan Tea Crafts. But maybe if I do shorter steeps I’ll be able to pull out some of the hidden flavors. So far not in love.

Dexter

Hmmmm Mine came yesterday. Haven’t tried any of them yet. Need to make a mental note about the shorter steep times.

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78

Sipdown, 113. Although I have 13 teas to go to hit my goal, I am quickly running out of options as Black Friday approaches. Almost all the black teas are some form of Taiwanese black!

I enjoy this one best with a cool steep temp, relatively short time, and moderate amount of leaf. Today there is a bit more honey to this, no astringency, and a bit of fruit. However, it still lacks a certain depth of flavor that I would have hoped for. Still, I am glad I found some steeping parameters that would let me enjoy what I had of this tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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78

More backlogs. Guess it’s the new norm for me.

Holy crap its cold in my office. No heat, yay! I submitted a work order so hopefully they will fix it soon.

With the conservative parameters this tea is much smoother but possibly a little weak. I might bump it to two minutes and see how it goes. Still, this is light years better than my first attempt. It is fruity and slightly sweet, with a light floral note hanging around the edges. There’s not a ton of flavors here, again because I think it’s a bit weak, but it is promising. I have a few more servings to play around with in the next two weeks.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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78

I ordered some Taiwanese black teas from this company after they posted a $20 coupon to the discussion boards, and after I tried some other Taiwanese blacks that I really liked.

So I brewed this to exact specifications provided, which was perhaps a higher tea to water ratio than I would normally. This one reminds me of the first Taiwanese black tea that I tried, rather than the recent ones. It’s a little flat, without a ton of flavor, honestly. It smells floral and a bit fruity. But no caramel, no chocolate, not really any honey. I’m not the biggest fan of naturally fruity/floral black teas for whatever reason. There’s also a bit of astringency here, but that may be related to the ratio.

I think I will try it with my usual ratio before I rate it. Interested to try the other blacks that I got as well.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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76

Steep Information:
4 gram tea + 180 ml boiling water.
Steep Time:
3 min

This is my personal favorite. Light, honey and the fragrance of grass together with woody hint. I can never have enough of this.

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100

Steep Information:
5 gram tea + 180 ml boiling water.
Steep Time:
3 min

Red Rhythm (also pronounced as “Hon Yun” in Chinese), is the 21th cultivar developed by Taiwan Tea Experimental Station (AKA TTES#21) Even for local people in Taiwan, it is hard to find quality TTES#21 as this is a very new cultivar, and are commonly grown by tea farmers.

This one is by far the best TTES#21 I found in the market. It has amazing citrus fragrance, of which very few teas could be compared with. If you ever see other vendors selling TTES#21, buy it and compare with mine. You will see the difference.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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