J-TEA

Recent Tasting Notes

87
drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
4729 tasting notes

this tea comes to me via the BBB Box and specifically from tastybrew. let me tell you, since having this earlier, i’ve been kicking myself for not having it sooner. this tea is a smokey tea for sure. It’s not overly so, but i have been known on occasion to tolerate more smoke than your average person :) What i really like about this one is that there’s also a sweetness here that reminds me of honey, without being exactly like honey. I’m going to enjoy drinking this one while i’ve got it! thanks ladies! always a fun time trying new things :)

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80
drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
228 tasting notes

I tried this for my first tea of the day and as the name suggests, it’s a good fit for breakfast. It comes to me via Miss B :-). It is a full bodied tea and the first smoky tea I’ve actually liked. The smoke is extremely subtle, so it doesn’t make me feel like I’m drinking a camp fire. I would say more than anything that it just lends a rough, husky quality to the taste, if that makes any sense at all. As the tea cooled, the orange and the sweetness of the tea really came out more. All in all, it was a pleasant cup. Not too complicated and bold enough to wake me up, but it’s not something that I would need to keep around.

Flavors: Honey, Orange, Smoke

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This is one of Tasty Brew’s offerings for the Spring round of the BBBB.
It’s certainly an interesting idea, & I approached it with a mixture of fascination & reluctancy, if that makes sense to anybody. For those who know my history (a grand tale of addiction, an intensive wild youth filled with various substances, & although I wouldn’t change it, it definitely included some very low points), I tend to not care for most alcohol-like things, not because I’m afraid that they’ll send me into a relapse after 30 years clean & serene, (there is no actual alcohol in the tea), but really just because I don’t care for the taste. Or the smell.
But I was still fascinated. I mean, this was aged in a Bourbon barrel! It’s got to be interesting, right?
I wasn’t sure how much tea to use, or for how long, so for the first cup I went with:
1.5 tsp + 8oz X 3min/5min
Too weak :p
I should have gone with a full Tb. We live, we learn.
Initial perceptions? meh…I really want to be amazed by this, but I wasn’t.
Call it ‘user error’. I’ve made a note on the package to up the dose next time, & I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

TheTeaFairy

It does sound intriguing though…

inranger

Too bad, being an occasional bourbon drinker it sounded like a wonderful marriage.

Terri HarpLady

Tea fairy, I’ll set aside some for your next box ;)
Inranger, after sampling it, I read all the reviews, including the back story. Everybody else loves it, so next time hopefully I will too.

TheTeaFairy

Dunno what you mean Lady :-/

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82
drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
1108 tasting notes

Interestingly, this tastes almost ridiculously similar to the Bourbon barrel aged puer I grabbed from these guys in the same order. It’s thick and sweet, almost crunchy sweet if that makes any sense, with a smokey orange in there as well. I can tell this is a really great tea, and will rate it accordingly, however it’s just… something I think others will enjoy more.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Orange, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Stephanie

I still need to get my hands on that Bourbon barrel puerh!

whatshesaid

Interesting!!

TeaBrat

I just want some bourbon, let’s skip the tea. ;)

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I think it’s been about a year since Sil & I first started talking about the BBBB.
We wanted a TTB that was small – 4 people. Each person would add an oz of tea for the other 3 people. It could be one single tea, or half an oz of 2 teas, or whatever. We wanted it to be mostly black tea though, cuz that’s what we love the most. It would give us the freedom to sample teas that normally didn’t come in sample sizes.

The first round started in Oregon, came to St. Louis, went to Toronto & Thunder Bay, Ontario. It moved faster than any TTB I’ve ever been part of, because it was simple. Just take out your bag of teas, add in what you’re sharing, & drop it off at the PO. It was awesome! We were all giddy as school girls when the box came. We still are!

The first couple of rounds moved fast. We had SO MUCH TEA! LOL! We lost one member, but Tasty Brew added a grab-bag, & gradually we calmed down, so that the box is moving a little slower now, which is really good, because we all have plenty of tea to drink anyway, & the slower pace gives each of us more time to find interesting things to share! I never know what I’ll find when the box comes: random tea samples, puer, a card…this is our 7th round, & it always makes me smile.

BBBB sisters, you are awesome!! This has been so much fun. I’ve calculated our 1 year anniversary to be July 27th! Let’s party on!

Regarding this tea, from the BBBB, provided by Tasty Brew in our most recent round, it is delicious! Perhaps not as bold as some, but it’s not boring either. Not every black tea needs to slap me into awareness! A little fruity, & kind of spicy in a sweet way. It has a really nice chocolate layer to it as well, & the flavors build nicely together with each sip.

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62
drank Minto Oregon Grown by J-TEA
372 tasting notes

I picked this one up after reading reviews from TastyBrew and Geoffrey Norman.

While I probably wouldn’t buy any more of this batch, it was very fun to try. I would probably buy a sample of this year’s production (if there is one) just because of the novelty and to see how things develop. This tea smelled and tasted like watery honey and freshly chopped dandelions to me (the latter being not a good thing). Still appreciate that there is someone is growing tea in the US!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank Minto Oregon Grown by J-TEA
2859 tasting notes

This sipdown is courtesy of TastyBrew, who included in the BBBBox.
This really reminds me alot of the Luku Hong Cha Taiwanese Black that I drank a few days ago. Not really something that appeals to me, but it is cool to know that it was grown in the US.
360

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drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
2859 tasting notes

I’m starting the day off with a sipdown of one of the BBBB teas, compliments of Tasty Brew. A nice smooth cup, rich & mouth filling, with a pleasantly deep sweetness, & a bright fruity finish. So often tea companies have descriptions for their teas that are way over the top, but this company seems pretty down to earth, using words like molasses & mango, & I taste where they are coming from.

Sil

oooh i need to try this soon!

Terri HarpLady

In my opinion, it likes a long steep, like 5min…just sayin’!

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80
drank Chai Chai by J-TEA
1108 tasting notes

Weird, I thought I’d had this already, as the package was open. Yet… this is my first tasting note. Well, enjoy it, whomever I sent some to! :) This is a basic chai, nothing really stands out other than some sweetness from the cardamom. Tasty!

1.5 tsp in 12 oz.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87
drank Bourbon Barrel Puer Tea by J-TEA
1108 tasting notes

Grabbed a small pouch of this to try, along with some others in J-Tea’s lineup. This tea was the main reason I made an order, and so it made sense it’s also the first I’m trying.

And.. wow. It’s like pu-erh candy. It’s still a pu-erh, however it’s faint and definitely in the background. I get more wine candy, red berry richness, something tannin, woodsy (in a rich, chocolatey way, not a rooibos way). I have some red wine here, and this tea is considerably sweeter and more full bodied, which surprised me. I do get the pu-erh coming through the more it cools, and it adds an earthy, sharp, mineral taste. It’s almost too sweet with added sweetener.

And.. wow. It’s like pu-erh candy. It’s still a pu-erh, however it’s faint and definitely in the background. I get more wine candy, red berry richness, something tannin, woodsy (in a rich, chocolatey way, not a rooibos way). I have some red wine here, and this tea is considerably sweeter and more full bodied, which surprised me. I do get the pu-erh coming through the more it cools, and it adds an earthy, sharp, mineral taste. It’s almost too sweet with added sweetener.1.5 tsp in 12 oz.

Flavors: Berries, Honey, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Stephanie

oh man, I want it!!!

MissB

Shipping was a bit … interesting. $7.50 I think for $20 worth of tea, and then he contacted me asking for another $7.50 – which I paid yet complained about, then was refunded that amount. I can send you some if you’d like, although they do sell it in sample sizes.

Awkward Soul

ooh that sounds interesting. I’ll have to check this place out.

Sami Kelsh

Wowzers, that sounds cool! I’m suitably intrigued :)

Stephanie

Whew, yeah I just checked it out on their website. $16 for one ounce of tea because of shipping?? That’s a bit too rich for my blood. I appreciate the offer to send me some to try, but I’ll probably just pass and not pursue this one. Shame though because I tend to love anything bourbon barrel aged! (Beer, etc)

Cheri

I may have to look into getting this one, too. Bourbon barrel anything is awesome.

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drank Minto Oregon Grown by J-TEA
2859 tasting notes

Thanks to TastyBrew for including this one in the BBBBox!
The leaves aren’t pretty, they are fragile looking & a little clumpy & irregular.
The tea itself is very gentle, it kind of reminds me of a very light Ceylon with that kind of ‘even’ taste, combined with a little of the fruitiness of a Taiwanese black.
It is, of course, neither tea, but it’s own product of the terroire from whence it came. I’ll use more leaf next time, to see if I can get more flavor, as it was a little bland, at least for my palate. Still, nice to sample it! Thanks TB!

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drank Bourbon Barrel Puer Tea by J-TEA
132 tasting notes

I… wow… I really like this.

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95

I haven’t so much been in a tea funk, but a steepster funk. I’ve still been trolling around in the background, but since we got back from vacation, and I got out of the steepster habit, I haven’t been motivated enough to actually write anything.

Until I had this tea. YUM!!! This tastes like a super rich version a TTC black 4 seasons tea, or maybe a cross between the 4 seasons and the golden dragon. Regardless, it’s amazing. Sweet, cinnamony, jammy, delicious. Super stoked by J-Tea. One of these days I’ll have to drive the 1.5 hours down to Eugene and check out his shop. I just joined his tea club too. Very excited!

BBB ladies, I bought enough of this to share with you and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. It’s not a bold chinese tea, but still….

Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Jam

Sil

YAAAAAY!!!

Terri HarpLady

Glad to see you, TB, I’ve been wondering where you were! :)

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drank Eugene Breakfast by J-TEA
2859 tasting notes

This is one of TastyBrew’s offerings for the most recent BBBBox.
It’s a very forgiving tea, as I oversteeped it & it was still very drinkable. It’s a yunnan type, nice & smooth, but there is also a tart quality to it. Nice before & with breakfast!

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89

This was a fun tea to try. It was very sweet, fruity, with some vanilla and oak flavors. The tea was very smooth, and left my mouth with a cool spearmint-like sensation. I wasn’t that fond of this tea at first, but by the second cup, I was really enjoying it. This is the one puerh that I am tempted to add sweetener to.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Sweetening intensified the bourbon to me.pretty strong on that first steep!

CharlotteZero

Next time I brew some I will see how it is with some sugar. Maybe brown sugar?

CharlotteZero

Maybe honey?

Bonnie

Brown or regular sugar…sometimes honey has it’s own flavor and alters things. I’d try a lighter sugar first, even agave.

CharlotteZero

Thanks, Bonnie!

Bonnie

They’re selling in the shop here and talking about doing something similar with a local distillery. Wouldn’t it be fun.

CharlotteZero

If your local shop does wind up doing a barrel-aged puerh, I hope you’ll write about it!

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Another tea from my J-Tea order. Very impressed with his teas. I’m super sick right now, but wanted pu’er and since I have plenty of this, I’m not too worried if I can’t taste it in all it’s glory.

This tea is delicious. That’s all I can say for now. Super glad I added it to my order. This will be the first tea I have when my taste buds are functional again cause if it tastes this good when I can barely taste it, I anticipate some mind blowing when I can actually taste it!

Courtney

Hope you feel better soon!

cryptickoi

rest up,get well..

__Morgana__

Feel better!

cryptickoi

that tea did make me curious…

caile

Hope you feel better soon!

Sil

hope you feel better soon!

Tea Sipper

feel better!

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drank Minto Oregon Grown by J-TEA
361 tasting notes

I’ve been looking for something interesting to include in the BBB and landed on J-Tea based in Eugene, OR. The owner, Josh, has an interesting selection of teas and I’m excited to try them all! I ordered 4 for now and this was one of them. As I’m a born and raised oregonian, I had to give this a try! Oh, and I placed the order late wednesday day night and got it first thing this morning. Granted, I’m only 1.5 hours away, but he packed it up right away and the USPS was at it’s finest!

On to the tea…The leaves are not pretty. More like leaves you that you’d sweep up. Some are large, some are small, broken and whole, all different shades. I was intrigued. I brewed up a cup in my test tube steeper so I could see the leaves. They floated. All of them. Right up at the top the whole time. I waited for some to drop and it never happened. When I poured it into a cup all I could smell was honey. Super sweet and fruity honey. Very nice. Not bitter at all and full of flavor. Overall a really nice afternoon cup when you need a sweet treat.

Terri and Sil this is coming your way! And a couple more from J-Tea in the next round.

Sil

finally here! lol

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drank Minto Oregon Grown by J-TEA
39 tasting notes

pretty good…it reminds me of a tung ting hong or a jin xuan hong… those teas always make me think of my moms rhubarb pie…110ml gaiwan 8g tea…

TheTeaFairy

Mmmm, mom’s tangy rhubarb pie…I remember those too!

cryptickoi

before she would make the pies mom would always tell us kids not to eat the pink “celery”..

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Don’t eat the pink celery, that’s so cute! As in don’t drink the Coolaid!
I used to eat it raw, no sugar au naturel , I still do, makes me do funny faces :-) It grows profusely in my garden…

cryptickoi

really?i thought it was mildly poisonous when raw..

TheTeaFairy

I don’t know how this urban legend started, that’s why I made the Koolaid reference (oops, just noticed the I wrote it with a C). If I’m not mistaken, the leafy part is somewhat poisonous, that’s probably why people think the «celery part» is too. But I can assure you it is juicy and delicious raw, I’ve been eating it all my life and I still haven’t turn into a mutant, lol!

cryptickoi

thanks for clearing that up…I shall give it a try..

TheTeaFairy

Let me know what you think, but I warn you it is VERY tart, so what you can do is put sugar or a sweetener of your choice in a little cup and dip your stick (ugh, now that sounds funny, doesn’t it???)

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100

I’ve kinda been living on this all week. But I hadn’t had it prior to a work shift. Luckily, I was up early enough to gongfu the heck out of this as a pre-funk for the work day ahead. I was on a bourbon barrel-aged tea drunk high all morning. Even broke out into song. At least five times.

Don’t judge me.

If you want to know the origin story of this tea, well, I was a witness!: http://steepstories.com/2014/01/07/bourbon-barrel-pu-erh-origin-story/

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100

It’s two days after Christmas, and this arrived with all the fanfare of an opening mailbox door. I noticed the label on the package, and immediately ducked inside. I’d been waiting to try this tea the moment I first heard about it. Heck, I was there during the initial brainstorming session. Over beer!

I’ve notched off a few barrel-scented teas, and this one is the strongest yet. The earthiness of the pu-erh is there, but it’s a runner-up to the rich, strong, smoked fruit notes of the bourbon barrel scenting. Wood, peat, gasoline, earth, and fireball sweetness all took turns pummeling my tongue. And that was just with gongfu-style.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

Finally got some from Eric at Happy Luckys Tea House and the first steep was like “wow, man that’s bourbon alright!” Really enjoyable.
Having experience working in a California winery (I’m from Northern California) my brain keeps imagining tea/wine barrel combinations as well as hard liquor.

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98
drank Top Earl by J-TEA
4323 tasting notes

Backlog:

My daughter and I visited Melody Tea House in Portland, and this was the tea that I chose. It was so good that I asked to buy an additional ounce of it so that I could enjoy more at home.

This is one of the best Earl Grey teas that I’ve tasted. I love that the base is an Assam base. It’s a strong, hefty base – robust! – and there are nice malty notes that add a nice dimension to the flavor of the bergamot, which is also good and strong in this tea.

This tea is one of my top five Earl Grey teas. I don’t know what the others are at this moment, though. Ha! This one is excellent though.

TastyBrew

I’ve been wanting to visit Medley, but wasn’t sure how kid friendly it is. Would you take little kids there?

LiberTEAS

It would depend upon how well behaved they are. I would have taken my daughters there when they were young, but they knew how to behave themselves in a tea room. I wouldn’t bring my husband’s niece there because she does not. The room is kind of small so there isn’t a lot of room for a kid to move around, so if they aren’t the type of kids that can sit still through a tea service, then they would be disturbing the other clients.

That said, it’s a lovely tea room. Small, yes, but, the food is tasty and the tea is really good too.

LiberTEAS

PS: A great place to take kids if you want more of a kid like environment … take a trip up to Ridgefield WA and go to Myrtles. Make reservations for Myrtles though because they’re always busy. And ask them for the Unicorn room … a great place for little girls especially.

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92
drank Aged Beauty 1979 by J-TEA
346 tasting notes

Down to my last vestiges of this. I’ve had this tea for almost a year now; I’m surprised I held onto it this long. It was the first aged oolong I ever tried. Can’t say I recognize any remnants of its Oriental Beauty heritage…but it’s still quite fantastic in its own right. The Taiwanese measure tea by the overall sensation, not just taste. And with this one, I can see why.

At first, on initial taste, the aged nature of it is a little oft-putting. But done with short steeps over a period of minutes, it lends something unique and wonderfully medicinal. Oh, and I happen to like the taste of “ancient Buddhist calm”. I can dig it.

I’m at the start of the busiest day at work I’ve had in awhile, and I needed a li’l happy juice calm. Already on my second mug.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Now that’s old! If I wasn’t so old already, I’d give aging oolongs a go. Fort Collins has a perfect climate for aging oolongs. It’s high and dry. (Not so great for Puerh without a humidor).

Geoffrey Norman

You have to give aged oolongs a try. They’ll get you tea-drunk like a partying Buddhist in ten seconds flat.

Bonnie

I already have brain issues…would be easy to do. I have a 1998 puerh and laoshan white which are my instant party in a cup tea’s. Most puerhs mello out my fibromyalgia symptoms in the brain which transfers to relief in my body. I wish I could work with a researcher on this.

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92

Black tea to get me through a Black Friday at work. Fitting. What else could impart some feeling of Zen while corralling Canadian children playing hockey in the hallways. Answer: An aged Taiwanese black tea. This stuff tastes like Buddhist chocolate. Or at least how I imagine chocolate Buddhists would taste.

I’ll stop now…this is getting weird.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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95

It being Thanksgiving Day – and given the fact that I’m working – I figured it a perfect time to down at least two pints of an American-grown tea. Not just American, one grown and processed in my own state. The leaves for this black tea were picked from a small tea garden as part of the Minto Island Growers outfit. J-TEA International purchased a heap of their leaves and processed them into a black tea product. Similar to a Taiwanese black.

This is my go-to tea when I’m on the go. I can steep it forever, and it doesn’t bitter. The taste is malty, sweet, kinda fruity and…well…’Merica.

I even had to visit the garden it was grown from once WITH the tea in question. (http://steepstories.com/2013/08/14/tea-garden/)

Happy Thanks-Teaing, Steepster.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Bonnie

begging! I would love some of this tea to try with Eric at Happy Luckys! (I was born in Portland when my dad was at Seminary after WWII and Eric went to College in Washington). We’ve been waiting for the Oregon tea’s. I’ve had the Skagit Valley tea…very nice.
Is this tea hard to get?

Geoffrey Norman

If I had more, I’d pass some on…but I’ve gone through quite a bit of it in the month I’ve had it. However, it is still available.

Link: http://jteainternational.com/tea-shop/black-tea/ (Top one.)

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