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t Leaf T

Recent Tasting Notes

“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of John & Amanda of t leaf T, I brewed New Zealand Breakfast Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.5g) / 212*F / 2-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Introduction: My wife loves Earl Grey and t leaf T has a large selection of it: https://www.tleaft.co.nz/catalogsearch/result/?q=earl+grey. When I requested samples, this Assam caught my eye. Who doesn’t love a good malty Assam for breakfast? Where else, could I possibly find a true NZ Breakfast tea?

From t leaf T:
“Natural New Zealand Manuka blends perfectly with strong assam tea to make a special blend ideal for the morning and afternoon.”
http://www.tleaft.co.nz/black-tea-blends-1/new-zealand-breakfast-black-tea.html

For those of us from the “up above” (as opposed to the “down under”) you might be asking yourself: ”So what the hell is Manuka?”

1. Images & description: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/manuka.html

2. It turns out that NZ Manuka flowers appear to be very popular for making honey: http://nzmanukadirect.com/

3. Manuka is also known as the Tea Tree:
“The English common name is derived from the fact that early white settlers did occasionally make infusions of tea from the leaves, which are aromatic.”
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/manuka-tea-tree

4. “The leaves contain Leptospermone, an antibiotic agent.”… “The oil extracted contains 120 elements and can be utilised medicinally.” … “This research has validated the claims made for this product with the Therapeutics Section of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.” http://www.purangi.co.nz/estate/tea/manuka.html

5. Manuka is also popular in NZ travel, tourism, & hunting vacations:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g311324-d1440422-Reviews-Manuka_Lodge-Ohakune_North_Island.html
Great Barrier Island: http://www.manukalodge.co.nz/
New Zealand Hunting Safaris: http://www.manukapoint.com/new%20site/Home

And I’ve probably just scratched the surface! Who knew!

Leaf: Two kinds of Assam, 1.) twisted, short, dark chocolate brown, 2.) dark chocolate brown CTC granules, plus light green Manuka leaves
Fragrance: Moderately strong aromatic evergreen / pine
Liquor: Clear amber brown
Aroma: Moderately strong evergreen / pine
Flavor: Malty, aromatic evergreen / pine

2-min.: Medium-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.

3-min.: Not quite, another min.

4-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied, malty Assam with the added flavor of aromatic Manuka, which is felt in the back of the palate in the 2nd half of the sip. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
5-min: Not yet.
8-min: Medium bodied & enjoyable. The Manuka flavor is now less pronounced & is now mildly aromatic.

Impression: A truly unique and enjoyable breakfast Assam, especially those looking for a “down under” adventure.

Thanks to John & Amanda of t leaf T for their gracious sample of this very fine New Zealand Breakfast Assam.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Very interresting!

Terri HarpLady

Back when I ran a food coop, we got Manuka Honey a time or 2. I’ve used tea tree oil over the years for various purposes, but I’ve never considered the idea of putting anything like that in my tea. I wonder if they really drink it that way in NZ, or if it’s just a novel sale ploy?
:)

Terri HarpLady

(sorry, always the cynic)

looseTman

TheTeaFairy – Thanks!

Terri HarpLady – Perhaps Miss Sweet may know as she’s from NZ.
http://steepster.com/teas/t-leaf-t/3534-new-zealand-breakfast
http://steepster.com/amber

yyz

Interesting they must have had to carefully balance it. I could see tea tree becoming overpowering really quickly.

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“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of t leaf T, I brewed Makaibari Organic ftgfop1s, a second flush Darjeeling, Western style: 1 tsp (2.3g) / 6 oz / 212*F / 3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: short, moderately-wide, twisted, chocolate brown and green
Fragrance: Notes fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear honey copper or light amber
Aroma: Hay, vegetal
Flavor: Vegetal

3-min.: When first steeped, there was a strong vegetal flavor. As the cup cools, it smoothed out nicely. About mid-cup, it then magically transforms into a rich buttery full-mouth feel with a strong vegetal finish that lasts long on the tongue. Towards the end of the cup there was a note of saltiness that also persists long on the palate.

Impression: A unique tasting experience better suited for afternoon tea.

Thanks to t leaf T for their gracious sample of this Darjeeling tea.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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67

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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drank Party Punch by t Leaf T
1 tasting notes

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74
drank Spearmint by t Leaf T
4 tasting notes

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Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

This tea is quite common in a few cafes so I have tried it a few times and quite liked it, ended up buying a bag.

The smell of the tea leaves in the bag is very off-putting, pungent bergamont and an overly floral aroma are battling it out, overall quite sickly.

However once the tea is made, and tamed with milk and sugar, the aroma is near non-existent and is quite pleasantly floral. The taste is that of a strong bergamont with some floral notes.

I can see why others would not like this tea, the taste is quite sharp and almost pungent even with milk and sugar, I have found this to be a good breakfast tea which I enjoy pairing with cheese scones.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100

I tried Twinings earl grey without milk and loved it, seeing all the reviews of excelsior on here I bought a bag and tried it without milk, I was not a fan, so this tea sat in my cupboard unloved for a months until I had a guest over who liked earl grey and couldn’t resist any tea with excelsior in the name (this was his logic, and in hindsight it was flawless).

I made a cup for each of us, with milk and sugar, it blew my mind.
I have been drinking this tea twice daily since, having gone through nearly 2 bags (100 grams each) and just bought a new tin today.

This is now my daily stock tea, I have a supply at work and home, and have dedicated tea ware for this lovely brew.

I use boiling water and let it steep for at least 5 minutes, although I sometimes let it get closer to 6 and never have problems with bitterness thanks to the power of milk, the only problem I have is a bad habit of adding far too much milk.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Christmas Tea by t Leaf T
10 tasting notes

After letting it steep awhile…. its pretty good! Definitely needs milk in my humble opinion, and sugar. I could drink this any day of the year!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Coconut Rough by t Leaf T
86 tasting notes

Woohoo, new Game of Thrones!

Dry, this smells of chocolate and caramel with a titch of coconut. The tea is full of chocolate and coconut pieces.

5 minutes – The rooibos is the dominant flavour, followed by coconut.

7 minutes – Coconut comes through more, with some hints of chocolate, all the while being backed by rooibos.

After being steeped for 10 minutes the chocolate comes through a lot more and the rooibos diminishes significantly.

Overall, quite nice with or without additions and being caffeine free is always a bonus for expanding late night options.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85
drank Green Peach by t Leaf T
86 tasting notes

I bought a large bag of this a couple months ago from my local tea shop and have been enjoying it off and on. The leaves have quite large chucks of dried peaches mixed in and smells delicious. The green roiboos base is a good match and isn’t dominant at all. There’s a great peach flavour, but I wouldn’t call it “juicy” or overpowering. My steep times are generally 5-7 minutes, although it can go for ages without becoming bitter.

I generally make a cup of this, thanks to it’s forgiving nature, if I’m feeling especially absent minded and am afraid I’ll forget about the tea, haha!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
Shelyteadrinker79

I want to try this

Miss Starfish

I think the company ships overseas, or I’d be open to swapping some (since the smallest size available is a 100g bag) with you once things quiet down here. :)

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80

I have removed my old tasting notes as I think I spoiled the tea by using too hot water for the first steeping.

I am now enjoying the 3rd steeping today of this lovely jasmine tea, each steep at about 75 Celsius for 5 minutes.

A lovely jasmine aroma, a very non-astringent tea (compares favorably to the Sencha), mild taste.
I wish the jasmine aroma on the tea was a stronger, but I could happily drink this tea ‘forever’.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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61
drank Dikom TGFOP1 by t Leaf T
9 tasting notes

the tea i have is a STGFOP from its about tea. but anyways here’s what i’v experienced with it gong fu style

Ammount: 5.2g in dayi gaiwan at 95c

First infusion. 30s

Dark dry slightly bitter lightly citrus a lot like a normal black.

Second infusion: 30s

Dark dry not terribly complex.

Third infusion: 1m

Lighter flavor but still dry. bitter walnuts

Fourth infusion: 2m

Significant flavor loss tastes creamy and still dry.

Final thoughts: Not terribly complex but a nice tea for guests who add sugar and cream to their teas they would likely be impressed with it. Could easily be a every day staple tea.

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

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70
drank Japan Sencha by t Leaf T
11 tasting notes

A lovely Sencha with a good grassy taste, is often quite astringent.
Fantastic with a hearty meal.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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100
drank Uva Highlands BOP by t Leaf T
1 tasting notes

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Meematea

I grew up on this tea. Very fragrant and quite strong. Strong enough to make your hair curl as my physics teacher said once. It is fine. In Sri Lanka they call it dust. A fine strainer is a must as is milk and sugar. If you want it black lessen the amount of tea. 1/2 to 1 tsp per cup and brew for a shorter time. I recently bought a Chatsworth mug from Whittards and am knocking myself for not buying one years ago. Perfect tea (or coffee) for one and at the perfect temperature. So if you’re a tea/ coffee buff get one!

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100

A dear friend (who might as well be my sister) sent me a little tin of this for Christmas, and I’ve been trying to ration it because it’s indispensible during cold season – and really any time I’m feeling less than stellar. The combination of ginger and kawakawa is lovely – it’s spicy and warm, and the lemongrass keeps it from being “too much”.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more

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73
drank Summer Peach by t Leaf T
10 tasting notes

I initially tried this tea because I enjoy iced peach tea. It certainly works as a sweetened iced tea, with perhaps a bit more of a tannin bite than what I’d like. Hot and sweet, though again the tannin disrupted my enjoyment of the tea. Sweet and milky though… much better, and more like a peach has been juiced into the tea, rather than someone slipping a slice of peach to garnish the tea.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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33

It was a little weak for me

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Christmas Tea by t Leaf T
4 tasting notes

This tea has a strong vanilla scent in the tin. Once steeped, I tried it both black and also with sweetener and milk.
The clove can definitely be tasted when this tea is drunk black.
With the milk and sweetener, I taste more of a vanilla flavour.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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99
drank Sweet Assassin by t Leaf T
4 tasting notes

Tasted this at t Leaf T today. Very fruity, with an almost berry like taste. I think this will make a good iced tea too.
I’ll definitely be buying some when the store has the tea back in stock.

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drank Lavender by t Leaf T
5 tasting notes

First note is, use VERY LITTLE. Only a small pinch. A little goes a long way.

I purchased dried lavender flowers at World Market. They are in the spice section, not the tea section. A small package was $1.99, and yet it will go a long way. I put a small pinch in hot water with a touch of sugar, or chamomile. It is very fragrant, relaxing, and clean tasting. It is said to be calming like chamomile. Since it takes so little, I just drop the flowers in to the water, they float on top, and I consume them as well.

Keep in mind you can add this to any tea. It really enhances the experience.

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drank Anti-Cyclone by t Leaf T
4 tasting notes

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50
drank Restful by t Leaf T
4 tasting notes

The tea smells spicy in the tin. Once brewed, it smells like a beautiful floral, I think I’m picking up on the lavender.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Restful by t Leaf T
86 tasting notes

I have a cup or two of this before bed in the evenings. A really nice and calming tea. After reading the description, I’m actually wondering whether mine has been mislabeled? I get quite a bit of fruit, specifically peach, and the chamomile is the only note I can detect from the ones listed. I’m almost out, so will investigate when I’m next in the store.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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