Teas Etc

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85
drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

Wow, I’m drinking a pu’erh (the much maligned yet admired infamous pu’erh)….and I like it! I feel like I’ve been formally initiated into becoming a proper “tea aficionado”! ;)

I chose Teas Etc. for my first pu’erh because of the ease of ordering and I’ve tried their other teas before and liked them—so I was confident that they would offer no less than the best quality product (at least in this price range).

The little nest bowls are so cute! The tissue paper wrapping makes them seem like bite-size treats.

I remembered to “rinse” the leaves first by steeping the nest in boiled water for about 15 seconds then discarding the water. I was suprised on how immediately the nest disintegrated while in the water. The leaves themselves are small and broken—they almost look powdered.

Then I poured fresh hot water in my mug and I’m drinking it now (without removing the leaves). The liquid is as dark as coffee.

Here are the notes I’m detecting as I perceive them (semi stream of conciousness style):
Tree bark, loamy soil, smoke, ash, plums (?), deep green plants and roots. There is a dryness to this that is really refreshing. I had a stomachache because of a large dinner, but this seems to be easing it a bit. It does taste “powerful” but no worse than in the way of a hearty breakfast blend. This is like a breakfast blend squared—without the bitterness….and with added peat moss.
I’m also detecting notes of slate, lichen and mushrooms. This is definitely earthy—but earthy in the way of an ancient forest at midnight—on the edge of a cliff by the sea—cool and mysterious.
And there is a lingering sweetness at the back of the throat—interesting!

Last Thoughts: This is a tea I know I will be drinking often. It’s like some mysterious and magical elixir. :)

Cofftea

Your 1st 2 sentences remind me of myself!=D

Jim Marks

Why do you rinse your pu-erh before steeping?

Ricky

Rinsing pu-erh before steeping is a tradition / rule. It’s to clean impurities / open up the leaves a little.

Cofftea

Jim, it keeps me from making me puke. LOL!=D

Stephanie

I’ve learned about the rinsing from the good people here at Steepster, also just today, I confimed from a co-worker (and drinker of puerh’s who is also originally from China) that one should rinse puerhs first (even just a quick swish and rinse—not necessarily for 15 seconds) because they can get dusty from the aging process.
Pre-Steepster, I’ve never heard of rinsing tea before! :)

Jim Marks

Traditional I’ll buy, but useful I’m not convinced of. Do as you please, of course.

Cofftea

Prevention from puking sounds useful to me:) A lot of people rinse oolongs as well.

Jim Marks

I’m not trying to be argumentative or quarrelsome, I’m just dubious about this “opening the leaves” and “dust”/“impurities” business (which were probably later justifications attached to an earlier purely ritualistic action). Whether or not unrinsed pu-erh would make someone puke, on an individual basis is sort of impossible to discuss in any meaningful way - but I’ve been drinking it nearly daily, unrinsed, for several years with no apparent ill effect. If it makes you enjoy the tea better, go for it! :) I just like not to waste any of the solubles, and they extract from pu-erh so quickly I would be reluctant to rinse mine. Hope I’m not on anyone’s toes, here. Because of the way this site is set up, it is impossible to move conversation to something private unless you’re following the people involved in the discussion.

Cofftea

@JIm Marks, it was a joke- I was just being funny. Sorry if I didn’t convey that well enough. I’ve just had a very vile experience w/ pu erh, and doing it this way makes it much more drinkable for me. I, too, was reluctant to “waste” the flavor but I’ve found that the subsequent infusions are very good (and raw pu erh is down right delicious!). Again, I’m really sorry if I offended you, it was absolutely not intentional.

Jim Marks

No, not at all. People will do what they do. I am still confused, and still dubious, but not offended.

Ugh, I keep forgetting that these apps convert emphasis lines into strike outs. Feh. How are you doing bold?

Stephanie

Bold is done like this * word * (but don’t put spaces between the actual word).
Rinsing is strange, but the more I read about pu-erh, the more I see that this is is part of the process of preparing it.

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75
drank Bao Zhong by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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75
drank Bao Zhong by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

A good example of what a Bao Zhong should be. Light, sweet, and fragrant with a touch of creaminess. Yum.

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75
drank Bao Zhong by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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75
drank Bao Zhong by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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85

Yay! My second Teas Etc. order arrived today! I immediately steeped this one. Some quick impressions (because I’m supposed to be working):

This tastes like sunshine! So bright and sunny. It’s immediately uplifting. I imagine running through a meadow at springtime like Laura in Little House on the Prairie.

It’s a beautiful day here (a strange but cool combination of sun with intermittent rains) and I’ve been feeling good today so this matches nicely. :)

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72
drank Ceylon OP1 by Teas Etc
104 tasting notes

It’s not the most exciting description in the world, but this is just a GOOD black tea. It’s simple, but the flavors are distinct and enjoyable, and there’s a subtle sweetness that rounds out the experience nicely. There’s also just a hint of bitterness that grabs at the edges of your tongue, but it doesn’t linger long, and reminds you that the tea is there and doing its thing.

The leaves themselves actually don’t have a strong aroma, though the steeped tea has a simple smokey/woodsy smell that’s pleasant, though very light. As such, the taste is a bit of a surprise, since the aroma would have you believe that this is going to be a very mild tea, but it does pack a little punch.

All in all, a very enjoyable tea that should be on any black tea fan’s list.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
JustDuckyInNE

Terrific; complete description of the experience and the tea itself when tasting. Thanks!

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91
drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
158 tasting notes

I bought this tea when it was featured as the Select. The first time I tried it, it was not at all what I was wanting, and I didn’t finish the cup — not the tea’s fault, mind you, but mine for having chosen something I was really, really not in the mood for. Today finds me sitting down to write and unable to get my brain to turn over like the engine I need it to be, and what I need is an elegant kick in the backside.

This is working for me today. It brews to a very pretty reddish-orange hue and it smells like sweet potato. The flavor is pure assam — malty black tea with a touch of sweet potato sweetness that reminds me post-sip of molasses, but very faint, meaning this would be a perfect pairing with some sugar in the raw and a touch of cream, though I’ll be drinking it with neither today — it’s smooth enough to get by without additives, despite the mild astringency. It has more astringency than I usually prefer, but not so much as I seem to remember it having had that first time…just more than I get from my current black tea staple, Adagio’s Golden Spring (re: none).

I feel as though I should be waiting for the cup to cool slightly before I post this tasting note, but I’m really enjoying the almost-too-hot burn in the belly. Maybe it’ll be enough to scorch away this head full of cottonballs I seem to be cursed with today.

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

I hope the cottonballs dispersed. They are obnoxious when they decide to show up.

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75
drank Coconut Custard by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

I’m finding myself drinking this a lot for someone who doesn’t like rooibos! It must be the yummy sweet coconut flavor. It’s comforting and warm and it kind of makes me feel calm and sleepy. Very good for nighttime.

Upping the score again!

Rabs

I’m so happy to read this! I just ordered a sample of this and now I can’t wait :)

Stephanie

I’m surprised how much I like it now. It really is soothing!

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75
drank Coconut Custard by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

You know, I have to admit this is really not too bad. The coconut flavor is nicely rich and sweet and satisfyingly dessert-like.

Of course, I can still detect the rooibos quite strongly and it’s its usual “pipe tobacco” self. But I made this stronger than normal, using two and a half heaping teaspoonfuls in 12 oz. and it’s pretty tasty….in a “rooibos” way. So, I’m upping the score a bit.

I would love this flavor in a regular tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec
SoccerMom

Stephanie, To me this one tastes like GM’s coconut pouchong minus the rooibos and insert Pouchong.

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75
drank Coconut Custard by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

I’ve discovered that I’m not much of a fan of rooibos or honeybush teas. They remind me so much of pipe tobacco! The scent and appearance is very pipe tobacco-ish. Which is not really a bad thing, I guess. It’s just not tea to me (I mean, I know it’s an herbal, but other herbals seem like tea to me—maybe it’s a “leaf” thing? Rooibos is not leafy).

This Coconut Custard Rooibos smells like vanilla-flavored pipe tobacco with coconut added. Very sweet, hay-like and faintly smoky. There is real shredded coconut in it. The tea is a deep orange-amber. And the taste is like a root-y, herbal coconut water. I like how naturally sweet this is. It’s actually quenching a dessert-craving I’ve been having tonight.

This was one of my first forays into rooibos/honeybush tea (the others being Very Vanilla and Honeybush) and it may be my last. Because, although they’re nice, I don’t like them enough to try more variations.

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69
drank Pu'erh Leaf by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

This gets better every time I drink it. I rinsed it for 15 sec and then steeped it for 4 min. Its a very earthy, very dark brown tea. It tastes like it smells, earthy. It would not be an everyday tea for me, but its great once in a while. I tried the 30 sec steeps and the tea just had no taste to it for me. It tasted like dark water. I guess thats why everyones taste is different. This way just works for me and I like it.

Cofftea

What was your leaf/water ratio when you did the short steeps?

Dan

I used 2 full tsp to 8 oz of water.

Cofftea

Not sure what the weight of that would be, but that may be the problem. I use 1g/1oz of water when I do short steeps (which is always). Due to the large leaf amount I normally make 2-3oz cups.

Dan

Looks like I need a scale.

Cofftea

Definitely worth it! I got one that reads to .01 (which I recommend if you’re gonna bother buying one at all) for $15.

Dan

Please let me know the name and model number. $15 sounds like a bargain to me.

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69
drank Pu'erh Leaf by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

OK, so I had to try something different. This time I did steep the leaves for 15 sec and then decant. Then I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes and added 1/8 tsp of splenda. The tea had a grassy hay like smell. The taste was like grassy grain like. The taste was greatly improved for me. This tea is supposed to be very good for you and now I can drink it. Its hard for me to drink any tea with almost no or bad flavor. This is much better.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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69
drank Pu'erh Leaf by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

This is my second try today with this tea and I had much better results thanks to Cofftea.
My first steep was for 15 seconds and then decanted the tea. Then I steeped for 20 seconds and the results I had were much better. The tea still had a grassy hay smell. It almost taste the same way, at least it didn’t taste like muddy water like it did the first time. This tea was slightly sweet on the edges of my tongue. This is not my favorite type of tea, but I just have to try everything. So I need to up my ratings since my first steep didn’t do this tea justice.
2nd steep;
The tea seems to get a little sweeter. It still has the hay notes, but its a little smoother and is easier to drink and enjoy. I steeped for 45 seconds with 195 deg. water.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

There’s always raw pu erh, which is a completely different experience:) Glad you were able to make some improvements though!:)

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69
drank Pu'erh Leaf by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

This was my first experience with Pu’erh and I can’t really say that I liked it very much. The tea smelled much like grassy hay when I smelled it dry. The instruction said boiling water from 3-5 minutes, so I tried 4. The tea had an earthy smell and taste, much like muddy water. The tea was amber in hue and has no bitter taste at all. I don’t give up easily and I have an ounce of tea so I will keep trying other temps and steep times. If anyone has any ideas, please leave me a comment.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Here’s how I do mine, thanks to Carolyn, now after being completely revolted by steeping parameters similar to yours lol: 1g of tea per 1oz of water. Rinse the leaves by pouring the appropraite volume of boiling (I actually use just below boiling to preserve the health benefits) water over the leaves and let steep for 15 sec. Decant and discard this 1st steep. Boil more water and do a 20 sec. steep. This is your 1st drinkable steep. To do additional infusions, continue at 20 sec til you find the flavor to be too weak for your taste, then increase by 10 sec.

Dan

Thanks, I will try anything after my first bout with Pu’erh.

Cofftea

Let me know how you like it!:)

Dan

Thank you Coftea, it works great and tastes much better. Now I need to do a new Tealog.

Cofftea

Any time!

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

This is another reliable, forgiving “great to drink at work” tea! I’ve been drinking this a lot. I brought a big bag as my “stash” to keep at work and it’s become very popular with my co-workers too. It smells so wonderful, brews up beautifully in the water from our water cooler’s hot water spigot and it can handle oversteeping!

It’s also a good “palate-cleanser” after a heavy lunch. Very refreshing and sweet—like a rainshower in the summer surrounded by hothouse blooms.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

I think I’m liking this again. The flowers taste sweet—like candied rose and sugared jasmine petals. They’re not overpowering at all, this time. Maybe last time I used too much leaf?

Anyway, this still remains my favorite Earl Grey incarnation! I’m bumping up the score.

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

Lowering the scale a bit on this one. I think I oversteeped it or something because the rose flavor was just a little too overpowering for me, this time.

But maybe my tastes have changed.

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90
drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
314 tasting notes

I’m really liking these florally teas, lately! I think this is a nice twist on your standard Earl Grey. The rose and jasmine really complement the bergamot. It’s like drinking a lovely soup bouquet. So, If you don’t like flowers in your tea, I’d say steer clear. :)

Also, it’s kind of heavy on the rose and reminds me of Turkish Delight.

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84
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

Sigh, this tea is almost gone and such an excellent tea. Smooth with caramel notes and so easy to drink. I wonder how much the golden monkeys get paid to pick it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

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84
drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
429 tasting notes

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