Thunderbolt Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB

This one was surprising. The first sip seemed somewhat malty, but then after that it was all fruit. Super fruit. Amazing fruit.

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80

MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #15
This was a decent Darjeeling, though they usually don’t go well for me. I’d say I like this one more than most. Oddly enough, this one tasted like butternut squash, just like the other tea I tried today. Creamy buttery butternut squash with hints of lemon. I probably should have used two teaspoons of 1 1/2 but I didn’t want to hog all of the leaves from the teabox… and my basket steeper was occupied anyway. I wish I had more to say about this one.
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2 1/2- 3 min

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88

Ah full and creamy for a first flush, similar to the second flush yet lighter.
The apple is still there mixed with a dry sweetness. Light astringancy.

I would say this tea is somewhere between first and second flush. Very nice, Arya continues to impress me with their consistant level of quality.

Now of to the gym for a late workout… been out enjoying the summer!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80

not 100% sure if this is the exact tea I’ve got in my cup, but Sil sent me a sample via OMGsrsly of Giddapahar SFTGFOPI (SPL) Musk 2nd Flush. It’s been sitting in the depths of my sample bin because, in all honesty, I’ve been TERRFIED to try it! I’m SUPER anti-darjeeling. I treat it like a delicate green, doing shortish steeps at low temperature, and I STILL end up with a hellishly bitter cuppa. So I tend to avoid darjeeling like the plague.

I made a cup of a sample I got from Fjellrev earlier, that had a darjeeling base, and I couldn’t finish the cup. I barely got halfway through it before giving up. It was super depressing, actually.

So I poked at my Facebook groupies, looking for advice as to how best to make a cup of this Sil sample. I got some great suggestions, and have made the cup but….

it’s sitting on my desk, in front of me, ready to sip, and I’m too scared to try it. It SMELLS lovely, a bit earthy, but with an underlying crispness. It’s a lovely coloured liquor and crystal clear. I just can’t convince myself to try it.

I’ll report back shortly, assuming I don’t end up dying from “Attack of the Bitter Tea”

Edit:

Wow, I’m actually REALLY pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s definitely not what I expected, given that it’s a darjeeling. It tastes a bit more like a very short-steeped yunnan. It’s on the cusp of astringency, as if I pulled the infuser out milliseconds before the bitterness would’ve come out, and it dried out my mouth slightly, but in a good way, if that’s even possible?

I have enough leaf for a cup or two more, and I definitely won’t be afraid to steep it now!

Now, if only I could find MORE darjeelings like this one to add to my collection…

Whispering Pines Tea Company

I always find it neat when I enjoy the astringency of certain teas…being as I hate astringency in general, it’s quite surprising! :)

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This one came my way from KittyLovesTea – thanks!

What an interesting black tea. It’s so creamy! I love creaminess in teas. The flavour is creamy and thick, yet also light. There’s a very subtle nutty flavour in the background as well. Somewhat reminiscent of a green tea minus any vegetal flavour. I’m so happy I got a chance to try this one.

I started off the day so productively with studying, and I’ve really lost some speed on that front. However, on the upside, I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of stuff on Kijiji hah. Yay for ridding my life of clutter.

Flavors: Cream

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

woot! goodbye clutter!

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93

Holy Camellia. I cold steeped this while I was at school/rehearsal, and I just finally got to drink it. I think I owe Moraiwe my first-born for giving me the sample. There are so many different layers of taste to this tea, it was a enlightening experience. I can taste fruitiness, and some deep dark layers of mystery darjeeling-ness. I love that taste. Someone needs to find a name for it.

This was especially perfect cold today. My school had service day with an all-boys school, probably to try to get us to be social (?). We were packing meals to send to Africa, and we actually did 20,000 meals, each feeding 6 people! It was great. However, I succumbed to my feminism and my need to show off. At the same time. When the leader called for “Boys to carry the bags of rice and soy around and refill the bins. Well, maybe girls too. I mean, anyone is fine.” I knew had to carry these bags around, just because I knew I could do it. It also meant that I wouldn’t be bagging meals with some random group of people for 1.5 hours. But my arms are SO TIRED. I did however get to see 4 boys lift a bag of soy that I managed to carry around by myself. So that was nice. However, after calling “line” about 50 times during rehearsal and then practicing sword fighting (ugh hand-to-hand on the floor why do you do that.) this tea was really nice to have.

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93

Thank you so much Moraiwe for this tea! Also, the other teas that came in this here package, which are many in number… I was a tad bit overwhelmed when I opened the package. I’m super duper excited to try all of them. Anywho, I read her tasting note and it seems that we have almost exactly the same impressions of this tea.

Like she says, it’s very nuanced, with floral notes and then a good bit of muskiness. I found it to be quite earthy, which is good because I like super earthy tasting Darjeelings. For me, it was more astringent than it seemed to be for Moraiwe, probably because I’m lazy and it’s about 10 degrees outside so I didn’t cold steep it like she did. I want to do that with the rest of the packet though.

Also as Moraiwe says, it has a great second steep, obviously slightly muted but really not that different, albeit a bit earthier. It’s also gorgeous dry, always a plus.

In other news: my school’s doing RENT this weekend, and I’m SO EXCITED to go see it. I know that it will be fabulous, and I’m actually going on thursday and then ushering on Friday so that I can see it twice!

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90

Brewed in Banko-yaki kyusu with water from Kunzan tetsubin.

When i feel the urge for a green tea this is my given choice! Sweet and vegal with a bit of butter and a very slight astringancy. Comforting :)

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 15 sec 6 g 12 OZ / 360 ML

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90

6g / 360ml banko-yaki kyusu, water kron kunzan tetsubin
2m @ 70c

Wonderfully sweet, floweryness mixed with som vegal and very slightly buttery and nutty notes.
Pure wonder just as the -12 harvest. The dry leaf is full of silver hairs. Beutiful!
My favorite non steamed green this year as well.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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98

Wonderful as always.
Full of applepeel! Slight astringancy, clean complex well balanced flavour.

Ah, this was a nice finish after a hectic day. loads to do at work and a killer workout @ the gym ^^
Thank the heavens for tea.
Yesterday me and some friends had our dinnerclub where we take turns bi-weekly to invite each other for dinner. My friend treated us to some peppermint herbal tea picked from her garden. Reminded me of warm childhood memories. Must get peppermint!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 170 ML

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98

170ml Mumyoi Yaki Kyusu

Came home late last Night so only had time for a Quick testbrew of the
new pot.
Retains heat very well, stronger body. Will do a comparisonbrewing later with water
from tetsubin.
New steepster isnt so iphone friendly. :/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 170 ML

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98

3g / 200ml glaspot
3m @ 100C

I always have high expectations on Arya estate teas. They seem to have a talent for producing superb teas.
The cup is bright golden and reminds me of forest honey. The smell is slightly nutty and sweet.
First sip reveals a veru clean flavourfull taste. the body is free from any dry grainyness. complex flavours, thee is some menthol/herb backed by nuttyness and a slight wellbalanced astringancy. This is by far the best second flush tea i´ve ever tasted. It is sublime! Perhaps there is some notes reminding me of applepeel. The aftertaste lingers without dry notes, only some sweet applepeel and astringancy.
WOW my whole mouth feels refreshed!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I’ve had their tea’s and agree!

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87

Thank you Dag for putting this into the EU box.

It’s a creamy Darjeeling with nutty and floral delicate touches. It also has some sweetness but more in the background towards the after taste. While it’s soft there is a crispness about it, like a warm spring day that has a cold and crisp wind.

Overall it’s a delicious Darjeeling and one that I am honoured to have tried. I hope our paths may cross again.

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

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97

An aptly named tea: truly a delight!

1st steep: Lovely stone-fruit smell with hints of honey and orange marmalade. The aroma is so good that I just smell the tea, not bothering to drink it! The taste is soft and full and continues the stone fruit flavors with an earthy undercurrent. The taste seems to grow in the mouth, leading to a very good, very long finish. The flavors changed subtly as the tea cooled, but in no way diminished in quality.

This is the way tea is meant to be. I should probably give this a score of 100, but the earthy flavors contain a hint of bitterness, and the stone fruit doesn’t carry all the way through the finish. Also, the cup finished with some bitterness.

2nd steep: Same basic flavors but more subdued.

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

darjeelings don’t often tempt me but your review has….. hmmm.

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78

This was another one serving sample I removed from Momo’s B teabox…. it seems I’ve been trying many of them lately (probably because they are sipdowns – I tried to take some of the blends out of the box that only one teaspoon left). Darjeelings like this are making me love them more, though this doesn’t have quite the flavor of the favorites I’ve tried recently. It’s light – maybe that is the difference between a first flush and second? I like this one, but it seems less full and complex as the others. It actually seems lemony and there is a bit of fuzziness from the leaves that I don’t love. Darjeelings are certainly diverse though, but I guess every type of tea is. Tough to describe this one!

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75

Another Darjeeling from Moraiwe :)

Of the five darjelings I sampled this morning, I liked this one the best. The flavor is not heavy and doesn’t weigh-down my stomach the way 2nd flush darjeelings do. This one is light and pleasant with notes of pear. Still not a tea that I love enough to buy for myself, but I would drink it again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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This Darjeeling comes to me, courtesy of Moraiwe

This darjeeling is the first that has a notable difference in flavor profile from the few I had before (see my tasting note for Upton TD33 thurbo Est.)

It has the same muscatel flavor with the addition of a sparkling character, almost champagne-like. But as I said in my previous note, I’m not a wine person. Although I can vaguely recognize the quality of some of these characteristics, it’s not my thing.

Still happy that I have the opportunity to get familiar with darjeelings though.

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

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72

Tea #2 from Another Traveling Tea Box. Moraiwe tossed this in the box for me to try because I said I was in sort of a tea slump and she said this always picked her up. I can see why. This was an interesting tea to try.
I haven’t really had good experiences with Darjeeling in the past. The first one I ever had tasted like musty old leather and really put me off it. I’ve collected a few from swaps and whatnot but I’ve never gotten the nerve up to try them fearing for another bad experience. After this one, I might just start dipping into them now.
Smelling the brew it’s got a rich sort of fruity smell which I wasn’t expecting. I just about stuck my nose in my tea trying to catch it, but then, my nose has been kinda stuffy/wonky with this new medicine I’ve been on.
Tasting it I’m definitely getting that musky sort of taste, but I also get a kinda green ‘pulling-weeds-scent’ sort of taste from it too. Which is a strange way to describe it, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s not an unpleasant sort of taste, but it definitely makes me sit and ponder and sip some more on it. Very little, if any astringency which I always like to find.
This is a very nice tea to drink straight, but I always have to add sugar to all my first time trying teas just to see. I have a feeling I might’ve added just a bit too much Truvia but it’s still definitely drinkable. The green/musky taste is toned down and I get more of a vague fruity taste now. Either way, it was a very pleasant cup to drink
This tea definitely makes me see why some people are absolutely crazy about Darjeeling. Personally it’s not a tea that I could see myself craving enough to keep much of around. But I’d consider keeping a few cups worth of around for those rare times I want a black tea that’s not malty (like I usually drink)

Edit – Did a second steep (because why not. Lol.) – 4:30min @195* – A bit more of a watered down taste and I’m getting a peppery sort of malty-ness now from the tea. Vaguely fruity and much more astringent now.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

I wasn’t sure what I expected from this tea, but I love Darjeeling and I love oolong, so the combination seemed like a good idea.

My initial tastes were disappointing, as there was a strong vegetable flavor that I didn’t care for (the same reason I dislike many green teas). Today, however, the veggies seem very subdued. Instead, there are floral highlights with maybe a hint of mint. The aroma is delicate in comparison the the Thunderbolt Moonlight that I just finished, but probably more in line with what I expect from a Darjeeling.

The flavors are similar to the aromas, but the mouth-feel is a bit coarse and tannic, and doesn’t flow gracefully into the finish. Not bad, really, but lacking in elegance. A decent tea, but not special. To be fair, this is a “bargain” tea compared to other Thunderbolt offerings, and it serves that role nicely.

I think I need to play around with the water temperature since I’m seeing a lot of variation in my tasting notes for this tea, and also significant variation in temperature (depending on how impatient I am at the stove). If I find a pattern, I’ll update my tasting notes.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

I’ve been negligent about writing reviews. I’ve had my Thunderbolt order for about two weeks and haven’t written about the teas yet. Saturday is a nice day to sip through the teas and write reviews.

The aroma is fairly powerful, but soft, reminding me of damp forest leaves. That flavor continues in the taste, but with hints of herb and fruit. I tend to think of Darjeelings as being delicate, but this is a big, powerful tea. There is some astringency but without bitterness. There is a smooth transition into a long and powerful finish without bitterness.

The previous time I drank this tea, I steeped at boiling temperature, which gave a more fruity flavor that I preferred. Good either way. I also noted that it tasted good at room temperature. I only drink iced tea in the summer, but I think this would make a good iced tea.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

sipdown!this is another lovely darjeeling. i’m really enjoying trying a few of these darjeelings. This is slightly fruity but still has a strength to it. thanks for sharing with me terri!

Terri HarpLady

Was this is TB’s grab bag?

Sil

um…..maybe? lol i think so?

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, those came from TB. I enjoyed them all :)

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80

Terri sent this one my way and i am so delighted with it, that rather than saving the other cups of this one, i’m going to send the rest off to omgsrsly so that she can try it, and hopefully share it with shaynebear too. i’m not sure how to describe this one..it’s a bright? tea…not astringency and it’s sort of fruity but yet not? heh thanks terri!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

Ooo, exciting! I’ll make a note to share it with Shayne. :)

Sil

there are a few darjeelings in the box, so feel free to drink them, share them etc… at this point i’m sort of just tossing random things in there for fun lol

OMGsrsly

I’ll sniff them all and try some, but I’ll probably share most! They definitely do better as a green tea for me, but I am not patient enough for that. To drink them regularly I really need a variable temperature kettle.

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I hate when my notes get evaporated. I posted on this one earlier today, & I’m sure it was a divinely inspired post, but I don’t remember what I said, & it’s gone, so…whatever…

I do recall that I enjoyed this cup of tea though :)

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Another darjeeling from the Grab Bag. This one is a 2nd flush, with a richer muskier taste, thicker mouth, less astringency, & it’s rather fruity as well. I now have the hang of Darjeelings, at least as far as the brewing is concerned. I’ve been giving them 190 for about 3 – 4 minutes, & that seems to result in a pretty decent cup of tea.
As this one cools, I’m getting a very bright almost lemony sensation towards the back center of my tongue that lingers after the sip.

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