After several weeks of scrimpily, scroungily sipping scraps of swaps and samples (say that five times fast!) I splurged with this sumptuous selection from Upton.

At 4 minutes, it steeps a deep burgundy-brown and tastes the same color. Rich and crusty-malty, and - just because I was very excited to open a new packet and was very generous with the leaf - almost on the edge of bitter. I think that can be fixed next time by backing off the measurements a bit.

gmathis

Second steep was much better. The edge was gone. (Usually I don’t like that in a second steep.) The residual bread-crusty taste makes me look forward to a cup done properly.

Which raises a question…once you’ve fried a tea on the first steep, are the leaves ruined from that point going forward?

Michelle Butler Hallett

I think that depends very much on the tea. I wrecked some ginseng oolong a while ago with near-boiling water and didn’t even try a re-steep. Maybe I should have.

gmathis

Guess it depends on how temperamental the oolong is. Good ol’ Assams don’t get their feelings hurt too easily.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Hahaha! They’re pretty sturdy.

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gmathis

Second steep was much better. The edge was gone. (Usually I don’t like that in a second steep.) The residual bread-crusty taste makes me look forward to a cup done properly.

Which raises a question…once you’ve fried a tea on the first steep, are the leaves ruined from that point going forward?

Michelle Butler Hallett

I think that depends very much on the tea. I wrecked some ginseng oolong a while ago with near-boiling water and didn’t even try a re-steep. Maybe I should have.

gmathis

Guess it depends on how temperamental the oolong is. Good ol’ Assams don’t get their feelings hurt too easily.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Hahaha! They’re pretty sturdy.

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Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

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Southwest Missouri

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