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Using up the last of my Upton sample this morning with breakfast – 3 tsp. (a little over) to 500 (-ish, this was also a little over) ml. water at below parameters.

The last time I tried this I used boiling water and a longer steep time and got…black tea. Kind of flat in the sense that there was nothing else there – none of the typical darjeeling extras, so to speak. Several people offered steeping recommendations so I thought I may as well try them to see if the tea could be improved upon.

The tea this time is significantly more complex. There is astringency in the taste (mildly pleasant) and a more layered scent and taste (there’s the muscatel/grape-ish note!). It’s quite earthy and that is the most dominant feature of the tea by far, but it’s not the only thing I’m getting, like last time.

The only thing I would change now is to back off even a little more on steep time – 2:30 would likely ease off on the astringency that much more. I don’t know that there will be a next time, however – there are plenty more darjeelings to try.

I’m open to suggestions if anyone has them!

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

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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