So, thanks to Sil I get to give this another shot. The first time I tried it, it was pretty much a bitter mess. This time I can definitely smell blueberry, which is promising – I don’t recall smelling it much at all last time.

Unfortunately, this time, it’s bitter/astringent too. I was all good and followed the instructions to the letter; 1/2 tsp of tea, 8 oz. water, 160F. Ok, I lied a bit – it said to steep for 5 min and I only let it go for 4. But yeah… still not working for me. I think there’s enough left for one more cup, so I might try a 2-minute infusion with that one.

Anyways, I didn’t want to dump the cup, because there was definitely some tasty blueberry flavour lurking in there, so I dumped in some honey (yeah, I seem to be sweetening things a lot today! But that dilute honey I’m using makes it very easy to avoid oversweetening, which is convenient). The honey takes the astringent edge off a bit and makes this much more drinkable, which is nice because the blueberry flavour is pretty tasty. Clearly still going to have to work on figuring this tea out though… not that I think I’d ever order it myself, sadly, because it’s too finicky for me!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ze_Teamaker

Maybe a spot of milk might help. I think Purple tea is kinda like CTC in that it is meant to be drank with milk.

Kittenna

Perhaps, though I don’t seem to recall reading anything about that. I think I finished off this cup, but may give that a shot for round 2, if it doesn’t work out.

Butiki Teas

Kittenna-It could be a bad blueberry. We smash the blueberries up and a good portion of this tea is powdered freeze-dried blueberries. You know how when you are eating a pint of blueberries, there is always 1 or 2 blueberries that are sour. Well, maybe one of the blueberries that you got was a tad on the sour side. Purple tea in general has some wine-like qualities because of the high levels of anthocyanin but at those measurements it seems unlikely that the tea is the cause of the bitterness.

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Ze_Teamaker

Maybe a spot of milk might help. I think Purple tea is kinda like CTC in that it is meant to be drank with milk.

Kittenna

Perhaps, though I don’t seem to recall reading anything about that. I think I finished off this cup, but may give that a shot for round 2, if it doesn’t work out.

Butiki Teas

Kittenna-It could be a bad blueberry. We smash the blueberries up and a good portion of this tea is powdered freeze-dried blueberries. You know how when you are eating a pint of blueberries, there is always 1 or 2 blueberries that are sour. Well, maybe one of the blueberries that you got was a tad on the sour side. Purple tea in general has some wine-like qualities because of the high levels of anthocyanin but at those measurements it seems unlikely that the tea is the cause of the bitterness.

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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