107 Tasting Notes

This morning, curtesy of Scribbles, I’m very pleased to be the first to review Keemun Gong Fu Black Tea – Premium from Tao Tea Leaf, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 rounded tsp. (3 g) / 212*F / 2-3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro: This Keemun is marketed as: “premium light bodied”.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 6 mm or less .
Fragrance: Winey & smoky.
Liquor: Clear, amber
Aroma: When first removing the lid of the Finum brewing basket – A brief touch of Keemun winey-ness blended with fine-quality rich pipe tobacco. Then the aroma became very faint.
Flavor: Keemun with a subtle winey character

2-min: Not yet, I’ll give it another minute.
3-min: A lighter-bodied, smooth and juicy Keemun with zero astringency or bitterness. It has a much lighter body compared with my regular Keemun.

I suspect this outcome may be due to the lack of specificity in Tao Tea Leaf’s western brewing instructions: http://www.taotealeaf.com/keemun-gongfu-black-tea-premium/. For Western brewing they don’t indicate a 6 oz. teacup or an 8 oz. cup/mug. Thus, I suspect this tasting result is simply because 3g is too little of this tea for 8oz of water. For Gong Fu they also don’t specify what size gaiwan.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
3-min: Not yet …
4-min: A little longer …
6-min: Reducing to 6 oz. definitely helped. Given the original 8-oz. steep results, I wasn’t sure how well this Keemun would resteep. However, I was able brew a 2nd cup with a similar flavor profile.

Since I typically brew Keemun Western style, I then tried: 6 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (4 g) / 212*F. Fortunately, Scribbles sent a generous sample!

2-min: A lighter-bodied, smooth, juicy, and very refined Keemun with zero astringency or bitterness. Fortunately, this preparation is definitely much more satisfying than the first cup! Your cup will be empty before you know it (especially with only 6 oz.). However, it has less body and is not quite as deep or as rich compared with my regular Keemun.

Resteep6 oz. / 212*F:
3-min: Not yet …
4-min: An excellent resteep – nearly identical to the previous cup.

Impression: A light-bodied, smooth, juicy and very refined Keemun. This black tea is very enjoyable and recommended for those who prefer a less robust “less masculine” Keemun perhaps for afternoon tea, or for Keemun-lovers who might enjoy a unique “a more understated” or “elegant” Keemun experience.

Pros: I love the simplicity of 212*F (100*C) – no thermometer needed (especially if one is in a hurry).

Cons: 4 g for 6 oz. less robust cups, not organic, and 250 g for $72!

Thanks to Scribbles for sharing a generous sample of this unique elegant Keemun.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
looseTman

6 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (4 g) / 212*F
2nd Resteep:
6-min: Not yet …
8-min: Definitely not worth the effort.

scribbles

I also found some steeping parameters lacking, depending on preference. Hope I left you enough to try again…if you are so inclined. AND…welcome back :)

looseTman

Thank you! I think there may be just enough left for one Gong Fu session in the future.

I’ve been home for a week but couldn’t log on as our hard drive crashed. It’s always something! At least I’m not bored! ;-) Fortunately, I was able to make the necessary repairs myself. Thus, today is my first day on Steepster in quite a while.

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This morning, I’m very pleased to review Premium Huang Shan Mao Feng Green Tea from TeaVivre, Western style: 17 oz. / 8 g / 185*F / 3 – 5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream. I brewed this tea twice: 1.) w/o a brew basket – placed leaves directly in the teapot, 2.) using a 2” wide x 3.25” deep SS brew basket with the same teapot.

Leaf: Buds with 1 or 2 leaves, up to 5 cm long
Fragrance: Sweet hay / straw / grass
Liquor: Clear straw-colored – easily appreciated in the double-wall glass tea cup.
Aroma: Very Sweet and pleasing
Flavor: Honey with a hint of green beans

6/2/14:
Sample size – 6.6 g / 14 oz.
3-min*: Smooth and rich with a mild honey-like sweetness, a hint of green beans, and a mild almost savory essence. There was no astringency or bitterness. This 2-cup pot of green tea was very warm, relaxing, and enjoyable.

Re-Steep:
4.5-min: Light to medium bodied
6-min: Light to medium bodied

6/5/14:
Sample size – 6.3 g / 13.4 oz. (395 ml)
3-min: Light and smooth with a mild honey-like sweetness. There was no astringency or bitterness.

4-min.: Light and smooth with a developing richness and a mild honey-like sweetness. There was no astringency or bitterness.

5-min.: Similar flavor profile with a just tinge of grassy bitterness. I’d suggest < a 5-min. steep.

Impression: Of the two methods, this tea was much more enjoyable when brewed w/o a brew basket. Apparently, the extra space in the teapot for these large leaves allowed the flavor to more fully develop. The sip was clearly much richer. An excellent afternoon tea.

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for graciously providing this excellent green tea tasting opportunity.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a Staffordshire 2-cup fine bone china teapot with a SS brew basket and served in double-wall glass tea cups
http://steepster.com/teaware/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavivre/39708-double-wall-glass-tea-cups

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 g 17 OZ / 502 ML
TheTeaFairy

Ok, now you make want to try my sample, like right now :-)

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This morning, I’m very pleased to review Keemun Finest from Zen Tea Life, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 heaping tsp. (3.5 g) / 208*F / 3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro.: My 1-kg Premium Keemun Hao Ya stash from TeaVivre was very joyfully consumed a while ago now. :- ( :- ( :- ( I’ve been waiting for their next sale to reorder and am suffering from Keemun withdraw! In my experience to date, no other black tea is quite like a Keemun! Then along came an email from Kenneth Son of Zen Tea Life telling me he was going to be offering a new Keemun that he thought was superior to his current one. Needless to say, I was curious. When his May sale arrived, I could not resist! I purchased 200 g without sampling it first, which is very unlike me. But you have to understand, I’ve been Keemun-less for a while now and it was a good sale. I also suspected that this Keemun may have been sourced from the same supplier as a Keemun that used to be offered by Butiki – a highly regarded and favorite Steepster supplier. Would I regret sampling a new Keemun with a 200 gram package???

Leaf: A mix of thick & thin twisted dark chocolate-brown leaves 1.3 cm or less .
Fragrance: Potent, very fine-quality rich pipe tobacco – YUM! Quite a surprise for a Keemun!
Liquor: Clear, dark copper
Aroma: YUM – this is something different! A touch of Keemun smokiness blended with fine-quality rich pipe tobacco. Take a moment to deeply inhale it over & over.
Flavor: Keemun with a subtle winey character

3-min: A thick, rich, full-bodied, extremely smooth and mellow juicy Keemun with zero astringency or bitterness. On the first sip, it has a subtle winey character compared with my regular Keemun – heavier on the bass. But keep sipping! As the winey flavor gradually builds with each sip, this Keemun is so warm, relaxing, and satisfying. Oh my! In the infamous words of Meg Ryan, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Re-Steep:
4.5-min: Light to medium bodied
6-min: Light to medium bodied

Impression: A thick, rich, full-bodied, extremely smooth and mellow juicy Keemun. This black tea is very enjoyable and highly recommended for any time of day, especially for Keemun-lovers who might enjoy a unique Keemun experience. Sometimes in life, you just have to go for it, and in this case, I’m glad I did.

Thanks to Kenneth Son of Zen Tea Life for recommending this unique and excellent Keemun.

Method:RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
http://steepster.com/teaware/revere-ware/46814-classic-2-1-slash-3-quart-whistling-tea-kettle
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Gotta love Meg!

TheTeaFairy

Great review as always! I didn’t notice that Zen Tea offered a new Keemun. I quite enjoy the other one they have, it’s very light in smoke. I shall give this one a try eventually. Glad it turned out this way so you can fully appreciate your 200g :-)

looseTman

Thanks TheTeaFairy! Me too! Now if the re-steep was nearly as full-bodied as the first cup …

boychik

I got myself 20g of this tea. I have to try.

boychik

Wonderful review. I really like that your reviews are to the point.

looseTman

Thanks boychik!

Terri HarpLady

I do enjoy Keemun teas, & the variety of flavor profiles they can have. Most of them don’t seem to resteep all that well, unless you’re going with really short gongfu steepings. This one sounds tasty!

looseTman

Thanks, good point! I’ll have to try TeaVivre’s Western Steep recommendations for their Premium Keemun (5g / 1, 2, 3 Min.) with this one.

Charissa

Great review! I haven’t had any Keemun in a long while…almost forgotten what it tastes like. Your note about this tea makes me want to buy it!

looseTman

Thanks Charissa!

looseTman

5g / 1, 2, 3 min. is sub-optimal for this Keemun.

Terri HarpLady

You tried it then?

looseTman

Yes, I did.

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We’ve had this classic stainless-steel copper-bottom tea kettle for many years – long before I found Steepster. It’s well suited to Western brewing at 212*F, but not very convenient for Gongfu brewing. I’ve also used it for teas that require temperatures < 212*F with a DAVIDsTEA thermometer/timer.

I’m currrently considering both the Bonavita Gooseneck variable-temperature electric kettle and the Zojirushi electric water boiler as a more convenient replacement for our classic reliable Revere teakettle.

Sarsonator

I was a little sad to retire my standard kettle also. But the Bonavita is amazing. I really love it so! Can’t comment on the Zojirushi, but I hear those are also good!

looseTman

Sarsonator, Thanks for your comments! A standard kettle is still a good “plan B” if an electric kettle fails. A day w/o tea is definitely not a good day! Agreed, the Bonavita looks very appealing. What caused you to purchase the Bonavita versus it’s competitors?

A quick look at this page shows the highest rated and most popular kettles: http://steepster.com/teaware?Kettle=on

I plan to use our next variable-temp electric kettle for both Western & Gongfu brewing and would welcome Steepster recommendations.

Brooklynsheep

Nice review!

boychik i would get Zojirushi but non stick coating is no no for me. No Teflon in my house.

Im pretty happy with Breville variable. I have Cuisinart as well in my summer house which is fine. I think i like Breville a little more. I do gongfu sessions every day.

looseTman

What’s the issue with Teflon in tea kettles?

boychik

i dont understand why they cannot make out of SS. And why boiling water should be in non stick. Teflon( non stick) linked to cancer. i use ol cast iron for my skillets
http://www.ewg.org/research/healthy-home-tips/tip-6-skip-non-stick-avoid-dangers-teflon

looseTman

+1 SS would be better. Thanks for the link!

looseTman

Any thoughts on Breville One Touch Vs. Bonavita Var. Temp. Gooseneck?

boychik

Most of the time i make tea for myself. I try not to drink several cups the same tea unless its Puerh. i also read that One Touch retain flavors. And its pricy. i need to boil water diff temps. I have lots and lots of small pots, gaiwans, Yixing,etc. I bought Breville at bed,bath and beyond with 15%coupon( we get this in a mailpretty often) They have a great return policy, no exp time ,sometimes receipt is not necessary;) If something will go wrong I’ll bring it back to store, no ??’s asked.
I have no opinion on Bonavita.

Sarsonator

I went with the Bonavita because I wanted to be able to set temperature degree by degree. The price was more than I would have liked, but honestly, it looked so nice that I caved. It had so many great reviews that I figured it would be worth it. I do indeed use it every single day. If a tea requires a temp of 177 degrees, I can make that happen. :)

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This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m very pleased to review Keemun Mao Feng by London Tea Room, St. Louis, MO, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 tsp (3g) / 212*F / 4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves mostly < 1 cm.
Fragrance: Smoky sweet Keemun!
Liquor: Clear brilliant copper
Aroma: YUM – A mild-to-moderately smoky Keemun with the classic winey profile and a delicate sweetness that is simply relaxing to deeply inhale.
Flavor: Winey, smoky, malty with a delicate sweetness

4-min: A truly rich, fairly thick, full-bodied, smoky, winey, malty Keemun with a delicate sweetness. There was zero bitterness or astringency. A MANLY cup of tea! YUM!

Re-Steep:
5-min: Not yet
6-min: Not yet
8-min: Light to medium bodied

Impression: I love a great Keemun this certainly predisposes me to enjoying this tea. A Keemun that’s just as enjoyable to smell as it is to taste! A thoroughly enjoyable Keemun! Well done!

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
http://steepster.com/teas/revere-ware/46814-classic-2-1-slash-3-quart-whistling-tea-kettle
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m very pleased to review Double Knit Blend by Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, Western style: 8 oz. / 1 tsp (2.6g) / 212*F / 4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted mostly dark chocolate-brown leaves 2 cm or less
Fragrance: Mild Malty
Liquor: Clear, amber brown
Aroma: Upon removing the lid of the Finum brewing basket, the first concentrated fleeting wiff – oooh, YUM – this is something special! But what is it? Subsequent sniffs required placing one’s nose as close as possible and inhaling deeply in an attempt to appreciate the aroma. A touch of Keemun smokiness blended with malt.
Flavor: Malt & Keemun

4-min: Very pleasant, smooth, and medium-bodied with no astringency or bitterness.
5-min: A rich full-bodied tea, but not as full-bodied as a straight Keemun or an Assam tea, with a touch of bitterness and very slight astringency to be appreciated with, not before, breakfast for anyone with a sensitive stomach.

Re-Steep:
6-min: Light to medium bodied
8-min: Light to medium bodied

Impression: A rich, full-bodied black breakfast blend. I love a great Keemun and that predisposes me to enjoying this tea. The other black tea (others have suggested Darjeeling) that was blended with the Keemun to lighten and brighten this blend, obviously makes it less full-bodied that a straight Keemun. Additionally, if one brews it an additional minute to increase the body, bitterness begins to increase. Perhaps 4.5 minutes may achieve a more optimum balance?

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Malt, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m very pleased to review Spring Keemun by Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, Western style: 6 oz. / 1 tsp (2.1g) / 212*F / 5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted chocolate-brown curly leaves
Fragrance: Mild Keemun
Liquor: Clear, dark amber
Aroma: Sweet Potatoes, Cocoa
Flavor: Sweet Potatoes, Cocoa

5-min: A very smooth, rich, tea with a honey-like sweetness and strong notes of sweet potatoes and cocoa. This flavor combination reminded me of sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie. There was no smoky aroma or flavor. There was zero bitterness or astringency.

6-min: A very smooth, rich, tea with a honey-like sweetness and deeper more pronounced notes of cocoa over the sweet potatoes. There was zero bitterness or astringency. I prefer the 5-min. infusion.

Re-Steep:
7-min: Moderately full body
8-min: Smooth, rich, fairly sweet and nearly as full-bodied as the initial steep.

Impression: A very smooth, rich, sweet and unique cup of Keemun. It reminded me more of a Yunnan such as Dian Hong. A very good choice for afternoon tea.

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
MzPriss

It didn’t taste like a kemmun to me either. I liked it fine, but I didn’t LOVE it. And I agree – more of an afternoon tea.

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This morning, courtesy of Terri HarpLady, I’m pleased to review Tiger Assam by Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.3g) / 212*F / 4 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted chocolate-brown, with some gold 1 cm or < in length.
Fragrance: Mild
Liquor: Clear, amber
Aroma: Malty and sweet
Flavor: Malty with a mild sweetness

4-min: A very smooth, bold, rich, mildly sweet, malty Assam. After drinking ½ a cup of this bold Assam on an empty stomach (I know better!) I had the sense that I should eat something right away. A slice each of Wegman’s Marathon Bread and Ancient Grain Bread with Cranberries toasted with Smart Balance Heart Wise Light margarine helped. I then enjoyed two slices of Vermont Bread Co. organic soft multi-grain bread with margarine and Crofter’s Raspberry Organic spread. There was zero bitterness and a very mild sense of astringency. A rather invigorating morning cup

Re-Steep:
4-min: Smooth but not yet full-bodied, so I let it steep longer.
5-min: Light-bodied
6-min: Moderate body
7-min: Moderate body
8-min: Smooth, moderate-bodied.

Impression: A very smooth, bold, rich, and invigorating morning cup to enjoy with your breakfast. Well done!

Thanks to Terri HarpLady for sending us this gracious sample.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Glad you like it. As a general rule, I can never drink Ceylon or Darjeeling teas on an empty stomach, or green, white, or puerh teas either. Sometimes I can get away with an Assam, but usually not.
I think that’s one of the reasons I love Chinese blacks so much, as they don’t usually have that effect on me.

looseTman

Yes, I did. Thanks! Agreed, Chinese black teas appear to be much easier on the stomach. I’m now having a cup of Raspberry Greek yogurt to further settle my stomach.

looseTman

I’ve now reached my first Steepster milestone – 100 tasting notes.

MzPriss

Congrats on 100!

looseTman

Thanks MzPriss!

Terri HarpLady

Yay for 100 notes!

looseTman

A drop in the bucket compared to many of you all!

caile

100 notes – yay!! Your reviews are always great!

looseTman

Thanks caile!

mrmopar

Woo HOO! Congrats brother!

looseTman

Thanks brother! With 4 elderly parents from 85 to almost 96 years old, it’s taken awhile to rack up the first 100, but they make sure we’re not bored!

boychik

I like reading your notes. They are very precise. What do you do for living? You must be a scientist.

looseTman

I have over 10 years experience in cardiovascular ultrasound research.

boychik

My admiration for you. Saving people’s lives every day.

MzPriss

I like the notes as well. Very detailed.

looseTman

boychik, My experience focused on preventing cardiovascular disease as opposed to physicians who routinely save lives.

looseTman

Thanks MzPriss!

TheTeaFairy

Congrats on both the notes and what you do for a living :-)

looseTman

Thanks TheTeaFairy!

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This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m pleased to review the 2013 Organic Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush USDA Organic black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1.25 tsp (2.0g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted dark chocolate-brown, chocolate-brown, green and gold 2 cm or < in length.
Fragrance: Reminds me of hay with hints fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Brilliant, clear, amber
Aroma: Muscatel!
Flavor: Muscatel!

3-min: A very smooth, light-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
4-min: A very smooth, medium-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
5-min: A very smooth, oh, so smooth, rich muscatel black tea. This is not as robust as a full-bodied Assam or Keemun, but you wouldn’t expect it to be as it is a Darjeeling! The muscatel white grape flavor lingers long on the tongue gently dancing – like butterflies flitting around on a cluster of blooms. There was zero bitterness or astringency. Oh, this is good! It brings a smile to my face – literally!

Re-Steeping:
6-min: Smooth & light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency. I let it steep for another 4 min.
10-min: Smooth light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A very smooth, rich, and highly enjoyable organic Darjeeling with a potent natural muscatel aroma and flavor. Very well done! Highly recommended!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Yum, love a good muscatel SF. i’ve been in such a Darjeeling mood lately!

looseTman

I understand! They’re so different from robust black breakfast teas and such a refreshing treat!

mrmopar

I wish I could pen a review like this. Fantastic my friend!

looseTman

Thank you my friend! When the tea is this enjoyable, inspiration comes standard and the review nearly writes itself!

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I love a great Orthodox black tea to get me going each day. This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m pleased to be the first to review a new Kenya USDA Organic black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.4g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Dark chocolate brown thin twisted leaves < 1 cm long. (No “floor sweepings” here!)
Fragrance: Mild, reminds me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Brilliant clear copper
Aroma: Mild
Flavor: Malty & earthy

3-min: A very smooth, medium-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
4-min: A very smooth, full-bodied, malty, earthy black tea. The earthiness gives it greater depth than a typical malty only tea. There was zero bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
5 min: Smooth & light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.
8-min: Smooth & light to medium-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A very smooth, malty, and enjoyable organic black tea. This is not your typical low-cost Kenya teabag tea. Who says, good Orthodox tea only comes from China or India. Very well done!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Charissa

I love a good Kenyan tea. They are just so…smooth and delicious! This one looks really nice.

looseTman

It definitely is!

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Bio

I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit are also of interest.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Through our local co-op we tried Frontier Natural Products Co-op bulk loose tea – mostly Assam, also Irish Breakfast, & EG.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Kevin at The Whistling Kettle introduced me to Keemun, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and my wife enjoyed their Earl Grey Cream.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre & Zen Tea Life. Kudos to both Angel Chen and Kenneth Son who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, an annual winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

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