drank Strong Assam by Shanti Tea
114 tasting notes

Per: https://www.shantitea.ca/sthome/product/strong-assam:
Origin: India / Serving: 2.7 grams per cup / Temp. 100*C / Steeping Time 2-5 Min.
“2 min without milk, 5+ min with milk”
“Ingredients: Tea (Camelia Sinensis)”
Canada Organic – Biologique Canada: http://www.organicbiologique.ca/en/

Technique:
8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 26 ppm, heated to 212*F.

2.7 grams verified by My Weigh Durascale D2 660. No sweeteners, milk or cream were added.

Fragrance: This black tea has a fresh earthy moderately strong fragrance.

Dry leaf – Short broken moderately dark brown leaves

Infused Leaf – Clear & coppery

3-min.: Initial observation: Not yet strong enough will step another min.

4-min.: Mild, pleasant, earthy aroma. A strong, malty character, however there was noticeable bitterness and a very dry finish.

Next I tried: 8 oz. / 2.7 grams / 195*F (verified w/DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer):
3-min: Not yet strong enough.
4-min.: A smooth, strong, malty character, without any bitterness or astringency.

5-min Resteep: Just as enjoyable as the previous cup.

Impression: A smooth, strong, malty, invigorating organic breakfast tea when brewed at 195*F.

Thanks to Safiya Motala and Shanti Teas for kindly providing this free sample.

Correction due to new scale: What I thought was 2.7 grams was actually 27 grains. I was in the incorrect weight mode due to the very small font used for the grain abbreviation (gn). Using a Grains-to-Grams conversion, the actual weight was 1.75 grams.

I just brewed another cup: 8 oz. / 2.7 g / 3-min. / 195*F.
With the proper weight in grams three minutes was sufficient for a very enjoyable full-bodied cup of tea. At 195*F there was no hint of bitterness or astringency.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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 EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

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.

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

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen 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
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- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

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

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