“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of John & Amanda of t leaf T, I brewed New Zealand Breakfast Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.5g) / 212*F / 2-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Introduction: My wife loves Earl Grey and t leaf T has a large selection of it: https://www.tleaft.co.nz/catalogsearch/result/?q=earl+grey. When I requested samples, this Assam caught my eye. Who doesn’t love a good malty Assam for breakfast? Where else, could I possibly find a true NZ Breakfast tea?

From t leaf T:
“Natural New Zealand Manuka blends perfectly with strong assam tea to make a special blend ideal for the morning and afternoon.”
http://www.tleaft.co.nz/black-tea-blends-1/new-zealand-breakfast-black-tea.html

For those of us from the “up above” (as opposed to the “down under”) you might be asking yourself: ”So what the hell is Manuka?”

1. Images & description: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/manuka.html

2. It turns out that NZ Manuka flowers appear to be very popular for making honey: http://nzmanukadirect.com/

3. Manuka is also known as the Tea Tree:
“The English common name is derived from the fact that early white settlers did occasionally make infusions of tea from the leaves, which are aromatic.”
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/manuka-tea-tree

4. “The leaves contain Leptospermone, an antibiotic agent.”… “The oil extracted contains 120 elements and can be utilised medicinally.” … “This research has validated the claims made for this product with the Therapeutics Section of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.” http://www.purangi.co.nz/estate/tea/manuka.html

5. Manuka is also popular in NZ travel, tourism, & hunting vacations:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g311324-d1440422-Reviews-Manuka_Lodge-Ohakune_North_Island.html
Great Barrier Island: http://www.manukalodge.co.nz/
New Zealand Hunting Safaris: http://www.manukapoint.com/new%20site/Home

And I’ve probably just scratched the surface! Who knew!

Leaf: Two kinds of Assam, 1.) twisted, short, dark chocolate brown, 2.) dark chocolate brown CTC granules, plus light green Manuka leaves
Fragrance: Moderately strong aromatic evergreen / pine
Liquor: Clear amber brown
Aroma: Moderately strong evergreen / pine
Flavor: Malty, aromatic evergreen / pine

2-min.: Medium-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.

3-min.: Not quite, another min.

4-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied, malty Assam with the added flavor of aromatic Manuka, which is felt in the back of the palate in the 2nd half of the sip. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
5-min: Not yet.
8-min: Medium bodied & enjoyable. The Manuka flavor is now less pronounced & is now mildly aromatic.

Impression: A truly unique and enjoyable breakfast Assam, especially those looking for a “down under” adventure.

Thanks to John & Amanda of t leaf T for their gracious sample of this very fine New Zealand Breakfast Assam.

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/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

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

Very interresting!

Terri HarpLady

Back when I ran a food coop, we got Manuka Honey a time or 2. I’ve used tea tree oil over the years for various purposes, but I’ve never considered the idea of putting anything like that in my tea. I wonder if they really drink it that way in NZ, or if it’s just a novel sale ploy?
:)

Terri HarpLady

(sorry, always the cynic)

looseTman

TheTeaFairy – Thanks!

Terri HarpLady – Perhaps Miss Sweet may know as she’s from NZ.
http://steepster.com/teas/t-leaf-t/3534-new-zealand-breakfast
http://steepster.com/amber

yyz

Interesting they must have had to carefully balance it. I could see tea tree becoming overpowering really quickly.

Miss Starfish

I stumbled across this note, but I can answer since I’m a Kiwi. Manuka honey, tastes absolutely nothing like tea tree oil. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s definitely honey and therefore sweet. Some people (myself included) do add it to their tea. Adding other honeys (like NZ Bush Honey) is more common however. Manuka does have a strong taste if you buy one with a high propolis rating, so it can dominate whatever flavour your tea was. Goes well with English breakfast etc and milk. I see more Kiwi’s spreading it on toast than adding it to their tea however.

looseTman

Miss Starfish, Thanks for the info from a genuine Kiwi’s perspective!

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Comments

TheTeaFairy

Very interresting!

Terri HarpLady

Back when I ran a food coop, we got Manuka Honey a time or 2. I’ve used tea tree oil over the years for various purposes, but I’ve never considered the idea of putting anything like that in my tea. I wonder if they really drink it that way in NZ, or if it’s just a novel sale ploy?
:)

Terri HarpLady

(sorry, always the cynic)

looseTman

TheTeaFairy – Thanks!

Terri HarpLady – Perhaps Miss Sweet may know as she’s from NZ.
http://steepster.com/teas/t-leaf-t/3534-new-zealand-breakfast
http://steepster.com/amber

yyz

Interesting they must have had to carefully balance it. I could see tea tree becoming overpowering really quickly.

Miss Starfish

I stumbled across this note, but I can answer since I’m a Kiwi. Manuka honey, tastes absolutely nothing like tea tree oil. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s definitely honey and therefore sweet. Some people (myself included) do add it to their tea. Adding other honeys (like NZ Bush Honey) is more common however. Manuka does have a strong taste if you buy one with a high propolis rating, so it can dominate whatever flavour your tea was. Goes well with English breakfast etc and milk. I see more Kiwi’s spreading it on toast than adding it to their tea however.

looseTman

Miss Starfish, Thanks for the info from a genuine Kiwi’s perspective!

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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 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
- 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.

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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