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Bought this on a steep (bahahah!) discount from Teavana this new year. Brewed pseudo-Gongfu style in my Finum.

First, I have a cold and feel crummy. I can’t smell much of anything and my tastebuds are somewhat compromised. I just wanted something a bit bolder that might break through all this crap. With that said, I’m not going to number rate this tea until I have a chance to revisit it when I’m feeling well.

I brewed this with just-boiled water, so I gather it was about 195-200ºF, a bit over what was recommended by Teavana. I did a quick rinse and then brewed only for about 2 mins, as the 3 min directions seemed excessive. I’d say I was right. A deep amber color, the tea came out quite bitter, but had a nice lingering aftertaste. Again, I’m pretty shredded from this cold, so what I got was a nice warming full-mouth feel sweet aftertaste that lingered over my palate. It invigorated my dull achiness and gave me some caffeinated life.

The 2nd infusion I rolled things back and went more traditional with a 30 sec steep. The things I liked about the 1st steep remained, but without the bitterness, replaced by a light dryness. I think I’m going to like this tea when I’m feeling better… Hey, I’m feeling better! That’s what I was hoping for with this tea and that’s what I got. Usually a green tea drinker, down deep I wanted something warming and invigorating, without being ridiculous. Check!

3rd infusion continues the theme, and I’m hoping when I do this tea again it will reflect subtle nuances. Had I not brewed the heck out of this on the first steep, I bet I could get 10+ infusions out of this stuff. But right now I’m going to end this review, keep steeping and keep feeling better!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Recovering coffee drinker. I prefer green tea varieties with a focus on high theanine content.

I generally make my teas using a 10 oz. double wall glass tumbler. Alternately I sometimes use a smaller 8 oz. glass tea infuser. More recently I’Ive fallen in love with a little 5 oz. double wall glass w/ filter kit from Finum. It’s kinda awesome. I prepare the occasional Black or Oolong teas mostly in a Yixing clay or porcelain teapot. I’ve been known to bust out the Gaiwan every now and then too. Basically whatever catches my fancy.

My usual tall glass brewing method: http://bit.ly/brewingmethod

My rating system:

I’ve never really felt compelled to include a rating guide here, but upon reflection I noticed something; I think I’ve subconsciously been rating teas like my papers were graded when I was a kid in school. Do with it what you will.

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
<59 = F(ail)

I can quit any time.

PS- Any runners out there can find me on RunKeeper or Dailymile.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Ergolad
http://dailymile.com/people/markballou

Location

Burbank, CA, USA

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