80
drank Ruby #18 by Rishi Tea
781 tasting notes

Moving onto my Rishi teas from my 2017 stuff, and these are all 50g packages and will take many a morning to finish off… and while I realize teas like this are just “meant for gong fu”, western brew work thermoses are going to be the way I accomplish that. Possibly some iced tea/cold brew jars. If I have the time for a gong fu session, I’ll probably pick something I only have a small amount of leaf left that the session can tidily finish off…

I gave samples of these teas to Todd in his advent (before I’ve even tried them, ha) and at least he said they are still holding up, but he also often just thinks “tea tastes like tea” (I still love you, Todd!) so let’s see, shall we?

April/May 2017 harvest, 3.5g in 500ml 205F water, steeped 3 minutes. I smell a bright, fruity mandarin orange aroma, as well as cinnamon. The flavor is malty, with a bit of a baked grain bread with a bit of spice (more clove than cinnamon on the tongue), and an oddly crisp minty note in the finish. I would assume that was flavor contamination from my thermos (I had the Pistachio Mint tea in it yesterday, and even though I thoroughly washed it in the sink last night it still had a “minty” aroma this morning, so I’m going to have to deep clean the thermos with the Mandala Tea Cleaner every time I drink that B&B Mint Pistachio, apparently…) except this was tea that came straight from my infuser to a separate glass for taste-testing since it takes so long for anything to cool in the work thermos. Huh. I guess at 50g, I’ll have plenty more cups to see if that note reappears or is, indeed, some kind of contamination… (Although, I see just before posting this that jamin also tasted “minty overtones” soooooo…)

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a black tea like this. It’s certainly interesting, and definitely not unpleasant!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Malt, Mint, Orange, Spices, Wheat

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
White Antlers

I’m with Todd on ‘tea just tastes like tea’ which is why, even after 5 years on Steepster, I never write tasting notes.

Cameron B.

Meant for gong fu, pish posh! It even has Western instructions!

Mastress Alita

But they also “recommended gaiwan brewing”. I see that a lot. And rarely ever do it.

Cameron B.

Well I recommend doing whatever floats your boat! :D

Mastress Alita

Well, I still can’t quite get the “minty” smell out of my work thermos… on my lunch break I grabbed a fresh infuser out of the cupboard and a fresh mug and made a new cup. Getting a slight floral/cherry note now, I do think I still taste a minty note but very subtle. Definitely seems there was some flavor contamination on my teaware.

White Antlers

I’m with Cameron B. Drink it the way YOU like it.

tea-sipper

Some find a mint flavor in Ruby, so maybe it isn’t contamination!

Mastress Alita

I deep cleaned all my infusers/mugs/thermoses that had touched the mint tea that night, and made the Ruby again today. At least from my thermos, the mint was much stronger before the “big clean” (but B&B’s Mint Pistachio, a VERY minty tea, had sat in it from 8:30 am until 6 pm…) Now I’m only getting a very subtle minty note, and it is persistent regardless of teaware. So I do seem to get a little minty taste in this black. But there was definitely some residue peppermint taste/aroma in my travel thermos throwing it off before.

Tiffany :)

Hmm I think I’d like this tea from your tasting notes even though I’m not generally a black tea fan.

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Comments

White Antlers

I’m with Todd on ‘tea just tastes like tea’ which is why, even after 5 years on Steepster, I never write tasting notes.

Cameron B.

Meant for gong fu, pish posh! It even has Western instructions!

Mastress Alita

But they also “recommended gaiwan brewing”. I see that a lot. And rarely ever do it.

Cameron B.

Well I recommend doing whatever floats your boat! :D

Mastress Alita

Well, I still can’t quite get the “minty” smell out of my work thermos… on my lunch break I grabbed a fresh infuser out of the cupboard and a fresh mug and made a new cup. Getting a slight floral/cherry note now, I do think I still taste a minty note but very subtle. Definitely seems there was some flavor contamination on my teaware.

White Antlers

I’m with Cameron B. Drink it the way YOU like it.

tea-sipper

Some find a mint flavor in Ruby, so maybe it isn’t contamination!

Mastress Alita

I deep cleaned all my infusers/mugs/thermoses that had touched the mint tea that night, and made the Ruby again today. At least from my thermos, the mint was much stronger before the “big clean” (but B&B’s Mint Pistachio, a VERY minty tea, had sat in it from 8:30 am until 6 pm…) Now I’m only getting a very subtle minty note, and it is persistent regardless of teaware. So I do seem to get a little minty taste in this black. But there was definitely some residue peppermint taste/aroma in my travel thermos throwing it off before.

Tiffany :)

Hmm I think I’d like this tea from your tasting notes even though I’m not generally a black tea fan.

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: What-cha teas, Rishi teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 145
Sipdown Count for 2020: 177

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently strictly limiting tea trading/ordering to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. I may participate in specific group orders depending on the company. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

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