523 Tasting Notes

79

Picked this up in the Nairobi airport. It’s very, very fine. Not like the CTC/rotovaned teas I’m used to seeing, but more like feathery shavings.

It brews almost immediately to a dark coppery golden brown. No mistaking the scent – yup, that’s Tea. :) It’s nothing awesome to rave about and I don’t pick up any flavors other than “black tea” but as a basic, no nonsense quick morning cup, it’s quite acceptable.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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82
drank Classic Earl Grey by Butiki Teas
523 tasting notes

This is indeed a classic EG. Everything you’d want out of an Earl. Good tea base, good level of bergamot.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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89
drank Assam GFOP by Kusmi Tea
523 tasting notes

Mmmm… This is dark, strong and clean. A bit of bitterness as the cup cools, but not unpleasant. In comparisons, I’m not sure I’ll keep this over other Assams (Butiki’s Golden Lion comes to mind), but this will certainly all get used and I’m glad I grabbed it!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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63
drank St Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
523 tasting notes

Smells good.

I get a non-specific fruity flavor and mild bergamot. I think I need to try this again when I’m paying more attention. I had this at work and kept having to concentrate to keep my mind on my task as hand and forgetting to notice what I was drinking.

It wasn’t bad – I did finish the cup. ;)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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61
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
523 tasting notes

Spices – clove, cinnamon… not sure, maybe something else.

No citrus for me. And an odd, off-putting something lurking in the background. Not bitter or harsh but not much going on for me besides the spices. Maybe some vanilla but not very noticeable to me.

Not horrible, and I finished the cup, but this is nothing I need to keep. So I have plenty for swapping if you think it might be more to your liking. :) This is the muslin bagged version, not loose leaf.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

blaaaaaaah blaaaaaah on this one :)

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96
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
523 tasting notes

The first sip is pretty heavy bergamot but then the orange comes in at the end and mellows it. Smells amazing. I don’t get the bitterness other reviews mention so maybe I lucked out on steeping time or something. There is a mild bit of astringency/dryness to it, but that’s all I notice in this cup.

The flavors diminish somewhat as the cup cools, but I’d like to try this one iced.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Grand Yunnan No. 21 by Kusmi Tea
523 tasting notes

Oooo… this is a good one.

I couldn’t resist the last Rue La La sale on Kusmi certificates and I’m glad I didn’t. I have wanted to try several for quite awhile and now I can! It was an embarrassing wealth of tea that was on my table this afternoon. :)

This was the first one I have tried. It’s super malty and very dark and earthy. A hint of bitter as it cools – I may have oversteeped a tad since it seemed very light in color at 3 minutes.

If this holds up well to a second steep, it will definitely need to be kept in the stash.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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64

I had several cups of this one hot afternoon before dinner. I wanted something but hot Chai Bora wasn’t sounding good.

This was very refreshing. Not as strong a mint as I’ve had in other brands but altogether acceptable. Enough so that I did grab a box of it at the airport.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Oriental Beauty by Butiki Teas
523 tasting notes

Yay for having tea waiting when I get home from vacation!

This tastes very much like a darjeeling to me. Bright, clean, snappy, mild hint of fruit. I had been anticipating a bit more heft, but that’s not a bad thing. No bitterness or astringency in this cup. I will need to try it several times more to see if I can suss out the other flavors.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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55

This was what they told me I had on the plane from Amsterdam to Kenya. May or may not have been. It was on Kenya Air so I’d say it was likely. I did not see the bag though – it was served already brewed.

It was good. A strong, basic supermarket level of black tea. I had a shot of Amarula after dinner, though and I had a bit left when they brought the tea. Adding the splash of Amarula to this tea made it very, very good. It smoothed it out and made it creamy while bringing a hint of fruit flavor to the cup. I’m definitely going to experiment with Amarula in some basic black teas.

And here are some pictures from the trip.
http://s1165.photobucket.com/user/dagony/library/Vacation%20June-July%202013?sort=4&page=1
Not the best. These were all from my phone so I’d have some to use quickly for blog posts. The real pictures from the semi-pro will take awhile to clean up for viewing. He’s a perfectionist like that. :)

Sil

so jealous! how did you book your trip etc? lol ok maybe a pm would be better! I want to know moar! :)

Nicole

lol… I’ll send you a pm. :)

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Profile

Bio

Tea afficianado. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

Location

Kansas City, MO

Website

http://www.travelswithstinky.com

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