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109 Tasting Notes

drank Keemun Royal by Rishi Tea
109 tasting notes

Did a sipdown today. Only had about 2tsp though Rishi recommended 3-6tsp. First steep at about 2:40. Very pleasant and traditionally Keemun-tasting-not like that super strong first steep I get when I put in 6tsp.

Second steep-very good. Little noticeable change in flavor. Time 3:15
Third steep-weakening flavor, but drinkable. Time-2:20

If I buy this tea again, I won’t mess around with 6tsp to get my 5-7 steeps. 3tsp to get 2-3 steeps works out about the same without that overpowering first steep

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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First, let me state that I like peaches. If a peach is just right, I love it.

Ok, I was in South Carolina-home of the only tea garden in the States. South Carolina is also the #1 producer of peaches in the States-sorry, Georgia. So, buying this tea was pretty much a no-brainer.

Loose tea in a car and in hotel rooms was too much a hassle, so I waited until I got home to try it-what a disaster. I opened the tin and was overwhelmed by the most intense, artificial peach aroma I have ever encountered. There was no way anyone was ever drinking this stuff on any plantation. It smelled EXACTLY like a peach soda pop I had had several years ago. They really poured it on. Strong enough to be a car air freshener-and better suited, imho.

The loose leafs? I don’t recall. However, there was not a drop of peach chunks, blossoms-anything-in there. This is a PEACH producing state, please give me some peaches in your peach tea!

The tea? What tea? The liquor was overwhelmed by the peach perfume factory in my cup! The tea had no chance. After several failed attempts to find a brew time and temp that might bring out a little of the tea, I gave up and happily unloaded it on my sister.

I see that the pyramid bag version of this tea has a few decent reviews. Maybe they used some sort of different flavoring at that time. I don’t know, but I have convinced myself to give this a 1.

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It’s always heartbreaking to see a clear 1+1 scenario and somehow wind up with -12.

Scott B

Indeed it is. Can we give it a -12? I started out in my mind give this about a 25-30, but then I got so worked up writing this review that I downgraded to a 1

Scott B

Seriously, I am the only reviewer and I give this tea a 1 and Steepster says, “Nope, 59”?!


Hahaha…I’ve been wondering how that averaging system works without multiple entries.

Scott B

There’s probably a thread about it in the discussion board. I think it’s like the SAT’s-they get a 59 for putting their name on the label! My single reviews for Banana Crepe, Greek Mountain, and Golden Needles were not adjusted too much-but all were adjusted upwards. I am thinking that they estimate the average tea to be a 75.

Bigelow Tea

Scott B, so sorry to read how disappointed you were with the Charleston Plantation Peach….we certainly appreciate the honesty of your review. I will certainly share your comments with our Marketing Tea for you
Kathy for Bigelow Tea

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Bought this while on vacation in South Carolina. It’s a basic, no-frills green tea. Nothing complex, but nothing that your palate needs to adjust to either. Slightly vegetal. Unlikely to offend, but just as unlikely to induce rabid affection. The loose tea was finely chopped? The tin lasted forever. For me, more a reminder of a great vacation than a great tea, but if you want to try a tea grown in the States, it’s not bad.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Had this 18 months or more ago. Banana and chocolate-what could go wrong? Not too much, except that I got tired of this before I finished. You can taste everything here-the tea, the banana, and the chocolate. It was good. Better with sugar, but usually drank it without. The ingredients tasted properly balanced. I used this as a breakfast tea before I started going with assams and breakfast blends. It was kinda hard for me to drink it at any other time of day. I suppose it could be tried for dessert, but it just didn’t have that feel to me.

Anyhow, as I said, I enjoyed it, but I just got tired of it. I’d have it again some day, but I am not buying 100 grams of it. Have never forgiven TG for eliminating their 50 gram bags.

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I agree, that is one reason I am hesitant to order more things form them, they need smaller bags!

Scott B

They need to vacuum seal their bags too-they are the only place I’ve ever ordered from that doesn’t.

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This may have been the first straight tea I ever tasted. In an order I placed filled with Yellow Peach, Raspberry Chocolate and such I thought “Vietnamese tea? Sounds different and exotic-I’m in!” I loved it and it got my started ever so gradually towards my preference of straight tea. After this I started trying Assams. Haven’t had this in a very long time. I miss it.

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I loved this tea. I bought this tea the first time because it won first place at the North American Tea Championships Fall 2010. I had been pretty disappointed with TG’s English Breakfast Blend that had won 3rd place and I figured that there must be something better. This is just Assam and Ceylon-both teas that are self-drinking (unlike a couple of the teas in the TG blend).

The first cup was a revelation. Strong, yes, but not bitter. Bold. Malty. Simple yet very flavorful. Didn’t need milk and sugar to get through the cup like I did with TG’s. In fact, never even tried it with milk or sugar. It was just get it and go. Perfect way to start my day. However, if I only had one tea in the house I could have drank it all day long. If I had been a Steepster member back then I would have given it a rating in the 90’s.

So, when I needed a new boiling water tea (most of my teas brew at 195 or so), I did not hesitate even though it did not win an award in the 2011 Fall NATC.

Liquor is deep copper. Leaves are dark brown/black, short, somewhat needle-like with just a few golden tips/buds mixed in.

This batch has been so…disappointing. It’s not weak, but it’s not nearly so strong and bold. The flavor is just kinda… subdued. Not so malty. Not so anything it was last time. This is not a good thing for a breakfast blend. The first thing I did was to look at the best-consumed by date. I was suspecting they sold me the same batch that I had purchased last year. But no, it was January 2014 as opposed to March 2013 with different production numbers so that wasn’t it. I tried “refreshing” the leaves for 3 seconds in boiling water-to no measurable effect on the flavor.

I understand that variations in climate, precipitation, temperature, etc. can all effect the taste of tea leaves from crop to crop. That is to be expected if tea comes from a single garden. However, I expect a big outfit like RoT isn’t buying from just one Assam garden and one Ceylon garden. I would think they would buy from multiple gardens to try to prevent too much variance in their teas. I suppose climate variations could effect the whole regions too. I don’t know.

I wonder if they are using cheaper and lower quality teas for this blend now and saving the better stuff for their more upscale offshoot, Rare Tea Republic

Well, I’ll drink one cup first thing for now-because I don’t have any other boiling water teas, but I am looking to get some other breakfast-type boiling water teas, so I may or may not finish this.

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wow, I did not even know the two companies were related!

Scott B

Yes, they even ship from the same warehouse as far as I can tell.


I always wondered this considering the names are close.

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This is the only straight white tea that I have ever enjoyed. I attribute that to not having the floral flavor that White Peony and such have. This is heavier than other white teas, but still light. The slight smoky aroma and flavor is what makes this tea from me. Consumed straight as usual.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I bought this because a Greek internet friend had been raving about it. Often consumed when one is feeling a little under the weather-but can be drunk any time. My friend had me put the stalks directly in my cup with the leaves on them. After that, I removed the stalks as best as possible and then poured through my tea strainer into a different cup. It’s good, but not exciting. A bit lemony, as TG suggests. Mild spice notes. Caffeine-free, good for bedtime. I probably won’t buy it again, but I would drink it if offered

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Review from memory. This teas was really nice for the summer-especially iced. Real strawberries, not just flavoring. This worked well for me as I tend to think straight white teas are too floral for me. A teaspoon of sugar wouldn’t hurt, but not necessary for me. Haven’t seen this in a long time from TG, I wonder if it was discontinued.

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This is a decent tea. Nothing special. Tastes like Keemun traditionally tastes-though a bit weaker. However, there is no bitterness at all. I get two satisfying steeps out of it. I would note that the liquor was lighter than the stock photo-more like a darker first flush darjeeling. I bought it during a free shipping special. I’ll probably buy it again some time-but only during another free shipping promo. I’ll be checking out other Keemuns in the meantime.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Started drinking tea for health benefits maybe 5 years ago-exclusively bagged tea. Usually went for various Celestial Seasonings type of stuff. I bought a tea infuser at a gourmet shop once and then I realized there was almost no loose tea available. Eventually tiring of bags, I started ordering loose tea online and I have never gone back. Initially, I was exploring all the wild and exotic flavor combinations, but now I mostly drink straight teas. I still enjoy blended teas-but prefer those without “flavoring”. Hope to learn here and find some new teas I might not otherwise find. Am a vegan, so “milk” generally means “soymilk” to me. If it’s almond, rice, or coconut, I will mention that fact.

I am new here, and new to reviewing tea. Many of my initial reviews will be from memory and may not be very detailed at all. I hope to write more informative reviews on current and future teas.

I won’t let external factors affect my rating of the tea-such as slow shipping, too expensive, etc. I’ll mention any customer service problems in my reviews. I also won’t let my mistakes in not following the seller’s recommended parameters affect a rating. I can’t believe people who say “I forgot about it and oversteeped it” and then give it a rating. If I brew outside the parameters, I will wait until I brew it right before I give it a rating.

TEMPORARY RATING SYSTEM- Don’t hold me to these numbers and descriptions-like George Bluth, I like to tweak.

90+ It’s awesome, right?? I’ll probably try to keep it on hand.

80-89 – I really like this and will buy it again at some point, but there are so many teas to try!

70-79 – This is a pretty good tea and I may buy it again based on my mood, what tea store I am buying from, and what kind of deal I can get.

60-69 – This is okay. I finished the bag. I would drink it again if offered, but would not buy it again.

40-59 – IF I finished the bag, I recall this tea thinking “Why in the hell did I finish the bag?”

1-39 – Did not finish the bag. Maybe not even the cup. Tea was given away or discarded.



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