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A light golden color in the cup, this smells toasty and a little fruity, but the flavor is sweet/smoky. The leaves unfurl beautifully from their pellets. This is nice, and I’ll steep it as long as it goes, but it’s not wowing me. Still, it’s definitely a step above the tea I’ve received in (American) Chinese restaurants.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

Location

Boston, MA

Website

http://www.twitter.com/_teabird

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