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115 Tasting Notes

76

Pitted this one up against two other Assam teas in a taste test. I carefully measure the tea (by weight) the time steeped (2 min to prevent bitterness,) and the sugar amount so all are done the same. Of the three, this one came out on top IMHO. It’s smooth with very little if any astringency. Has a nice caramel malty flavor with no lingering bitterness. I added no dairy products and it’s a nice cup just with the sweetener.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Little Yellow Teapot

Very interesting. Assam is usually considered a tea to have with milk/cream. By steeping a shorter time, you get a non-bitter cup that doesn’t need the dairy. Will have to try that with the two Assams I have on hand.

Teaman

Yes I have found that anything over 2 1/2 minutes with most if not all assam teas results in bitterness. Chinese black teas I don’t find that to be the case. Not sure why that is. Given that most black teas in bags are usually an assam and that nearly all give instructions to steep 5 minutes, no wonder most Americans don’t like black tea. I figure you give them a quality loose leaf tea steeped the proper time and they would like it. Even Chinese black teas I steep 3 minutes as a general rule. But even going up to 5 with them usually won’t be bitter.

Little Yellow Teapot

Have seen a lot of info online recommending to brew black teas 5 mins. My humans do that. They like their tea strong. Will have to get them to try this other way. They have some bad tea habits. I’m retraining them, but it takes time. :-)

Teaman

Strong tea comes from more leaf in the cup or pot, not longer brew times. Beyond 2-3 minutes tannins in the tea are extracted which results in the bitter taste.

Little Yellow Teapot

Thanks, Teaman. :-)

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74

Had a mug of this today from a sampler packet I recently got. It’s the second time I’m sampled it. It claims to be a 2008 winner of some award so I figured it must be good. It is a strong blend as they claim. I’m not sure if I put too much leaf into my brew but it was strong, a bit too strong for my liking. Given it has Assam as one of the primary leaf varietals I steeped it 2:15 minutes and it still came out with quite a bit of astringency. It’s got a interesting malty and earthy flavor that I’m thinking their suggestion for adding milk might be in order. I also think rock sugar or at least raw sugar or Turbinado sugar might enhance this further. It was a bold wake up tea and while not a favorite I will give it some more tries making sure I measure it more carefully next time and try it with milk and sugar.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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97
drank Keemun Hao Ya B by TeaSource
115 tasting notes

Enjoying this wonderful Keemun with a piece of dark Belgium chocolate (72% cocoa) from Trader Joe’s. What a combination. If you like Keemun teas and haven’t tried this tea from TeaSource yet, you owe it to yourself to get some.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
EvaPeva

I agree. . . this is a great one from Tea Source!

Teaman

Ah, another TeaSource customer! Yeaaa! How did a New Yorker find them given they are in MN? I don’t recall exactly how I found them but likely when I was frantically trying to locate some quality Keemun Hao Ya “A” online a few years back when there seemed to be a shortage and I couldn’t find a quality source anywhere. I talked to the owner by phone a few times and found he selects his teas pretty carefully and doesn’t just order up from some distributor but deals with the suppliers directly and I believe travels to sample their teas. I like that in a supplier and found Bill’s selection of China and Indian teas to be usually pretty good.

EvaPeva

I must admit. . I have my secret tea sources, but we happen to have some here in our office as they were shipped here! Yes, I happen to know the owner as well. . .and he is BEYOND knowledgeable of teas. . .one of the best in the industry!

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80
drank Himalayan Shila Black by TeaSource
115 tasting notes

My afternoon tea is this interesting tea from TeaSource. It’s a first flush black tea that’s got a slight vegetal flavor like a green tea yet it’s oxidized as a black tea. It’s has a pleasant flavor with fruity and honey notes that is rather enjoyable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Assam Panatola Estate by TeaSource
115 tasting notes

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91

Had this tea this morning (2nd time since purchasing it) and it was excellent! The toasty/oaky/smoky (slight) flavor I personally refer to as the “keemun” flavor is very nice in this one. If you like Keemun Hao Ya A then this tea is a definite one to try. It’s organic to boot so that’s a bonus. I had 16 oz but wishing I had some more with me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

I really need to check out Zen Tara. Especially now that they have their shop open. This one will be on the list of things to try.

Teaman

I plan to have a comparison taste test with the Zen Tara vs. two other favorite Keemun Hao Ya ‘A’ teas within the week and will try to post a taste note on this forum.

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87
drank Assam Panatola Estate by TeaSource
115 tasting notes

New package of this tea arrived the other day. This is a great assam at 2 min steep. No noticeable astringency, yet a bold and smooth malty taste. For a cold but clear sunny day this is a great wakeup tea! What a great start!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

Today was my last serving from my supply of this really nice assam. I like a malty non-astringent assam and this one is a good one. The leaf is a larger leaf particle that is not so broken. It has some tippy leaf but not a lot. The flavor at 2 minutes is delicious, no bitterness and a strong malty brew. For a cold overcast day… this hits the spot! Yumm! I see TeaSource is out of stock on this one and not sure if any will come in for 2009. My 2008 supply ended today. :(

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
91

Trying to keep this slow afternoon before Thanksgiviing awake. This brisk tea helps, a nice malty bold after lunch tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Himalayan Shila Black by TeaSource
115 tasting notes

Got this new tea recently and find it has a rich and rather unique flavor. The unsteeped leaves are twisted and curled and have a dark greenish black appearance. The aroma is distinct and pleasant. The color of the brew is a light golden yellow. The leaves unfurl and reveal their long full leafs. They take on the appearance of an oolong tea. The taste is smooth with notes of fruit. It’s a delicious tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bachan

Thanks for tasting and rating our tea!

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Profile

Bio

I love loose leaf tea! While I gravitate towards black teas, I’m getting more into oolongs, greens and whites. I’m always looking for great fresh new teas to try. This tends to lead to the problem of ordering more even though I already have way too much.

My collection of tea has kind of gotten out of hand. After taking over several kitchen cupboards, it has spilled into the back hallway now with containers of tea stacked up there. I think I need more hours in the day to drink it all.

I’m also a vegetarian who loves dark chocolate, photography, travel, computers, web programming, technology and cats.

Location

near Portland, Oregon

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