186 Tasting Notes

3
drank English Breakfast by Flavia
186 tasting notes

How can people drink this!?

Seriously. How can you consume this beverage and enjoy it unless you hate yourself.

Or unless you have the world’s worst taste buds.

I figured, oooh, English Breakfast! Nom! And on top of it, this one is from Kenya! I haven’t had a Kenyan tea before (I have one on deck from Auggy), but yeah! Cool, let’s stick the little packet in the slot and see what happens.

Well, first off, this brews up really murky brown. Almost mahogany in color. It’s not clear at all. And the smell coming off of it smells like really strong Liptons, maybe jazzed up a little bit. It’s a fairly nice smell, and I enjoy sniffing it for a few seconds before I take the plunge.

I nearly spat it out.

This is SO BITTER. What the hell?! It just lingers and lingers and lingers. It tastes burnt and dead and awful. It makes you want to cry. I’m glad nobody was in my general vicinity when I took my first sip, or else they might have been worried. Due to the face I was making, of course. I imagine that it twisted into some mask of horror. I literally stuck my tongue out, scrunched up my nose, shook my head a few times.

Then I promptly ran to our pantry and dumped this in the sink.

No.

Just no.

Cofftea

English breakfast from Kenya. Amazing.

Jillian

@Cofftea: Actually I think Kenyan teas are used in a lot of EB blends these days – it’s not like they can actually grow the tea themsleves in England/Ireland/whatever. :D

Cofftea

Yeah I know, it just sounds funny.

takgoti

Fail.

And also, I’m sorry, but every time I see Flavia in your reviews my brain shouts, “FLAvia FLAAAAAAV!”

Laura

Oh no! Ugh – Succumbing to vending machine coffee/tea is such a gamble! :( Hopefully you can bring tea from home to your new job?

sophistre

‘How can you consume this beverage and enjoy it unless you hate yourself.’

I lol’d.

Rijje

Did you brew it on the Flavia machine?
I suspect the tempreture, but I am not sure…

teaplz

Rijje, yep, this was brewed in the Flavia machine. There’s not much else to do with the packet other than that…

I think it might be the tea. I tested out hot water from the Flavia machine and it tops out around 185. So if the black tea was getting doused with water that temperature… it would be crazy-bitter. It tastes either really old or ridiculously oversteeped. I’m not even sure if there are tea leaves in the little packet… I’m going to cut it open and find out tomorrow!

theyhaveways

Awhh sounds like a bad experience. I love the EB from Zhi, it’s from Sri Lanka. I don’t know what blenders are thinking using a Kenya tea in a EB blend.

Rijje

The machine I tried didn’t adjust the temp. to the tea. This made me cut open a bag of japanese tea and steep it myself. It’s a lot better… I only drink the tea from the flavia, on the flavia machine, if they can take the heat. Have you tried the green jasmine?

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83
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
186 tasting notes

I just needed to relax, you know. No stress. Just some simple, good decaf tea.

And some Zen Sonic the Hedgehog 1: http://www.viddler.com/explore/Docfuture/videos/28/

Sometimes you need to feel strong. You need to believe in yourself. The world is a scary place. Don’t stress yourself out.

We can be heroes.

Drinking tea. Like this, and just relaxing. That’s what I love about tea. It can be a very active beverage, where you’re sticking your nose in the mug, figuring out trace tasting notes, swirling the infusion on your tongue to coat it completely, breathing in to catch the nuances of the aftertaste. Or it could be one of the simplest, most comforting things in the world. Just warm and cozy wrapped up with a nice hot mug of goodness.

That’s what Vanilla Comoro was tonight. Subtly sweet, slightly brisk, light and airy vanilla that wasn’t too forced.

Mmm.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
takgoti

Um.

That link was awesome.

Sonic heroes.

Ricky

Yay for relaxing tea.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Very zen tealog.

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92
drank Ancient Yellow Buds by Rishi Tea
186 tasting notes

Backlogging from the weekend!

Okay, can we talk about how much my love for Rishi has shot up? Between this, Purple Bamboo, Ancient Emerald Lily, and their Silver Needle… yeah, Rishi has it going on. Their Golden Yunnan is delicious too. I think they’re joining the esteemed ranks of some of my favorite tea companies.

So, this one has been getting a lot of hype on Steepster from some of my absolute favorite posters, so I knew I needed to buy me some Yellow Buds! The only yellow tea I had previously didn’t go so well. It was that awful Yellow Peach put out by TeaGschwendner, and I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to like yellow tea after tasting that.

Well, guess what, this one is amazing. Let’s start with the dry leaves before we get into the taste, though… The leaves are really gorgeous. It looks like a silver needle, but tinged with yellow. Same shape, same fuzziness, just… different color. And the aroma that’s coming off of them is a dusty sort of honey. Like a sunset.

Anyway, I really was intimidated by the amount of leaves this bad boy requires. Half a teapot worth! I didn’t really measure out the leaf. I poured. It looked to be around 2-3 tablespoons for 8 oz., but what do I know? It’s really fluffy and hard to judge. This one steeps up to a gorgeous pale, pale cream-yellow, and the smell coming off of the cup… I let out a little whimper. That’s how delicious this one smells. It’s wonderfully fragrant of honey-butter. Seriously.

And the taste? Man. It’s actually really light and subtle, but it’s a delicious honeyed flavor. Sort of like wildflower honey. There’s a tiny note of vegetal-floralness that’s awesome. And this melts into a flavor of apples! Peeled apples! There’s something specific to the taste. I kept thinking it was baked, but it’s not. And then it hit me. Almost like those dehydrated apple snacks that I absolutely love to eat.

I’m getting this yeasty sort of taste as well. Almost like fresh out of the oven little breads. I had these breads at Calle Ocho in NYC the other day for an engagement party. They were gently spiked with cheese, but they were pillowy with a crust that gave rather easily. Minus the cheese, the aftertaste is that bread. Oh. My God.

This one is compulsively drinkable to the nth degree. I finished my cup quite quickly, enjoying the savory sweetness that accompanied each and every sip.

The second steep (3:30, 180) didn’t go as well for me. It was still very sweet and apple-lite, but I was getting a stronger vegetal note than I would have liked. I haven’t tried a third steep yet, but I probably will.

But seriously, I’m sort of late to the party and echoing everyone’s sentiments, but this tea is awesome. Thank you Rishi, for another tea well done!

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

this is on my list of teas to try. i really want to experience a yellow tea. nice review!

mattscinto

Hmm I’ll have to check out Rishi.. and this sounds delicious.

teaplz

It’s really good, guys!

And Matt, I definitely recommend Rishi. I’ve had some misses (Jade FIre is very, very strange) and some upper-mediocre ones (like Orange Blossom and Citron Oolong, although they taste pretty yummy), but when they’re good, they’re really good!

takgoti

Is. So. GOOD. NOM NOM NOM.

mattscinto

I’ll be sure to check it out

wombatgirl

Do you think this would work well with gaiwan steeping? I ended up bringing my gaiwan to Nashville this week, and the Sainted Lena just gave me a sample of this one… I don’t want to wait to try it! :)

teaplz

wombatgirl, absolutely! I believe the Rishi website has guidelines for infusing this in a gaiwan! Look it up!

LENA

But did you like it? lol…j/k. This tea just rocks on all sorts of levels. Mmmm…honeysuckle.

sophistre

This has been on my list since Takgoti pointed toward…someone else’s review of it…and now I can’t remember who they were. That is awful of me. But the whole ‘floral honey on fresh-baked bread’ thing was too much for me to ignore. I have way too much tea now, but this might’ve tipped the scales..

teaplz

Lena, hahahaha, and it is very delicious. I’m just sad that I’m going to run out of it faster than normal because of the heavy leaf thing.

sophistre, could it have been O-Cha? I think it might have been… but this one is really good. The bread thing is really extremely subtle, and more in the aftertaste, but it’s definitely there if you concentrate. This one tastes dark and dusky and wonderful and if you buy some I can’t wait to read your review!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Has already been noted in the SL. But your review made me go there to note it. =)

Oh Cha!

I thought you’d like it. :]

The trick with Rishi… go for the pure teas. Blends are great, sure sure sure… but, Rishi really stands out when it comes to TRUE TEA. Just like their catch-line encourages.

Personal favourites: Organic Sencha (different from Sencha Superior), Kukicha, Dragon Well for a Chinese green, Silver Needle, Osthmanthus Silver Needle, Moonlight White, and Iron Goddess of Mercy.

teaplz

Wheeee, thanks Oh Cha for the wonderful list of recommendations! I’ve tried the Silver Needle and it’s absolutely delicious. Seriously wonderful. I’m going to have to try the others when I make another big tea order! :)

Oh Cha!

Let me know how you like any of them if/when you try them!

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88
drank Milk Oolong by SerendipiTea
186 tasting notes

My first MILK OOLONG.

Dun dun dun!

Actually, more of a wheeeee!

I am so super-caffeinated right now. Seriously. BWAHAAAA.

Anyway, I bought this at the Coffee & Tea Festival (for those that didn’t read, I did a huge write-up of the funness: http://steepster.com/teaplz/posts/29743 and yay!) from SerendipiTea on a bit discount. They were so nice at the booth! I didn’t taste this one there, but I couldn’t resist a milk oolong for $9 (special price for the festival) that wasn’t artificially flavored.

Anyway, the leaves are very pretty, green nubby things. Very rolled oolong. The smell coming off of the leaves isn’t very special. A bit green/floral maybe? But nothing super-interesting.

Anyway, the packaging didn’t have any steeping parameters, so I went by what other people have done on other milk oolongs on Steepster. I only did 1 tsp of this in 8 oz. I’ll have to try SerendipiTea’s recommendation on their website when I can… I’ve got 4 oz. of this, so there’s plenty to play around with!

Anyway, the infusion steeps up to a beautiful creamy yellow color that makes me want to eat it all up. And the smell. Homygawd can we talk about the aroma here for a second. Deliciously buttery and creamy and floral and wonderful. Seriously heavenly.

The taste… mmmmm. So light, but packed full of flavor! It’s mostly a floral flavor, very soft but assertive and inviting. Sort of light a tight hug. And then there’s this wonderful milky/creamy note that lingers on the tongue for a bit, enveloped in the floralness. It’s really smooth and nice and mmmmm. It’s definitely more floral than I thought it would be, but not in a rose-like way. More of in a general pollen-y way.

It tastes like spring in a cup, which is awesome, because I’m just about ready to see it coming. I’m sick of this snow.

My mom did not get this tea. She said it smelled like cabbage. WAT. And she said it tasted gross. Whatever, Mom. You are wrong about this.

Anyway, I’m off to make a second steep!

Annnnd the Second Steep (4:00, 190 degrees) was pretty much a success! It was definitely not as wonderful as the first cup, but…

Can I pause for a second to talk about how absolutely gorgeous the leaves are when unfurled? Beautiful. They’re some of the broadest leaves I’ve seen in any tea. SerendipiTea, I love your quality. I love that you’re local. You are awesome.

The color was a bit darker than before, with some rogue sediment on the bottom. At peak, the taste here was kind of “hai, I don’t want to be made into tea anymore.” Once it cooled down a bit, the tea got into more of a happy groove. The milkiness is still there, but it’s a bit subdued. The floral tastes are still very much in the forefront of the flavor. It still tastes pretty damn awesome, and the cup is as fragrant as the first.

YUM! Maybe I’ll do a third steep, we shall see…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I sympathise on the issue of your mother. Mine thought my Tie Guan Yin, favourite oolong of ALL TIME was stinky…

~lauren.

Oh dear – I am a mom and have a very verbal mother, too, so I can see both points of view! When Mom says something, I am so rolling my eyes, but when I say something, I am right and my kids better listen to me … haha!

teaplz

But this tea smells nothing like cabbage! :( It smells like creamy buttery notes with flowers! Silly mommeh.

Aww, Angry Body, that stinks. I’m sure it smelled wonderful!

And Lauren, we’ll see what happens when I have kids! Hehe, I’m sure I’ll be just like my mom. Which is sort of a scary thought.

In other news, second steepage is up!

Ricky

My mom did not get this tea. She said it smelled like cabbage. WAT. And she said it tasted gross. Whatever, Mom. You are wrong about this. LOL Did you show her this?

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83

SENCHA WIN!

I think I got the hang of this now.

Today I was determined to get this tea correct. I messed up so badly the first time through, that I wanted the second time to be pitch-perfect. So I used a teaspoon of this in 8 oz. of water (instead of a tablespoon in 9 oz.) and steeped it for a minute. I started my pour at about 50 seconds, just to make sure I wasn’t going overboard.

And WOW, okay, the difference is astounding just in color alone. I’ve got here a clear, lime-green liquid. It’s absolutely stunning to look at. Not olive-green sludge that I had the last time. There’s a bit of green, foamy-looking sediment at the bottom. Nom nom.

And the smell coming off of the cup is definitely more of what sencha is supposed to smell like. It’s highly grassy, with buttery undertones. It smells like a fresh-cut lawn.

Now the taste. Okay, you know what? I can get behind this. I get this. There’s definitely a high grass content to this, so if grass isn’t your thing, then this shouldn’t be for you. It melds into a very light, butter note,. This is chased by a more savory element to the tea, a briny element that reminds me of kelp or seaweed. Rounding out the flavor is a touch of bitterness. It’s bitterness, mind you, not from oversteeping. It’s an inherent and almost pleasant quality.

There’s a mouthfeel too! Not as silky as something like Samovar’s Ryokucha, but it feels full and dense.

I recommend waiting a bit between sips, because a most wonderful aftertaste will grow across your tongue. I can’t describe it, but it almost tastes like you’ve sucked the chlorophyll out of a leaf. Even though I’ve never done that before… that’s what it tastes like. A very specific, juicy-green sweetness. Really bright and pleasing.

So yeah, I think I’ve got the idea about this sencha thing now, and it’s actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be! Thank you, Steepster, for helping me figure out what was wrong with my abysmal first steep, and thanks to takgoti, for being kind enough to send me some of this to nom on!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec
takgoti

So glad your second time was much better than the first.

That sentence could apply itself in so many different ways.

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89

Finally some good tea today!

I’m actually completely snowed in today. I tried walking around outside and nearly fell on my face. Several times. There was no way I was going to make it to the bus stop in those conditions. Not to mention the severe delays.

So I figured I’d steep up some very happy-making tea, to ward off the cold. And to have something delicious to drink! We’re winding down to the end of the Golden Moon sampler here… just Honey Pear and Coconut Pouchong left.

Anyway, when I cut open the package, there was an awesome rush of a sugar and caramel and delicious smell. Man. It’s leaning more towards the sugary side of things, smell-wise, but this is pretty intoxicating. I kept sticking my nose in the packet and breathing in deep. Ahhhhh. I’m not getting a lot of an oolong smell from it, which is perfectly fine.

So I steeped up a teaspoon of this bad boy, and watched the leaves unfurl. Rolled oolongs. So. Much. Fun. The resulting infusion was a light goldenrod color, and the smell coming off of it? Delicious. Absolute chewy, buttery oolong goodness, which I was surprised about. I thought it’d be more of a sugar/caramel smell, but nope. There’s a heady floral component to it. Almost like a wildflower honey smell (which is delicious, by the way).

Hot, I’m just getting a sort of light, buttery-oolong style note. But as the cup cooled down, I began to taste a delicious trace of sugar, and hints of caramel after every sip. The taste is pleasingly light. I don’t know why I thought this would be darker and more syrupy, but it really isn’t. This is so pleasantly sippable that I’m holding my mug in two hands and sticking my face in it, a little smile on my face.

I’ve been so deprived of good tea.

Anyway, as the tea cools even more, there’s this little magical period where the sugary taste really comes to the forefront. The cup even smells more like the dry leaves. It’s absolutely delicious. The oolong here is very light and supporting. It’s funny. It’s like all the components here are in an ensemble cast. I can’t really pick out a dominant flavor, which I like.

The second steep for me (3:00, 190 degrees) wasn’t as good as the first. It was definitely drinkable, but it had that sort of spent-leaf taste that I don’t really enjoy. It’s almost a heavier flavor, an overcooked vegetable flavor. There was still a little bit of a sugary taste to it, but everything was much more muted.

But yes. Yum.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Suzi

Sounds super delish!

Ricky

Yay for snow day! More tea for you =]

LENA

I have got to try this one, stat!

laurenpressley

I loved this one, too! Your review reminded me how much so that I had to go and make sure it was on my shopping list stat!

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34

Okay, this one smells really delicious. Like ginger and peaches and lovely stuff like that. Really heady and strong. My dad kept stealing the teabag from me and sniffing the contents and oohing and ahhing.

The bag is really cute too. Some sort of silky fabric, and inside… TEA. Like, actual leaves. This makes me very, very happy. I was very tempted to go in there and FREE THE LEAVES but I figured I should try to steep this puppy up the way it’s meant to be steeped: in the bag.

Anyway, since my friend at work gave me the bag, I had no idea what the parameters were. So I just steeped this up for a bit, and… yeah. The tea doesn’t smell as good as the dry. There’s a bit of a musky/musty order, and the black tea smells a bit dusty. But it’s not that bad.

So I go in for the sip and… hrm. The black tea here is pretty bitter. The ginger peeps through and then trounces your tongue. Bounces on it like a trampoline and says “HAI THURR.” It dissipates into a peach flavor that’s actually pretty okay-tasting, except for the fact that there’s a peach hand lotion taste to it. Like if you’ve ever licked your hand after putting on lotion. That sort of creamy/icky/soapy taste. Yeah. I don’t know what it’s doing in there, since I don’t wear lotion, or maybe it’s just some weird by-product, but anyway…

This one was a bit bizarre. Successive sips made it taste better, and when it cooled it tasted a bit better and sweeter, but I couldn’t get past the hand lotion taste. And the bitterness of the black.

Sigh. Well, tomorrow’s Friday and I’ll be able to steep some lovely stuff at home! Looking forward to the NOMNESS.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Eeew @ the hand lotion taste. I’ve sort of done that before and it is gross. Bad tea! Bad!

takgoti

Yay Friday! Yay home! Yay nomness! All is good. All is light.

And also, FUZZY PUPPIES ALWAYS MAKE ME SMILE!
http://www.ustream.tv/SFShiba

Angrboda

O noes another soapy tasting one! I’ve tried this brand a couple of times at a hotel in Copenhagen for the breakfast buffet and found it decent. Certainly better than the lipton alternative, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

LENA

FREE THE LEAVES sounds like a great campaign slogan. I kind of like the silky fabric that some of the pyramid or sachet bags are made of. But ultimately, you gotta free those leaves, man.

teaplz

@Auggy, I’m sure it would be terribly gross if you accidentally poured the lotion into the tea. Talk about EW.

@takgoti OMG SHIBA INU. I love that breed of dog. They’re supposed to be very cat-like.

@Angrboda isn’t soapiness the worst? Once you taste it, you can’t untaste it, and then you’re like DISHWASHING LIQUID EW. Yeah. Not cool.

@LENA Seriously, the bag was SO cute. But I felt bad for those leaves, trapped in a little mesh prison of hopelessness, itching to get out… it was depressing to see them all pressed up against the bag. I felt like I drowned them instead of taking them for a swim. :(

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4
drank Japanese Green Tea by Flavia
186 tasting notes

Oh NO.

Ew.

So I was a bit adventurous at work today, and I figured, let’s explore the options in the Flavia machine! Oh look! Here’s a Japanese green!

So I have no idea what the leaves look like, because they’re concealed in a foil packet thinger. I’m pretty sure there is leaf in this, and it’s just not powder. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was powder. If I get bored enough, I just might cut one of these suckers open. I wonder if I’ll be horrified at the contents.

Anyway, this steeps/pours/does whatever and it’s a neon green, akin to a sencha or ryokucha. NOT BAD, I’m thinking to myself. The smell coming off the cup isn’t half bad either! It’s grassy in a very Japanese green/sencha-like way, with a very faint hint of butteryness. Hrm.

So I wait for it to cool, and sip, and HOLY GOD BAD. Yeah. Um. What the hell. I feel bad for the poor person that had this, thinking that this is what sencha really tastes like, and then never had Japanese green tea again. It’s ridiculously bitter. You can tell that the machine has absolutely no clue about water temperatures and steep times and the like. The leaves taste like they’re screaming for help, dying as they’re engulfed in scalding water. It’s such an unpleasant taste. Blech.

I tolerated a few sips before I had to toss this one. This makes me only all the more eager to nail the sencha I have here in my house even more.

And so the work tea saga continues…

Ricky

Hahahahha, I read Oh NO. Ew. Loved it =]

I mean, it’s unfortunate you had such a bad tea experience with the Flavia machine, but at least your misfortune can bring pleasure to other Steepster members =P. Now I’m tempted to grab some tea from a Flavia machine. Ummm, I’ll have to find time to stop by that building where there is one =P. I usually just grab hot chocolate from it. It seems the safest thing to do =P

wombatgirl

If you don’t gut one, I will next week. I’m off to Nashville to take a training class next week, and there’s a flavia machine at the training facility. I’ll take one back to my hotel room and dissect it. ;)

Suzi

That sounds so nasty :D But it was awesome to read!

mlc

One of the paradoxes of Steepster is that when people really hate a tea, it often makes the reviews so much more entertaining.

Seth Collins

I cut one open today. Looks like Kukicha, but finer cut. Smells and tastes exactly like it, too.

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87
drank Emerald Lily by Rishi Tea
186 tasting notes

Hrm. So maybe this whole work tea experience isn’t working out quite as well as I hoped!

So I figured I’d finish off the sample that takgoti sent me, and try some Ancient Emerald Lily at work (I have a tin of this as well).

I think the problem is actually my Flavia machine’s water. I’m not sure having the water run through the same spout that produces coffee and hot chocolate and various types of tea is such a good thing. Or maybe it’s just the water that tastes bad…

Anyway, this tea, which is one that I found in the past to be very enjoyable, pretty much fell flat today. None of the flavors really stood out. There was a weird, almost mineral-like taste, and the formally nutty notes were really harsh and unpleasant. The lower water temperature I used really caused the tea to lose a lot of its astringency, which was definitely pleasant. And as the cup cooled, there was definite green-sweet peeping through.

But overall, the cup just wasn’t as good as I’ve had in the past. Tea is probably 99% water, so I have a feeling the water might be the key to my problem. The next step is going to be boiling some water in the microwave and then letting it cool to an appropriate temperature. Or I might test another tea, like Adagio’s Gunpowder, and see how it stands up to these icky water conditions. I don’t want to be ruining tea with bad water.

Looks like the hot water kettle + bottled water might just end up being the more viable option…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Aww, poor teaplz and your bad tea experiences. There’s always the option of bringing a cup of tea in a thermos, that’ll get you a morning cup of tea =]

Even though I have a kitchen, I think I might bring an electric water kettle as well and leave it by my desk. I was just wondering how I would separate the tea leaves. I mean I’d technically have to head to the kitchen to clean it… so that eliminates the whole purpose. Then again I could have oolong and green which would work for multiple steeps. Decisions decisions.

Angrboda

Coffee flavour does rub off something awful! We’ve had that problem at work too, where the thermos pots used for my tea and the coffee are the same colour, so the lids have sometimes been switched around in spite of them being labeled. I have to make a whole new round of tea then, because if it isn’t noticed before I start pouring, the whole lot just tastes of coffee. It is not pleasant.

Auggy

My water at work is nasty, especially heated, so I feel your pain. I used to bring bottled water to make tea but found that it made it taste a bit flat. (Apparently distilled water doesn’t make the best flavored tea – there was a site that did a great post comparing teas made with distilled, tap and filtered water – they also did another one with brewing vessel materials – glass, iron, clay. Really interesting but I have no idea where it was so boo). Anyway, now I bring a refillable water bottle to work every day with filtered water from home. I feel a bit like a dork doing it but it makes for happy tea so I’m happy. (I also have an electric kettle here for my tea so I’m pretty sure I am a dork). Anyway, it all boils down to what ends up working for you which can take some trial and error to figure out. Good luck and may you get it all perfected soon!

Auggy

(Wow – long comment. So sorry!)

takgoti

Oh dear. I’ll second Auggy – I’ve made tea from bottled water before in a pinch and it does not work well. Not that I want to encourage you to set up camp in your office, but a little Brita pitcher might be a good way to go unless the sink is…you know, all the way over there. Either that or Auggy’s water bottle idea is made of win as well.

kingly311

I think it may not be your water, because I’m using deer park bottled water, and I got the same result with this tea. I had a very similar reaction. Perhaps we need to brew it longer, like someone here suggested. 3 minutes was definitely not enough.

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53
drank Jade Fire by Rishi Tea
186 tasting notes

My first tea at work! I brought in a mug, a thermometer, my Finum Brewing Basket, and some tea, of course! I figured I’d start wearing down some of my samples. I don’t want to be brewing stuff I haven’t tasted yet in the office.

I measured the water temperature in the office, and it tops out at 180. Bah. So I guess that means greens and whites for now, until I get a kettle. I’m scared of exploding water in the microwave, so blacks will have to wait.

Anyway, this one steeped up to a very light color. I adjusted the temperature and steep time to maybe mellow out some of the astringency and weird mineral flavors that I got the first time I tasted this one.

The infusion was really a very light cream-yellow, almost the color of a white tea. And the smell coming off of it was a lot more buttery than I remembered. But the leaves smell kind of gross wet. I can’t describe it. But it’s unappealing.

The taste this time… woah. Okay, so the mineral weirdness is still there. But now I’m really, really tasting pine cones. Like, wet, kind of old pine cones, mixed with a vegetal taste that’s really kind of like spinach. And then it’s blending into a sweet taste, but this only happens after the cup has cooled. I think the rating is staying where it is. This one isn’t exactly the best thing I’ve ever tasted, by far.

It’s good for mindless sipping, but I can’t say that I’m particularly enjoying the flavors that I’ve extracted out of this one.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Auggy

I still have some of this left! Such a weird little tea… I need to make myself drink it. But yay for tea at work!!!

Cofftea

Glad to see things at work are calming down!=D

Christeana

Teas I don’t like, I try too. And then I play with them. I tried adding some dried fruit, or skillet-toasted grain (rice) – only takes a few minutes in a frying pan on the stove. Makes all the difference.

S

Yay, work tea! :)

mattscinto

How long did you microwave the water to hit 180?

teaplz

Matt, I tested the temperature of the water in my Flavia coffee/tea machine, and it’s at 180.

I’m sort of afraid of boiling water in the microwave! I’ve heard it super-boils and then can actually explode. :(

Ricky

You think that’s the temperature of those hot/cold water coolers as well? Three minutes should be fine, it won’t explode unless you cover it. BUT if you don’t cover it a little, it absorbs all the icky smell from the previous person’s food.

teaplz

I tested the temperature of my hot water cooler, and it topped out at 160. Perfect for sencha but… not much else. :P

Yeah, I might just buy that kettle. Or not drink blacks for a while!

S

It only will superboil if the container you are microwaving has no scratches or imperfections. You can avoid superboiling by putting something in the container, like a wooden stick…I saw Alton Brown do that. :)

Auggy

Dude! Mythbusters did something on this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_OXM4mr_i0&NR=1 Apparently it only happens with distilled water but still!

Auggy

(Okay, Wikipedia says it can happen with any liquid, not just pure ones but the Mythbusters’ video is still cool because it’s Mythbusters.)

S

Mythbusters!!!! Thanks for linking Auggy! OMG I have missed that show sooooo much, because I don’t have a TV anymore. :(
(Heh, I had a superboiling incedent a few days ago…I heated the water in a pyrex measuring cup, and it exploded when I poured it into my teapot…it was so cool though!)

Auggy

Well you know, Shanti, someone very smart once told me that you can avoid superboiling by putting something in the container, like a wooden stick.
;)

mattscinto

@teaplz I was curious actually on how long you heated the water in the microwave to hit 180

S

Hi mattscinto, I think it depends on what model of microwave you have to determine how long it takes for the water to get to 180, not to mention the amount of water in the cup…anyone know for sure?

teaplz

Matt, I meant that I used the water from my Flavia machine, which tops out at 180 for the tea. I haven’t actually heated any water in the microwave just yet.

Cofftea

That’s awesome that you have a quick and easy way to get 180 degree water. Yay for the flavia machine!=D

mattscinto

@teaplz oh. i see :)

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Bio

22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

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New York City

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