Alright, having another go at this one. Reduced steeping time to 2 minutes, and the temp down to 200*. The odd flavor that I was thinking was “dusty” is still kinda there, and there’s still astringency (quite a bit for only 2 minutes), but I think what I’m getting now is more…meaty? Proteiny? It’s so hard to find the words for it. It’s much more palatable at this time/temp…I’m still not really getting much bergamot taste, though.
Okay, after thinking on this tea, it reminds me of those paper tasting strips in my genetics class. Did anyone else do that? They’re little strips of paper that have chemicals in them…some people can taste these compounds, some can’t, and the ability to taste each different compound is, apparently, a single gene trait. I don’t remember which ones we did, but I do remember being the only one who had to run out of the room to rinse my mouth out after trying one of them.
Okay, back to the tea…I did get a better cup this time around, and, in fact, actually finished the pot. I think I’ll shorten the steep even more next time around.
(And a big thanks to LiberTEAS for taking the time to help me out with this blend. You’re awesome!)
I’ve actually had a number of pots of this whilst being here at my parents’s place (snow has thawed slightly and I’ll get to go back home tomorrow). I think I’ve finally got this working right. I took the bags out of the cellophane bag, and then left the lid off the container overnight. That strange, musty taste is now gone for the most part, and I can enjoy it much better now. It’s definitely not my favorite Earl, but at least I’ve figured out a way to brew it!
So I’ve actually been drinking this tea a lot over the break…so much so that this is my last pot. I will say that it has improved for me, but not to the point where I’ll be getting more of it. And it’s not been terribly exciting to drink, but does deliver a good caffeine-get-me-awake feeling.
I think I need to tweak my steeping parameters on this one. There’s just something…not right about it. It’s got this toasted, dusty taste to it…and at first, I thought maybe I’d just gotten a bad batch, but the bags that LiberTEAS had tucked into my surprise box were the same (had those at work but didn’t log). Could this tea be picking up the cardboard taste? Any steeping suggestions?