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Experience buying from Den’s Tea http://steepster.com/places/2923-dens-tea-online-torrance-california

Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf: I got this as a sample with my last order (made in January); I believe it is from the 2011 spring harvest.

Size, Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: This 10 gram sample looked like Gyokuro, but with a little finer cut pieces; it smelled strongly vegetal, fresh, good!

Brewing guidelines: 10 grams of dry tea, 5 cups of water; Glass Bodum pot with metal infuser/plunger; stevia added; I more-or-less stuck to Den’s recommendations.
……….1st: 170⁰F; 40"
……….2nd: 180⁰F; 30"
……….3rd: 190⁰F; 20"

Color and Aroma of tea liquor: Bright green and thick (as mentioned in their description); strong grassy aroma, which I found to be very pleasant.

Flavor of tea liquor: The first was not much different to any quality sencha I have had (I’ve only had a few). The second and third were different than the first though, and pleasantly so. ( more details in overall )

Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: There was not much of a smell to it, and it was the finest leaf I have EVER seen; it clogged up my stainless-steel Bodum filter more than any other tea; sitting in my filter was a large glob of green stuff, like cut, lumped grass; there were a few larger light-green pieces poking through here and there.

Value: Great as a free sample, but pricy otherwise. ($10.50 / 2 OZ)

Overall:
During my Yoga this morning I was moved to seek out a Japanese Tea for our morning green (we usually drink Chinese). I wanted something that I hadn’t had before, so what better time to try a sample! I didn’t know what to expect from a tea that is steamed 2 to 3 times as long as a regular sencha. The website said the extra steaming would cause the tea to yield flavor faster during brewing, so I made sure to keep the steep times relatively short per their recommendations (short for green tea, anyway).

This seemed to be the right thing to do, as I was reasonably happy with the flavor, and I really liked the aroma. The first steeping was pretty standard tasting: grassy, a little sweet. The second and third steepings though tasted unlike any other tea I have had. It’s hard to explain, but the words that came to me first while drinking it were: mild and clean; then, refreshing. That was not what I was expecting. The third was certainly had lighter flavor than the second, but it also had what seemed to be a very mild spicy note (I am learning to put down whatever I find/experience in/with the tea, even if it doesn’t make sense to me at the time). So, although I didn’t get what I was expecting, which was more flavor, I did get something that is possibly better. Still, it seems odd to me but I think it’s better because I have never experienced that clean, crisp feeling in my mouth when drinking tea before. It seems like a great way to clean your palette, for example, in-between eating different tasty tidbits. And, that taste, or feeling, was almost, uplifting. Is this Umami?

Well (I’ve checked my empty cup at least twice now while writing this, hoping for more), it’s all gone now. I wish there was more so I could contemplate all of the gifts hiding in this new, taste, flavor, or whatever it’s called. Oh well. Boo hoo for empty cups of tea, and hurray for new experiences!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Azzrian

Sounds delicious! I had one of those palate cleansing experiences with a black tea today – isn’t it amazing and surprising what tea can yield!

SimpliciTEA

Yes it is amazing!

Feebs

Tea and Yoga is one of the best combinations ever. Also – LOVE when a wet leaf impresses. It’s a magic moment.

Really interesting about the extra steaming time. Have been digging yellow tea as a habitual choice at the moment and love the magic behind the process of multiple steamings. Such care and thoroughness… amazing.

SimpliciTEA

Yes, Tea and Yoga are both great for helping me to feel centered, connected, present, and on my good days, totally alive. I hear you: I also appreciate yellow Tea, Teas crafted with care, and magic Tea moments!

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Comments

Azzrian

Sounds delicious! I had one of those palate cleansing experiences with a black tea today – isn’t it amazing and surprising what tea can yield!

SimpliciTEA

Yes it is amazing!

Feebs

Tea and Yoga is one of the best combinations ever. Also – LOVE when a wet leaf impresses. It’s a magic moment.

Really interesting about the extra steaming time. Have been digging yellow tea as a habitual choice at the moment and love the magic behind the process of multiple steamings. Such care and thoroughness… amazing.

SimpliciTEA

Yes, Tea and Yoga are both great for helping me to feel centered, connected, present, and on my good days, totally alive. I hear you: I also appreciate yellow Tea, Teas crafted with care, and magic Tea moments!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

(Updated 3-23-2014)

You can call me, Joe.

What, How and Why I steep:

I typically expect, and shoot for, at least three flavorful steepings out of (just about) any tea I brew up.

I generally start at the times and temps below ( = minute(s), " = second(s) ), then add 5F and 30" for each successive steeping:
Chinese Green - 175F, 1’ ;
Japanese Green - 160F, 1’add 15F, then decrease by 15";
White - 160F, 2’;
Oolong - This varies;
Indian Black/Chinese Red and Herbals - a little off the boil, 2’; why do I start with such low temps & short steep times? So as to ‘spread out’ the flavor over multiple steepings. I have found this to work with every tea I have tried so far. Also, I am not looking for intense flavor in that first cup (i.e. Western style), I would prefer to taste it—and savor—it over many steepings.
Pu-erh - Beginning in 2014, I finally chose to dive into pu-erh! Standard parameters when I brew ripened pu-erh in my 11 OZ Yixing:
First I do a 15 – 20 second rinse with near boiling water. Then for each successive steeping I add Stevia to my 8 OZ clear-glass teacup (thus, typically not added to the teapot).
……….1st: Near boiling, 0.5’
……….2nd: Boiling , 1’
……….3rd: Boiling , 1.5’
……….4th: Boiling~(poured usually right after the previous steeping, so the teapot and water are as hot as possible)~, 2’ (if it’s the final steeping, then sometimes longer)
……….If 5th and/or more: Boiling, < If I do more than 4 steepings, I basically add 0.5’ for each. >

I hope to ‘streamline’ my reviews going forward, so, hopefully, they are a little less technical and dry (and perhaps even stilted), and a little more organic and experiential (and hopefully, flowing); this somewhat new approach to reviews is a kind of metaphor for where my life is headed right now, and is one reason why I write reviews: as a kind of time-capsule of where I was in my life at that time.

Tea Rating scale:

1 – 29: There is no reason to even think about drinking this stuff again.
30-49: I may drink it if someone else brewed it up, but I would not bother brewing it up myself let alone bother buying any.
50 – 59: I like something about it, and I may brew it up if I already have some, but I would not buy any more of it.
60 – 69: I like a few things about it, and I may buy it if the price is right.
70 – 79: This is a tea I enjoy and would drink fairly regularly as long as it is reasonably priced.
80 – 89: A tea I will drink as often as I can, and will likely try to buy some when I run out (as long as it’s affordable).
90 – 99: This has everything I look for in the best of teas: beauty in appearance, a delightful aroma, and most importantly, depth and yummy-ness in its flavor.
100: Perfect.

My primary interest is in artisan loose-leaf green tea, although I enjoy Chinese red (or Indian black) and white tea somewhat regularly (during the summer, iced ). Here and there I brew a few of the other true teas and an occasional herbal.

Since I choose to live on a very limited income (‘Voluntary Simplicity’), I have to be very conscience about how much I pay for tea. In reading their Tea Enthusiast’s books, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss sold me on the wonders of artisan teas. Thankfully I have found that there is affordable, artisan tea out there; it’s just like anything else that has true value: it takes hard work, dedication and at least a little persistence to find it.

I came to tea out of a desire to find something to help calm and focus my mind as naturally as possible. My mind is very active, so to speak, and at times I find it very difficult to focus and keep myself centered. For years now I have been practicing Yoga daily along with others things to help me to stay relaxed and present, but I found I wanted a little something extra to help me start the day; the theanine in green tea seems to help me in this.

I have been enjoying loose-leaf tea since November of 2010.

I enjoy connecting with others about tea.

I drink Stevia with just about all of my tea (no sugar or artificial sweeteners).

I drink a pot of green tea every day in the AM (usually steeped three times over the course of the day), sharing it with my wife.

Each tea in my cupboard is carefully and colorfully labeled in a tin or in a jar that used to hold something else (I love to reuse things!) .

I have five teapots: a simple six-cup and four-cup ceramic (red/black/herbal teas), a glass Bodum – I don’t use the metal infuser/press anymore (greens), a 16 oz glass Victorian (to brew greens and whites, and to use as a pot to decant other teas into), and a Yixing (Pu-erh only).

I tend to be direct, straightforward and honest when I post anything to the discussion boards. I take the approach that everything I say is stated with the implied disclaimer: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. IMHO). I may occasionally emphasize this point, where appropriate. I view your comments in the same way. You are in no way obligated to read what I have posted. And I am in no way similarly obligated to you.

Sitting with my cup of tea I greet the day in anticipation of new discoveries along the way.

Location

Midwest, USA

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