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I found some other notes on this tea, so I am updating this review (6/12/2012)(Changes in bold)

Backlogging

Experience buying from Culinary Teas http://steepster.com/places/2981-culinary-teas-online-milford-indiana

I bought a one OZ sample of this in late November, 2011, having brewed it twice (most recently on 6/8/2012?).

Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: It had a strong, sweet fruity aroma (definitely smell the apple) that smelled like tobacco, and also reminded me of a kind of bubble gum I would buy as a kid (or pop rocks); dry leaf was about the same as the rest of the flavor-added black teas from Culinary Teas: medium grade leaf.

Brewing guidelines: four TSP, four cups H2O; four-cup ceramic teapot, with ceramic basket; stevia added; my standard black tea steeping times and temperatures; three steepings; two separate sessions.

Flavor of tea liquor (based on the most recent session):
1st: OK, but A little bitter
2nd: OK flavor, but missing something.
3rd: not much flavor

Wet Leaf: Slight scent of tobacco and of something artificially sweet.

Tea liquor color: Wonderful, clear, caramel color.

Value: Culinary flavor-added tea’s are generally very reasonably priced; this one is $8.15 / 4 OZ, which puts it at about $2 / OZ (and even less with any discounts and/or if you buy it in larger quantities).

Overall: This was the forth of the batch of thirteen flavor-added teas from Culinary we finished off. To me the best thing about this tea was the aroma of the dry leaf. Overall, my wife especially felt that this tea was a “no go” (we are still looking for that one tea ….).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Invader Zim

I like that you put the changes in bold. Makes it easier to see where changes were made, especially if it’s been a while sine the review was originally posted.

SimpliciTEA

Awesome! I’m glad it helped. I wasn’t sure if it was really necessary, but I thought I’d do it anyway. And now I’m glad I did!

Bonnie

Brandied apple and tobacco…sounds like a mixture for a Hookah!

SimpliciTEA

Really? Those Middle-Eastern pipes are intriguing …

Bonnie

Hee Hee I went to a hookah bar last Friday with my 18 year old granddaughter. They serve a huge pot of mint tea, and mint vanilla flavored stuff’ is what we chose for our big pipe. My granddaughter loved it. (I’d rather do that than sky dive!)

SimpliciTEA

Sounds great! I’m glad the two of you had a good time. flavored-added tobacco does sound interesting.

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Comments

Invader Zim

I like that you put the changes in bold. Makes it easier to see where changes were made, especially if it’s been a while sine the review was originally posted.

SimpliciTEA

Awesome! I’m glad it helped. I wasn’t sure if it was really necessary, but I thought I’d do it anyway. And now I’m glad I did!

Bonnie

Brandied apple and tobacco…sounds like a mixture for a Hookah!

SimpliciTEA

Really? Those Middle-Eastern pipes are intriguing …

Bonnie

Hee Hee I went to a hookah bar last Friday with my 18 year old granddaughter. They serve a huge pot of mint tea, and mint vanilla flavored stuff’ is what we chose for our big pipe. My granddaughter loved it. (I’d rather do that than sky dive!)

SimpliciTEA

Sounds great! I’m glad the two of you had a good time. flavored-added tobacco does sound interesting.

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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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