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Backlogging and based entirely on memory.
I’m trying a different format for my reviews with this one, in the hopes of making it easier to read. I am open to any feedback about this format (or my standard one).

Experience buying from Seven Cups http://steepster.com/places/2824-seven-cups-online-tucson-arizona

I bought 100 grams of this tea in April of 2011 and finished drinking it by the end of that year. I used standard times and temperatures for my Chinese greens steeping this wonderful tea in a glass Bodum pot with metal the infuser/plunger; stevia was always added.

The leaf looked similar to Teavana’s Three Kingdoms Mao Feng (T-TKMF), but I believe it was lighter in color: light and dark green, medium-sized curly leaves and buds, with a somewhat fresher aroma than T-TKMF. I remember that this tea was comprised mostly of whole leaves, buds and bud-sets, and that it looked fresher than the T-TKMF. The flavor was standard for a quality green tea, being vegetal and sweet (tasted slightly better than the T-TKMF). Teavana’s T-TKMF produced a somewhat cloudy liquor, while this teas liquor was clear. This tea blended well with T-TKMF. Since it was well beyond it’s harvest date, this tea went for 70% OFF of its original price (at something like $5 / OZ), and I remember it came to about $1.50 / OZ (I just found the discounted price: $5.43/100g).

Overall, I was very happy with everything about this tea. T-TKMF was my second quality, loose-leaf green Tea, and this was my third (a dragon well from a local Asian store was my first). This tea was better than T-TKMF in every respect, which amazed me, as I wouldn’t think T-TKMF was from an earlier harvest date than this one (I bought the T-TKMF during Teavana’s year-end-sale just months before at the end of 2010, so I would think it was probably from the 2009 harvest at the earliest). Since I was enjoying the flavor of this tea about four years after it’s harvest date (I just checked to verify it was indeed 2007, and not, say, 2009), I learned that not all green teas are created equal. This is also a reason why I have much respect for Seven Cups. I would probably buy this at full price if they offered it again, but I have yet to see them offer it from a new harvest (even at $5 /OZ it would be one of Seven Cup’s least expensive teas, as many of their green teas are over $10 / OZ).

Missy

I like the comparison of the two different teas in this review. I think both your older format and this one are equally easy to read. I miss the steeping parameters and how many steepings you have gotten. The addition of your tea history is pretty awesome. It helps me get an idea of your tea preferences.

SimpliciTEA

Thank you, Missy, for that wonderful feedback!

Although I primarily include what I do in my reviews for my own records, I often don’t know if anyone else gets any value out of what I include. So, if I know there is value in some of those particulars to others (like including the current price of the tea, or the price I paid, or how it’s price compares to other similar teas) then I am much more likely to make an effort to provide it (even if I am mixed about whether or not to include it for my own possible use at a later date).

I didn’t include the parameters here because it’s been many months since I last brewed it up (a BIG downside to backlogging without notes, of course). For this particular tea, I vaguely remember getting at least three good steepings out of it using my standard green tea times and temps (those are in my bio). Still, I’m glad you find value that kind of information.

And yes, the tea history gives a kind of context from which I can review its merits (or downsides).

I think I’m going stick with this format for awhile, anyway (this way seems not so quantitative or data driven as my standard way seems to be).

Again, thanks!

Missy

You are quite welcome. I consider steepster my personal tea diary so if your new format makes it easier to get out, I say by all means, carry on! That’s why my notes tend to be on the shorter side. I really just want to access them quickly while making a decision on new teas to buy or finding the perfect brewing parameters.

I imagine backlogging does make it hard to remember exactly what you’ve done. The number of good steepings indicates what sort of quality. I keep an eye out when people do mention these things.

Any who, you have always had informative reviews. I enjoy reading them. :D

SimpliciTEA

I agree that the number of flavorful steeping I can coax out of a tea is an important indicator of quality.

Thank you for all of your comments and encouragement Missy!

Missy

Your welcome :D

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Comments

Missy

I like the comparison of the two different teas in this review. I think both your older format and this one are equally easy to read. I miss the steeping parameters and how many steepings you have gotten. The addition of your tea history is pretty awesome. It helps me get an idea of your tea preferences.

SimpliciTEA

Thank you, Missy, for that wonderful feedback!

Although I primarily include what I do in my reviews for my own records, I often don’t know if anyone else gets any value out of what I include. So, if I know there is value in some of those particulars to others (like including the current price of the tea, or the price I paid, or how it’s price compares to other similar teas) then I am much more likely to make an effort to provide it (even if I am mixed about whether or not to include it for my own possible use at a later date).

I didn’t include the parameters here because it’s been many months since I last brewed it up (a BIG downside to backlogging without notes, of course). For this particular tea, I vaguely remember getting at least three good steepings out of it using my standard green tea times and temps (those are in my bio). Still, I’m glad you find value that kind of information.

And yes, the tea history gives a kind of context from which I can review its merits (or downsides).

I think I’m going stick with this format for awhile, anyway (this way seems not so quantitative or data driven as my standard way seems to be).

Again, thanks!

Missy

You are quite welcome. I consider steepster my personal tea diary so if your new format makes it easier to get out, I say by all means, carry on! That’s why my notes tend to be on the shorter side. I really just want to access them quickly while making a decision on new teas to buy or finding the perfect brewing parameters.

I imagine backlogging does make it hard to remember exactly what you’ve done. The number of good steepings indicates what sort of quality. I keep an eye out when people do mention these things.

Any who, you have always had informative reviews. I enjoy reading them. :D

SimpliciTEA

I agree that the number of flavorful steeping I can coax out of a tea is an important indicator of quality.

Thank you for all of your comments and encouragement Missy!

Missy

Your welcome :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

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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