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Backlogging and based almost entirely on a few notes

Experience buying from Tea Trekker http://steepster.com/places/2820-tea-trekker-online-northampton-massachusetts

I got this as a free sample with an order from Tea Trekker in the spring of 2011.

This was a bud-only fresh spring green tea. The leaf was “dark green” while the wet leaf was “bright green!” I started a little cooler and shorter than my standard green tea steeping parameters, and I got four ‘good tasting’ steepings, and one more ‘decent tasting’ steeping out of it (for a total of five). “Tasty, vegetal.” That’s all the notes I have. I do remember being impressed with the freshness of the flavor and leaf (it was one of the first spring green teas I have ever tried), and at the vibrancy of the leaf.

It was originally $20 / 4 OZ, but now it’s one sale for $12 / 4 OZ either way, that seems to be a good price for a bud-only green tea.

Since I remember very little about it (and as it was one of my first spring green teas), I’m leaving off the rating.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Invader Zim

I’ve been eyeballing some of Tea Trekker’s green teas and I like that they offer samples, but the samples seem so expensive compared to the regular prices. Do you know if they offer sampler packs? I just ordered two from Life in Teacup and was hoping that Tea Trekker offered something similar.

SimpliciTEA

To my knowledge, no they don’t have any sample packs (however, it wouldn’t hurt to e-mail them as ask them what you want, and maybe they’ll knock off a few dollars if you order a bunch).

The way the price their samples is one of my biggest gripes about Tea Trekker: they are priced such that you may as well order a few ounces. One thing they have improved on though: until recently, their next step up from the sample was four OZ, now they have a two OZ option priced not much more per ounce than the four ounce option. I like that.

I am glad to hear you ordered from Life in Teacup! My experience is that Tea Trekker and Life in Teacup both offer quality green teas for very reasonable prices (and both have some steeply prices teas as well).

I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of the teas from Life in Teacup!

Invader Zim

I hate buying a large amount of tea when first trying it which is why I like samples, but I can’t justify their prices. I’ll have to email them and see if I can get some sort of discount.

SimpliciTEA

I’d be interested in hearing how they respond to your request (you can PM me) if you do e-mail them, and you are willing.

Invader Zim

Sure thing, I emailed them earlier today and am waiting a response. If they reply I’ll probably PM you.

SimpliciTEA

Great. Thanks!

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Comments

Invader Zim

I’ve been eyeballing some of Tea Trekker’s green teas and I like that they offer samples, but the samples seem so expensive compared to the regular prices. Do you know if they offer sampler packs? I just ordered two from Life in Teacup and was hoping that Tea Trekker offered something similar.

SimpliciTEA

To my knowledge, no they don’t have any sample packs (however, it wouldn’t hurt to e-mail them as ask them what you want, and maybe they’ll knock off a few dollars if you order a bunch).

The way the price their samples is one of my biggest gripes about Tea Trekker: they are priced such that you may as well order a few ounces. One thing they have improved on though: until recently, their next step up from the sample was four OZ, now they have a two OZ option priced not much more per ounce than the four ounce option. I like that.

I am glad to hear you ordered from Life in Teacup! My experience is that Tea Trekker and Life in Teacup both offer quality green teas for very reasonable prices (and both have some steeply prices teas as well).

I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of the teas from Life in Teacup!

Invader Zim

I hate buying a large amount of tea when first trying it which is why I like samples, but I can’t justify their prices. I’ll have to email them and see if I can get some sort of discount.

SimpliciTEA

I’d be interested in hearing how they respond to your request (you can PM me) if you do e-mail them, and you are willing.

Invader Zim

Sure thing, I emailed them earlier today and am waiting a response. If they reply I’ll probably PM you.

SimpliciTEA

Great. Thanks!

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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