Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

69

Backlogging, and based on my memory

Experience buying from Ovation Teas: Overall, positive. < more details later >

Date of Purchase: Summer 2011, in response to a promotion on Steepster.

Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: a little odd smelling, but sweet and fruity; I don’t think the flavors I chose quite go together (see Overall for the ingredients). It has these largish, dark, odd shaped nodules that I believe are the nomi fruit, bits of what I believe are dried pear, and stevia leaves (which must be hiding in there somewhere) mixed in with the green tea leaves; I like that it’s mostly comprised of green tea leaves.

Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot with metal infuser/plunger; sometimes I forget there are stevia leaves in the tea and still add my stevia extract (doooooh-a! how exactly do you spell the sound Bart Simpson’s dad makes when he goofs up, anyway?), my standard Chinese-green tea steeping times and temperatures.

Flavor of tea liquor: Unusual, but good! It’s sweet and strangely fruity. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this particular mixture to anyone else, but I am glad I tried it (I am certainly no expert when it comes to blending tea).

Blends well with: I have used this successfully to help flavor a number of my unflavored greens.

Value: Through a promotion Ovation Teas was running, I got four ounces of this for only the cost of shipping. Thank you Ovation teas! It was worth it!! Otherwise, I think a custom blended tea is about $13 for 4 ounces (depending on the base tea you choose).

Overall: My custom green tea blend included nomi fruit, diced pears, and stevia leaves with strawberry flavoring (in an attempt to keep it simple I choose only four ingredients, but Ovation allows you to choose up to six). I normally use my flavored greens to enhance the flavor of the later steepings of my unflavored greens, but I like this tea enough that I sometimes brew this one up in the evenings by itself. It certainly is fun getting to choose what you put to help flavor the base tea. I don’t know if I would pay full price for a different blended tea of my choice, but I will keep it in mind (I don’t have much confidence in my ability to pick the best combination). It certainly is a great idea of those of us who want something different and don’t have access to all of those wonderful and different flavoring ingredients!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

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

Following These People