246 Tasting Notes

I’m taking abuse in defense of tea! I opened the Golden Moon Lapsang Souchong sampler this rainy, dreary morning. I couldn’t imagine a better type of day to “get this one out of the way”. Opening the package brought back the smells of camping with the Boy Scouts in the East Texas Piney Woods…and abuse from my office mates for stinking the place up! I make no pretense, I don’t like smokey teas; I expected this tea sample to be a trial. So now I’m eating smokey humble pie. This tea is much better than anticipated…the smell is worse than its bite! I’ve adjusted though…no breathing in when taking a sip. The tea is mild and carries the smoke lightly and well, but thats about all I can say. I don’t get much in the way of nuances from the tea itself. Campfire tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Keemun Red Emperor by TeaFountain
246 tasting notes

I’ve been working on finishing off my supply of this tea (need the room for some new teas). My previous note still applies, but I’m giving it a rating boost…its just that good.

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73
drank Moroccan Mint by Golden Moon Tea
246 tasting notes

Random GM Sampler pick of the day. I was a bit skeptical about this tea, as I generally do not care for mint teas. I was pleasantly surprised. As far as teas go, it is a very mild green with a zinger of mint. The flavor was clean? Not antiseptic or tannic tasting, but more importantly, not earthy, woodsy, or musty. It was exactly what the ingredients would lead you to think…good quality green tea with mint. Situationally, I found it very relaxing after a tense day at work. Not something I’m likely to keep on hand, but I did enjoy the sample.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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80

105 degrees (the air temp, not the water!). Made up a 24 oz tumbler of this for pouring over ice. Brewed it a bit longer than I normally would, about 4 minutes, to get a little extra dark. Poured hot over ice and immediately strained over fresh ice in a glass. Wow! nice clean and crisp flavor with a bit of astringincy. The tannins reminded me of a heavily oaked Chardonnay…kind of woody, clean and sharp. Tried with both a touch of lemon and plain…not much difference either way. I think this one would take well to making sweet tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Decaf Earl Grey by Adagio Teas
246 tasting notes

Enjoyed a cup with my wife this evening…. It’s now her “ask for” cup of tea.

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78
drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
246 tasting notes

GM Sampler of the day. After blasting GM about their ingredients in their Kashmiri Chai, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Pu-erh Chai, the cardamon pods were actually whole and full of tasty seeds. The smell of the dry tea was very un-chai-like; a faint hint of cinnamon and a sort of basement mustiness. It brewed quickly to a dark fruitwood brown. The taste was very mild with a hint of cinnamon and none of the spicey kick of other chia mixes (I’m talking about clove, black pepper, & ginger spiciness). The underlying pu-erh tea was a perfect complement and I enjoyed this combination better than I did for both GM’s pure Pu-erh sampler and Kashmiri Chai.

A note on how I drink Chai’s: I treat a Chai mix like any other black tea and generally drink it without milk or sugar. For those that I have experience with, more than a single sample batch, I might add a touch of sugar to help bring out the spices. But initially, its straight up, served black :-)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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78
drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
246 tasting notes

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75
drank Kitchen Sink Green Tea by 52teas
246 tasting notes

New day, new cup of tea. This one had “bits” in it. Not sure what they were “bits” of..maybe apple or some orange peel? Nonetheless, fruity, floral goodness ensued. Did I mention that I generally don’t like green tea :-)

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75
drank Kitchen Sink Green Tea by 52teas
246 tasting notes

Its too bad that this is a “one of a kind”. Its actually very good. The smell, both of the dry leaves and the resulting tea reminds me of a candle shop. Yep, you know them, you can smell them within a hundred feet in all directions when walking at the shopping mall or your favorite midwestern (USA) tourist trap. Despite that ;-) its a very good, fruity, floral tea.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

Depending on the size and variety of your tea stash- it probably could be recreated. Especially since do to the shear number of ingredients no two cups… or pouches probably… taste exactly the same.

Southern Boy Teas

I don’t know about that, Cofftea. It WAS a HUGE batch, but I got in there and blended it up really good. I’m fairly confident the flavors infused and diffused fairly evenly throughout the tea.

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drank Assam Breakfast by Whole Foods
246 tasting notes

My wife needed to kill an hour waiting for some work, so she wandered into our local Whole Foods store (we don’t normally shop at such frou frou stores) and discovered that they have whole section of loose teas for $2/oz. Such a dear, she got me a sample of their Assam Breakfast. Brewed some up this morning. The leaves have that salt-n-pepper look of havning some light tips. Nice large fragments and a clean smell (not mustly/moldy). I poured water at a simmer straighted through the leaves in a mesh teaball and didn’t let it sit more than 30 seconds. I was amazed by how much color I got in that 30 seconds. Taste wise it was fairly flat without any astringency or tannic bite. slightly woodsy and not malty like I expected from assam. I suspect, with the salt-n-pepper look, that its a blend..of what I do not know.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec
wombatgirl

Whole foods has lots of loose teas, it’s worth checking out. Even if it is a frou-frou store. :)

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Bio

I remember when I discovered that there was more to tea than hot or iced. I was given a loose tea sampler (M.T.W.) and a stainless steel tea ball as a Christmas gift many years ago. That was the start of what will be a life-long love of fine tea. I discovered Steepster from a blog entry on the Mark. T. Wendell website…and have, from Steepster, discovered even more fine teas and vendors. I decided to post my thoughts in the hope that others discover a good, fine tea.

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Austin, Texas

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