80

Thanks to Blodeuyn and scribbles, I have a ton of new black tea samples to enjoy in the mornings! Thanks so much ladies, I really appreciate it! This one is from Blodeuyn. Clearly it’s a completely different animal from the only other black pearl tea I’ve had (from TeaVivre). The pellets are tiny and not really spherical. They’re jet black and somewhat shiny, which makes me think of little beetles and reminds me of the part in Harry Potter when he’s in Diagon Alley and the apothecaries sell scoops of beetle eyes… LOL. Sometimes associations are weird, no? Anyway! The dry scent of this tea is powerful! Strong malt and earth with a little sharp scent that almost reminds me of eucalyptus? Who knows? I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

When I opened my brew basket, they just looked like normal black tea leaves. Amazing! The brewed aroma is still very strong and earthy with definite mineral/smoke notes. I can see this is going to be a kick-in-the-pants kind of tea! The aroma reminds me of shou with its strong earth/wood notes (and it’s very dark in color so that helps!). Wow, this is earth city! And the taste absolutely reminds me of shou as well. It’s very earthy, but with a bit of sweetness. There’s a very present mineral/smoke note along with a touch of wood. It’s a shou masquerading as a black tea! :o

OFF-TOPIC: I miss you, Stephanie! There’s no one here with me in chat in the mornings! D: Hope your vacation is going well though!

Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- December Sipdowns: 1
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 404

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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