Steep #2: 5minutes….I can definitely tell the intensity of the chocolate has gone down. However, the amount of chocolate left kind of intensifies the cocoa notes that are in the black tea base.

Steep #3: 7 minutes….This one is still pretty good. The color is still ambery brown and there is still the faint hint of cocoa. Three good steeps makes this a good value in my book. I am not sure this would have worked well on a lower quality base. It is nice that once the cocolate dissipates, you are left with a good quality black tea.

Steep #4: 9 minutes….I am not sure this one was worth it. I did add milk just to see if there was anything left as far as tea, and I think that was a mistake. Since this is a black that does not really need milk (except for maybe that first steep…in a yummy kind of way, and not the bitterness cutting kind of way), I think it would hold up fine without milk on a 4th steep.

Note to self: The next time you do a 4 steep test, use a smaller cup. Your jumbo mug is too big for this many steeps….

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)



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