Tea of the evening……

First, I must thank TeaVivre for their generosity in sending samples, very generous samples. I love the way they are double packaged so there is a heat sealed package inside a resealable pouch, and then sent in a box. Very impressive. There is also more information about the origins and production on this tea than I have seen from any other vendor.

(Yes, I know I usually don’t drink tea in the evening, but we are headed out for some pre-New Year’s festivities that involve bowling and loud rock music. It is not scheduled to end until 1am, so I needed a serious evening pick me up!)

Onto the tea…I guess the way I brewed this cup is more what is called western style. I did want to try it out brewing according to the usual way I brew a black tea just so that I would have a good frame of reference for the taste. One thing I did completely differently…..I drank this one straight up. I usually have to add a little sweet in order to bring out the flavors in a tea, but not so with this one. It is perfect on its own. It has flavors similar to a high quality dark chocolate or a really good porter (Yes, I do usually prefer my beer as a porter and my wine as a dry red.) Plus there is a hint of molasses in there. I do think the next time I try it, I will add just a hit of sweet just to see what other flavors it has to show me. However, this one is remarkable for me in that it is wonderful on its own.

Brewed by my usual mug method…..15 oz. mug, 2 tsp tea, freshly boiled filtered water, 4 minutes.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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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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