Ohio Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I went to OTC yesterday after working to get some herbal blends for my wife. I stumbled upon their new teas and grabbed a couple for myself, too. The owner and I talked about the new green teas that they have in stock. Despite my emphasis on avoiding green teas, they suggested that this was superior to the rest. I couldn’t be convinced to spend $35/ 1oz. He openly offered me a 6g sample and requested that I email my review of the tea. He was curious to what a non-green tea fan thought of it.
I asked a IG friend’s advice on brewing Gyokuro. They sent me a link to Mei Leaf’s ‘Umami’ brewing method.
First infusion: room temperature for 15 minutes. Strong notes of shiitake mushrooms, buttered almonds, cooked spinach, and seaweed.
Second infusion (160 F, 2.5 minutes): Rice cakes, seaweed, and strong umami notes.
Third infusion (160 F, 3.5 minutes): Less of the second, but still remained the same.
The fourth infusion was a bust, but I was feeling energized and motivated to get some house work done. I was told that Gyokuro was a great tea to eat. After hesitating for a minute, I threw the used leaves on a plate, added a touch of sesame oil, and chia seeds. Yum! More energy, but quite a treat for sure…
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Mushrooms, Rice, Seaweed, Spinach
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Boring. ‘Soft’ mouthfeel is right- there’s not enough happening in here for anything to wake up your tongue. There’s okay-ish white tea and a blueberry note. If you don’t like your tea slapping you in the face, maybe this is for you. It was not for me. It’s not offensive, however, which fruited teas can certainly be if they go too far in the direction of lively, so I understand the rational behind being conservative.
Flavors: Blueberry, Grass, Sweet, Tea
I drank the last of this grandpa style the other day. It’s a very easily approachable tea; which doesn’t seem to have the ability to be over-brewed. I suppose since it is shou, it’s more common than not. I drank this since I had an upset stomach, and while not settling my pain too much, it helped a little.
Notes: Thick mouthfeel, earthy, mushroom, and sweet. I’d probably offer this to a puerh newbie, if they wanted to try a shou.
What a lovely introduction to fermented teas! I poured boiling water over a heart in my 16 ounce teapot, used a fork to gently pry it apart after it had softened for a couple minutes, and then let it steep for about 5 more. The rose aroma is strong, but not overpowering, and it mingles beautifully with the darkness of the pu’erh. There wasn’t a bit of bitterness or astringency in the cup, it’s just a smooth dark floral with woody notes that’s terribly easy to sip. Not a fishy or mushroom note in sight, either, which was my main fear with fermented leaves. The flavor held for a couple more steeps without weakening. I think I went through 40 ounces of water before the rose started to fade, and at that point, I had to stop to limit my caffeine intake for the evening. I’ll be buying more of these when I work my way through the rest of the 2 ounces and sending a few out to friends for them to try.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Rose, Smooth
I’ve been drinking this since 6:30 this morning and it’s still going. I typically give the first few steeps about 20-30 seconds before pouring it into the cha hai. I change the time based on the intensity of the flavor.
I get strong notes of roasted walnuts, dark rich coffee, chocolate, sweet, and malt. On the account there being so many infusions, I tend to stop noting after a while. I like that longevity keeps on giving and that the price is reasonable. I tend to keep this in my inventory at all times, on the account that it brews well gongfu, western, or grandpa style. I tend to drink it gongfu at home or allow the leaves to sit in my thermos at work.
I typically stay away from rooibos, but OTC has a knack for blending. Their herbs person there just understands how to hide the rooibos and/or bland tea bases. I think that the mix of ingredients fit perfectly, despite my not liking some in most situations.
Peppermint candies from Olive Garden (Andes?). Strong peppermint, smooth chocolate notes, and a slight caramel finish.I dig it.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Peppermint
I’m not sure if OTC still carries this in their store anymore. I think they traded it out for their 2014 Fu Cha Brick.
Anyway, it’s quite a nice tea. Some complexity to the brew—dark chocolate, malty, strong mineral-ity, astringent, sweet, bold, and stone fruits. I started drinking this at 08:00 EST, but it’s still going strong. I didn’t count the amount of times that I steeped it, although I did go through three kettles full of water. Nice longevity and it’ll probably brew throughout the remainder of the day, is my guess.
Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Mineral, Stonefruits, Sweet
Decided to drink a couple of teas tonight. First one was this Tai Ping Hou Kui. I wanted to drink Dragonwell a few months back with a few tea folks, but had no idea what to choose, considering I’ve had a single Dragonwell in my life. I spoke with the clerk at OTC—my local pu head—and they suggested to go with the ‘large leaf varietal.’
It’s difficult measuring the leaf out, mostly on the account that it’s massive. I eye balled it into my gaiwan, giving what I thought to be a heavy portion, but ended up having to add more after the first rinse/steep.
I noted that the tea was very much like turnip greens, buttered broccoli, salty, and at one point reminded me of cooked spinach. I liked it…Which is good, since I typically stay clear of green tea…
Flavors: Broccoli, Butter, Spinach
It baffles me a bit that this is listed as a ‘puerh’ on their site, yet it’s a white tea. Eh. It is what it is, I suppose.
I should probably write another review about this one down the road. It’s very clean, sweet, ‘fluffy’ (I took these notes a little late last night), and smooth. The session lasted quite a while. I got roughly 14 steeps in, before I called it a night. I dried the leaf out to see what I can make of it after dinner, but I’m sure there’ll be some activity with the leaf tonight.
I will most likely drink this cake down, but I might pick up a couple more, when I’m all out of my samples from years past. I’m considering getting one to drink and one to age. We’ll see. I’m exhausted, so I’ll keep this short.
I’m happy that I left my work teapot at home. I wanted to drink coffee or a black tea, but my wife had this lying on the counter. I’m tired today, but I’ve a lot to get ready for tonight. We’re not planning on going anywhere or having folks over, but I want to get the cleaning/organizing out of the way, so we can maybe have a bit of peace with that, and maybe get some food thrown into the oven for the next two days.
This tea finds a regular place in the house. My wife loves the heck out of the blend. I, too, will make a cuppa now and again, when the mood hits. The dry leaf reminds me of a lemon meringue pie-very prominent citrus and tart notes on the nose—and makes the mouth salivate.
I boil the water, fill an empty sachet, and let it sit while I drink it down. I give it an initial 3-5 minutes to steep before taking the first sip. I mostly taste lemons, with a hint of whipped egg white (meringue). I’m sure if I added sugar, there’d be a stronger sweetness to it, but I like it as is. I’ll have to try it when my wife makes a pot, to see what it’s like. She normally adds a sugar cube or two to the pot.
Song(s) Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkbzCTggD80
I was diggin’ the blues today. Can’t go wrong with Grateful Dead. ;)
Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Meringue
I had this sample in the work desk for a long while (over a year, for sure). I remember trying it once, but disliking it (?). It reminded me of a perfume my mom wore when I was little. However, after giving it a year-ish time to rest in the bottom of my desk drawer, it really lightened up a lot. I know that green teas tend to lose their potency after a bit of time, but with the heavy jasmine coating every ounce of the leaf, I’m okay with it losing a bit of strength. I thought that it really smoothed out and only had a hint of jasmine, rather than a ton of perfume flavor.
Despite it turning out okay in the end, I’m not going to get any more of the sample. It’s not my favorite from the shop. I think that if it were naturally scented with jasmine, like a jasmine dragon pearl, then it’d be okay; unfortunately, I think that this was scented with non-toxic perfume or oils.
Had a few grams of this one for a while. I got this when OTC first got it in their stock. I think that they had limited supply of it at the beginning, but they do carry a few cakes in the store now. I was fortunate enough to know when it came through, since I’m close with one of the sales staff there. They’re one of the few local ‘gongfu-puerh heads’ around here, so we keep in touch often.
I have to admit that I wish this had more of a punch. The first two steeps were the strongest of the session, at which point I noted, “peach punch.” After that, it got super light in the flavor. I got about 8 steeps through until I called it quits. I threw the water to boiling on the fourth steep; however, neither water temp or steep time added much to the session. It’s a solid tea for puerh beginners, but when one prefers the hard hitter, it’s not the best tea to purchase. I’m happy that I stuck with the sample, rather than spending the $65-70 for the 357g cake.
I think this is a fairly new blend of tea that OTC carries. I also think that they might only offer it in house because it wasn’t on their site. I figured I’d give it a go since I actually awoke before my alarm this morning.
I don’t get a lot of those typical Earl Grey notes, such as bergamot; rather, it’s full of spices that you’d typically find in chai or a non-Earl Grey holiday blend. It’s full of ginger root, so that is all I can mostly taste. The base (Assam) is really prominent, too. I like it, but I don’t love it.
Not as dark as some ‘dark teas’ that I’ve had in the past. Pretty green, overall. Definitely needs more time to age. However, when cracking it open, there are some golden blooms showing.
Sweet maple syrup notes throughout. It doesn’t brew as long as I’d expect, but I did get about 8 solid steeps out of it.
Brewed it at 212 F and used 16g/200 ML.
Flavors: Hay, Maple Syrup
Work Stash Review/Sipdown
Honestly, this is not on my top favorites. It isn’t terrible per se, but it isn’t good either. This is one of those teas that cannot be fully enjoyed on its own, but will pass with a touch of honey and/or cream. There’s too much of an edge with this tea (malt/slight bitterness) that makes me realize that, while I might’ve considered this as a moderately okay tea once upon a time, my tastes have migrated elsewhere, I suppose.
I’m at that point in my tea journey where I’ll drink anything at least once, but if I don’t like it, I won’t finish it and/or return to it ever again. This is one of those teas….Still, with that said, this won’t stop me from trying more Ohio Tea Co blends/teas.
Work tea session
This was gifted to me by a friend o’ mine. He wanted to try a variety of teas from Ohio Tea Co. He gave me money, had me pick out some stuff which he’d like, and what was left of what he had leftover was given to me…As much as I’m into tea, he dabbles in the tea realm from time to time for my sake…. xD
I didn’t get so much of the ‘pumpkin’ from the tea, as I did the caramel. It was a bit dry and bitter after it sat for a moment…However, when hot, it was easier to drink…Overall, it was an average tea, but not for me…
I cannot get enough of this tea! It’s like drinking a liquefied orange creamsicle. More notes later….Off to work!
Update: My parents had visited Ohio Tea Co recently and grabbed a pound of this for themselves. My mother gave me a small sample to allow me to try. I must admit that, while not liking rooibos teas, I find this one to be appetizing nonetheless. There seems to be more of the orange creamsicle taste on the tongue, rather than that rooibos taste (wood?). I’m definitely going to head to OTC and grab a few ounces of this on payday, plus a few other tea samples, to take down to NC for my mother-in-law.
I’ve had this tea for a couple of weeks now and finally had the chance to try the sample that I received the last time I stopped into the shop. I must first note that there are plenty of teas that I don’t like from the shop; however, there are also the select few that I truly devote to purchasing every time I’m there…
Notes: Smells like paint & tastes like sticks on the the ground in Autumn after a few days of rain. I will say that there is a lot of potential of this being enjoyable, but it’s gone stale and has a weird funk to it (aside from the wet sticks). I cannot identify the taste, but it’s something which lingers in the aftertaste…
Flavors: Wet wood
Western brewed this at 200 F & steeped for 3 minutes.
I usually stay away from the black tea blends from Ohio Tea Co. (sister to NM Tea Co); however, their Lapsang/Russian Caravan is quite lovely. There is a nice smooth smokiness to this blend that makes it different than other smoked teas like this that I’ve had in the past. This reminds me of sitting around a campfire on the cool Fall evening. I’ve started to run low on this blend, although, I’m quite fortunate enough to have the ability to drive 5 miles down the road and pick more up soon. However, I’m trying to drink the remaining teas from the last purchase before acquiring more anytime soon.
Flavors: Campfire, Smoke
This herbal tea works like a charm for me when I can’t sleep. In fact, it’s so powerful (at least for me), that I feel almost woozy after I drink it all. I sleep just as well as with medication. Truly amazing, and to top it off, it’s delicious.
Flavors: Bitter, Flowers, Mint, Sweet