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Recent Tasting Notes
WARNING TO THOSE WHO HAVE TEAKRUTHI’S HIBISCUS TYPE BLENDS: They might have living bugs in them.
So a couple days ago I was going to steep up some of So Berry and was trying to pick out some of the hibiscus in my hand before putting the rest in the infuser. I saw a tiny brown three segmented bug on my hand, looks kind of like an ant or tiny termite. Thought it was a fluke. Then there was a second one on my hand, so it was definitely coming from the pouch. My pouch of So Berry was ordered in March. Since then, I’ve been emailing the wonderful people at Teakruthi. Then got curious just a minute ago and wanted to test the other teas. My method: I poured the tea pouches onto a paper plate, agitated the tea, and then kept it still for a minute to see them start crawling around. The hibiscus focused blends from March had at least a few bugs before I stopped counting. This one was particularly bad. It was crawling.
From a March 2020 order, these pouches have bugs in them: Summer Isle, So Berry, Serendipity and Ceylon Peach. I feel terrible giving Teakruthi this news, because they are otherwise fantastic. But I drank these teas… with living bugs actually living in them. This is disgusting. Serendipity I luckily didn’t even open before today, so I KNOW it isn’t a problem from my end of things. I’ve never even seen these bugs before. I sent some of you guys these teas! Luckily not these four.
I tested ALL Teakruthi’s blends that I still have, by pouring on a paper plate and observing. From what I can tell, these teas are FINE:
Original samples from 8/2019: Ceylon Emerald, Lemon Kandy (though there was a big piece of what looked like pocket lint), Vanilla Earl, Colonial Mornings, Afternoon Ritual, Zen Mint, Ceylon Ivory, Majestic Chai
From 3/2020 order that were FINE: big pouch of Lemon Kandy, big pouch of Ceylon Emerald, Wild Monsoon, Southern Malt, Cinnamon Chai
I hate bringing anything to light that is negative about the great Teakruthi BUT I also don’t want my Steepster buds to be drinking living bugs. They clearly have a production problem, at least with these four blends. BUT they do say they make really fresh batches, so the problem might already be solved by now? I HOPE SO. I’m also glad Teakruthi uses very thick quality, fully sealable pouches because if I had a bug infestation in all of my teas, I would be pissed. I know I’ve been lucky with the thousands of teas I’ve sampled, I think I only have found a tiny bird feather in one of them before. So yes, very lucky. At least I didn’t say this tea was the most delicious tea ever? I guess I could taste the bugs. :/
This might be the first from Teakruthi that I did not enjoy. I guess I blindly went for samples of their fruity black teas, hoping the fruit would be similar to their lovely Emerald Green. So I was ignoring the fact that these fruity black teas had hibiscus. And there is a lot of hibiscus here. The first time I steeped it normally, and I was mainly tasting an earthy tart hibiscus. I didn’t love it, but re-steeped the leaves anyway. Much of the same flavor. I don’t like it. Then I thought to steep up fresh leaves but take out most of the hibiscus. I tried, though there was still a lot of hibiscus. I guess the flavor was mostly the same, just muted. Very tart. Somehow the hibiscus in the blend also looks close to the black tea. I was expecting much more from this blend, as there are so many great fruits here: mango, pineapple, papaya, banana. But it’s like all of those were missing and I was drowning in hibiscus. Please remove the hibiscus from this, Teakruthi! The other fruits can stand on their own.
(Also I was thinking Mastress Alita would be the perfect person to send this to, but then remembered there is banana in it… or supposedly banana here anyway. So I won’t try to send it.)
Another sample I bought from Teakruthi! I’m very glad they have sample sizes. This also had the fragrance of basil in the leaf — same as Wild Monsoon that I had the other day. So I wanted to visually compare the leaves of the two. They both look similar, but the Wild Monsoon has a bigger/longer leaf. Of course, they are both Ceylon, as all of Teakruthi’s teas are Ceylon. Do not let that fact sway you from trying their teas. I would say in the past, I was least interested in Ceylon tea as a type, but most of Teakruthi’s teas that I’ve tried have been unique and very delicious. The first cup here was so so much basil! It’s amazing there isn’t any actual basil here. It was like smooth tomato soup with basil. The brew was a bright orange. I’d say there was a lot more basil here and none of the caramelized strawberry flavor that Wild Monsoon has. This time I tried to overcorrect with the astringent second steep of Wild Monsoon and went for a much cooler brewed second steep and the flavor wasn’t anything tasty at all, even losing most of the basil, so I definitely should have went for a hotter steep with this one. I’m in love with the savory basil flavor of the first cup though. Excellent first steep, bland second. But I will try again soon to retry.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 27 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 16 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
I was drinking this one a couple days ago in the hopes we get a monsoon in this drought. Only a bit of rain for a while! The scent of the dry leaves is VERY unique — first, a hint of mint, then something like very dry drought hay, then spices like you might find in a pizza… basil! The dry leaves are huge and dusty looking. The aroma of the steeped basket of leaves is very much like tomato soup. Taking the first sips, it is almost like the flavor of Premium Taiwanese Assam, like sweet caramelized strawberries (now that I think of it, the leaves have a similar appearance as well). BUT then mysteriously, the tea completely changes and it tastes very much like basil. I would have guessed there was actual basil, but there is nothing in this medium bodied plain black tea. This is like the everlasting gobstopper of teas, but with the dessert first. Sadly, I probably overdid it on the second steep and it tasted more like a traditional astringent black tea. Boiling is not the way to go with this one. I wouldn’t steep the second steep like that again, but I REALLY enjoyed that first steep.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 29 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 50 English Tea Store – Lime Gelato ( Love hitting 50 sipdowns almost in the middle of the year, when my goal is 100 for the year!)
I have been in a tea-drinking rut for months now (the same things over and over, didn’t really seem worth posting about) but I finally made a little effort and ordered in some new loose leaf. I thought this tea shipped out of Canada, but it actually arrived straight from the source, Sri Lanka.
I’ve been enjoying this one a lot. It’s slightly on the light side, but still has a rich malty flavor. I couldn’t really pick up the raisin notes that others have commented on, but I just started the bag and it often takes me a few attempts to taste all the aspects of a tea.
Also, shameless plug: I got a tea tray printed up with one of my digital paintings and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I’m always dubious about ordering things from the printers but they did a great job. https://www.instagram.com/p/CB6RTMeharK/
A sample I bought a couple months ago – what a perfect day to try it now that the weather is warming up. I wanted a peach/apricot tea! The aroma of the blend is AUTHENTIC peach and apricot which is always a great thing. I went with two teaspoons for a mug because there is so much fruit in this blend! Dried pieces of apple and apricot. And flower petals! The black tea is long leafed. The color of the brew never gets as dark as the photo, which is odd if I’m using two teaspoons. Though the water was quite cooled on the first steep, more than would be usual for me. (But maybe the photo is more from the hibiscus? And possibly my serving/blend didn’t have that much?) My cup was only slightly changed from the hibiscus, maybe only adding a slight tartness. The second cup is more earthy, reminding me almost of a peach pit. Then there is also a flavor here that reminds me of stevia though I KNOW teakruthi doesn’t add stevia to their tea… that is probably the licorice root that is imparting these flavors. I wouldn’t mind the blend without it – just fruit and black tea would be fine with me! I think the aroma is much more enticing than the actual flavor, but I’m sure the parameters can use some adjusting to make the flavor better.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
And I’ll tack on a song, Cat Power- Human Being: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tlsc3sqMZQ
Thanks for the samples, Teakruthi! Sorry it took so long to get around to this one! I don’t find the peach here to be as delicious as in some peach black teas. I want more juicy peach, but this one is a little drying. The ginger is also fairly mild, really just a light burn in the back of the mouth. The black tea is light as well, with a tiny bit of maltiness. It definitely wasn’t bad, but I wish it had stronger flavors.
From the Samurai TTB.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews for teakruthi teas here on Steepster. This is the first one I’ve tried from this company, and I have to say that it’s the best tea I’ve had from the box so far. I love it! And if I hadn’t finished the bag to make this cup, I would have pulled it to keep in my own stash. It’s full-bodied, takes milk really well, and stays true to its flavors. I can taste both the sweet peach and the ginger, but the ginger doesn’t overwhelm. It’s not too spicy, it complements the peach. I can see this making a really good iced tea as well, but I’m loving it hot. I could go on and on about how delicious this is. tea-sipper, I think you might have forced my hand – it looks like I’ll be making a teakruthi order before too long. :)
Flavors: Ginger, Peach
Small sample saved from the tea box. I sat down to answer some emails as it was steeping and totally oversteeped it. Man, I really abuse my teas. It tastes pretty green with a bit of bitterness that is likely my fault, but not too much bitterness, thankfully. I definitely don’t like it as much as I’ve enjoyed some of Teakruthi’s other teas. It’s just not as fresh and clear as it could be.
a new straigh tea! woot! Pulled this one out to try this morning but glad i went with my gut on the brewing parameters. I find i rarely want a CTC to be brewed for longer than 2-2.5 mins. Especially since i don’t add anything to my teas. If i was adding honey/milk/sugar or something like that, i’d brew it stronger. This was a pleasant cup for sure. because its a CTC i don’t feel the need to pick up more of it, but if i needed to flesh out an order with this company i could add this one. It does have me curious about their other offerings, so glad there’s a few other teas in the sample bag from variaTEA
Thank you teakruthi for the sample. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a CTC type tea since I haven’t had a lot of experience with it and the experiences I have had weren’t great. However, this is quite nice. It’s strong and a touch astringent. As I drink, petrichor comes to mind, as well as the idea of wet and dark woods. It’s also a bit malty which provides a nice counterbalance to the other flavours.