Sample package label:
Unlike most black teas, these leaves are lightly steamed during processing – a step usually reserved for Japanese green teas. It’s aromatic and rich, with hints of ripe fruit and dark honey.

Organic black tea, slightly steamed from Fujian Province in China.

1.5 tsp. / 94*C 201*F / 5-7 min.
USDA Organic / Canada Organic Biologique / PAREVE”

12-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 19 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 201*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer
3 Tevanna teaspoons, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Introduction: This is my first tasting experience with a steamed tea. I requested this tea because I like to try different teas to challenge my palate and since it was one of the highest-rated unflavored black DAVIDsTEAs per Steepster. I did not know what to expect. But, due to the 83 point rating, I was expecting an enjoyable tea.
Note: I wrote this review a few days later from hand written notes I made during the tea tasting.

This tea has a fragrance that reminds me of fine pipe tobacco.

Clear amber brown hue.

5-min Infusion: This tea had a bakery / toasted-nut aroma. The initial taste was not quite full-bodied.
6-min: OK
7-min: A little too long. Strong, brisk, astringent.

6-min: Too light
7-min: More enjoyable – woodsy character

2nd Cup:
5-min Infusion: Astringent, somewhat bitter, with the flavor of dark honey.

This cup was more enjoyable without bitterness or astringency. The dominant flavor was dark honey.

Impression: My initial experience with this steamed black tea seems to be more similar to indigobloom’s experience: After reading some of the more positive tasting notes by more experienced reviewers, I would be interested in tasting this tea again using their notes as a guide.

Many thanks to DAVIDsTEA and Natalie for providing this very generous size free sample, which was very helpful when tasting a truly different unflavored black tea for the first time.

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I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our recent orders have been from: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, and Verdant. Kudos to: Tao, Brenden, Boris, Angel Chen, Alistair Rea, Garret Sorensen, Kenneth Son, & David Duckler who have all been extremely helpful.

My cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see:

#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter:

- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1:

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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