Sample package label:
“BLACK TEA
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”

Technique:
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.

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

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

Restep:
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: http://steepster.com/indigobloom/posts/135009#likes. 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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Bio

My wife & I are passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, thick & creamy smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs). Currently, our focus is on ripe pu-erh teas.

We especially enjoy teas with a mildly-sweet rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to bittersweet cocoa.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

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

Our recent orders have been from: Yunnan Sourcing, Crimson Lotus, Little Red Cup, Berylleb (ebay), King Tea, White 2 Tea, Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Arbor Teas, Verdant, Grandness (Aliexpress). Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

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

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
10-15g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 20 min rest / 5s / 5 / 5 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 60 /120. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Digital variable-temp electric kettle and a tempered 6 oz. gaiwan:
http://steepster.com/teaware/bonavita/39130-1-liter-variable-temperature-digital-electric-gooseneck-kettle
https://steepster.com/teaware/butiki-teas/39240-flower-gaiwan
https://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75184-double-wall-clear-glass-cha-hai-tea-pitcher-200ml
http://steepster.com/teaware/shanghaistory/75183-sonsitai-sst-082-ss-fine-mesh-tea-strainer
http://steepster.com/teas/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#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: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en
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Update 10/27/17:
Today, I sanitized our RO system and replaced all the filters (routine RO system maintenance). We upgraded from the Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter to the Zaria Everest Alkaline Water Filter:
https://steepster.com/teaware/zaria/68637-everest-alkaline-water-filter
The major difference is the Zaria Everest is NSA-certified, the Puregen is not.
-———————————
Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

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

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Mid-Atlantic, USA

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