Sample package label: “Autumn Darjeeling”
“Malty, muscatel, and spicy notes; smooth yet complex flavor, Autumnal 2nd flush. Organic, Fair Trade
Deep in the Mirik Valley of Darjeeling in West Bengal India, comes this autumn harvest 2nd flush Darjeeling tea from the Seeyok plantation. Its has a strong body with a refreshing crisp finish with strong hints of Mustat, malt and spices. A perfect morning or early afternoon tea. Certified Organic and Fair Trade.”

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian at Alvin’s of San Francisco for the recommended brewing instructions: 1 tsp. / 195*F / 8oz. / 2 minutes. “To really enjoy the complexity of the tea leaves I personally leave them in for a bit longer though this is totally up to you. (Sometimes I don’t even take them out!)”

8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 26 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 195*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.
1 Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

The fragrance of this tea is very enticing, but what is it? – A new very pleasing experience.
Dry leaf – blackish brown
Infused Leaf – Bright coppery hue

First cup:
2-min: Smooth, light- to med.-bodied I then steeped it an additional min.
3-min: med.-bodied
4-min: Smooth, lively & full-bodied with a malty character and a clean finish. There was zero hint of bitterness or astringency

5-min re-steep:
Smooth & a little lighter than the first infusion, but very enjoyable.

2nd cup (same as above, but brewed in a closed vessel – teacup w/lid):
4-min: Smooth, lively & full-bodied with a malty character and a clean finish. There was zero hint of bitterness or astringency. However, I now can appreciate the hints of muscatel. It reminds me of white grapes.

Impression: A very enjoyable Darjeeling – a smooth, full-bodied, malty tea with hints of muscatel and without any bitterness or astringency. Well Done!

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian for providing this generous size free sample.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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My wife and I enjoy shou that:
- is Full-bodied, thick, rich, creamy smooth
- produces a full-mouth feeling with a long pleasing finish
- w/o obvious acidity, astringency, or bitterness
- Retains this profile & is complex enough to enjoy for multiple steeps

Notes of interest:
- natural rich chocolate (as opposed to too bittersweet cocoa)
- honey, caramel, stone fruits, sweet potato, barley, fresh baked bread

Notes not of interest: Floral, vegetal, woody.

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, King Tea Mall, Whispering Pines, & Arbor Teas. 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:
20g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 5 min rest / 5s / 5 / 7 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 /30 / 45 / 60. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

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 an Impact Alkaline re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Impact Alkaline Filter
All filters made in USA & NSF-Certified.
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-2 TDS meter

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


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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