132 Tasting Notes

drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
132 tasting notes

North American Tea Champion: 2012, Third Place
World Tea Champion: 2009

Brewed per Teas Etc. recommendation: 1 level tsp. / 8 oz. / 212*F / 4 to 5-min. – without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: various length, dark brown with many golden tips
Fragrance: Reminded me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & dark coppery

4-Min.: The tea was very smooth and full-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency. The rich malty character and caramel-like sweetness are easily appreciated.

6 min. Resteep: Produced an enjoyable cup.

Impression: This is a very smooth, malty, full-bodied Assam with a caramel-like sweetness. An excellent breakfast tea!

Thanks to Beth Johnston at Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Per Aubrey at Arbor Teas:
“We are no longer sourcing our Assam from the Rembeng estate … because they are no longer Fair Trade Certified.”
“Our new … “Assam Black Tea” is now sourced from the Banaspati Estate and is both Organic and Fair Trade Certified.”

Brewed per Arbor Teas’ recommendation: 1 level tsp. / 8 oz. / 212*F / 3 to 5-min. – without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: uniform short length, dark brown
Fragrance: Reminded me of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & coppery

3 min. Initial taste: I’ll steep it longer.

4-Min.: The tea was smooth and medium-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency.

5-Min.: Medium-to-full-bodied with a delicate sweetness and w/o any bitterness or astringency.

1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 212 F / 5 min. The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark and full-bodied, without any hint of bitterness or astringency. The malty character and caramel-like sweetness are now better appreciated.

10 min. Resteep: Produced an enjoyable cup.

Impression: This is a very smooth organic Assam. For those who enjoy a more robust cup of Assam, more than a tsp. is recommended.

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Brewed per Arbor Teas’ recommendation: “one generous tsp.” / 8 oz. / 212*F / 3 to 5-min. without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: Uniform short length, chocolate brown
Fragrance: Reminded me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & coppery

3 min. Initial taste: The tea was smooth and medium-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency.

4-Min.: Full-bodied w/o any bitterness. However, a light level of astringency was noted.

1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 195F / 3 min.* The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark. This Nilgiri is brisk without any hint of bitterness or astringency.

Impression: The flavor is very smooth, simple, and enjoyable. Your teacup will be empty before you realize it. Well done!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I brewed this tea following Arbor Teas’ recommendation: “one generous tsp.” / 8 oz. / 212*F for 3 to 5-min. without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: well twisted, uniform sized, blackish brown
Fragrance: Subtle hints of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & mahogany colored

3 min. Initial taste: The tea was smooth and medium-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency.

4-Min.: The longer infusion did allow the flavor to more fully develop. Now this tea was smooth, somewhat malty, and full-bodied w/o any bitterness. However, after a few sips a moderate-to-strong level of astringency developed and persisted on the front center of my tongue. I understand astringency can be associated with high-altitude teas. This “…organic Ceylon tea hails from Sri Lanka’s eastern Uva District, grown between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level.” I would definitely not suggest a longer infusion.

Next, I tried 1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 195 F / 3 min.: Wow, now we’re talking! The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark. The flavor is now very smooth with a malty richness and with a subtle caramel sweetness. There is no hint of bitterness and only a very mild drying effect on the finish. As my cup cools, I’m delighted by the sweet caramel finish.

The increased amount of leaf produced a richer sip and a delicate caramel sweetness. The decreased temperature and reduced time significantly reduced the level of astringency.

Impression: This is one Sri Lankan black tea you don’t want to miss!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
yyz

glad you found a way to love it!

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The first time I reviewed this tea I brewed it for just 3-min. to minimize the potential for any astringency and was very favorably impressed.

Today, I decided to brew this tea following Arbor Teas’ recommendation: “one generous tsp.” / 8 oz. / 212*F for the maximum of 5-min.

The longer infusion did allow the aroma and flavor to more fully develop. The clear, lively, coppery liquor yields a sweet floral/fruity aroma. The initial taste is very smooth and has a delicate caramel sweetness. There was no hint of bitterness. However, there is a medium amount of astringency in the middle of my tongue.

Next, I tried 1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 195*F / 4 min. Wow, now we’re talking! The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark. The aroma is more fruity than floral. The flavor is now very smooth and rich with a definite caramel sweetness. There is no hint of bitterness and only a very mild drying effect on the finish. As my cup cools, the first part of the sip is fruity and is followed by a sweet caramel finish.

The increased amount of leaf produced a stronger aroma, a much richer sip and a solid caramel sweetness. The decreased temperature and reduced time significantly reduced the level of astringency. This is one Indian black tea you don’t want to miss!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

sounds yummy

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drank Breakfast Earl Grey by Lupicia
132 tasting notes

Sample package label: “5202, Breakfast Earl Grey”

Per, http://www.lupiciausa.com/product_p/13355202.htm:
“Earl Grey made with broken leaves brews up a robust taste. Perfect to enjoy with milk.”

“Water Measurement: One 5.0 fl.oz (150ml)-cup
Water Temprature: Boiling water
Brewing Time: 2 – 2.5 min.”

Per Victoria at Lupicia Customer Service:
- The base of their Breakfast EG is a single Ceylon tea, not a blend.
- Their bagged tea is “the exact same as their loose tea.”

Technique:
5-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 27 ppm, heated to 212*F, 2.5 min.

1 tea sachet, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Fragrance: This tea has a stronger fresh lemon Earl Grey fragrance than their 5201 Earl Grey. There wasn’t any hint of artificial additives.

Dry leaf – Dark brown leaves

Liquor – Clear & dark coppery

Impression: This is a smooth, well-balanced Earl Grey with a fresh mild pleasing lemon aroma. Finally, another EG with more body! There was no hint of bitterness or astringency. As the cup cooled, there was no hint of tartness. This Earl Grey resteeps well at 5-min.

My wife enjoyed this Lupicia EG more than their 5201 EG. She especially liked the stronger Bergamot fragrance. This EG tea has come the closest to her liking. However, she noted that there was a vegetal aroma / flavor not expected in a classic EG. I asked Vitoria what might contribute the vegetal hint to this tea. She wasn’t sure and said “Perhaps it’s because it is a broken tea?”

At this point, it has been 10 Earl Greys & counting! We would welcome any suggestions for a stronger Bergamot, fuller-bodied, invigorating breakfast version of the classic EG.

Thanks to Lupicia for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
yyz

I’ve sometimes gotten that vegetal taste in black teas. I usually find that these teas are teas that do best when brewed at off boiled ie 190-196 instead of at boiled. When I brewed these teas at the lower temperature the vegetal taste usually disappears or is diminished significantly.

looseTman

Thank you. That’s very helpful. I used 212*F per Lupicia’s recommendations.

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Silky EG from Teajo has an Assam base and a pretty strong bergamot.

looseTman

We found the Teajo EG to be enjoyable with one caveat for classic EG lovers: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/163801#comments

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drank Earl Grey by Lupicia
132 tasting notes

Sample package label: “5201, Earl Grey”

Per: http://www.lupiciausa.com/product_p/13355201.htm:
“Water Measurement: One 5.0 fl.oz (150ml)-cup
Water Temprature: Boiling water
Brewing Time: 2.5-3min.”

Technique:
5-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 27 ppm, heated to 212*F, 3 min.

1 tea sachet, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Introduction: Most Earl Grey teas are light- to medium-bodied. While my wife loves the aroma and flavor of a well-balanced EG, she typically does not find them to be strong enough. To compensate, she will increase the amount of tea leaves and/or the brewing time. However, you can only increase those two parameters so much.

Fragrance: This tea has a fresh lemon Earl Grey fragrance combined with the scent of the Keemun base without any hint of artificial additives.

Dry leaf – Dark brown leaves

Liquor – Clear & coppery

Impression: This is a smooth, well-balanced Earl Grey with a fresh mild pleasing lemon aroma combined with a mild classic Keemun aroma. Since I very much enjoy Keemun, I found this EG to also be very enjoyable. Finally, an EG with more body! There was no hint of bitterness or astringency. As the cup cooled, there was a hint of tartness. This Earl Grey resteeps well at 5-6 min.

My wife enjoys Keemun and also enjoyed this tea but didn’t find it to be “The EG” she’s been seeking. To her, it wasn’t special or unique enough. After all the excellent Steepster reviews and recommendations for this EG, I had high hopes this would be “The one”. At this point, it has been 9 Earl Greys & counting! (I’m not including EG cream teas.) Since this tea has a full-bodied Keemun base, I guess she didn’t find the EG aroma and flavor to be sufficient. She is looking for an EG that will make you “sit up and take notice.” A full-bodied EG on Steroids!

Thanks to Lupicia for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 OZ / 147 ML
Rie

If I might suggest, I’ve found Lupicia’s EG Grand Classic definitely fits the “sit up and take notice” bill, on my EG quests! Good luck on your own continuing EG quests!

looseTman

Thanks for the suggestion! At $82/lb, I imagine it’s very good. But, a bit much for an everyday breakfast tea.

Rie

Yes, definitely not everyday material for both price point and smoky, exotic character – although it does re-steep well for an EG (3 times).

If you two are particularly interested, I can send you a small sample to try, since 50g is the lowest that Lupicia sells, and it’s a very love-hate EG, I think. (‘u’-)

looseTman

Thank you for your offer. That’s very sweet of you! I’ll ask my better half.

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Sample package label:
“Earl Grey Creme
Black tea, bergamot orange oil, cream flavor”

Per http://www.dellaterrateas.com/earl-grey-creme/:
“Product Description
If you love Earl Grey you will adore our Earl Grey Creme. It has the classic Earl Grey flavoring matched with a delicious creme.”

“Ingredients: Black tea, bergamot orange oil, cream flavor”

“Allergens: contains dairy. For more allergy info visit our FAQ

“Suggested brewing tips:
Serving Size: 1 level tsp. /6 to 8oz serving
Water Temp: 210°
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes”

Technique:
6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 28 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 210*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.

1 level Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: Dark brown with blue cornflower petals and some straw-colored petals

Fragrance: This tea has an Earl Grey and cream-like fragrance plus an additional unidentified fragrance. It smells similar to anise.

Liquor: Somewhat clear amber-brown hue

3-min Infusion: The mild aroma follows the fragrance. The initial taste follows the unidentified fragrance & aroma. Mid sip one tastes the base tea. The end of the sip reveals the not very creamy crème flavoring. The bergamot orange oil is overshadowed and hard to recognize. There was also an unpleasant aftertaste left in my mouth that persisted quite a while. Neither my wife or I finished our cups of this tea.

Impression: The fragrance, aroma, and flavor make me wonder if some artificial flavorings were included. Perhaps this sample came from a sub-optimal batch of this tea? If I were to rate this EGC on the merits of this one sample, I would say that there are other better tasting Earl Grey Cream teas available. However, the question that remains, is this sample truly representative of Della Terra’s Earl Grey Crème?

Suggestion: A quick review of http://steepster.com/teas/della-terra-teas/29162-earl-grey-creme shows a wide range of Tasting Notes scores from 90 to 60 points even among very experienced Steepster reviewers. These results suggest both near-optimal and sub-optimal batches. Thus, I’d suggest a thorough review of the quality control processes for both ingredient selection and the blending process.

Thanks to David Worgul of Della Terra Tea for providing this free sample.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Sample package label: “Organic Makaibari Darjeeling”

Per: http://www.dellaterrateas.com/organic-makaibari-darjeeling/
“Ingredients: Organic Makaibari Darjeeling Black Tea”

“Suggested brewing tips
Serving Size: 1 level tsp./6oz serving
Water Temp: 210°F
Steep Time: 1 – 3 minutes”

Technique:
6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 27 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 210*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.

1 level Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: well twisted, uniform sized, blackish brown – typical for an autumn flush

Fragrance: Reminds me of pipe tobacco

Liquor: Clear & coppery

3-min Infusion: Fresh crisp vegetal aroma, a lively full-bodied refreshing flavor without bitterness. There was a slight sense of astringency on the front center of my tongue.

1st Re-steep: 6-min Infusion Wow, just as enjoyable as the first infusion and now without any astringency.

2nd Re-steep: 12-min Infusion Nearly as enjoyable as the initial infusion! This very fine Darjeeling can go the distance!

Impression: Highly recommended! A truly excellent full-bodied black tea that’s suitable for morning or afternoon.

Thanks to David Worgul of Della Terra Tea for providing this free sample.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sample package label: “Classic Earl Grey, Temp 195*F; Time 2min”

Per http://www.butikiteas.com/Black.html: “Recommended Amount: 2 teaspoons of tea for 8oz of water”

Technique:
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.

2 Tevanna teaspoons, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Introduction: Most Earl Grey teas are light- to medium-bodied. While my wife loves the aroma and flavor of a well-balanced EG, she typically does not find them to be strong enough. To compensate, she will increase the amount of tea leaves and/or the brewing time. However, you can only increase those two parameters so much.

Fragrance: This black tea has a fresh classic Earl Grey fragrance without any hint of artificial additives – the genuine article!

Dry leaf – Dark brown leaves

Infused Leaf – red / brown hue

Impression: This is an elegant smooth, well-balanced Classic Earl Grey with a fresh subtle pleasing lemon aroma The harmonious blended tea base of Chinese, Indian, and Sri Lankan teas was well chosen. There was no hint of tartness, bitterness or astringency.

My wife enjoyed this tea but didn’t find it to be “The EG” she’s been seeking. She prefers a ROBUST version of Stacy’s very well balanced Classic EG. A full-bodied stimulating breakfast tea base with an equally strong EG aroma and flavor. An EG that will make you “Sit Up and Take Notice.” An EG on STEROIDS!

Butiki EG NEWS: Per Stacy, “We are working on a premium version that will replace this version but that won’t be ready for a month or two.” Given Stacy’s track record in providing high quality hand-blended teas, we can’t wait!

Thanks to Stacy for providing this free sample.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, Verdant, Berylleb (ebay), Grandness (Aliexpress), King Tea, Yunnan Sourcing. 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

Options:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

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