80

Teabag tea.

It’s that time of year again. Seasons are changing and I’ve come down with the sniffles, a sore throat, and all that good stuff. Since my sense of taste and smell are inhibited, I decided to skip the more delicate teas and sip down some of my less loved ones. I’d been sitting on this teabag sample my dad gave me for a year or so. He shops at TeaGschwender often but only drinks black tea so all his non-black tea samples gets passed down to me.

I brewed this in an 8oz mug for 90s at 170 F and a second time for 30s using 190 F water. The liquor was light amber in color with the barest tinge of green. Not the vibrant green that’s characteristic of sencha. A sign that this tea was past peak freshness. The brewed tea was decidedly savory; smooth and lacking any astringency. Vegetal with a cashew like creaminess and smoky flavor that reminded me of roasted eggplant. It didn’t have the typical grassiness or oceanic taste that most Japanese green teas do. Despite the atypical flavor and lack of freshness, it was still decent for a bagged tea and helped calm my sniffles.

Flavors: Creamy, Smoke, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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