68

Sampler Sunday! I got this tea from Meowster’s cupboard destash last summer, thanks Meowster! Assams don’t tend to be my favorite when it comes to blacks, so I just kept a sampler size of this and decided to put the rest in the Discovery Teabox since it was pretty flavored blend dominant and I wanted to try to get some more pure teas in there for folks. That said, I have had some assams surprise me before (India Assam Kanoka Hand-made Black from What-cha comes to mind!) so I’m looking forward to this sample.

I use my typical black tea brewing parameters, which are likely “lighter” than most folks: 2.5g for 350ml of water and a 3 minute steep. The cup was a deeply dark cup, and had an aroma of malt, burnt toast, and… mint? That can’t be right, but then, my sniffer is just a little stuffy first thing in the morning when I get out of bed… The flavor was quite bold, with a strong malty, baked bread/burnt toast flavor, and oddly enough I actually was picking up a subtle undertone of citrus and mint notes towards the end of the sip. (Have I just been drinking too much mint tea lately? I’ve never tasted a mint note in a black breakfast tea before…) Also just a hint of a pepper note on the back of the tongue as the sip is subsiding. There is a decent bit of astringency with this tea due to the robustness, so I get quite a bit of tongue-drying after the sip. It’s quite hearty and offers quite a bit of flavor even though it’s likely older leaf, and would make a good breakfast tea option, but blacks like this aren’t my personal preference. I’m debating if I want to add a little milk, or just take it like a champ, because despite the astringency, I do really like that subtle mintiness my tongue is picking up.

Edit: After reading about tea-sipper giving her infusers a bath, I went and sniff-tested my gravity well, and yup… minty! Welp, that mystery is solved! I’ve been trying for a week straight to sip down a chocomint rooibos with an utterly obnoxious super artificial, overly strong peppermint flavoring in it, and it must have left some flavor residue in my infuser. Most of the flavor was covered by the robustness of this tea, so I just tasted a “mint note” which didn’t have that artificial taste to it, and just tasted pleasantly minty. Heh. Well, now the infuser is getting a proper vinegar and baking soda bath. At least I enjoyed my cuppa regardless of the mistake?

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Burnt, Citrus, Drying, Malt, Mint, Pepper, Toast

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Kittenna

I’ve taken to washing my infusers in the dishwasher – they come out so clean! I have had the misfortune of a couple soapy teas in the past, with hand-washed infusers (so much sadness).

Mastress Alita

I don’t even have a dishwasher in my sad, tiny, cheap apartment, so all my teaware gets lovingly handwashed. :-P

Kittenna

That was me for 7 years (my entire loose leaf tea-infusing life) – and then my husband and I had our kitchen redone after we got married, and with that we got a most excellent dishwasher. I still handwash my tea mugs though – many aren’t dishwasher-safe – and handwash the infusers about 50% of the time – but they always go in the dishwasher after strong and/or gooey teas (ones with fruit).

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Kittenna

I’ve taken to washing my infusers in the dishwasher – they come out so clean! I have had the misfortune of a couple soapy teas in the past, with hand-washed infusers (so much sadness).

Mastress Alita

I don’t even have a dishwasher in my sad, tiny, cheap apartment, so all my teaware gets lovingly handwashed. :-P

Kittenna

That was me for 7 years (my entire loose leaf tea-infusing life) – and then my husband and I had our kitchen redone after we got married, and with that we got a most excellent dishwasher. I still handwash my tea mugs though – many aren’t dishwasher-safe – and handwash the infusers about 50% of the time – but they always go in the dishwasher after strong and/or gooey teas (ones with fruit).

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: Fusion Tea’s Pumpkin Spice Mate

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2019: 80
Sipdown Count for 2019: 124

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.

Location

Idaho, United States

Website

https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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