What Black Are You Drinking

Oxidized tea
m2193
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Sun Feb 27, 2022 5:57 pm

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謐香紅茶 from Wistaria today. They included a 10g vacuum sealed sample with my order, so brewed 5g of it today in 90 mL, boiling water, Brita filtered tap. Didn't feel energetic enough to go for something more attention demanding, so did four steeps before tossing into thermos. Dry leaf had honeyed, almost grape jam-like smell. Very sweet. Leaf in prewarmed vessel gave a sweetly perfumed strawberry smell, and was a unique highlight. Wet leaf overall moved into standard hongcha + floral notes. Decent mouthfeel, some strawberry notes initially before moving into malty floral hongcha territory. Slight chocolate-y hint. I don't find myself reaching for hongcha so I don't own and haven't tried much relative to other teas, but the warmed leaf smell was really a highlight compared to ones I've had before.
m2193
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Mon Feb 28, 2022 3:36 pm

Brewed the rest of the sample today (same water, temp, except 90mL gaiwan instead) since I tend to end up forgetting about random samples if I don't run through them straightaway. Gaiwan today instead of pot. More of a cherry-like smell in warmed gaiwan. Wonder if the release from vacuum sealing and I guess rest overnight affected anything? slightly darker and more muted in smell initially. First steep was a very sweet honeyed taste, and oddly reminiscent of cherry cola taste when drunk after slightly cooled. The wet leaf has a little smokiness when warm and has rich chocolate-y aroma atop of the usual hongcha notes when cooled. Gaiwan lid is darker florals. More chocolate-y in taste vs. pot, and somewhat sugary in taste and aftertaste. 4th steep was slightly grassy amid the floral notes and somewhat green tea-like in taste, but with soft strawberry jam notes in aftertaste. 5th steep oversteeped and back to deeper chocolate-y floral hongcha taste. Moved it to thermos.

This was surprisingly good, and I don't even really like hongcha. Caveat being that I haven't explored much beyond basic hongcha since I don't like the usual hongcha malty taste.
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LeoFox
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Sun Mar 13, 2022 1:07 pm

Enjoying a nice hong from #daxuejiadao



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mbanu
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Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:38 am

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Drinking a house-label Earl Grey from Tea & Sympathy in New York. My first impression was negative, as the tea arrived already a bit on the flat side, but it's grown on me -- "Oh, the tin is almost empty-". :lol:
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Victoria
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Tue Mar 15, 2022 9:59 am

mbanu wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:38 am
Drinking a house-label Earl Grey from Tea & Sympathy in New York. My first impression was negative, as the tea arrived already a bit on the flat side, but it's grown on me -- "Oh, the tin is almost empty-". :lol:
A friend recently gave me some Earl Grey from Chado Tea House at the Japanese American Museum in LA. I was surprised how good it was, even with lavender buds and bergamot oil added to Niligiri tea. A pleasant tea to share with those guests who only appreciate British style teas. Without thinking I first prepared it using +-6g/120ml/off boil/2min :shock: way way too concentrated, so just added a bunch of hot water to dilute it in a bigger pot. Went for at least four good steeps. Chado is owned by an Indian American family that host the Los Angeles Tea Festival every year (which is a nice pollinator), does large volume wholesale, and have several tea houses around LA. It seems their better teas tend to be from southern India, although I’ve only tried a handful over the years.
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mbanu
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Mon Mar 21, 2022 10:10 am

mbanu wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:38 am
Image


Drinking a house-label Earl Grey from Tea & Sympathy in New York. My first impression was negative, as the tea arrived already a bit on the flat side, but it's grown on me -- "Oh, the tin is almost empty-". :lol:
...and now the tin is empty. With any luck, my tea collection will be low enough come spring to justify some new teas. :D

On a vaguely-related note, it looks like this Snapple Earl Grey commercial was filmed inside Tea & Sympathy -- unless there is another teahouse somewhere with book wallpaper on the bottom of their front counter. :D

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LeoFox
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Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:29 am

Too many meetings so- a fast east frisian blend had to do. Brewed quickly in purion
https://www.uptontea.com/breakfast-tea- ... /p/V00091/




It is interesting- I was able to get 12 decent infusions from 5g in my 150 ml pot doing flash infusions for the first 6 and then increasing the time steadily.
Andrew S
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Thu Apr 21, 2022 4:09 am

Brewing the last bits of Bok's nice hongcha in a big pot.

I don't have anything against hongcha generally, and I quite like this one, but it's just that it doesn't really feel like the weather for it most of the time where I live.

It seems appropriate for cold dry days, but perhaps that's just me. It's useful to have handy for those kinds of days, though.

Andrew
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mbanu
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Mon Apr 25, 2022 4:17 am

mbanu wrote:
Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:46 pm
Tried to bake a bread pudding, so I gave the loose-leaf Constant Comment another go. Not really happy with the pudding, but the tea turned out OK. :D
More of the same. :) One thing I appreciate about the loose-leaf variety is that Bigelow is self-aware of how strong the flavoring is, so they use a tin with an unusually tight lid, to the point where removing it takes a bit of effort. The advantage being that it reduces the risk of it tainting other teas if someone who doesn't know it's not a good idea to store scented and flavored teas with other teas happens to do it anyhow for a short period of time.
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LeoFox
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Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:19 pm

Some nice Taiwanese red today
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mbanu
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Tue May 10, 2022 3:19 pm

Today it is a Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey. Not bad! Based on broken Keemun, arrived in good shape, strong Bergamot but still English-style Earl Grey rather than Russian style. My first impression is that it is better than U.S. (Polish-packed) Twinings, at least to my tastes. Wish I'd saved some of the Tea & Sympathy Earl Grey for a taste-off. Apparently Prince Charles took a liking to Taylors tea back in 2004, eventually giving it a Royal Warrant -- I'll need to see if I can find some old examples of their packaging from before then, but they certainly try to make the most of it now. :D
RayClem
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Wed May 11, 2022 7:05 am

I am under the impression that a lot of Earl Greys are based on tea from India rather than China. Thus, finding one based on Keemun is interesting. Since you mentioned broken leaf, I presume you got their loose leaf tea rather than the tea bags. I might need to try Taylors.
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LeoFox
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Wed May 11, 2022 8:28 am

RayClem wrote:
Wed May 11, 2022 7:05 am
I am under the impression that a lot of Earl Greys are based on tea from India rather than China. Thus, finding one based on Keemun is interesting. Since you mentioned broken leaf, I presume you got their loose leaf tea rather than the tea bags. I might need to try Taylors.
May be of interest

http://theearlgreyaddict.blogspot.com/2 ... l.html?m=1
Then again with a 125grams of tea in the bag aroma is something there should be plenty of, and there was. As to its smell, it was not the typical citrus filled aroma I look for. This was a restrained smell like someone took the high notes off the smell and left only the low notes. Almost like it had already been brewed and cooled a bit all while retaining it's freshness.

So what is in this tea? From the bottom of the container:

Ingredients: Black China tea, natural oil of bergamot.

 Two remaining points.

Also, imagine this Earl gray to be vastly superior- and I am thinking of buying some for my boss come holiday time since she drinks a lot of earl gray:

http://theearlgreyaddict.blogspot.com/2 ... s.html?m=0
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TeaGrove
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Wed May 11, 2022 9:00 am

mbanu wrote:
Tue May 10, 2022 3:19 pm
Today it is a Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey. Not bad! Based on broken Keemun, arrived in good shape, strong Bergamot but still English-style Earl Grey rather than Russian style. My first impression is that it is better than U.S. (Polish-packed) Twinings, at least to my tastes. Wish I'd saved some of the Tea & Sympathy Earl Grey for a taste-off. Apparently Prince Charles took a liking to Taylors tea back in 2004, eventually giving it a Royal Warrant -- I'll need to see if I can find some old examples of their packaging from before then, but they certainly try to make the most of it now. :D
A decent British tea brand hard to untangle from a good old fashioned Yorkshire afternoon tea :D My experience with their loose leaf lapsang souchong is one of the better so far for Western style serving.
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mbanu
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Thu May 12, 2022 10:56 pm

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Today it's "Taylors Tea Room Blend" -- maybe re-branded Bettys Tea Room Blend? (Bettys gets the nice double-lid tins, it looks like, while Taylors has to make do with single-lid.) East-African/Assam CTC -- not a lot going on aroma-wise, "best-by" for this batch is the end of September, but still makes an OK milk tea. :)
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