Posts Tagged ‘Four Minutes’
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Ingredients: organic Indian Assam black tea, natural orange flavor, natural bergamot flavor, organic cornflower blossoms
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 3-5 minutes, 208degF
From the moment at which I remove the pyramid infuser from its cardboard cover, I know there is something different about this Earl Grey. The smell of bergamot is not very strong. In fact, it is hardly present at all. Popping the infuser into my Tea Forte Cafe Cup, I fill the cup with just boiled water and let it steep for four minutes…a happy medium in the 3-5 minute range that was given by Tea Forte’s website!
The tea being now prepared, I take a whiff of the steeping, once again surprised by the smell. It is spicy with a bit of a fruity smell. Intrigued, I go on to try this cup of tea, sip by sip. My first sip is possibly the most astringent Earl Grey I have ever tasted! The bergamot is finally hinted at in the aftertaste, but the tea itself is so incredibly astringent that I wonder if I mistimed this tea. I ditch this cup and prepare to steep a new one.
This second cup I steep for only two and a half minutes. I know this is less than what was suggested, but I figure it is better to be safe. This second cup still smells exactly the first one, which worries me slightly, but I forge onward with this tasting! Still astringent, even after such a short steep time. But it is not as bad as the first cup was. The bergamot flavor is very fake and overdone, which is a bit of a turn-off, considering that this is supposed to be Earl Grey, not cologne.
If hunting for a cup of Earl Grey, this is not the tea to which to turn. I recommend trying a different brand. Sorry, Tea Forte, but this tea needs to go back to the mixing room. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 45/100.
You can purchase the Earl Grey directly from the Tea Forte website.
Tea Company: Canton Tea Co. (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1tsp to 1 tbs per cup (200ml); water temperature around 80 deg C (176 deg F): and infuse 2-4 mins. A forgiving, easy-to-brew tea – even if the leaves steep for a very long time it still tastes bright and smooth.
I felt that this tea was going to be a very unique experience. After all, pouchong is not a very common type of tea. The people who grow it refer to it as a green tea, yet in reality, pouchong is actually a type of oolong. The oxidisation process is such that the tea is supposed to be very light in flavour.
For preparing pouchong, water of a temperature akin to that which is used for green tea should be used. According to Canton Tea Co’s website, the tea is very forgiving, and they recommend using anywhere from one teaspoon to one table spoon of tea per cup of water. As I was making this tea in a 150ml gaiwan, I chose to just go with their recommendation and use 1 teaspoon of leaves. In keeping with their description of it being a very forgiving tea, they recommend 2-4 minutes for steep time. I went with three, just to be safe.
The dry leaves and the wet leaves smell much the same. A hint of fruitiness and a lot of fresh, light, oolong scent. Even after three minutes, the brew looks incredibly pale, but has a wonderfully light, floral aroma. The initial flavour, when the tea first touches the tongue, is light, too. While it may seem ridiculous, it is almost feathery in how soft the flavour is. One is then surprised when the finishing taste is bolder than expected. In fact, it seems that the finish is bolder than the foretaste.
I can see why this tea wins awards. It really is good. Canton Tea Co’s website says nothing regarding resteeping, but I decide to try anyway, increasing the steep time to four minutes. I cannot say that the resteeping has improved or changed the flavour. If anything, it is a bit weaker than before. However, this tea still maintains its soft mouthfeel and light flavours. An indefinite steep is probably called for in order to get all the vestiges of flavour from these leaves.
I enjoyed drinking this tea, and it is certainly one of Canton Tea Co’s very nice offerings. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 77/100.
You can purchase the Pouchong directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.
Tea Company: SpecialTea Brew (website)
Ingredients: Black Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed
The common stereotype of an Assam tea is a heavy, hefty, malty breakfast beverage. With a little milk, a good Assam should stick to your ribs more effectively than a morning bowl of Raisin Bran. This particular Assam, tagged as a 2009 World Tea Champion, doesn’t fit the common denominator, but it’s still a pleasant exception.
Couldn’t get much of a scent from the little cellophane-pack sample, but the leaves are full with about a third of them golden tips. With boiling water and more than four minutes steep time, it was more coppery than dark brown; more sharp and peppery than smooth and malty. A little more astringent than expected, too. In this case, milk and sweetener would interfere with the flavor, not accentuate it.
A second steep was OK, but a little lackluster. This one is best fresh.
You can purchase the Assam Reserve directly from the SpecialTea Brew website.
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Ingredients: hibiscus, cinnamon, licorice root
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 5 minutes, 208F For stronger flavor, steep longer.
Ah, the pleasure of a good smelling tea. Often the dry leaves, as-of-yet un-infused, reveal a lot about the tea that is to come. The spicy and sweet notes of the dry leaves of this herbal tisane blend in an attractive melody that promises a deep and possibly heavy drink.
Utilising a Tea Forte Café Cup, I steeped this pyramid infuser for four minutes using just-boiled water. Smelling the infusion, it is clear that cinnamon is definitely what lends much of the spiciness to this tea’s aroma. However, with the first sip, it becomes immediately evident that cinnamon is not all that is in Tea Forte’s Flora. The sweetness of liquorice root melds with the explosion of flavour from the hibiscus in this blend. The hibiscus adds a lot of body to this tisane and sweeps through one’s mouth, filling it with flavour.
A re-steep of this herbal blend offers a much weaker version of the first cup, but with the same balance of flavours. This is one blend that is worth trying and might make a tasty chilled drink as well. I would give Flora an 83/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the Flora directly from the Tea Forte website.
Tea Company: Boston Tea Company (website)
Ingredients: Chinese Black Tea, Ginger Pieces, Peach Pieces, Apricot Pieces, Natural Ginger-Peach Flavor
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Not Listed on the website
My first attempts at this tea left me wishing that Ginger had not left the teabag. I was greatly disappointed that a tea with ginger in the name would not taste like ginger. Ginger is a flavor profile that is hard to forget once you have a good ginger tea, the bite on your tongue, the spiciness that fills your mouth like fireworks if you could have fireworks in your mouth. Ah, I am digressing from this review.
A few days ago, I accidentally let this tea brew for four minutes! Yikes! Bitter is what awaits me with this cup. I sipped “gingerly” (wait for it, the pun is upon us) and WHOA, I was blown away by the ginger blast that hit my mouth. I drank this cup and quickly brewed a second. Waited FOUR minutes and my mouth danced in excitement. Ginger had not left the teabag! She just needed more time to arrive in my cup.
This is an excellent tea. When you smell the dry teabag, you smell peaches, nice ripe peaches. A 2-3 minute infusion will leave you with a nice black peach tea. This is very tasty over ice on a hot day. A four minute infusion will give you a ginger blast that will knock your socks off and can cure a sore throat in just one cup.
You can purchase the Ginger, Peach and Apricot Black Tea directly from the Boston Tea Company website.