Brandon's Notepad

January 4, 2011

Tea 2011

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The teas I tasted in A.D. 2011 and what I thought about them. Prices are per pound.


With a year of tasting under my belt, I felt much more educated in choosing teas, in judging what to buy and what to skip. In the past year, I developed — for the first time — a taste for green teas, so I made sure to include a few on the list for 2011. I also wanted to explore at least one more Pu-Erh offering.

TROT King’s Jewel Green Tea. [Central Market; $149.99] Overcoming the sticker shock, I went ahead and bought some while holiday shopping in December 2010. According to the printed bulk foods label, my bag contained a mere 0.04 lbs of tea, setting me back $6! I had already tasted so many teas in 2010, I decided to hold this one back to ring in the new year. It’s pretty much just oolong tea and it has an unusually dry aftertaste in my opinion. So, it’s a novelty, but the best thing about this tea is watching the tea pellets unfold in the French press.

[According to specialty-grocery expert and blogger “Space Samurai”, King’s Jewel is actually Lan Gui Ren rebranded by TROT. His assessment (posted August 2007) is that this tea is exorbitantly-marked up and the oolong leaves used are rather inferior. This post may explain why.]

MTF Чай “ТОТ САМЫЙ” классический. [Taste of Europe; ~$13.50] “That Same Indian Tea – Classic”. Ceylon (Sri Lanka) black. Great iced tea! Could just have well been Russian for “Lipton”. Leaves good for multiple infusions. Also, worked well for a cold brewed iced tea.

TROT Pomegranate Green Tea. [Central Market; $35.49] I like pomegranates, but this tea doesn’t work for me. It made a decent cold brewed iced tea, but even then, it required sugar and still didn’t meet expectations.

Cuida Te Passion Fruit Orange Infusion. [Central Market; $19.99] This tea smelled great in the canister, but after a few rounds, I figured out that it is too heavy for me. A very short steep time in a paper filter and lots of sugar worked best for me, but then it tastes like a Kool-Aid-esque fruit drink. I may try to blend this with a black or green tea to see what happens.

Dragon Well Loose Green Tea. [Central Market; $42.99] The name brand was not printed on the label and I have not tried to go back and figure out which one it was based on the price, which has probably changed since then anyway. It doesn’t matter. I bought this tea because it resembled the imperial cut given to me in 2010 by a friend. It tastes exactly the same. This is the best green tea in my opinion.

Ancient Pu-Erh Full Leaf Organic. [World Market; ~$40.98] I bought this tea becaused I liked the Cuida Te Spicy Pu Erh from 2010. It is a very strong and heavy tea, a dark brew. I think that this Pu-Erh tea is a good replacement for regular black tea if you are looking for a little variety, especially when the temperatures outside are dropping.


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