Brandon's Notepad

January 4, 2012

Tea 2012

Home > My Lists > Food & Drink > Tea > 2012


The teas I tasted in A.D. 2012 and what I thought about them. Prices are per pound.


I had so much tea left over from the past two years, that I felt compelled to cut down on the number of new teas in 2012. So, this year included a focus on blends, including combinations of tea with Yerba Mate.

Wulu (Jade Green) Organic Green Tea. [World Market; ~$49.95] Originally, I thought that this tea would be similar to the Dragon Well loose tea from 2011 and the “Imperial” tea from Hangzhou gifted to me the year before. The taste is the same, but it’s not as mellow. I also didn’t realize it was slightly more expensive until I calculated the price per pound above. As long as it is available and reasonably priced, I think I’ll stick with the Dragon Well.

Passion Fruit Orange Infusion + Mate. Last year, I wrote that I might try blending the Cuida Te Passion Fruit Orange Infusion with a more basic tea to make it less pungent. The most interesting blend was with yerba mate. I was inspired to create something similar to Teavana’s Samurai Chai Mate. I used equal parts tea and mate. The chunky bits of dried fruit in the tea made the visual balance tilt in the direction of the mate, with far more green than orange and black, commensurate with the Samurai. The result was not stellar, but it made the tea much more tolerable.

Passion Fruit Orange Infusion + Pu-Erh. This combination deserves mention. Since both teas are very strong, I assumed (correctly) that they would play well together; however, the fruit flavors could only be detected when the tea had cooled some. Before that, the Pu-Erh and the heat were overpowering.

Black Tea + Mate. Since I was experimenting with my own blends, I figured why not cut the mate with some good ole black tea. I mixed a teaspoon of the Russian MTF Ceylon black tea from last year with two teaspoons of mate. It turned out to be a good balance. I have taken to sifting the mate dust out with a kitchen strainer, resulting in a very clear brew.


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January 4, 2011

Tea 2011

Home > My Lists > Food & Drink > Tea > 2011


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.


November 23, 2010

Tea 2010

Home > My Lists > Food & Drink > Tea > 2010


The teas I tasted in A.D. 2010 and what I thought about them. Prices are per pound.


Being my first real venture into the world of tea, I just browsed the names on the canisters that lined the tea aisle and chose whatever looked or smelled good. There’s plenty of options! I spent about $1 to $2 on any given selection, and the little zipper plastic bags were full, ensuring that I’d have several good brews of each.

TROT Acerola Cherry Green. [Central Market; $35.49] IMHO, smells much better than it tastes…kind of like potpourri.
Rishi Plum Oolong. [Central Market; $49.99] Would buy it again.
Cuida Te Lemon Nori Oolong. [Central Market; $19.99] Good, but the lemon is a little too subtle for my taste.
Cuida Te Spicy Pu Erh. [Central Market; $19.99] Spicy, but smooth. Maybe this will be a regular purchase.
Davidson’s Bai Hao Oolong. [Central Market; $26.99] This is my first oolong. I’m interested in trying others.
Green tea from Hangzhou, China. [Gift from a friend] “Imperial” cut, whole-leaf. Sweet! Need to find local supplier.


Tea & Coffee

Short URL: http://goo.gl/yjFJTk
Home > My Lists > Food & Drink > Tea & Coffee


This is my Tea & Coffee landing page. Besides lists of recommended teas, coffees, stores, and coffee shops, you will find links to my old Tea and Coffee Journals as well as to new posts on related topics.


Tea Brands
Cuida Te
Davidson’s Tea
The Republic of Tea (TROT)
Rishi Tea
Moscow Tea Factory (MTF)
Teavana

Coffee Brands
Buon Giorno Coffee
White Rock Coffee

Where To Buy
Central Market
Sprouts Farmers Market
Starbucks
Teavana
Whole Foods
World Market

Coffee Shops
(DFW unless noted)
Buon Giorno Coffee
Kindred Coffee Co.
Roots Coffeehouse
White Rock Coffee

My Old Journals
Tea 2010
Tea 2011
Tea 2012
Tea 2013
Tea 2014
Tea 2015
Tea 2016
Coffee 2015
Coffee 2016

Topical Posts
My Super-Cool, Super-Geeky Death Star Tea Infuser (2014)
More to come…

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