65
drank Melbourne Breakfast by T2
570 tasting notes

Sampler Sunday! So, I decided I would use one of the teapots I got from my grandmother today, as they are larger “British style” teapots (normally I use a little 2 cup sized Japanese doubin). The instructions on this sampler packet from T2 had a very odd tea to water ratio listed compared to how I usually make my blacks, and I didn’t trust it at all, and I wanted to make it with the ratio I usually use, but I also wanted to use up the whole packet at once, and therefore needed the larger pot to hold enough water. Basically I wanted to do the 5g packet in 700ml.

Then I went to steep, and as soon as the 205F water hit the teapot, I heard a “cracking” sound and noticed an eggshell appearance on the glaze of the teapot. WELL THEN. That couldn’t be good! So I was scrambling like a mad woman just to GET THE WATER OUT, poured everything I could into my gravity well infuser with the teabag and had to dump the overflow. That infuser only holds two cups, or about 500ml. So, I guess grandma’s teapots were “decorative only”? How was I supposed to know?! They looked like completely proper teapots to me! Either that, or they are just so old they can’t handle the shock of actually being used as teapots and taking hot water anymore… in any event, the porcelain is now warped, but not completely shattered, so into storage it goes… sad. I really wanted to use them. It was sort of a sentimental thing. And the tea went back into the doubin. I have no idea what the sudden “ditching” did to the steep, either. But it suddenly went from the original 700ml down to 500ml, with the same amount of leaf and a change of vessel in between. Let’s see how this turned out…

It smells nice, at least. The last vanilla black I tried from T2 tasted like Circus Peanuts to me, and was one of the worst teas I’d tried, so I’m hoping this isn’t the same vanilla flavoring. Anything that triggers “banana” in my head is just a no-go for me. Also getting a nice malty aroma. The malty black base is coming forward fairly strongly, with a sweet bready toast flavor, making the vanilla more subtle, so I like this more than that other vanilla tea (Blue Mountain, I think it was?) already. There is a very light astringency following the sip, and the very slightest citrus note lingering beneath the malt and vanilla. However, I still think this vanilla flavoring tastes a bit odd. A little too sweet/artificial… it isn’t striking that place that makes me think of banana (maybe because it is lighter here, or the black tea taste is more prominent) but there is still something very candy-like and I’ve certainly had other vanilla black teas I’ve liked a lot more than this, that tasted more natural and blended nicer with the base. It’s a nice enough breakfast tea, but not a favorite. I’m just not jiving with their choice of vanilla flavoring, especially compared to others I’ve had.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Candy, Citrus, Malt, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
Kittenna

Sad about the teapot! My first teapot, actually, got that eggshell appearance early on, though I have no recollection of it happening, just noticing it later. Unsure if there was any warping. It was a basic brown English-style (well, not asian, that’s all I can say) teapot. I wondered if it was supposed to do that, but I never used it all that much. I believe it was a new pot, but could have just been new-to-me, I don’t know (Xmas gift). And a mug I recently painted at a pottery place also has cracks in the glaze (again, didn’t hear them, just noticed them later). I wonder what’s going on? Are these vessels/glazes not made to handle boiling temp water? Maybe I should google this.

Mastress Alita

You’d think, being a teapot, it should handle boiling water! I had put water just under boiling (205F) in it since I was making a black, and I did hear it, a definite crick-crick-crick sound so I immediately got the water out, since I was scared it was going to shatter and I was not in the market to clean up glass that morning. Then I saw the eggshell look on the outside, and I think what appeared like a few bulges around the bottom? It was one of those English pots with the schmancy looking floral design, made me think very much of a “ladies teatime.” Except for the fact I don’t think I can use it for tea, since it freaked out the second I put hot water in it…

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Kittenna

Sad about the teapot! My first teapot, actually, got that eggshell appearance early on, though I have no recollection of it happening, just noticing it later. Unsure if there was any warping. It was a basic brown English-style (well, not asian, that’s all I can say) teapot. I wondered if it was supposed to do that, but I never used it all that much. I believe it was a new pot, but could have just been new-to-me, I don’t know (Xmas gift). And a mug I recently painted at a pottery place also has cracks in the glaze (again, didn’t hear them, just noticed them later). I wonder what’s going on? Are these vessels/glazes not made to handle boiling temp water? Maybe I should google this.

Mastress Alita

You’d think, being a teapot, it should handle boiling water! I had put water just under boiling (205F) in it since I was making a black, and I did hear it, a definite crick-crick-crick sound so I immediately got the water out, since I was scared it was going to shatter and I was not in the market to clean up glass that morning. Then I saw the eggshell look on the outside, and I think what appeared like a few bulges around the bottom? It was one of those English pots with the schmancy looking floral design, made me think very much of a “ladies teatime.” Except for the fact I don’t think I can use it for tea, since it freaked out the second I put hot water in it…

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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: Snake River Tea’s Coconut Oolong

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: 88
Sipdown Count for 2019: 134

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

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https://teatimetuesdayreviews...

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