90

VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a sample of this one, along with several other teabento blacks. I had a nice, relaxed session with it while watching The Office with my boyfriend.

I didn’t take detailed notes, as I didn’t expect the flavor to change much over time, which it didn’t. Honestly I’m not sure which types of red tea are most suitable for gongfu cha, but since I’m enjoying familiarizing myself with the ritual and exploring different steep times, I don’t really mind if the tea tastes similar throughout the steeps.

Anyway, this one was quite delicious. It has amazing brown sugar notes along with rich malt and deep dried fruit flavors. The rather small leaves are so flavorful! I found the sugary notes to be very sweet and decadent in the early steeps, and they became deeper, like dark burnt sugar, in the later ones. There was also a light musty hay flavor that began to crop up towards the end, and it reminded me a bit of white tea. The last steep had a lovely lasting sweet flavor, and I thought that was a perfect cup to end on.

Overall, very yummy. Smooth, malty, sweet, rich, and slightly fruity. Happily, I have a little bit left over, so I can try it as a Western-style cup next time!

5g – 110ml – 200°F – rinse/10/15/20/30/40/60/120/240s

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Hay, Malt, Musty, Plum, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Kawaii433

Cameron, I’ve been trying to post a reply in the Discussions (Lupicia) but I keep timing out… So I’ll post it here: I especially liked the news about Framboise Chocolat. :D Thank you for following up with them and sharing it with us.

Cameron B.

You’re welcome! It was good to get some confirmation that they carry lots of the seasonal teas. :)

Kawaii433

Yes, that is so awesome. The first day you posted it, I copied and pasted it on a notepad so I can always have the info available. I tried since that day to thank you for your perseverance to get an answer for us. It was the most clarifying info we’ve received yet. Yay <3

tea-sipper

The Office! I loved that show from day one. I feel like they killed all my funny shows that were left this year. In these dark times, I need my funny shows.

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Kawaii433

Cameron, I’ve been trying to post a reply in the Discussions (Lupicia) but I keep timing out… So I’ll post it here: I especially liked the news about Framboise Chocolat. :D Thank you for following up with them and sharing it with us.

Cameron B.

You’re welcome! It was good to get some confirmation that they carry lots of the seasonal teas. :)

Kawaii433

Yes, that is so awesome. The first day you posted it, I copied and pasted it on a notepad so I can always have the info available. I tried since that day to thank you for your perseverance to get an answer for us. It was the most clarifying info we’ve received yet. Yay <3

tea-sipper

The Office! I loved that show from day one. I feel like they killed all my funny shows that were left this year. In these dark times, I need my funny shows.

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron!

I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

~ 2024 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- May Sipdowns: 28
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 41

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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