85

My last teabento sample from VariaTEA. Thanks again for the swap! I figured after having a Ceylon, which is less to my taste, I would switch to a tasty Chinese black tea that I was sure to enjoy.

For some reason, I always have a hard time tasting chocolate notes in teas. I see chocolate mentioned often for Golden Monkey and Fujian black teas in general, but I never seem to find it unless I really look for it, and at that point it’s likely just me tasting it because I want to. And this tea has that same quality for me.

What I do get is oodles of malt and dark pumpernickel or rye bread. The mouthfeel is thick and almost chewy, which really sells the bread angle for me. There’s a faint sticky, raisiny sweetness contrasting with a more savory, earthy mineral note and a hint of smoke.

Could there be a more satisfying tea? I would consider Yunnan teas to be my favorites, but these Fujian varieties are great when you want a deeper, meatier tea that’s almost a meal in itself.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Raisins, Rye, Smoke, Smooth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Leafhopper

I also seem to have trouble detecting chocolate notes in tea. You’ve reminded me to get through my Teabento samples, which I got a few years ago.

Cameron B.

I’m glad it’s not just me! :P

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Leafhopper

I also seem to have trouble detecting chocolate notes in tea. You’ve reminded me to get through my Teabento samples, which I got a few years ago.

Cameron B.

I’m glad it’s not just me! :P

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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 knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ 2021 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ May Sipdowns: 10
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 287

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

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

Current Subscriptions:
Bird & Blend
Dessert by Deb
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

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, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing

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.

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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