Oliver Pluff & Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

This one is really growing on me. I do keep it light on the steep time (3:30) to diffuse the smokiness, but there’s a caramelly-fruity underpinning that makes it really pleasant on a cold morning.

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As I was adding this to the library, I laughed at the “slight hints of smoke” notation in the purveyor’s description—when I opened the tin, I actually reared my head back at the Charge of the Smoke Fumes. (I can only imagine the Attack of Oliver Pluff’s Lapsang Brigade.)

However, liberated from captivity and steeped with a light hand, the smoke dissipates and the caramel and oak notes do make their presence known. It’s downright appropriate for the cool and cloudy weather today, and has the potential, with some additives (maple syrup?) to be bracing and comforting when winter comes to Valley Forge.

gmathis

Postscript: we have some bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. Perfect to beef up a second steep.

ashmanra

Wow, where does one find such maple syrup?

gmathis

Lucky break at Tuesday Morning about a year ago. Since then, the quality and variety of their foodstuffs has rocketed downhill.

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drank Cranberry by Oliver Pluff & Company
2660 tasting notes

Many, many years ago, when Snapple was just a baby niche market product, they had an unsweetened cranberry tea that my husband loved. The gold standard for all flavored tea as far as he was concerned—nothing has ever measured up properly. Bottled, oversweetened tea won’t do; neither will the chemical-and-hibiscus cocktails some try to pass off as genuine cranberry flavor.

As of this morning, we might have found a close substitute. It’s a beautiful tea replete with real cranberry shards and safflower petals. Wasn’t abusively, tongue-shriveling tart thanks to the safflower, and the fruit was genuinely fruity. Smells a little muffin-y in the cup. I have the leaves from our morning pot steeping in the fridge. We’ll see how it does cold.

gmathis

Follow-up: Absolutely refreshing cold!

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64

I bought this tea on the basis of it coming from the only American tea plantation: Oliver Pluff & Company, in Charleston, South Carolina. I was intrigued by their slogan “A leaf from America’s tea heritage”. I would like to know how they determined this to be like the tea drunk in Colonial America. Whence came the recipe(s) for curing the tea to produce this flavor? I don’t know, but here are my impressions, from my first two cups, today:

It seems a bit weak. I used three teaspoons, had the water to the suggested 195 degrees, and steeped it 4-1/2 minutes. I’m glad it’s not too strong, as it’s not bitter. There’s a subtle smokiness, much lighter than the Lapsang Souchongs I’ve experienced. It’s an all right cup of tea, but not as distinctive as I would have liked, considering its presumed heritage of “America’s” tea. Perhaps it’s simply that American soil is not the right place to grow tea. I shall try to use a bit more the next time I try it.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Fireplace, Smoke, Smooth, Tannic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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25

A friend of mine went to Charleston and brought this tea back. I was excited to try it, but unfortunately, this wasn’t a favorite for me. The flavor is quite aggressive for a green tea, strongly herbaceous with mineral notes and an oddly metallic aftertaste. I’m still curious to try more from this company, but this isn’t one I’ll be drinking again.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Metallic, Mineral

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Martin Bednář

Oh well, I guess it was indeed bad :/

Mastress Alita

I remember taking this from a teabox once and I wasn’t a fan, either. It tasted like a tobacco ashtray, which is pretty much my most disliked flavor note in a tea.

gmathis

Bummer. I have had one black and one green variety from Oliver Pluff and the black was far better.

Inkling

Guess I’ll have to go for a black tea next time!

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18

Sampler Sipdown September! This is another tea I pulled from the last Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thanks to tea-sipper for organizing and those who contributed to the box!

I’ve never tried a Young Hyson (that wasn’t in a blend), and I’m going to try not to judge all Young Hyson tea based on this one, because… it smells odd. The brewed cup has a slightly musty sort of scent? Also a little of that smoky aroma, but that I’m at least used to, from gunpowder green, and the Azerbaijan Azercay green I sampled the other night.

The flavor is really unappealing to me, like something fermented (I’d say pickle brine, though not as acidic/tart), with a flavor that I can only equate to “musty attic,” and a slightly smoky finish. I’m getting a bit of a metallic aftertaste as well. There is possibly some mild grassiness there, but the “off” flavors detract from it too much. I can’t imagine it used to be like this, so I’m thinking that this is a case of green tea well past its prime; pure greens don’t exactly age gracefully. If that isn’t the case, then my palate is just picking out some rather odd flavors here that aren’t working for me.

Flavors: Dill, Dry Grass, Metallic, Musty, Smoke

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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drank Congou by Oliver Pluff & Company
2660 tasting notes

After a furlough of several years, Oliver Pluff came to our house yesterday, courtesy of thoughtful husband and our 37th anniversary. Oliver tells me that 15 cases of this lovely Congou were pitched overboard at the Boston Tea Party. Independence is a laudable goal, but oh, what a waste!

The first couple of sips after a four minute steep worried me—even though it was a beautiful roasted mahogany color, I wasn’t getting anything but “just tea.” But allowed to rest for a few minutes, the flavor caught up with the appearance: deep, autumn-fruity, black cherry. You know those old museum-quality still life paintings with urns of fruit against a dark background? This tastes like what those look like.

Michelle

Sounds like a good tea to have on hand in December for Boston tea party anniversary!

gmathis

All of the Oliver Pluff teas have a lovely little history-geek connection. I’ll have to mark my calendar for December 16 right now!

ashmanra

Happy Anniversary! We are right behind you.

gmathis

And how poufy were your wedding dress sleeves ;)

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drank Congou by Oliver Pluff & Company
2660 tasting notes

The best cups of tea I have ever had have not been determined by tea variety, but by circumstances—cups that signify the end of a traumatic event because I am home and safe and warm.

I had one those “best cups ever” yesterday after watching my dad pass away. He was warm and comfortable, unhooked from the monitors and machines that had been troubling him, and his kids were there to say goodbye. Arrived in Heaven just in time for morning coffee (he wasn’t a tea guy).

I drove four hours home (it’s hard to merge onto an interstate while you’re weepy; don’t try it yourself) and collapsed with a cup of this Congou. It is excellent, whether you’re in the throes of tragedy or not…as I posted this, I noticed the “dried baked apples” description—I’ll have to pay more attention, but maybe that’s the thing that was making me think, “Something about this is really distinctive.”

I believe I’ll have me another one this afternoon as I bolster myself for a week of funeral plans and bustle and remember how my dad mistrusted restaurants that didn’t have hat racks, loved polka music, bought odd-duck grocery items in crazy bulk quantities, taught me to be 15 minutes early for any occasion, always advised that “it’s just as easy to fill the top half of a gas tank as it is the bottom half,” and what he said to me just before he escorted me down the aisle at my wedding: “Don’t walk too fast.”

Savor whatever’s in your cup today.

__Morgana__

I’m so sorry for your loss. Strength and comfort to you and your family.

Sil

So sorry for your loss, but i’m glad that you were able to be there. Sounds like you have some great memories.

CrowKettle

I’m so sorry for you loss, gmathis. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Evol Ving Ness

My condolences to you, gmathis. This is the hardest thing.

mrmopar

Sorry for your loss. I lost my Father over 2 years ago. I now know how wise he really was.

Rosehips

I am so sorry for your loss, gmathis. May tea be a comfort to you in this time.

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drank Singlo by Oliver Pluff & Company
2660 tasting notes

After complaining to you about the daytime tea stash, I did something about it and brought a few loose leaf packets to finish up…among them, this very nice “just green” tea from Oliver Pluff. It meets my standards by tolerating abuse and absentminded steeping and is more toasty than it is vegetal. OP calls it buttery and plummy—that may be a little ambitious, or that may be because I’ve let my supply sit too long, but it is a very nice change of pace.

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drank Singlo by Oliver Pluff & Company
2660 tasting notes

Much joy in simple things today—home after a long week on the road, leaves a shag carpet in the yard and still dropping like gentle rain, cat snoozing nearby, Dead Poets’ Society playing gently in the background, and a cup of good green tea that tastes better because it was a thoughtful gift.

The gift was from one of my Sunday sixth grade girls—two of her friends and their moms had an all-girl adventure in Boston, and I playfully asked for some tea from Boston. I expected a tea bag from the hotel; I received two lovely envelopes from the Boston Tea Party Museum with period-accurate loose leaf! (And I just love saying “Oliver Pluff” aloud!)

Y’all know I mangle my green teas more often than I get them right, and I think I was overzealous on the water temp—the taste is a bit more bitter than the crisp, fresh, leafy scent of the tea. But it’s satiny and smooth, fresh and about the shade of the few silver maple leaves still doggedly grasping the backyard branches.

gmathis

Little rock sugar fixed it on the second steep.

ashmanra

Aw, nice! My daughter brought me some Oliver Pluff from Williamsburg…or was it Charleston? It really IS fun to say!

gmathis

The other envelope is Congou, which I expect to be excellent, but I want to wait until I can sit down to appreciate it—workweek has necessitated just-close-yer-eyes-and-swallow beverages.

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65

Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #38
A tasty enough green tea, but it would be lost in the sea of mediocre green teas for me. It has unique packaging though! And I love seeing unique teas in the teabox.

gmathis

How coincidental—I just drank my first cup of an Oliver Pluff (gift from one of my sixth graders). I just like saying Oliver Pluff. Doesn’t that sound like a character in a Dickens novel?

tea-sipper

YES – the names Dickens uses are always fun.

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83

Very pleasant aroma from the dry leaves. The finish is lightly astringent but not bitter, which I appreciate. A very mellow Darjeeling. I poured the boiling water directly over the leaves. Since I only had the 1oz sampler, I didn’t do much experimenting.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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69
drank Earl Grey by Oliver Pluff & Company
253 tasting notes

Since Oliver Pluff and Company packages its teas in my state, South Carolina, I’ve begun trying out their selections to see if I want to make a steady diet of them. Their containers are extremely similar to those sold by The Republic of Tea. Both companies just might be using the same supplier.

As is my habit with any Earl Grey that I am about to brew, I opened the lid and immediately stuck my nose near the opening to breathe in the bergamot amongst the long dark tea leaves. The promotional information on the can seems to imply that the actual fruit is somehow infused into the tea. However, the Oliver Pluff website (http://www.oliverpluff.com/earl-grey-tea-loose-tea-in-signature-tea-tin/) states that the oil of the fruit is utilized. In any event, the smell was pretty recognizable as bergamot in its unsteeped state.

I brewed my first cup at 212 degrees for six minutes. Boiling water is my standard treatment for teas in this category. The six minutes were an accident. I usually steep black teas for five, but someone in my office had the nerve to ask me a work-related question, and I lost track of the time. The Pluffster recommends 195 degrees for three to five minutes. The finished product was dark brown, like molasses. The odor had a sweet aura but I could not locate the bergamot.

My first cup tasted completely like black tea with only a hazy fruit (of some kind) note in a place far, far, away. There also was a bitter twinge to the flavor. In all honesty, this could be my fault due to the hotter than recommended brewing temperature and exaggerated brewing time.

In the interest of fairness, I cleaned out my infuser and started from scratch with another cup. This time I followed the container’s instructions to the letter. I brewed the leaves for five minutes at about 195 degrees.

In my second cuppa, the bitterness I experienced in the first one disappeared. The tea flavor was definitely more pleasant but my taste buds still had to put out an all points bulletin for the bergamot. The aftertaste was mild but it would have been more memorable if the advertised bergamot hadn’t been missing in action.

To summarize my final analysis after two differently infused cups of the brew, it wouldn’t have been a bad morning black tea if that was what I purchased. However, I laid my money down for an Earl Grey tea, and I wanted bergamot, doggone it! So, this selection was disappointing, lacking, and came up short.

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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88

Okay this is a tea I never would have tried if it didnt come in something like the traveling tea box.

This tea is interesting, and its not nearly as strong as a lapsang souchong tea, its much more mellow with the smoke , letting the natural malty sweetness of the base black tea shine though.

The liquor is clear reddish brown, and very aromatic. The flavors are pretty expected, smoke is still the primary flavor, then malt, sweet, chocolate, maybe some dark fruit. The flavors you would expect from a high quality black tea. The thing I really like is the base tea flavor still plays an important role rather than just getting hammered with smoke like lapsang souchong often does.

Im not sure this is listed under the correct tea, since it says for the botson tea party museum , but it is Oliver Pluff and company Bohea.

I have to say, this impressed me..

Recommended!

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Smoked, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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95

My favorite “treat” tea is Upton Tea Import’s Lapsan Souchong Black Dragon. But I always felt like it wasn’t a “daily tea.” This much more mellow yet still smoky tea is perfect for me: it has the smoke to begin with, it remains flavorful throughout my entire day, and ends on a gently sweet note.

Two things to note: I fill my filter almost 2/3 full to make it through the day. I noticed that when I added more leafs, I gained more end sweetness. It could just be my crazy taste buds. ALSO this may be the absolute perfect daily tea because it handles oversteeping like a pro. I tend to forget my tea’s steeping at work. Leaving it steeping for up to a half hour is more common than not. It still tastes awesome and not bitter. Yay!

Preparation
5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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65

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83

I don’t know how many people are aware that Charleston, South Carolina, besides being a beautiful city, is also known for its teas. The Charleston Tea Plantation teas (now owned by Bigelow) are excellent and have been well known in the South for a long time. I’m not familiar with Oliver Pluff & Company teas, but since they are also from Charleston and my home state, I feel obligated to try them out.

The tea was packaged in a sturdy air-tight tin that was very similar to the containers sold by The Republic of Tea. When I opened the lid, a citrus and spicy aroma greeted my nostrils. It was sweet and enticing. The leaves were brown and medium-length. Orange peel pieces were sprinkled throughout the container.

Oliver Pluff and Company recommended steeping the leaves at 195 degrees for (3-)5 minutes so that is what I did. The brewed smell was faintly cinnamon. The color was dark gold.

Not a lot of flavor registered during my first couple of sips. However, I’m willing to give the tea the benefit of the doubt since my sinuses are still at the tail end of Fall allergy season. Also, a medium-strength cinnamon and slightly fruity taste did emerge through the mist after a few more sips.

The taste was smooth and I didn’t encounter any astringency. The aftertaste had a touch of orange and cinnamon to it and it hung around for an appropriate time period.

I would have liked the taste to have been a bit stronger and more defined, but all in all this is an amicable blend. If you are not an allergy sufferer, you might find the flavors more amplified.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
ashmanra

Their tea is also sold in Colonial WIlliamsburg and at A Southern Season in Raleigh, NC. I would really love to go to Wadmalaw Island! I have a good friend who lives in Charleston and I hope to go stay for a few days and visit the tea plantation.

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75

This tea is from the gift shop at Biltmore Village in Asheville, NC. I didn’t really expect much from a ‘gift shop’ tea. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. It has a nice orange pekoe base with blackberry leaves and fruit. The scent is blueberry but not over the top. I like flavored teas but have gotten tired of some of the really artificial tasting flavorings. This one works for me.

The tin has 3 oz. and I think I’ll share some with my daughters and then I’ll be able to drink it up over the next few months. It seems like a nice everyday kind of tea. Not terribly exciting but seems like it’ll be a nice consistent.

I’ve had a tough time on vacations buying too much tea, so I’m really proud of buying only 1 tin of tea. 2 years ago I brought 27 kinds of tea… some were individual tea bags but still 27! Last year I spent $95 at one tea shop. So yeah for restraint! :)

Flavors: Blackberry

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Ubacat

Excellent retraint!

Ubacat

restraint that is. I am always spelling words wrong.

ashmanra

I had a couple of Pluff teas from Williamsburg and they were pretty good. Blueberry sounds especially enticing.

Posy

Would you be interested in exchanging teas? I’m from Chile!

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72

Enjoyable…nice smoky campfire notes and taste – full and a morning booster

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I have made this three times now and can’t believe I don’t like it. My very first tea swap was with TeaEqualsBliss and she included a Bohea. Back in the day, I found it to be a strong tea, but my tea palate has grown up a lot and now I like smoke. I also want the smoke to have a nice base.

This tastes like thin, watered down tea with a tiny bit of smoke. I tried adding a hint of maple syrup for flavor at breakfast even though I never add sweetener to my teas, but that made little difference. I just saw a review, however, that says two tsps. per cup is the sweet spot, so I will try that before chucking this tea out or sending it to a home where it will be loved.

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95

So, finally! After trying a sad attempt at a true Colonial Bohea (The Spice & Tea Exchange), I have a feeling this is the tea that may have started a Revolution.

It took me two brews to find the sweet spot. Wow! Aromatic, rich, malty, fruity, and slightly smoky.

Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

Helpful. I will double the leaf and see if I can make myself like this tea! I was about to dump the bag.

Mark

The more I drink the more I like it! I’ve found 2 tsp and about a 5 minute steep just 30 sec off the boil make a very satisfying cup.

ashmanra

Excellent! I will try that today. I may even have a slightly different blend than yours. Mine says it was blended especially for Colonial Williamsburg. Funny thing, the packet also says it is an Indian tea, but Bohea is supposed to be Chinese! The word is a corruption of how they were trying to pronounce Wuyi as the Chinese said it.

Mark

I ordered min directly from Oliver Pluff & Company’s website. I’m very impressed with Oliver Pluff & Company so far.

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