• 24Feb

    Is it fate that I discovered the following videos just a day after attending a NASA Tweetup (STS-130) at Johnson Space Center?

    Patrick Stewart narrating for the environment, tea and NASA.

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  • 01Dec

    So I … um … forgot to mention here that I guest blogged over at The English Tea Store on Tea and Travel. (It’s a pretty nice tea blog, BTW. Check them out on Twitter too.)

    So now I’ve mentioned it. You may carry on.

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  • 25Jan

    I recently tried another Darjeeling that I bought from SpecialTeas. This time it was No. 108, aka “Namring FTGFOP1 First Flush”, and from the amount that I have, considerably less expensive than the Puttabong I had the other day:

    SpecialTeas describes it as such:

    Slightly darker in cup color than both our No.105 Puttabong and No.114 Tukdah, this Namring first flush is deliciously complex. Primarily floral in both liquor and aroma, one can also discern a soft fruity-nutty undertone. A wonderful even plucking of bright green and dark brown leaves with some silvery tips.

    I used 2 level teaspoons for my teapot, heated the water to a roaring boil and steeped for the recommended 3 minutes. The brewed tea was indeed a slightly darker color than the Puttabong:

    The taste however, was completely different. Again, the taste was definitely a Darjeeling, and still had a medium-bodied feel. However, my first steeping was definitely a nutty, almost oaky taste, with just a touch of bitter tannins.

    The second steeping proved to be much better. In fact, it was quite lovely, and considerably more fruity.The third steeping (at almost 4 minutes) was almost still as dark and full of the flavor of the second steeping. I may try this again, but opt for a slighltly shorter steeping time at first, and gradually increasing until it loses its flavor.

    Again, very nice.

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  • 21Jan

    Allergies and a sore back conspired with some ibuprofen to give me a late start to my day. So naturally I turned to some tea to perk me up a bit and get me moving. I chose a single estate Darjeeling that I’d aquired from SpecialTeas, but hadn’t tried yet:

    Special Teas no longer lists this tea as #105. (Listing 105 as “Darjeeling Yashodhara FTGFOP1 1st Flush” instead. I’m not sure if this is from the same estate or not.) I seem to recall that this was a particularly expensive tea. (Which would explain why I only have a 1/2 oz of it.)

    I used 2 level teaspoons for my teapot, heated the water to a roaring boil and steeped for the recommended 3 minutes. The brewed tea came out a lovely golden color:

    The taste was definitely a Darjeeling, musky and floral with an incredibly smooth and medium-bodied feel. Though I brewed for a full three minutes, there was absolutely no hint of bitter tannins at all. It’s too bad this tea is no longer listed, because it was absolutely lovely and I’m going to run out of it quickly. After a quick search I found that Holy Mountain Trading Company and Dragonwater Tea Company both list this tea. I was right, it’s pretty expensive, but I think I can agree with the one site that listed this as the “champagne of teas”. I haven’t tried a second steeping yet, but given the price, I will!

    All in all, a lovely way to start the day.

    Postscript: I did try a second and a third steeping. The second was as lovely as the first. Still fairly full-bodied and smooth, and the taste still came through. The third steeping was a noticably paler color and it had lost much of its body and flavor, though there were still no bitter tannins to be had.

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