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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: Thunderbolt Tea’s 2010 Sample #1 Tea

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The Subject:
1st Flush 2010 Goomtee FTGFOP1 Muscatel Valley

Thunderbolt Tea. [More info]


Water temperature: 180° F (our recommendation)
Steeping time: 3 minutes (our recommendation)
Tea type: Green
Scents, flavorings added: N/A
Aroma, dry tea leaves: N/A

1st Infusion (in the cup):
Aroma, plain — Strong green bean
Taste, plain — Green bean, slight toasty butter, mild, slight edge as cools
Aroma, enhanced — N/A
Taste, enhanced — N/A

Additional Infusion(s):
2nd infusion — Milder aroma and taste, still green beany

The more hubby and I learn about tea, the more we appreciate a company like Thunderbolt Tea, which deals directly with tea growers and factories. This has nothing to do with the Fair Trade mumbo jumbo going on out there that seems to serve only to denigrate hard-working people in that oft maligned role: “the middle man”. This is more about knowing where the tea we are drinking is coming from. Not absolutely necessary but nice.

The sample came in a wonderful vacuum-sealed foil package that, once opened, revealed just how effective it had been at keeping the tea as fresh as the day it was sealed at the Goomtee Factory. The aroma was like green beans waiting to be cooked, the fresh kind like my mother used to snap off the ends of before throwing them into a big pot. The leaf pieces are small when dry but enlarge substantially after steeping.

We have a bit of an issue with the tea company here. No steeping instructions came with the tea, nor could we find any on the company’s Website. As a result, we oversteeped the first batch and had to start over. We just knew this tea was not the astringent brew we ended up with. Thankfully, this vendor furnished a large enough sample amount that we were able to start over. So grateful.

The second round of infusions was much, much better, and that is what we’re reporting on here. No bitterness or astringency. Just a mild, smooth flavor and an aroma to match. Of course, since this is a first flush tea, the flavor is not as fully developed as a second flush. Bottom line: if you like a green beany taste to your tea, you’ll find it here.

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

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