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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: Indie Tea’s Sock It To Me Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

The Subject:  Sock It To Me
Company:Indie Tea. [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:212° F
Steeping time:4-5 mins.
Tea type:Black
Aroma, dry leaves:  Rich malty/jammy

1st Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Strong, malty
Taste, plain —Strong, not bitter, fruity on sides of tongue
Color, plain —Dark red-brown
Taste, enhanced —  Smooth
2nd Infusion:Weaker version of #1

The label and the vendor’s Website states this tea is a blend of Golden Monkey, Yunnan Gold, Banaspaty (Assam), Qu-Hao, Korakunda (Assam). The flavor and aroma seem to be more Assam.

Some great things about this vendor: they do not put fancy, overblown descriptions of the taste of their teas on their site, they DO put accurate and clear steeping instructions right on the can label (no having to run to the computer and look up them up when you want a cuppa).

I’m getting more and more into showing the dry vs wet tea leaves. The comparison can tell you a lot about the tea. Often, when dry, the tea leaves do not show their true shape. Tiny rolled up “nuggets,” for example, do not look like the two-leaves-and-a-bud combo they are made of. Here you can see on the wet side (after steeping) that this Orthodox style tea consists of various sized pieces, from tiny bits of stem to pieces as large as half a leaf. On the dry side (before steeping) you can see the varying colors of the black teas, especially the Golden Monkey and Yunnan Gold with their lighter color.

The teacup shown below is one of my faves, a very delicate and thin bone china antique cup from a shop in which we had been browsing a few years ago. The tea with a bit of milk and sweetener (don’t overdo, especially the milk) is so yummy that it deserved such a vessel to fully enjoy it.

Despite the weak 2nd infusion, we highly recommend this tea to those who enjoy a good black tea, straight or with some milk and sweetener. Hubby and I think the name of this tea should be “Yum It To Me”! We arm wrestled to see who would get the last cuppa after the review was done. I won. (Hubby claims he let me.)

Tins aren’t the best container for tea, but they do block light and moisture. As you use the tea, air gets trapped in the tin, filling the empty space that used to be occupied by the dry tea leaves. You could use a little piece of plastic wrap pushed down in the tin over the tea to keep the air away. Not too big of an issue with a tea like this, though. More of an issue with delicate teas like whites, greens, and some greener oolongs.

Hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive and puts extra strain on an industry that in many cases is all the residents have).

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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