Monday, April 7, 2008

Pride of the Port

Tea: Pride of the Port
Vendor: Peet's Coffee and Tea
Price: $11.45 / 4oz
Vendor Description: Our finest blend of high-grown, whole-leaf black teas. The flavor is malty, floral, and complex.

We always use the best quality whole-leaf teas from India and China to make this blend. Normally, teas that are termed “self-drinking” (teas that do not require blending but contain enough quality and complexity to be drunk straight) are not used for blends. With Pride of the Port we set out to produce a cup that emphasizes the characteristics of our favorite origins, and that means using the best “self-drinking” teas we can. The flavor is malty, toasty, and fruity, with sweet honey notes balanced by a firm pungency. “Pride of the Port” was the name of the Maine-built clipper ship captained by the great-great-grandfather of Peet’s tea buyer.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea had really nothing remarkable about it. It was a fairly normal looking blend of black teas and a multitude of colors. It somewhat reminded me of mixing a Darjeeling with a black.

1st Infusion: The first infusion had an aroma similar to a Darjeeling. The flavor though was very mild and smooth. It felt surprisingly even, there were no peaks or changes, it simply came and went. It left with a light sense of astringency and no bitterness. This was probably the most mundane tasting tea I have ever tried. If I were to chart the intensity of the flavor it would be simply a flat line.

Rating: 2/10

Conclusion: If it weren't for the price this tea would actually be fairly decent. It is a very consistent flavor, but for the price it would be better to get something more interesting.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

i am interested to know how you brew your teas. seeing how delicate and nuanced teas are, and how many different recommended ways there are to brew tea it seems somewhat irresponsible to post a review of tea, without this pertinent information. and you said your first steeping... did you stepp the tea twice? what was different the second time? was the second steep performed for the same length of time and with the same water?

Eric said...

My brewing parameters are rather standard, 5g / 6oz of water. Temp is boiling for black teas, 175F for sencha, 160F for Gyokuro. Steeping times vary based on the vendor recommendations. The second steep is for the same leaves same amount of water. In my opinion the irresponsible thing is to change the brewing parameters very much from tea to tea.