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Thitherflit Thitherflit is offline
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Posts: 55
Default Opinions solicited! :)

Hi everybody,

I went to a brand new "tea parlor" in my little town. The linens are
nice, the space is comfortable, the scones, sweets and sandwiches are
fabulous... The problem, of course, is the tea.

The shop has 18+ teas. They have a sampler of bottles of the leaf so
you can look and smell. The descriptions on the menu are reasonably
informative ("A slightly smokey Keemun blended with a
Darjeeling..."). I tried a pot of one of the teas... and-- the
fragrance seemed ok, but the taste was *superficial*... a bit of nose,
but no body.

I engaged the proprietess in a discussion... she seemed smart... ("The
keemun is pretty light, and the Darjeeling is more green than
black...") She wanted to be able to serve some tea to me that I felt
satisfied with, and she ended up serving me four different black
teas... ALL of them seemed pallid, no body. The wine-word "flinty"
might also fit (though that isn't the key problem...)

We reviewed basics. She said that the water is filtered, and at 212
degrees. She buys the tea from a vendor in England (where she's
from), and buys it in 10 pound lots, but assures me that all this tea
is fresh. (And, of course, she is brewing loose leaf.)

We have tentative plans to get together and brew some tea for each
other, and I'm going to give her some samples of teas that I like.
She has said she could send it to her dealer and see if he could
approximate some of my favorites.

I do tend to buy fancy grades of tea... but even when I buy cheap
teas, they never taste like what I tasted today!

Current theory: maybe it's that I use a lot more leaf than she does?
Would *that* make the difference in the *body*?

Do you have other questions I should be considering? Theories?

I would *like* to become a regular customer at this shop-- but the
tea, right now, is really barely passable.

As ever, best wishes for good tea to you all

james-henry holland
geneva, new york 14456