What tea did you have this morning...or afternoon?

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Blackhorse

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Second cup this morning…different tea…Tippy Orthodox GFOP Assam.

The spin…”A whole-leaf Assam with golden tips (young leaf buds). Characteristic maltiness and complex flavor. This is our most popular Assam tea.”

This one calculates to about $0.15 per cup while the Doomni above is $0.25 per cup! And I like this better by far. Nice.


To me, this Assam has a better (actually quite excellent) flavor than the Doomni above. The Doomni has a maltier character while this tastes cleaner (?). This one was a 5 min brew while the Doomni called for 4 min. If all other things were equal the longer extraction might have more antioxidants, etc.

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Blackhorse

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This morning…to go with the men’s finals at Wimbledon…Halmari Estate CTC BOP.

Th
is is one of those fast brewing CTC teas that produces a tea for a manly man…hair on yer chest…big time flavor. Cost is very reasonable via Upton Tea. Milk and a touch of sweetener work well in this one even though I drink all my tea straight.

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And I brewed it in my newest infuser. A GREAT buy…$6! Built like a tank. Super fine mesh. Very highly recommended.

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GtrSmoker

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Less than a month ago, my fiancé and I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. One of the things we picked up from the gift shop was a tea brick. I’d never heard of such a thing!

We picked it up as a novelty more than anything. But it’s REALLY good. The brick was fairly expensive. Something like $35. But I may have to grab some more of those.

Even though it is kind of a hassle breaking a suitable sized chunk off the brick.
 

Blackhorse

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Less than a month ago, my fiancé and I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. One of the things we picked up from the gift shop was a tea brick. I’d never heard of such a thing!

We picked it up as a novelty more than anything. But it’s REALLY good. The brick was fairly expensive. Something like $35. But I may have to grab some more of those.

Even though it is kind of a hassle breaking a suitable sized chunk off the brick.
Brand? Is it black tea? PurEh tea? If it’s fermented PurEh it is likely aged from long fermented leaves and will last for nearly twenty years in brick form! How do you beak it apart…do you have a special PurEh tea knife?
 

GtrSmoker

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Brand? Is it black tea? PurEh tea? If it’s fermented PurEh it is likely aged from long fermented leaves and will last for nearly twenty years in brick form! How do you beak it apart…do you have a special PurEh tea knife?

The photo above shows its current state. I don’t think it’s PurEh, if that’s a brand. Apologies for my ignorance.

All I know is I like this tea better than most. And a little goes a looooong way. It’s also delicious as iced tea. Sweet, of course.

As far as how I break it off… with great difficulty. My preferred method is a kitchen hammer and butter knife, but the fiancé hates the noise. I probably would too, if I wasn’t the one doing the hammering.

So I usually try to saw a score of decent enough depth to break some pieces off. I’ve found my Kabar works better than the others I’ve tried.

Hope this helps. I’m pretty sure you can order it from the Monticello gift shop. There’s also a url on the little printed tag in the pic.

Btw… I should have included some sort of item in the picture for scale. In its current form, it’s about 5” high by 6” at its widest point. And it’s currently about 1/3 gone. That’s a very rough estimate.
 
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GtrSmoker

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Following up… it’s not available currently on the Monticello gift shop website.

But it IS available at Black Tea Brick

It’s listed as $29.99, and there’s a pop up window that offers 10% off your first order. I’m definitely going to get some more.

Granted, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of breaking it up yet. But I WILL!!!
 

Blackhorse

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Check this out…


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GtrSmoker

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My order’s in.
I may hold off until your report then.

Just a word of warning. This brick is legit as hard as particle board. Possibly harder. But it does take some elbow grease.

I do worry that you may not care for it, even if they’re identical. I’m not exactly a connoisseur of fine teas. I like pretty much everything strong. I like the cheap Asian market oolong. Recently, my go-to has been bulk Numi breakfast tea.

When you get it, maybe just scrape a little off the back. That way, if you don’t like it, you can at least use it as a display/conversation piece.
 

Blackhorse

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Not to worry. I take full responsibility for my many and often frivolous purchases. I prefer strong teas as well, with a well stocked cabinet of Scottish and Irish Breakfast and Gold varieties. And, as a past maker and current collector of both field and personal knives I certainly have a blade or two that will be up to the task.

So this morning…C.T.C. Irish Breakfast Blend. This one will stand up and shout. Very strong with a flavor brought out well by adding milk. God forgive me, I use basic Coffee Mate. It works brilliantly and never dies.

Upton’s spin: “The Crush-Tear-Curl manufacturing method produces quick-brewing teas with full flavor. We highly recommend this blend of Assam teas for those who like a very hearty cup. Exquisite with milk.”

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GtrSmoker

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That one looks great. But the last thing I need is to become a “lover of various fine teas from around the world “—I can barely keep up with my tobacco “needs”
 

Blackhorse

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Colombian Bold Breakfast Blend Organic. So…what is it about Colombia? They grow some potent and delicious stuff there…coffee…tea…Sophia Vergara…ahem. Anyway, this has become one of my favorites. Deep yet smooth.

Here’s the Upton spin…I get a bit if this..but some eludes me. “This bold-leaf, breakfast-style black tea blend from Colombia has a warm aroma reminiscent of baking chocolate, with toasty hints. The dark amber cup is full-bodied and honey sweet with a creamy smooth mouth feel that sets the stage for notes of rich cocoa and apricot. The finish is smooth and lingering.”

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Blackhorse

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Gonna try this for breaking up the tea brick…the Swiss Army Alox knife power awl. Unlike the standard slim awl that swings down from the center of the red Cellidor (the red plastic handle material) the Alox model typically have a big meaty awl on the end of the handle…very sharp point and along one side of its length. I’m pretty sure that in the right hands this thing could punch through a car door!

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Blackhorse

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New blend in…ROBERT FORTUNE BLEND 41 (DARJEELING-YUNNAN)

Named after Robert Fortune who toured the tea producing regions in the 1840s under the auspices of the East India Company. Darjeeling adds a pleasing brightness; Yunnan lends a dark, honey colored liquor and delicately spicy overtones.

This is basically as described. Very friendly cup.

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GtrSmoker

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I’m still marveling over the rad Swiss Army knife!!!

I look forward to your first interactions with one of those pesky bricks. I suspect you’ll end up developing a technique better than mine. Pieces tend to fly in multiple directions if using a percussive method. Maybe wrap it in a clean dish towel before striking to keep all the pieces that breaks off close to the brick.

I’m a little ashamed of myself for not thinking of that while in the process. Of course, I’m notorious for seeing flawed techniques through to the end.
 

Blackhorse

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I understand that a black tea brick and a Pur Eh brick are different in consistency…the black tea being like your “particle board” designation...the Pur Eh being more like compressed whole leaves & easier to pry apart. I got the brick in yesterday. Glorious aroma. Particle board texture. I’ve seen posts that direct one to go in from the edge with a point and then pry upward in one direction. We’ll see.

Busy this morning hanging a triptych which has to be perfect to work. Then assembling a free standing 5’ high cabinet from the ground up. I’ll likely get to the tea brick tomorrow morning.

Second mug of tea today…Ceylon Kandy Silver Tip.

“Well twisted, ebony brown leaves and a complement of silver buds yield a dark, satisfying infusion with a sweet aroma. Notes of honey and malt round out the bright, toasty cup, which could accommodate milk, if desired. A pleasant briskness lingers in the light fruity finish.”

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Blackhorse

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Upton…Richmond Park Blend. Arguably the best afternoon blend on the planet. It’s a mellow, whole-leaf blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. An exceptional tea that is smooth enough for drinking plain. Highest recommendation.

Some of my current stash is stored in a tin that once held some Earl Grey…and you can never really get all the bergamot scenting out. So a VERY subtle tinge of bergamot has gotten into the Richmond Park…and it’s absolutely excellent.

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Blackhorse

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A new one this a.m. - East Frisian TGFOP. Very nice stuff. Really…seriously excellent!

One review says it better than I could…”It is a very good tea. Better I expect than the lower grade that is offered. This tea is nice and malty and packs plenty of flavor. While it is strong it is not bitter. It works very well in the traditional East Frisian manner of pouring it over rock sugar and then adding cream. Take your East Frisian tea to the next level with this blend.”

(Note: TGFOP = Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (these are stamped on each box of estate tea that is shipped and refer to specific physical characteristics like leaf size, inclusion of leaf tips, color of those tips, etc. These do not reflect the taste or flavor.)

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