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Really looking forward to this one, to see what distinctive notes I could find in this Assam variety.

First thing, I’m learning a lesson here: I will no longer store anything next to previously opened (even if zip-locked shut) bags of tea flavored with coconut. The scent is too strong and recognizable to me, and it clouds my ability to tell what else might be in there.

So, I’m relying on the steeped scent of the tea (slightly fruity) rather than the dry leaf. The liquor is dark, clear brown, even after barely three minutes. In fact given the depth of the color, I’m surprised by how mild the flavor is. There’s a good mouth feel, a little bit of astringency, and a pronounced peppery note that I like, woven into some more subtle dry fruit flavors, somewhat akin to Darjeeling. I like it, but I think I’ll try steeping it a bit longer next time and see what else appears.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!

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Washington, DC

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