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I feel like I can finally have another little bit of the small sample packet I originally ordered, now that I’ve placed a “real” order because of today’s special and know that more will be on the way.

Postscript before the note – as I made my way through multiple steepings, it still amazes me how distinct yet interrelated each one is. I will betray my roots in US pop culture of the 70’s here and say that it reminded me of the Brady Bunch, with each steeping taking on a personality of its own:

1st steep: 190 degrees, 45 seconds. Peter. Quite possibly the sweetest of the bunch, warm-hearted and ready to make you smile. Yet there are hints of hidden depths! Ah well, when it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange…

2nd steep: 190 degrees, 45 seconds. Marcia. Still sweet, but now becoming oh-so-sure of itself. Could it be too perfect for its own good?

3rd steep: 190 degrees, 45 seconds. Bobby. Now the sweetness is getting balanced with some earthiness. This one’s been skinning his knees in the grass.

4th steep: 190 degrees, 60 seconds. Cindy. Is there such a thing as too much sweetness? Probably not. It just happens to be snack time, and we’re having apple juice with Mrs. Beasley.

5th steep: 190 degrees, 60 seconds. Greg. Things are really maturing now. This one wants to go off and be in a mug on its own so it can be the rock star it knows it really is.

6th steep: 190 degrees, 90 seconds. Jan. Despite her protestations of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”, this one should drop the insecurities and simply revel in being Jan. Relax sweetheart, you’re perfect just the way you are!

I have a feeling that with future steeps I’d get around to Mike and Carol too, and probably even Alice. Wouldn’t want to take it too far though and end up at Tiger or, heaven forbid, cousin Oliver.

What a great tea.

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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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