91

This is another great tea. It’s spicy flavors are strong and true. Visually very appealing, the dry leaves conjure up aromas of hearty holiday good cheer. I need it because my default mode is grumpy, so it’s nice to have a transformative moment inhaling this tea.
The aroma reminds me of a strongly mulled red wine (good as far as I am concerned).

The taste does not disappoint at all. It tastes vibrant, spicy, and without having any piny odor at all, makes me feel as if I’m in an evergreen forest wassailing my heart out without irony.

This hearty, robust tea is great on its own; I added a bit of sugar and milk as I approached the bottom of the cup and the tea was still just fine—it does not really need the addition, however.

I’m tempted to use these tea leaves to experiment with adding them to heated red wine, to heated apple cider, to heated eggnog—I think that this tea is divine on its own but could be used to cook up some seriously December-y potent potations!

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
0-30:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

56-70:
Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

71-80:
Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

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“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style

Location

In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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