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Another little tin among the 5 included in the Afternoon tea set I was given for Christmas. This one was actually the one I really looked forward to drinking the most…
It looked lovely in the small tin and also smelled delightful with an appealing citrus whiff reaching my nostrils.
Then I brewed it: probably putting too much of it given how much the tea expanded in the filter. That was only the first mistake: then I also left it steeping for way too long (not sure but probably between 5 to 10 minutes) and got a very bitter brew, with no flavors except bitterness.
My second steep, shorter but still too long probably, around 3 mn, was less bitter, but not completely devoid of bitterness, and did not have so much flavor as I expected.
The brew is also murky, with a lot of floating dust in the cup. Not so appealing!
I tried it again later, with water that was a bit cooler but still too hot probably, as I had difficulty drinking it right after brewing.
I was extra careful not to put too much gunpowder leaves in the filter and not to let it steep for more than 1 minute.
Right after taking the filter out, I got a nice whiff of citrusy scent. It was also quite present each time I picked the cup to drink it. However the taste was rather milder than expected and did not really work out for me: the caramel was much stronger in flavor than in smell and almost completely covered the citrusy taste. The tea quality however seems rather good as it’s still very fragrant at the third steep.
Capricious, contrary and twisted. Those would be the “qualities” I would associate the most with this tea. I brewed myself 7 or 8 cups of it today and succeeded only in getting 1 that was correct, all the others were between meh and real bad.
I so want to empty those little tins to refill them with nicer teas, as they’re the perfect size for my office desk. It’s going to be tough again with this one!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I have a full collection of Kusmi teas small tins full of MF or DF teas in my office :) – Anastasia and Prince Wladimir are my 2 staples from Kusmi

LaFleurBleue

I could have 4 tins in a smaller space than my 2 smallest containers (those from the ikea 17 pieces set)…
And those small tins are also very easy to stack on top of each other as well.
I’ll have to manage to tell my nice but touchy brother in law that the Russian set would be a perfect match for next Christmas.

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Ysaurella

I have a full collection of Kusmi teas small tins full of MF or DF teas in my office :) – Anastasia and Prince Wladimir are my 2 staples from Kusmi

LaFleurBleue

I could have 4 tins in a smaller space than my 2 smallest containers (those from the ikea 17 pieces set)…
And those small tins are also very easy to stack on top of each other as well.
I’ll have to manage to tell my nice but touchy brother in law that the Russian set would be a perfect match for next Christmas.

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I’ve started drinking much more tea quite recently, almost completely quitting espresso for it!
I’ve been introduced to high quality tea by one of my best friend, MF Marco Polo addict since more than 20 years. I’ve only rarely bought tea-bags since then, preferring the quality-price ratio of loose leaves.
I drink my tea natural, without any milk, sugar or sweetener. I only add honey when a sore-throat is coming along.
I usually either brew a large pot at home or resteep my leaves at the office. I cannot seem to learn to master the use of a gaiwan in an elegant and not clumsy way…
My tea preferences :
- I really like flavored black teas, with a preference for fruity flavors, from a tangy Earl Grey to a real fruit smoothie-like tea. I’m trying some single origin unflavored blacks from time to time but always end up having trouble to finish them. I usually do not really enjoy the strong breakfast teas.
- I do not like chai or teas with strong spice flavors. Strange considering I really like spicy food, but not what I drink.
- I am quite afraid of pu-erh and lapsang souchong, though I probably have never drunk any real good ones and I’m quite sure it can make a huge difference… A few years ago, I had been introduced to scotch whisky and can definitely attest that you cannot say you don’t like whisky, if you’ve only drunk blended stuff and not tasted yet single malts. I hope to get the same happy discovery for those teas.
- I discovered very good oolong, without going through the step of drinking bad-one first, and really enjoy it, especially with a meal. I’ll definitely try some flavored oolongs in a near future.
- I’ve just started discovering white teas, which feels very delicate. The only problem is that those can be awfully expensive…
- I also really like rooibos which I discovered a few years ago while searching for low-theine/caffeine teas that I could drink at night without suffering from insomnia.
- As with green tea, we’ve had a long-standing difficult relationship. I’ve occasionally had some that were real smooth, refreshing and so very many that turned bitter very quickly. And I cannot stand a bitter tea.
- As for jasmine tea, I used to like it but have indeed drunk too much of some bad quality bitter brew, and now I even have problem finishing the high-quality pearls I bought in Beijing.
- Yerba Mate: I’ve had some in one blend and am quite convinced that I would never like that as bitterness is one of its main characteristics. I’ll try to avoid it like the plague.
- Herbal tea: I used to drink more or those before discovering rooibos; finding good ones is unfortunately really difficult – even in organic shops, the herbs sold are far from great.
I loathe artificial flavoring of any kind in any beverage or food.

I’m quite opiniated and try to leave room for further improvement and better discoveries, which explain why I haven’t rated any tea in the 95 and above range.
Teas above 80 are among my favorites
Between 60-80, I could or could not give them a second chance or recognize that they are made with high-quality ingredients though their taste does not please my buds.
Around 50, it starts to be rather bad and a not so pleasant experience to drink.
25 to 40+ cover low quality products that I manage to drink when nothing else is available.
Below that, it’s really vile and basically almost undrinkable IMHO.

Location

Singapore

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