Drunk bare, no milk or sweetener.

I steep around. An intense affair with Captain Assam’s High Seas Elixir now just a happy memory, I come back to my old standby, this particular organic and fair trade English Breakfast blend from my local teashop, Britannia Teas and Gifts.

This tea will gently but definitely wake you up. Pretty sure Assam’s in the blend, but I taste much more Keemun this morning, and that beautiful winey-ness is so civilized, almost decadent on a lazy Sunday morning. I ate too much salt and sugar yesterday, and I’m sure I can feel the tea (and my rooibos chaser) balancing out my electrolytes. I did steep this morning’s brew maybe a minute too long — somewhere around 6 minutes, I recalled I hadn’t set the time — and it’s slightly bitter on the aftertaste. But that’s okay. My own fault. This tea can do no wrong, so long as you treat it right.

This is a full leaf blend that is also a real reat to watch infuse through clear glass.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Ai. ‘reat’ should be ‘treat.’

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Michelle Butler Hallett

Ai. ‘reat’ should be ‘treat.’

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE. New novel this March called THIS MARLOWE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.


St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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