558 Tasting Notes

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped five minutes, drunk bare.

Beautiful orange and papaya flavouring. Sweet finish. No acidic pucker. Refreshing.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

La la love it. This tea always makes me smile.

The Yunnan base is a good choice. Lemon with Assam would be too astringent, and with Ceylon too metallic. Smooth. It tastes like real lemons — yay, lemon oil. I want to mix this with some Caravan, and later with some Kenyan Tinderet. On a real lemon kick; a 50gram bag of this treasure doesn’t last me a week.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

The dry CTC leaves, or, pellets, have no scent.

The liquor is a deep reddish brown, giving a classic black tea taste, quite tannic, with a sweetness in the scent and aftertaste like dark honey. This is a very robust black tea, with heft and malt. The maltiness had a dry finish, not the juiciness of an Assam. I did not expect to like this nearly as much as I do. Strong, assertive, and bright. I expect this could get bitter if steeped much longer.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped 4 minutes,

Okay, I can see I used water that was too hot. There’s green tea in here, diva-tastic green tea that’s gone all bitter and harsh. So I need to give this another go … but what a hard sell that will be, because this tea smells and tastes like an artificially-flavoured lemon candy that got tainted with curdled milk.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes.

Ooops. Four minutes is my favourite for steeping black teas. I got distracted — what else is new? What I have here is stronger but not bitter. There’s more of an Indian-tea taste: not malt, but some other note you get in some Assams, and very rarely in a Darjeeling, almost a breadiness, with a hint of rose. The honey notes are stronger in the aftertaste. This one is crying out for milk, but I always regret it when I add milk to black tea. Stronger Yunnan-wood notes, too; I think these tea bushes were Yunnan clippings planted in Nepalese soil on the Jun Chiyabari estate. When I say wood notes, I mean ancient trees and clean air, not that woody-sour note some roobios has. A happy accident, steeping this too long.


Sounds nice, If you like teas from Yunnan cultivars grown in Darjeeling like conditions you should check out teas from Lopchu estate. The one I have always reminds me of ancient forests and clean air and spring for some reason as well.

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1.5 tsp for 300mL @ 100C, steeped six minutes.

Two big mistakes here. 1) I oversteeped. 2) I used way too much leaf.

This blend is incredibly potent, some sort of super-tea. Definitely follow the instructions. I knew better, too. I just forgot.

A thick body, lots of Ceylon I think, copper notes, with bergamot a cardamom, all so gentle … and all so packed with caffeine. The closest comparison to this blend would be Ahmad’s English Tea No1, and, while I like Ahmad’s English Tea No 1, it doesn’t come close to Persian Tradition. Excellent tea.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I watered my tea down.

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1.5tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped seven minutes.

I steep herbals a long time.

This is an excellent ginger tisane. You must like ginger to drink this. It burns. When you’ve got a sore throat, this burn is goooood. I don’t know why; it seems counter-intuitive, coating a sore throat with ginger and pepper, but it soothes. The ginger here is good for nausea, too, if you’re not too far gone to throw up a sip of liquid. I still miss the Electric Lemon from a few years ago, but this one rocks.


I haven’t tried this one yet, but I should, I love strong ginger teas.


This one is so good! I have raved about it soo many times, and I’m almost at the bottom of my 100g tin! Almost time to restock :D

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1 bag for 250mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

A bit flat. Some smooth heft from Assam and Kenyan teas, but the tea itself is practically dust. No bitterness, though.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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1 bag for 250 mL water @100C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

I got a chest of Ahmad bagged tea last night: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and this rather scientific sounding English Tea No 1. I was dubious: light with bergamot, huh?

It’s pretty good. The tea base is strong, with lots of copper notes from a Ceylon. The bergamot is very light, giving a dry mouth-feel, dry like white wine, but without any acidity. I like this much more tha I thought I would.

Ahmad just might be my favourite for bagged tea, Ahmad and Stash.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Smooth, too. The bergamot develops as the liquor cools. The tea gives a slightly fuzzy mouth-feel, too: Ceylon and maybe a pinch of Kenyan?

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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 next spring 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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