I wanted a black tea and succumbed to the blandishments of the tea aisle in Sainsburys at the weekend. “How bad can it be?” I thought to myself, “It’s in their Taste the Difference range and it says it is leaf tea.” Well, I should have expected the packet full of fannings, but I was deceived by the statement on the packet that it was leaf tea. I suppose that is technically true, but it’s not really the leaves I wanted. The instructions on the side of the packet don’t give much confidence either, but I know better than to trust those anyway. Well, the first cup was made as they suggested and it was bitter. Too strong, no flavour. That’s a point, where is the ‘depth of flavour’ you claim for this tea, Mr Sainsbury? Your advertising blurb is rubbish. The only flavour is a slight maltiness that is tasted as if almost at second or third hand. The second cup was made at a lower temperature and with less tea for a shorter time. That was better. I’ve got it sussed to the level where I can make a reasonable cuppa out of this but it really is not the quality tea that their branding makes out. It’s not even an everyday tea really, just drinkable in need. I was not expecting anything stellar, but I really did hope for an everyday tea. I guess all those decent teas I have been drinking have improved my palate well beyond anything that a supermarket is likely to stock. It must be time to start saving up again so I can order something decent. In the meantime I should try to make some quiet time to enjoy the puerhs that I have lurking in nooks and crannies around the house. Time is the problem, alas. They are good teas and require attention and time that I feel I do not have much of.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Angrboda

Yeah, supermarket brand guidelines… I still wonder at the one I saw on a (so-called) Keemun (blend) I got from the supermarket. “Best stored in the original packing.” Which was a non-resealable paper bag. At least it made me laugh (and reach for a tin).

Roughage

Well, at least you had a good laugh! :)

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Angrboda

Yeah, supermarket brand guidelines… I still wonder at the one I saw on a (so-called) Keemun (blend) I got from the supermarket. “Best stored in the original packing.” Which was a non-resealable paper bag. At least it made me laugh (and reach for a tin).

Roughage

Well, at least you had a good laugh! :)

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I am a qualified peripatetic berserkerologist peddling berserkjaknowledge at UCC in Cork.

My favourite teas are Darjeelings, sheng puerhs and Anji Bai Cha. I return to these every time, after whatever flirtation with other teas I have been involved with.

I no longer rate the teas I drink because keeping ratings consistent proved to be rather hard work while not really giving me anything in return.

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Cobh, Ireland

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http://ruarighdale.wordpress....

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