My first taste of this, made in the Breville.

The dry leaves have a rich, dark smell and I’m thinking “coffee substitute.” Good. Pretty, clear, red-tinged liquor, reminds me of the color of the GM Sinharaja. I definitely get the Assam in the aroma, but it’s fairly mild under the influence of the Ceylon. Once you get past the strength and pungency of the Assam, there’s a malty sweetness.

It tastes pretty much like it smells, with one pretty significant difference. It’s smoother than I would have expected based on the aroma. There’s some briskness and bite right at the beginning and again at the end, but in between it has no sharp edges. It sweetens up on the tongue in the minute or so after sipping leaving a mildly sweet aftertaste. It’s not sugary, but it is tasty. I’d call it medium-bodied.

There’s not a lot of what I think of as depth to the flavor, but I’m not sure it’s necessary that every breakfast blend be deep. Sometimes you’re having an omlette or a Belgian waffle, and sometimes you’re having cold cereal or toast. Seems like having the ability to mix and match is a good thing.

Although I’ve been resisting additives I am tempted to try this with milk, or maybe milk and sweetener next time.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.


Bay Area, California



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