Today’s at-work sample tea bag experiment.

The Kusmi bag is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s fabric (looks like some variation of muslin?) and looks like a gauze square that was folded over some tea leaves and sewed up on three sides, then had a length of braided thread attached to it with a tag at the end.

They weren’t kidding about the flowers. The fragrance of the bag is terrifically floral, overlayed over some citrus. It’s a very deep floral, a musky floral, a perfumy floral. Doesn’t smell a lot like Earl Grey, but perhaps it will after steeping.

I don’t know how hot my water was because I forgot to bring my thermometer to work yet again, but it seemed hotter than yesterday for some reason. The aroma is very similar to the smell of the dry leaves, but more open, with some tea shining through. Still not getting an Earl Grey feel, though.

It brewed up nicely, certainly strong enough compared to my Lupicia bag experiments of yesterday. It has a very solid, sweet, black tea taste, with a sweet floral accent. The more I sip it, the more Earl Grey I get.

I like it, but it is heavy and hearty, like a heavy perfume or a hearty stew, and the sort of thing I’m likely to drink occasionally rather than frequently. Fortunately I’ll have an opportunity to get to know it better as I have a small tin of the loose leaf at home.

4 min, 0 sec

I found this one very unpleasant, but I’ve still got a sample tin of it just lying around. Based on this I feel I ought to give it one more chance.

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I found this one very unpleasant, but I’ve still got a sample tin of it just lying around. Based on this I feel I ought to give it one more chance.

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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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