drank NYC Breakfast by Tavalon Tea
953 tasting notes

I’ve had this in my cupboard for a while along with a number of other teas from my initial Tavalon order and I’m just now getting to them. (Yes, I am on serious lockdown. I am considering not coming out until I actually need tea, which could be a year from now.)

I am a sucker for names sometimes, and I spend a lot of time homesick for my old Upper West Side neighborhood. So of course, I had to try this.

The dry leaves look sort of twiggy, like Ceylon leaves sometimes do, but they also seem a bit heftier than Ceylon leaves. They smell like Assam to me. I’m guessing both of those are represented in this blend.

The liquor is medium amber with a twinge of red. Not quite the russet beauty that some other Ceylons produce in my cup, but its an intriguing color. The aroma is fruity, and somewhat malty-sweet.

This tea has a lot of substance to it, though exactly what makes that up isn’t readily apparent. I guess that’s what makes it NYC breakfast; it’s very much like most of my New Yorker friends. This is not a shallow tea, though it’s not overly complex. It’s pretty smooth, and slightly stout. Not really sweet, but not bitter. It doesn’t make you go “yum” but it has something sophisticated about it. It’s not as brash as some stronger breakfast blends. It’s just enough to get your eyes open while you wait for the subway to show up. Or to give you an edge while you’re sitting on the steps of the Met in the autumn chill, before you go in to get lost in an exhibit for a while. It makes me think of Central Park, undoubtedly because of the name. I may be gullible, but I get it.

And now I’m homesick.

Boiling 4 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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