This tea oils my engine. It’s not the rolls royce of teas, however, when double bagged it packs quite a punch. It’s malty and is a workhorse for those who just want something strong and black. It needs cream and sugar. I cut open the bags and dump into a tin to use as a base for my homemade masala chai. It tastes almost identical to the Irish Breakfast tea I purchased by Fortnum and Mason. It does the job, no frills, just function.
33 Tasting Notes
First time tasting a Kusmi tea – and a good friend gifted me with a pot’s worth of Prince Vladdy. First impression on the dry leaf. DEFINITELY Coca Cola fragrance! Brought water to a rolling boil. Steeped a strong amount for five minutes. Added a bit of half and half with some sugar. Result? Creamy, sweet, hot coca cola! It is delightful actually, and I’m wishing I had a Russian tea set to go along with this tea. It’s on the lighter side, so a great afternoon tea. It’s really hard for me to taste the actual tea through the flavoring which I miss. This tea would go beautifully with some almond cookies or slightly sweetened butter biscuits. I wouldn’t recommend having with food. Having so many flavored teas at home, this is one I wouldn’t buy to have on hand. Grateful for the share though! :)
Oh sweet morning, made all the sweeter by enjoying Mr. Grey! A beautifully caffeinated china black leaf tea with a nice heafty shot of bergamot. I could’ve had a malty assam, or a light ceylon. This morning I wanted some astrigency. I wanted to enjoy a delicious statement of flavor. I think some would be shocked at the amount of sugar I use with my half and half. Oh well, to each his/her own. I give this tea a full five minute steeping. I want the color to show a deeply abyssful dark copper.
Tonight I facilitate another spirit circle. I organize a group of folks in Los Angeles who enjoy working on their psychic mediumship abilities. We look forward to communicating with the deceased, and all of the other lovely heartfelt energies that come through. So I guess I could say I have four favorite loves: Music, Paranormal, Tea, and Cooking. Almost done with the Earl now. I highly recommend this tea if you are a fan of caffeine, serious amounts of Bergamot, and enjoy China black tea. This morning bold is better!
I admire all of you lovely tea drinkers who spin through your cupboard of selections like a ferris wheel each day! I’m unfortunately limiting my overall tea intake, so pretty much have one shot each day to enjoy a caffeinated cuppa. By the afternoon I’ve already worked out and just guzzle water. So yet again in order to share in the tasting note lounge section, I will rave about this tea. I almost broke out my Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey used with china black leaves. However as soon as I broke open the tin and inhaled, it just didn’t sit right with me. So back to the standby I go.
Yesterday I started doing sprints in my cardio workouts and was amazed at the energy buzz I had that lasted through the night! Rivaled my caffeine intake, and even this morning I still felt a buzz and was hungry like a bear! I like this tea because I’ve figured out how to make it exactly the way I like it – robust, smooth, caffeinated, creamy, sugary, and just plane work-horsey for a breakfast-y blend. Would love to be a connoiseur of teas and be up on the latest hot blend of silver tips – but you know what? I’m just a really interesting gal who thinks a lot, and likes her small rotation of black teas (for now). As I’ve downed the last of my creamy brew I’ll end with this. What I appreciate about all of you is your willingness to share your uniqueness. Some of you like one thing, others like many different things, and some drink teas all day – however you all saveur whatever cuppa is in front of you in the moment – and that’s why we’re a tea community because we all have that in common. Big Hugs to All! :)
Drum roll please. I have in front of me my favorite breakfast blend with half/half & sugar, and a fresh glazed twisty donut. It’s my virtual Friday – we do a thing here where we get every other Friday off due to easing traffic congestion. Am I being bad with good stuff? Or am I being good with bad stuff? Either way the taste blend is INCREDIBLE! Bite of soft, gooey glazy twisty donut, slurp of creamy breakfast tea. Slurp of creamy breakfast tea, bite of soft, gooey, glazy twisty donut. What was that about work? Don’t bother me, I’m cheating. 80’s music softly rounding out the experience. I swear when I die, I will erect a donut shop bakery and a tea house in heaven right underneath my spiritual living quarters. This must be one of the main reasons why I reincarnated during this century. Came in too late to have to wear a dress all the time, but not too late to enjoy the pleasures of taking tea and facilitating Victorian-style spirit circles. Gotta love it! Om nom nom nom nom nom. :)
Oh Lady Londonderry, how I love catching up with you so! Light, airy, refreshing base of ceylon and assam with intended notes of strawberry, lemon, and a hinted floral finish. Only a pinch of sugar and few drops of cream round out the overtones of your respectable character.
Today I’ve cocooned myself indoors, setting aside the hot Southern California sun for another day. This afternoon a leisurely nap has been taken and has been molded into music writing duties with the hubs. At the moment I give myself sway to go over the week ahead and review the tasks, projects, and scheduling that helps me to carry out my intended desires. I have a creative room where my music, drawing, writing, reading, and spirituality nestle. Completely feminine feel and equally as fortifying and empowering. Alas the Sunday hours continue to wane, and I’ll be preparing dinner nourishment before I take my sleep to begin the week anew. It is where the Lady Londonderry and I are holding court. Lovely Lady, for now you have my full and undivided attention.
It is what it is. Strong, robust, malty, and caffeinated. Cream and sugar round out the flavor. It goes down easy, and is helping me to stay awake this morning. Kept the bags in the teapot, and the tea did not get bitter which is a major plus. Yes flavor is an important factor, however I’m willing to bet loyal drinkers of this tea do so for strength and systematic buzz to keep them going. Happy to be balancing my cupboard with dependable heavy caffeinators. Love the effectiveness of this tea. :)
Assam-me baby! 2nd tasting note for this tea. It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m looking for a malty lover. Some sultry robust-y full bodied malsculine bravado to carry me into the evening. Yes bagged, yes very close to fannings. I actually think I could have used three bags for 1 and half cups of tea, yet I only used two. Does my desire for macho tea with a beard and mustache make me more English or Irish? Not sure. However my European ancestors would sure be proud. ;)
Deliciously light, golden clear liquid. Thoroughly infused with the fragrance of jasmine, yet not overly-powerful so as to upset the delicate balance of the tea. This may indeed be my first tasting note for a non-black tea. I was quite surprised with how satisfied I was drinking the tea as is without the need to add anything. Now gearing up for a 2nd infusion. A new favorite to add to my collection!
No notes yet.
This is a “does the job” earl grey. Although I haven’t tried many earl greys so am not well versed in the range of eg possibilities, I can say it holds to the expected caffeinated standard. This morning I have tempered my eg with a bit of raspberry flavored ceylon. It most certainly takes the robust kick out of the tea equation, and yet makes up for it in the delightful blend of bergamont and raspberry flavor. No competing here, just a gentle meeting of the minds with a little cream and sugar chiming in. It’s very easy to wash over the flavors with too much half and half, so add your cream gingerly to the conversation with every intention not to talk over anyone else.
As an amateur tea blender, I like to think about what qualities are important to me with the teas I’m blending. Ceylon is on the lighter side, so if I want my blend to have strength I won’t use equal parts, and instead offset at 2 to 1 parts. The result is a nice earl grey with a smidge of raspberry flavor. The raspberry flavoring is strong, so it doesn’t get buried by the earl grey. My caution is in blending too many flavors where the tea doesn’t know what it wants to be. Well, now my beautiful bone china mug has been emptied of it’s coppery liquid content, signaling a return to work.
Edit add: now that 5 minutes has passed and the flavors linger – I miss the zingy lift that I get with the more robust breakfast blend. For those of the same fold who like to go deep, to go fully caffeinated, and with trusty sword and shield first thing in the morning – I would recommend against this blend. Stick to your friends, stick to your neighbors, and by all means stick to your tried and true tea family of trusted soldiers when the sun’s rays emerge from the east.
Experimented this week while at work with a couple scoops of the divinely Yorkshire Harrogate in a non-bleached tea bag and into the translucent glass teapot it went. The caffeine was there, yet the taste seemed hampered. Then the thought hit me – why am I using these bags? I know better! Just use my tea strainer and allow the leaves to unfurl loosely in the pot – let them stretch their leafy legs to full-reaching capacity and swanky charachter. Upon this morning’s tasting of doing just that – the flavor washed over my palette like a divine cleansing of the soul. Every tastebud utilized, every square inch of tongue real estate gathered together to partake in the joyful anointing of this trifecta breakfast blend plus cream and sugar immersion into blissful nirvana. Estate teas are like fine wines, and yet blended teas – are immensely depended upon for their consistent flavor. I savored my cuppa until the very last droplet of creamy coppery liquid had been consumed. My love affair with tea continues. ;)
Standard peppermint stuff. HOWEVER. :) I like to make a piping hot brew of this, and after pouring it in my teacup, I add a splash of rice milk and a bit of palm sugar. DIVINE!!!! The rice milk creams up the brew, while the palm sugar gives the liquid depth and a subtle layer of sweet earthy smokiness. Sometimes it’s not the tea so much as how you doctor it up. When I’m turning to an herbal break from the caffeine, this is now my first stop. :)
My order of the Yorkshire Harrogate finally arrived! This morning is my first cup since that wonderful afternoon at the High Tea Cottage a couple of Friday’s ago. I would rate this as a nicely robust morning tea, although the highest caffeine bump I’ve received so far is by the Earl Grey himself from Taylors of Harrogate. Frankly I don’t feel like having my way with the Earl in the morning. ;)
Expect a nice bold English Breakfast flavor (finally what I had been searching for to replace my other gifted tea). Round out the blend with milk and sugar for a smooth start to your day. This tea holds up well to bold food flavors.
This tea is broken orange pekoe – a blend of Assam, Kenyan, and China black teas. I’m still trying to taste the Kenyan tea, I haven’t had a chance to try it on it’s own to see how it adds to the blend, but know instinctively it’s part of what makes up the tasty breakfast blend that I prefer. I can taste the china and assam quite evenly, so assume the kenyan has an equal or slightly lesser role to the blend. Overall the tea flavor rolls nicely across the tongue without any bitterness – provided your steep time is not overly long. I prefer 2 heaping teaspoons per 1 1/2 – 2 cups of boiling water. Steeping time on this was about 3-4 min, as I was eyeing the copper color and pulled out the tea the minute I noticed the color deepen to a dark coppery abyss. I’m upping my rating to a 100 as far as this English Breakfast blend is concerned for me personally. I’ve tried so many to great disappointment. Only to realize the unique blend I was searching for was china, kenyan, and assam. You would be surprised how many breakfast blends are all over the map with the blends of black tea they use. Just buying something that says “Breakfast Blend” is not a guarantee of anything anymore, and most packages will not specifically list what blend of black teas they use. So if you care about your breakfast blend that much, it pays to figure out exactly what about the blend appeals to your pallet and take note. Here’s to you wonderful tea drinkers, my relatable comrades. May our lives all be made richer in the exploring and sharing of all divine things tea. :)
Yes…finally. I have found a suitable replacement breakfast tea. A good friend and I visited our favorite tea house today and I had several cups of the Yorkshire Harrogate tea. It is strong, strong, strong. Beautiful with milk and sugar. Just the right breakfast blend I was looking for. The color is a nice deep copper, yet taste is not as astringent as earl grey. I like a breakfast tea to have enough bite that by the time I finish I don’t feel I’ll need another one to wake me up.
No notes yet.
This is my 2nd round caffeine lift of the morning before lunch time sets in. I unfortunately got distracted and left the bag in for 10 minutes! A total black tea faux pas, unless that’s what you’re going for. I’m recommending a 5 minute steeping time because that’s my gold standard for robust black teas. It surprisingly didn’t turn the tea bitter, or perhaps what bitter there was smoothed out with the milk and sugar I added. Twinings Irish Breakfast is indeed nice and malty (more like pulling a nice malt blanket over your shoulders for comfort and care). A deceptive note in that I was expecting a bigger robust flavor to go with the divine caffeine kick. But you know what? The buttery smooth maltiness will suffice as I am officially in full blissful caffeine swoon! Oh Assam, our relationship continues to grow and deepen. My malty faith in you has grown. :)
I hit a wall with my other english breakfast tea (Mr. St. James repackaged as the London Transport Museum), jumping through dangerous internet hoops of fire to find the origin of this recent morning bagged favorite. In a slight panic mode to find a worthy kick-start replacement, I purchased PG Tips. I figured if this is one of the top breakfast teas in England, then the blend might be very similar as I have all but given up hope of finding this tea. It’s the pyramid PG tips bag. At first when I poured the boiled water over the bag the water was very light. I thought, “Uh oh” I might have to double up. Then a minute later the water transformed into a beautiful deep dark coppery color signaling the robust flavor I had been searching for. The mix is indeed similar, with a little bit more weight on the assam (at least to me, does anyone know of the traditional blend has equal parts Ceylon, Kenyan, and Assam leaves for the formula?). I decided to stop at 3 minutes of steeping fearing the bitter would set in, and might double dare myself to try 4 minutes next time. Caffeine kick on one bag at 3min. is impressive – even with milk and sugar. The flavor shines right through. Although bagged tea is a rough 2nd choice to loose leaf, I am beginning to see that with a “Great” quality bagged tea, I can still get a pretty decent flavor, I just need to make sure I don’t drown the tea bag in too much water.
Ahh yes! The plot thickens! So in my quest to purchase another container of St. James Tea, I discovered that St. James is just a wholesale distributer that gets their breakfast tea from a tea blender by the name of Keith Spicer Ltd. www.keith-spicer.co.uk I noticed it at the bottom of the St. James Teas web page. After visiting Kieth Spicer Ltd.‘s website I saw that Ashby’s of London is another tea retailer. I’m going to try Ashby’s Breakfast Blend tea to see if it tastes the same as the St. James. When I love a tea, I’m willing to get all Sherlock Holmes with it to keep my cupboards nicely stocked. “Watson, I do believe we are on to something…”
As most of us might already know, most of the tea cultivated on planet earth are sold by wholesale distributors to retailers of every shape and sort. As a consumer, I feel like sometimes I have to go on a 007 recon mission to find the origin of a tea I like. What happens if the retailer of my favorite tea goes belly up, and I think I’ll never be able to buy my favorite tea again? Unbeknownst to me, that retailer repackaged my same favorite tea and resold it under a creative name making it seem like it was distinctly their own? If I can find out the wholesale distributor, I feel like I’ve lengthened the buying life of a dearly loved tea blend as a consumer. I still have to buy from a retailer, but if they go out of business, I can just search for another retailer instead of falsely mourning the death of my favorite tea. So here it is. English Breakfast tea, an unknown blend of teas in tea bags distributed by St. James Teas and repackaged in a pretty tin by the London Transport Museum and titled, “London Underground” English Breakfast tea. Is this tea out of this world? Nope, but let me tell you, for as much as I push for loose leaf tea, this pre-bagged one is currently doing the job while I am caring for my mom in the hospital during Thanksgiving week. I still boil the water, and take an oversized mug and gauge about 2 cups worth of water over two tea bags. It makes a nice strong breakfast tea with a very dark coppery color, with no bitter taste. For me whole milk and sugar are required. The taste is what I would expect of a “right in the pocket” authentic english breakfast tea. No surprises, no fancy updates. A blended taste that has been standardized and has withstood the test of time in tea years.
Like the monks who toil over lush gardens of fresh leafy flavors, consider the possibilities of pouring piping hot boiling water over actual dried leaves of tea…the ones that you can actually distinguish as leaves. It has been whispered through the halls of the time-tested tea wisdom of our elders, that tea’s true flavor is derived from the oil of the leaves as they gently relinquish their essence in defeat to their defeator, boiling water…therefore one may deduce that the absence of tea leaves, means the absence of flavor as well.
If you want cinnamon dust in a bag – this is your tea! For devoted fans of tea fannings and dust, you will not be disappointed! Let the exotic colors of the box mesmerize you into thinking you’re not in isle 7 of a mainstreet USA grocery store. Let the exotic pictures on the box transport you to a time when colored water with little-to-no taste was appreciated in more than just an oversized coffee mug with a happy face on it. Your imagination runs wild with the possibilities that someday this tea may join the legendary shelves of teas that carry a name recognized by legacy and grandeur. For now though, you’ll just have to settle for cinnamon-colored water. Dare to dream though! :)
Ok, I’m a scorpio, and there is water ALL over my natal chart. So I tend to be guided however the mood strikes me. A couple of very close friends gifted me with this tea when they returned from a beautiful trip to Maui. The tropical flavor of this tea is VERY pronounced and lovely. It’s a very strong tea, and will give you the caffeine boost you’re looking for depending on your favored quantity per cup and steep times for black tea. I’m not big into iced teas, would rather have a piping hot cup even in the dead of summer. However I would imagine this would make a splendid iced tea because the flavor is so nicely pronounced. This has become a standard in my collection.
I’m not such a big fan of blending Ceylon, Assam, and Darjeeling teas. I feel it muddies the true signature too much of each. Or perhaps I’m just a big fan of Ceylon. This is a nice full-bodied black tea, however it’s a ways down on my list when it comes to my first morning cup grab, or a nice afternoon lift. I keep thinking if I add some other tea to the mix my feelings about this one might change, but fear that the inherent issue is with the actual blend itself. Who knows, maybe the blend may grow on me over time.