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75

Third breakfast blend of the morning and definitely my favorite. The smell and appearance were more pleasing to me than Upton’s CTC Irish Breakfast. You could tell these came from actual tea leaves though they were nowhere near whole, they were dark with silver and golden flecks (which I refuse to call tips in this case).

It smelled more subtle yet at the same time more complex than the CTC. The taste was somewhere between my two earlier samples. It was not as bright as the Bond Street, but the Ceylon was definitely present and later sips relieved a note of sophistication reminding me a bit of a Darjeeling or oolong. I was pleased this had that hint of butter, which was the only thing I had liked about the CTC, I think its appropriate for Irish teas to be buttery and it had a nice sweet note at the very end.

I felt a bit dizzy midway through this tasting so I decided I needed protein so I sliced some Blarney Castle cheese and they paired quite well. It was actually after the cheese than I noted the more refined notes at the end and a nice clean finish. There was a bit of dryness in later cups (I was drinking tiny 4oz cups) but nearly as much as the CTC. It took cream and sugar well but I think I prefer it without. Overall a far superior tea. It wouldn’t be my daily cup, mostly because of the caffeine but I will probably some more for St. Patrick’s Day and decaffeinate it at home.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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