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I’ll say it again “Oh myyy!” This is… swoons recovers. Okay so I admit I am a total whimp when it comes to Assam and other hearty (in my opinion harsh) breakfast teas. But this was raved about and I’m always curious about traditional tea varieties grown in other places, especially Taiwan. So I had to order it.

When I opened the bag I was greeted with a familiar smell yet it was different, smoother, sweeter, more refined? Still I chickened out and used water at 205 not boiling, set the timer to two minutes, left the room and sat down so it probably steeped for 2 and half minutes. Beautiful dark copper liquor poured out and the the steam brought the aroma of chocolate to my nose.

Chocolate! Oh goodness! This reminds me of my favorite black teas: Verdant’s Laoshan Black and Zhu Rong Yunnan Black, Teavirve’s Bailin Gongfu Black and Fong Mong’s Sun Moon Lake Black tea. They all have something in common: sweet, smooth, malty, chocolate notes! And yet it retains its Assam nature, it’s full and stout and has big malt, but none of the harshness and metallic taste I associate with Assam. I am getting cinnamon and a bit of plum as well in this first infusion!

Thank you Stacy for bringing us this wonderful find! Off to rebrew for the full 3 mins. This is one I can share with the husband who doesn’t like my “rock water” (read: mineral) gongfu brewed black teas and wants to like British teas but still finds them harsh at times. Win!

Sil

YAY!!!! I’m SOOOO happy you enjoyed this one :)

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Sil

YAY!!!! I’m SOOOO happy you enjoyed this one :)

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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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