Happy Earth Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

91

My favorite Darjeeling (out of ~20 I’ve tried). Amazing. light copper body with hint of great honeysuckle’ish muscatel flavor. I wouldn’t say mint myself. AV2 clonal with about 20-25% oxidation if I was to guess. I get it en mass from a guy that works for the Giddapahar estate.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I’ve had this for quite some time, and I finally have drank my last pot. Luckily, this is just in time for spring harvest. You open the package and you are enveloped with these fragrant small emerald green and platinum leaves. They give off a beautiful fresh flower (daises), hay, and dry grass aroma. I pulled out my trusty tetsubin, and I got to brewing. First, the taste begins with a sweet mango tang; however, this flavor quickly fades away as the palette readjusts to the liquor. Then, the cup moves into a honey dipped peach taste that has a lingering astringency. Finally, the brew is surrounded with a drying grass taste and a pleasant orchid background. The drink leaves your palette with a nice lingering sweetness and a well oiled tongue. This tea is a fantastic spring time drink. The cuppa is a nice and well rounded liquor filled with soft spoken and curbed tones. This tea doesn’t carry any of the traditional “crisp” first flush tones. Instead, this tea yields a pleasant gardenesque quality that is light and airy, yet it still carries a nice full body. I am sad to not have any leftover, but I know I will be picking some more up in time for spring harvest. I highly recommend checking this company out, for they have “darjeeling” suiting anyone’s taste. In my experience, if you want a nice light flowery cuppa or a deeper and heavier bodied liquor they are sure to carry it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BB0LltazGS5/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Dry Grass, Drying, Flowers, Mango, Orchid, Peach, Sweet, Winter Honey, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I am working my way through some samples from Happy Earth Tea. Most of them have been good, some okay. This one is great. It is so juicy, so fresh. Such a balanced cup, both sweet and perfectly astringent. Every sip leaves me wanting another taste. This is one of the best Darjeelings I have had since the fresh ones I received last spring from Teabox.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Grapes, Lemongrass

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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Recently I read Haveteawilltravel’s review of Arya Ruby First Flush and it made me want to try the tea so much I went straight to the website and picked up a few samples. The review combined with my growing anticipation for the first flush season effectively put an end to my temporary halt on tea purchases and I can’t say that I regret it because along with the four samples I ordered, they also sent 3-4 additional samples. Needless to say this was an exciting box to open.

This is the first sample I have tried out of the bunch, and if the rest of them at all like this one I will definitely be ordering from them again. The leaves are beautiful and have been well cared for. Despite being almost a year old it still tastes incredibly fresh. There are notes of peach, apricot, flowers in the spring air and just the perfect amount of that Darjeeling-like astringency. Actually, the best description of this tea is the one included on the website. It might be the most accurate vendor description of a tea that I have read. Overall an excellent experience.

Thank you Haveteawilltravel for pointing me to this company!

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Floral, Peach

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 7 OZ / 207 ML
Rasseru

Excellent. Trust me you will love the Arya – its really delish. Did you pick up the singbulli as well? I’ve had a singbulli ‘silk’ before which is another i really liked.

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98

This is another one of my favorites from this company. The dry leaf is incredibly fragrant. Once you open the punch you’re blasted with sweet smelling flowers and a soft woodiness. The leaves are darker than the first flush, but they every bit as tippy. You can easily spot multiple platinum tips in a handful of this sweet smelling leaf. I poured a heavy amount in my tetsubin and brewed away. The steeped leaves are still sweet, but they carry a wet wood roughness and a tangy maple aroma. The brew is thick and dark red. The initial sip begins with some smooth oak and moves into a walnut nuttiness. The drink finishes with a thick muscatel and some dark fruit in the background. This is a heavy muscatel toned beverage. I enjoy brewing this later in the day, so I may sit and unwind and pay attention to the transition of the flavors. It’s enjoying as how it begins almost rough and “bitey”, and then it softens and curbs the palette. This a great example of what a fine Darjeeling should taste like. You can also easily notice the sweet fragrant sweetness that lingers in the throat long after drinking. Personally, I enjoy both the First Flush and Second Flush Arya from this company; however, I prefer the First Flush in the morning for it’s crisp tones and Second Flush in the evening for it’s complexity and heavier tones. I highly recommend this tea, and there is not much of it left. The aroma from the liquor of this brew is something to experience. I am incredibly excited to experience this years harvest.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-T79fkzGe4/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Dark Wood, Floral, Flowers, Muscatel, Nutty, Red Fruits, Sweet, Walnut

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Dr Jim

You make me really want to drink this! Sounds wonderful.

Rasseru

I really like Arya Ruby. I’ve just had an email with this years first Darjeeling, its EX1 and no idea what the difference is in taste.. still very expensive though! http://www.mariagefreres.com/FR/2-namring-king-upper-darjeeling-first-flush-2016-T10041.html?utm_source=sarbacane&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Voeux%202016%20MF

Haveteawilltravel

They have samples available Jim…

Haveteawilltravel

I’ve good things about Mariagefreres; however, that is a bit pricey. Although, First Flush Darjeeling is rather up in price if its authentic and the quality matches the price point. EX1 are “symbols” they use after a leaf grading if it surpasses the scale. For Example, they use FTGFOP as a very high leaf grade, and if it’s considered “better” than they add on an extra number or letter. In this case, they did EX1, sometimes its 01 or 001. I’ve seen it used as a marketing technique for anything past FTGFOP is pushing into unrealistic. That’s only my personal opinion. @Rasseru

Rasseru

I thought EX was prior to the flush & DJ was after, with the numbers designating the batch. So DJ-1 is the first batch after the flush. And yes, that tea is pricey!

Haveteawilltravel

ahhhh I must’ve been mistaken

Rasseru

haha i may be wrong. Excelsior (who seems to be in the know about darjeeling) said that EX refers to experimental i.e. irrigated/not natural rain/flush so before the monsoon. If I am not mistaken? I know Goa gets very hot feb/march and then the monsoon hits and everything goes green. EX have less batch size and DJ have bigger amounts. Apparently the flavour can be pretty similar.

http://steepster.com/discuss/12458-the-2016-first-flush-darjeeling-thread

Haveteawilltravel

ahhh okay, that makes more sense. I must be thinking of a different term.

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100

I’ve had a lot of this tea for some time, and I wanted to wait to make it through all of what I had until I reviewed. The tea is beautiful! The dry leaf consists of long whole leaf curls with an array of colors. They range from brilliant green to dusted silver. These gorgeous leaves give off an intoxicating scent of daisies and winter honey. They are just sweet and flowery. I usually drink this every morning before work, and I pack my tetsubin full of this beautiful Darjeeling. This morning I did just the same. I brewed up a pot and took in the scent of the steeped leaves. They still carry that floral scent, but it’s mixed with some burnt sugar and other tannic sweetness. The cuppa is perfect. This by far one of my favorite Darjeelings to date. The brew is much darker and carries thicker tones than most First Flushes, for the tea is more oxidized. This difference in processing makes the tea a rather unique Darjeeling. The taste is phenomenal! The initial sip begins with a drying floral sweetness, and then it moves into a smooth nuttiness. I detect silky caramel in the background that moves throughout the tastes. This tea has a ton of mouth action. The brew begins with an oily base that coats the mouth and throat, and then the oil dries and leaves the mouth, throat, and belly with a wonderful cooling effect. The brew has very little astringency and carries so many complimenting flavors. The drink is crisp and cool, yet it’s also heavy and full bodied. I enjoy drinking this every morning, and I’m sorry to see it go. However, it’s getting to that time of year and I’m very excited for 2016’s harvest. I highly recommend this tea to Darjeeling connoisseurs and novices alike. You won’t be disappointed.

Also, a brief word about the company. I was recommended this tea from a friend awhile back when I was searching for the perfect Darjeeling. I looked this company up and low and behold they were local for me. If you ever in the Western New York area you must stop in. This company’s tea studio is beautiful and the owner is most hospitable. In fact, some of my most memorable tea sessions happened in that studio. The atmosphere is perfect, and the tea is top notch.

https://www.instagram.com/p/8Vlj2NzGQ8/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Flowers, Nectar, Nutty, Orchid, Plums, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
just john

I try really hard to limit my tea purchases, but after reading this review I went straight over to their website and ordered samples of several of their teas. Not surpisingly this one was sold out but I did get the second flush. I look forward to hearing about what you taste this spring!

Haveteawilltravel

I’m going to be doing a review on the Second Flush soon. It’s an incredible brew as well!

boychik

I love this tea. the end ;D

Haveteawilltravel

hahah :) Couldn’t have said it any better myself

Zennenn

Resisting FOMO over here like a champ! Very nice review.

Haveteawilltravel

thank you :) FOMO?

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85

I received a sample of this in my Christmas card from Haveteawilltravel. I’ve never heard of this company before, but I’m impressed by this particular tea! The leaves are BIG (tough to measure accurately; this is one of those teas that makes me wish I had a scale) and have a nice malty aroma when you open up the bag. Steeped, the tea is smooth and rich with a nice plummy flavor. A great tea to start the day with!

Flavors: Malt, Plums

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Good morning Steepster. My day did not get off to a good start as I already spilled a cup of coffee on myself and the floor of the cafe I was at this morning. Maybe this is a sign I should give up on coffee?

I got this as a small sample pack from Happy Earth a while back. I didn’t time my steeping too closely, so I would say this is a pretty forgiving tea. This stuff is also truly delicious! I am definitely getting the notes of chocolate, malt and spice. It does have a slight fruitiness in the finish. They call it plum, I was thinking red wine. It’s a very rich and bold tea, it stands up well on its own but mght also be nice with a touch of milk. Another quality Nepalese tea from Happy Earth. So glad I tried this one, I might need more :)

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Haveteawilltravel

I just picked up a bunch of this :) I can’t wait to try.

Indigobloom

Hope your afternoon was better!!

TeaBrat

@Haveteawilltravel – I think you’ll like it!
@Indigobloom – it was, thanks!

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My review is for the 2015 version of this tea. It definitely has a ruby color, almost orange in appearance. I don’t really wan to give this a numeric rating as I’m not a big fan of second flush darjeelings in general. I am much more partial to the first flush. This cuppa has a woody, slight citrusy flavor with a touch of muscatel in the finish. It’s a bit brisk. I’m happy for the opportunity to try this but still not a second flush convert ;)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Doug F

Wow! Look at you steppin up the reviews. I have to say, when I come across a great second flush, it’s a tough choice between that and a first.

TeaBrat

yeah. i’m picky like that. ;)

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81
drank Green Mint Chai by Happy Earth Tea
2816 tasting notes

Looks like I am the first person to review this particular tea blend. I got this from Happy Earth the last time I placed an order with them. This seemed like it would be a good after lunch tea as the peppermint, cardamom and ginger will all aid with digestion. It’s a bit odd having a green chai instead of a black chai but I actually like this a lot. It’s spicy and pungent! I rarely drink green tea with soymilk but it’s pretty good that way… and also plain. I’m glad I bought this…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87

A few years ago I went a bit crazy with buying FF darjeelings and samples and ended up with a lot of teas I couldn’t drink before they went stale. Last year and this year I got the FF darjeeling sample packs from Happy Earth Tea and really liked trying a few to see which ones I liked the best. Now I’m only going to have one FF darjeeling in my stash for now and that’s the Arya Ruby which I bought a full size of.

As for the Muscatel Valley, I drank this at work so I don’t have an exact idea of my water temp but it was well below boiling. Color of the tea liquor is a medium yellow and the aroma of the brewed tea reminds me of bee pollen and a flowery meadow.

This is a gentler tea without a lot of astringency and definitely doesn’t need milk or sugar. I don’t know why you would add milk to a darjeeling but maybe some people do.

This has a nutty taste that reminds me of some green oolongs I’ve had. Definitely picked up on a mango note and a slight muscatel finish that’s a bit zingy and cleanses your palette. It has a very relaxing and happy quality as I’m sitting here sipping it. If I had more of this to play around with I probably would try steeping it for shorter periods of time, say 1 to 1.5 minutes. Enjoyable, though the Arya is still the winner for me this year :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
boychik

I got full size of Arya Ruby too. And it’s enough for me since I don’t drink much FF .

CHAroma

Bee pollen and a flowery meadow…what lovely imagery!

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85

Chose this as my morning tea. I feel that it’s hard to go wrong with anything from the Jun Chiyabari Estate, at least I have always liked the teas I’ve tried from there.

Compared to the Himalayan bouquet of yesterday, this is a stronger tea with more “oomph”. It reminds me more of a second flush darjeeling. I am getting a definite “spice” flavor from this tea along with nuttiness & a bit of muscatel. I decided to add a bit of agave syrup to this cuppa and found the sweetener made the flavor of it really sparkle. The agave definitely brought out the grape notes! Also nice because it has no astringency in the finish. I would say Nepali teas are like darjeeling’s gentle cousin… :)

Glad I got the chance to try this…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90

I just reviewed this recently so please read my previous tasting note. I got a whole 2 oz. bag of the tea and I was surprised at how big the bag is, but the leaves are huge and fluffy! This is a great mid-morning tea and perfect for work as it is non-fussy and needs no sugar or milk. just yum! Floral-olive-nutty goodness.

p.s. Steepster seems really like a graveyard lately, I think a lot of people stopped posting after the site functionality issues which is too bad. I’m also on Insta under the name of: TeaBrat if you want to follow me there.

boychik

i think its summer. hot and many ppl on vacation. i have to try this tea, i have a sample. pretty sure i will like it too

TeaBrat

boychik – you should!

Doug F

I’ve been wondering why so few people are posting. I hope it’s attributable to summer. I’ve started following more people so I can get some new posts!

TeaBrat

@Doug F – I think a lot of people are spending time on Insta too

Nicole

I haven’t been posting b/c I’m not drinking anything new. Plus, I have to cut down a bit on the caffeine for awhile to see what happens with some health issues. So, one cup a day, pretty much. Sad but hopefully not forever. :)

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90

Another sample from Happy Earth Tea. This has a very appropriate name because it seems like a bouquet of flowers to me. As others have remarked this isn’t a “black” tea in the traditional sense, it steeps up fairly light similar to a darjeeling. I got a yellow tea liquor color from this. This is a very gentle, uplifting tea with no astringency or bitterness. I get the raisin like sweetness and the nuttiness in this blend. Combined with the floral nose, this is pretty dreamy. I would drink this as an afternoon tea it’s so mild and refreshing. No need for sweetener or milk! Would probably be good iced as well.

I am saving up to get a large order from HET but need to try all my samples first. I think this is going in the “buy” list for me. :)

I am quite fond of Nepali teas. Did you know 10% of Happy Earth’s Nepali teas go to the Ama Foundation? check it out. http://happyearthtea.com/pages/social-partners

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
kieblera5

This is a great tea :)

TeaBrat

agreed!

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94

I am definitely happy with this ff darjeeling sample I got from Happy Earth tea.

I brewed up my whole 5g sample because I was using a tea tumbler for this one. The predominate note I am getting is fruity. I thought peach/nectarine but it has a little bit of pineapple too. There seems to be a slight nuttiness about it as well. Only a hint of astringency in the finish but that might be because I steeped it too long. I did get a 2nd steep out of this that brought forth more pineapple and slight lemony notes.

I haven’t tried all my samples yet but will definitely consider getting a large size of this now. Sorry I can’t write more because I’m at work but it’s delicious!
Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Kirkoneill1988

hopefully i will try this tea someday

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79

Pleasant. A very earthy and roasted flavor with the sweetness of raisins. The aroma was mostly raisin with a hint of sweetness. It had a malty freshness that I enjoyed.

Flavors: Earth, Raisins, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sample from Happy Earth Tea – thank you so much.

This tea was quite successful. i stopped buying First Flush Darjeeling because they are very temperamental. Too hot, too long and you can ruin it.

I faced the challenge lol
It was easier than i thought.
3g 8oz 190F just few sec under 3min.
I didnt cover the pot either. i was afraid to burn the leaves.

it is highly aromatic, light and brisk. Astringency creeps up as it cools so i recommend to drink it while its hot. it has some resemblance with yunnan greens in floral grass and nuttiness.

overall Im very happy with the session. i should not be afraid of FF.
Thank you so much Happy Earth Tea for the opportunity to try something i wouldnt pick up on my own. It was a great learning experience.

https://instagram.com/p/2bRyW9Bwmm/

https://instagram.com/p/2bTXZFhwqC/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

they can be difficult

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Sample from Happy Earth Tea – thank you so much.

i tried this tea using my parameters and failed. I used 6g for 100ml and 200F. short steeps didnt help because it became quite strong vegetal and astringent.

i strongly recommend you to use their parameters (unless you are familiar with this tea and know what you are doing)

Next try (thankfully it was a nice sample enough for 2-3 sessions) i did exactly as written on their website for gongfu:
Cover the bottom of your vessel you are using with a single and uniform layer of tea.
Use boiling water.
Steeps: 1 min, 30 secs, 40 secs, 50 secs, 1 min, 1:10 mins

It did work. what a difference, like 2 different teas. it is floral fruity, some nuts. the roasting done really well without unpleasant ashy aftertaste.

its still not tea for me because im not comfortable with strong floral notes. But if you fan of floral oolong i think its really nice quality tea.

Thank you so much Happy Earth Tea for sending me generous samples i probably wouldnt pick on my own. It was a great learning experience.

https://instagram.com/p/29Au6JBwhE/

https://instagram.com/p/29A9X-Bwhr/

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Happy Earth Tea were very kind and sent me samples some time ago.
I apologies it took me so long to try and review. they sent me delicate teas i wasnt familiar with. due to my allergies i didnt want to try them.

This oolong is lovely. its sweet smooth and quite complex. it went thru many steeps and i believe i still can resteep it. It has some fruity notes , lychees i believe or maybe grapes. those two are pretty close. some raw nuts.
Overall this tea is very smooth and sweet without any bitterness. not floral (thank you, im not huge on floral teas). Roasting done beautifully without any ashy/bitter undertones.

Thank you so much Happy Earth Tea for sending me this tea. im not sure I would pick it on my own. it was a great experience

Ps i did my own parameters (i forgot they give their parameters on website). i dont know, maybe i had to follow their but in my experience when i use 5-6g of tea i try to give quick steeps for the fear of becoming bitter
5g 110ml gaiwan 195F
rinse/pause/ 5/5/7/7/10sec etc. many many steeps lost count

https://instagram.com/p/3UPFEXhwq-/

https://instagram.com/p/3URJx7hwv5/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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last night i was “talking” to my teafirend on IG while drinking Liu bao and having breakfast. he asked me if i drink any Darjeeling and Assam. it been a while. Chinese and Taiwanese teas took over. i said i used drink Indian/Ceylon teas only

I remembered i had this tea i bought last year. the leaves looked fresh and very aromatic.
took 3g for 8oz, 195F for just under 3 min
resteep @5min wasnt bad but i havent finished the 2nd cup
The cup was lovely. Sweet and flavorful, very aromatic. I did enjoy it a lot. Happy Earth Tea mentioned that this year Arya Ruby first flush was ruined by hailstorm. i thought it was a good idea to finish the pouch but after learning this sad news ive changed my mind.
im back to hoarding it

https://instagram.com/p/BEdo1Xhhwh8/

https://instagram.com/p/BEdqn_xBwlP/

https://instagram.com/p/BEdrMN-Bwml/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m more active on IG nowadays. I follow Happy Earth Tea. they have beautiful pictures. Once they mentioned tasting session of Spring 2015 teas in Rochester, NY. I really wanted to try those teas and they offered to send me some samples.

Today i was brave to face First Flush Darjeeling. Ive had some before but it was never a success. FF tend to be more finicky. i wasnt paying attention to temps and time at that time (maybe like 8 yrs ago roughly). so i gave up.

Im so glad that they sent me samples outside of my comfort zone. I used website parameters. instead of 1tbsp i measured 3g. 190F 8oz

The dry leaves have intoxicating aroma of spring wild flowers. they are long greenish grey color.
Once i brew it the aroma of tea was so strong. the tea is refined, delicate, appropriate for afternoon teatime.
it has apricot, nectarine flavor along with raw nuts, slighly citrusy. it does develop slight astringency almost by the end of the cup. not unpleasant but rather welcoming.
This tea is complex and ever changing. it had different notes by the end when i finish it.
It doesnt require anything. no sugar ,no milk. no cheese.
It should be savored on its own.

I did try to resteep @5min. it was decent but not even close to a first cup. Darjeeling teas usually not very good with resteeps and its fine by me. one cup of this tea is enough to think about it.

im so glad i was able to try such an exquisite tea. Thank you Happy Earth Tea for sending it my way

https://instagram.com/p/2TVizVBwgD/

https://instagram.com/p/2TWpEchwh3/

https://instagram.com/p/2TXGaOBwip/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Indigobloom

Love the glass cup! I only ever resteeped a darjeeling with any success one time. At a Fairmont hotel. Bagged, oddly!

boychik

Drinking mostly Chinese teas that resteep easily i had to test it out. But I’m not disappointed because this tea is too good

Indigobloom

That makes sense. I often forget to resteep but then I’m mostly a black tea girl :)

Brian

ive actually been enjoying some darjeeling teas lately too. Some are pretty good. i still brew in a gaiwan tho. ha

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