85

I finished a sample pouch of this tonight. Yes, tonight. Night. In fact, I never even drank this with breakfast. I did stop by the bougie bakery on my way home from the grocery earlier for a banana bread accompaniment. I don’t know anything about English Breakfast tea beyond teabags drank too long ago to remember the flavor. Forgive me, my English sistren and brethren.

Gone grandpa. 2tsp/Seattle rainy day mug/water off-boiling/nocreamnosugar

This is a mix of Yunnan, Vietnam and Kenya black teas. Sample pouch has spots of golden down from the Yunnan black. Dry leaf smells delicious, like a woody hot cocoa. The brew, from what I can tell is pretty dark and also smells like woody hot cocoa. Tastes about the same, smooth and sweet with a little bit of malt, leather, rose and spice. Mouthfeel is full and very round, slick with cream. I bet some unsweetened almond milk in this would taste divine. Dairy milk or cream might make it too slick. Never sugar for me, but I bet it would be good. Gets a little astringent at the back of the mouth if left to sit but I like it. Spent leaf is bulky, so I recommend against using any kind of teaball doohickie. Got 5-6 top-offs with a definite caffeine kick. Should’ve eaten more food as I ended up getting shaky. I can see it being great for getting moving in cold weather.

I have no comparison to other English Breakfast blacks but this is really good. Thanks a lot for the sample.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Tea Habits:

Among my favorites are sheng puerh, Taiwanese oolong, a variety of black (red) teas from all over, all teas Nepali, herbals, Wuyi yancha. I keep a few green and white teas on hand. Shou puerh is a cold weather brew. Tiny teapots and gaiwans are my usual brewing vessels when not preparing morning cups western style and pouring into my work thermos. Friend of teabags. Hold the milk and sugar unless we’re talking masala chai.

In my late teens, home-brewed unsweetened Lipton iced tea was the drink of choice to combat cottonmouth. The following years saw the appearance of the odd box of tea from Trader Joe’s. About 4 years ago, walking out of the parking garage where I kept my motorcycle, I came across a move-out dumpster treasure: single serve packets of what I can look back now and say was Wuyi yancha. Yes, I drank dumpstered tea and honestly, that’s what blew the doors wide open.

Preference Reference
“That’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be great daily drinkers.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possesses off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Character Rundown:

Boring pandemic hermit whose only current hobbies besides tasting tea are skateboarding and learning herbalism. Will update as the times change.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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