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It’s been a bit since I’ve had any tea that teavivre sent me, as I’ve been delving into the the ones from Jenn as I have been intrigued by the ingenious blends, but today I felt it was a straight tea day, so I brewed up a few straight teas. This was the first.

I wasn’t fond of it straight, but then I pretty much always take black teas with milk and sugar these days, and I think this mellowed it out for me. It was pretty earthy to me. I loved the colour of the leaves, and the tea was a beautiful dark mahogany brown. The tea was quite a contrast to the Ti Kwan Yin I had later which was light and fresh and floral; this was heavy and earthy, possibly smoky or malty. I’m never very good at describing notes in straight tea. This tea, however, was my tea of choice today, as I had woken up with a bad headache and congestion, and I wanted something strong to give my head a kick in the pants, so to speak.

I think I prefer darjeeling over this as a straight black, and I prefer flavoured black over straight. And for me, milk and sugar are a must for black tea.

ETA: In reading the reviews, I may opt to try this at a lower temp, with a shorter steep, and try it again, sans milk and sugar, to see if I can pick up the sweet potato or cocoa notes I’ve read about. It is possible I tasted this straight with too much haste. My rating might change on a subsequent brewing.

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I generally like a lot of tea. I do find I have a preference for flavored over unflavoured, but I do love a good straight tea as well.

Likes are too hard, since there are a lot. Dislikes are easier, so here they are.

Hibiscus. Blech. I can tolerate a little, depending on the brew, like Berry Good from Davids and Ruby Pie from Butiki…but in general, it’s too tart and too strong for me.

Licorice. Anything that remotely resembles licorice is out too, so that includes fennel and anise. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Florals. I’m cool with petals in the tea to make them look pretty, and I’m cool with teas like oolongs having a floral note, but strong florals can give me migraines. Rose and jasmine are the biggest offenders. This is one where it can vary on the blend, as I can handle Teavivre’s Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea because there is very little jasmine actually detectable in it.

Rooibos is hit or miss. I can do some, but not others. I handle green better than red, and honeybush better than rooibos.

Um, I have an extensive wishlist. It is both a list of things I want to get again, and things I want to try. If you are sending me something, and you want to know which is which, I’ll tell you via PM.

My ratings don’t have a particular scale or method, and may on occasion contradict themselves, but I’m honestly not fussed about that. Sometimes I don’t even rate at all.

Uh, guess that’s it.

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Victoria, BC

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