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drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
97 tasting notes

Oh man. This started off so well. I picked up a sample last time I made an order, because usually I love unusual variations on Earl Grey.

The dry leaves smell like bergamot, of course, but also like… firewood, and black pepper. All good things, in my book. Once it’s brewed, I think the bergamot gets lost a little behind the woodsiness of it. But the goji and the bergamot blend together really well — it’s hard to tell where one scent ends and the other starts. And somehow every time I pick it up, I smell something different. I’m still getting a pretty strong black pepper note. Maybe that’s from the frankincense resin?

And it tastes… a little disappointing, actually. The first sip was all earl grey with black pepper. I was looking forward to how the flavors would unfold… but it’s just very peppery, with a sour note from the goji berry (and I guess from the tangyness of the autumn tieguanyin) that I’m not sure I like. It’s even more disappointing because I really like the autumn tieguanyin, but it’s getting lost in all the other flavors.

All in all, I can see how it might appeal to someone… but it’s not for me. Maybe in the future I should stick to fruity or floral earl greys. I hope I like the laoshan one more…

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Hi! I’m a linguistics major at a certain infamous east coast tech school, I write, I rock climb, and I have a mild obsession with Diana Wynne Jones.

I’m also Russian, which means I’ve been drinking tea all my life — always loose leaf, and always black. Black teas are still my favorite, but of course I dabble in a bit of everything. I really like ceylon, I recently discovered puer, and I’m having a lot of fun exploring flavored black teas (and making silly fandom blends on adagio…).

My tea cabinet may or may not be accurate at the moment, as I am transitioning between locations…

Rating system (work in progress):
95 – Wow!
85 – My favorites. Cupboard staple material.
75 – Really good. Debating whether to keep it around…
65 – Quite pleasant, but not for me. I probably won’t (re)purchase.
55 – Just okay.



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