3 Tasting Notes
I bought this tea recently from Nova Scotia Antiques&Collectibles, Fred Baines’ eBay store, where I buy most of my tea. I’m still getting acquainted with this one. Since I am totally in love with Metropolitan’s Scottish Breakfast, I thought I might like this as much or even more. I must say, it’s a bit of a comedown from the S.B. For one thing, this is CTC, which is a nuisance as it plugs up the spout of my teapot and gets into my mug excessively. I can’t think why this must needs be CTC when the S.B. is mostly large aesthetic leaves that are good enough to eat! I need to experiment with the brewing of this Irish Breakfast, I think, because so far I’ve found it (with milk and sugar, as is my wont) rather one-dimensional and uninteresting, not even as good as PG or Red Rose supermarket tea bags. I must be doing something wrong; it can’t be that bad. I don’t find it has the depth and resonance of the Scottish Breakfast. Comments, anyone?
I just submitted this tea and I’m amazed it has thus far been overlooked on Steepster, considering how well represented Metropolitan’s offerings are here. I wish I were as expert as many here, so I could wax eloquent on the subtleties of this tea; I’m a relative novice, so this note will be pretty basic.
I am basically a drinker of black teas mostly, which I take with milk and sugar nearly all the time — a breakfast drinker, as it were. But hey, I live on the Manitoba prairie where the weather is so severe that, except during our pitifully brief summer, it’s like “breakfast” conditions all day. Take today: temps of -30C, NWly wind at 20-30 km/hr, high humidity so that cold really bites hard, and windchill so low you don’t want to think about it. Under these conditions, every mug of tea is like an emergency blood transfusion!
Of all the black teas I have drunk thus far, Metropolitan’s version of Scottish Breakfast blend is the winner, hands-down, no contest. It’s a beautiful tea with large, handsome leaves, none of your chintzy CTC stuff; these leaves are so nice I often just eat the few that find their way into my mug. The flavour of the brew is full and robust but not harsh; it’s a natural for milk and sugar. It stands up well to long steeping times; I’ve indicated five minutes, but I often steep it for seven, and I tend to be with the quantity of leaves.
I’d be lost without this tea. There are others I drink and enjoy, but every pot of Scottish Breakfast is a treat to be savoured. By comparison most others taste thin and uninteresting. This tea has a rich, full, friendly, comforting character that — at the moment, in my limited experience — seems unparalleled.