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So, I’ve decided that I am familiar with my green teas, and I really like my dessert teas. But I don’t know very much about black teas – like at all. I mean, I know I like the flavor, but I don’t know much about specific regions and that just cannot stand.

So I placed an Upton order and am working through my black tea samples, cold brewed for right now because it’s STILL August (I mean, really? Where the heck are you November?) and therefore still too hot to think about hot tea.

After one day of brewing 3 tsp. leaf in 3 cups of water, this was the first tea I tried. I was surprised at how light the color of the steeped liquid was – but then I read that Darjeelings are technically oolongs because they don’t get fully oxidized and that lighter color made sense. Still, the aroma of the tea definitely smells like a black tea should – earthy and strong. Despite the fact that cold brews seem able to smooth out most teas, this one is still somewhat astringent – not unpleasantly so, but I’m sure that I’ll have to be careful not to oversteep when I finally do try it hot.

Also, I think I get the muscatel note – something in it does remind me of grapes toward the end of the sip, but it also seems kind of perfumey too. I am drinking this unsweetened and it is fabulous – I’ve gone through all three cups with dinner. I’m super glad to know this one works as a cold brew though – I think this will be something I bring along with me to class this semester…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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