89
drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
829 tasting notes

3 tsp. leaf, 16 oz. water, steeped at below parameters in my Breville.

I’m sort of glad that caffeine (with the exception of mate blends) doesn’t affect me too much – it means I can pretty much indulge in black teas whenever. Which is good, because this is a black tea I would not really want to have except as an afternoon snack/after dinner tea.

Tonight the smell of this one brewed was amazing – almond and cinnamon and fresh baked cookies. I oversweetened the cup on accident (even when melted, rock sugar sinks to the bottom and you have stir it – won’t forget that lesson for a while) so it really tasted like a sugar cookie, too.

I do have to note that I’m detracting a few points from my overall rating though, and that has to do with the black tea base. It is just super astringent when hot, and I think the only reason I lost the bitterness at all the second go around was because of the overwhelming sweet flavor. I will go down another 30 seconds on the steep time when I do make this again, because I really don’t like that aftertaste on my tongue – it’s such a shame to have that ruin the nutty cinnamon taste that I get at the beginning of the sip. Hopefully reducing the steep time will take care of it for good!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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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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