117 Tasting Notes


We enjoyed this Assam enough to purchase at least 4 lbs of it. Probably Frontier’s best black tea.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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There are better choices for Earl Grey. Neither my wife or I were impressed.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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An excellent black breakfast tea – full-bodied & smooth. I look forward to waking up! Accurately described by The Whistling Kettle. I ordered samples of 6 black teas from TWK: Kambaa, KP#1, Kenya Black Natural, Irish Breakfast, Mokalbari East Assam, & Scottish Breakfast. The KP#1 was clearly the most enjoyable tea of this group.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Fuller-bodied than many green teas. A 3-min infusion was smooth w/o bitterness. 4 minutes worked well for 2nd infusion. I enjoy multiple cups of this tea after waking up to Keemun Panda #1.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Rishi Tea
117 tasting notes

An EG that’s less astringent than The Whistling Kettle EG Cream. However, over time the price has increased from $20/lb. to $38/lb.

3/22/13 Update: Rishi EG is now $47./lb. There is a 5% discount for 2 or more lbs. Also, note that this tea no longer displays the “Winner Best Tea Earl Grey” award logo.

6/1/13 Update:
Many years ago when Twinings produced awesome EG, we used to use 1 rounded teaspoon/cup. We brew it a minute longer than unflavored black teas as it is not as full-bodied. In recent years, we also used these same brewing parameters for Rishi EG.

After joining Steepster, we see that many members generally recommend using more tea leaf and shorter infusions to minimize the odds of bitterness & astringency.

About a month ago, I purchased a box of Rishi loose EG tea and was very surprised to see the current recommended instructions were:
1 Tablespoon / 8-oz cup / 212*F / 4 min.

After tasting it, my wife agreed that much tea leaf was indeed needed. Consequently, that small box did not last too long. This is certainly one way to increase the sales of Rishi EG tea.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The aroma and creamy taste are wonderful. My wife truly enjoys it. However, I can’t get past the astringency. I don’t find it as smooth as the Rishi EG. It’s a Ceylon based EG.

Flavors: Cream

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
117 tasting notes

“China Breakfast is a pure Dian Hong style black tea harvested from Yunnan’s antique tea trees”
This tea used to be my favorite everyday breakfast tea. It’s both full-bodied & smooth. Not a hint of bitterness. However, years ago our first bulk order was $20/lb. Today, the same order would cost $30/lb. – a 50% increase.

3/22/13 Update: This tea now costs $42./lb. There is a 5% discount for 2 or more lbs. http://www.rishi-tea.com/product/gram-tin-china-breakfast-organic-fair-trade-black-tea/chinese-black-tea

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Is your primary criteria for buying tea quality,taste or price? We all like value but still,I’d never drink crappy tea just because it costs a few dollars less than a spectacular tea. I couldn’t help noticing how important price was to you.


Hello Bonnie, Like most tea drinkers, we want excellent tasting tea. We drink many cups/day and purchase tea by the lb. Unfortunately, Laoshan Black at $99/lb is not in the budget. As budget conscious consumers, we look for good deals & sales on recommended teas. I’m also exploring Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) as a good option for us.


Bonnie, SimplyJenW and I think alike. Please see her recent review of Golden Monkey Black Tea by Teavivre: http://steepster.com/SimplyJenW/posts/155340#comments

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I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our recent orders have been from: Tao Tea Leaf, Whispering Pines, Yezi, TeaVivre, What-Cha, Mandala, Zen Tea Life, and Verdant. Kudos to: Tao, Brenden, Boris, Angel Chen, Alistair Rea, Garret Sorensen, Kenneth Son, & David Duckler who have all been extremely helpful.

My cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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