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Some of you should be familiar with this seller’s standard by now. He’s picky and his teas are purdy good.

Dry aroma of sweet dark chocolate and nutmeg. Pour some boiling water on it and, lo, a strikingly pungent aroma of delicious pho broth and re-hydrated mushrooms. Smells like it wants to be salty.

The taste is an excellent woody malt with backdrops of wilted rose petal and cumin. The deep florals take prominence and the tannins sit soundly on the tongue with weight and structure. Later steeps blend the differing aspects of malt, broth and flora together quite artfully.

I haven’t had anything less than great from this guy’s shop so don’t be frightened by the seemingly astronomical prices of some of his teas. Even if you just get the sample sizes they are worth trying. There is an element of tea snobbery involved (that I’m sure he would admit to if confronted) but that’s only because of the time and effort put in to the careful selection of his stash. Look past the pomp and packaging and you will find superb tea. That is all.

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