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63

I loved this tea. I bought this tea the first time because it won first place at the North American Tea Championships Fall 2010. I had been pretty disappointed with TG’s English Breakfast Blend that had won 3rd place and I figured that there must be something better. This is just Assam and Ceylon-both teas that are self-drinking (unlike a couple of the teas in the TG blend).

The first cup was a revelation. Strong, yes, but not bitter. Bold. Malty. Simple yet very flavorful. Didn’t need milk and sugar to get through the cup like I did with TG’s. In fact, never even tried it with milk or sugar. It was just get it and go. Perfect way to start my day. However, if I only had one tea in the house I could have drank it all day long. If I had been a Steepster member back then I would have given it a rating in the 90’s.

So, when I needed a new boiling water tea (most of my teas brew at 195 or so), I did not hesitate even though it did not win an award in the 2011 Fall NATC.

Liquor is deep copper. Leaves are dark brown/black, short, somewhat needle-like with just a few golden tips/buds mixed in.

This batch has been so…disappointing. It’s not weak, but it’s not nearly so strong and bold. The flavor is just kinda… subdued. Not so malty. Not so anything it was last time. This is not a good thing for a breakfast blend. The first thing I did was to look at the best-consumed by date. I was suspecting they sold me the same batch that I had purchased last year. But no, it was January 2014 as opposed to March 2013 with different production numbers so that wasn’t it. I tried “refreshing” the leaves for 3 seconds in boiling water-to no measurable effect on the flavor.

I understand that variations in climate, precipitation, temperature, etc. can all effect the taste of tea leaves from crop to crop. That is to be expected if tea comes from a single garden. However, I expect a big outfit like RoT isn’t buying from just one Assam garden and one Ceylon garden. I would think they would buy from multiple gardens to try to prevent too much variance in their teas. I suppose climate variations could effect the whole regions too. I don’t know.

I wonder if they are using cheaper and lower quality teas for this blend now and saving the better stuff for their more upscale offshoot, Rare Tea Republic

Well, I’ll drink one cup first thing for now-because I don’t have any other boiling water teas, but I am looking to get some other breakfast-type boiling water teas, so I may or may not finish this.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

wow, I did not even know the two companies were related!

Scott B

Yes, they even ship from the same warehouse as far as I can tell.

Azzrian

I always wondered this considering the names are close.

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Comments

TeaBrat

wow, I did not even know the two companies were related!

Scott B

Yes, they even ship from the same warehouse as far as I can tell.

Azzrian

I always wondered this considering the names are close.

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Bio

Started drinking tea for health benefits maybe 5 years ago-exclusively bagged tea. Usually went for various Celestial Seasonings type of stuff. I bought a tea infuser at a gourmet shop once and then I realized there was almost no loose tea available. Eventually tiring of bags, I started ordering loose tea online and I have never gone back. Initially, I was exploring all the wild and exotic flavor combinations, but now I mostly drink straight teas. I still enjoy blended teas-but prefer those without “flavoring”. Hope to learn here and find some new teas I might not otherwise find. Am a vegan, so “milk” generally means “soymilk” to me. If it’s almond, rice, or coconut, I will mention that fact.

I am new here, and new to reviewing tea. Many of my initial reviews will be from memory and may not be very detailed at all. I hope to write more informative reviews on current and future teas.

I won’t let external factors affect my rating of the tea-such as slow shipping, too expensive, etc. I’ll mention any customer service problems in my reviews. I also won’t let my mistakes in not following the seller’s recommended parameters affect a rating. I can’t believe people who say “I forgot about it and oversteeped it” and then give it a rating. If I brew outside the parameters, I will wait until I brew it right before I give it a rating.

TEMPORARY RATING SYSTEM- Don’t hold me to these numbers and descriptions-like George Bluth, I like to tweak.

90+ It’s awesome, right?? I’ll probably try to keep it on hand.

80-89 – I really like this and will buy it again at some point, but there are so many teas to try!

70-79 – This is a pretty good tea and I may buy it again based on my mood, what tea store I am buying from, and what kind of deal I can get.

60-69 – This is okay. I finished the bag. I would drink it again if offered, but would not buy it again.

40-59 – IF I finished the bag, I recall this tea thinking “Why in the hell did I finish the bag?”

1-39 – Did not finish the bag. Maybe not even the cup. Tea was given away or discarded.

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Usa

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