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Got a sample of this from JacquelineM, like everyone else it seems :) This is a good breakfast blend: strong, dark (nice dark red color in the cup), takes milk well. There’s a bit of a chocolate-y aftertaste, and it’s fairly smooth relative to the strength, but I do like it better with a little milk. Without, there’s a bit of a harsh bite, though that could probably be avoided through steeping conditions. As is, this is just right for a kick in the morning, and I may be buying more when the sample’s gone.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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Boston, MA

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