91
drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
403 tasting notes

I saw a tin of this at Whole Foods this weekend and narrowly restrained myself from buying it – soon, precious, when I have less than 15 black tea samples to finish! (Note to self, don’t try to use the “less than” symbol – it will make half your note disappear!)

This is really delicious though (thanks Ricky!), and I will be buying some as soon as I can justify it. It has this sort of spicy background complexity that I think might be what people mean when they say Yunnan is “peppery.” This is just really interesting to drink, right down to the bottom of the mug. The flavor changes as the tea cools, and I am getting some malt this time.

A second steep at 6 minutes is noticeably weaker, but still good.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 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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