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This is definitely the tea I wanted this morning! Normally, I get up and have to ponder and sniff and deliberate before I find a tea that I am in the mood for. Today, my palate said “That one” without even having to start that process.

This tea is just so pleasant and chocolatey. It’s a little chilly in my house this morning (outside it’s in the 50s, which is a very nice surprise, considering where I live), and this beautiful black tea warms me from head to toe. I decided to have some bacon to go with it, which may have been a mistake, since it was peppered bacon and the pepper is kind of taking over my mouth right now… but it’ll pass, because bacon doesn’t last long in front of me. I decided to add some honey and cream to the tea(I know, it’s a Chinese tea, I just really like my black teas British style… sue me). It’s very malty and like drinking very high quality semi-dark chocolate… which is making me want to go to World Market and get some. Might have to make a stop there today sometime…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite (I get on tea kicks, which are various lengths of time in which I’ll drink one or two teas religiously, and then I’ll switch), but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3

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Louisiana, USA

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