I was so intrigued by this tea that I almost bought it instead of Marco Polo at Gumps. I ended up buying both.I have this thing for breakfast teas, I don’t know quite why, but I wanted to try this blend labeled “French Breakfast”.
So I crack the tin open, and take a whiff: definitely some Darjeeling was mixed, that or Nepalese. The quality was good, black leaves, with contrast, and scattered dark greyish greens. Because of the fact that it had some Darjeeling/Nepalese in it, I cut fifteen seconds off my brew to cushion. (I dislike brewing with seconds). I did this in my 24 ounce white teapot. It gave me a nice amber rose cup, with the taste familiarity of muscatel and the mix of earth and grass, nutty; the definite characteristics of a Darjeeling/Nepalese. I wouldn’t say it’s completely full bodied, but it’s take was smooth, and it’s finish was astringent. Elegant throughout.
The second cup I added light agave nectar which eliminated the sharp finish. The third cup I added agave nectar and 2% fat milk (I really wish I had WHOLE milk on hand). I think the body is lost, and my sweetener took over, something that happens if you ever try having additives to Darjeeling/Nepalese teas. Because of that this tea is not as versatile as some other breakfast blends.
I wasn’t disappointed with this tea. I’d recommend it to black tea skeptics, this or FF Puttabong Darjeeling. This tea was very enjoyable, and I was glad I purchased it from Gumps. There sure are better blacks out there than this though, and because it’s price for questionable quality leaves, its lack in versatility, and it’s production, Zhi Tea’s Classic English Breakfast still reigns supreme for my morning cup.