A stalwart aroma greets me upon opening the packet – deep and toasty, and umpteen times more interesting than a regular old English Breakfast. The dry leaf is small and dark, and after three and a half minutes I’ve got a little pot of clear dark brown tea. Now I’ve got some fruity and sweet notes in the aroma, and my mouth is starting to water!

This tea isn’t shy – it’s got lots of strong flavor, and I keep thinking it tastes like Lipton (in a good way) on steroids. Now this is what EB is supposed to taste like. There is pepper, and fruit, and wood, not too much but just enough astringency – nice job! Buzz buzz buzz…pretty good caffeine content in it too, I’d guess.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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