I’ve not had a good night’s sleep in almost a week. Each night I wake at 3 am and obsess about stressful matters at work and then don’t get back to sleep until 5:30 am. Since I must rise for the day at 6 am, this is completely inadequate. As a result of this lack of sleep my husband told me this morning that I look like a particularly ill raccoon.

I pulled this tea from my collection of samples because it looks like it can work caffeinated magic on my sleepy soul before a critical vendor contract meeting this morning. Straight from the envelope it smells strong and bracing. The malt rises to my nose and slaps me around a bit as if to say, “Wake up, Sleepyhead!” Once in water the flowery fragrances of Darjeeling mingle with a musky tea aroma. It smells appealing.

It brews up into a dark burgundy liquor with a nice no-nonsense sharp malty flavor with very little bitter and no astringency. I can feel it filling my veins with liquid power enabling me to negotiate well.

It is not a Dawn substitute since I wouldn’t want it strong musky malt every morning, but it’s great for mornings like today when things must get done and I lack the strength pre-tea to do them. This is truly a sturdy cup of tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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I’m a suddenly enthusiastic tea aficionado. I had no idea how varied and delicious teas could be. Also I’m a dairy-free vegetarian, so if you see me say “cream” or “milk” it means soy milk or soy cream.



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