I’m really happy that I’ve tested this tea; it is going to be a full-size order. It’s a great “gateway” tea for those who are contemplating trying a smoky tea. It does not have the taste of a bonfire, a forest fire, or even a Barbie Que, but it does have a touch of smoke. This smoke is presented with a natural sweetness and a definite buttery cocoa taste.

Upton called for a 4-5 minute brew and I had wandered off and allowed it to oversteep by about two minutes. The tea was graciously forgiving and does not taste at all rancid, bitter, overcooked, or unpleasant. What a sweetheart!

In case you wonder about why I’ve been giving so many high marks, it’s because I am only drinking tea that I am pre-disposed to like. I’m also drinking higher up on the financial chain, which probably makes me both more eager to like the tea but also makes the tea worthy of a higher price point.

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An indestructable smoky tea, wow!:)

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An indestructable smoky tea, wow!:)

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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