I tried the blending trick with the China Black again this afternoon, and the results were again delicious. The steep time is a little tricky, since the China Black is supposed to steep for 3 minutes and the Mao Feng can soak for up to 8. I settled somewhere around 5 minutes. I used a bit more of the Mao Feng this time; perhaps I am (very) slowly building up a tolerance for smokiness!

I was struck this time by the mouthwatering aroma of the dry leaves. I stuck my nose into the bag and inhaled deeply, and felt compelled to do it again and again. The scent reminds me of chocolate licorice (those brown Twizzlers that are sold in the disappointingly smaller bag than the other flavors).

I think I am going to make up a little bag of my special blend and take it to work with me so I can enjoy it any afternoon I choose.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I am a nearly lifelong tea drinker, a habit to which I ascribe much of my good health and good humor. I enjoy all types of tea but find special comfort in strong black teas lightened with a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

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