With the impending demise of Teavana, I have been watching the stores for sales. Yesterday, I found this product at 50% off and figured it was worth a try.

The short black unbrewed leaves had a spicy smell to them. I’ve never encountered this aroma with an English Breakfast tea before.

I steeped the leaves at 205 degrees as instructed but added an extra minute to the recommended time for a total of four minutes. Three minutes didn’t seem long enough to inject the caffeine level that I need this morning.

The finished result was a bright orange-gold in color. The brewed aroma was on the sweet side, like honey.

The first few sips contained a strong sour attribute. Could this have been due to the extra minute of brewing? It reminded me of sourdough bread. Behind that taste was a little honey, malt, and a slight reminder that I was drinking black tea. As I got further down into my cup, the sourness was not as prevalent and the malt and honey accompaniments took over. The aftertaste had a slightly astringent quality but not upsetting.

At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the tea but my palate did seem to quickly adjust to the unusual qualities of this English Breakfast. By the time I finished my first cup, I knew I could easily drink the whole pot. Next time I will follow the instructions and try steeping for just the recommended three minutes.

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Sour, Tea

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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I ventured into the world of serious tea drinking in the Summer of 2011. I started out slowly and gently with bagged tea but climbed to the incredible flavorful heights of loose leaf teas in October of that year. Once you go leaf, you never go bag (except when you get free samples)!


South Carolina, USA

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