Fairly certain this came as part of my Tea Table tea of the month club membership. It was still unopened until today. I’m working from home today so I have more leeway in tea selection and preparation method than usual. Still, I think this will be my last black tea of the day.

The tea has a strong, malty smell in the packet, like an Assam despite being a Ceylon. And despite the “fannings” designation, the leaves look attractive, though small. They look to me like extra long, extra thin rye seeds.

The liquor is a deep reddish brown. The aroma has more of the malty smell of the dry leaves smoothed out by steeping, and a fruitiness as well. The description says plum, and I definitely get that note. I might have said grape as well, as there’s something a little like wine about the aftertaste.

I don’t get the Assam-like maltiness in the flavor, and instead get the spicy fruitiness of a Ceylon. I get the plum note in the flavor as well, along with some astringency and an occasional back of the throat bite. It has a medium body and a fairly smooth mouth feel with some substance to it despite the astringency.

I think no. 2 will like this one as he likes the very solidly “tea” tasting unflavored blacks. My guess is this would make a good iced tea, too. Lots of flavor in this one. Pure Ceylons don’t usually rate astonishingly high with me as I prefer the China blacks in general, but this one is really nice for its type.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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