English Tea Store

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

Custom advent calendar day one! My good friend Sara brought me my first ever advent calendar of any kind, and it’s a tea a day! The teas aren’t numbered. It’s luck-of-the-draw. So I grabbed a tea for today! They have been pre-measured for steeping with 12 ounces, and she gave me a lovely Pusheen mug to drink them from. Also, it looks like I have two samples of each tea! Oh, the bag was 2.5 grams. I’ve only just noticed that Steepster doesn’t use decimals there.

Still, it’s a very limited amount; there are a lot of teas; and my memory isn’t that great. I’d better do a tasting note for each of these!

The smells of the leaf and the brewed cup are primarily black tea and fruity. I had to set it aside for a few minutes after brewing so I don’t burn my tongue. I’m sensitive like that.

The taste is a nice one-two punch of black tea and fruitiness. Possibly strawberry. The black tea and fruity flavors are together in a proper harmony as I sit in a gazebo surrounded by a flower garden, while cats and children run around and play and somehow don’t trample the flowers. At least, that’s how it tastes to me. That reminds me, there is a bit of a floral note too. The pleasant flavor lingers on my tongue for several minutes after drinking it. Thanks, Sara!

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Strawberry, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Oh, I sipped that one down within the last month.

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26

A Berry Frui-tea July! This is one of the earliest teas I ever got when I first got into loose leaf teas, and I think it was the first white tea I ever tried. I purchased it from a tea shop in Campbell, California, called Steepers, but have since figured out that they wholesaled the blend from English Tea Store, along with several of their other blends (and I got very ripped off from the mark-up! Ah well, I was new to tea and honestly didn’t know better…)

I had told the owner I liked flavored blends, so she recommended this one. English Tea Store describes it as “reminiscent of premium 2nd flush Darjeelings with a light fruit finish.” I’ll admit I have tasted hardly any darjeelings, and certainly not enough to even know a second flush from a first flush, but this tea almost nearly turned me off from ever trying any other white teas or darjeelings back in those early days, I disliked it so much, hahaha! It just tasted so vegetal, but with this strong, very artificial apricot/peach flavor over the top, and the two contrasting flavors of this particular vegetal note that at the time I couldn’t even describe with this overwhelming strong artificial fruit flavor (and I’m not really a fan of strong artificial flavoring to begin with) just didn’t mix for me. I shoved it in the back of a cupboard and didn’t touch it for a long time.

Not long ago I tried it again, as my palate has developed a lot with a lot more tea drinking (especially of other white teas, which I’ve found quite tasty). I still wasn’t really a fan of this tea, but didn’t find it as horribly off-putting as I once had (I could at least finish the cup). That vegetal flavor was definitely the taste of autumn leaves, and I still didn’t really find that slightly astringent earthy leaf flavor mixed with stone fruits very pleasant. It was much more drinkable iced, but still not my favorite. It really reminded me of TeaSource’s Machu Peach-u, which I also didn’t really find to be my cup of tea, but between the two, I at least found TeaSource’s Machu Peach-u to have a much more natural-tasting peach flavor. I was able to sip-down Machu Peach-u in a few quarts of iced tea to clear it out of my house (even though I didn’t really like that autumn leaf taste) while the bag of this tea I had to gift to my mom (I knew that her and my stepdad enjoyed Machu Peach-u and figured it was a close enough taste match they’d probably get some use out of it).

I wonder what is causing the white tea in this blend and Machu Peach-u to have that autumn leaf taste when no other white tea I’ve tried has that flavor? I do notice neither of these specify the kind of white tea used (it seems most of the fruity whites I enjoy tend to specify they use Bai Mu Dan, so I know I enjoy that tea, and I really don’t think either of these could be using that as a base). Could it be Shou Mei? If anyone schooled in the art of whites knows, enlighten me!

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Peach, Stonefruits, Vegetal, Wet Earth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

A Berry Frui-tea July! This is a blend I originally sampled over a year ago from Tea Chai Te, but when I needed to replenish my stock, I opted to get a cheap 4 oz. bag from English Tea Store.

The black tea is infused with lemon balm, dried strawberries, and lemon and strawberry flavoring to give it this lovely fruity/citrus flavor. The leaf has a really nice fragrance that reminds me of lemon sorbet with a bit of a sweet berry topping. Typically this blend uses a Ceylon base (and I’m fairly certain the original Tea Chai Te version I had used Ceylon leaf), but it appears that English Tea Store is using an Assam/Ceylon blend for its base.

The base is medium-bodied with a malty flavor that has lots of citrus notes, like taking a cuppa black tea with a wedge of lemon. The strawberry notes are a bit more subtle, but there is a sweeter hint of berry at the back of the tongue right at the finish. The strawberry seems to add just a touch of natural sweetness more than anything, so the citrus feels more rounded rather than tart. This is a very smooth tea as long as you don’t overleaf and mind your steep time, without bitterness, very subtle astringency, and complimented nicely by its flavor rather than feeling overpowered by it. It’s one of my favorites warm or iced. The citrus flavor works in its favor as a steaming cup with a dash of honey, or chilled over a glass of ice. I also have a quart mixed up Arnold Palmer style with some lemonade to try tomorrow… I can’t imagine that could go wrong!

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Malt, Smooth, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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49

June Wedding! Something blue! And this tea actually is blue, since it is a green tea blended with butterfly pea flowers! (Which reminds me, I should get around to reviewing just my plain butterfly pea flowers… ah well, next round!)

This is an… interesting tea. It does have a very vegetal/herbacious sort of taste from the green tea base mixed with the butterfly pea flower. I remember the first time I ever had butterfly pea flower tea (plain) I wasn’t keen on their flavor, but since then my palate has adapted more to the sort of earthy, herbaceous taste they give off, and having tried a crysanthemum tea not long ago, I found the taste very similar to that flower. It actually blends pretty well with the natural grassiness of green tea. What makes this particular tea flavor so interesting is that the blend seems to be trying to mask it somewhat with flavoring, so it has this soft, sweet vanilla flavor in the background. As for the hawthorn in the blend, I would never have guessed; nothing about the tea comes off as fruity.

I like it more than I thought I would, especially as I continued to sip on my big water bottle of the iced brew, but definitely not enough that I would ever want to restock this. The flavors aren’t bad, but don’t really mesh together in a cohesive way… like, the vanilla seems a strange addition, and something fruity might’ve made more sense? It was an enjoyable sample, but I’ll be happy enough to sip this down.

Flavors: Cream, Grass, Herbaceous, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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42

June Wedding! Time for something blue! This is a gunpowder green tea with blueberry flavoring and pretty blue cornflower petals.

The leaf has that somewhat smoky aroma typical of gunpowder greens, but there is a noticable sweet blueberry scent as well. I know I’ve tried this warm in the past, but it has been a bit sweltering here this weekend, so I let this cold brew overnight into a nice quart of iced tea. The tea has a very bright yellow color, and the aroma hasn’t changed much from the dry leaf.

The flavor, however, is a little offputting to me… it’s mainly the gunpowder base that doesn’t work for me. I like that the fruity flavor of the blueberry isn’t incredibly overbearing or overwhelming, as I get in many fruit-flavored green teas, because I like being able to taste my green tea base underneath the fruit, the problem here is I just dont like the flavor of the green tea base that is coming through; that smoky flavor note just doesn’t mix with sweet blueberries. They are very colliding flavors and don’t blend at all. The gunpowder taste comes off really biting and doesn’t mix with the sweet berry… and I’m just not really a fan of that tobacco smoke taste. If the base had been bancha or sencha, I think this would be totally fine. This will probably be a very hard tea for me to finish off…

Flavors: Biting, Blueberry, Smoke, Tobacco, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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70

Green March! I purchased this tea blend from Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe in San Diego, California, when I was there on a vacation last fall. It was their “featured flavor” the month that my friend and I visited for our high tea, so we were offered a cup of it while we were waiting for our teatime goodies to be served. I’ll be honest, this is totally not the kind of tea I’d be interested in off the name (I’m not a fan of raw cucumbers, though admittedly I don’t mind them cooked in things or flavoring water, and I also don’t care to eat raw watermelon based on texture, though I don’t have problems with the flavor of watermelon, though find most artificial watermelon flavorings, like that used in candies, pretty sketchy) but if someone is offering me free tea, unless it has a migraine trigger or bananas in it, I’m going to take that cup. And I was surprised how much I liked it! So I picked up a bag of it from the shop after the tea before we left.

This shop does have a few custom blends, but most of their teas are sourced, with this one being no exception. Since Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe is a UK products novelty store as well as offering high tea services, I’m fairly certain they are using English Tea Store as the wholesaler for the majority of their blends. The ingredients and the look of the leaf is identical, and I can’t find this blend offered by other popular wholesalers like ITI and Metropolitan, so I’m pretty sure I’ve located their source.

I remember enjoying this tea as an appetizer during my high tea, but I find I don’t enjoy it quite so much as a warm cuppa now. It comes across with a very strong flavor that I find is just a bit too strong for me when I’m drinking a warm cup of green tea; I prefer more subtle fruity touches with a strong base of sweet, warm grassy notes when I’m drinking my green tea warm, and find that most flavored green teas are too overwhelming with their flavors, completely overpowering the tea base, and the heavy warm fruit flavors often just feel off to me somehow. This was no exception, and the flavor just felt strange and off-putting as a hot brew.

Iced, however, I really enjoy the flavor of this tea! This may be one of my favorite iced teas. There is definitely a certain refreshing touch of cucumber here, like quenching cucumber water, like I really enjoy. The watermelon flavoring doesn’t really taste like watermelon to me; rather, it is more like the Japanese “melon” flavor, something that comes across a bit like a cross between cantalope and honeydew. It’s very naturally sweet, and doesn’t require any sweetener; just chill and drink! (Though, I imagine adding some fresh sliced cucumber would probably make a lovely addition to an iced pitcher of this!)

This is one that I’d just forego warm and go straight to the iced tea pitcher.

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Honeydew, Melon, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML
Lexie Aleah

Sounds really refreshing.

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91

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91

Malty yet bright, this is definitely a crowd pleaser (in a good way) and a great way to start the day. As with most breakfast teas, I take it with a little sugar and a little milk. At least at the low end of the steeping time recommendation (4 minutes), this is well within the range of astringency for a breakfast tea.

Flavors: Malt, Mocha

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70

I picked up a small sampler of this tea from Steepers in Campbell, California. After a bit of hunting, I’ve discovered that the blend is identical to that of English Tea Store, which I highly suspect is probably the wholesale source of the tea for the shop.

This tea had a nice green tea flavor with a fruitiness that rounds out any astringency and gives it just a bit of natural sweetness, with a hint of a tart apple aftertaste. It has a nice apple flavor, but it isn’t too strong; there is a nice fruitiness without it being overwhelming. The description text from the website is just a bit misleading, however; the tea flavor is described as “hints of sweet caramel and apple pieces adds to the lightly astringent green tea,” but the tea did not have a caramelly flavor or taste. I’d describe it a bit like a dash of apple juice mixed with green tea, though if the apple flavor were just a touch more subtle and the blend not quite as sweet as your typical juice.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/tea10/

Flavors: Apple, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95

The cherry flavor is very strong, as several others have noticed. The rose scent and flavor lingers in the steeped aroma and the aftertaste. The cherry makes it sweet even without sugar or honey, though I do add a bit of honey especially when it’s chilly out for the extra throat protection. Low astringency too.

Flavors: Cherry, Green, Rose

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

This is my go-to tea, I drink it all the time and had to start buying big bags. It’s delicious, soothing, like wrapping up in a cozy blanket on a chilly night. Strong vanilla flavor with a hint of grenadine in taste and scent, and sometimes I add a spoon of honey. The health perks of the calendula are a nice bonus.

Flavors: Grenadine, Vanilla

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

I’m drinking this before work today while the rain comes and goes. I haven’t been feeling well lately, so I’ve been mostly drinking various ripe puerh teas; however, I was in the mood to try something a little different this morning.

I must say that this isn’t the best tea, but it is definitely a treat to be had from the usual tea. I rarely drink flavored teas anymore, but there are moments where that’s all I need/want.

Notes: Slightly bitter, mildly fruity/floral on its own. You can slightly taste the grenadine. I added 1/2 tsp of raw sugar to the cup to hopefully cut a little bit of the bitterness from the tea; which worked well, I think. There are rare occasions that I’ll add a bit of sugar to the tea, but this is one of those teas that does much better with some…..

Flavors: Floral, Grenadine

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32
drank Monk's Blend by English Tea Store
370 tasting notes

Sipdown 82/393

I received this in a swap from KittyLovesTea.

I’ve had this tea several times from different companies, and I’m fairly sure it’s all from the same supplier. I even bought a big bag of it from a local tea shop when I lived back in Huddersfield, but I ended up giving it away to a friend because I just wasn’t a fan. I know a lot of people really like this, including my friend who I gave the bag to, but it just doesn’t play into my personal preferences. The black tea base is astringent enough that I have to add milk, which doesn’t seem to go with the fruitiness, but can’t be helped. Speaking of fruitiness, I wouldn’t be able to pick out pomegranate specifically, and it does have more of a generic fruitiness which reminds me of fruit punch. The vanilla here is the main reason I’m not a fan of this tea, though – it’s a pretty strong note which overpowers the fruit element and turns it into a hard boiled sweets sort of taste, which even for me became too sweet almost immediately. Fans of vanilla would probably really like this, but since I’m decidedly against vanilla in large quantities it just wasn’t for me.

Something else I’ll add: my first cup wasn’t actually too bad, but the more I drank it the more I wanted to never drink it again. Maybe it’s just because I had such a large quantity, but this is a tea I got sick of quickly.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Another sipdown (and we are back to tealogging in real time, sorry for the flood of reviews), and I think unfortunately this has succumbed to age. I’m getting that kind of woody rooibos funk but not a whole lot of strawberry. Disappointing.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

My husband wanted a bag of Scottish Caramel Toffee puerh, so I decided to add a bag of this sencha to the order. I’m not a big fan of English Tea store teas. They are a good price, but it’s a “get what you pay for” kind of deal. I’ve gotten too spoiled with my tea options the past few years, so cheap tea is rarely my first choice. But, we are on a tight budget atm, I was placing the order anyway, and I was fresh out of green tea. So, I figured, what the heck?

It’s drinkable. I’ll definitely finish the bag. But it won’t be a repurchase. The flavor is oddly metallic. Theres a grassiness hiding in there, but the metallic flavor dominates.

Flavors: Metallic

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90

This was a nice, inexpensive and basic Kenyan black tea. It becomes very bitter quite quickly, so keep the steep time down.

Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Round , Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Monk’s Blend is a smooth and light tea. It has a nice caramel and vanilla quality to it; yet, there is the slight earthiness that comes with black tea.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

The tea leaves are very uniform and do not break apart making the leaf easy to separate from the water. The taste is… like black tea lol. It is rich with flowery notes. The most interesting aspect is the dark colour of the leaves after brewing.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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63
drank Chocolate by English Tea Store
370 tasting notes

From the EUTTB

After the complexity of the last tea I was kinda exhausted and a little tea drunk, so I’m having this one as it’s a fairly straightforward tea I don’t have to think too much about. I wasn’t expecting much, as I’m usually not the biggest fan of chocolate flavouring in teas, but this one I could tell from the scent was going to be better, and I’m pleased to report that it is! It’s still not the most chocolatey thing I’ve ever tasted, but it’s a whole lot better than the majority of chocolate teas. It actually smells like chocolate, which surprised me, but once brewing the Ceylon takes over. It doesn’t smell overly strong, and I was surprised by how bitter it went after only 3 minutes of brewing. Not my favourite black tea base, but once I added a splash of milk and just over half a teaspoon of vanilla sugar the bitterness was no longer detectable. Just what I wanted, really – something I can happily drink without having to think much about it.

Preparation
2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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I bought a pack of three of these guys and sent two off without trying the one I kept first. Well, I tried it tonight and now I know that I was probably wrong to send them off. First of all, I am unable to find this one on the store site but Amazon sells it (super overpriced at $19 for three pieces at .05oz)

As I tried to take my third sip this is what I decided: This is not an oolong tea and with the temperatures that I brewed it at this ‘oolong’ tea is semi burnt which gives a funky taste. The water I used was 180f which is not an issue for even the greenest oolongs I’ve had, but for the green tea that is used on this tea it wasn’t the prescribed bating conditions.

This led me to a fun discovery via Googl’ing stuff to find this: http://www.tealaden.com/department/tea-drops-flowering-teas-350.cfm
They have an oolong one… I may have to try theirs.
Then I watched this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1vgITST_xE
Let me ask this question: If anyone referenced tampon at any point of any tea process would it be really awkward for you?

Roswell Strange

No, because menstruation (and lets face it – it’s not the tampon that makes people uncomfortable, it’s what it’s used for) is a biological thing that’s unavoidable and people who menstruate should feel safe and comfortable talking about instead of feeling the urge to keep it ‘secret’ because menstraution is viewed as shameful or is sexualized. Then again, I’m maybe a little more liberal minded than the average person – and not everyone shares the same ideologies I do.

Liquid Proust

Roswell Strange I have the same thoughts. During college a friend and I were talking about how much our culture has this emphasis that the breast on a women are sexual and therefore they are to be hidden… lots of thoughts and what not, but it comes down to men being ridiculous.
But, word for word this is what the video says: “Defiantly not like how they show it on TV, they make it seem like it happens instantly. Like open like a tampon.”
Maybe it’s just me… and sorry for these images, but when someone is brewing a tea and talking about it absorbing water and opening up the last thing I want it to be compared to is a tampon. It’s two people having fun and I liked the video; in other words, I thought about it too much.

Roswell Strange

Don’t even get me started LP…

The way some people are offended by breasts is ridiculous because they serve a PRACTICAL BIOLOGICAL PURPOSE. I hate when people get offended by people breastfeeding in public because “boobies are sex objects”. Excuse you? And then people have the nerve to say stuff like “Well, if you can show your boobs in public can I pull my dick out in public!?”. Are you going to feed it to your baby? I certainly hope not. They’re not comparable – the real comparison would be flashing clitoris in public as the clitoris has no purpose except for arousal. And I don’t see anyone advocating for the right to show clit in public…

I’m gonna stop there though, ‘cause I’m sure this isn’t the conversation Dr Jim had in mind when he replied. I’ll just keep my ‘radical’ opinions to myself :P

But point is – I’m not uncomfortable with people comparing tea to tampons. Especially when tea paraphernalia like this exists:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Handmade-art-Yixing-purple-clay-decoration-tea-pet-zisha-vivid-dildo-Penis-gift-/281530584316

Liquid Proust

I did get you started and I wanted to. My persoective is thin and it won’t enlarge unless I have an open conversation with others about things I am not constantly talking or thinking about. There is beauty in how everyone thinks differently and in this case there is a tragic issue that comes about as we dicuss the crude remarks and thoughts on women vs men on what is acceptable and what is not. These conversations should occur with passion and not hatred. I am curious to know if you think the western mind and the eastern mind differ widely on sexual remarks and thoughts. P.s. tea can bring about many conversations

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60
drank Chocolate by English Tea Store
2193 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’m a bit of a sucker for a chocolate tea, so I was pleased to see this one in the box. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, it’s pretty good. There’s chocolate, all right, although it’s a little on the artificial side. The base is a little overpowering, I’d say. I can taste more ceylon, with its classic citrussy notes, than I can flavouring. It’s like a chocolate biscuit dipped in tea. The more I sip, the more I’m reminded of Adagio’s Chocolate Chip, which also has a ceylon base and a slightly artificial chocolate flavour. It’s nice, but not the best chocolate tea I’ve ever tasted.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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I’m on the fence with this one. I bought several teas from The English Tea Store and this one by far is the best of them. There is something in this tea I can’t quite put my finger on – then I read the reviews here about it having a floral taste. Ah, that’s it. I am not a fan of floral teas. This one is subtle with the floral and I still find it drinkable. I will finish my supply out but it will not be a re-order for me.

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61

This is a hardy green tea, consistent and forgiving; a good beginning green tea for brewing gong-fu style. The pellets stay fresh for rather a long time, and the flavor is strong. If you’re looking for a light green tea, this is not it. This is a rigid flavor, grassy at first, then becoming nutty and sweet. Perfect for sipping in the rain, with the smell of wet grass. Astringency patiently increases with each steeping. The oak-woody undertone is pleasant, and there is a relaxing hint of cannabis.

Overall, a very affordable, really cheap green tea that doesn’t offer much but a strong, enjoyable brew. Nothing special, but just what to expect. It is very important not to use water that is too hot, despite it’s hardiness, and steep shorter as with other greens.

Flavors: Cannabis, Grass, Nutty, Oak wood

Preparation
1 tsp 3 OZ / 75 ML

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88

This is a lovely Earl Grey! Very aromatic and the caramel adds just enough sweetness to make this tea a wonderful after dinner tea. One of my personal favorites and a tea that is consistently in my rotation.

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Floral, Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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