drank Austin Breakfast by Zhi Tea
694 tasting notes

This is the other tea that Joshua was kind enough to send me. It is a single estate black tea from the Venture Estate in the Dimbula district of Sri Lanka. Though I am still not huge on Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) black teas in general, I do tend to have a somewhat more favorable opinion of some Dimbula teas. I can honestly say that this one is solid.

I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 208 F water for 3 minutes. I also tried slightly longer infusion times (4 and 5 minutes), but the results were not really all that different from the 3 minute preparation. This review will specifically refer to that one.

After infusion, the liquor showed a dark, clear amber in the cup. I noted interesting, but not particularly distinct aromas of flowers, leather, caramel, herbs, must, and hay on the nose. There was also a very slight fruitiness. In the mouth, I detected notes of cream, malt, brown toast, leather, roasted nuts, herbs, must, hay, and flowers. This tea also displayed something of a leafy, almost grassy quality that is pretty much impossible for me to describe. I also thought I detected a hint of fruitiness in the mouth. It was very faint and quickly flitted across the palate, but I was reminded a bit of stewed apricot and mango. It may have just been me though.

All in all, I kind of like this tea. As mentioned above and in several of my other reviews, I do not tend to be a huge fan of black teas from Sri Lanka. There are exceptions, but in general, they do not consistently do it for me. This one is a little better than some others that I have tried. It is smooth, has just enough flavor to be interesting, and would serve its purpose as a breakfast or afternoon tea. I do wish it had just a little more body, but that is a common complaint I level against many black teas from Sri Lanka. Overall, I don’t see any serious issues with this tea. It’s a solid little breakfast tea that should appeal to fans of no frills black teas.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Cream, Fruity, Hay, Herbs, Leather, Malt, Musty, Roasted nuts

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

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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