The English Tea Shop teas I’ve seen and tried are generally part of a gifty-pack thing, the kind you find at TJ Maxx around Christmas time; teas that are generally enjoyable, but maybe slightly less in character than hardcore tea-ophiles like us prefer.

But I’m a sucker for a pretty package, and a dear friend set me up with a 12-pack of fun little cardboard pyramids containing various flavors of English Tea Shop offerings. (I’m keeping the pyramids. There’s got to be a game in there to play with my fifth graders.)

Of the ones I’ve sampled so far this is my favorite. It’s just a standard Ceylon that’s not bitter, not acidic, just right in the middly comfort zone. Took work microwave water abuse well. Prepared a little more carefully, I think it would be a nice afternooner with a little milk.

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Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.


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