drank Assam Breakfast by Zhi Tea
87 tasting notes

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“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Ewart Gladstone

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

I am definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy with a general preference for Indian tea.
I must admit, however, to having a great fondness for Keemun tea – my absolute favorite non Indian tea by far!

Darjeeling is the apotheosis of tea!
Darjeeling tea is at the very top of my favorite tea list. It’s the tea that first inspired me to delve deeper into the wide, wonderful world of tea – My first love, so to speak. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics but lean more towards second and autumn flush teas. Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold autumn flush that I purchased from What-Cha is the most enjoyable Darjeeling I’ve had so far – An amazingly delicious tea! Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a special place in my heart.
I will always love Darjeeling above all other teas – Of that I am absolutely sure!

Teas that I especially enjoy:

Black Tea -

Darjeeling Tea – All Flushes!
Keemun Imperial Mao Feng
Keemun Panda #1
Hao Ya Keemun
Assam Golden Tips Tea
Assam Second Flush Tea
Nilgiri Winter Flush Tea
Sikkim Black Tea
Yunnan Dian Hong
Ceylon High Grown Tea
Ceylon Low Grown Tea

Oolong Tea -

Darjeeling Oolong
Si Ji Chun “Four Seasons” Oolong
Formosa Oolong
Bao Zhong Oolong
Wuyi Oolong
Tieguanyin Oolong
Dong Ding Oolong
Ruby Oolong
Milk Oolong

My experience with white tea has all been very positive.
I especially love Kenya ‘Rhino’ Premium White Tea from What-Cha, one of my favorite teas.
White Peony is another white tea that I quite enjoy.

I am not very knowledgeable about pu-erh tea, but like my experiences with white tea, it has all been quite positive. I am really looking forward to broadening my pu-erh tea horizons!

I am ambivalent about green tea. I do not care for most Japanese greens except for an occasional Hojicha. I do enjoy most Chinese greens. Yunnan green tea is wonderful indeed. Yunnan Orchid Green from Rishi is exquisite! I think that jasmine green tea is very good as I love anything floral. Green tea is a favorite for iced tea. Marvelous!

Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy -

Almond – I love almond!
Black Currant
Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime.
Spice – Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, etc..
Bergamot – Earl Grey and variations.
I adore all floral flavors – Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Violet.
I generally enjoy smoky teas too – Smoky Earl Greys, Russian Caravan and milder Lapsangs.

I really love my herbal teas! Chamomile, rooibos and honeybush tisanes are my favorites. Anise, linden and peppermint tisanes are extremely good too, I think. I actually enjoy a fairly wide variety of herbal teas, especially in the evening.

As an ardent Anglophile, I am a follower of British tea culture. British Legacy Teas are my favorites, and
I brew Western style almost exclusively.

I never add sugar, although I quite enjoy honey (raw, unfiltered honey) in my tea! Thistle honey, orange blossom and linden honey are my favorites, along with good old Nature Nate’s.

I choose organic tea whenever possible.

Favorite Vendors – Top 40:

Upton Tea Imports
Harney & Sons
Golden Moon Tea Company
Steven Smith Teamaker
Arbor Teas
Rishi Tea
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
The English Tea Store
Kusmi Tea
Whispering Pines Tea
Simpson & Vail
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Adagio Tea
Carytown Teas
Queen’s Pantry Teas
Simpson & Vail
Mandala Tea
Vahdam Tea
Culinary Teas
The Whistling Kettle
Silk Road Teas
Todd & Holland Tea Merchants
Mariage Frères
Happy Earth Tea Company
A Quarter to Tea
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
The London Tea Merchant
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Tea Spot
Tea Trekker
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas
Capital Teas
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
Stash Tea Company

Rating Guide:

I only review and rate teas that I enjoy. Life is too short and time is too dear to dwell on subpar tea!
In my opinion, anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry. That said -

100 = Perfection! Teas that I cannot possibly live without and will always be in my tea pantry forever and ever!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this one around to enjoy regularly. A pantry staple.
80-89 = Very good! Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Would still, most likely, be found in my tea pantry.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. I would not worry about restocking this, but might possibly be found in my pantry. Perhaps a serviceable tea for work.

Tea is my passion. It has become so much more than a hobby. For me, tea is a way of life. I do tinker around a bit with blending teas. My first blend, Virginia Breakfast, a blend of Imperial Keemun and a second flush Darjeeling, is sold at a wonderful French tea shop – salon de thé :) – here in Richmond. My own small claim to tea fame.

I work in the medical field – Charge nurse of an advanced dementia and hospice care unit. I am also a dementia care training instructor, so I stay pretty busy. I have a multitude of interests. Strong advocate of LGBT rights and animal welfare! I’m a big time lover of cats! I love jazz, blues, classic rock, opera and Russian symphonic music, classic cinema, cooking, gardening, gemology, vulcanology, history – Especially English history and culture. Passionate Anglophile! Love to travel. Love Merry Old England, France (Paris is heaven!), Canada, New England, Northern California and the American South. Love day trips to D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. Enjoy baseball and bowling. Ardent bibliophile as well – Vast and eclectic library!

“While there’s tea there’s hope.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero


Richmond, Virginia, USA

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