drank Assam Breakfast by Zhi Tea
89 tasting notes

Oh my! This is a delightful Assam tea. I’m getting lots of sweet stone fruit flavors of bright cherry and deep, ripe plum. It’s pleasantly malty and smooth – Very smooth. There are no bitter notes or rough edges, only a pleasant astringency typical of Assams. Overall the tea was creamy and sweet. I detected a smidge of cocoa.
For those who are Assamaphobic, this Assam would be a safe choice – Sturdy, but oh so gentle and completely delicious!
Thanks for the sample, Josh! I loved every sip!

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Creamy, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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

Most definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy here who adores Indian and Ceylon tea. Really love Assam and high grown Ceylons. However, I must admit to enjoying Keemun tea very much. Keemun is my favorite Chinese tea, and I am beginning to enjoy and appreciate other Chinese teas. Really liking Yunnan and Fujian blacks – The unsmoked Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea from Teavivre is positivity exquisite and one of the best teas I have ever had!
Also, I am quite a fan of a good old English or Irish Breakfast blend. English Breakfast from What-Cha and Malachi McCormick’s Blend from Harney & Sons are absolutely superb breakfast blends!

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

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. Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a special place in my heart. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics but tend to prefer second and autumn flush teas over first flush. 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!
I will always love Darjeeling above all other teas – Of that I am absolutely sure!
Favorite Darjeeling tea gardens -
Top 10:
Margaret’s Hope
Happy Valley

Teas that I especially enjoy:

Black Tea -

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

Oolong teas are my next favorite teas after my beloved black teas. Although I drink it infrequently I do love oolong tea!

Favorite Oolong teas -

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 that knowledgeable about pu-erh tea. Like white tea, my experiences with pu-erh have all been extremely positive – I have had some especially scrumptious flavored pu-erh! I am very much looking forward to learning more and broadening my pu-erh tea horizons!

Generally speaking, I do not like green tea and very seldom drink it, but there are rare exceptions. I do enjoy an occasional Japanese Hojicha.Yunnan Orchid Green from Rishi is quite nice. I do love jasmine green tea as I totally adore anything floral! Green Tea is quite refreshing for iced tea, I think.

Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy -

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

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 certainly have a great love of British tea culture. British Legacy Teas are among my favorites, and I brew Western style almost exclusively. I have, however, been known to whip out my little gaiwan to use with fine Chinese tea.
I must admit to having a great appreciation for Russian tea culture as well and find it beautiful and fascinating. I would love to own a genuine antique Russian samovar!

I quite enjoy honey (raw, unfiltered honey only) in my tea. Summer thistle honey, orange blossom, mānuka and wild rose honey are my favorites, along with good old Nature Nate’s.
Occasionally, I will add a bit of strawberry, cherry, raspberry or blackberry jam to sweeten my tea Russian style – Yummy!

I choose organic tea whenever possible.

Favorite Vendors – Top 40:

Harney & Sons
Upton Tea Imports
Steven Smith Teamaker
Kusmi Tea
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
Golden Moon Tea Company
The English Tea Store
Tea Trekker
Rishi Tea
Mariage Frères
Vahdam Tea
Mandala Tea
Arbor Teas
The Whistling Kettle
Verdant Tea
Simpson & Vail
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Carytown Teas
Culinary Teas
Whispering Pines Tea
August Uncommon Tea
A Quarter to Tea
Silk Road Teas
Todd & Holland Tea Merchants
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
The London Tea Merchant
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Tea Spot
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas
Capital Teas
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!
Anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry or even drink again.

100 = Perfection! Teas that I cannot do without and will always be stocked in my tea pantry forever! An absolute must have tea!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this tea around to enjoy regularly. Will most certainly be a staple in my tea pantry!
80-89 = Very good. Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Not an absolute must have tea but could, perhaps, still be found in my tea pantry…..maybe.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. I would probably not worry about restocking this one, though it might be 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 LGBTQ rights and animal welfare! I am a huge lover of cats – Crazy About Kitties! Very involved with helping feral 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 Washington, D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. I enjoy watching baseball and like to go 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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