75

It’s Doctor Who day! I saved enough of this sampler (3.5g) for my quintessential British English breakfast 16 oz. pot of tea with my McVities digestive biscuits for the episode viewing with my friend, then used up the rest of the sampler for my black tea hair rinse with my morning natural hair care shower regimen.

American Tea Room has gone out of business, and this was a free sample they gave me when I placed an order with them during their “going out of business” sale. It’s a blend of Assam and Yunnan black teas. What I find interesting is the last English Breakfast tea I drank was entirely Ceylon teas and I didn’t get any citrus notes (which is apparently common of Ceylon blacks?), and this one is lacking Ceylon blacks, but I definitely noticed a citrus note in it. Huh.

This tea had that typical malty/baked bread base, leading to a bit of a slight burnt toast flavor with a more subtle spice note mid-sip, and then a hint of citrus toward the finish. The astringency was rather mild overall, especially when I think back to the last few English Breakfast blends I’ve tried. This was a full-leaf blend rather than CTC, which may have contributed to it being a little more smooth.

Overall, a rather pleasing cup. I think now that I’ve started to experiment more with English Breakfasts (a tea I really never cared for much in the past), I’ve found that my tastes seem to fall with blends that are predominently (or entirely) full leaf and that have a strong Chinese black component to the overall blend.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Burnt, Citrus, Malt, Smooth, Spices, Toast

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little apartment!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

My Tea Obsession of the Moment: Hibiscus ciders… deal with it.

My Monthly Tea Theme: Holiday Tea-son! This month I’ll be sampling holiday blends and advent calendar teas from my collection!

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating.

New Teas Tried for 2018: 264
Sipdown Count for 2018: 229

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . If you are interested in tea exchanges (USA only, please), feel free to contact me!

Location

Idaho, United States

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