This tea was brutalized in shipping. I have not had this tea before, so I cannot say whether this has affected the flavor.
This is only the 2nd Scottish Breakfast tea that I have tried-Upton’s being the first. I bought a 4 ounce pouch. The pouch is a re-sealable and made out of a plastic-y film and not foiled-lined on the inside. Not sure what teas are in this blend, but it doesn’t taste like Asssam, Ceylon, and Yunnan. Maybe just Assman and Yunnan? Keemun? The dry leaves are full and have a malty and slightly smoky aroma.
The liquor is more brown than orange in color. This flavor is malty and really peppery (black)-especially when the tea is hottest. No smokiness in the flavor, so probably no Keemun in it. It’s somewhat lively, and although not weak, definitely not “smash you in the face” strong. An acceptable first cup-but I have better options. The level of tannins is surprising low. Not bitter or astringent.
I want to note about the shipping here. The box was literally beat to hell in shipping. The top flaps of the box were peaked up almost like an A-Frame house and there was a big dent in the side. I realize that UPS/USPS etc, handle the packages and not the tea shop. However, I have placed dozens of tea orders by now and have never had a box like this show up on my door. My orders from China and Taiwan have never looked anything but great.
The packaging issue is ETS fault. The cardboard was not sturdy and the box was too big for the order. The box had only some brown kraft paper on one side for “cushioning”. This did not work at all and the pouch of this tea had a gouge in it about one-half inch deep and 1.5 inches long (although the pouch was not actually punctured). If this had been an expensive signature tea instead of a ridiculously cheap $1 an ounce blend I would have sent it back un-opened. This company has several other online businesses and I picture all their stuff at a big warehouse-not stored properly and obviously not packed by people who know and/or care about tea. This tea is okay, but not good enough to make me ever want to buy from this company again.
NB – Rating number is for the tea alone. The other issues did not factor into the number.