I bought this from the English Tea Store during their free shipping promo, although you can buy it directly from Davidson’s if you are so inclined. My box from ETS was completely brutalized in transit, but I’ll discuss that further in a later post.
The tea is packaged inside a rather cheap, re-sealable ziploc-type bag, which is then placed inside a pressboard/cardboard pouch-shaped box. This is a 63 gram box. If you buy larger sizes from Davidson’s, perhaps they have better packaging.
I’m wondering if the packaging is a factor in the fact that the dry tea has almost no aroma at all. I had to practically ingest this in my nose to get even a faint scent of anything. This Assam-Ceylon blend brews a coppery brown cup. The ratio of Assam to Ceylon is good-more Assam than Ceylon. This is malty, but a bit bland and boring for an Irish Breakfast. It’s not very brisk or robust at all. I think I am going to call the company and see if I can get a production date, because I have a feeling this may have been on a shelf in a warehouse for entirely too long. It’s not stale or bitter, but it is uneventful. If I’m going with Irish Breakfast, I am in the mood (or NEED) something lively and bold and this just isn’t it at all.
EDIT-I just got off the phone with a very nice rep from Davidson’s and apparently the tea was produced in January (by them). Of course, the Assam and Ceylon must be 2011 harvests-but they shouldn’t be so weak so fast. Not sure how ETS stored this, but I am inclined to call this blend “Irish Breakfast for Wimps.” Of course, I am sure that even wimps enjoy good flavor-and there’s not lots of flavor here. Disappointing.