I thought it would be interesting to try this side by side with the Numi Chinese Breakfast. And it was.
I like black tea, this much I know. But I haven’t yet spent a lot of time analyzing whether I like some black teas better than others. I do like the malty, sugary flavor of some blacks but I’m still too early in my journey toward (what I hope will be) eventual sophistication to be able to tell a Yunnan from an Assam from a Ceylon from a Keemun without reading what I’m drinking on the container it came in. I can sort of tell Darjeeling most of the time, but found it interesting when I was reading about Darjeelings that they’re sort of in their own category as they generally aren’t fully oxidized though they are considered blacks. Hmm.
Anyway, this is a blend of Assam, Ceylon, Keemun and Darjeeling, while the Chinese Breakfast is pure Yunnan. The Chinese Breakfast steeps up the more aromatic of the two, with a sweet, brown sugary smell. The Breakfast Blend has some sweetness too, but it is a paler, and less sweet aroma.
Compared to the Chinese Breakfast, this has a less robust flavor, which wasn’t at all what I expected. I was expecting that between the Assam and the Darjeeling, the Morning Rise would be more intense. Morning Rise is pretty ordinary and so there’s not a lot to say about it. It doesn’t stand out, even among other bagged black teas. I didn’t love Awake, but it had more flavor than this even though it wasn’t as smooth and well-blended. I’d pick Chinese Breakfast over this given the choice.