Just got back from a week’s business trip in Vienna, where I had a chance to pick up some more tea from both Demmers and TeaGschwendner – more reviews coming soon! This particular one is one of a handful of little single serving bags I picked up so I could try a bunch of different kinds and still travel carry-on only. I also haven’t tried to many different Assams and was intrigued by the description of this one being strong with malty notes.

It steeps up to a clear, dark brown liquor, which does have a noticeable sweet and yeasty aroma. The first sip confirms that this is a strong brew – it sports a little peppery tingle, rich malty flavor, and a moderate amount of astringency, probably about 6 out of 10 on the astringency scale. It’s a great Monday morning, shake me out of jet-lag tea. Even without any additives, it’s got a substantial, chewy texture, so I think it would probably hold up to milk and/or sugar pretty well.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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