I found this for cheap while wandering around Marshalls. Having never seen it before, I thought it must be some cheap tea dressed up to appeal to tourists in London and gullible American anglophiles. Well, I am a gullible American anglophile, and since loose tea is generally hard to come by in the wild around these parts, I snatched a tin up.

I opened it and was initially horrified. I love loose tea, but I am used to ordering higher quality stuff off the internet, and the brown micro-particles of tea leaf looked more like dollar store instant coffee than what I recognize as loose tea.

It was a beautiful late spring morning and life was already unbearably irritating. I figured that it at least contained caffeine, so I dumped two and three quarter teaspoons into my 16 oz pot and kept my expectations lowered.

It brewed up quickly and very darkly. I poured from pot to mug, and added more milk than usual, probably over an ounce. I steeled my taste buds, blew over the rim of the cup and sipped.

And. . . I enjoyed it, to my surprise. I felt guilty for judging it so harshly based on its initial appearance, like some sort of tea snob. Nice and malty, with suprisingly minimal astringincy. Quite smooth. Milk really compliments it, if milk in tea is your thing, but I kind of want to try it iced.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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