My tin was full to the brim as well, and the top of the tin is very tight — which is good for the tea, but not so good for my newly cleaned countertop. At least it was the countertop, not the floor, so I could salvage…

It’s very tippy, giving it that (brown) salt and pepper look that I find so appealing. The dry leaves have the soil-like smell of some Assams, but with something stronger, sweeter and vaguely bready (as opposed to yeasty) about it. Bready good. Yeasty (unless winey or beery or bready) bad.

It makes a medium-dark amber liquor with a bready aroma. I totally get what Stephanie mentioned in her note — warm, sweet bread. It leans toward, but doesn’t completely reach maltiness of the type I recall from the Numi Chinese Breakfast. It isn’t the sugary, yam-like orgy of complexity that was the Samovar Yunnan Golden Buds. But it is quite nice.

It has a thick, substantial mouthfeel which adds to the perception of breadiness. I would not have identified the pepper note without reading about it here, but now that I do, yes, that makes sense. It’s not a spicy pepper though. It’s like the flavor of pepper without the spiciness.

A nice, all-purpose, Yunnan black tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Yeah, totally wish I had caved when this was the SS. Maybe they’ll have it again! (Hint to the Overlords?)


I feel on this Auggy (I didn’t cave either).

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Yeah, totally wish I had caved when this was the SS. Maybe they’ll have it again! (Hint to the Overlords?)


I feel on this Auggy (I didn’t cave either).

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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