For my first cup of the day, I prefer strong, malty black tea blends with milk & sugar. Breakfast blends generally stand up well to milk, so they’re usually a good standby for me. This, unfortunately, is not one of them.

The dry leaves are very pretty, with several golden tips scattered throughout the chocolate-brown leaves and twigs. The liquor is a deep coppery brown, and when brewed for 3 minutes is actually quite good drunk on its own, like a slightly more astringent Russian Caravan. It’s just not what I would consider a breakfast tea.

I steeped the rest of my pot for an extra minute for my milky cup. It wasn’t bad, but it was dull enough that I was drinking it begrudgingly about halfway through.

Because this tea is so different with and without milk, I feel compelled to give separate ratings.
With milk: 50
Without milk: 82

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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I grew up in New Jersey drinking Celestial Seasonings, and now I live in England, where I developed a taste for a good builder’s brew. Sometime in 2012 I bought my first loose teas, and my collection has since spiraled out of control. Still quite a novice, due to not drinking enough tea to keep pace with the amount I keep buying.

Some things I’m pretty sure I do like:
- most florals (jasmine, orange blossom, osmanthus, etc)
- buttery, vegetal greens
- malty blacks (usually with milk & sugar)
- oolongs that aren’t too heavily roasted

Not really feeling the flavored teas lately, for whatever reason.

All tasting notes use unfiltered hard tap water, unless otherwise specified.

No real method to my numerical ratings yet, but we’ll see what develops. So far I’ve only given ratings of 90 or higher if I actually get excited while drinking the tea.


Bristol, UK

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