Sounded awesome, opened the tin expecting a blast of citrus aromas aaaaand……. nope. Their Thes des Lords EG has more citrus smell than this blend. Once brewed, the leaves oooze all sorts of bright citrus aromas, like a truck carrying lemons and grapefruits crashed into a lemon-zest factory, but the tea.. well.. not so much. Not much at all, really.

Funny thing, along with my order I got a few sample tea bags and one of the bags was this very tea. Opened it, and it had a bit stronger scent than the loose leaf in the tin did, but the brewed liquor was pretty much the same.

The saving grace of this tea, and main reason it doesn’t get 21-40 range score, is that YES there is a bit of citrus in there, but the russian blend of blacks is actually quite nice and smooth, and makes an excellent pairing with other teas in blends, especially where a touch of citrus won’t hurt.

Completely misses one target but scores enough points on a completely different one accidentally. Enough so that I might consider ordering a refill pouch eventually if I don’t find better partners for a few blends I’m trying to perfect.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Musician, pilot, philanthropist, tea lover. Nothing beats a spiced oolong at 10,000 feet. Except maybe a cuppa dian hong with my feet next to the fireplace. Or some fresh bai hao yin zhen before bedtime. My rating system is pretty much like this:

1-20 : ‘Blech’ cuppa. Didn’t even finish the one I brewed, rest went in trash. That bad, at least for me.

21-40: ‘Meh’ cuppa. Finished it but threw away the rest of the tea or used it for other purposes like baking, gifts for in-laws, or serve to unwanted houseguests. Kinda like Twinnings or Lipton bag tea.

41-60: ‘Standard’ cuppa. Won’t buy any more, but will certainly brew all that I have left. Probably will use it to blend with other teas or as a base, or large quantities of iced tea for parties and such.

61-80: Good cuppa. Now we’re talking. Worth buying more if at the right price, love blending some of these too. Sometimes a few oddballs will find their way into this score just because I liked the fruity flavor or having it as an iced tea. Also my starting score range for new kinds of tea until I develop a good feel for my preferences or learn to better distinguish quality characteristics.

81-99: Awesome cuppa. You’ll probably find this in my pantry pretty regularly, unless it has been discontinued or I’m waiting for my next trip to Asia or Europe to pick up some more. Holds up well to multiple infusions (unless black/herbal), and will typically drink it unadulterated/straight. I’ll gladly pay premium prices and chances are I’ll be ordering and tasting a bunch of other teas this producer/company offers.

100: Cuppa bliss, oh where have you been all my life???! I will burn frequent flier miles and journey to the ends of the earth while paying nearly any price to make sure I have this stocked at all times. Over time as I discover some magical new teas, a few may fall off this list. Try to keep it max 1 per type of tea.

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