89

Pretty unbelievable that this has no notes yet.

I got a little derailed from my “try everything in the cupboard once and write a note about it” project yesterday. I was feeling pretty drained and washed out so I only made it through two black teas. I’m feeling a little better today so we’ll see how far I get.

Anyway, A&D has cute descriptions of their teas but they are more artistic than functional. This one, for example, doesn’t say what sort of Indian black tea it is or whether it is a blend. The leaves look more like Nilgiri leaves to me than anything else, though I suppose they could be Ceylon. The flavor is bready with a bit of throat grab like Assam. Maybe it is a mix. I can usually tell Ceylon by its color after steeping, but yesterday a Ceylon blend that didn’t have the color baffled me so who knows.

The leaves do smell a little like the Double Knit Blend leaves, a sort of earthy smell with a muted sharp note. Which argues for Ceylon, since that was what was in Double Knit.

The tea has a bready smell after steeping and is a clear, dark amber.

It has a mild flavor, which is surprising. I expected something rocket-fuel-strong from the extended racing metaphor. It is medium-light bodied and a bit brisk.

It’s the kind of Indian tea/blend that makes you think of “tea” as the flavor. That sort of classic, essential tea-ness that those of us who grew up with Lipton as the only choice associate with tea. It has a slightly sweet aftertaste.

It’s much more flavorful than Lipton tea bags. It’s as though someone took that flavor and photoshopped it into something enhanced.

It’s very good, but it doesn’t send me into the stratosphere like yesterday’s blends with China blacks in them.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

I would love to know your thoughts on the best A&D teas. They’ve just restocked and I want to order a 3-pack.

I’ve already decided on Black Sunshine and Tiger Assam, but am wavering between Caravan Resurrected and Double Knit for the third tin…

__Morgana__

Caravan is one of my favorites. I would go with that unless you don’t like smoke. The smoke isn’t heavy, it’s just sort of a side note. But if you hate smoke it could be a problem.

Cameron B.

I’ll keep that in mind! I ended up going with Mount Gray for the third tin. For some reason I’d forgotten about it, LOL!

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Cameron B.

I would love to know your thoughts on the best A&D teas. They’ve just restocked and I want to order a 3-pack.

I’ve already decided on Black Sunshine and Tiger Assam, but am wavering between Caravan Resurrected and Double Knit for the third tin…

__Morgana__

Caravan is one of my favorites. I would go with that unless you don’t like smoke. The smoke isn’t heavy, it’s just sort of a side note. But if you hate smoke it could be a problem.

Cameron B.

I’ll keep that in mind! I ended up going with Mount Gray for the third tin. For some reason I’d forgotten about it, LOL!

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Bio

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

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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