My first Irish Breakfast. I really only ordered this sample to compare to the River Shannon blend that seems popular on here. I brewed this right after Bond Street this morning. Cute little grape nut like pellets, I’m used to whole leaf.

First brew seemed strong, singular, dry on the tongue and finally bitter. So I assumed the fault, tossed it and lowered the water temperature down to my normal 195 rather than the recommended 212.

The second brew smelled brighter, taste was certainly lighter though it deepened as it sat. I did not find this enjoyable straight, there was still a dryness with a note of butter toward the end (a good thing for me) but the dryness is what stayed on the tongue. Sugar did not improve this but cream certainly did.

I like this better with cream and sugar than the Bond Street but it would honestly be the only way I would enjoy it and I don’t want to make a habit of that. So I made a cream and sugar blend in my tall claddagh mug, set it on the mantle and offered it up to Brighid and moved on to the River Shannon blend which was a vast improvement.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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