It’s still a Sunday, which means that I’m still able to talk about my latest Sunday Tea and Books tasting.

The tea was medium-dark brown and smelled earthy and slightly fruity. Simple Loose Leaf describes this tea as being “raisiny” and “leafy”. I can kind of taste those flavours if I squint, but instead I sense elements like leather and tobacco, and possibly apricots. Those flavours are really faint, though – overall, there isn’t whole lot going on. This is a weird tea in that it doesn’t seem like other oolongs: it doesn’t have the floral character I associate with green oolongs, or the malty, bready kick that I associate with dark ones. In fact, it reminds me most of houjicha. If I had to describe this tea using a single word, it would be “inobtrusive”.

But which fictional character did it remind me of? Well, if you happen to like books by Guy Gavriel Kay, I think you’ll find my choice, and the reasons behind it, a pleasant surprise:

Flavors: Apricot, Leather, Tobacco

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Updated March 2016:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen in love with loose-leaf tea. I’ve also set up a site for tea reviews at – an excellent excuse to keep on buying and trying new blends. There will always be more to discover!

In the meantime, since joining Steepster in January 2014, I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on my likes and dislikes

Likes: Raw/Sheng pu’erh, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks, rooibos.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender, really vegetal green teas, shu/ripe pu’erh.

Things I generally decide on a case-by-case basis: Oolong, white teas.

Still need to do my research on: matcha

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada


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